Tuna noodle casserole, my kid sister, & the baby undaddy

Last week I got an email about a sale (frugal alert!) on unlimited access memberships to one of the donor sites at which we’d been looking. Even though originally this type of membership sounded like a waste of money, eventually we decided seeing color, HD photos of our potential donors was too good to pass up. The sale was only valid for the next 10 days so I told Meredith it was time to buckle down and “live like we’re poor,” which is something we practice whenever there is a big purchase on the horizon. And then when we succeed in saving and make our desired purchase I think things like: Why don’t we just live like that all the time? It wasn’t even that hard. I actually LIKE eating beans and rice!  But I digress.

Rocco Douchepirito

In addition to saving money, we’ve also been trying to prepare healthier foods. Last year I bought Meredith this healthy eating cookbook from Rocco Dispirito, and I don’t know what I like about it more: the countless photos of him looking like a total D bag while chopping onions, squeezing lemons, smelling fresh herbs; or, the actual recipes. The best recipe we’ve tried so far is his healthy spin on tuna noodle casserole. I’m from Michigan where a love for casseroles is in our DNA. Like cheese. Or Mackinaw Island Fudge ice cream. I’m not big on taking a deliciously fatty, carb-loaded recipe like tuna noodle casserole and making it healthy. That being said, I’m obsessed with Chef Douchepirito’s recipe. It uses a combination of Greek yogurt and low-fat sour cream instead of any “cream of” soups, and it is yum city. Anyway, we made this healthy, tasty treat for dinner one night early in the week, but it lasted for leftover lunches and dinners for days and days saving us tons of money we would usually spend on multiple meals. And, much like beans and rice, I don’t tire of it even after 3 or 4 days. I’m not saying the tuna noodle casserole is responsible for our our unlimited access membership on the cryobank website. I’m just saying it helped.On Saturday morning, Meredith and I were both awake at 8:30, laptops open and sifting through hundreds of profiles with commentary like “This guy doesn’t look like he really fights fires” or “Ew gross! How is this guy out of sperm supply? He looks like a gay muppet.”

No one promised we were capable of complete and total maturity about this. I mean, let’s be honest: the entire process is completely bizarre. You are literally clicking through profile after profile of men, wondering what their DNA will look like when it’s mixed with your own. I don’t want to get too much into it because I think it warrants its own entry, but let’s just confirm that it’s all a very weird concept. It’s really important to me that this child, while sired by some male fire fighter, or male student, or male film entrepreneur, is still the product of two mothers. We might be hindered by the biology of it, and not being able to combine my DNA with Meredith’s is always going to seem somewhat unfair to me, but them’s the brakes. In the end, the baby will be brought into this world by two mothers, raised by two mothers, loved and supported by two mothers & no fathers. We’re not shopping for a baby daddy but a baby undaddy. I think this is, in part, why we eventually shied away from a known donor. It just gets too complicated.

Good example of me acting maturely.

Shopping for a baby undaddy has been wicked fun so far, though I haven’t had much time to really sit down and sort things out. Since we split our time this holiday season between my family and my in-laws, I wasn’t able to see my two younger sisters at Christmas or Thanksgiving. Dissatisfied with this turn of events, the youngest of the two planned a visit with her boyfriend to our house last weekend.

A visit from my kid sister means two things, mainly: 1) incessant talking from her first step off the plane and 2) geeking out about our mutual love of books and writing. I call her my kid sister even though she’s technically older than, ahem, my wife. But to me, she’ll always be the kid who followed me around like a faithful sidekick; the one who would stay up at night laughing at me while I made shadow puppets on our bedroom wall; the one who I taught the fine art of making a perfect grilled cheese sandwich. She’s my kid sister even if she is studying feminist themes in early American realist prose (or whatever the hell it’s called). I’ll always think of her as a kid even if she is far smarter, more well-read, and more highly educated than I will ever be. On the morning of her last day with us, she brought out a stack of papers to show me. It was lines of poetry written in Old English that she had translated. And then she proceeded to speak in Old English, explaining each line of text. She is kind of the epitome of nerdiness when it comes to reading and writing, which is one reason we’ve always gotten along. I can really only recall one specific time in our lives where we fought, and that involved my toothbrush, a stick of deodorant and a very angry little sister. I don’t remember what the fight was about, but I’m sure it was my fault. We’ve since put that all behind us and remain thick as thieves.

Thick as thieves.

As the search for our baby undaddy narrows, it feels good to have had my sister there with us from the start. The decision can feel so strange and insurmountable. When I first caught the gay, I didn’t tell my family for a long time. Like the decision to start a family, it was a similarly huge, life-changing transition that often felt impossible. And I didn’t have my sisters around for much of it, so it feels comforting to have that support from the very beginning this time around.


  1. Let you tell me a-somethin’ about your family.

  2. A. it’s Trans-Atlantic Romanticism or 20th century post-colonial British Magic Realism. just saying….
    B. While some of the reasons for being super involved from the begining may be selfish (aka i expect to be favorite aunt/family member) I couldn’t imagine Not wanting to know everything about future baby since it will be the greatest baby ever. I could not be more excited for the two of you, and can’t wait to read said future baby OE poetry. Most smartest baby.
    C. There really is no C, it just always feels like there needs to be one.

  3. Good luck on your baby undaddy search! We bought into the whole unlimited access deal too and it was totally worth it – I’m pretty sure my wife listened to thousands of audio interviews late at night in bed while I tried to sleep – until one of them said his celebrity lookalike was Tom Brady that she yelped, poked me, and made me check out his baby photo at 11pm. While we didn’t go with Tom brady, we are super excited about our choice, but man is it weird to choose sperm!

    Enjoy your process!

    1. Choosing sperm = weird. Choosing Tom Brady sperm = brilliant. Why didn’t I think of that …

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