I Am Not A Mother

I just finished watching the film Delivery Man, which my partner found as he was searching for stories about egg donors. The film is about a sperm donor, which was the closest he could find (if anyone knows of films about egg donor stories please forward!) The movie is about your average Joe who years ago, struggling to pay the bills, becomes a sperm donor some odd 600 times. Fast forward fifteen years or so and there are 100 and something kids that want to meet him, and join forces to take him to court to discover his identity. The sperm donor is afraid but also curious and gets to know some of them without revealing who he is. The whole time he is starting a family with his girlfriend and dealing with that.

At one point he gets discovered by one of the kids who gets insulted when the main character chooses to spend an evening with his pregnant girlfriend, referred to as his “real family” instead of the kid. The kid gets angry and insists that him and his many, many biological siblings are also the main character’s real family. This sets the tone for the rest of the film and at the end he embraces his role as father to all these “lost souls” who are psychologically damaged from never knowing their father. The whole time I am wondering…where are these kids’ parents? Not a single one of them makes an appearance or even is referred to. It’s as if donor children are wandering orphans.

I had my psychological analysis yesterday; a required part of the process to assess my mental stability in making the decision to donate. The therapist asked me if I wanted to stay in touch with the family or be a part of the child’s life. Honestly, I’d be curious to see pictures or even meet the kid when they are older, but only as far as the parents are comfortable with. I don’t feel in any way that I have the right to be a part of their life or that I am in any way their mother. That’s what really bothered me about the film. Biology was seen as synonymous with family; and that’s simply not the case. I plan to adopt when the time is right for me, and due to some complications with her soon to be husband, my sister whose wedding is today also plans on adoption. I would be flat out furious if (and sadly, probably when) someone implies that I am not my child’s real parent. 

I have had a few family members and friends who implied the same thing, saying things such as “I could never give up my child like that” and “How do you feel knowing that you will have a son or daughter out there that you many never meet?” and oddly “how will your mother feel about what you are doing with her grandchildren? I don’t know how I’d feel if my daughter donated.” Well, my mother actually is still on the list of people I haven’t told yet. I’ll let you all know as soon as I find out what she thinks of her “grandchildren” being raised by strangers. -rolls eyes-

 

Haha YESSSS, super lesbian powers!! —–>

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Boxes

Can we pause from the egg donation topic for a moment to discuss something that has been affecting my personal life in a very big way?

If you had asked me last week where I fell on the Kinsey scale, I would have told you I was probably a 5 1/2 or 6, meaning mostly gay but a little bit straight. My main partner is a male but besides my celebrity crush Heath Ledger, he’s the only male I can think of who’s body has really turned me on. Women, on the other hand, turn me on on the regular. But lately, I’ve been thinking of throwing out the scale altogether. I have 2 major reasons for doing so:

1#. It’s a Fraud

People refer to it as a scale but treat it like a choice between 2 extremes. Unless you are, or live like you are 100% stereotypically straight or 100% stereotypically gay, society will punish you. Upon coming out I quickly learned that bisexual is probably the worst identity you could attach yourself to in the LGBTQ community (unless you are looking to be a couple’s unicorn experience) so I was socially punished in my new community for being with a man, while being socially punished in the straight community for liking women. A bunch of negative terms applied to me for not being one or the other include fake, untrustworthy, straight (prove you’re not!), confused, in denial, selfish, unstable, heathen, pagan, adulteress, worst kind of sinner in the world, hated by God, whore and slut, among others. I have a lot of lesbian friends and was recently invited into a group chat that encompassed some of my friends and their friends and had no specified topic, mostly the girls would check in and let others in the group know what they were up to such as, hey I’m at such and such bar come join me, or I had an awful date last night, I need a beer, anyone wanna go to the river with me? Etc. Last night I was removed involuntarily from the group for mentioning a sexcapade with my man. Let me defend myself by saying that the group spoke openly about sexual things and had not specified a rule that being attracted to men wasn’t allowed to be mentioned on the chat.

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What followed as I can gather from my best friend Lindsay, was a fight among the girls and Lindsay removing herself from the chat and calling Sticks an intolerant bigot. I don’t know Sticks very well but I do know that most (to be fair, not all) of my lesbian friends have secretly confided to me that they too have had the occasional attraction to men. Shhhh! Meanwhile the majority of my straight friends downplay any sexual relationships they’ve had with other women as frivolous and meaningless. Everyone must, I repeat, must, fit into a box of totally gay or totally straight. If you don’t, please, please leave. You’re making everyone feel uncomfortable.

This happens in a group that when it is excluded and oppressed for one reason or another from the rest of society, that they try to create a spirit of acceptance but end up with an “us” against “them” mentality. I see this happen in the feminist movement as well—feminism has become so focused on freedom for women that it is now lopsided against freedom for men as well. Thanks to feminism women may now wear pants, but for a man to wear a skirt it is still incredibly taboo, for example.

#2. It’s 2 Dimensional

Even if you can get behind the fact that not everyone is a theoretical 1 or 7 and there are 2,3,4,5 and 6 people in the world, that still doesn’t account for everyone. The scale operates on the assumption that you are a cisgender male or female and that your attraction to others is based on sex. What about asexuals? What about people who are sexually most often attracted to one gender but only form romantic attractions for the other gender? What about intersex people and transgender people and genderqueer people? The scale ignores all of that. It also assumes that there is a difference between men and women without specifying what that difference is. For example a transgender who has not gone through reassignment surgery I still consider fully to the be gender they identify as, even if their genitals are traditionally opposite. So we find that the dichotomy of masculinity and femininity is a creation of separation we make in our own minds. Gender is nothing more than a color we choose to paint ourselves in to convey a message of identity to the world around us.

The less I try to fit myself into a box and allow myself to experience attraction to whom I am attracted to (people for people) the more I find myself gender fluid. I had a dream two nights ago that I was making out with my partner in a very heated and erotic way, and could not for the life of me figure out if they were a man or a woman. Even touching his penis I was unsure, but nonetheless I was incredibly aroused. In that dream I was gender blind, but still experienced intense attraction and the only conflict in the dream was the conflict of trying to fit the experience into a box.

I have recently been dressing more “masculine” or androgynous and have loved it, but I also love my girly dresses and heels, and for awhile have been debating whether I’d go the “dike” route or the “femm” route. I now see that I want to go the “me” route. I am officially rebelling against boxes.

Goodbye, Kinsey scale, it’s taken me this long to realize I don’t need you. It’s been real.

Flying to Southern California

So the other day I had my first appointment at the fertility clinic in Thousand Oaks, CA. It was quite the ordeal, waking up at 4 am to go to the airport after staying awake till 2 am with my roommate, arriving in Burbanks and trying to find my rental car, driving an hour and a half in LA traffic to the clinic from there and barely making my appointment on time, spending three hours there during which the nurses stuck needles three times into my veins to draw many many vials of blood, I had my first ultrasound, found out I am ovulating (called that shit!), filled out 3 questionnaires stating I had no STDs, sat through 2 counseling sessions and talked to a very nice and highly experienced doctor, peed in a cup, was given birth control pills to stop my period so I could sync up my cycle with the surrogate, and booked it out of there to return my rental car within seconds of it’s rented time, and hurried back to the airport and flew home. Considering when I start taking hormones I will have to be going in to the doctor every other day or so, my plans to take my old job back this summer might have to be postponed, so I’m pretty glad after all that I’m getting compensated for all of this. Both my roommate and the woman I’ve been seeing since February offered to go with me for the final surgery, but seeing as it is all up to my body’s mildly unpredictable schedule of growing eggs, I’m not sure I’ll be able to give them enough notice to take the time off to go with me, which is also why I probably won’t be able to be working during those few weeks. All in all it was a hectic day and one that could have gone wrong at any turn, but I felt in good hands with the medical staff there and excited about what I was doing. 

 

5 Things I Never Expected From an IUD Removal Surgery

This morning I had an appointment to get Implanon, an IUD I’ve had in my arm for the last 2 1/2 years, removed so that I could prepare my body for ovulation. I recently got my Med-Cal card in the mail (thank you, Obama!) and have insurance for the first time since I was 20, so decided for the surgery to go back to a local nonprofit clinic that has helped me out in the past. I expected a regular doctor appointment (long waiting periods, matter of fact doctors) but Cares Clinic (www.carescommunityhealth.org) had me laughing the whole way. I never expected:

1. A Doctor Who Thought Slicing My Arm Open Was “So Much Fun!”

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I returned to this doctor because on my previous visit she had asked me about my Implant and offered to remove it when the time came. What I didn’t know was this was one of her favorite things to do, and she had that giddy excited air about her the whole time, the way girls get when they ask if they can pet someone’s shaved head and are granted permission. I think she referred to the surgery as “exciting” and “fun” probably 5 or 6 different times. She let me watch the whole procedure, invited in 2 staff members to show them how it’s done, and afterward gave me a high five and offered for me to keep the IUD as a souvenir! Some people just…have the right jobs.

2. A Pregnancy Scare

Fortunately I haven’t had unprotected sex for a few days, because what I didn’t learn till I was sitting in the doctor’s operating room, is that it takes up to 5 days for sperm to leave the body, and approximately 5 days for the birth control hormones to leave the body, so if I’d had sex in the last 24 hours or so I could end up getting pregnant. I had a panic moment because I couldn’t remember exactly when I’d last had sex for a minute. WARNING to those getting an IUD removed: don’t have sex 48 hours before the surgery!!

3. A Nurse Who Asked Me to Have His Babies

My excitable doctor mentioned to her cute assistant in training that I was an egg donor and his whole face just lit up. “You’re an egg donor?” a giant smile spreading across his face, “I’m gay, will  you have my babies for me and my partner?” He even pulled out the boo-boo lip. I laughed and told him he could have my eggs but I wasn’t carrying it. “Well then what am I supposed to do with the eggs?” He said, “Put them in a surrogate!” I said. At this point the doctor steered the conversation in a different direction, right as I was about to ask for his number and give him my eggs free, no compensation needed. Yup. I definitely am already thinking of my second egg donation through an LGBTQ agency. Ok, ok, I know, one step at a time!

4. Copious Amounts of Lube

On the way out they practically threw free condoms and lube tubes at me. I brought home a goody bag of lube for my partner in mint, banana, and watermelon flavors. The condoms are too small, but the lube might be fun: now I can make a solid comparison between water based lubricants and silicon ones. LMFAO Hash tag nowpenis’canlookANDtastelikebananas?

5. A Hug From a Volunteer

I rode the elevator to the wrong floor on accident, and a sweet older man who just started volunteering on the STD testing floor helped me find my way. He was so excited to help someone and told me all about his soon-to-be husband in Georgia, how he grew up in Texas, and how they are so excited to get married and grow a tomato garden so they can have homemade fried green tomatoes. I’ve been considering changing my name for awhile, and he is the first person I’ve met that had the name I am considering. I wouldn’t mind a common association with that. It’s amazing how big a difference the kindness of a stranger can do to suddenly change how you are feeling about yourself and the world around you.

 

There is much much much talk about the “gay gene” out there, with studies so far leaving an indication, but no conclusive evidence of, sexual orientation being hereditary. It’s undoubted that being gay runs in families, but families also spend a lot of time around each other and shaping each other, so the nature vs. nurture debate lives on. Being a queer myself I recently began to worry, what if I pass along the gay gene to this family and they disown him or her because of it? What if they became another statistic of a gay teen suicide? I would hate for that child to endure the same shame, confusion, rejection and alienation that has so strongly affected me and so many people I love, and to think it might be my partly my fault?

It makes me want to talk with the IP’s again and ask them their views on the issue, but there is also a part of me that thinks this isn’t any of my business or responsibility how they raise their child. Opinions appreciated below, but I did some research and unsurprisingly a ton of egg donors have been rejected by agencies and families due to fear of the “gay gene,” and many Intended Parents have been rejected from agencies and doctors as well due to their sexual orientation. So much so, in fact, that they now have agencies specifically for rainbow families. Here are a couple that popped up first: http://www.alternativeconceptions.com/LGBT_community_right_to_produce_children and http://giftedjourneys.com/recipients/gay-lesbian-egg-donation

So, if ever donate again, I would probably go through an agency like the ones above.

LGBTQ Egg Donors Discriminated Against

“Probably one of the most private things in the world is an egg until it is broken.” -MFK Fisher

If I don’t offend someone in writing this blog I will be very disappointed.

I’m a queer, polyamorous hippie, a witch, an environmentalist, a vegan, a nanny, and a Nutrition major. Just when I thought I couldn’t become anymore of a social taboo, I suddenly find myself being thrown into the hush hush experience of egg donation. In writing this blog I hope to help a parent, child, or egg donor out there in some convoluted way, who would like to feel they are not alone in the whole making-a-baby-with-someone-else’s-eggs process.

What’s my role? I’m the egg donor. I’m at the beginning of this journey, and I intend to keep you all informed at each step. Straight up, this is how it is for me: I’m a strong believer in the power of nurture, and the ethics of making the world a better place…not a more crowded place. Every time someone I know has a baby I have to bite my tongue so I don’t spew out how I really feel about them creating another mouth to feed just cause they want one that looks like them or some narcissistic bullshit, when I drive by the Sacramento Children’s Home every day on my way home from work. I know, that makes me no fun at baby showers, doesn’t it?

I intend to adopt and never use my own eggs. I could, however, use the bribe money dished out for those willing to give up their unused eggs. I am not yet certified as a Dietitian and I have a weakness for..well, having bills to pay and still wanting to go on road trips, buy strange foods and live life as weirdly and adventurously as possible. Thus to support the habit of being me I could use some of the green stuff (money, not weed. Although…)

So it was about the money, until 4 days ago when the agency I had enrolled with set me up for a Skype interview with the IPs (Intended Parents) interested in my profile. I was surprised because usually donations are anonymous. It was brief, awkward, and shockingly emotional. I met a funny, outgoing mom with 2 adopted children already and a big heart for family, and her new husband, who was in the process of adopting her two munchkins and wanted to have one of his own with her. She was sterile, though, so this seemed the only way. The couple had chosen me because I had dark hair and green eyes just like the father.

Although this wasn’t said outright, it seemed clear to me that the father was the driving force behind this decision–HE wanted a child, his own, through his own genetic line. I’ve seen the “longing for a baby” look in plenty of women’s eyes. Rarely (ever?) in a man’s. This child, I had no doubt, would be the light of his life. Sucker. Ha ha just kidding because it totally grabbed my heart and ripped it right out. This balding, rich, 40-something year old doe-eyed man who barely spoke a word, was suddenly making me want to cry for clearly being the hero and allowing him to fulfill his dreams.

This…changes everything, and I have yet to figure out why. I spent the next couple days thinking about family genes and getting emotional about the whole situation. I felt I’d been hit out of nowhere with this deeply meaningful task that my life would not be complete without. I feel as though I’ve been kicked into some gear I’ve never felt before as I prepare to pass along my genes and grant a family parenthood. I blame two forces:
The first, millions of years of evolution and survival of those with a high drive to reproduce. It’s tricking me against all reason, as it has done for millions of others. I should have been prepared for this.
The second, my own father, who holds a special place in my heart and is my closest family member. There were years of my childhood where I felt my father didn’t know who I was or take the time to get to know who I was, and I didn’t know who he was; years where he was too busy and I felt that my mother was the only one who really cared. I’ve been a nanny for over 10 years and I see plenty of men roped hesitantly and halfheartedly into fatherhood. I have friends who have only met their dads a handful of times. Today things are different and I consider my dad to be an absolutely amazing parent–I brag about my father every chance I get and I know that his kids are the focus of his time, energy, and life. I’m amazed at how much I’m like my dad in ways I was never exposed to as a kid. I’ve done a lot of thinking lately about how much genes plays a role in things like that. Regardless, a dedicated and loving father -child relationship is the kind of family I could feel good about contributing to.

I have a strong feeling this is one experience that is going to challenge and change me, and if there’s one thing I’m addicted to, it’s fighting mentally through my experiences and watching myself change. Hold on tight!