M and I have spent several nights in a row agonizing over picking a donor. It's a fairly aggravating process for me - endless unanswerable questions about the roles of nature v. nurture and trying to figure out which answers indicate inherent intelligence and which just indicates priviledge and whether that even matters. There are a million different ways to approach the decision and all of them feel strange to me.
In the end, we ended up with a list of 4 donors that were up for consideration and we sent a picture of M to the bank for "photo matching" with our top 4. In the time it took for the photos to be received and matched, we continued to absorb the profiles and decided that we had a clear favorite out of the 4 and one that we weren't so crazy about anymore. Can you guess what happened? The photo matching results came back - the one we weren't so crazy about is a "very good" match with M's pic. The one we loved based on his profile looks nothing like her. We talked some more and polled some local friends and decided to stick with our original favorite - the one we clicked with on paper. Chances are my dominant genes are going to wipe out any that would look like M anyway. :-) I called yesterday and placed our final order and the vials are set to ship at noon today.
And then... The director of the lab called me on my way to work this morning. She was all excited because she'd met with one of her donors last night and she knows he wasn't in our top four but still she can't believe she didn't think of him sooner because oh my god he looks just like M and he has one of the highest post-thaw motility ratings in the whole program and of course it's up to us and she's sorry for making our decision harder at the last minute but she really really thinks we should consider switching to this other donor. Pause. Catch breath. (I should note that this woman is a total lab rat with no previously demonstrated people skills and this may be the more words than she's said to me if in the sum of all of our other conversations to date.) I told her I'd need to talk to M and get back to her, but I really appreciated her letting us know because while we're not so invested in the photo match, the post-thaw motility rating is very appealing given that we're a year into this process already. I was basically ready to change.
I came to work and opened up his profile and saw at the top that he was a firefighter. Normally, this would have meant nothing to me, but just last night M and I were talking about the various stories we've heard about other people's donor selection processes and she mentioned to me that some friends of ours picked their donor solely because he looked like the non-carrying partner and the only other thing they remembered about him was that he was a firefighter. Hmmmm, what are the chances, really. There must be millions of firefighters in the world!
I'm sure you can see where this is going.
With the clock ticking, I emailed this friend and asked if she used the same bank we are using because we were concerned we might be looking at their daughter's donor. She emailed back right away. Same bank. Same donor number. We would have been trying to conceive a half sibling of a friend without realizing it. For some reason, this doesn't actually bother me, but I think M feels differently, and I could tell via email that our friend would not have been happy at all. She was extremely relieved that we caught on to the situation before it went any further. I was just relieved that our decision was made a lot easier. I'm sort of worn out on decision making right now. :-)
The moral of the story is: It pays off to be open with your friends about your donor selection! The mail order gene pool isn't as large as one might think. LOL!