Anonymous Sperm Donor

So it’s been some time since I posted! Though I have been following pretty closely regardless 🙂

I recently joined and then dropped out of a FB group for people who used or are the product of a donor or donors. I thought it would be interesting but immediately realized that it is actually pretty anti-donor families. At least the last several posts have been. 

As I was wading through posts, some donor conceived (DC) people had very strong emotions. One went so far as to say she hates her mother and wishes she had never been born. Obviously some issues there, but started to freak me out a little. Some expressed that they felt that the term “donor” was dehumanizing for them and made them feel as though part of them wasn’t “real.” Others expressed that they felt anonymous sperm donation should be illegal. Some have looked for anonymous donors through DNA banks like 23 and me in order to find relatives related to their donor. 

We initially used a known donor, related to my wife, but this was a pretty traumatic experience as I lost that pregnancy and our relationship with donor and his wife got very complicated and a bit hostile (if I knew how to link to that post I would…it’s probably one of my first posts). 

Anyway, fast forward to us looking for a new donor and we decided to go anonymous, in part because of our traumatic experience with a known donor and in part because we knew that we would really like to have more than one child and we wanted to buy as much sperm as we could afford (known donor sperm is more expensive). 

So, anyone have any input on this? I don’t want our child to feel deprived and we plan on having siblings from the same donor. We are also in connection with 3 donor sibs. We have already made a book for our kiddo on Shutterfly telling the story or her conception and plan on always being forthright with her. Anyone go the anonymous route? What do you call your “donor?” 

Graduating and jobs and mommyhood, oh my! 

I haven’t blogged in quite some time and was looking through my most recent entries. I wrote a post on baby girl going to daycare as I started an internship, and the anxiety I felt over that transition. Now graduation is quickly approaching and that old anxiety is rearing its ugly head. I don’t have a job yet and that is really weird and hard and I have not been in this position…like, ever. I’ve basically been employed on some level since age 14 and was employed in my field for 5 years before returning to school. 

I had initially really rejected the idea of returning to my old stomping grounds. I left pretty burnt out and pretty sure I did not want to do that particular kind of work again. So, I did my internship in a completely different mileu and, while it was educational, it made me realize how much I would like to go back to my old employer (now with higher credentials and higher pay). 

So I wait. Basically, my old employer is contracting with a new high school in town. The new contract includes a school schedule (hours, vacation, and summers off!) I am beyond interested. This seems to be the closest I can currently get to the work/home balance I really need. Plus, I would receive free supervision for my post-grad independent licensure with a supervisor I totally love. And working with teens is my jam. I have the most experience and comfort with this type of work. 

It really feels within reach but also so perfect that I am worried it won’t happen. I am basically just really worried. There are so many unknowns right now and I’m applying to other places but in a completely half-hearted way. 

I am worried we are going to go broke. I am worried that I am going to have to take a job with shitty hours in a shitty location. And mostly, I am worried that I won’t get to be a mom in the way that I want to be. I don’t want to send my little to daycare 40 or 50 hours a week. I was in daycare that much and a f-ing hated it. That’s not to say that daycare is bad or that she doesn’t enjoy it, but I really want to have a balance that allows her to be with me or T a couple of weekdays as well…or all summer 🙂

My anxiety regarding starting part-time  daycare proved to be unfounded. I am really hoping that this will all be water under the bridge soon. 

Update!

So I finally dragged myself into my Ob/gyn and she prescribed me some topical estrogen cream…at 9 months postpartum and still bf-ing, I haven’t had my period return yet, which means my estrogen is way down. Basically, I have the vagina of a post-menopausal woman! Here’s hoping this will put a little pep back in my…step. 

So…TMI

It’s been awhile since I blogged but I have been keeping up with the going ons of all these wonderful birth, pregnancy, and child-raising posts. All is really well here and I am loving mommy-hood. Little girl is so crazy amazing and her little personality is so sweet and funny and shining through more and more (8 months now!) I could gush forever about her…

But that is not why I am writing. I am writing because, sex. We’ve definitely not been having it as much as we used to, but overall, frequency isn’t a big deal right now. We’re still making it happen, in between busy work, child care, school, and sleep schedules. What I am concerned about, and particularly want to ask those in lady/lady relationships…postpartum pain during any kind of penetration, what’s that about? I feel like I don’t really have a lot of information to go on outside of hetero-pairings with p in v sex…but what about those who have penetrative sex with other things (namely, fingers and [maybe someday again], toys). 

We are 8 months out and it just…sucks. It hurts. We have tried going slow. Using lubricant. Lots of communication…but it just doesn’t feel good. I have been being patient with myself and we have been having lots of fun doing other stuff, but I really miss not being 100%

It blows me away that 6 weeks is considered go time for penetrative postpartum sex. Like, according to who? But 8 months seems sufficient, no? Any advice or just others who have experienced similar things? Is my vagina going to be broken forever? 

(Also…I had very minimal tearing in childbirth.)

Anyway, I would be so thankful for any input!!

How you got here

I have been playing around with the idea of how to incorporate baby girl’s conception story/process into storybook form. I feel like it is important that she have an idea early on about how she came to us. 

So, voila! Shutterfly had an adoption template that I followed VERY loosely (basically, just the idea that we are a loving couple who wanted a child and needed some outside help to make that possible). 

Here is the page on her sperm donor, which we will read to her early on. As she comes to understand the birds and the bees, we will be more explicit, but we feel like this will be a good jumping off point. 

Other pages include us as a couple before she was born, our dream to have a child, the long wait, creating her nursery, baby showers, and birth story/photos. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out and plan to do with siblings as well!

Anxiety and stuff 

I feel like the first few months of baby’s life was a bit of a honeymoon.  This is not to say, that she doesn’t continue to be the best baby ever (eating, sleeping, meeting all her milestones, and smiling like its her job!) but more that I am feeling the world begin to encroach on my happy baby island. 

I start an internship in August, it’s only part time and it’s paid(!), meaning I will be quitting my now very part time job, but it is also the beginning of daycare 2.5-3 days a week, and honestly, I am really, really struggling with the thought of other people caring for her besides me (or her other mama). I have come up with so many horrible scenarios of improper supervision (choking, getting hit by a car, kidnapped, dropped, etc etc) and I know that this is all my anxiety talking, but yeah, dread. I dread the end of our all- day love fest. I dread not being there for it all. I have trouble believing anyone can care for her as well as I can and duh, I want her to have the best care possible! 

I can tell myself that she will be safe and cared for and that this is simply a necessary step. That I am beyond lucky to have been able to swing full-time stay-at-home status for the first 6 months, something that I never thought would be remotely possible and something that probably won’t be possible with future children. And this helps. It does. As I’m writing it, it does help. But then my damn anxiety decides to creep back in, all insidious and hysterical, and I am back on that ledge. 

It doesn’t help that I received some rather troubling news about my health. I apparently have “hypercholesterolemia.” Not the kind that you get from too many cheese burgers and that can be corrected through diet and exercise, the kind that means my body actually isn’t processing correctly due to a wonky gene (I am a tall, thin, athletic person, who eats really well). So anyway, my cholesterol is about double what it should be, the highest my doc had actually ever seen (which is by the way, the worst way to tell someone). They suggested I breastfeed max at 1 year (and that is pushing it) and then get on meds and possibly see a cardiologist. What the actual fuck. I had no intention of weaning her that early and wanted to breastfeed our second and then try for a third! I think this kind of sent me into a spiral, thinking, “shit am I going to be around for her at all?” On top of that my friend’s 2 year old nephew just passed away after a short 6 month battle with a very aggressive cancer (this has nothing to do with me obviously) but of course, I can’t help but jumping on that worry train. 

Anyway, anxiety. It is hard to keep your heart so open to such a big love and not feel completely vulnerable to the brokenness that such a love could cause. That is the struggle. And yet I choose it. I choose it everyday. 

Adjusting 

In the midst of the love fest I have been having for our daughter, it has definitely been an adjustment figuring out how to prioritize my wife and make sure that we are functioning as a cohesive family unit. Up until recently, I was kicking her out of bed in the morning to make coffee because I am up with the baby at night (not as much anymore). T would then get in the shower and go to work, not seeing the baby until the evening. So we’ve adjusted that to me getting up to make coffee so that T can spend time with the baby, dressing and changing her, before she goes to work. T is in charge of bathing and bedtime story too, but I am still feeling like the bulk of the bonding is between me and the baby. A lot of this is because I’m home with her all day and sleep with her all night, and boobs, obviously. I’ve suggested taking shifts with the co-sleeping, but T is worried she’ll inadvertently roll on or elbow the baby (which makes me wonder if she’ll feel the same about our next baby that she carries?) She would like us to start sleep training, in part because I think she wants to be able to snuggle up with me…anyway, I am feeling a little caught in the middle. I am worried about T bonding with the baby. I think she worries about it too. I do think it’s pretty common for non-gestational parents to have a different relationship with their child than the gestational parent, but I just want her to be happy and feel comfortable and included. I don’t want this to grow into resentment or drive a wedge between us.

So, what are ways you encourage cohesiveness and bonding in your family? What are things that you avoid?