Having used donor sperm personally, due to my husband’s lack of sperm (azoospermia), it’s a topic close to our hearts. Women who are and want to become solo mums by choice need more exposure, along with male factor infertility.
We hear from our partner sperm bank, Cryos International, just how they made Marije’s dreams come true, helping with the sperm donor process.
Cryos is an international company which supplies frozen sperm and egg donation to more than 100 countries around the world. Their main vision is to help make dreams come true for infertile men, lesbians and solo mums, who dream of having a child. They provide high quality sperm and eggs, as well as screening egg and sperm donors from all ethnicities. They are serious and meticulous about what they do, so you can be sure to have all the facts and knowledge before you go through the sperm / egg donor selection process.
When considering a sperm donor, you need to decide on whether you would like a Non-ID Release or an ID Release donor. It is more or less self-explanatory, but a Non-ID release donor means the donor’s identity is and will always be private. You will not be able to contact them at any point, and no information on them will be disclosed. On the other hand, with an ID Release donor, your child will be able to contact their donor and find out any information they wish, once they turn 18. Of course, with a Non-ID Release donor, ancestry platforms mean that anonymity may not always be what it used to.
For Marije, moving forward with ‘Plan B’ wasn’t an easy task…
“I started looking for my Plan B on the internet, but this was no easy task. My gynaecologist told me she could only help me if I had a “real” man at my side. I found it really hard to find the answer I knew was out there, but after some time, I finally stumbled upon Cryos. This was exactly what I needed! This was the answer! But how did it work?
I knew I needed to get help from the hospital to conceive, and I knew that my chances of getting pregnant the natural way were really small. After some time, I found out where I could have the insemination done.”
After having done her research about the best options out there to help with fertility, Marije started talking to colleagues, friends and family about what she had to consider in becoming a solo mum by choice and going it alone. The reactions were very different – some had their concerns about her decision, but others supported it 100%. And the latter was of more importance.
The Pros and Cons of Sperm Donation
Obviously, just like any other major life decisions, there are positives and negatives to consider when using a sperm donor with a sperm bank, such as Cryos International. To provide you with well-rounded help for your fertility decisions, here is a list:
If you’re trying to conceive and struggling with infertility, then the option for a sperm or egg donor will give you a great chance of making your dreams come true.
With sperm or egg donation, your child will be genetically related to either yourself or your partner.
Cryos offers you guidance throughout the whole donor selection process, to make sure you feel supported and comfortable in your key decision.
You will be able to use their online resources to look through many success stories from other couples or single parents / mums by choice who have also used a donor, helping you to feel less alone.
You have to be prepared for the fact that it could take a couple of tries until you have success (whether that be via IUI or IVF).
People who are not familiar with this fertility option may question your decision in a negative way.
Your child may have a lot of questions when they are older.
Make sure you know how to take care of yourself first, as becoming a new mother is a massive lifestyle change.
Marije had her own similar concerns, especially about having a child as a solo mum. She did not know anyone else who had gone down that route, so she didn’t have anyone to discuss her thoughts with…
“Could I decide for my child that he or she should not get support from a dad? And will my child hate me for it later on? As I was considering these things, I still knew that I would never forgive myself if I did not try.”
With the support from her family, Marije made the choice.
”My mother told me that ‘if this is what you really want to do then go and do it’. This was what I needed to hear, and I picked up the phone to call the hospital that worked with Cryos.”
“This was no easy task, but I finally made the decision with the support from my mum. We thought the story and the family tree of the donor had some resemblance to my own family and it felt good! His motivational letter really touched my heart. This was him.”
The fertility specialists at the hospital helped Marije order the sperm straws from Cryos, and finally, the day arrived for Marije’s first insemination. However, going to the hospital without a partner was a surreal experience.
“After some time, a woman came into the waiting room – also alone. I was thinking about asking her how she felt being there alone. I wanted to hear her thoughts about becoming a single mum. Maybe we could support each other. While I was over-thinking it, her husband or boyfriend came and sat next to her. OMG, I was so happy that I did not say anything.”
Photo Credit – @salted.photography
IUI Didn’t Work Immediately
Marije’s first and second attempt of trying to conceive didn’t work, but third time was a charm…
“I asked my mum to come with me for my third attempt. It felt good not to be alone. My mum seems to be my lucky charm because this time I got pregnant. OMG, I was pregnant!!! I felt so overwhelmed. It is a feeling that is so hard to describe. I cried happy tears.
I had as many echoscopes as I could have. I couldn’t get enough looking at my boy. Yes, I was going to be the mother of a boy! So, in a way, my other dream of having a man in the house was also fulfilled.”
Nine months passed, and Marije had her baby boy. At the same time, she stepped into a whole new world – a world where she was a solo mum and had the sole responsibility for a child. Today, Marije’s donor has a special place in her heart…
“When I look at my boy today, I wish I could send a picture of him to my donor. I would like to let him know what a beautiful person my son is – his face and his character. I would like to let him know how thankful I am. There are no words that can describe my gratitude to my donor. He must be a really good human being for doing this.
My son is now almost 9 months old and he is a real joy! It turned out that Plan B was not so bad after all. A real dream came true!”
If like Marije you’re thinking about going it solo, you can visit Cryos International to find useful resources about solo motherhood, read stories of other single mothers and search between more than 1.000 sperm donor profiles.