Infertility, Real and Imagined

June 30, 2010

Wifebian has had three periods in three weeks. The third prompted her to go to the doctor and then the gynecologist. So far, all we have figured out is that she has a vitamin D deficiency.

The third period has now shifted from its usual, brown clottiness to a nice, bright red. I think the red looks healthful and she is scared by it.  She is a stupor-ish funk. Lacking energy with a metallic taste in her mouth, weepy and thinking about all the things she could be dying from and the babies she was never going to have anyway, but still.

She has known since the time she met me that she has PCOS — the first hint at a non-reproductive future, but who cares about that when you’re 26? Over the four years of knowing me, her gender identity has shifted and settled into a decidedly more masculine tilt and while the cute jean skirts and under-wire bras are no more, the basic human inclination to fantasize about making her own small, chubby people persisted. She found out last month that her mom went into menopause at 41. Could that be what’s going on?

So, it’s one thing to find out at 26 that you might not be able to get pregnant. It’s another thing to be most at home in the lesbian gender that’s not supposed to want to bear the babies, yet another to cede all fertility time and money to your older, more feminine partner. And another thing to find out that you might be just ten years from menopause. But now, having her third period in three weeks is a new way to reckon with her own childlessness . “No, really, you really probably wont be making any babies.”

And, in comforting her, I think about me, too. My hormones and insides are fine, I want and am “supposed” to want to have a baby, my family’s reproductive history is unknown to me, but hey, with hips like these, who cares? Me, since I’m still not pregnant yet. Last week, Wifebian said that if two IUIs with a new donor from a new bank dont get me pregnant by February of 2011, then that’s it, we will be out of money and patience. Unable to try again financially until 2012 at the ripe old age of 34. And she doesnt want to do IVF.

Of course, we might be able to radically alter our financial situation, or she might change her mind, or I might get pregnant, because let’s be honest, my failure to get pregnant so far is all everyone else’s fault, or we might find a willing, free known donor, or whatever! Or maybe she has no right to make unilateral decision-statement at dinner and I told her as much, good nature in tact.

But I did have my first opportunity to look at a calendar and say, “In March of 2011, I may officially be barren.”

I mean, every woman who “starts trying” has to endure at least 5 seconds of imagining she is never going to have children, so this is not unique to lesbians or even lesbians with three periods in three weeks, but it seems that, on average, we might have to spend more months than most bears coming to terms with our imaginary infertility.

Or not. Imaginary.

And then there’s my mom. The one who raised me. The adoptee who had no biological children of her own. At some point, she went through a phase. My father had had a vasectomy, but she wanted a baby. She whined about wanting a baby. I dont remember if she did it in front of me or if I just heard it through the walls. Needless to say, she didnt have one. There was no real trying that I know of. I’ve always thought of her childlessness as further evidence of her strange, hard heart. But, now, I’m recognizing the fantastically brave aspect of it, too.

In the meantime, it’s cycle day 10 of try # 6, the try that wouldnt die. We have the money for a nitrogen tank and an IUI. Wifebian will be at the insemination come hell or high water. And the sperm will be free.

It is good.

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4 Responses to “Infertility, Real and Imagined”

  1. Wifebian said

    To clarify, I said, “I don’t want to do IVF. If it gets to that point, I want to work on my dream of foster-care to adopt.” We can do as many IUIs as you want.

  2. Meg said

    It’s starting to make me really angry how much you guys have to spend on this. Not angry if you were paying for infertility treatments, say, becuase those are just expensive. But for this? It’s bullsh*t, if I do say so myself. Where the EFF is the non-profit sperm bank for lesbains, where people like us can choose to donate (in really safe, regulated, everyone signed a contract and knows the deal, ways). HOW DOES THIS NOT EXSIST ALREADY? HOW?

    And to wifeban, from the ranks of the period weird – I can at least tell you that you’re A) depressed and B) tired and C) metalic taste are all a result of hormones and blood loss. So, if you’re not already doing it: iron, and red meat (if you can). Seriously. It will be night and day. Hang in there….

  3. Suz said

    Hang in there ladies! June was our lucky month and I have confidence that July will be yours! Try to stay positive and know that your time is coming! Best of luck this cycle – my wife and I are pulling for you!! 🙂

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