It began, strangely enough, with the actual donation. I met the nice lab tech guy named Cor, who handed me a plastic cup and directed me to a small room with a sink, an easy chair, and a toilet. "There's some reading materials here, if you need it," he explained quickly. "Please capture the whole sample and give it to me when you are finished."
Although Amsterdam is probably one of the most liberal, unrepressed European cities, I have to say that the reading material left something to be desired. The fertility clinic I went to in New York City had a diverse selection of magazines and videos available for every possible taste and inclination. The Dutch hospital offered — Playboy and Penthouse. Blech….
Anyway, a few minutes later, I gave Cor my sample. He took it and put it on a lab table near some files.
"Normally we put a label on it right away, so we don't risk mixing it up with someone else's," he explained. "But you are the only donor we are seeing today, so we have no chance of mixing it up."
I and the prospective birth mother found this less than reassuring.
The rest of the day was spent dealing with mostly bureaucratic stuff: getting me entered into the hospital database, consulting with a doctor, paying the medical fees, getting a blood test, giving a urine sample, and listening to lots of discussions in Dutch.
The next step is for me to return to the hospital on Monday to give a second sample and finish some paperwork.
After that, my job is basically done …and the prospective birth mother's job just begins.