Or for that matter, like any movie or television show you ever see about a single gal looking to have a munchkin. One would think: girl goes to doctor, girl acquires sperm, girl makes baby. Not so much.
This whole process of looking to make a little family of me and a gay-by is actually going to take a lot longer than I thought. Like, I wish I started working on this three years ago when I was thirty, longer. That kind of longer. First, an annual exam to get the go-ahead from my regular doctor- check. Then a referral to a fertility doctor to perform the procedure. Check. An hour-long consultation. A meeting with a counselor to discuss whether I’m prepared for my plans. A battery of bloodwork and ultrasounds for me. Assuming those all go well, a battery of bloodwork and labs for the donor. Then the donor meets with the counselor alone. We meet with the counselor together. We both hire attorneys and draft an agreement. The hospital’s attorney reviews and approves or denies the agreement. The ethics committee approves or denies the procedure. A six-month waiting period to use the frozen sperm once it’s been cleared twice. And then, if the moon is the second house and Mercury aligns with Mars, I will have my own little munchkin ten months and however many tries later.
All of this has become the most unexpected complication for me. Apparently, if I was using bought sperm from a stranger it would be easier- all the donor’s testing and clearances and legal would already be handled. But, I’m not sure I would want that. There’s a lot to be said for knowing that the person providing the other half of your baby’s DNA makes you laugh, and can play the saxophone, and remembers bizarre and obscure architectural terms.
All of my free time during the day lately has gone into making appointments and talking to financial counselors and insurance reps. I started this all pretty Zen. I would try to have a baby. If it didn’t work out, it wasn’t meant to be and I’d have a few more years to look into adoption or foster parenting or whatnot (as I do know that becoming a parent in some form is important to me down the road, if biologically is not an option).
But now? I’m a little, ahem, crazed. I have a few weeks until I get my own test results and the doctor, hopefully, tells me everything’s in working condition. Or, as he mentioned, if we need to hurry. And that is the part that scares me. If it will take 8 months to jump the hoops and figure out if BC can be my donor, but the doctor warns me I only have 4 or 5 months left. What then?
I have never been a real age-phobe. I’m getting older. I’m still cool. Deal with it. But now, every day some medical specialist is talking about my expiration date like I’m cheap milk and I think it’s causing a minor mid-life crisis. Did I waste my life up until now when I should have started breeding in high school? Why did I spend all those years trying not to get pregnant for free so that I could spend all this time and money now? Should I just pull out a plastic cup and a turkey baster at happy hour and try at home so I’m not wasting time?
And the crazy part is, I’m probably fine. There’s nothing in my medical history or my family’s to suggest I couldn’t do this all easily whenever I get around to it in the next few years. But the system is set up to create panic. And the people in a fertility clinic are used to working with people who have established problems to begin with, so everything is pathologized.
I’m taking deep breaths. I’m being patient. I’m not broken. But if I sound a little frazzled until the end of the month, this is why. I’m waiting to get permission to have a kid. Which is scary. But also, sort of pisses me off.