This past week, my wife made the decision to sell some of her collection to make some money to pay off some of the debt. After some calculations she estimated that she could get between $4,000 to $5,000 for the items she was planning to sell. She promised that this money would be used to either pay bills or kickstart our baby fund and I was ecstatic. Finally we would be making big progress to our dream. Our dream. That’s what I thought. I kept asking, again and again if she was sure she was fine with parting with some of her collection. I know in my heart that she loves her collection and that at the end of the day it was going to be a sacrifice for her. She assured me this is why she wanted to do and as worried as I was, I was so proud and excited that we were going to be taking a big leap towards our goal again. The spark inside of me was lit again and I started looking up the baby videos and planning to start building a small surplus of diapers. But today, as we were driving to my in laws house she asks if she can take some of the money from the sales and use it to buy a new piece of her collection. What? I’m taken back for a moment. “No.” Was my answer. The minimum price for these statues was $500. What was the point of selling these items if the money was just going to go back to a collection? A argument ensued and of course she resorts to putting me down by telling me to just shut up. Every time it comes to her being able to use money for her collection I’m always just supposed to shut up and stay out of her way. She becomes a martyr, where she acts like she has to make the big sacrifices in order for us to get out of this mess. I remind her that she just told me yesterday during her “good wife” streak, that she was the one who created the mess so it made sense that some of the stuff could be sold to undo it. She finally resolves and sighs that she’ll just sell her stuff and possibly never get it back so we can have our family. That’s when I had an epiphany. It was such a small, passive statement but it finally opened my eyes. We were on two very different paths. She wanted and needed things, but things had no meaning to me. Family had meaning to me. Here we were; her resentful for having to sacrifice the material things she loved so much, and me resentful that the material things meant more to her than having a family with me. Neither of us are wrong in wanting different things. But now, I cannot foresee us having a future. If we have a baby, she will be unhappy and unfulfilled because it will keep her from wanting to have what she really wants. I cannot be happy and excited to have a family knowing that she’ll resent it. I won’t bring a new life into this world only to have our family break apart. As of current, I don’t see a family in our future. In fact, I’m not sure I can see us in the future. I have worked for so many years to get to this point, I have struggled to get my degree, me home, my career and now that I’m finally supposed to be comfortable and ready to start my family, my own wife has become my biggest obstacle. I hate her for it. We scratched and scraped our way to this point and I stood by her even when we had to give up our apartment to live in a single room with my in laws for two years so we could pay off prior debts. I never thought the one person I trusted so much and worked so hard to build with would be the one person that would be the person that would take away my dream. I love my wife, I have never stopped loving her. But I must finally make the decision to walk away or to stay and hope that maybe one day she’ll change. No matter what she does now, there is no way we can have a family.
It’s officially January 1st, 2020 and nothing has changed. Our finances are just as messy as before and it feels like we are absolutely no closer to our goal. The last couple of months I’ve managed to forget about having a baby all together, for my own sanity sake. It was easier to just give up and forget all about it. I put the baby name book away in a closet, along with the baby books and stuffed animal. I removed some of the saved baby planning videos I had archived for future use and took the ovulation test kit out of my Amazon cart. It’s easier this way. My wife and I spoke again about the baby after a few months of radio silence. Nothing new came of it. We just go over the same list of struggle and needs. She keeps saying “we” need to be financially responsible in the new year. “We?” I think. I want to scream every time she says that. There is no “we” in this situation. I’m not the one who has a room filled with items worth an excess of $15,000. Yes, that’s where all this money goes. Collectibles, some worth as much as $800 for just one piece, and the packages delivered to our door rarely stop. I’m coming to resent her more and more and I think she knows it. When I dare to tell her to stop and be serious about paying these bills she tries to throw the most meager things in my face. “Well you wanted to take that trip, what about that money?” I decided to splurge and reserve us a cabin in the mountains for a total of $400. $400. I want to know how that even compares to the $38,000 debt she’s helped get us into. $38,000. I was stunned when she finally told me the full amount. She tried to defend herself by saying that a big portion of it was to pay my one credit card, a paint job for the house (which SHE insisted upon) and a new fence. Together, those 3 things cost a maximum of $7,500. Where did the other $31,000 come from? She’ll never tell you. But it’s sitting in that fucking room. Right across from where we should be setting up our nursery. That $31,000 is sitting in glasses cases, and on nice Ikea furniture. That room is the greatest insult to me. I hate that room. I despise it. I am so angry and saddened sometimes I can’t stand it. I can’t look at her. The sound of her voice is grating to me. I’m going to be 26 this month and in two more months, my close friend will be having her first baby. A month after that, another close friend will be having her first. As for me, I will spend the rest of the year nickle and diming every paycheck to try and help clean up this mess, even though I know it will takes YEARS to undo. There will be no baby on the way in 2020.
The process of not only planning for a baby but also having to map out the whole conception process has been daunting so far. Finding a cryobank, trying to find a sperm donor, calculating costs for vials and IUI appointments while also trying to look ahead for future costs if we have trouble conceiving has been overwhelming. I’ve tried keeping my emotions internalized and I’m still doing my best to be positive but I have to admit, it’s been very difficult, especially when I keep hearing the same advice from others when the topic of babies comes up: “Just adopt.”
”Why not just adopt?”
”Have you even considered adoption?”
”Why would you go out and have a baby when there’s plenty of other babies out there that need homes?”
I hate that question. I DESPISE that question. If I hear that question one more time I think my brain might just explode. Most of the time it’s wishful thinking or someone honestly trying to be helpful. In these cases, I just explain that I would truly like to have a biological child of my own and I want the experience of being pregnant. But there’s always that one person who is so damn adamant that it is my obligation to take in children that heterosexual couples have abandoned. Don’t get me wrong, I myself was in the foster care system and in the future I do plan to adopt my second child, but personally I want to have my own biological child first. I want the experience of carrying them, watching my body grow and change while they develop inside of me. Even if it means morning sickness, sore boobs and having to waddle everywhere I go, I’m excited to know I have the great honor of creating a life in my body.
I think what makes me the most upset is that fact that unless a heterosexual couple is having serious fertility and conception issues, they would not be asked or expected to adopt. Just because I am homosexual doesn’t mean I have to forgo all other options and adopt. I want to have a baby of my own and at this point, there is no reason for me to give up on IUI or home insemination because it’s a route that is preferable for other people.
We made the full decision that we were going to start planning for a baby in June and it’s now October. I know time is moving fast but I feel like I’m moving in slow motion. Every month we make small dents in our finances but it just feels like a huge uphill battle. This month, the only word I can use to describe my mood is frustrated. I am so frustrated I feel like I’ve been on edge for weeks. I’ve told my wife about it and she explains again and again why we need to be financially ready before we start trying and every logical cell in my body knows she’s absolutely correct. We didn’t achieve our goals with poor planning and uneducated decision making, right? Even though I know she is 100% correct I just can’t make my body understand that. My body is crying out so loud that it keeps me up at night. I can’t go on social media without being bombarded with photos of all my friends, current and past, showing off their big bellies or pictures of their newborns. Pregnancy has suddenly become a full blown epidemic and it’s doing nothing to help my baby blues.
I try to sate my maternal needs by binge watching more baby videos, helping my friends plan baby showers, talking with my friends from work about the research I’ve done on local cryo banks and sperm donors and I’ve even begun buying baby books for the future nursery. However, I’m still frustrated and a touch resentful. I hate that while everyone around me is conceiving so easily, I have to put in so much money, patience and effort to do the one thing my body was built for. Being a lesbian means I won’t be able to conceive the same way others can. We’ve decided to go on the IUI (inter uterine insemination) route and it’s going to cost around $980 per vial of sperm from the cryo bank. I joined an IUI support group on Facebook to see if I could get information from other women who have tried it but seeing what they are currently going through has not helped me mentally. Many of them have undergone the process multiple times with no success. Others seem overwhelmed with the amount of treatments and tests they have to undergo each time they get inseminated. I can see their frustration each time they get negative results. One woman who had a treatment earlier this month posted that she had gotten her period at work and needed to leave so she could break down alone. Even through my phone, I could feel her devastation in my core.
I look at the baby books I’ve bought, at the list of names I’ve already chosen and the stuffed teddy bear I have tucked away with care and I just want to scream. It’s so easy for everyone else and I wish that it could be that easy for me.
My wife and I just celebrated our 6th year together. I’m 25, three months shy of 26 and I just can’t believe where the time has gone. Six years of love, marriage, struggle, growth and success has escaped us without me even noticing it. We went from sharing my college dorm, to a roach infested apartment, to a single room at my in-laws house, to finally ending up in our very own three bedroom home. Life was a struggle for some time and it wasn’t easy giving up our own personal space to go live with my in-laws in order to pay off our debts and save money for a house. In the 6 years we have been together, we had set up monumental goals for ourselves and during that time they had seemed so out of reach. Luckily, in the two years we lived in a cramped quarters I graduated college, my wife moved over to a different law firm in Los Angeles, and I began my own career in the health care industry. Life has been very good to us and the day we moved our belongings out of the small one bedroom and into our beautiful new home in the San Bernardino foothills, I took the first sigh of relief I had taken in the last 5 years. Here we were, in our own space, two cars parked outside, our happy little pack of pets taking in their new home and our family and friends awing at the large home we now owned. That night we sunk down on the couch and reveled in our success while internally checking off the last box on our list of goals. Every morning after that when I woke up in our new bedroom I had to remind myself that I OWNED this house. 25 and a home owner. I had finally accomplished everything I had wanted up to that point. At least that’s what I had thought.
It was a very warm June day when a close friend called me to tell me she was three months pregnant. I was shocked and I just didn’t know what to say. A baby? Part of me was mortified for her at the thought of her suddenly being a mom, but then something else began to drown out the mortification. She was already 30 years old and a successful commercial real estate broker. We have been friends for the past 4 years and I have seen her go through a nasty divorce, struggle to make ends meet while also trying to make a name for herself in a cut throat industry. The same beautiful woman who had no choice but to work evening shifts as a waiter while pulling 8 hour days in our office was now a full time broker with a number of deals under her belt. In that moment, I was suddenly overcome with happiness. She had accomplished so much in so little time with no help, what was so wrong with her finally being able to settle down and start a family? That question resonated with me that evening, even after we said our goodbyes and hung up the phone. What was so wrong with having a baby?
I’ve wanted children for as long as I can remember. When my wife and I first decided we wanted to buy a home together, I put her on notice that I planned to immediately start nesting. A two bedroom house was never an option because I wanted to have a full nursery and space to grow. However, time went on and we kept putting our own needs at the forefront. We would bring up the topic of a baby here and there but the mere sight of a screaming child at the grocery store was enough to push the thought out of our minds. The years kept passing but the thought never truly left my head. It just remained dormant while we traveled up and down the coast, went out with our friends or made spontaneous trips to Disneyland. But, as all things do, life began to slowly settle and that single call brought the baby topic back to the forefront. All of a sudden I felt like everywhere I went, I was surrounded by pregnant women, strollers and babies. It was like everyone around me had uniformly decided to get pregnant and even my social media was suddenly bombarded with ultrasound photos and pregnancy announcements. Something painful and wanting was forming inside of me but I didn’t want to tell anyone, especially my best friends who were all avidly anti-baby. However, a month later when I met my pregnant friend for lunch, the full weight of what I had been trying to push away came crashing down on me. I wanted a baby, I wanted one so bad that it’s all I could think about night and day. I wanted a baby so bad that when I got my period a week later I cried because I hated the fact that I couldn’t just get pregnant like everyone around me. I felt like a crazy woman for crying, but I couldn’t help that deep, resonating ache that something was missing.
I finally told my wife and were now trying to plan out what we need to do to prepare but it all seems so far away. We want to get our finances in order first before we even start trying but it’s so hard for me to have to wait another year just to begin the actual process. It’s frustrating beyond measure but I do my best to keep my composure by binge watching pregnancy videos, talking to other woman about their experiences with pregnancy and interacting with support groups for women who are undergoing artificial insemination. I can only hope this next year flies by.