Unconventional Conception

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**NOTE: This post is currently public. However, if it starts getting weird search results, I may password protect, mainly because it’s about sex. It’s about the details of our conception, thoughts about it, and the overall explanation of how, when, and why we had our daughter this way.**

Let’s start this by reading the associated page Path To Punky.

Now that we got that out of the way. When you read that page, you get the sense that something isn’t right. You get to the part where we “tried the natural way” for a week.

Wait … Stop. Hold on? How did you make your kid?

That’s the question I get the most frequently when I talk about our conception story and the start of our journey to mothershood.

Yes. We have a known donor. Yes. I had sex with our known donor. Yes. It was completely agreed upon between Kim and I. Yes. It was tough emotionally. Yes. Absolutely, it was tough physically. Yes. My friends and family tried to talk us out of it. To this day, I will never forget the day my best friend and Punky’s now godmother said “I will buy you the turkey baster!!”

No. We wouldn’t have done it any other way. But, No. We wouldn’t do it again.

So, let me start by both stating and apologizing up front. I’m the damn unicorn everyone always talks about. That rare, strange phenomenon that is the “Lesbian Who Got Pregnant on the First Try”.

However, I don’t feel like I would have reached this status if we hadn’t conceived the way we had. It’s known that fresh sperm is the most viable option. Fresh sperm from the source, while I don’t care to say it, is logically the way anatomy is made to create babies.

It doesn’t mean we have to make babies that way, it just seemed natural to us, when family planning that it would be easiest and cheapest to get down to business – literally – and hope for the best.

You see, we are the typical “Living Paycheck to Paycheck” kind of gals. We don’t have savings. If we start to save money, we start to drown in our own debt. I’m the kind of person who gets a bill in the mail and doesn’t open it. If I don’t open it, it doesn’t exist. You can imagine how well that’s turning out for me and my credit score.

This means, that we wanted to have a baby. We wanted to be mothers with all our hearts and yet – how do you make a baby with no money as a lesbian couple? We learned very early on it was going to be incredibly difficult.

At the time when we first started thinking of adding a baby to our family – Kim and I had been together for 8 years. We were in a committed, loving, somewhat rocky relationship. We had just learned that Kim was BiPolar with some PTSD and were working through some pretty heavy issues.

I won’t lie – in the beginning, I started to wonder if maybe having a baby was our way of fixing our relationship or our current path we were on. I know – having a baby doesn’t fix things. Usually.

In our case, I’d say having a baby has made us stronger as a couple and having this baby the way we did has proven to us we can make it through any storm and come out together, stronger than ever.

Admittedly, our path to mothershood is definitely not the way that traditional self-identified lesbians would have gone. Especially not two women who have been in a relationship with each other for many years.

Some things you may or may not know about us. Kim is the first woman I have ever had a relationship with. She’s also the first of the two women I have ever slept with in my life. I have had more male partners in my life than female. And … while I identify as a lesbian, I don’t know that I would be able to be with another woman, should this relationship ever not work out.

Does it make it easier or harder to conceive a child with a woman while having sex with your donor, just because you have had male partners?

When you are in a relationship with someone, regardless of the gender, it is hard to have this conversation. We always looked at the conception of our child as a cheap and easy way to get our dreams into reality. A sacrifice we were willing to make for our soon-to-be child.

Who is this method harder on? Me or Kim?

Good question. I can’t really speak for Kim, perhaps someday I can get her to write her own thoughts and feelings on the matter. But for me, it was draining. I hadn’t had a male partner in at least 10 years. We didn’t know the donor until we met him the day he came to stay with us. In essence, I was having sex with a stranger. To have a baby.

Believe me. I know how incredibly weird it sounds.

We had sex morning and night for seven whole days. We hosted our donor in our home for seven whole days. A man we had just met. I went to work and left Kim with the man who was helping us make a baby while she was in another room. Awkward? You bet.

We had looked online at the sperm banks. We fancied ourselves the Ellen and Sharon Stone of “If These Walls Could Talk 2” and envisioned our driving home with the cryobank container strapped into a carseat in the back of the car. We had those thoughts, although, maybe it was just me. I completely imagined myself being inseminated in a clinic and riding home upside down with my feet outside our imaginary sunroof. (What a toll that would take on my car phobia!)

When we did the math, when we did the figures, we really just came to the conclusion that the method was not in the cards for us. In fact, at the time, we gave up the idea of having a child at all. It wasn’t going to happen for us. There was no way we could ever save that kind of money and for what? A ‘maybe?’

It felt like a waste of money to us. That statement isn’t to offend you ladies who are doing it this way, we just didn’t have the patience for saving and possibly losing the battle before we really got started.

With that being said, if we hadn’t gotten pregnant the first time, we likely wouldn’t have done it again. So, I suppose in essence, we were still risking a lot, for a maybe. But for some reason – in our financial situation, the idea of risking our emotional relationship or our home and comforts were weighed differently than the typical lesbian couple trying to conceive.

But, your donor now has parental rights. Surely you have a contract or something?!

The way we conceived, doesn’t come without its own set of challenges.

Another unconventional piece to our family dynamics. Our donor has always offered to sign something, to give up his parental rights. I have called a family practice lawyer to get the details.

It all comes down to money. Seriously. When you are desperate to have a child and you want to be a mother that badly, you do things that aren’t really a sure thing to make it happen.

You would think that signing away your parental rights and making that donor agreement would be as simple as a piece of paper and a pen. It’s not. There are court costs, lawyer fees, paperwork drafting fees, traveling on his side. Add in the second parent adoption in the state of Missouri, and you get extra court fees, lawyer fees, wishy washy judges, no guarantees, and more paperwork fees.

In the end, it didn’t make sense for us financially to go through the motions of terminating his parental rights and moving on with second parent adoption. It, however, doesn’t make him Punky’s father, and it doesn’t make Kim any less of her mother.

Our donor has met Punky once. When she was three months old. He texts me and messages me on Facebook periodically to see how we are doing. Asking about “your daughter”. It’s never his daughter or our daughter. It’s YOUR daughter. And he doesn’t just ask about Punky, he wishes us Happy Mothers’ Day and he sends us messages on all the major holidays.

He has also made it clear that he wants no parental role in her life and after two years, I think we can safely assume, that isn’t going to change anytime soon.

I was worried about posting pictures of her on Facebook – I was worried about his emotional pull towards a child that was biologically created by him. I was worried that having that connection, even through pictures and watching her grow up – even if online, would change his heart and change the rules.

So far, that hasn’t happened and if that happens, Kim insists that it will never happen, we will go down that road when we get there. I know our family and friends – generally hold their breath, waiting for a custody battle to break out. For it to get nasty and overly dramatic and yet, all is quiet in the parental rights, roles, and responsibility department.

I suppose, that’s another reason to call me a unicorn.

So we conceived our daughter in a manner of which, we generally treat like ‘adoption’. We know who her donor is and he has said he would be happy to have a relationship with her at the time of which she asks and if she wants one. For now, he’s Uncle M and he’s the greatest man we have ever met. We are eternally grateful for the daughter he helped us create.

Regardless of the method.

Have questions that I didn’t answer? Still curious?

I’m an open book. Ask me and I will do my best to respond.

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7 thoughts on “Unconventional Conception

  1. Pingback: Think Before You Speak – Questions That Erk Me | Religion: Optional

  2. Just getting caught up on some of your older posts and (obviously) this one stood out. It rang true to a conversation I was having the other evening with another mom friend, about how much having a kid changes us. One of the biggest things was that there was no longer the option to regret anything that came before The Bug was conceived/born. If one second of our lives have been different, she wouldn’t be here. Or at least, she wouldn’t be who she is. I can only imagine the difficulties/feelings that would come with conceiving conventionally, but in the end, your wonderful little child is here, and that’s the key.
    On a side note, I’m sorry to hear that you have so many hoops to jump through to deal with parental rights (although it sounds like it’s not an issue). Here in Oregon we were able to get a donor contract written and notarized for about $300, and since we’re legally married (and the state recognizes it) we’re both on the birth certificate and are considered the legal parents. It really should be that easy. So frustrating that it’s not true in all states.

    • We just got legally married in Missouri a month ago, though we are waiting on the appeal that is inevitable. Of course, it will be awesome when it is for real really real! So far, right now, Punky’s birth certificate just has my name on it, I am not sure how we go about changing it, luckily we haven’t had any issues with that yet, which is pretty much while I procrastinate figuring it out.

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