Two Mommies and a Baby
by Shawna Black
Four years ago I finally convinced my husband, after years of begging, pleading and demanding, to have another baby. We had two boys already and I just knew that our third would complete the family and that she would be a girl. I was correct on both respects.
Conceiving Kaiya, our little girl, who you’ve seen pictures of in this column in the past, took ten long, difficult, agonizing months. Ten months! I can't tell you how many pregnancy tests on which I peed during this long process of trying to get knocked up.
A few months into this process, I decided I needed to learn more about my own body and how the whole conception process worked. I found a website called Fertility Friend and learned a lot about the female body real quick. I learned how to take my temperature every morning upon opening my eyes and how that temperature relates to ovulation. I learned all about cervical fluid and which type is hospitable to sperm and which is deadly. I learned about the cervix, where it is and how it changes based on ovulation. I also learned that sperm can live in the vaginal canal up to five days but an egg is viable for less than 24 hours, and as little as 12 hours. Basically, I learned that conception really is a miracle considering what has to happen in order for a sperm to meet an egg.
The main thing I learned is that TIMING is everything. TIMING is the key to getting pregnant.
So, here is Anne. She is someone I met through work. When I first met Anne, my “gaydar” went off and I swore she was related to Ellen. She sounds just like Ellen! Anne has a "partner". I put that in quotes because personally, I don't know why she just doesn't call her significant other her wife since they are married. (Since I’ve gotten to know Anne and Wendy better and have become closer to them, I’ve learned that they do refer to each other as “my wife”.) Anyway, I happen upon Anne's wife’s blog. Certain comments made by Wendy convince me that they are trying to have a baby. My curiosity gets the best of me and I comment to Wendy on her blog that I know what she's talking about. Can't talk about the "two-week wait" and not know what it means. For those of you who don't, the two-week wait is the period of time between ovulation (or conception) and menstruation (or pregnancy).
Anne and I start talking about how stressful it is to “try” to get pregnant. All those years of trying not to get pregnant – who knew it was so difficult? We talk about the challenges - I had my own obstacles and struggles. It took me ten long months! Wendy and Anne's challenge was that it cost a lot of money to buy sperm. My sperm was free. The sperm Wendy and Anne used cost them $500 a month. I had health insurance with my husband because we are "married". Anne and Wendy had to fight the insurance company because they were denied coverage for Wendy through Anne's policy. Why? Because the state of NC doesn't recognize gay marriage. But wait - the insurance company is a private entity. What does state law have to do with it?
So, it made me realize that even though my husband and I had the grief of a ten-month conception process, it's nothing compared to the challenges that Anne and Wendy have faced. They are beautiful people who just wanted to have a baby. And because of their challenges, their commitment to this child will be stronger than a lot of the heterosexual couples I know who have had babies.
Little Jayden was born on the 19th of this month, just a little more than a week ago. I took this picture of Wendy and Jayden in the hospital. I used my new digital, of course. Wendy looks beautiful, content and happy. Jayden looks like she’s smiling. The resemblance between mom and baby is undeniable! Next time I will get Mommy Anne in the picture and create the perfect family portrait. And I’ll use my new camera. And shoot in black and white, of course.
Technically, I got nothing. Maybe next week I’ll explore some new techniques with you that I’ve learned with the new digital. I am on vacation for the next ten days and will have plenty of time to play.
Shawna is a recognized expert on all things sperm related