Family-building

Have two, use none

Trista’s recent post about negotiating childbearing in a 2-uterus family reminded me so much of many of the conversations my wife, NSG, and I had the first few years we were together.

Like Trista and Kristin, NSG and I wanted to adopt. And like Kristin, I really wanted to get pregnant. Seems straightforward enough: 2 uteruses, 2 adults who definitely want more than one child, multiple ways to bring kids into your family. Only, not so simple.

NSG was completely uninterested in having kids biologically. One uterus down. She was also uninterested in having any children who weren’t adopted. And, while I didn’t care about having a bio connection to me kid, I just couldn’t imagine how to prepare to become a parent without someone in the family growing the first one.

Now is the point where, if you’ve been through a home study, you realize you’ve just peed yourself laughing. The homestudy was, in retrospect, a MUCH more involved way to prepare to become a parent – if not from the perspective of the body, at least from the perspective of the mind.

Now, before those of you who have been pregnant or who have supported someone through pregnancy get mad at me, I’m not trying to suggest that you weren’t intensely thoughtful about every aspect of pregnancy and parenting. But a homestudy, when it’s done the way it meant to be done, is set up so that you have no choice but to be mindful. We had conversations ad nauseam about every situation that could possibly come up with an expectant mom making an adoption plan: no pre-natal care, depression, didn’t know the father, was married to the father, was 14, was 44, was a high school dropout, had a PhD, was from any imaginable cultural or ethnic background, and on and on. If I had been pregnant I imagine we wouldn’t have thought through nearly so many things.

Before we were actually ready to have kids, we had those behind-the-hand conversations so many about-to-be-TTC lesbian couples have about our male friends and our friend’s husbands.  He’s a great guy, we would whisper to each other. And we’ve been friends with his wife for so long I bet she’d go for it.

But when it came down to it, NSG really didn’t want us to get pregnant. She made me a deal: take a serious look at adoption. If you’re happy, we’ll do it first, and if you still want to get pregnant, I’ll support you. So I did, and I was happy. And it really didn’t take long. Now here we are on the other end of it, and, well, we have Roo. How could I help but be overjoyed at this little being who I get to call my son?

NSG meant it when she made her bargain, but I know she thought after we adopted one that I wouldn’t care about getting pregnant after that. But I have to say: I’m more clear than ever that having a biological connection to my child isn’t important to me, but I’m still not clear if I’m willing to give up the experience of being pregnant. 

Charlotte’s posts this week make it abundantly clear that having more options does not equal an easier process. And, despite all the jokes about lesbians and processing, I think lesbian couples by definition have to be pretty thoughtful about how to have a baby (though if anyone has figured out a way to get fingers to produce sperm, please leave your email address in the comments: I think there’s a wealthy future in store for you).

Where am I going with all this? Nowhere directly, that’s for sure. But I wanted to add my two cents (two dollars, maybe – this is a long post) to the discussion about negotiating adding to a family when the necessary equipment is not all built-in.

Anyone else want to run with this one?

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  1. “if anyone has figured out a way to get fingers to produce sperm”

    Um, do I really need to go there?

  2. I’m convinced they’ll have two-egg babies soon. Certainly by the time our daughters are grown.

    But for me, I had a brief bio-clock moment when I turned 35, 10 days before my daughter came home. Then, once she was in my arms, a perfect, beautiful 3-day old baby, all I could think was “wow, my body could never have done a better job than this!” and I have never felt the tiniest twinge for bio-pregnancy since.

  3. hey i need help…me and my gf are trying to figure things out for marriage….how old do u have to be to get married? and where can we get married legally?

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