♦Welcome to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop!♦
What’s the most unusual expense you’ve had?
Welcome back to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop! If you’re new to the series, the authors included are grateful for your reads and appreciate, even more so, when you share our writings with your friends. If you’re new to the series, welcome aboard. The authors engage and impress weekly. Be prepared to become a regular reader.
Some of you, who have followed my blog, or been in my life by some means, have followed my journey in parenting. This week’s question had me puzzled for a bit (as how to answer) until I remembered a certain aspect of my life and all the weirdness involved. Most parents will definitely relate, because there are a whole bunch of oddities you need to grab to care for an infant. Yes, they’re usually convenience items, but they’re great items to have around. However, my purchase was prior to any of that.
Many of you know that my daughter was conceived from IVF, and that I am a single mother. Some of you might have put together that this delicately infers an absence of a husband/boyfriend. Still fewer realize, even though it’s a given, that I had to purchase certain things in order to conceive. Yup, the weirdest thing I’ve ever purchased is semen.
Before you freak out, because I did enough for the lot of us between the ages of 30 and 40 building up to the moment, please remember that this is one of the most natural aspects of life—reproduction. Back in my early 30s, I was dead against this inevitability, but I knew that in order to make my family I had to find a man or get a donor. I just had hoped fate would have seen me to a decent fella before the later became the means. But, you know fate and all. So, there I found myself contacting a sperm bank on the other side of my country to figure out the next leg of my life journey.
I went through a handful of IUIs and had a miscarriage that resulted in me moving onto IVF. Three egg retrievals granted me one viable embryo. That embryo became my daughter. But what about the donors? The thing a lot of women don’t realize is that, unless they’re very lucky, they will not likely get pregnant with the first, so they will choose a few profiles before the work is done. Think of Build-A-Baby. You go into the site, you review candidates, setting criteria if you have any (and you might as well because that helps to lower the number). I went by looking for someone who looked like me. I couldn’t think of any other criteria to narrow the search, and I wanted to pass down the blue eyes I inherited from my grandfather, if at all possible.
You don’t get to make these decisions when you find a husband/boyfriend with which to start a family. Whoever the lucky chap is, that’s the genetic make up your children will share. And, it’s really tough trying to decide, basically, what your child will look like. But, it doesn’t get easier at all during any of this. Between cultural norms, personal beliefs, and the public it can get pretty rocky emotionally. It’s not that easy to choose this.
Frankly, if you haven’t been through the process, then you have no idea what it is like to accept this material into your body (IUI). With brevity, I can explain a bit. Donor material is washed and frozen (meaning it’s cleaned up and preserved). The donors are tested and all that so there should be no issue with passing disease. Good lord! It’s bad enough. In order to inseminate you, they pass a filament past your cervix and insert the sample, hoping the little buggers do their job, and the egg released is a good one. It’s uncomfortable, like really bad cramps. All sorts of medication is taken prior to the event, which mess with your body and make you super uncomfortable too. It often works, but more often does not.
IVF is far more invasive, but the sample is added to eggs after a retrieval in a lab. It’s all very sciencey.
Imagine having charges to a sperm bank on your credit card, though. I figured the other copays made it obvious what was going on. Clearly people aren’t out there buying it for party favors, but who knows what someone who is not on the inside of my life would think! So between personal hang ups and the strangeness of this science, and the details of what is done, this has got to be, hands down, the most unusual thing I’ve had as an expense.
Let’s hop on over and see what unusual expenses our other authors have…