getting real: we're trying to have a baby
There it was, the little digital smiley face, blinking at me. I was ovulating and relished in the empowering feeling that getting pregnant today was the highest it could be all month long. My body was doing its thing. Instead of texting a creative and terrible “we need to have sex tonight” kind of joke to my wife, I continued staring at the blinking smiley face, a familiar feeling settling in as I’m reminded our journey would be different, involved. My fascination for the fertility test stick disappeared, the blinking smiley felt like a taunt so I put it down and went along my day to deliver orders.
Sometimes there are those moments in life when being a gay person* is hard. There are hurdles, heartaches and invisible battles and barriers my straight friends and family will never realize, understand or endure. Take traveling for instance, when Ashleigh and I are in a new place, I automatically “feel out” the territory to register if it feels safe to hold hands or refer to one another as wife in public. This comes second nature to me.
But this moment, trying to navigate feelings and orchestrate the logistics to have a baby, this one takes the cake (so far). I’ve been back and forth on being open about parts of this process, but keep coming back to: you need to share this.
Share it because representation matters,
because vulnerability can make others feel less alone,
because our story will mirror others,
because these types of beautiful unconventional pathways to creating life needs amplification,
because there is lack of awareness and community around this topic.
Of course, my own desires are present here and I want to be able to reflect back. So many things we go through are forgotten or difficult to recollect because we ascend to different situations, places and frames of mind. This will be a way to claim this chapter in my life book, and maybe even create a little push for others to share their own chapter.
As a tried and true Virgo, research, planning and spreadsheets are a turn on. When Ashleigh and I decided 2019 would be the (hopeful) “year of baby”, I naturally went down the research rabbit hole. From fertility-boosting supplements to browsing midwives, lawyers and insemination options, I’ve calculated costs, bookmarked resources and have started to prepare my body for optimal conception superpowers with herbs, tinctures, physical activity, magnesium baths and vitamins. Although it might sound a little overloaded, we don’t have an unlimited amount of attempts to conceive, and I enjoy this process of aligning my body and mind to bring our child earth side. Many things I do to prepare have become a ritual, each time I take my vitamins, I often say out loud “getting closer to you!”. Although manifestation techniques can have a problematic side (mainly in the privileged spiritual realm), implementing, speaking and visualizing this baby into existence provides an unexplainable joy and feeling of connection to the interesting ride we’re about to go on.
In digging in this research, it’s come with an unexpected byproduct. Due to the algorithms of the interwebs (mainly search sites), I’m now seeing advertisements for fertility things (vitamins, gadgets, apps, etc.) with smiling straight couples holding a baby. It is rare to see representation for queer people (as well as people of color, trans, disabled, and abundant sized folx) in fertility media. It’s another reminder we’re still trying to justify and navigate our lives in predominantly white, able-bodied and heteronormative world. I also think about my friends (they’re all straight) who have and are struggling with infertility and miscarriage, were they seeing these things on their feeds, too? Was this triggering? Were they okay? I’ve been surprised to find a mutually deep and safe connection with friends who are navigating the world of infertility. Although their experience is very different, there are many parallel feelings and I find comfort in our conversations, tears and honesty.
This is an example of why representation matters, why my small voice is here to share*. So here we go.
*I do not discount the burdens, fears and injustices transgender, especially black trans people face. I speak from my experience here, and never put my issues on a pedestal to theirs.
*there are parts of this process I will likely not be sharing to protect emotions, people and our family. I’m also trying to draw the boundary between centering and sharing. It’s all a work in progress.