To Be Pregnant or Not to Be? Lesbian Pregnancy

I can feel the warm breath of my five-year-old daughter against my neck, sleeping soundly in my arms. It’s been a rough day and she has been sick. As I hold her feverish little body, and caress her head gently I am filled with the joy of motherhood- there is nowhere I would rather be (even under the circumstances). Holding my child gives meaning and purpose to my life, and without that attachment I would be an empty person.

The only reason I know this, is because before my child was born I walked on this planet quiet lost. It was her life that set me straight, ironically in a gayest of ways. I lived my life by rules and morals that were social norms. I did what I was told, always, and kept a level of perfection that was suffocating me.

My daughter’s birth gave me a power that had stirred under the surface. I realized there were no limits to where life could take me, and that I was the only person responsible for the barriers I faced- as I have built them all. I am completely in love with my child, and the beauty she brings to my life. She initiated a domino effect that brought about peace, stability, and balance that had lacked.

For the last five years I have battled the idea of having another child, and it has been a constant mental debate. When is the right time? Is this the right partner? What about money? And where do I get sperm from? It would be so much easier if I just liked boys, right? Well, maybe not, because I know heterosexual couples and straight women have their own fertility and childbearing internal turmoil to deal with.

My girlfriend has made it clear from the beginning that having children was a fundamental goal in our relationship. Having one, already made, just reinforced the joy of having more kids. We looked at our beautiful little girl and decided to do some research, and make some phone calls to my medical insurance company. Our conclusion- making a baby the lesbian way is hard work. We needed more advice.

So I went to my gynecologist and declared that “this lesbian wants some more babies,” with a big smile she gave me her blessing, and a name of ONE fertility specialist that would be willing to work with a gay couple. Really? Unfortunately, yes. I was given the name of three other fertility specialists that I was to avoid at all cost as I would not be helped, and services would be denied because of my sexual orientation.

Honestly, I am not easily brought down, but there was something about this conversation that filled me with a depression that lasted a few days. Here I am trying to build a family with someone I love, and I already have a beautiful daughter, whom I provide for financially, emotional and even spiritually, and I would be DENIED services. All my efforts at being a well adjust partner and mother were still not enough for me to be seen as a member of society who was entitled of medical attention. That’s fucked up!

Today, I am unsure of whether to have a child in this political climate. And some may judge me as a coward, and they are right, I do have fears. History has demonstrated its power of destruction and torture. And although, many will argue that we will never revisit the atrocities of WWII, I call on their bullshit. There are countries right at this moment were genocide is taking place. Even today, I have very real fears for my daughter growing up in a Lesbian home, that have nothing to do with my partner or our relationship, but the world around us.

I am still going to go see the ONE fertility specialist and see where I go from there, but here are a few things you should consider before you begin to plan to have a baby the lesbian way:

  1. Consider that having a child is a lifetime commitment. Are you ready to take on this responsibility?
  2. Have you thought through how you’ll handle childcare responsibilities and balancing work and family?
  3. Are you ready to parent a special-needs child if you have one?
  4. If you have a partner, are you both equally committed to becoming parents?
  5. If you and your partner have religious differences, have you discussed how they will affect your child?
  6. Where do you stand with you own identity? Your sexual orientation?
  7. Are you financially stable? Families in the middle-income group will spend $286,050 to raise a child from birth through age 17.
  8. Are you emotionally stable? Women who suffer from depression are twice as likely to have problems with fertility as women who don’t.
  9. What is your medical history. Find out if any genetic or chromosomal disorder like Down syndrome, sickle cell anemia, cystic fibrosis, Tay-Sachs disease, or bleeding disorders. You’ll also want to know if any relatives have mental retardation or other developmental delays or were born with an anatomical birth defect, like a cardiac or neural tube defect.
  10. Your age. Parental age matters, especially for women.
  11. Do you have a support system- it really does take a village to raise a child, and you better make sure it is a stable and healthy one helping you.

Let the journey begin…

Alex Karydi~The Lesbian Guru