“‘Dad, you were always there for me,’” I read. “Except when you weren’t,” I add out loud.
Oh no! A friend of Quentin wants his sperm! She even proposed driving out to Big Sur, where he’s living, and doing the insemination in the back of the vintage Jeep her surfer chick girlfriend drives. Quentin is totally enamored with the idea of knocking up surfer lesbos in the back of their dune buggy, and I feel bizarrely jealous!
The nice thing is, though Quentin is into the groovy tableau these chicks have built, and though in his heart I think he would like to help every queer couple on earth get preggers, he reached out to us to ask how we felt about it.
I’m not sure how I feel. I mean, like I said, I feel a weird, irrational jealousy, but I’ve long ago learned not to make actual decisions based on that particular emotion. I don’t feel like I have the right to tell Quentin what he can and can’t do with his body. He’s doing us a massive favor and I don’t want to show my gratitude to him by controlling his movements. But when he asks if we minded if he shares his sperm with another couple, he’s also asking if we mind our eventual kid having family we don’t know -– a sister, and some aunts.
As someone who has ruled their life –- and happily -– by the maxim "What’s the worst that could happen?", I’m not totally opposed to this couple digging into Quentin’s sperm. Best case scenario -– they’re totally cool people (I mean, they sound like pretty cool people) and if we all decide upon it we can be in communication and our kids can have a relationship.
Since we’re almost certainly not going to have another kid, maybe it would be special for our only child to have a half-sibling out there? Worst case scenario we don’t dig each other and we just avoid them. But there is the issue of having to disclose this you have-a-sibling information, information not quite as loaded as the you-have-a-father disclosure we’re avoiding by working with Quentin, but still. It complicates things, it’s a lot of unknowns. Which is why Dashiell is totally against it.
If, as an Aquarian, I am inclined to err on the side of secret family members for everyone, than Dashiell, as a Virgo, would like to wall our family off in a little Virgoan cave, with no extra set of grandparents popping up and certainly no secret siblings to have to deal with. And I can see her point. It is weird to think about our kid being related to people that neither of us are. I know that’s not a situation that’s unusual to countless people, but it’s unusual to us.
I tend to wind up siding with Dashiell in situations like this because she feels it much more intensely than I do. I’m sort of waffling in the ether, seeing all sides of everything and being open, while she’s keeled over on planet earth having an anxiety attack. Neither of us feel good about telling Quentin what to do with his body, and even Dashiell knows that is Quentin wants to do this the only available path for us is acceptance.
And even if he doesn’t knock up the surfers, who’s to say one of his very good lesbian friends won’t hit him up for sperm in the future? Nonetheless, he did ask how we felt about it, so it’s okay to accept his invitation to share our feelings and be honest. We tell him how we feel about it, and he graciously decides to not share his very popular sperm with anyone else. For now.
Before we get off the phone I ask him if he happens to know of any other bright, adorable, healthy young men who would like to help some queers get pregnant, because some really dear friends of mine had been working with a donor who had fallen through, and they need a new provider.
In fact –- dear reader, person reading this right now, if you or someone you know has sperm they would like to selflessly share with a great couple looking to be parents, please have them send a photo and a little blurb about themselves to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will pass it on to my smart and excellent friends, and they will take it from there. Seriously. I don’t know what me and Dashiell would do without Quentin. If you’ve got it in you to be somebody’s Quentin, please do it!
Me and Dashiell are so relieved after getting off the phone with Quentin –- she that our kid won’t have a sibling that has nothing to do with us, and I’m relieved that the conversation went so smoothly and Quentin didn’t seem to feel like we were telling him what to do with his testes.
We talk about everything is coming up -– the meds she’s going to be on to make her ovulate a ton of eggs, the meds I’ll be on to stop my cycle and build up my uterine lining.
“We’re going to be crazy!” Dashiell says, pantomiming a freak-out, her eyes big and her mouth pulled back in terror. We talk about how we will be gentle to one another and not take it personally if we get weird, and how we’ll make it through no matter what.
I tell Dashiell I really, really, really need her to tell me when she’s stressing out or worrying about anything. Sometimes if Dashiell is dealing with stress part of the way she deals is not wanting to talk about it. This is anathema to me, totally against my self-helpy, therapized way of dealing with things, and it also triggers a deep relationship fear I have of not knowing what is going on with my person and with my relationship.
I beg Dashiell to always tell me everything, and she promises to always let me in, even though it is her Virgo nature to crawl inside herself when things get hard. The conversation deepens until we’re both sharing our most profound fears, of dying and whatnot, and sharing intense family stories. I cry a little but we feel super close.
“Is this what people mean when they talk about ‘opening up?’” Dashiell asks, totally serious with her wide blue eyes. I start cracking up. Sometimes Dashiell is like an alien. A cute, innocent alien.
“Yes,” I tell her. “This would be a good example of ‘opening up.’”
The next day, while walking Rodney to the park I find a book on the sidewalk -– "Secret Life of an Unborn Baby." I once would have scornfully disregarded such a thing as probably anti-choice paraphernalia, but now I am delighted by the find, and feel that the Street Gods are smiling down on me and blessing my procreation attempts. I can’t wait to learn about an unborn baby’s secret life!
I bring it home even though I don’t really bring things home from the street since Dashiell moved in, as he claims that everything on the street has been peed on by a dog. Now that I spend part of each day taking a dog to pee around the street, I see what a good point he has. Still, I smelled the book before I tossed it in my tote bag, and it smelled just fine.
When I get home an email from Stella is waiting for me. I love emails from Stella. They really make me feel like everything is moving along, after so much waiting. I had asked her how to go about weaning myself off my Celexa, and she told me to talk to my prescribing doctor, primary care physician, or psychiatrist. The problem is, I have none of these.
I sort of prescribed myself my SSRI. Everyone around me, all my closest crazy friends whose crazy I so relate to, they were all medicated, and so grateful for it. Everyone in my family is medicated. After a particularly harsh breakup left me feeling low and hopeless and mentally obsessive, I marched into my local queer free clinic and told my doctor what I wanted. I wanted Lexapro, because my friend whose temperament I related to so hard was on it.
The doctor asked me a few questions and sent me home with a month’s supply of samples. As it turned out, Lexapro is really expensive if you don’t have health care, so I was bumped to Celexa, and then to Citlopram, generic Celexa. That doctor left the free clinic shortly before I got on Dashiell’s insurance and also left.
As for my primary care physician, a dagger straight out of a panel of Dykes to Watch Out For -– she kept her dog with her in the exam room, told me she required all of her patients to send her pictures of their pets (and showed me a thick brick of photos of cats and dogs) and after looking at my booties told me I needed to get a pair of "lesbian shoes" -– she had recently hitched herself to some sort of system not covered by insurance, so to stay with her would cost $5,000 out of pocket each year. I hadn’t yet found a new PCP, and I had never had a psychiatrist, ever.
Everyone I ask passes the buck –- no one wants to help me wean off my meds. I know that I’ll be weaning myself off with the help of the internet and I’m not particularly stoked about it. I’m also thinking I should get on it sooner rather than later. Even though I’ve heard that the baby wouldn’t be affected by my intake until the placenta formed, I want to be off my Poor Man’s Celexa by the time my artificial conception happens. I also don’t like putting things off. If I know this is coming, I want to get it over with, get the meds out of my body so I can acclimate to the new old me. I’m thinking the time to do it is soon, if I can get anyone to help me.