Anonymous Mom is a weekly column of motherhood confessions, indiscretions, and parental shortcomings selected by Mommyish editors. Under this unanimous byline, readers can share their own stories, secrets, and moments of weakness with complete anonymity.
I’ve wanted children since I was 12 years old. I came out as a lesbian two weeks after my 15th birthday. I’ve dated 10 women, and I’ve been married to one for two years. I have never questioned my want for children, nor have I ever questioned whether I would have them in a lesbian relationship. It has always been a given that there would be a way for me to get pregnant, that I would carry at least one child in my lifetime if I was physically able to do so, and I would raise at least two or three, hopefully within the confines of a monogamous committed relationship.
My wife and I have talked about children since our third date. We knew we were going to marry each other the first time we saw each other, so our relationship moved relatively swiftly, and by the time we were married (less than two years after we’d met), we had a general plan laid out of when we would have children.
And now that we are very seriously trying to have children (our first insemination will be this month), I’m finding out that the issue with being a lesbian and having children isn’t with the religious right. Or money. Or what your family thinks.
It’s your friends.
Between the two of us, my wife and I, both introverts, have been lucky enough to create and sustain two very close and very strong friendships with two different and married heterosexual women. One of them started what I call “casually” trying in June – essentially the “Let’s throw the birth control out the window and see what happens” approach. The other one became pregnant in June after three months of somewhat focused trying – attempting to have intercourse on/around the days she was predicted to ovulate, according to her iPhone app. We are exceedingly happy for both of them and wish both of them happy, healthy babies. We have been cheering them on, supporting them, discussing babies with them, etc. And they try to do the same for us.
The issue comes when one or both of us tries to tell them how hard our situation is. Because neither of them has run into infertility issues (God forbid), neither of them have been as involved and clinical as we are about getting pregnant. They haven’t peed on ovulation sticks. They haven’t had their partner shove a plastic speculum up their hoo-ha and check their cervical position. They haven’t stressed over the date of ovulation and whether the dry ice in the rented cooler would last that long – and then tried to not stress, because that can delay the very ovulation they’re waiting on. They haven’t spent money they don’t really have to drive two hours away to pick up frozen sperm and drive it back home. They don’t know the fear of thawing it incorrectly and wasting $700 on absolutely nothing.
We try to tell them the difficulties we face, and will face. I tried, a few months ago, to talk about how frustrated I was with the second parent adoption process we would have to go through, and the friend I was talking to brushed it off as something akin to her difficulties getting her husband to paint the nursery.
Things like that absolutely blow my mind, especially since both of our friends have made it very clear that they support gay marriage and find it incomprehensible that we have to spend so much time, money, and effort to get the same rights everyone else has in every single state in the nation.
I know they say to not compare anyone’s difficulties to your own, that everyone has their own mountain to climb and everyone’s hardships are just as hard for them as yours are for you. But when my friend, who gets free sperm each month with a man she loves, who has hundreds of rights that I couldn’t even think to have, who gets multiple chances to impregnate herself, brushes off my concerns about the thousands of dollars I will spend just to have the chance at a child because she thinks her husband not painting the nursery is just as big an issue, I want to scream.
Becoming a mom can be hard. And being a mom is hard. But trying to become a lesbian mom with straight friends – that’s pretty tough, too.
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(photo: des Letemps)