When you’re a lesbian you think you’ve got it pretty good when it comes to saving money on contraception. But when you decide that you want to get pregnant, all that luxury goes out the window. It’s stressful, complicated and can be bloody expensive.
When my partner and I decided to have a baby we found out there were many ways two ladies could fertilize an egg. Here are just some of options we explored…
The turkey baster
It might seem like a cliché but this simple Thanksgiving instrument has been getting lesbians pregnant since the dawn of time. All we’d have to do is find a good male friend who’s willing to pass on his genes, whip out the turkey baster to insert the goods and Bob’s your uncle (or in this case your baby daddy). Taking matters into our own hands seemed appealing because it meant not using any doctors and we could play out the event on home turf. It also meant I could be more involved in getting my partner pregnant, but we weren’t convinced…
The gay friend
We had a close male gay friend who for many years explored this option with us. We liked the idea because our child would know who his father was. Plus, not only would he have two mums, he’d also have one or two dads, which can be profitable come birthdays. In the end the devil was in the detail. We started talking about things like how we’d share custody, where he’d go to school, when he would get his first haircut and so on. We decided that three people raising a child was just far too many people for us. It’s hard enough deciding on those haircuts between the two of us!
The straight friend
We have a lovely straight guy in our lives who was willing to help out. He’s good looking, smart, kind and doesn’t have any kids of his own. My partner and really liked the idea and began discussing it with him on a serious level one day. Then he dropped the bombshell. He wanted to create this child the natural way. “A threesome,” he grinned. “No one would be left out” he added. Not for us, buddy, but nice try!
I have two brothers so this option was toyed with as it meant I’d have the opportunity to impregnate my partner with sperm that has a similar DNA structure to mine - should my brother be willing. When it comes to passing on your family genes, it’s the closest thing to a traditional pregnancy for two women. But it seemed too messy for us. I thought about family events when the cousins playing in the backyard would actually be half-siblings. Things are already complicated enough, we decided.
This seemed like an attractive option as it allows both of us to be physically involved in a pregnancy. We thought about flipping a coin - one person provides the eggs and the other carries the baby. That way we would both feel highly connected to the experience. And it’s still something we might do in the future. Just not at the same time, that would be nuts.
The old-fashioned way
We drunkenly discussed this one night while talking to a gorgeous man we met at a bar. He was hitting on my partner and I whispered into her ear, “go for it” in the same way I might be the wing-man for a single friend. I figured it would be cheap. Luckily I came to my senses, rather than pushing her into the nearest public toilet. Duping an unsuspecting man isn’t exactly the best explanation we could give to our future child.
The sperm bank
Using an anonymous sperm donor to create a family via IVF was the option we eventually decided on. Mostly because it meant our family unit was just us – two parents and a baby. We found the sperm through an international sperm bank, had it shipped over and my partner went through fertility treatment to fertilize one of her eggs. There was a fair bit of legal paperwork to fill out, a mandatory counseling session and a whole lot of hormone injections, but we now have a beautiful son.