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Kathryn and I wandered through the baby section of a local store today.  We were looking for a shower gift for a friend of ours.  It seems we’ve hit the stage of life where everyone we know is getting pregnant, about to have a baby, or has little ones in tow. It’s thrilling.

On Monday I met with an old friend from university and got to experience the sheer joy of snuggling a sleeping newborn, one that still has that newborn curl.  As he woke up, he kept nuzzling into my neck – a sign infants are getting hungry, I hear.  It was incredible to feel so trusted by this little one, to know I was able to offer him the safety and comfort he needed in those small moments.

New moms keep telling me I am a natural, that I will be a great mother some day. I do hope so.

Kathryn and I have started talking and planning and hoping for little ones.  The trouble is the two of us don’t possess the right combination of baby-making organs. Turns out men do serve some purpose in the world.

We have friends (both women) who have a beautiful little toddler and another growing bump in Mommy’s tummy.  It was actually the birth of this little toddler that finally solidified our plans to get engaged two winter ago.  To Kathryn and I, she represents all the hope and love and longing we have to share our lives with little ones.  She represents the possibility not just of parenthood, but of family.

As a gay couple, we have a few options available to us.  Adoption is one that we have considered, but for now, we both feel that conception and pregnancy is the right choice for us.  We could go through a fertility clinic and use anonymous donated sperm for one of us to conceive and carry a child.  But this too doesn’t feel quite right for us.

We could also seek a known sperm donor, a man (or a couple) willing to donate sperm to us for an at-home, DIY insemination. You know, the old turkey baster method.  We like this option.  We like being able to conceive our child together, in intimacy, rather than with one of us laying with our legs in stirrups and a doctor shining his light up you-know-where.

Using a known donor is akin to the model of open adoption, where the level of relationship is decided by the parties involved.  We believe in giving our child a sense of place and belonging in the world, which often involves knowing where you come from.  We like being able to know who has given us this remarkable gift, and the possibility that our child would also be able to know who he is.  This doesn’t mean we’re looking for a baby-daddy or “co-parents”, but it does mean we can say to our kid “this man helped us give you life.”

So this is the option we’ve decided to pursue.  But it turns out it’s not as easy as just walking up to a man and saying “sperm, please.”  The complexity of donorship takes time to navigate, and we recognize that many people just aren’t comfortable with giving away their DNA.

It can be hard waiting while we sort out the details.  I am sure this is true for so many women who begin to plan and long for motherhood.  We know we are not the only ones who feel ready in body and spirit, and in our relationship, and yet have to wait.  We know there are other women who ache as they pass the baby section of a store, or shed tears at the announcement of a friend’s pregnancy. The miracle of new life is complex, and doesn’t often deal well with being rushed.

And so we wait.  And in the meantime, we relish spontaneity, and sleeping in, and being able to control our bladders when we laugh (I hear pregnancy makes this tricky at times).  And we trust, that when all the details come together, when the timing is right, when it’s finally our turn, we’ll be terrified and awe-filled and ready to be new mothers. And we will love that little one fiercely.

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