October 11, 2011
The ttc lesbian blogging community is amazing. The questions answered, the feelings expressed, the advice given, the congratulations roared, the sympathy meant are worth their weight in gold. The other awesome thing about all the lesbian ladies that write about trying to get pregnant is the sense of organization, with awards given and carnivals organized. A blog carnival is this fascinating creation in which a bunch of bloggers write on a given topic and then link to one another. I’m writing for the Love Makes a Family Blog Carnival and the topic is disappointment.
This time last year, my wife and I had wrapped up our fifth and final cycle of trying to conceive using frozen sperm with an open donor. (I had blogged about the experience anonymously, which is how I learned what I learned about how great alla y’all are.) During our trying to conceive time, I had also had a sonogram, an HSG, and a 21 day progesterone test. After everything was said and done, it appeared that I was in working order, but our sperm was bunk. We intended to start trying again in February of this year with anonymous frozen sperm from another bank, but in January my wife fell in love with another woman and ended our marriage.
I sound like I am telling you how I programmed my VCR, I know. (Do they still even make VCRs?) In fact, I am telling you about how someone I trusted gutted me. Although a certain dryness of expression is best and that last sentence wet with anger felt great, I can find the emotional middle ground and say, for the purposes of this blog carnival, that I am disappointed that I wont get to know my wife as a mother to our baby. Other people have mentioned the new things they learned about their partner when the baby came, the new light in which they saw their old lover, the hidden strengths and unseen vulnerabilities. My wife loved children very much and she did it unabashedly, especially babies. I was looking forward to the feeling of a full-to-bursting heart while watching her wipe up poop. I loved watching her run her classroom, I loved watching her tease her mom — I just loved watching her. One of her nicknames was QB, short for quarterback. She knew how to run a situation and she always did it with a smile. I knew that she would be a bottomless well of love and affection for our baby, enough to keep us all alive on the days our little family would need her most. I was looking forward to meeting that person. Whenever you marry someone you are marrying everyone they have ever been, everyone they are and everyone they will ever be. There were versions of her unborn to whom I was very, very attached.
That being said, I always thought, as a kid, that I would be a single parent. It wasnt a thought process, actually, so much, as it was just an image, one I never noticed or questioned, but it still sticks with me from my teen years, kind of like a dream does. Very simply, I saw myself with a daughter, traveling. Turns out, I’ve never made it beyond Canada and goodness knows a boy is just as likely as a girl, but it feels good to be on the edge of that image again, looking down at it. Not that being a single parent is somehow a more authentic version of any other version of me that I’ve been, but it feels old, ancient even, and right in some essential way to be on the precipice of living that life.
I say precipice because it’s a lovely, slippery word and because I am going to start trying to get pregnant again next week. It’s been nine months since the marriage ended (appropriately enough). Two months after it happened, a friend offered me free, fresh sperm. What lesbian in her right mind says no to friendly, free, fresh sperm? Not this one, I can tell you that much. So, I’ve decided: My life is a house. My marriage was just one room; it’s been demolished and the attendant dust and debris are everywhere. I can’t afford a hotel, but I’ve hired a contractor. I pay attention when I need to, but mostly I let trusted authorities take care of the mess (time, the universe, my therapist). While they get that figured out, I’m doing my damnedest to live around the renovations. Part of me is uninhabitable, and a fucking mess, but the rest of me’s got to keep on living.
When I was married, I daydreamed about the moment I would get the positive. I wondered if my wife would be in the bathroom with me, or awake in the living room, waiting for me to emerge. Sometimes I hoped that it would be very early in the morning and that she would still be asleep. I knew I wanted a few minutes to myself. It seems that when a wife gets pregnant, no matter her partner’s gender, she leaves for a place her partner can’t come. I wanted a few minutes to be alone with myself in that moment, to feel it, to send myself off.
Now I know I will have all the time I need. I know I will turn to myself in the mirror and see me. My heart will be racing and my pupils will be huge. I’ll give myself a shit eating grin and watch as the tears well up in my eyes and spill down onto my cheeks. I’ll put the stick down very calmly and then sit myself somewhere very softly, knowing I made a baby. And I’ll keep knowing, secretly for days and days. Every morning, I’ll wake up and reknow it. I will be the first person I tell and the second and the third and this, my friends, is not a disappointment.