Finding Baby Daddy

Friday July 11, 2014

When it comes to picking a donor, Jamie and I have a simple philosophy – find the male version of her. Somewhere out there, a guy that has Jamie’s sweet demeanor, Irish heritage, and love of sports decided to go through the long process of becoming a sperm donor – and we need to find him.

We signed up for an account on California Cryo and found out that you can basically look through a catalog of men! We also found out how serious the process of being a sperm donor really is. It’s not like the typical notion about a dude needing money for beer so he spent a few minutes looking at dirty magazines and now he’s going to father a bunch of kids. In fact, it appears to be harder to donate sperm than it is to get into an Ivy League school. The California Crybank website states, “Potential sperm donors must first meet our basic requirements before they are even considered for our qualification process. If they do enter our qualification process, they are subjected to extensive screening – the end result of which admits less than 1% of all applicants.” The website describes interviews, personality tests, and even artistic expressions each donor must complete so they can build an accurate profile. In fact, we will know more about our donor’s family history than our own!

Jamie has been pre-screening donors, intent on finding the one that calls out. We both decided that we wanted an “open donor”, meaning someone that agreed they can be contacted once the children reach the ages of 18. We do not want our kids to feel that we kept them from finding out about their birth papi. J also selected traits that she has: Minimum height of 6 feet, Irish, Blond or brunette, athletic, blue eyes. Jamie’s eyes are actually very unique – she has one ice blue eye, and one half brown, half blue. That is the one thing I wish beyond wishing that we could find in a donor. But alas…..

Anyway, Jamie came home today from work crazy with excitement screaming, “I FOUND OUR DADDY!!!!!” As I cooked dinner, she read the profile of the donor we are going to use. It was exhilarating to know that we were actually having a conversation about half of our future kids! This made it feel so real and even though we are far, far away from actually making a baby, I can’t help but think that today is a major milestone along the way.

* * * * *

The whole time we were looking for our donor, I thought of Ellen DeGeneres (Kal) and Sharon Stone (Fran) in “If These Walls Could Talk 2″….

Kal: I’m freaking out.

Fran: About what?

Kal: I don’t have sperm. That’s why I’m freaking out. I don’t have sperm. And I am forced to keep looking at pages and pages of potential sperm…because I can’t give you the baby.

Fran: So…

Kal: So we’ll never know what that would be like…if just by our love, if just by one night of our love that we accidentally get pregnant. If we had that kind of luck, we could say, “Look what we did” out of our love.

But we can’t do that, so now we have to look at sperm…and pick the guy that’s closest to me that has blue eyes and blond hair. I don’t care anymore. I don’t care.

Is his sperm gonna be different ’cause he’s an electrical engineer than the guy that works at a hardware store? That has a little red vest? What’s wrong with that? ‘Interests: Hiking’. He walks. Wow. That’s special. You must be a special guy.

Our kid is gonna be a great kid. Because we’re gonna raise it with such respect. And we’re gonna teach it so many positive things and tell it that it can be anything it wants to be. And it can grow up to be anything and everything because it’s a beautiful child. And it’s an individual, and that’s all that matters.

Am I right?

Fran: Yes, you are right.

Advertisements

So Here I Am

Oh boy – I have been completely out of touch with the blog world these last few months. It’s been one of those spells where I say, “Today I’ll sit down and write!” And then it doesn’t happen.

I do, however, have a pretty awesome excuse – I’m PREGNANT! I have actually been writing throughout these last several months and have many queued posts to share now. So tune in for my journey through fertility (TMI excluded) that begins with a lot of awkward questions and ends with the best baby announcement ever!!

* * * * *

Wednesday August 20, 2014

I have a secret. Jamie and I have been going through the steps to become Mommies – and no one knows! We have talked about kids for years openly with our families and all of our close friends know that we want to go through fertility treatments to try and have kids. Lately, we’ve even been more open about our timeline, saying that 2014 was going to be the Year of the Baby. But when it came down to actually going to appointments, picking a donor, and scheduling inseminations, we decided to keep it all to ourselves for a few reasons.

First of all, it keeps the whole experience really personal. I mean there’s already more people in the room than usual, so why not keep it need-to-know? And second, we don’t want any pressure. All of the curiosity and questions could seriously put a damper on our little operation. We want it to be real when we go announcing.

Anyway, I decided that all of the steps along the way can be very exciting, a little scary, and too important not to document. So here goes nothing….

* * * * *

Tuesday July 8, 2014

I had a relatively awkward conversation today. Being the terrible little lesbian that I am, it’s been a while since I visited the gyno. I talked to a few friends about suggestions and finally ended up making some phone calls. As the phone was ringing, I began to realize that I had no idea what I wanted to say.

“I want to have a gay baby.”

“Can you shoot sperm up into me?”

“Do you have a Lesbian Department?”

Ugh.

The rings continued and I racked my brain for how to begin – and then it was too late.

“Dr. Ghat’s office, how can I help you?” came a greeting from a woman. I stuttered through my introduction and finally choked out, “I’d like to make an appointment because I’m ready to start the process of getting pregnant.” Awkward, much?

She explained that the office was booked for new patients for several months, but that she would schedule me anyway and would call if there was a cancellation sooner.

As it turned out, there wasn’t an appointment available until November. I began to wonder what was so special about this doctor that he was booked for months – did he have access to Johnny Depp’s sperm, or something? I reluctantly made the appointment just in case I wasn’t able to find someone else – what do I know about gyno availability?

Then the weird happened. The nice woman on the phone added, “But if you get pregnant before November, be sure to give us a call so we can get you an appointment.” She started to say more when I cut her off with, “I’m a lesbian.”

Why did this have to be so weird? I decided to be more up-front in the next conversation to avoid any confusion. I did some research online for places to go and made a few more calls, starting each with an introduction followed by, “My wife and I are ready to have a baby.”

Finally came the office of Dr. F. They were pleasant, understanding, and got me an appointment for next week. Winner!

So here I am. Finished with the very first step in a long journey. I have no idea what to expect. I can talk to friends that went through it all I want, but this experience is mine. Mine to love. Mine to fear. And mine to share with the greatest partner this universe could offer.

 

Fashioned By Mom

It has only become to clear to me in my adult years how unique parts of my childhood truly were. When we’re growing up, I guess we assimilate naturally into the world around us. Our perception would then be that “this is normal”. The skeleton elements of my childhood are pretty average: public school, Christian household in the suburbs of a big city. But some of the best parts of my “kid experience” were things way outside the norm and one of the most unique I owe solely to my Mother…

My Mom used to make our clothes.

To some, that sounds insane. I was born in 1984 in a Naval Hospital, not on a prairie in a covered wagon. And yet, hand-made clothes were completely normal for me. I have memories of my Mom taking me and my sister to the fabric store to pick out patterns. She’d show us the picture on the front and we could pick out our favorite. Then, we’d get to go up and down the aisles pawing through rolls of fabric looking for something that “spoke” to us. She’d even let us go to the button section to select the buttons we wanted for the front.

When we’d get home, she’d bust out her flexible tape measure and tickle the measurements out of us. We’d have to stand with our arms out like we were flying while she pinned the patterns to us and made notes. The patterns just looked like tissue paper with a bunch of dotted lines to us. But to Mom, they were the earliest signs of art. That’s how we discovered our Mom was a magician. We’d go play or watch TV while she sent the sewing machine into crazy fits of noise. Hours later, she’d still be pinning and sizing and cutting. Sometimes, she’d fall asleep right at the sewing table, pins and thread stuck all over the place. But somehow, a few days later, we’d have a dress. Somehow, she’d turn a bunch of folded papers into an outfit.

Eventually, I wanted to know about the magic that Mom made. I wanted to know how it all happened. I started watching her work. I’d ask to help cut the thread or pin the fabric. She taught me how to load the new thread, fill and change the bobbin spool, and how to sew different stitches. I started with small projects and had made my first beanbag by the time I was 10. A few years later, I finished my first quilt at 14. It was exhilarating to me. And yet, for so many years I have taken those skills for granted. It has taken me a long time to realize how lucky I am that my Mom shared her magic.

Sewing Meme

One tradition we had around the end of September every year was to pull out the Halloween box from the rafters to decide what our costume would be. My Mom would plop the box down in the garage and we’d take out all of the props collected over the years. With the props as inspiration, we’d head to the fabric store so Mom could get the right fabric for our costumes. Sometimes inspiration came from movies or books. Either way, they were made by Mom.

One year – I think I was 8 or so – I pulled out a brown grass hula skirt and threw it on over one shoulder so it draped across me instead of sitting at my hips. I shouted, “Look Momma, I’m a caveman!” Right away she had her vision. She went to work on making a skin-colored body suit and a pair of grey fuzzy boots for me to wear. She found a giant bone and fastened it to a clip to sit in my wildly teased hair. She even made me bone earrings and bought a plastic club for me to carry. I really did look amazing. I never gave her credit for it though. Since it was my normal, I guess I just assumed it was everyone’s. I assumed all of the kids in the parade that day at school had moms that sewed their costumes. I don’t think I ever truly grasped how lucky I was.

So here I am, 30, and sewing my costume for this Halloween. I have kept the tradition alive my hand-making my costume every year, and my Mom is in my heart the whole time. Thank you, Momma. Thank you for sharing such an amazing gift with me. I can’t wait to pass it on…

Dear Tony Gwynn

newyorktimes.com

newyorktimes.com

Dear Tony Gwynn,

I have admired you since the day my Father taught me about baseball. Even before I could walk, my parents brought me to Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego to watch the Padres. They’d always sit in Right Field so they could get the best view of you on defense, and possibly even snag a ball over the wall from you on offense. I’d be in the baby carrier, tucked under one of the seats so I wouldn’t burn. My Mom says I was never bothered by all of the cheers. I guess it felt like home even then.

Sometimes, my Father would come get me out of school for an early afternoon game. He’d say, “How ’bout some het-degs” and I’d know we were headed to the stadium. The people in the stands selling hotdogs always said it real funny – like they were talking out of the side of their mouths. “Het-degs. Get yer het-degs, here!”

When I was old enough, my Father and I would play catch in the parking lot. He taught me about the only time the Padres had ever been to the World Series was the year I was born – 1984. He said it was only your 3rd Season, but you led that team like you were born to. He also taught me about what a “Golden Glove” was, and how you got your first of 5 in 1986. I started memorizing your stats before I was even old enough to have homework. I lined the walls of my room with clippings from the San Diego Union Tribune. I spent hours staring at the articles, wondering what I’d say when I finally got to meet you one day.

When I was 10, I went to a game with Randy Jones (he was good friends with my friend’s Dad). I talked the whole time about you and how someday I’d get to shake your hand. At one point in the game, Randy left and said he’d be right back. He came back a little bit later with a ball just for me – signed by both himself and you. I stared at that ball every night as a teen, hoping for your strength and talent to rub off on me.

When I was 14, I got to see you take the Padres to their second ever World Series. It was the greatest year in baseball history to me. That’s the thing about being a Padre fan – we don’t take those years for granted. Some teams might count up World Series appearances like they’re poker chips. But in San Diego, we savor those moments. I can still remember where I was for each of those games. We lost the Series in 4 games to the Yankees, but I didn’t care. I was never more proud to be a Padre.

When I was 17, I attended your final Home game – I had seats just above the dug-out. My face was painted and I had the throw-back mustard yellow jersey on. By that time, your knees and back weren’t doing so well. They brought you in to pinch hit somewhere around the 6th. I don’t remember much about the at-bat other than it was short and it was an out, but right before you ducked back into the dug-out, you took off your helmet and lifted it to the crowd. Many people might claim you looked at them, but I like to think that your eyes were right on me that day.

When I was 19, I was away at school. I was working on a major project with two teammates and my phone rang. It was my Father. I almost didn’t answer, but realized it had been a while since we talked. I had barely picked up when I heard my father say in a rushed voice, “You will never guess who is standing only a few feet from me.” There is only ONE person on this planet for which my Father would say those words…and it is you. My Father had been at the airport at the same time you and the SDSU team were heading out. Somehow my Father convinced you to take the phone because just moments later I heard your voice on the line. It was the greatest 30-second conversation of my life and yet I can barely remember what I said. I hope I didn’t sound too crazy as I explained that I was number 28 in college because that is the number you wore at San Diego State. When I hung up, I remember bursting into tears, my teammates beyond confused. There is no way I could explain what an amazing experience that was for me.

I don’t know what got you to take the phone from my Father that day in the San Diego Airport, but I feel so lucky you did because, as it turns out, that was the closest I’d ever get to shaking your hand.

My Father sent me a text this morning at 8:42 AM PST, telling me you’d passed. My heart jumped into my throat. I feel so connected to you, and yet I never even got to meet you face-to-face. I may just be one in hundreds of thousands of fans, but I hope you can feel the love I have for you….that all of us have for you. You are the Spirit of San Diego, Mr. Padre, and you always will be.

Keep your glove on…not only will I get to shake your hand one day, but I’m having myself a catch, too.

~28

mlb.com

mlb.com

My Religion Was Written By Stephen Trask

I was raised on the teachings of the Christian Bible – I attended Youth Group and went away to Bible Study Camp and memorized scripture – but it has been a long time since I felt like a Christian. It’s not that I’ve disowned the faith, but I consider myself more of a multi-cultural sponge – a tie-dyed shirt soaking up the color. I do teach Culture, after all. I enjoy picking through ancient legends and myths to piece together my perfect Faith. And as a Lesbian, I find myself grasping at any culture or artistic creation that paints me as just a normal member of a working society – not an outcast, sinner, or disease.

And that’s how I found the words that make the most sense to me – The Origin of Love.

Stephen Trask wrote the music and lyrics to a musical entitled “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” in 1998. That show was made into a movie in 2001 by the original writer and star John Cameron Mitchell. Together, these two men made magic. The show is a beautifully designed piece of self-discovery and internal dialogue that seems to speak to my soul. Hedwig, a transgender rock-star from East Berlin, sings a song early in the show called “The Origin of Love” and steals the audience’s heart from that point forward.

When the earth was still flat,
And the clouds made of fire,
And mountains stretched up to the sky
Sometimes higher,
Folks roamed the earth
Like big rolling kegs.
They had two sets of arms.
They had two sets of legs.
They had two faces peering
Out of one giant head,
So they could watch all around them
As they talked, while they read.
And they never knew nothing of Love.
It was before the Origin of Love.
The Origin of Love.

Big Rolling Kegs

And there was three sexes then:
One that looked like two men
Glued up back to back,
They called the Children of the Sun.
And similar in shape and girth
Was the Children of the Earth.
They looked like two girls
Rolled up in one.
And the Children of the Moon
Was like a fork stuck on a spoon.
They was part Sun, part Earth,
Part Daughter, part Son.
The Origin of Love

Zeus Said No

Now the gods grew quite scared
Of our strength and defiance.
And Thor said,
‘I’m gonna kill ’em all
With my hammer,
Like I killed the giants.’
But Zeus said, ‘No.
You better let me
Use my lightening, like scissors,
Like I cut the legs off the whales,
Dinosaurs into lizards.’
And then he grabbed up some bolts
He let out a laugh,
Said, ‘I’ll split them right down the middle,
Gonna cut ’em right up in half.’
And the storm clouds gathered above
Into great balls of fire.

And then fire
Shot down from the sky in bolts,
Like shining blades of a knife.
And it ripped
Right through the flesh
Of the Children of the Sun
And the Moon
And the Earth.

Scatter Us Away

And some Indian god
Sewed the wound up to a hole,
Pulled it around to our belly
To remind us the price we paid.
And Osiris and the gods of the Nile
Gathered up a big storm,
To blow a hurricane.
To scatter us away.
The flood of wind and rain.
The sea of tidal waves.
To wash us all away.
And if we don’t behave,
They’ll cut us down again.
We’ll be hoppin’ round on one foot,
And looking through one eye.

Deny Me and Be Doomed

Last time I saw you,
We’d just split in two.
You was looking at me,
I was looking at you.
You had a way so familiar
I could not recognize,
Cause you had blood on your face,
I had blood in my eyes.
But I could swear by your expression
That the pain down in your soul
Was the same as the one down in mine.

That’s the pain
That cuts a straight line
Down through the heart,
We called it Love.

We wrapped our arms around each other,
Trying to shove ourselves back together.
We was making Love,
Making Love.
It was a cold dark evening
Such a long time ago,
When by the mighty hand of Jove,
It was the sad story
How we became
Lonely two-legged creatures.
It’s the story of
The Origin of Love.

That’s the Origin of Love.

Origin of Love

Hedwig then says, “It is clear that I must find my other half. But is it a he or a she? What would this person look like? And were we really separated forcibly? Or did he just run off with the good stuff?”

Beautiful.

13 Reasons Why Not Fitting in as a Kid Makes You an Awesome Adult

I came across a BuzzFeed article by the same title a few days ago. I was pretty intrigued and quite curious as to what the BuzzFeed cohorts dug up to share with the world. The content of the article, however, was…underwhelming, to say the least. I decided to thieve the title and rewrite the content, attempting to live up to the potential to which it lended itself. I was, after all, one of those misfit kids. Sometimes realizing it all meant something, can really mean something.

1. You learn independence. Being a bit odd often meant hanging out by myself. Sure, I found my niche eventually, but many of my early memories involve eating lunch alone and playing with a jumprope at recess. I learned to rely only on me. And I realize now that a little independence was the healthiest lesson of my childhood.

2. You learn humility. Maybe knowing I wasn’t perfect wasn’t the worst thing in the world. Perhaps a little dose of humble pie is best at a young age, when you still have time to learn and grow.

3. You toughen up. I have plenty of coworkers and acquaintances now as an adult that were clearly the “popular type” and I am constantly witnessing their inability to cope with certain adversity. I am not saying that all Homecoming-Queen-Teens make Cry-Me-A-River-Adults, but it certainly seems to be a “popular” side-effect.

4. You get a sense of humor. It’s not true for everyone, but for many of us misfits, our childhood woes have given us a platform for an actual personality.

5. You get inspired. So many popular artists today tell their stories about being an outcast. Lady Gaga, Demi Lovato, Howard Stern, Michael Phelps, and Eva Mendez have all shared stories about overcoming bullying and teasing as kids. Each of them got inspired in their own ways to grow into what the world sees today.

6. You can look back and not feel like such a perfect little douche. I am now pretty proud of my oddities as a kid. Perfect-kid-type-stories stick out like a sore thumb in the adult world. No one wants to hear about a Princess and a Pea. Sorry ’bout it.

7. You learn to observe. Like I said, I spent a lot of time alone. I got to take in the world around me and learn from what I saw.

8. You find an inner voice. Self-reflection is, unfortunately, a practice that is not as common as it should be. Something about being an outcast gave me a dialogue about myself, a way to cope with what was happening around me. That inner voice has followed me throughout my entire life, molding the adult I grew into and allowing me to adapt and grow over time.

9. You learn kindness. Every bullied kid remembers the times that kindness, no matter how infrequently or how minor, was shown to them. Sometimes that shining light is enough to outshine the darkest situations. You learn to appreciate what the smallest acts of kindness can do, and pass it on as you grow older.

10. You realize that the world isn’t always a nice place. As sad as it is, this was another important lesson I learned as a kid. Sometimes the “Movie Theatre Reality” or the “Sitcom Point-of-View” is thrust upon us so blindly as kids that we think it’s all true. My time crying behind the soccer net on the playground as I endured the cruel words from classmates brought me face-to-face with the real world and its ugly side. Upsetting, perhaps – but I’m sure glad I learned that early on. The strength I took away from it got me through the rest of my youth.

11. You write. Or create. Or explore. You do what you need to do to survive. I was a writer. I have kept a journal since I was in 5th Grade. My younger sister (or my Mom, rather) gave me a little lock-and-key diary for my birthday and I went to town on that thing. When that one ran out, I got a new one. And a new one. Now, at 30 years old, I have between 10 and 15 notebooks in a box in one of my closets. Every once in a while I pull one out and read a bit, just to get a sense of my childhood mind, and that inner dialogue with which I had gotten so in touch. I am determined to keep that connection to the kid version of me so that I never forget the toughest times.

12. You gain confidence. It may seem a little oxymoronic, but confidence really is one of the greatest treasures of my childhood. By being left out, picked last, laughed at, ignored and teased I was stripped down to my bare bones. I was forced to steel myself and be confident with what I had – or fail.

That was it.

Let it break me.

Or let is make me.

And so I chose.

 

And finally….

13. You could grow up to become Jinkx Monsoon. Super-Star Comedienne, Confident Beauty, Wise Soul and Winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 5. She is everything an awkward kid (boy or girl) could hope to become and she has given us such an amazing mantra: Water off a duck’s back. Because no matter what comes at us, we just need to let it fall off of us like “Water off a duck’s back.”

Jerick Hoffer in Spring Awakening at the Balagan Theatre in Seattle. Jinkx Monsoon serving Marilyn realness.

Jerick Hoffer in Spring Awakening at the Balagan Theatre in Seattle. Jinkx Monsoon serving Marilyn realness.

5 Lies Hollywood Told Us About Snow

I grew up in Southern California and, even though I had seen snow in the mountains when I was a kid, most of what I learned about snow came from movies. When I moved to the Northeast 11 years ago, I was in for a rude awakening. Here are some of the lies spread by the movie-makers…and believed by at least one naïve Californian.

1. Snow is pretty and white. Sure, the first few hours after a snow storm are gorgeous. And if you’re lucky enough to see snow cover rolling hills or a group of pine trees, it’s especially majestic. But in the urban world in which most of us live, snow is dirty. The plows send loads of oil and grime mixed with chunks of white into piles that line the streets and parking lots. After just a day or two, the once white blanket is nothing more than grey mush.

2. Don’t eat the Yellow Snow….Oh no, wait. That one is true.

3. Snow Angels are fun. We have all seen the movie scenes of people smiling as they make snow angels, giggling as they flop around in the pure white puff. It’s totally bogus. My Freshman year of College, after the first snow storm, I was so excited to go outside and play. My team mates and friends all made fun of “the silly California girl” as I wrapped up for some fun. As soon as I found a fresh spot, I threw myself down on my back and started flapping my legs and wings. Within seconds I could feel the cold snow on my back where my jacket had been tugged up by my arms. I felt crystals on my neck, slipping between my hat and scarf. And since I didn’t have proper boots, my shoes were filled with snow by the time I stood up. Not only did my “Angel” look nothing like the one in the movies, but my playtime was cut short by the unexpected frost-bitten sensation coursing through my body.

4. Snow = Snowball Fight! I always thought a good, clean snowball fight was standard practice when it snowed. One thing they never share in movies is that it takes a special kind of snow to make a snowball. Sometimes, snow is too heavy and wet. Sometimes it’s too soft and powdery. Only rarely does one some across perfect snowball snow. Even then, throwing a ball of flakes packed into a make-shift baseball is quite difficult. In my experience, the snowball exploded over my own head mid-throw more often than it found its target.

5. It only Snows at night, when children dream of a White Christmas. I always imagined waking up on Christmas Day and racing to the window to share with the rest of my house, “It SNOWED!” I had this idea in my head that snow was made by magic. Unfortunately, it is much more common to utter the words, “Ugh, it snowed. Can I use your ice scraper?”