When we were first told about the counselling, we were told it was a formality, a legal obligation we had to fulfil before embarking on treatment. Friends told us it would be more like an informal chat to establish whether we had considered the possible repercussions of having a donor child. It sounded simple; easy.
At times, it felt more like an interrogation. I kept expecting her to shine a light directly into our faces as she asked, “So, you say you NEVER argue?” accompanied by a disbelieving arched eyebrow.
We breathed a sigh of relief as we walked out, having both felt, quite strongly, that there were “right” answers to the questions we were asked.
There is nothing like having to sheepishly reply “Um…. Looks?” when asked what we considered first when choosing our donor. Of course, I wrote a fairly long blog post quite a while back detailing exactly what we looked for in a donor and why, but sadly I didn’t have that text to hand on a handy, wallet-sized piece of card, so instead had to waffle on about all the other things we liked about our donor: his intelligence, his aptitude for sports and music and art.
This then prompted the question, “So, what happens if your child doesn’t grow up to like sports or music or art?”
Which, of course, we’re not stupid. We know we’re not picking a child out of a catalogue here. We liked that the donor liked those things because WE like those things and we just wanted someone who would be somewhat on our wavelength, not because they would produce any particular type of baby – because, DUH! – but because we just liked it and felt drawn to him and argh-flailing-around-in-the-depths-of-insane-self-justification…
In the end, she mellowed. She seemed impressed with how much thought we had already given to the questions she asked us and was especially pleased to be able to give us a pamphlet about the Donor Conception Network as we’d not heard of it before.
We spoke to a very helpful lady on reception afterwards and have booked ourselves in for both an information evening and an initial consultation in September. The ball is well and truly rolling now.