Once upon a time, we were frequent scroungers, sellers, and buyers on Craigslist. We weren’t too good for a little dumpster diving. Living in a college town, we could make out with some decent items around May when all the wealthy suburban students left behind what they replace the next year. Okay, okay, there were plenty of duds in the mix, too. And there was that one time that we picked up some road signs off of the highway and listed them on Craigslist, only to be met by cops threatening felonies. That said, our desperation and negative experiences from many years ago somewhat tainted Craigslist for us.
Flash forward half a decade—
Now we wanted a baby and there was no way we could afford to use a Cryobank on a regular basis. We couldn’t identify any male friends that we felt comfortable asking to be donors for various reasons. Neither of us used Facebook or any social media for that matter. What do? Craigslist…unfortunately…we were looking at you…again…with new eyes. Trust me, it wasn’t our first choice and we scoured the internet looking for resources that connected donors and those in need. There is a story there as well, but I’ll save it for another post. It seemed that the dreaded Craigslist route was an inevitable step.
We’re pretty laid back and not particularly picky when it comes to the father’s characteristics. Sure, preferences exist, but our focus was and is on reproducing—however it can happen. We made a basic post listing our desires and intentions, but we did not offer an amount. In many cases sperm is trash to them, right? Disposed of in a wastebasket on some tissue? One’s trash is another’s treasure. We hoped that someone would make a reasonable offer that would allow us to try on a regular basis.
Responses ranged from fantasies about threesomes to what seemed to be genuine interest in helping. There was one guy who had a few kids, was in a relationship, and said they needed the money. Within a week we were in a fertile period, but by then he’d gone through a breakup and began asking questions about what the kids would be named. He scared us off. Then there was one guy that offered to help for $100 a try, but he refused to send us a picture and would only agree to meet at Panera in a nearby town. Sounds a little sketchy, right?
So many of you have probably been through similar experiences. What were they like for you? What’s the going rate for sperm in your area?
I wasn’t going to have our baby. It wasn’t in the cards. We decided to start trying in February of 2016 and we knew without a doubt that she’d be carrying our child. The reasons why we chose her womb over my own weren’t exactly apparent. It just felt meant to be.
Month after month we tried various methods of insemination, a wide variety of manual and digital ovulation tests, a plethora of apps, Soft Cups, and syringes. By the time fall came around, we were worn and discouraged. Still, there was no pregnancy. The single pink line on the pregnancy tests we’d twist and turn every which way mocked us daily.
She grew tired of even looking at them. I’d obsess under bright lights until I was seeing spots and I’d pray as I gripped the pink handle between my thick fingers. If only I could even see a shadow…
But there was no pregnancy.
“Maybe you should try,” she said simply one evening.
With that, a light bulb turned on. Realizing that we’d have double the chances if I’d simply open my mind, we changed course. I’m really not sure why I held back for so long. I wonder if I was afraid.
After the idea had fully settled, we were ecstatic. Our stomachs would flutter with the excitement of so many possibilities.
“Two babies,” I’d whisper in the dark before I’d kiss her goodnight. And she would confirm.
I’ve always witnessed a strange correlation between people (their personalities) and their names. “She is such a Kendra,” I’d find myself thinking after meeting said Kendra.
I once came up with a list of 100 names for pets as a donation to to our local animal shelter. They suggested that it would be a great way to contribute and I took it to heart. I now question the motives behind their suggestion of this “volunteering.” Did they really not have time to think of names for all the incoming animals? Was it in an effort for the employees to create less of an attachment to the animals? Or were the names trivial because most people give their adopted pet a unique name void of association to the sad place from which they came anyhow?
I guess what I’m getting at is that it is fun, useful, and necessary to name beings that are yours. With it comes a sense of attachment and responsibility. Usually, though, I think people name things once they have a concept of them, their existence, or even their presence. Our journey was much different.
We’d discussed our thoughts on children in our first and every year together. We didn’t want them. We had reasons based in logic and we were consistent. You probably can’t grasp the significance of that statement without knowing us, but we are ever changing in activity and philosophy. Holding steady in the idea of not wanting children for eight years had almost made it a common law fact.
Until one strange evening…
We were rapidly hit with a desire to generate names. Separately we made list of any, all, and every name we liked (even a little bit). We read them aloud to one another as though we were playing Boggle and added any that weren’t vetoed to a separate list. It wasn’t long before we had honed in on one name that had significance to us personally and in ideation. It had the unique quality that we admire and the charm to inhabit a happy soul.
She had a name and with that, we had to have her. She felt like part of us and we suddenly yearned to have her in our reality if she wanted to be here. And with that, mission baby began. We’ve fallen in love with a boy’s name since this time as well. With their names we developed a sense of them.
We hope that the names poured out of us for a reason—they’re coming.
Having two wombs can get a little crazy to say the least. First Response pregnancy tests aren’t cheap but in order to save a buck, you’re forced to look absolutely insane at the Dollar Tree due to the amount of tests you need and their lack of self check-out. We recommend “internet cheapies” as they’re called in the fertility world of the internet. Our favorite brand of the cheap-os is Wondfo as they are quite sensitive and they sell bundles that include ovulation tests as well.
Here’s a tip I’m not sure many are aware of: if you search “Wondfo Baby Dust” on Amazon, you will be presented with extra wide Wondfo pregnancy tests and ovulation tests which make it much easier to discern whether that squinter that’s making you cross-eyed is actually a line.
We’re two extremely silly twenty-something women who have spent the last decade in love. We never quite grew up all the way and thus maintain a childlike curiosity which sometimes wavers on juvenile. Nevertheless, we’ve decided it’s time to start a family. We’re hoping to connect with others on similar journeys to motherhood. We tend to be loners and would greatly benefit from the support of a community as we seek to conceive two babies simultaneously.
You wouldn’t think we were suited to be parents if we laid out our history in the form of a quick bio. Ten years after our teenage beginning, we still don’t fit into any stereotypical mold of a lesbian couple. At times we don’t even seem to fit into society. We know deeply, however, that the time to start a family is now. We ask that you kindly reserve judgment despite our lack of tradition as you discover our oddities should you choose to stick around!
We aren’t special by any means, but as much as we’d love to, we’ve never met another couple quite like us. We know there are other lesbian couples out there looking to start a family. If you fit the description, please get in touch with us as we’d love to chat!
We really appreciate you taking the time to read our musings. More to come soon. Thanks for stopping by!