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To Be Pregnant or Not to Be? Lesbian Pregnancy
I can feel my five-year-old daughter’s warm breath on my neck, sleeping soundly in my arms. It’s been a rough day and he’s been sick. As I hold her feverish little body, and caress her head gently I am filled with maternal joy – I’d rather be nowhere (even under such circumstances). Holding my child gives my life meaning and purpose 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 this planet quietly lost. It was his life that set me straight, ironically in the gayest way. I lived my life by the rules and morals that were social norms. I did what I was told, always, and maintained a level of perfection that was suffocating me.
The birth of my daughter gave me an energy that stirred beneath the surface. I realized that there were no limits to where life could take me, and that I was solely responsible for the obstacles I faced—as I created them. I am completely in love with my child, and the beauty he brings to my life. He started a domino effect that brought peace, stability and balance that was lacking.
For the past five years I have struggled with the idea of having another child, and it is a constant mental debate. When is the right time? Is it the right partner? What is money? And where can I get semen? It would be so much easier if I liked boys, wouldn’t it? Well, maybe not, because I know heterosexual couples and straight women have to deal with their own inner turmoil of fertility and childbearing.
My girlfriend made it clear from the beginning that a fundamental goal of our relationship was to have children. Having one, already made, only strengthened the joy of having more children. We saw our beautiful little girl and decided to do some research, and make some phone calls to my medical insurance company. Our conclusion – Making a child a lesbian is hard work. We needed more advice.
So I went to my gynecologist and announced that “this lesbian wants some more kids,” gave me her blessing with a big smile, and gave me the name of a fertility specialist who was willing to work with a gay couple. Really? Unfortunately yes. I was given the names of three other fertility specialists that I should avoid at all costs because I would not be helped, and would be denied services because of my sexual orientation.
To be honest, I didn’t get off easily, but there was something about this conversation that filled me with depression for days. Here I am trying to start a family with someone I love, and I already have a beautiful daughter, whom I provide for financially, emotionally and even spiritually, and I will be denied services. All my efforts to be a well-adjusted partner and mother were still not enough for me to be seen as a member of society who deserved treatment. That’s fucked up!
Today, I am undecided whether to have children in this political climate. And some may judge me as a coward, and they are right, I fear. History has demonstrated its power of destruction and torture. And although, many would argue that we will never revisit the atrocities of World War II, I call them bullshit. Right now there are countries where genocide is going on. Even today, I have very real fears about my daughter growing up in a lesbian home, which has nothing to do with my partner or our relationship, but the world around us.
I’m still going to see a fertility specialist and see where I go from there, but here are a few things to consider before I start planning to have a baby the lesbian way:
- Consider that having a child is a lifelong commitment. Are you ready to take this responsibility?
- Have you wondered how you will handle childcare responsibilities and balance work and family?
- Are you ready to parent if you have a special-needs child?
- If you have a partner, are you both equally committed to being parents?
- If you and your partner have religious differences, have you discussed how they might affect your child?
- Where do you stand with your identity? Your sexual orientation?
- Are you financially stable? Families in the middle income group will spend $286,050 to raise a child from birth to age 17.
- Are you emotionally stable? Women who suffer from depression are twice as likely to have problems with fertility than women who do not.
- What is your medical history. Find out if you have a genetic or chromosomal disorder such as 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 anatomic birth defects, such as cardiac or neural tube defects.
- Your age. Parental age matters, especially for women.
- Do you have a support system- it really does take a village to raise a child, and you better make sure it’s a stable and healthy one helping you.
Let the journey begin…
Alex Caridi ~ Lesbian Guru
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