Ahem, Costs of Sperm Banking, Yes We’re Going There…


…And the Hippos Were Frozen in Their Tanks.

It’s a pretty awkward topic today guys. Feel free to read this under the guise of night.

I went to a board game/dinner gathering with some of my husband’s coworkers. Now, these are wickedly smart people employed at “Oooooogle.” I mean that because as I was playing board games with them and I noticed they processed information faster and found ways to strategize much better.

For example, the team leader read the generic game introduction once, understood all of it, and after the first round decided instead of winning again (he won the first round), he was just going to troll everyone for fun.

He adjusted his strategy for me because he noticed I was holding onto some cards and not letting them go. So he decided to troll everybody for his amusement in the meantime. He won the second round by starving me out.

This entire game ended within a 2 minute period. I can’t even put my clothes on properly in 2 minutes and he won, trolled, and won again. Naturally, it is likely that cognitive speed and ease of problem-solving that got them securely nestled in a company that only hires the top 1% of talent in any given market.

Another thing I noticed about this crowd…because I’m creepy…

In a group of 14 or so intelligent, well off, board game loving adults in their 30s…none of them had children or even close to considering it as anything but in the far distance. They were all around my husband’s age.

Granted I don’t know many people but…where in the world are the babies? Are dogs better? (Yes hahaha.)

puppies with pants
This couple made pants for their dog because the park is so muddy during winter. (Grace with her dog friends at a Seattle dog park.)

Despite Mr. Executive’s life & career success (he was employed for Oogle before leaving to start his own company) he made it clear he did not want children.

Thanks to my husband’s social circle – I would say I know some very intelligent tech-minded people. Not very many of them have children. This was something researchers looked into and the research always finds there is a negative correlation between IQ and fertility for some reason.

It is alleged that, without migration, the average IQ of the US population will decline by about 0.8 points per generation.” [source]

I remember bits of this in developmental class in college. This isn’t the main point of the post but I will add what I remember which is that “average” IQ will decline very slightly… but honestly, it just looks more like a widening gap between IQ.

(Geez, it’s weird that this is what’s happening with the disappearance of the middle class, the middle is being dugged out. Hmm…so yeah…this is the stuff I think about at night…)

We’re might be getting dumber “on average” but individual differences are much larger than the silly average.

We probably end up with a smaller cohort of people with high IQs and a slightly larger cohort of people with average to lower IQs (which might be why there’s a small decline on average.)

You can gauge the lower “kid count” from the financial independence / retiring early community. This shouldn’t be shocking news to anyone.

Back on Topic!

First of all, my husband (his name is Hippo from now on because that IS the actual name we use for him in real life haha) — my husband, Mr. Hippo, turned the big 30 a little more than 3 months ago. He is 3.5 years older than I am.

Research has shown that quality of sperm declines quicker and quicker as you age. Reproductive peak in both genders peak from teen to your 20s.

I told my husband yesterday morning that I was planning to write about our plan to freeze sperm. He gave me the saddest face, rested his head on the edge of the bed for 2 minutes, looked up, and agreed.

This is essentially what happens if you’re married to me: I will write about it.

He asked, “Is that related to personal finance?”

I said, “It’s personal and it has the word ‘banking’ in it.”

I wouldn’t say this topic is a specialization of mine. Like at all. But I did some research on it for me and my husband.

I bought up the subject of freezing sperm when Hippo was 28 but he was more reluctant at the time. Now that he is feeling the sting of 30, I asked again earlier this week and he agreed. Even better, his employer Ooooogle offer incentives for reproduction services such as sperm banking.

Remember the headlines last year that companies like Facebook and Apple are offering ‘financial aid’ (aka extra incentive) to working women who wanted to freeze their eggs.

That’s kind of cool I think!

I mean, your employer seems to care enough to offer monetary incentive to keep your career driven, tech talented, intelligent, very socially awkward self genetically alive.

Storing sperm does cost money. It’s not ultra-expensive but it is a cost. The original depositing trips will be treated on paper like a normal doctor visit and will be free after copay.

We also found out his employer offered 3 years of free sperm storage, after that it will be out of our pockets. It’s not a tremendous perk but it’s something. It costs about $400 per year for sperm storage in the Seattle area.

Hey, that’s still better than Public Storage rates!

So our plan for storing the baby gravy:

1. Oogle a local sperm storage facility. (Easy, done.)

2. Set up an appointment ($$) and they will run some tests for STDs and Hep. The cost of it varies by location and it’s per session after the cost of the initial appointment usually.

3. Each trip for us would cost $460 and it’s standard to do it…6 times. There goes our entire copay. That’s the cost of a trip to Disneyland, dangit.

4. It’s 6 times because about 50% of the baby gravy is killed during the freezing process.

5. Even with Oooooogle’s free baby gravy rental, we are looking at about $3,000 after tax…and tip. (HAHAHA I crack myself up.)

6. After Oogle’s rental trial is over – it will cost us out of pocket $400/year to keep the sperm housed in suspended frozen comfort. Gosh…I wonder what they do with the non-paying customers. Do they dump it out on the sidewalk…?

 7. I’m having too much fun with this.

So is it worth the trouble?

That’s a very personal question. Are you asking me? Because I’m going to say yes!!!!!!!!

I’m the girl and I don’t have to do anything. My poor husband will turn into that familiar shade of raspberry when he gets to the lab but he will just have to get over it.

Besides the joy of torturing my husband and all at the same time showing tender loving appreciation for his genes and wanting to preserve him forever…yes I think it’s a small price for a backup plan.

Just gloating now…

I love my Hippo. He’s smart (most of the time) and more importantly, he is a really really good person. Take my word for it, I am living with him. He is one of those people who knows not a single drop of malice. He wouldn’t kill a spider or steal a grape. The unfortunate thing is…well he is too nice. That’s why I’m protective of him. I grew up differently than he did. My world was rougher so I maintained a very negative view of people until I met him and I thought…aw, what a sweetie-pie.

Plus, from a technical point of view…he has a great family history. No one in the family smokes. No one does drugs. There are no known genetic illnesses besides a little gunk in their heart and some mild autism. He is in better shape than his nickname suggests. His family generally very tall and well read. The great majority of his family is university educated. Hippo went to school at UC Berk and floated through. He works at Oooooooogle even though that boy half asses on pure luck sometimes.

He’s the best sperm donor any girl could ask for so I consider myself pretty lucky. But that’s not even half compared to how great of a father he would be too! I just walked straight into a freaking MIRACLE territory!

Just being real hating…

As much as I love my husband, I don’t…myself. Most of the time, I’m glad I am an only child (born under China’s One Child policy.)

For the last 2 years, I bought up the topic (multiple time) hoping I can get him to have a baby with someone else. Like…someone else’s egg and then they carry it to term and I keep the final result. Basically, I would like to cradle rob someone. He flat out said no. I told him it’s not a trap but he still said no. (It’s really not a trap.) It would be EASIER if he just did what I said instead of me pulling my tricks…

I gave my case to Soaps and some other friends about it and Soaps said the same thing and called me crazy. Then my mom got a wind of my idea and no one was happy.

My master plan here is to wait Hippo out. Like I mentioned in the last post, I’m not having kids unless I prove myself somewhat successful. No, I’m not kidding and I strongly doubt I would regret not having my own kids. I think I’ve hatched this plan when I was 16.

Since I don’t want kids of my own (genetically) but I have 10 years before the recommended range for reproduction ends (age 36 for women) I need to buy my time and get that excuse…essentially, I will be waiting Hippo out.

The only thing that matters to me is my husband. All I need to do is keep the backup files on him and make sure they’re good.

Hippo’s smart. He probably sees through my scheme.

But he can’t control what I’m going to do because it’s my body and it’s my career. HA! I’m smart sometimes & bless you science! I’m pretty determined on this but I don’t tell people because it’s just super…none of anyone’s business 😏

We have the money…

Ayy, we’re not the broke millennial stereotype. The mini-problem down the road is simply finding a nice egg donor so I can have my not-me-but-hubby baby. I don’t even have to carry the baby, hubby will pay someone to do it because he’s worried about my determination for home births despite my very small stature.

We have ample time once his gravy is frozen. We have the $$ money for it. If any FI women out there want to make a fat buck, I might come knocking on your door for eggs if we’re still blogging friends years from now. FI women, because I respect y’all tons!!! 🙂

Wait, what do girls have to do?

I’m not going to be participating in any of this nonsense but I watched a part of the video on the female egg process and it’s not as pleasant as the dude’s process of donating sperm. The female reproductive system is a little more cryptic.

When the video said, “they will stick a sharp extraction needle up your…” I was done. Good-bye, good luck with that. You betterize that science in a decade and maybe more girls will play ball. Eeesh.

Loose Ends…

Frugally blowing money on rare editions.

I made a stupid joke that I don’t think anyone will get unless they’ve read the Hippos book. It basically means ‘the complete, ridiculousness of a certain scene’…much like most of modern science. (<- YouTube channel that is amazing and everyone should subscribe to support.)

Readers, almost everything major in life that I do has a longterm plan behind it. I can’t tell everybody about my life or every experience that has shaped me but I hope someday my husband would see my side of it…not that it matters because I’m going to get my way soooo…;) What do you think? Has anyone donated sperm or frozen their swimmers?

32 thoughts on “Ahem, Costs of Sperm Banking, Yes We’re Going There…”

    • Do it Olivia!! It’s free! I didn’t mention they do put you down a bit to sleep during the extraction so at least there’s that!!

      The cost really really really doesn’t matter to me. Even $100k isn’t ridiculous and I’m willing to part with it. Hell, take my house too! Plus our money brings me no joy and I said there’s literally nothing I want that’s physical.

  • Thanks for sharing your story, Lily! That sounds really expensive to freeze sperms. I would never have known.

    Mr. FAF is turning 36 this year, and I’m worried about his sperm quality too. I wouldn’t be if he didn’t keep saying he wants a third kid. I’m also starting to worry about my egg quality since I’m turning 31 this year.

    Please have your own bio kid. More people love and adore you than you might realize. Mixed kids are really cute. Can’t wait to meet yours one day! 😉
    Ms. Frugal Asian Finance recently posted…Which Business Model To Pursue: Amazon FBA, eBay or Etsy?

    • It was more than I thought too but oh well, it’s very much required.

      36 applies to women (I think that’s the medical cut off for needing extra tests). For men I think the generous caution is 40+ because there are double the genetic mutations in sperm than someone in their 20s. You two are fine and 30s is usually the modern best age because it’s a compromise between biology and finance.

      Don’t worry FAF, I can just steal some other asian lady’s eggs and lie it’s mine 🙂

  • Fiance is five years older than me and is in his early 30s, but we’re not worried about freezing his sperm. His parents had him when his dad was 45ish and his mom was 40ish and we’re planning on kids well before that. I have considered donating my eggs, but after reading up on the process it seems like there’s a non-trivial likelihood of some really painful complications. So, uh, not doing that.

    Have you and Jared talked about whether you want to have kids at all, biological or otherwise? And if so what sort of timeline you’re thinking about? Is having non-biological kids (non-Lily, non-Jared, or both) a deal breaker for him? Is having biological kids a deal breaker for you?

    Also, you don’t need to have a reason for not wanting to have biological children (your body, your life, your choices), but you should know you are plenty worthy of biological children if that’s something you ever did want.

    • I kept reading finance for some reason instead of fiance! Lol!!

      You SHOULD donate your eggs! I don’t think it hurts, they put you to sleep I think. The concept is just a bit awkward.

      My husband’s dad had him when he was 41 which I consider pretty old. Hippo had some complications but it all turned out OK. I was born to older parents but mainly because they met later in life and had fertility issues. I think I might have the same issues, not that I care, I still prefer someone else’s egg above all.

      Yes we talked about kids and agreed we achieve financial independence before kids come. But I never specified that they needed to be biologically mine. But I DO absolutely care that they need to be my husbands. It’s not a deal breaker but I told him, if you want me to be happy, you should have a kid with someone else.

      We talked about fostering adult kids who are on the danger of aging out of the system but that’s less to do with adopting children. I just want to try to get an older teen set on at least a semi-stable footing.

  • We had a kid when we were both 36. I think that’s okay for guys, but pushing it for women. You guys probably can wait 5 more years before freezing the sperms. I need to research more.
    Alternatively, you can adopt a kid. I think that’s even better. You don’t have to deal with the biological aspect at all and really help someone.
    Joe @ Retire by 40 recently posted…Why I’m Hiring Our Kid as an Employee

    • I wanted to foster older teens when hubby and I got older. That was one thing on my bucket list. And I am fine with adopting (and I’ve looked into it plenty of times) but I really do want my husband’s DNA. He should have a child of his own, I don’t want to disturb that just because I don’t want own biological kids.

    • Freddy is fiddy? Haha sorry, couldn’t resist. I’m still learning about myself but I would like my husband to live on though. What a dilemma…

  • *looks around* I think PiC and I are the oldest couple here, then. We are a combined 76 years old but we’ve also got quite a few years between us. Maybe a second kid would be a disaster on a genetic level.

    So if I’m reading this right, you don’t think your genes are worth passing on, or you don’t want to deal with any of the carrying of a child (TOTALLY legit pregnancy is hard!)? Or is it that you need to be what you define as successful first before you maybe have a kid but probably not bio?

    I can really sympathize on the genetics front. I’m watching JB closely for any of the many horrible things that runs in my family. I’ve told PiC that his genes better carry the day on the mental health part while ze is much better off with my eyesight, dental health, and stubbornness. So far, ze exhibits three generations of stubborn so. Uh. Yay?
    Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life recently posted…Just a little (link) love: dragons edition

    • You touched on all 3 Rev. I don’t think I’ve done anything or offer anything to be passed unless I did do something I consider remarkable. Even then, I’m not too happy with the biological process when we have disposable income to make this discomfort simply go away with another’s egg and biology.

      I’m also worried what lurks from my parents, everyone knows I’m not a fan of my father. He is….a character. I grew up feeling particularly different from my parents and I thought that was a teenage thing to experience but I’m 26 now and the feelings have gotten worst.

      • I see. Here’s an interesting thought – how hard is it for kids to live up to remarkable parents? And is it fair to require them to do so? It seems to be the accepted corollary to having to do something remarkable to be worth becoming a parent. I wouldn’t say that either of my parents have done anything spectacular, in the grand scheme of things but I’m a pretty awesome person ;), and in the universe, I’m nothing spectacular either but JB is pretty delightful. And terrible. And great. And terrible. 🙂

        Any and all reasons not to do it is valid, in my book, but I like mulling over why we think what we think.

        Actually, I don’t think I knew you weren’t a fan of your dad’s. Perhaps I was misled by his living with you? Likewise, I’m definitely not a fan of mine either.
        Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life recently posted…The fun we had: Winter 2018

        • Crap I thought I dreamt this comment. Brilliant. There is the regression to the mean – that children do not inherit the talents of their parents (seen in so many musicians.)

          I think you’re awesome too Rev!

          I really did not like him growing up but he was in a bad mental state (shitty life in general) – after he retired he mellowed out. We’re not friends but I can stand him more now. I accepted he wasn’t the dream father for any child, what’s there to say, he was so disadvantaged in every way. All I know is I got my Hippo who is going to be the PERFECT father. All good. Wounds healed!!

  • Will you worry that Hippo will find out on your plan? If he loves as you are and want his biological kids, I’d guess he wants the baby with your genes as well. Will he be sad if he find out about your plan? My husband and I have decided for a while that we don’t want kids period. The only slight thought around it is I will forever wonder is how cute our baby be since many people say mix babies are really cute. (But I have also seen first hand some not-so-cute mix grown-ups).
    EC recently posted…There is no golden handcuffs!

    • LOL you know I actually had this tab open when I went to the bathroom and I came back to him staring at the screen. So maybe he read your comment or was really just cleaning the desk. A lot of people do say mix kids are cute, I’m sure some are but that’s maybe 20% of my concern. I think I would just project my self-disdain and expectations onto them and that’s not really good for any kid. If I don’t sort it out then I shouldn’t have kids.

  • We had Baby with Cents when we were in our mid 30s and that is pushing it for Mother with Cents. You two can adopt if you guys can’t come to an agreement about who will be carrying the baby during pregnancy. Adoption is a great option, there are plenty of babies out there that are waiting for someone to take good care of them.
    Kris recently posted…Developmental Checklist for Our Two Year Old

    • I want the child to have my husband’s DNA because he is certainly smart and good for humanity to have. Otherwise, I look more towards fostering adult orphans than children if I was adopting.

  • Please have your own children genetically with your husband if you want them- you are beautiful, successful, creative, and smart!! Give yourself some more credit 🙂 When you look into your baby’s eyes and you see a bit of yourself in them it is the most beautiful thing.

    That’s really interesting that Google pays for sperm banking! Though my unsolicited two cents, he’s very young (30) I don’t think you need to worry about it. Fertility in males doesn’t really decrease in the 30’s as much as it does for females in their mid to late 30’s. My husband is in his 40’s and I am in my 30’s. Revanche- My husband and I are 77 cumulatively lol!
    GYM recently posted…PF Blog Round Up: Canadian PF Blogger Edition

    • I don’t want to see myself in anyone, even in my mind I don’t like to think of myself as me. I’m always someone else.

      I think 30 is on the edge of teetering, that’s why I want him to get it done by the end of summer. Sperm quality decline is progressive so I hear time ticking more than just the sounds of years passing by x(

  • Hi Lily, I love how you are so open and happy to share personal things. I’d never thought sperm freezing was a real thing, as we keep hearing stories of older dads like Mike Jagger etc.

    And also to say I think you are successful, and you would make a wonderful parent – I don’t think you need to wait to reach some arbitrary success goals.
    Ms ZiYou recently posted…10 things I do not buy

    • Haha oh yes Sir Jagger…
      I think the self-hatred would be toxic if I did have a child. I think it’s safer for them to be someone else than me. I felt like this since as long as I’ve held memory and consciousness.

  • I went to go read your most current post, and then found myself clicking all over your blog! (Thank you for linking your content…it makes deep creeping so much easier).

    In all seriousness though, I really wish these options were discussed when I was in my 20s. We had plans. But I’d advise be able to be malleable. We either wanted to be DINKs, or have more than 1 kid. Here I am, mid 30s, Mr. DS is later 30s, and we have ONE kid. And we are struggling having kiddo #2. My first I had at 28. Poof! Easy Peasy! Stork just flew that one right in!

    My sis had 4 kids before 30. My grandma had 6 before 30. After going through what I have/am going through – I encourage people to reproduce as early as they can! If there’s a way to freeze time, I’m pro it! Pretty sure my sister would also happily be your egg donor…she’s already volunteered for me (I’m not taking her up on it!)…1). That’d be tooo weird. 2). She would hold that over my head FOREVER. 3). Hubby says, “Ummm No…” <– edited version.

    Thanks for sharing this – I would have my hubby's baby gravy frozen and tied with someone else if I could get him to buy into it too!

  • I feeeel so old saying this. So Old.
    Your eggs will never be as good as they are right now. Literally, they are decaying as I type. They will presumably be fine and reproductive 5-7 years from now, but they will be 5-7 years older. Shit happens. As far as adopting eggs, if you have to, you have to. But having the 50% genetic disconnect later (hubs batter+ total stranger) by choice, is based on your experience, not genetic reality. And…down the road lacking participation in that, if you can participate, will be troubling. You are amazing, and you have a 20-something perspective on your genetics & kids. You won’t feel that way in 10 years.
    And the pressure for success you place on yourself, isn’t reality when choosing the Egg for your omelet. You get base info at best. Nobody tells the truth about that weird uncles proclivities, nor a bad patch in college. You don’t know what you are getting (creating an embryo & ai/or surrogacy is wildly expensive, not at all comfortable, and each round costs more, indefinitely, until it takes or you quit.)
    Banking your eggs is highly adviseable if you aren’t planning on children for awhile.)
    It’s a hard reality, and one that is pondered as endless and not wildly urgent in your mid to late 20’s, but a really big deal, in your mid 30’s.
    Reality, premature ovarian depletion happens a lot. Infertility, is shocking and common.
    If it helps, remember your husband married you for a good reason, and trust his judgement. If his batter is good enough for your progeny, yours is too. (Disclaimer: Our Seattle HQ employer likewise deeply subsidized our adventure in fertility & babies. I did it after ardently spending my life in the persuit of NOT procreating. It was hard. Emotional. And I wish I had that 411 ten years prior to that odyssey.)
    Really try and detach your emotional self from your genetics, and evaluate. Full on fertility treatment is around $250k in the reality, but the emotional toll isn’t quantifiable. Best wishes in your decisions and choices.

  • Lily, I obviously don’t know you….but I really enjoy reading your blog. As a retired OBG…I would say you are genetically in the 90th%ile based on your writing…you’ve got the important bases covered:
    -financially aware-check
    -hard working-check
    -artistic talent-check
    -Hippo loves you-check

    Consider….as much as you like Hippo, and want to see his genetic progeny…he may want to see yours!

    The genetic lottery is both predictable and unpredictable….you chose Hippo…he chose you….I suspect the outcome would be good…
    planedoc recently posted…It was a pretty good lunch…..

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