My girlfriend and I are thinking of starting a family. It’s something that we’ve talked about for ages and it’s come up in conversation so many times and then it kind of got to the point where we were like let’s stop talking and JUST DO IT. That’s the part where straight girls just throw away the pills and hope for the best but we just sat there looking confused and thinking ‘hmmm…what do you actually have to DO?’
In all the talking we’ve done we’ve covered all the available options. Our friends adopted a little girl last year who is just gorgeous and that was our first thought. I’d seen how lengthy and intrusive the process was for them but their daughter is beautiful and slotted into their family immediately and perfectly. Knowing our luck we’d probably get a young Mary Bell; like when we adopted a lovely cat from the rescue centre only to find it was actually evil incarnate. (He used to sink its teeth AND claws at the same time into you for no apparent reason and tear off chunks of flesh. One time when A got up in the night to go to the toilet it hid behind the door, leapt up and shredded her pyjamas from the arse to the ankles, drawing blood and screams. She still has the scars to prove it. I was devastated when he got run over and, I’m ashamed to say, relieved)
If we did adopt, the youngest they’d be is realistically 18 months. That wouldn’t bother me so much, in fact I’d like to adopt an older kid; a teenager even although A would prefer a baby. She also quite likes the idea of being pregnant. I can’t think of anything worse. The idea of no alcohol for 9 months and having your fanny ripped apart just doesn’t appeal but my true altruistic nature means that I wouldn’t want to stop anyone else from going through the process on my behalf so this is the option we tentatively agree on.
At this point there are still a million and one questions and ask and ‘issues’ to deal with. Here are a few of them and our thoughts on each.
1) Sperm. Where d’ya get it?
Both of us like the idea of having a donor that we know. Partly because you kind of want some say in your kids genes and mainly because there are enough men out there that I definitely would not want to father my child. We at least want to pick someone who you’d choose to sleep with if you were straight. Which leads us onto the second question…
2) Sperm. Seriously – WHERE?!
The issue of sperm donation has come up enough time among our friends for us to know that we don’t know anyone who’d do it. Neither of us have many male friends and the ones we do have are heterosexual and in relationships. As my mum put it ‘it was much better in the old days. Men didn’t want to know their kids then…none of this ‘new man’ having to be hands on and all that’! She kind of has a point. Most men our age don’t have their own kids yet and don’t see it as something they can just give away and never think of again. Which kinds of leads on to question 3.
3) As the ‘other mother’, will I feel like it’s not really my child? Or even worse, will A feel like it’s not really my child?
A asked this question to her boss, who’s gay and just had a baby and she seemed genuinely puzzled that we’d even thought of that. That had never been a question for them. A reassures me that she’d never ever think that way. That it’d always be our baby, not hers. Which I think is something you probably can’t say til you have it but then she promises that even if that thought ever crosses her mind, she won’t say it, which is good enough for me. Because I know that as soon as the child is conceived I’ll think of it as mine and probably want to stone cold murder anyone who says otherwise.
Back to the sperm issue. We do a bit of reading around and really, you’d be surprised how little there is on the internet on the subject (or probably not if you’re arsing yourself to read this) and find a website that offers an introduction service for people looking to meet sperm donors. It’s kind of like Gaydar Girls only a) there are no women who look seemingly normal and then post a picture of them sitting on the draining board with their fannies out and b) no women. The idea of two lesbians sitting trawling for eligible men on the internet is really weird and …fun! This must be what it’s like to be heterosexual!
It’s quite handy that A and I seem to have the same taste in men and go through ruthlessly eliminating them like Tyra Banks on America’s Next Top Model: too short; illiterate; terrible wallpaper in the background. Eventually we decide on about three that we like. Two are gay and going through the surrogacy process themselves so it makes sense to me why they’d want to donate sperm. The other just looks like a dead nice bloke. We tentatively send an email and then…nothing. Seriously, not one reply. Even after getting a little less picky and messaging some of the blokes who seemed perfectly nice but had bad dress sense or liked Coldplay we sat back and heard nothing.
It’s bad enough being rejected by women but even worse being rejected by men who you don’t even fancy. After another trawl through the internet I find a few articles about how loads of British women are going to Denmark to be inseminated.
This prompts more conversations about anonymous sperm donors. An anonymous donor from Denmark sounds so much more exciting that one that could potentially live around the corner and be the milkman. Not that there’s anything wrong with the milkman’s sperm (I hope) but I quite like the idea of it not being too close to home. Plus A quite fancies an excuse for a city break to Copenhagen and when we look at the prices it’s a LOT more affordable that insemination in a private clinic in the UK (which is about 5x the price).
We can stay in the clinic over night AND they deliver the sperm on this AMAZING bike in the shape of … A SPERM! What’s not to love?
So that seems like the best option and a viable route to go down. That’s just a short synopsis of a year’s worth of talk though. And believe me, I know lesbians have a reputation for over-analysing and processing but there really is a lot of talking to be done when it comes to gays and babies. It’s so frustrating that it won’t just happen and a little sad that we’ll never have a child that is a mixture of both of us. Only a little sad, mind. It’d probably get the worst of both our features and come out short and busty with a long fat nose and no lips.
Of course there are hundreds of other questions (I got bored after 3) but I thought it’d be nice to keep track of this whole process from start to finish and maybe find other people who’ve been through or are going through the same thing. Oh, and I forgot to say, even though we talked about having babies for ages, the moment when we both sat down and went ‘okay, let’s just DO this’ was at a concert in London. We sat outside in the sun on the Southbank first, which I guess is where the idea was conceived. And I am MORTIFIED at the fact that it was a KD Lang concert because could that BE any more of a lesbian cliché? Really? I still sobbed when she sang this though. Think it was PMT.