Getting Pregnant: A Tale of Two Vaginas
Alternate title: Two Lezzie’s & A Jizz Stick
Being a single Lezbanese is not as easy as you’d think in 21st century society. We’ve come a long way in embracing LGBTQI+ culture, yet the dating pool is about as wide as my bumhole.
As I approached my late twenties, a sadness began to creep into my psyche. I had envisioned building a life of my own, with a partner and a little mini-Bree. I had so much love in my heart and it felt like it had nowhere to go. I kept misfiring from woman to woman, with no real success. She was either emotionally unavailable, mildly heterosexual or we simply didn’t share the same values.
The upshot however was increasing time in healthy solitude. When single, I formed a strong relationship with myself and deeper relatedness with friends and strangers alike. One day over a cuppa, I flicked through Tinder after a three month self-imposed break from dating apps. Promptly, a brunette, bright eyed gal with a big gorj smile appeared on my screen. BING BANG BOSH. As you can imagine I did what all self-respecting online bachelorette’s do. I waited one week until I decided to message her because I am “Kewl”. To my surprise this sneaky wee gal lived in Sydney, not Melbourne. BLURGH. Sydney is the pits.
Yet, I pondered.
I did fly to Sydney a lot for work and she seemed like one of the coolest people in existence. Perhaps we could try for dinner the next time I was there? Pretty soon that casual and relaxed plan went to balls. Each day on WhatsApp our voice messages got more hilarious, our music taste was parallel, and me oh my did I mention she's a kiwi? My little heart was melting on the daily. Her presence in my life soothed every broken thread inside of me, my heart felt faint but at the same time safe (a feeling I had not yet experienced).
Now over a year and a half later, I live in the pits that is Sydney with absolutely no regret. I reside with the love of my life and somehow we made it through a long distance relationship, COVID19, one dead Grandmother and a bumpy job loss. The source of amazement in the chaos? Those challenges pale in comparison to the journey that is Same Sex Fertility.
one of many hormone jabs.
My partner Lou, she’s one of these rare human beings who loves all children. She is a natural Mother. She raised a previous partner’s son before we met; and sadly has no legal rights in his life. I have spent many days watching her cry and mourn the fact that she now resides in a seperate country to her boy, with minimal input into his wellbeing. I've also watched her flourish and thrive in the brief moments she is able to spend with him, those encounters turn my soul into devondale butter. When I watch her around kids, I can’t wait to be a parent alongside her. To know I have her as a mentor when our child finally comes is deeply reassuring.
As COVID hit, Lou and I realised we wouldn’t be travelling any time soon. We began turning our attention toward building our own family, with the plan of Lou carrying our first child (and myself on the benches until required). Not long after our first appointment at a local fertility clinic, we became excited that parenthood was “just around the corner”.
I’d always had in my mind that when I was ready to have a kid, it would be transactional. Some over-qualified lady wearing Veronika Maine would take my money. I would then pick out the best jizz from all of the jizz tubes on offer. The fancy-pants nurse would proceed to plonk that jizz up my partner’s clacker and SHAZZAM; nine months later we’ve got ourselves a family.
The above is half true. It's now five months on. We've spent $10,000 on one polyp removal, two IUI’s and a mandated counselling appointment to ensure our head’s are wrapped around the legalities. And just a heads up for those who are fortunate enough to dodge fertility, our experience (so far) is on the cheaper side. I know couple's who've spent upwards of 45k.
Before the first IUI attempt we were so excited. We did everything right. Inclusive of me being a divine wanker, forcing my very non-spiritual girlfriend to undergo a crystal healing (Lou calls them my “pet rocks”).
Lou covered in pet rocks.
When the first IUI did not take, it was of course emotional poo. Lou went straight to a place of “What did I do wrong?”. So I did the most mature and responsible thing I could. I blamed the man milk. “Ah, his sperm was crap! All 2 million of them were probably banging into each other and hitting the sides.”
After the second failed attempt, amazingly, we were a little less upset. It’s almost as if the further into the journey we’re getting, the less resistant we are to the process of it all. The most challenging part of the process for us is the pregnancies we see happening all around us. It appears so easy for some. For example, tonight someone somewhere is doing a line of coke. Soon they'll be slamming shots and will likely indulge in some KFC right before a bit of Doggy style with some broad random. That person will take a pregnancy test in three weeks and be like "BUGGAA". Lou and I could not wrap our heads around it at first. No booze, acupuncture, hormone injections, vitamins not to mention premium sperm from the clinic and…nothing?
Flowers and choccy: a must throughout the IUI grief spurts.
As I sit here reflecting on it all, I wonder how we’ve held up so well. We’ve had a few arguments, a couple of super stressful and isolating moments, but through it all nothing has made us want to give up. In fact, if anything we’ve come to terms with the fact that this child will come whenever it bloody well pleases (hence this blog being part one). To be honest, we are happy to spend all of the money and time in the universe waiting for the little bugger. Looking over my shoulder to five months ago, there have been a few key components that have kept us aligned. Here are the three strategies we have used in our journey of fertility, these can be used by anyone regardless of sexuality or gender.
The stigma around couples counselling in 2021 is on another level. Of all therapies, couples counselling is the unwanted tofu in the mental health salad. “If we have to go to couple’s counselling, then it’s too late!”. Couple’s counselling is not a therapy in which you purely attend to “fix” a broken relationship. It is a space to share your values, a designated time to hear each other; and it can be leveraged even if you’re in an epic relationship. Once a month, we sit down with a trained mental health professional who ensures we both feel safe and heard. Most of the time we laugh and talk absolute shit. Sometimes our therapist gives us brilliant ideas that strengthen our relationship on a day to day basis. These strategies make the experience of fertility treatment far more seamless. For example, one simple notion - whoever is home first greets the other at the door. This has become our routine now. No matter what is going on in our lives, each day we stop whatever distraction is feeding us, look the other person in the eye and make time to talk absolute dribble. If you’re interested in seeking out a couples counsellor check out APS, PACFA or AASW. *Extra Tip: Book a nice pub meal after your counselling session to make it an experience that rewards you with beer.
We self regulated Warren G
We both experienced hectic emotions throughout this journey. Sometimes, our emotions were completely contrasting. At times when Lou was hopeful, I was cynical. In moments I became relaxed, Lou was fretty. While it is important to support your partner, I found it equally important to take time away for myself. Lou and I had to learn to self-manage at times, to soothe ourselves when we were hurting. It is super important during the process of fertility treatment to lean on friends and family as well as your partner. Women are expected to maintain so much secrecy around creating a family, from conception through to postpartum. Just remember, society has facilitated this. Don’t feel you have to keep it a secret unless doing so results in you feeling more relaxed. Lou and I chose to tell everyone the first time, and only a small handful the second. The important thing is we had some degree of support outside of each other.
We trusted the Universe & sh*t
You don’t need to read to read The Secret. We know that this planet, the stars and galaxies are beyond chaotic. There’s literally giant rocks crashing into each other out there in the cosmos. Just as the Universe is beautifully unpredictable, so too are our lives. When’s the last time something happened at the exact time, place and moment you wanted it to? Some crap stuff has happened in my life, some epic stuff has happened as well. The amazing contributions have alchemised from the horrible experiences. That girl who used to gaslight me? Had I not met her and learnt the art of self-love, I would not have become the person I am today. That job that burnt me out? A quicker lesson in showing me the importance of boundaries, nutrition and food. I don’t know why Lou is not pregnant yet, but I do know that when we’re finally parents it will make complete sense. It’s likely the Universe is gifting us with another year of sleep and impulsive trips to sushi train (thanks Universe hun).
Here we are fam, thank you for reading part one of our experience with Fertility. We’ll have a podcast on this coming soon where I sit down with Lou and unpack the highs and lows. Do you have any questions or thoughts? Single and haven’t met your person yet? Unsuccessful attempts at making a family? Or maybe you’ve got your family but the journey’s not what you expected. I want to hear from you! Share your thoughts via firstname.lastname@example.org or @feelzpodcast on instagram.
Feelz. A Mental Health Podcast without the Wank.
Subscribe to the Feelz Friday newsletter (for emotionally nutritious content)
This shit got me in my feelings.