Multiple Choice Daddies
My partner and I met about a year and a half ago, both fresh out of relationships- she with a dog and I with two kids, three dogs, and an elderly cat. I told her to run while she could, that it wasn’t going to be easy with an instant family, let alone an instant family of two teen/tween girls. She stood strong and said she could handle it. All of it-the baggage, the growing pains, the instant family, the chaos, the rare moments of silence. And so far she has.
We talked of my desire to have another child and past plans to do so with my previous partner. My plan and desire would no longer work in tandem because I was faced with having 90% of my female anatomy removed due to health issues that plagued me for years. She talked of her past and the failed inseminations with her ex-wife. She also talked about how having a baby wasn’t really “right” for her, that she had no desire to become a mommy, no desire to be pregnant. My heart felt like a freshly popped balloon. The reality was that I could not physically have another child and she didn’t want to carry one.
I went into surgery with a blanket that my ex-wife and I had picked out for our planned baby; the baby that never was. My new plan was to give that blanket to a new family, to a baby that was not my own to enjoy. The blanket represented a closure of my past and a release of what was and now what is.
After a few months of healing, the adoption of yet another dog, the purchase of a chameleon, a move, the death of my elderly cat, we started to again have a conversation about kids. The conversation began because my desire to have another child was still overwhelmingly still there even though I now had what we referred to as a “blank space”. This time the conversation was different. This time, SHE said she had been thinking about having a child with me. My brain had a very difficult time computing the words coming out of her mouth. “Was she saying it because I had pressured her?” “Was she trying to fill my void?” Surely, she must have had a lobotomy that I was not aware of. Over the next few weeks, she talked about wanting to have the experience of a pregnancy, of having a child of her own, of being scared to death, to looking on the internet for sperm donors and researching what we needed to do first as a middle aged lesbian couple. She made appointments, went through tests, changed medications, began taking prenatal vitamins all in preparation for the next step in our journey. But, a huge piece of the puzzle was missing…the sperm.
We looked online at cryobanks, LGBTQ websites for conception but it all felt strange and sterile. One night there was a casual mention about asking male friends to consider donating a “gift” to us. Then it hit…let’s ask our gay friend, who also happens to be our hair dresser. We decided it would be a good ice breaker to send a text asking if he would like to be a donor. Yes, a text. He replied with a, “Yes. But…” I need to check with Adam. And then a another text saying, “Yes, I would totally do it without any question if I were single.” Whew. Okay, so, one tiny ant hill crossed. Now the anticipation was mounting..”was he really serious? And what if his Adam said no?” “What if Adam said yes?” “Would this be a crossroads in their relationship?”
After about a week of “I am working on him” conversations, and some pretty unsure responses, we made plans to attend the Pride Festival to spend some time together. The truth was that Adam wasn’t totally on board. He was really nervous about Jeff being okay with just being a donor and not a “Daddy”. At this point, my partner and I knew that it was very unlikely that we would be able to use Jeff’s sperm, even though 3 out of 4 of us were on board…..