When Getting Pregnant Isn’t So Easy
“In some ways, this was an easier journey for us because we knew we’d need donor sperm going in,” my friend G said.
G is one of my favorite people. Her college boyfriend was my first kiss in high school. He introduced us because he thought we might have a lot in common. In truth, we had so much in common we forgot he was in the room. After they broke up, she was my first female lover. But before and after that experience, she was always G, a friend I didn’t see often enough. When I did see her, the time apart fell away and we were just Delilah and G, two good friends.
She met S seven and a half years ago. At first I was cautious, as anyone would be when meeting their friend’s new significant other. S won me over with his love for G, his intelligence, and his sense of humor. That he is transgendered never colored my opinion, although he was the first transgendered person I’d met. If anything, it was the idea of a 24/7 BDSM relationship that unnerved me. What can I say? I was a lot more innocent back then.
There is a statistic that many women who are thinking about getting pregnant read, that 1 in 8 couples experience issues with infertility. By this, the books mean that it takes 1 in 8 couples longer than 12 months of unprotected sex to get pregnant, and it usually requires some sort of medical intervention. However, what this statistic doesn’t take into account is that 100% of Lesbian, Gay and Transgendered couples will deal with infertility if one uses that definition.
When I think about her comment that it might have been an easier journey for them, I compare their experience to another couple I know. When my other friend and her husband decided to get pregnant, she bought him a book called My Boys Can Swim (a pregnancy book for Dads) only to find out that his boys couldn’t. For S, the ability to father children isn’t part of his masculine identity as it isn’t possible for him to biologically father a child. For my other friend’s husband, the expectation that he could biologically father children was a given -- until it wasn’t.
Years ago, before either of us was actively trying to get pregnant, G once told me that the ideal scenario to get her pregnant would be S using a turkey baster. This scenario never happened. When I asked why they didn’t try it, the answer was simple: Donor sperm is expensive, and you want your tries to be as effective as possible. The turkey baster would not have been as effective as IUI (intra-uterine insemination) or IVF (in-vitro fertilization).
“S isn’t really close to his brother, and someday he’ll have his own family. It would be weird. His Dad? That would be even weirder,” G shared when we briefly talked about alternatives to anonymous donor sperm, such as that of a family member.