Category Archives: childlessness

between a rock and an anemic bank account

J and I have had a rather frustrating morning figuring out what to do. I have been in contact with the midwife, and she really wants to help us, but she also has three women with due dates the week before and the week of my next ovulation. Obviously births come first for her, so it’s highly likely we would be left to take care of things on our own once again. So while we both wanted to go with IUI, while your comments were so very much in line with what we had hoped for this cycle, I just don’t think it’s going to work. I don’t think we can deal with the uncertainty.

It seems that any time J and I try to depend on someone else to help us with this process, we get screwed. About two years ago, our first potential known donor actually offered–through a friend of ours–to be our donor without our prompting. He was a long-time friend, someone we cared for and someone who would have been great as a donor. When we sat down and had a discussion with him, he was 90% sure he would say yes. We asked him to get back to us within a month, and then he never did. In fact, we have never heard from him again, nor have the friends we have in common. That set us back a few months. Then I found our other known donor who was hundreds of miles away. Mr. G was a great guy, willing to pay for shipping and all, but he was very much into creating his own sperm shippers. He wasn’t great about checking his messages, so we either had dead sperm or late sperm for all eight attempts with him. Even when he started using Bio.Tranz, he still couldn’t seem to ship it on time. Granted, some of this had to do with a lack of weekend or Monday Fed.Ex service, but still… We proceeded with him for almost a year and obviously had no success.

So we moved on to the frozen goods, knowing we could at least depend on those to arrive on time and viable. We were happy to have at least that amount of control over this process. Then I had the idea to go with a midwife for IUI, and again, we were let down when at the last minute she still didn’t have her supplies and hadn’t finished the training she had intended to pursue through a friend of hers. And again, we were left in the lurch.

Needless to say, we have some trust issues when it comes to having people help us with any part of this process. We don’t have a good track record thus far with any of these people, and we’re feeling more than a little lost. I feel like I keep writing the same shit over again. We keep revisiting the same kinds of problems, and it makes me think we’re better off sticking to this on our own.

Our biggest problem right now is finances. I’m so sick of our financial situation dictating how effective our inseminations will be. Buying sperm is already a hardship. Adding medical assistance to that means cutting corners elsewhere in our lives. I know some probably believe this is irresponsible of us, that we shouldn’t be attempting to have a child if we can’t afford to do all of this the “right” way. We have friends who are rather wealthy who believe we’re going about this all wrong–that we should have the perfect jobs and own a home before we ever proceed with this further. But we’re not getting any younger. The pain of being childless is not weakening any. If anything, the urgency is mounting with each month that goes by. We simply cannot wait to be ideally financially stable to pursue our desire to be parents, and yet I know that if we were financially solvent, this would be so much easier. That simply isn’t going to happen anytime soon. Not in our professions. Not living in the Bay Area. It just seems so fucking unfair that this process is easiest for those who have the extra funds or the space on their credit cards or the super-deluxe health insurance that amazingly covers lesbian fertility treatments (all ours will cover is a tubal ligation–like that will do us any good). And I know it still isn’t easy even for those who are well off, but it slays me that we can’t even really consider an RE or meds. It’s not that I want to go that route; it’s just that I wish we had more options, and we don’t. I just can’t help but think that had we more financial resources, we would have our baby by now.

When we first moved here, we met up with two lesbian couples who were trying to get pregnant, and we left the gathering feeling like shit because they were each spending over a thousand dollars a month on this. They laughed when we mentioned our methods with Mr. G when he was using Bio.Tranz to ship. Laughed. It was the first time that we realized that becoming a pregnant lesbian may have much more to do with one’s economic status than we might like, and that we were most certainly in the wrong tax bracket.

To us, this process is complicated by so many things. We have the usual lesbian problem with our lack of access to sperm, but I’m so tired of all of these other frustrations. And yet, and yet, and yet…There really is nothing we can do but to continue biting the TTC bullet and doing what is within our power to make our baby dreams happen. I am reminded, however, that there is no end to the disappointment and feelings of unfairness along the way.  I hate to feel this way. I feel like such a complainer. I don’t feel like a victim, and I don’t want to sound like one. I’m just tired of life being so damn hard for us, and I think it is important that I acknowledge why it is. Alas, such is life here at Reproducing Genius.

I guess it’s time to order sperm.

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Filed under childlessness, finances, insemination, midwife, Mr. G

babies, babies everywhere

We’ve had opportunities to spend a lot of time with babies lately. Our neighbor has a lovely little girl who is four or five months old, and she smiles everytime she sees me and J. We spent last weekend at my parents’ place, and we all babysat my two-month-old neice for a day and a half while my sister worked (look for a password protected post on this soon). We haven’t had babies this present in our lives in a long time, and while it’s nice, it’s making me long for this feeling we used to have.

Before J and I started down this path of making our family, we would sit and baby watch at the farmer’s market and tiptoe through the baby section at department stores with this feeling I can only describe as a craving. We WANTED a baby of our own, and any time we could spend with babies was a religious experience. Baby clothes were sacred. We didn’t have many babies around us in our academic world, and when we did have time with them, it was brief. As a result, babies resembled celebrities to us; we were their biggest fans.

I have to say, as painful as it could be sometimes, I loved that feeling. It propelled me forward through weightloss and healthy lifestyle choices. It gave me crazy hope and reminded me what all of this was for. As you can see, I’m speaking in the past tense. I don’t have that same feeling anymore, and I miss it.

Instead, I have this weird numbness when I see babies. Sure, they’re cute, and I love being with them. It’s great to see J with them, but I don’t have that crazed baby fan feeling. I can see baby clothes and I don’t even come close to melting into a pile of goo. This is not to say that I’ve lost my desire to have a child. Perhaps I’ve gotten to a point that it’s not so much about a baby but about a family, and I can’t help but think that’s far more healthy. It’s more long-term, holistic even.

But I’ve been feeling lately, as I snuggle these two different baby girls and watch them grow that I wish I could have that same enthusiasm–that naive eagerness to hold a baby in my arms. It infuriates me that this process takes that away and replaces it with things like anxiety, depression, and desperation. What’s odd is that I’m in none of those places right now. I’m in a place of near apathy, and that feels dangerous. This break hasn’t turned into the healthfest I imagined it to be. I’ve not lost weight, not made any major psychological growth, and while there are glimmers of hope when we think of new possibilities and techniques, it typically fades quickly to be replaced with more mundane everyday thoughts.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not in a bad place. I’m just missing those old feelings and missing the woman I used to be. Is there any chance of finding her again?

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Filed under childlessness, niece, ttc

When even the family doesn’t get it

J here for my quarterly post. As T said, we’ve been spending lots of time with her family (our family really), especially her sister and new baby. I must admit that I’ve been having lots of feelings I don’t quite know what to do with regarding her situation. I love sis and new baby, but it’s really, really hard sometimes too–seeing T hold a baby with such ease like its the most natural thing in the world; holding her myself and thinking “yes, this is what it should be like” only to realize this is not my baby and who knows when I’ll get to do this myself. Blah, blah, blah. Yes, I feel sorry for myself and a bit jealous sometimes too. However, I’m learning to deal with those feelings and to enjoy being an aunt.

Still, there’s this hollowness that permeates my soul, this space carved out for our baby and no little one there to fill it. We’re childless mothers, and boy does it hurt to the core of my being. T has been so good about it, though I know she feels that emptiness in her as well.  We talk a lot about being mothers and what kind of mothers we want to be. There’s a friend of a friend of ours we recently saw on a visit to our old hometown. She has several children, and she yells at them–a lot. Neither of us is fond of yelling at children, but any time we have been around this woman in the past, we have kept our mouths shut about it. We know that parents don’t like advice or criticism from others about their parenting. In fact, it seems uniquely American to defend one’s parenting skills while requiring no help from anyone, not family, friends, or experts. But what Americans really hate is anyone offering advice who is not or has never been a parent. HOW DARE WE!

I guess then what happened the other night shouldn’t have come as any surprise. Not long after we discussed this experience with these people on our trip, T’s step dad made an off-handed comment that pierced a very sore spot. He was doing this weird thing with the baby where he would put her pacifier in her mouth, and as soon as she would start to calm down and fall asleep, he’d pull it out, and sure enough, the baby would start howling. He did this several times even though the baby was fussy and cranky. Then he turned to us and said, “See, this is where non-parents like you would accuse me of being abusive.”

Thud.

The only thing I could think to say was “I don’t think you should refer to us as “non parents.” But before I could even get that lame statement out of my mouth, T was off the couch and running out of the room in tears.

Non parents. Wow. That’s what we are to those in the parenting club. Not “aspiring parents” or “parents-to-be”, but non-parents, non-entities who have no right to even talk about child rearing. God, that sucked.

So, I went after T, and we had a good cry. Her mom came in the room and she cried too because she was reminded in all of her bliss over being a grandma that there was one of her children who was miserable and needed some understanding. The step dad apologized, though I’m not sure he understood why his statement was so hurtful. We went to bed that night and cried for a good hour. You know, that kind of crying that has no bottom and doesn’t make you feel good afterwards? Yeah, sometimes even the people you love the most just don’t get it.

We are not “non” anythings. We’re childless mothers walking around with big fucking holes in our lives–gaping empty vortices that ache and throb every second of every day. I ended the night with a plea:  “Please God, give us our baby.”

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Filed under childlessness, crappy days, family