Is there a thing, about pregnancy? Like, how you don’t talk about it until you’re really sure you’re actually pregnant, or that the fetus doesn’t have 17 heads or some such? Because I can’t really keep a secret that well, and besides, what with the gay thing, it ain’t gonna happen by accident, no matter how much time we spend practicing.
DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT CURRENTLY PREGNANT.
But we are taking the very first baby (I DID NOT DO THAT ON PURPOSE) steps towards getting there. For whatever reason, all the mommyblogs in my reader are of the straight mommy variety, even though I know there are a bazillion of them written out there by lesbian moms, I personally don’t read any on a regular basis, so I’m not sure how they covered the beginning stages of the process. Which means, mostly, that I have no earthly clue what we’re doing, or if we’re doing it the right way, or if there even is a motherfucking right way (I suspect there’s not). So, I rely heavily on the one couple I know who’s done it before, and also by swallowing my pride, calling up sperm banks and asking really, really stupid questions.
The first step, I have determined thus far, is to obtain the item that’s missing, or what I’ve heard referred to as (DEAR GOD, HELP ME) “baby batter.” Look, I’m just gonna go ahead and call it sperm, since that’s what it fucking is, and the mental image of actual batter ANYWHERE near my nether regions makes me reconsider the entire thing. So, we have to get us some sperm.
Aside the First: All y’all out there with unlimited access to sperm: DID YOU KNOW YOU’RE SLEEPING WITH A GOLDMINE? The price of sperm is ASTRONOMICAL, given the vast quantities of it readily available on the street.
Aside the Second: Picking a baby daddy is HARD, y’all. I don’t know if it comes into consideration when you get together with an opposite sex partner, what your children might look like, but that’s about all that comes into consideration when you’re in my position- who this man is as a person is of no relevance to me whatsoever (well, ok, a little bit, but all donors have passed a psychological screen, so let’s go ahead and assume they’re not psychopaths. And honestly, even if they are psychopaths, you’re not going to determine that using the profile information you’re given by a sperm bank).
Ok, back to the sperm. There are a million and one banks out there, and they each divulge information about their donors in different ways. Some banks give you the basic information, and make you pay for the good stuff, while others put it all out on the internet for free. Some banks assign numbers to their donors, while others assign them what I can only hope are pseudonymous first names. I’m registered with 4 different banks, spanning both coasts (look, I don’t know either, I just feel like more is better- remember, I HAVE NO CLUE WHAT I AM DOING). We haven’t even made a single sperm purchase yet, and we’ve already shelled out close to $200 just to get a sneak-peek at the information that will allow us to make a semi-informed decision.
For me personally, the single most valuable piece of information I want from the bank is a picture. I can’t really say why a picture influences me more than a squeaky-clean medical profile, one where all his great-grandparents are still alive and he’s never taken a drink in his life and he brings his mom flowers every weekend, but there it is. Obviously, we’re not allowed to see pictures of this man as an adult, but we are, in some cases, allowed to either download or purchase a baby photo. Once I figured this out, I eliminated all profiles and entire donor catalogs that didn’t include this possibility.
I assume it’s the donor himself who supplies the baby picture in question- and let me tell you, some of these guys are not doing themselves any favors. I had picked two donors I really liked based on profile and medical history- and then I purchased their baby photos. It took, via the miracle of the internet, about one minute for the files to become available, but even that span of time was too much for me, as I refreshed the page over and over again, waiting for the “ok to download” button to activate. And then. Well. I didn’t find them cute AT ALL.
I realize this makes me the shallowest of the shallow, but their clean medical histories and interesting personal profiles were immediately of no interest to me, and I went to bed convinced we’d never find a donor I liked, and then I’d have to take one of the unattractive (TO ME- look, I’m sure he’s the handsomest man around in real life, or whatever, but given what I had to work with, I PERSONALLY didn’t find him to be worth getting all hot and bothered) donors, and then we’d have an ugly baby, and I wouldn’t like it and oh my god I am pretty sure you can’t give them back.
I managed to get ahold of myself by morning, and then we ran across a picture of a golden-haired boy with a sweet mop of curls. And just like that, it was done. Our giant, life-altering decision, done with a couple well placed search words and a call to a sperm bank where the person answering the phone referenced the donor by name, as if they were buddies who play basketball together. “Oh, donor JEREMY,” the man on the phone said. “We’ve got plenty of him. You can simply order him on our website. We even have PayPal set up.” [Look, obviously I don’t know his motherfucking name, and that’s not his real one, but this bank catalogs donors by name. Roll with it]. Wait. You mean I can purchase life-altering sperm on the Internet using PayPal? Mind? BLOWN.
I thought for sure such a big decision would involve more hand-wringing and rending of garments, but it appears to have been just that easy. Next up: Fertility clinics. Hot tip to those designing websites for said clinics- if you put, even in the tiniest of tiny print, somewhere, even hidden away on a page that takes 14 clicks to get to, that you offer artificial insemination for “alternative lifestyles” (I’ll even forgive you for that ridiculous turn of phrase), you might spare some lesbians out there the embarrassment of calling your office and having to out themselves to the MOTHERFUCKING RECEPTIONIST.