Holy Fuck. The Appointment Has Been Made

September 7, 2011 at 8:19 pm (Baby on the Brain) (, , , )

Yes, THAT appointment. The initial appointment/consultation that will hopefully start the “holy fuck we’re having a baby” process. We’ve decided to go to a reproductive endocrinologist at a reproductive center in Pasadena. Since I’m so freaking old (in baby making years), this ball’s got to go at light speed once it starts rolling. I was totally weird when I made the appointment. Tried cracking jokes that the appointment setter just didn’t get (they were awful jokes. Truly). And when she asked, “is this appointment for infertility?” I had no answer. Am I fertile? Probably. Can I get pregnant? Not with my current partner.

Tangent: Did I ever relate the story of another lesbian couple we know? At a family gathering, one of the women told her grandmother, “Grandma, we’re trying to have a baby.” Grandma looked at the two of them and stated, “You’re doing it wrong!” /tangent

I guess that makes me infertile for the time being. And in need of their fertility services. ICI, IUI, IVF. Rah Rah Rah! Siss-boom-bah! Or something like that. Which to choose? I’m thinking we’ll go right past ICI and try IUI, as we’ll probably be doing this at their facilities and not trying to be all “let’s both be involved in the baby making, here–let me shove this turkey baster up your —-while we’re surrounded by candlelight and soft music. Isn’t it beautiful?” I’m sure that works for some people but that’s SO NOT US! We’re going for clinical, efficient, and cost effective, thank you very much.

We’ve kind of settled on having a baby whose bio dad is…Taiwanese/Chinese. Our choices are so limited, we don’t even really care what the donor looks like. But we’ll get a picture just to make sure we don’t know him or worse, he’s related. Or maybe that’d be better? Whatever. Out of 4 potential donors, this one is tall(ish), smart, and likes sports.

Handing over the credit card for this stuff is going to hurt. I sent over a copy of my insurance card but we really have no idea how much it’s going to cost to get pregnant (and no, we’re not thinking past that to the actual cost of having another human who’s totally dependent on us. Just not going there, ok?). But it’s going to be worth it, right? Right?

If the damn doctor tells me I have to lose weight I might shoot him, though.

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Second Class Citizen

December 28, 2010 at 12:35 am (Baby on the Brain, TGF) (, , , , , , )

There’s nothing like a little discrimination to make you feel, well, downright shitty. I’ve spent the last few days in a funk, trying to figure out how I’ve lived this long and never really had anyone make me feel like this. I’ve been an out lesbian for over 15 years. I’ve been in a committed relationship for 10 of those years. I’m open and very vocal about who I am and what I am. So here I sit, utterly powerless, all because my partner’s company won’t extend benefits to me as her domestic partner. And according to my insurance agent and her legal counsel, it’s all legal, even in the state of California.

Because although we have a law that says companies must extend equal benefits to domestic partners as they do spouses, it doesn’t apply when the employees are partially funding their coverage. Fucking loopholes. This, my friends, is discrimination. And why I give a big “fuck you” to those asshats who say that domestic partnership is the same as marriage. If I’d gotten married when it was legal in California, would I be having this problem now? I don’t know. I’d probably be having a different problem, since my partner’s company is based in another state and they wouldn’t recognize our marriage anyway.

I’ve been lucky in that this has never been an issue before. But I think in a way it hurts more now. We have a plan, dammit! This was supposed to be the year we started making babies. Like, soon. And now if I switch to individual insurance, not only is it going to be ridiculously expensive (try anywhere from $280/month to $610/month) for me, it’s nearly impossible to cover prenatal care if I get pregnant within 6 months of my enrollment date. I can’t get pregnant until June BECAUSE MY INSURANCE COMPANY SAYS SO. It’s so unfair. And nobody offers any sort of coverage for infertility. We already knew that was going to be expensive.

To top that all off, my girlfriend and I are 400 miles apart this week. I’m staying with my parents through the new year and she’s back at home, working. Phone calls are not as comforting as hugs. Feeling all alone because I haven’t even told my parents we want to have a baby is dumb, but I don’t want to get their hopes up. So yay, I get to be all clandestine when I’m reading the insurance information, scrolling through the pregnancy/maternity/post birth coverage stuff.

And now my partner feels really bad because her company sucks ass. I feel guilty because she has to pay for all of this. Could this suck any more right now? Oh wait, I could have PMS, too. Well, as luck would have it, I do. So I’m crying on the phone, I slept 16 hours last night, I’m eating everything in sight. FUUUUUCK. I know it’ll work out. In my head, I know this will work out. But for now, I’m going to feel sorry for myself and tuck my lonely, fat body into a cold, lonely bed.

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A Hitch in the Plans

December 24, 2010 at 11:58 am (Healthy...?) (, , , , )

My partner found out 2 weeks ago  that her company has been acquired by a bigger company based in St. Louis. Great! More opportunities for advancement, better bonuses for travel, hopefully more ‘perks’. She was feeling rather stagnated in her present job so this had the potential to become something very positive.

Cut to last week, when I was online registering us for our new health insurance plan. I fill out most of the forms and read most of the fine print in this household because although my girlfriend is a wonderful, caring person, she can’t seem to pay attention long enough to follow the instructions on a soup can, so insurance forms or our cellular phone bill are way out of her comfort zone. Anyway, I came to the page to add a spouse or dependent. I entered my name and then realized I couldn’t change the gender of the spouse on the page. It was fixed to ‘male’. Uh, what? Emails were sent out post haste. The first was, “Dear HR Person in St. Louis, I can’t add my partner to my health plan because it defaults to male, since I’m female. Please advise.”  The answer?

Unfortunately our plan does not allow for Domestic Partners. At this point there is nothing I can do.

You, “HR Benefits Specialist”, can kiss my yellow ass. So then we wrote to the former owner of the company, who is now acting as head of the west coast operations. The gist of that email was that I, as a domestic partner, was covered under the old company’s policies, as well as the law in the state of California. Any changes to this, i.e., not offering me coverage now, was unacceptable given the law (AB 2208, the California Insurance Equality Act) and that I should be covered. The first response was “we’ll get back to you.” Last night, after close of business and going into a 4 day holiday weekend, another response:

Unfortunately with the new company’s plan being partially company funded and partially employee funded we are not able to offer benefits for domestic partners.

This is California, right? I didn’t fall asleep and wake up in Texas or somewhere in the south? Holy crap, I didn’t think this would be an issue for us, ever. When people say being domestic partners is equivalent to being married so why fight for gay marriage, this is what I want them to know:   my partner’s employers think they have the right not to offer health insurance benefits to me because I am a domestic partner, not a spouse. As it stands right now, my biological child may not be covered by her insurance, either, since she’s not related by blood.

So now we have some major decisions to make. We asked for an extension of our former benefits so that I would not have a lapse in coverage after the companies merge on January 1st. They said no. They suggested I look into COBRA coverage. Do we get a lawyer? Can they actually do this in California? We’re asking our friends for advice, and so far it’s not been pleasant. One of my partner’s friends said he has COBRA now because they took away DP benefits after the whole fiasco surrounding Prop. 8 (his partner’s company ended DP benefits while same sex marriage was legal and never reinstated it) and they couldn’t sue because his partner wasn’t out.

Are we going to fight? Where does this put us as far as planning for the kid? How much more expensive is COBRA if I have to go on it? Individual insurance is not necessarily an option for me, I’ve been told I’m basically uninsurable because I have asthma. Fuckers.

I sent an email to the Nat’l Center for Lesbian Rights, hopefully they get back to me about options soon. Wish I had more than a week to get this sorted out. That it’s the week between Christmas and New Year’s, when most people aren’t really working? Figures.

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My Ideal Child

November 19, 2010 at 9:15 pm (Baby on the Brain, Navel Gazing, TGF, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

This is not a wishlist. At least I don’t think of it that way. It’s more of an “I Hope That…” list for the child who is still pretty much a twinkle in his/her mothers’ eyes.

Yesterday during lunch my girlfriend and I were talking general timelines of when we thought we might start trying this whole insemination thing. Not that we’ve chosen a donor. Or even set up an initial consultation. I suppose those things will happen after the 1st of the year. It’s looking like it’s full steam ahead in the first quarter of 2011, though. Slightly queasy at the thought but excited, too. I don’t know whether I’d like a girl or a boy. Ideally, we’d have one of each but for now we’re concentrating on the “having the baby” part. I do think there are some character traits I’d like for our child to have, regardless of gender.

I’d love our child to be outgoing, not introverted to the point of a social disorder, like me. I’d like it if she learned to be open and empathetic like her other mother as well as somehow inherit my girlfriend’s work ethic and drive. I want her to speak 3 languages (English, Mandarin & Spanish) and be able to converse with her grandmother.

I don’t want our kids to have the same hang ups that my girlfriend and I do about weight and food. I want them to be healthy, active, and look to us for comfort, not chocolate or french fries. I’ve no idea how to accomplish this since I still go for the ice cream or any type of junk food when I’m sad, but that’s something I’ll work to get past.

I’m going to try not to be so opinionated, too. I know I’m judgmental and I’m sort of a prick about it but I don’t want our kids to think they can’t talk to me or that I’ll be closed-minded if they want to be, oh, I don’t know, straight or something. Ugh, I knew I should’ve started therapy a long time ago.

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Nature vs Nurture

November 5, 2010 at 6:00 pm (Navel Gazing, Randomness) (, , , , )

Well, not precisely. But I was thinking today of a conversation I had with a friend I’ve known for over 30 years. Who hits me every time I mention just how long we’ve known each other. Who says she never thought I was a lesbian, really, but what did we know growing up? I dated boys, dressed like everyone else–pegged jeans, sloppy sweatshirts, keds, the occasional dress–it was the late 80’s-early 90’s. Fashion was weird. Anyway, back to the conversation I had with KG. I mentioned that I never thought it was odd that I found girls attractive. I also didn’t think it was odd that I had no interest in boys, although I guess I must have thought it odd enough that I pretended to have a crush on some guy in 7th grade. KG laughed at me. Really, she did. She said that she, as a completely straight girl, could objectively find another girl pretty but would not be attracted to her. She and I are on completely different ends of the Kinsey scale. It was interesting to talk to someone who’s never in her life thought about another woman the way she thinks about her boyfriends. I, after much dawdling in my teens, now find it utterly insane to think of having any sort of intimate, sexual relationship with a guy.

It’s nice to know that someone I’ve known most of my life is totally ok with me being me. No, I’m not the same person who left our hometown almost 20 years ago, but we share a history and an upbringing that negates any differences that we might have now. We’ve both pointed out that we had an idyllic environment in which to grow up. We attended a very small, private elementary school where we were encouraged to be individuals. We were blissfully unaware of the horrors of life outside of our “golden ghetto”, as one of my English teachers described it in high school, our biggest concerns were academics, school dances, and whether or not our parents would let us have cars when we turned 16. She was a cheerleader, I was a choir geek. There was no valedictorian at graduation because 1/2 the graduating class had over a 4.0 gpa. Nobody brought weapons to school. Yes, there were bullies. Yes, some people were singled out because of their perceived sexuality. But you’d have to ask them about their experiences, because I can’t speak for them. I was an ignorant, happy teenager during those years.

I do remember getting a phone call one afternoon–a girl who said, “I’ve heard you were bi and looking for a girlfriend?” I said that I was neither and she hung up. Did it weird me out? Not really. Did it unlock any doors in my psyche? No, not really. I didn’t know I was queer til after I left high school. But I think I’ve always been ok with it. I didn’t tell anyone for a while, but I never thought it was horribly wrong of me, nor did I ever feel I was somehow unworthy of my family’s love, or the love of my friends. I think I’m pretty lucky in that respect. Hell, I think my family knew before I did!

Somewhere in my mind, I’ve got this idea that I want our children to have the security and safety of the world in which I grew up. I’m not sure how we can give that to them, other than raise them with the same love and guidance that we received from our parents (minus the guilt and passive/aggressive tendencies, thankyouverymuch). I worry about the same things over and over, things that are not in my control, when I’ve always been the type to stay in the moment. My girlfriend’s probably rubbing off on me. She plans 5 years ahead. I can’t think of what I’m doing tomorrow. Or what’s for dinner tonight. But how much control do you really have over what your child learns when you’re not around? I’m seriously going to want to keep our kids with us until they turn 30.

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Every Once In A While

October 15, 2010 at 11:43 pm (Baby on the Brain) (, , )

I send freak out emails to one of my best friends. Because she lives 6000 miles away but I’ve known her for over 20 years. I shouldn’t send them, I hate it when my dad does that to me (we call them email bombs, he figures if he can’t say things out loud, well then, he’s just going to say them in an email), but I can’t seem to help myself.

Subject: i think i’m gonna have a nervous breakdown

because i’ve got some sort of horrific baby on the brain thing going on over here.

i’m hormonal. that’s for damn sure. i’m reading blogs about lesbians having babies. about how there are no maternity clothes for butch (ok, i’m not really totally butch but i do prefer mens’ clothing over womens’ and oh shit, where does that apostrophe go?) dykes and i’m going to have to resort to floral patterns and ruffles. god help me.

did i mention the sperm donor catalogs? so far, i have ONE choice if i want a taiwanese donor, maybe 4 if i want a japanese donor.

babies. me. stupid ticking clock is getting louder in here.

and how is everything over there?

And then, two days later:

Subject:  I’m over freaking out now

really, i am. fucking hormones.

anyway, don’t know what i’m going to do about the baby thing. ugh. me? baby? frustrating that my brain’s suddenly become this minefield of previously unheard of needs and i can’t do anything about it. except drop stupid emails on unsuspecting friends. yay me.

i promise to keep them to a minimum.

Most of the time I feel like a basket case. I think I want a baby. I think I want to be pregnant. There’s never a “good” time to have one, I guess. With my girlfriend’s schedule as hectic as it is, it’s never really a good time to even talk about this stuff. I want to make that appointment to see if I’m even able to get pregnant. Does insurance cover this? No, of course not. Am I even sure she wants to have kids with me? Pretty sure. I know she wants to have her own biological child but does she want mine? I hate feeling like I’m running out of time.

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