Family / Family-building

What Do We Do with the Last Vial of Sperm? baby feetWe have one vial of sperm left. We have three beautiful, healthy kids and one vial of sperm left. The sperm bank called a few weeks ago asking us what we want to do with our remaining vial. We stared blankly at each other. We cried about letting the vial go. We were defiant in our decision to keep it just in case. We cycled like this for a couple of weeks, too exhausted by our three beautiful, healthy kids to be able to make one decision. Instead, we made three decisions that flowed through our living room one after another: We should destroy it. We should donate it. We should keep it.

When we talked to the sperm bank, they pretty much called us selfish bastards because we asked about destroying the vial. The thought was that it is our property and one less vial means one less child in the world that is biologically related to our kids. When we asked about donating the vial to another family that already has kids by the same donor, they said we couldn’t do that. When we asked about keeping it, they said that as long as long as we keep paying a storage fee, they will hold it for us.

There was no acknowledgement of the gut-wrenching decision that we have before us. Maybe that is because it is not gut-wrenching to everyone. It is to us. The idea of getting rid of that last vial is painful. It feels like choosing to let someone die.

Do we want another child? Some days, yes. Most days, no. We are tired and have been sick for six months. Our house looks like a bomb went off in it–on a good day. On a bad day, it looks like a bachelor went on vacation after a big house party. The laundry is never ends. We have one baby who screams. One baby who cries. A four-year-old who is desperate for attention.

But sometimes, when they are all asleep and the house is relatively picked-up, I can imagine one more tiny baby. I can imagine tiny fingers and toes and these three kids oooing and ahhhing over their new baby brother or sister. But then one of the babies wakes up and then the other wakes up and then the four-year-old cries out and I can’t imagine being able to handle anything else, let alone another child.

We had to give them a decision by January 15. Of course, we kept it. We paid the $300 storage fee and bought ourselves some time. I hope the answer becomes more clear in the coming months. If it doesn’t, we will just keep dreaming about that fourth child, trying to keep the house cleaner and saving for next year when we have to make the same decision (or indecision) again.


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  1. Deborah Goldstein says:

    Outraged that the bank would give you such grief! Just think about all the spilled seed in the world that has not produced children. Or don’t think about it. Just to say that they have some nerve.

    I’m guessing in a year’s time, you will feel more clear about whatever decision you make. Until then, enjoy your three!!

    • I totally agree with Deborah! Crazy that they hassled you and NOT crazy that you have mixed feelings. I had the same feelings with our three little embryos that we left frozen. Luckily they were put to use and we ended up with a “bonus baby” that we get to enjoy but we don’t have to raise, but that’s a story for another day! 😉

  2. Thanks for the support! Life is crazy enough without the judgement!

  3. Betsy-

    Consider this story of your Doppelgänger Lesbian Family in Boston (& on twitter @AdventurousMoms). You might have to circumvent your bank a little, but sharing of sperm samples w/ pre-existing Donor Families is commonplace (here’s their blog about it:

    Unrelated, welcome to our neighborhood IRL & come on by Saturday for our brunch to celebrate QZ…she’ll be ONE!

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