Two other things happened that actually do hold some significance for me. Meredith and I celebrated our 1 year wedding anniversary with pink Prosecco bubbles and new iPhones. And I and watched this video for the first time, which has gone viral through over 1,000,000 shares on facebook since Wednesday. The boy in the video, Zach Wahls, speaks with some of the most strongly-worded support for lesbian parenting I’ve ever heard:
As someone who embarked on the journey towards lesbian motherhood nearly 8 months ago and is rapidly approaching the reality of insemination and pregnancy, I can’t imagine a better testament on the capability and success of gay and lesbian parenting. The video was originally posted back in February, and since then the amendment he references has failed to pass, keeping Iowa within the pack of 6 states that have legalized gay marriage. Yay for lesbian moms. Yay for cornfields. Yay for Zach.
I don’t have a good excuse for my hiatus in blogging so I won’t try to make one up on the spot, but I will comment on what’s happened in the life of one particular lesbian over the past 7 weeks. And I mean me, not Darlene Conner. Although, she seems to be doing pretty Superfly as well.
October was not the month for blogging (apparently). Partly because being busy at work drains my mental capacity to the point that all I want when I get home is a gin cocktail and mindless television from the DVR. Also partly because we booked some weekend trips. And also, just in case I thought I might squeeze out a post on the very last weekend of the month, a Nor’easter decided to crap all over New England for Halloween. The media geniuses and weather forecasters coined the storm “Snotober.” But if they were being more clever, it would have been called something like “Snocktober” since the only thing to do when you lose power for 3-5 days is get snockered by candlelight and try to remember what the soothing hum of television used to sound like.
The snowstorm also made for a rather bleak autumnal season. People actually drive to these parts just for the foliage and must have been disappointed when instead of vibrant reds, yellows and oranges, our trees this year just turned out looking bronze and monochromatic. But the weather and the disappointed “leaf peeping” tourists have had no negative affects on lesbian baby making. In fact, we are now in what I would call the final stages of baby preparation and moving into the next stages of baby makin’. *Gulp*.
Of course if you’ve been following the blog (all 7 of you), you know I love to sing the praises of Fenway Health in Boston where Meredith and I were first introduced to the term “Alternative Insemination” and the program Fenway has built around it. On Tuesday, Meredith and I returned to the offices at Fenway for our final consultation prior to insemination. The staff was great, full of information and naturally supportive. But also, shit got real. And a wave of panic hit me when we started talking about scheduling appointments, choosing an OB and hospital, and shipping sperm.
Basically the next steps look like this:
1. Choose a donor
2. Place an order with the sperm bank
3. Ship the goo to Boston
4. Practice relaxation techniques (more on this later)
Take a shot of tequila
Of course step number 1 – factoring in how easily Meredith and I tend to reach consensus on decisions like kitchen back splash tiles, dog names, or family cars – is slated to take anywhere from 1 month to 17 years. But once we’ve crossed off step 1, the rest of the process has the potential to happen very quickly. Double *gulp*.
I can’t help thinking sometimes how silly it all seems going to the trouble of enrolling in a program to help us conceive and consulting medical professionals on things like basal temperature charts. In reality I could just skip steps 1 through 5 and go right to 6 & 7 like oh so many unplanned pregnancies spawned from heterosexual drunken hook-ups.
One of the biggest reasons we decided to enroll in the Fenway program was for the donor profiles. Every cryobank has its website complete with search engines, filters for donor criteria, and the option to pay for a subscription to access donor’s long profiles. After a quick 45-second registration with the California Cryobank, you are granted access to the entire donor library with three different options for browsing:
For no charge ($0): Level 1 includes a short donor essay; family medical history; cryobank staff impressions
For a little charge ($145): Level 2 includes everything from Level 1 plus an extended get-to-know your donor expanded profile & childhood photos
For a little larger charge ($250): Level 3 includes everything from the first two levels plus facial features, donor conversations and Keirsey Reports
The catch is that each paid subscription lasts only 90 days. And these types of fees exist within each bank’s website. Where one single vial of donor goo can cost between $400 and $600, plus the cost of having it shipped, we couldn’t justify also paying for Level 3 type access to all of the donor catalogues. Which is the beauty of the Fenway program. With the cost of a one-time registration fee we are granted access to all the long profiles for donors from 4 different banks. My frugal roots know how to spot a bargain, even when it comes to sperm.