*****This week comes two blog entries as one is from two weeks ago, preparation for our Alternative Parenting Show meant delayed blog postings :-) ******
It amazes me that I started donating five months ago: on the one hand it seems like a long time but then it seems like the time has flown by. I think that's more to do with my changing jobs, seven holidays and a generally busy life, than my being a sperm donor however.
On the way over to the London Sperm Bank earlier I was reflecting on the first time I did the journey and how nervous I was. When I get nervous my OCD tends to go into overdrive and that time was no different: I had cached maps, excuses in my head should anyone at work ask where I'd been and various notes saved to my phone to help fill the forms out. I'd done the planning and so I duly went on my way.
The expectations I'd had of the London Sperm Bank were that it would be similar to other every other medical institution I'd visited in the past: involving bored and indifferent reception staff, with maybe the occasional 'how was your weekend?' to keep things friendly and the constant waiting that doctor appointments invariably involve...
Oh how wrong I was!
Bored reception staff? Nope: I was greeted directly by the extremely friendly Donor Recruitment Officer, Toyin. Indifferent? No way: she gave the impression that she really believed in what she was doing. Friendly? Positively: my nerves didn't stand a chance against her enthusiasm and cheerfulness! Waiting?! HAH!! It took me longer to walk down the corridor to reception than I stood waiting...
Toyin had completely won me over before she even got as far as (kindly) commenting on how much younger I looked than the date of birth in my passport suggested.
Yet the nerves were still there. And I remember being jealous of how seemingly at ease another donor was and how much banter and camaraderie there was between him and Toyin. I just couldn't see myself ever being that relaxed in this environment, my 'inner mother' just wouldn't allow it.
So yes it amazes me that five months has passed. But even more so I am amazed how sperm donation has become part of my life. I'm now the one chatting and enjoying banter with Toyin and Natalie, the other friendly face I see weekly. They comment if I miss a week. They know my donor number. We chat about things other than sperm. There's a cheerful wave and goodbye after a donation. I feel welcomed and valued, and all that awkwardness and nervousness is a dim and distant memory.
It's going to be strange when I no longer need to give donations.
Article written by London Sperm Bank Donor, IT consultant working in the City.