Saturday, July 25, 2009

Me, If I Were a Man

There's not a lot of new stuff to report on the baby front.

Mindy has had her blood drawn several times for what seems like thousands of tests. So far we've learned nothing except that she's not a man, as the doctor hinted, and she's HIV negative. Duh. Ok, the doctor didn't hint that Mindy was a man, what she said, by looking at her arm hair, was that she possibly had too much testosterone and perhaps polycystic ovaries. Since then, I keep asking Mindy if she's found out if she's a man or not. If she was, well, things might be a little easier. She's not. As it turns out, she just has dark hair. Like other women.

As I've mentioned before, we have to pick sperm. Mindy told me it was all my decision. I was a little weirded out, thinking that I'm probably already seen as "the guy" in the relationship by those who don't know us well, and I didn't want to perpetuate that stereotype by doing all the sperm pickin' by myself. But, it's kinda cool/fucked up if you really think about it.

I've always wondered what type of guy goes to the sperm bank and says, "I'd like to donate." It's weird. I've tried to put myself in his position...but I can't. A woman donating an egg is painful and much harder than masturbating and aiming at a cup. In fact, I'm not really sure what the process entails, but I do know that when I touch myself, eggs don't fly out of me. That's one of the reaons I think some guys donate; it's fun and easy.

No, I don't really think that. These banks ask you lots of questions, it seems. These guys have to write an essay, answer medical questions; they're asked to profile themselves. It's not that easy. So why do it? Money. But really, how much money can a guy get?

I've narrowed my choices down to a few...I think. Basically, I'm trying to find a male version of myself. Anyone can search these sperm banks and I encourage you to do so. It's fun. It's weird.

So far I think I'm an Irish/Israeli/Ukranian man with an MFA in film studies who considers himself artistic, extroverted, and emotional (rather than rational). I prefered the German/English/Scotish writer whose essay said, "to be honest, I'm doing this for the money." He checked the boxes that said, "athletic, extroverted, and rational." But he has a medical thing that doesn't jive with Mindy's body...other than his penis, I mean. I should mention that both of these guys are around my age.

I keep having to ask myself the question, "who am I?" I search for blonde hair and hazel eyes. The only other requirement is that the man if WTBK "Willing to be known." This means that if our child was interested, his information would be sent the kid when he or she turned 18. It's perfect (for me) since I'm adopted and I needed the truth. I want my kid to have that option.

But really, how do you narrow yourself down to a few checked boxes? How do pick the other half of Mindy's baby? It's weird, I know.

And I know, even if I pick some athletic dude with blonde hair who loves to write (yes, he exists), the kid might be just like Mindy. And I also know that it wouldn't matter if I pick a 6 feet tall black man who teaches Business. Because I know from experience that whole nature vs. nurture thing. I know my sense of humor and sarcasm and attitude come from Joe Holzhauser. I know my neuroses, silliness, and need to overfeed people comes from Faye Holzhauser. My bad teeth, high metabolism, and blonde hair come from Rhonda, my biological mom. My brains came from her too, but my ability to apply them (or not) came from Mom and Dad.

I can't control anything. You could make a baby with your partner and that kid could look like your great uncle so and so. That kid could be missing an arm, or brain cells. It's all one big risk, right?

So, I'll leave you with this: me, a guy I'll never meet, the possible other half of the baby that will grow in Mindy's body. A mystery. A risk.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The First Appointment

At one this afternoon Mindy and I ventured into the Infertility clinic. Mindy was weighed and measured...including her waist and hips.

We talked with the doctor for quite a while. Or I should say the doctor talked at us, wrote things furiously on the paper and didn't laugh at my jokes.

Here's what made us sad and need drinks:

She said at Mindy's age the chance of getting pregnant every month is 15%. If she takes one form of medication it might move to 20%. If she does something way more drastic it could improve to 40%. But as I understand, those are the drugs that make people have 8 babies. 8 Babies bad.

Then she pointed out that Mindy had dark arm hair and suggested she had elevated male hormone levels. There's a test for that.

Of course, we should probably test to see if her fallopian tubes are open first. That involves spreading your legs, getting speculumed and then injected with stuff and all of this happens under an x-ray machine. The doctor said "invasive" and "intensive." Words I don't like. And I told the doctor.

Then, of course, she asked me my age (29) my family history (i'm adopted) if I'm on medication (nope) and if my periods are regular (I told her the Mayans built their calender based on me). She smiled. Kind of.

She suggested we consider "switching carriers." Something, I assured her, we'd discussed already.

She named so many tests, you guys. So many drugs she could give us to get things going.

But I don't like that. I don't want Mindy pumped full of drugs. I don't want her legs spread every few weeks for weird probings and tests (though she says she doesn't mind). I don't want the doctor to keep looking at me.

So, I came home just now and turned on the t.v. for a little relaxation. Dr. Phil is discussing teenage pregnancy. What should the 16 year old do? Abort? Give for adoption? Keep it?

And now I'll get bitter: I can't fucking stand it that that little girl A. had sex and B. got pregnant. And now she's on a fucking talk show like, "oops."

Mindy and discussed for a moment what happens if she doesn't get pregnant. What if she wants it so badly and I don't? I don't know. I'm not crazy about getting a baby. I told my ladywife that I would put in minimum effort to get pregnant. I guess Mindy took this to mean if we had a baby I'd put in minimum effort.

That's not the case.

Let me tell all of you that if Mindy got pregnant I'd do whatever I had to do plus some. The point I was making is that I don't want to spend millions of dollars on this. I also don't want to invest myself emotionally. What fun is it to come home crying once a month? I don't want it that badly.

But Mindy might.

Right now everything seems bleak.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Simple Math: Two Lesbians + Sex= 0

I want to share this with you, because it seems, more than anything, it's the one thing in my life that makes me feel the most vulnerable. It's the unspoken word that clouded my late teen years and now haunts me into my late 20s. Over the past 12 years I've watched this word's meaning change. Gay. Before my time it meant happy. When I first used it it meant homosexual. Now my students use it to mean "stupid, " (i.e. "that shirt is so gay").

After twelve years of repeating this word, explaining what it meant to me (and what it didn't mean), I've grown used to it. But now there is one place where I find myself turning red and hiding behind it.

It's the at the doctor.

Let me just come out and say it: Mindy and I are going to try to have a baby.

So far it hasn't worked. I mean, the normal way. We have sex. Nothing except intense pleasure and cuddling. After that, maybe a sandwich or a Popsicle. Never have we gotten pregnant.

Mindy went to her doctor on Monday to say she wanted to get pregnant. The nurse asked, "how long have you been off of birth control?" Mindy replied, "I'm gay." The nurse, not hearing her asked again, to which Mindy said, louder, "I'm gay!"

The doctor was saved the trouble, of course, and read it on the history before she entered the room. Mindy said she would like a referral to someone who specialized in pregnancy.

Today there was a huge letter in the mail from The Center for Reproductive Endocrinology and Fertility. Stuffed inside were two pamphlets, "Evaluating Infertility," and "Treating Infertility." Both pamphlets are a faded blue color, both bear a heterosexual couple: one couple is walking down the beach holing hands, the other couple is staring into space hopeful, yet sad. Like they just realized it was Sunday...still the weekend, but almost a workday.

These pamphlets aren't very helpful unless you don't know what masturbation is or how men have penises that ejaculate semen. It's crazy. Did you know the semen carries the sperm to the cervix!?!?!?! What's a cervix you may ask. Don't fear, it's all there in the pamphlet.

Listed are some of the most common causes for infertility: Problems with ovulation, blocked fallopian tubes, quality of sperm.

But there's one I see missing: Homosexuality.

Ah yes, the 'ole lack of sperm (or in some cases, lack of an egg and uterus). I wonder why the doctor didn't happen to mention to the infertility specialists that our problem might be, well, we're scrotumless.

Also in this fat envelope is a questionnaire for the male and female. Mindy's filled out the female spot. And now I'm left wondering what smart ass thing I could write in for me. We have four pages of family history to fill out, but I know that mine doesn't matter at all, you know, since I won't have any genetic say in the baby. Some questions for the male are, "when you were a child, were both testes descended into the scrotum?", "Do you have any discharge from the penis?", and my favorite, "Do you feel that some of your ejaculate is deposited in the vagina?" I'm not quite sure how to answer those.

I've never wished to be a man. Ever. I have wished that I liked guys enough so I could make a baby with one, but he'd have to have it. I just never saw myself as the maternal type.

I wish that one night Mindy and I could get frisky, one month later she'd notice something that should be there that wasn't, and then we'd tell the family the news, "We had sex and this time it wasn't just fun, it was productive!"

The conservative redneck in me thinks we shouldn't try to have a baby. Not because it's not God's will or whatever, but just because it doesn't happen in nature. I know that some species have same sex couples who try to raise others' kids and eggs, and I might be better with that if I wasn't adopted.

This is where it gets complicated. I can't even imagine a tiny being who looked like Mindy. Or myself. It just occurred to me yesterday that I could have a baby and it would look just like me. Adopted kids just don't think like this. So, I'd like to adopt. But, I'd also like to see a little Mindy. Of course I'd love to see a mix of Mindy and myself, but that's impossible. And even if it was possible, I just couldn't do it. I'm too much of a hippy, a naturalist, I think.

And though not a fan of following the Bible (or any religion) I wonder if I'm supposed to have a kid. I'm gay, maybe I'm one of the lucky ones selected out of the hassle of soccer games and cleaning up puke at 3 in the morning. Maybe I'm one of the chosen. But I think of all the people who can have babies. Like, all those 14 year olds, meth heads, 96% of the people who scream at their kid at Wal-Mart, that fucking octuplet Mom. They can all have babies. Easily. Accidentally. So if they can, by gods, so can we.

And now I'll leave you with this:

Of the four pages of family history we're to fill out there is the column titled, "VI. History of Fertility Therapy." Underneath there's a column for the male and female where one can check the boxes that correspond to tests that've been performed.

-Endometrial Biopsy
-Hamster Egg Test