Donor Sperm Dilemma

23 04 2012

Note: there is a lot of discussion about God in this post. I’m not here to debate whether there is a higher power or not, these are my feelings on the topic. Please try to keep things civil and relevant.

When moving on to donor sperm, the ‘telling’ became such a big concern of mine. Donor Sperm, IVF, IUI, and even just Infertility in general are such taboo topics of conversation in today’s society. In the religion where I was raised, a woman’s worth is defined by her ability to procreate and be a mother. Obviously, I’ve failed at that aspect. Medical intervention is highly frowned upon, but not forbidden, and as such almost everyone tells us that we need to “let go and let God” decide about our family, that we’ve not been faithful enough churchgoers and we need to confess our sins to God so he will allow us to have a child, that it will all happen in God’s timing.

You know what I have to say about that? Fuck them. I’m a believer in God, and I find this parable to be particularly fitting for this situation:

Parable of the Drowning Man

There’s a man, let’s say his name is Dave. Dave owns a beautiful house on the bank of a river. Over the last few weeks, the town Dave lives in has been hit with one storm after another, and with each storm the river rises. This morning the Weatherman on the local news forecasted the storm of the century. The river that Dave lives on is expected to crest at 30 feet above its normal level; Dave’s house and life are in danger. The News is encouraging people who live on this river to voluntarily evacuate. Dave ignored the evacuation suggestion and shouted at the TV, “God will take care of me!” The river water continued to rise. Local neighbors with boats rode around and offered Dave a ride to safety. Dave said no thank you to the ride and told his neighbors, “God will take care of me!” Dave was now sitting on his rooftop because the water was up to the second floor of his home and was still rising. The Coast Guard sent a helicopter to Dave’s house to rescue him. Dave refused to leave and told the Coast Guard, “God will take care of me!” The water continued to rise and Dave drowned. As he approached the gates of Heaven he asked St. Peter why. He asked how could God let him die when he had such faith? He said he always believed God would take care of him. How could God forsake him now when he needed him the most? St. Peter said to Dave with a sigh, “Dave, God tried to take care of you but you refused his help. He sent you a warning and suggestion to evacuate in the newscast, he sent you a rescue boat and then he sent you the Coast Guard in a helicopter. But, you refused all the help that God was sending you because you were failing to see that God can only help you, if you let him. Everything was right before your eyes and you refused to pay attention and accept it.”

Just like ‘Dave’ had the means of rescue provided to him by God, we’ve got the means to build our family provided as well: Medical Assistance. We have the ability to use the miracles of modern technology to figure out our issues and correct them. If God didn’t want these things to exist, I believe they wouldn’t.

With all that said, we’re not ashamed of the fact that we are using medical intervention and donor sperm to build our family. However, we are private people and don’t feel like it’s everyone’s business as to how we are building our family, and are concerned about how to share our story without oversharing. We love our families, but donor sperm is not something they’d embrace- they are some of the worst for telling us we need to let God decide. My family is a bit better than Mr. X’s, but neither family has ever truly struggled with infertility and RPL so they have no idea what things are like on this side of the story. How do we decide who to tell? Obviously, we need to figure this out because we’re going to have to address this topic to doctors constantly, and we don’t want to keep this from any children we may have.

I think we’ve decided that once we are pregnant and staying pregnant, we’ll sit down with our immediate families and explain the basics to them, and address that this is our choice and that they get no say in the matter. Anyone who cannot accept our decision then or in the future is not welcome to spend time with our children, because our children deserve to be surrounded by loving, supportive family no matter what, not conditionally on genetics. We may change our minds by the time this becomes an issue, but at least for now this is our plan. I know my immediate family(parents and siblings) will have no issues with this policy, its mostly the extended family I worry about. Considering my own grandfather doesn’t even count my stepchildren as his grandkids, I don’t think he will ever meet any children we have at this rate. X’s family will be another story- I hope they can support us, but considering we rarely hear from them right now, who knows how they will deal with all this.

For those of you who have had to address this topic, from any side, do you have any advice or words of wisdom for us or anyone else that may wonder?

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24 05 2012
30 Day Challenge- Day 24 « Trying to Conceive A Modern Medicine Miracle

[…] covered a bit about religion before, here and here. I’ll not be reiterating my thoughts from those posts, but just adding to […]

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