The tyranny of the ‘should’: Should I have a baby as an LGBTQ woman?
There is an element of fear when it comes to being a part of the LGBTQ community.
As a young woman, I always wanted a family.
When I joined the USAF in 2000, this went from a ‘want’ to a ‘should.’ Unfortunately, this was during the time of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
Meeting someone in an environment almost dominated by men didn’t make this easier.
I lived in fear and seclusion for a long time (5 years) before I finally met my wife (then partner).
Being alone and pretending for so long wasn’t the easiest feat to accomplish but I took it one day and one situation at a time. I learned to remove myself from many social activities. (It came fairly easy as I am an introverted woman.)
Great thing, my partner was on the same path as well. We both wanted a family, and by this time, my service was up but hers was not.
What do we do?
How do we start?
Should we even begin this knowing the adversity we will face, especially as military women?
The majority of these ‘shoulds’ are imposed by either our environment or ourselves.
A few of these “shoulds” include “should I have a baby knowing:
- everyone will ask who the father is;
- if the baby is a boy, he will grow up without a male figure in his life; and
- the animosity that will be encountered when other children find out there are 2 moms.”
Is this really fair for the child to be brought into this world knowing all these negative things could happen?
There were too many thoughts of fear, but as the saying goes: “please don’t “should” on yourself.”
How did we start?
We made a decision, and never looked back.
My IUI journey.
You can read the full process for my journey from beginning to birth here: https://www.rockthebabybump.com/intrauterine-insemination/
I will give you a brief overview of what I went through personally as a 38 year old woman.
The fertility hospital.
To begin, I went through a myriad of consults with my doctor at IVF. She was so great! Understood every facet of what I was going through and helped with the insurance as well.
She basically was interviewing me to see if I was mentally ready for what I was about to do. Not only mentally but physically as well.
The point of all the tests was to make sure that my body (the foundation) was sound and healthy.
I had the normal pee test, blood tests, pap, internal ultrasound, cell DNA test etc.
Fortunately, I passed all tests with flying colors.
After my initial testing, I was given the information on the tools to monitor my peak ovulating days. I bought and learned how to use the Clearblue fertility monitor.
This was the biggest, most frustrating, learning curve to get over. I needed to read and re-read the directions on that device multiple times before attempting to use it. It took me 3 months to get my ovulating peak days down.
The drill was, once I was at my peak day (for me it was day 12) I was to call my IVF doctor and let her know. From there, I was to go in and proceed with the insemination.
The process itself, literally took about 20 seconds. She simply said, “I’m in the uterus and now I am injected the half milliliter of sperm.” That’s it. Done.
Yet, I had the worst feeling because to me, that was too simple! I felt nothing and just had so many worries that this was not going to work out.
Could this be that simple? I asked my doctor this and she replied, yes and this is going to work!
I was a mess up until the call. For weeks I was in a state of worry.
I told no one and talked to no one about it.
Within the first week, though, I started to cramp whenever I picked up something heavy… like my daughter, who at the time, was just about a year old. (my partners IUI was successful and we had been blessed with a baby girl.)
While I was taking care of her, I would cramp. It felt like I was pulling a muscle in my uterus!
That was a major reason why I thought this did had not worked. It turns out, that was what’s called, conception.
A few weeks later I got the call with a big congrats that I will be having a baby girl too!
What a wonderful journey we were able to go through. We both have 2 baby girls under 2 at the moment and love every minute!