Family / Family-building

Giving It Away: Saying Goodbye to the Last Vial of Sperm

Tiny babies sleeping

Tiny babies sleeping.

Back to that one last vial of sperm…we made the decision to keep our last vial of sperm in January. Then, the other day, we decided to give it away. After a long day of barely breathing because the exhaustion was so heavy on our chests, we looked at each other with the ultimate clarity and said three is enough. We knew in that instant that we were done having kids. Then, the sadness set it. I will miss the anticipation of a new addition to our family. I will miss seeing the bigs with a new little. I will miss those precious first moments of awe as I take in every inch of that new baby. I will miss all that.

Making this decision has been so, so hard. We know that it is logical and right to focus on the three amazing children we have and that creating another life is irresponsible in light of the current state of the planet. We know that our financial means are not unlimited. We know this is the best decision for our family.

So, the other day, I offered our remaining vial to another family who used the same donor for their first child. It felt good to be able to do that for someone else. After all, we have these three amazing children, right? A couple of days passed before the panic set in. What if we decide we really want a fourth child? (Yes, I said FOURTH!) What if we decide we want a fourth child and we have no more sperm in that bank? I woke up in the middle of the night, heart racing, thinking, “We can’t give away our last vial!”

But we can and we will and it will be really hard. On a hike today with the family, my lady said, “We could have five kids and one vial left and giving it up would be hard.” She’s right. I know stopping at three kids is best for us. In a couple of years, we will be able to travel, and we will have so much fun as a family of five. And, it’s hard to give away the seed that produces children when your own bodies don’t have it. There is something final about it, like the passing of an era. We are moving away from our childbearing years, moving into middle age, and time just keeps slipping away.

It’s all mixed up together: time, babies, family, transitions, aging. Holding on to that one little vial won’t make anything more clear for us. It will stay muddled, but maybe that vial will mean the world to this other family. Maybe, just maybe, there will be new life after all.

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One Comment

  1. Shannon Cate says:

    And your kids have those half-sibs in that other family. So that’s kind of special and unique, compared to couples who “have it” in their bodies but decide they are finished using it.

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