From August 2011 I began actively researching sperm donor pregnancies. Firstly I met a local woman in her mid thirties who had a beautiful sperm donor 15 month old toddler. She was an inspiration and flooded me with information and positivity about being a single mother and the whole process of the treatment.
In September I managed to tell my psychoanalyst my thoughts. She was as accepting and helpful as ever and I know will continue to be whatever the outcome.
In October I met a friend of my cousin who had completed one unsuccessful round of IVF with a sperm donor and was awaiting her second round. Again she was an inspiration and speaking with her made me shift considerably. She assured me that her sperm donor had not been paid for his sperm. I had assumed that sperm donors were paid, it turns out that they are only paid expenses. Becoming one is a huge commitment which involves at least 10 visits to the clinic and numerous tests beforehand and during the process. Knowing that my potential sperm donor would not be a student who had donated his sperm for beer money was a huge relief. I would be able to tell my child that his or her father had wanted to help women like me by offering his sperm for altruistic reasons alone.
To prepare myself physically I came off the contraceptive pill and started taking folic acid and vitamins and minerals.
In November I went to the Fertility Show at Olympia with a friend. I went to some useful talks and met some interesting people who worked in the field and some people who were either going for assisted conception or had used it successfully. Every professional I heard speak at the show reinforced the same information; cut out alcohol, caffeine, cigarettes and keep your BMI to below 25. One doctor said that he refused to treat people with a BMI of over 30. My BMI was 26 so I decided to decline the advent treats until the actual week of Christmas. It worked. I ate and drank everything I wanted over Christmas and New Year but still lost weight overall.
In December my mother and another friend came with me to a London clinic to learn more details of fertility treatment. I realised that I already knew 90% of what was being said and was pleased with myself that my research had been accurate and comprehensive. It turns out that from 2012 sperm donors will be paid a flat fee to donate but they will no longer be paid their expenses which for some will mean that they will make a loss. I'm still hoping I'll be able to have a donor who donated before 2012 but we will see. I'll cross that when I come to it.
By Christmas 2011 I had made up my mind. I was going to go for it. I told both sets of parents and my brother and sister in law. Everyone was really supportive and excited. I booked the initial consultation for the first week in the New Year.