The Baby Bean Blog

Monday, October 10, 2005

Are We Crazy? Oh, Yes.

Today we were back at the office of my former reproductive endocrinologist (fertility doctor) to see when my partner will be inseminated. Will it be today? Tomorrow? Wednesday?

Come again? I don't think I read that right, Oz. Isn't Ella fresh out of the oven? What on earth is going through your mind, woman?!

You've got some good points. If my partner were to get pregnant, the two children would be 11 months apart. Pretty close. Why are we doing this? Well, we sort of had to make a decision last year about what to do with our extra sperm sample. Let me explain.

Shipping semen is extraordinarily expensive--$275. Because of that, we ordered two samples at a time, knowing that I might get pregnant with the one and then have the extra sample. From our sperm bank, each sample costs $240. That's right. The semen costs less than the shipping. So we had a choice of paying $515 per month, assuming that I would get pregnant: $240 [semen] + $275 [shipping] = $515. If I didn't, we would buy again for $515, bringing a two month total up to $1030. Or we could pay $755 up front for two months, thereby saving us $275 or spending money on a sample I might not need: $480 [semen x 2] + $275 [shipping] = $755. So that's what we did. I got pregnant on the third attempt, so we had one sample left over. (We bought two at first, and I didn't get pregnant either time. Then we bought two more, and I got pregnant on the first try [i.e. third try], leaving one sample left.) So what to do with the extra sample?

We could have thrown it away or we could have stored it. Storing it costs $300 per year. Now, even if we bought two at a time again at a cost (including splitting the shipping charge over two samples) of $377.50 per sample, it was more cost efficient to pay the storage fee of $300 rather than buying again fresh--if we were going to use the sample within one year. If we were going to wait more than a year, that would bring the storage fee up to $600, which is obviously more than $377.50.

I've always wanted to have the children be close together in age. I knew (in the abstract way of knowing that you have before you are a parent) it would be difficult to have two such young children at once. But I thought that the hard work would pay off eventually. And I sort of had the idea that we would just get all that out of the way at once. Sort of like ripping off the bandaid instead of pealing it off slowly. The work is going to be done, why not do it all at once? That's what I was thinking. And hopefully the children would like each other and play together well and have a lot in common because they would be close in age. I do know that there's also a possibility that they could be very competitive and therefore hate each other. Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

Anyway, last year we talked about what to do with this sample, and we decided that we would go ahead and store it and therefore use it within a year. So it's kind of a one shot deal we're doing here. If she does not get pregnant, we'll wait for the next attempt until next spring, probably try again in May. But it looks like tomorrow is the day when we will put the ingredients all together in one place and see if we end up creating another human life.

It's a bit weird going into the process this way--knowing that it's just one attempt and then we'll shut it down and wait another six months. It's like a shot in the dark instead of, "We're starting on a journey together."

Then there's also a little bit of uneasiness. Now we have a baby and we know how hard it is, how much work, how much attention she requires. How will I (because I'm the one who will stay at home with the kids after my partner takes off her 12 weeks) manage two tiny children at once? Handling one is pretty all-consuming as it is. Nonetheless, I'm very excited. After all, I am also the one who really would like the children to be that close in age. If she gets pregnant, I'm going to be estatic, please don't get me wrong about that at all. But I think that if she doesn't get pregnant this time, both my partner and I might--just a little bit--breathe a sigh of relief.


  • I couldn't agree more about the advantage of having children close in age. I've always got on really well with my sister, both playing together loads as kids and now that we're adults. I feel my brother missed out by being over four years the youngest. That said, my sister and I are nearly two years apart, so 'close' needn't mean less than a year. Whether they're 11 or 17 months apart, or more, there'll still be a large overlap in their interests as they grow up.

    By Anonymous Fyse, at 12:01 PM, October 10, 2005  

  • I agree that two years apart is still close enough to be, well, close. This one year--or 11 month--separation is more a function of the time limit on using the sperm. Well, I probably would have liked them to be that close anyway, but the issue wouldn't be pushed at this point if it wasn't for the money we've invested in the sperm. At any rate, in two weeks, we'll know if the kids will be closer to one year apart or two....

    By Blogger Oz, at 4:53 PM, October 11, 2005  

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