A Long Pregnancy and Adoption Journey
I’ve never been pregnant. I don’t have any children, but I hope to someday. I’m in a same-sex relationship, and pregnancy is a more challenging path. We’ve been on our journey for many years now. My wife always wanted to be pregnant. I haven’t wanted to since seventh grade when I saw a video of a birth – that was not something I was ever going to go through. But she wanted it. She wanted to feel a baby grow inside her.
So we went to a well-regarded fertility clinic. It was obvious from the start that they didn’t want to help us, but we tried to work with them anyway because it was literally two floors up from where she worked – how convenient.
My wife went through the normal medical checks for fertility and general health. They wanted me to do so as well, but I didn’t see the point since I was not contributing anything medically related. They left voicemails for our “husband,” which we don’t have. They sent me a collection cup for something I biologically could not provide (that is, a collection cup for something men are typically able to contribute to a pregnancy). After that, we were done with them.
Fortunately, we found another, much better clinic that quickly identified that my wife didn’t ovulate, and thus she began fertility treatments. I remember how determined she was. Her father was very ill with leukemia, and we were racing against the clock to have a baby while he was still with us.
On a monthly basis, I’d drive about twenty miles to obtain the sample we needed and then carry the heavy (at least ten pounds) canister to her IVF treatments. I’d hold her hand as a nurse carried out the procedure. Month after month after month, no success.
Her father passed away, and we paused our pregnancy journey. When we picked it up again several months later, my wife’s health had changed, and we learned she would not be able to carry a child. The first complication was a fibroid. The next was a diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis. And the third was the fact that with all the time that had passed, she was now over forty. Sometimes life happens and things get more complicated.
Through all of this we’ve explored adoption and fostering. Now we’re thinking about foster-to-adopt. I have my concerns as a caregiver to my partner, who is living with ankylosing spondylitis, about what introducing the responsibility of a child into our lives would entail. But we’ve undertaken so much in the many years we’ve been together that I know we could tackle parenting. So we’ll start to do our homework again and hopefully move forward on our parenting journey.