Trying To Have A Baby As A Lesbian with Frozen Sperm
Dreaming Baby Dreams
So, I am in a committed lesbian relationship. I have been with my first and only girlfriend for the last seven years. This wasn't something that I planned for my life. My past has been littered with men and boys in my life and when I met my partner, I realized who I was. I practically raised my younger siblings and I have always wanted to have kids of my own. I never realized how hard that would be without an essential part of the baby making process. Sperm. Believe me, I knew how babies were made, I simply didn't think it would be so increasingly frustrating.
I am still young, but I am approaching thirty and it sort of just hit me. I didn't realize how close I was to thirty until recently. I know it is more difficult for a woman to get pregnant the older she gets. So, what did I decide to do? Research. I am a pretty organized girl and I like to be prepared for things. When my sister had her first baby, my niece, I started to feel the baby bug tugging at me. I am an Amazon.com junkie and I found a book that I found to be quite helpful.
The Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy for Lesbians
This book is the second edition written by Rachel Pepper. I found it to be incredibly helpful. A step-by-step guide to all things pregnancy for lesbians and single women. I found it awesome that it was not just geared towards lesbians, but also to single women who wanted to have babies. It's a realistic guide and brings a real perspective to the journey that I want to go on.
The first chapters talk about really thinking all this through. I never realized how much you had to think about when you are thinking about having a baby. Here's the deal, when you are a straight couple, its pretty easy. You do the deed and either conceive a baby or not. This is how a normal fertile couple gets a baby. For a gay couple or a couple with fertility issues, this isn't as simple.
The book brings up that you need to make sure you are financially stable, that you are healthy and that you make a plan for the future. This first chapter made me stop and think. I am living paycheck to paycheck right now and while I know that I will be a great mother and my partner would make a great mother, do we really have the means to support a child? I think of all those couples who have a child, an 'accident', and they do just fine. If we wait until we are SURE we will have never have a baby.
Hubs On This Subject
Choosing Known or Unknown Donor
So my friends consist of two women. I don't really have many friends and I don't really trust many people. I don't surround myself around men and boys often, not because I am opposed to men, I just don't find many men who respect my relationship with my partner. So, when I got to this section of the book, I didn't really think that a known donor would be a good idea. I don't know anyone that would be able to donate. However, since there may be someone reading this who had the access to a known donor, here are some things to keep in mind:
- There are great reasons to use a known donor: You already know what he looks like or how he acts. I found out that fresh sperm is more active, so having fresh sperm is the most effective way to get better success. If you cannot afford frozen sperm, using a known donor is an excellent option.
- There are also some drawbacks to using a known donor: The book talks about trusting the man's behavior. You have to hope that they are using safe sex and not consuming alcohol and marijuana. The donor may not be available when you are ovulating and able to provide the sperm needed. There are also legal things to keep in mind. Its best to get in touch with a lawyer to draw up the paper work and to be very clear with your donor what your wishes are and discuss these things on both sides before starting.
It goes through the questions to ask of the sperm bank and it was helpful in that sense, because I couldn't imagine even thinking of asking if the donor had produced living children before or what their post-thaw sperm count would be. I am glad that I read this section because it left me with good information. It also brought up how to choose a donor. The biggest question is how you want the genetic make-up of your child.
The one thing that made it difficult for us is the money factor. Sperm is expensive. Its like liquid gold. I could not believe the amount of money that sperm banks were charging. There are registration fees, the donor information fees, the mailing fees, and the actual sperm fees. It is upwards to $1000 per mailing of the frozen sperm. I live paycheck to paycheck and that is just not feasible.
Neither option for sperm accessibility is a good fit for us right now. Its discouraging, but I keep up the hope that someday I will have a little me running around. I realize we just have to get our priorities straight and prepare. There are so many people who are against gay parents having children and I don't understand why. Gay couples have to plan and be prepared for a child. You have to actually want this child, its not an accident. The logic says that this child will be loved by parents who planned and actually want to have a child.
In many states its illegal for gay couples to adopt children and in the last election there were more bans on gay adoption. I just don't understand why these decision had to be voted on and then was actually banned in these states. Its heartbreaking that this children were born of parents who didn't want them and then when couples who want them are denied simply because of a certain group of people's intolerance. Its sad for the children and the couples. When there is no plan for the child and the parents do the most responsible thing and give them up and yet these children don't have the chance at a healthy and loving family because gay couples cannot adopt.
I want to have a baby. I have dreams of baby making. Even though its discouraging and its frustrating and I think its impossible, eventually things will fall into place. I have hope that people will educate themselves and love will prevail over hate. Above the wishes for a baby, this is my wish. Equality is the way to heal this world. Tolerance and education will open people's hearts to the idea of children and gay couples.
This hub is pretty old and still relevant to those out there like me. However, I wanted to update that we have conceived and we do have a child. She just 13 months old!
So, it can be done. It may feel like a long journey and it may feel like a hard road - and it is. But, it can be done and it can work!