The first words out of my mother’s mouth when I told her that I was no longer questioning my sexuality, and I really did identify as lesbian were: “Am I still going to have grandkids?”
“Yes, mom,” I said, in that general teenager-ish way.
Maybe I only remember that one part because it makes for a pretty funny anecdote. I know she also assured me that it was totally fine, and she’d always love and support me, but her inquiry into my having kids someday is the only part of that conversation I clearly remember.
For a few years I didn’t really think I would want kids, however, I’ve gotten older and changed and realized that I really do. Not for any specific reason that I can name, it’s just what I feel. And luckily I now have a partner who I am absolutely in love with and wants to have kids with me. Well, we want to build a family together. It only recently struck me that as much as I want to … I can never conceive a child with my chosen partner.
There are so many ways for a lesbian couple to conceive, and so many resources that it’s not really necessary for me to discuss that aspect. I’ve never thought of parents as “two people who make a baby” — I think family can be any number of people who share a loving connection.
But somehow it really just hit me: I cannot physically conceive a baby with my future wife. I realize it might sound silly, and of course I always knew I would never be able to conceive with our bodies, but it never really struck me until recently.
It came when I was reading a post here on Offbeat Mama about infertility. I was doing totally fine, reading about how some people tried infertility drugs, some people didn’t, and some managed to get pregnant on their own. I was reading some comments when someone mentioned they were currently “ttc.” First I thought to myself, Isn’t this a no-acronym zone? What does “ttc” even mean? Then I realized: Oh. Trying to conceive.
I thought about what that entailed, and suddenly I had tears running down my face, because it had never hit me that hard that no matter what I did, or what kind of medical help I enlisted, I couldn’t “make” a baby with my fiancée.
I felt a huge empty hole somewhere inside when I thought about the fact that as much as we love each other, our physical love can never translate into a new addition to our family.
I had already planned on what kind of birth I would someday have, already checked out cloth diapering sites, but never really internalized the details of how I would get pregnant. I felt a huge empty hole somewhere inside when I thought about the fact that as much as we love each other, our physical love can never translate into a new addition to our family. We could never have a “happy accident,” as it were. (The only happy accident we could have that would result in pregnancy is accidentally tripping over a sperm bank delivery, and for some reason I don’t see it happening that way…)
I am considering adoption in my future, as well as possibly conceiving through a sperm donor, and I don’t think any one way of having a child is better than any other. I don’t think adopted children would be any less a part of my family as a biological child. This isn’t about that at all, and like I said: I know families are made in all kinds of ways. But it’s clear that certain ways are simply not an option for me and my partner.
My fiancée jokes about it once in a while, something along the lines of “if I could make it happen you would be so pregnant right now.” And sometimes we act it out, pretending that we are conceiving a child, and that a tiny new person for us to love will soon be growing inside my belly. She even rubs my lower abdomen sometimes in anticipation.
In the end, I guess this is something I have to come to terms with. I know that I’m not planning on getting a partner with a different sex anytime soon. What I’m the most sure of though is that all the love we put into our relationship, and all the positive thoughts we have about our future children will someday translate into a very happy family … regardless of how that family comes together.