I nervously typed out the text message, deleted it a few times, started over, and finally came up with this:

Hey, Babes! I miss you, how are you? I know this is going to sound crazy, but I've been trying to get pregnant for months now. I want to be a single mother by choice, and have actually been working with a sperm donor here in DC. But it occurs to me…you would be an excellent candidate for the role of biological father to my baby… Would you ever consider being a sperm donor? We could have a contract outlining that I would have full custody, and you would never be required to pay child support.
It really would mean a lot to me for my child to have a relationship with the donor. And I know you're someone who will be in my life forever. No pressure. Please let me know your thoughts. I'm happy to answer any questions you may have. xoxox

I gulped and hit "send."

I had known David for 15 years. It had been at least six months since we'd spoken, so while he was used to getting lengthy texts from me out of nowhere, this was something else entirely. As a gay man, his path to parenthood was never going to necessarily be a straight line, but I wasn't sure how he felt about having a child or helping create one. I had been inspired to take a hard exit from the Facebook pages and was legit kicking myself for not thinking of calling on David sooner.

My stomach flip-flopped. I paced around my kitchen and cracked my knuckles as I awaited his response.

I didn't have to wait long. My phone chimed with the donk donk sound from "Law & Order," notifying me I had a new message. David had responded:


Now it was my heart doing the flip-flopping. I couldn't believe he said yes — not just yes, but he didn't even have any further questions. This was the David I knew and loved. We could go months or even years without talking, but I could reach out to him out of the blue and he would be by my side to support me in a heartbeat.

It seemed like the perfect solution

I envisioned him as a fun uncle type of relative, who would also be a good male role model for my child. He would love my kid and be open and honest about being the biological father from day one.

I couldn't believe it. I had found a detour around my predicament, and now had a donor who would be an incredible asset in my child's life.

In between inseminations, David and I watched movies, danced and sang, and ate his delicious split pea soup until I thought we were going to turn green. Something quieted in my heart. All my anxious focus on getting pregnant was melting away. Now, I felt like it would happen. It had to, right?

I chose David because I wanted to be able to be certain that I wasn't going to screw up my kid — at least not by using the wrong donor sperm. Life doesn't offer those kinds of guarantees, unfortunately.

When we got his sperm analysis results back, we were heartbroken

Everything crumbled. David's sperm analysis results had come back. He was infertile. He texted me, clearly broken-hearted. He apologized, though it wasn't his fault. A screenshot of the results made it clear there was zero hope of getting pregnant with his sperm. I could tell David was hurting. Even though he had never planned on having a child, it doesn't necessarily feel good to know the option is off the table.

Heartbroken, I cried, alone, in my hotel room. For exactly one hour. Then I gathered myself together and started searching for a new donor back in DC on the off chance that I'd find someone great enough that I could avoid having to miss another cycle. I can't explain the determination that took over my brain and body during this entire fertility journey. Some unseen force has driven me to continue putting one foot in front of the other and my eyes have never wavered from the prize: a baby, a kiddo.

This rushed approach was exactly what I would have advised any other recipient to avoid doing. But faced with the crushing disappointment month after month of tracking my cycle, all for nothing, I knew I wouldn't be able to hold back if I could find someone promising with current STI records who was willing to know the kid from birth.

One donor rose to the top of the pile. His name was Eddie.

He was tall, handsome, a bit of a hippie — and he only worked with people who were willing to tell their kids the truth about where they come from; people willing to keep an open door of communication with him. This was significant because Eddie was Mexican American. He understood the importance of connecting the child with their cultural roots.

We started rapidly going through my preliminary vetting questions over video chat and agreed to meet in person to discuss whether it made sense to work together. And so, it was with steely determination (and not much else) that I flew back to DC to meet my new donor.

Excerpted adapted from "Inconceivable: Super Sperm Donors, Off-the-Grid Insemination, and Unconventional Family Planning" by Valerie Bauman. Copyright 2024 Valerie Bauman. Published by Union Square & Co.

Read the original article on Business Insider