Unchartered Territories, Or Not?

I’m 17 weeks into our first pregnancy and I’ve been watching a lot of “A Baby Story” on TLC…I cry every time a baby is born (hormones). It helps me in preparation for the big birthday.

I can usually get past the fact that the show narrowly represents the population of people having babies these days by featuring mostly white married heterosexual couples. I have neither seen one lesbian couple, nor any African-American couples, nor any single moms on the show.

One recent episode highlighted an aspect of trying to conceive (TTC) that many people don’t realize about what lesbian couples go through trying to have a baby. The show was about a straight couple having fertility struggles; they tried on their own for a year, then tried 2 inseminations (IUIs) (no meds), then 1 round of In vitrio fertilization (IVF). The woman displayed the handful of meds she had to take and spoke of dreaded injections. She told of how incredibly stressful the entire process was for them, which by my math probably lasted approx. 4-6 months. I couldn’t help but feel like I had felt similar stresses during our own journey to conceive, yet I realized that the only people in my life who understood this were friends who have been through the same, or were other close friends and family who we can be open with about the process’ details. Most other people in my life really have no idea. It took us 5 attempts within 1 years time to conceive. Many lesbians I know have had to endure more prolonged struggles lasting over a year, with several medications, injections, surgeries, and in vitro fertilizations (IVF).

The reality is that many people think that a lesbian getting pregnant means simply buying sperm, and making a Dr.’s appt. Well, it’s not that simple at all. We started by having a consultation appt. with my Dr., then blood tests, choosing a fertility specialist, more blood tests, ultrasound, selecting a donor, purchasing sperm, tracking body temp.’s, ovulation predictor kits, insurance plan details, planning life around TTC, inseminations, fertility meds, stubborn cervixes, painful IUIs, lots of waiting for test results, lots of out-of-pockets expenses +\- $5500 and almost 1 year later, boom! We’re having a baby! Even though we felt stressed out at times, we still had the motivation in sight of meeting our baby for the first time. In fact, all those times in the waiting room of the fertility doc, I never felt like we were like the other patients…we weren’t there because we had to be, we were there because we wanted to be.

I truly feel for every woman out there trying to have a baby, no matter who they are. And, I think it’s about time for TLC to start having more women on “A Baby Story” who are more representative of the real women having babies in the world!