Yet Another Knapsack…

Have you read Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh?  It’s classic. I love it.  It’s all about white privilege.  I’ve been grappling with a different sort of privilege lately.  I don’t know what to call it except maybe fertility privilege.


Seven and a half years ago when Kim and I started talking about getting pregnant and having babies, I had no idea the heartache and the expense so many folks – especially folks in the LGBT community – endure.


We bought an ovulation predictor kit, a new Indigo Girls CD for ambiance, an oral syringe and that was that.  A friend bought us a useful book and the total expense was around $30.  We had to buy a new pillow that almost doubled our costs – but that was a clumsy mishap that should have been avoided. I experienced one roller coaster month and then was pregnant. 


 I never doubted I’d be a Fertile Myrtle.  Having babies runs in my family.  And I was right.  But what I realize now is that this was just SHIT HOUSE LUCK. 


Starting a blog has got me interested in reading others’ blogs.  And reading others’ blogs has broken my heart.  The TTC (which I now know is trying to conceive) blogs detail the heartbreak of infertility.  The thousands of dollars.  The time.  The energy.  The stress.  The legal restrictions.  The anti-gay laws.  The roller coaster.  The new vocabulary. The success.  The failure.  The pain.  The love.  The happiness.   The money.  The money.  The money.


In my hateful great state, a lesbian’s only legal hope for a baby is to grow it in her own uterus.  Non-bio parents have no legal standing in this state.  Unmarried cohabitating individuals cannot adopt.  If there were a practical way to stamp my uterus with a “lesbian, do not make this place your home” sign as a warning to incoming fetuses, Utah would have done that already. 


My heart is with a friend this week.  A friend who has had something like 22 intra-uterine inseminations and a failed IVF attempt. She’s in the midst of a second IVF despite medical complications, having to be on bed rest, and having to take out a loan for the expense.  Talk about selfless.  I’m in awe.


And I am sitting with my privilege…unpacking my knapsack.


6 Responses to “Yet Another Knapsack…”

  1. Carrie Says:

    Thinking a good thought for your friend!

  2. Chicory Says:

    Even more than I wish for us to be pregnant, I wish for her to be pregnant. I so, so, so hope that this is the time for them.

  3. Kelly B Says:

    one of my friends in NY just had twins with her partner after two years, and a small fortune later… she is now in the process of adopting them.

    i too hope that in a few years when mandy and i are ready to try that i will be a fertile myrtle…

    my heart goes out to your friend… malachi is 5 and i havent be around him his whole life…but i wouldnt have changed this last year and a half with him… he is amazing, and being a parent is… WHOA. (who knew that kelly burns would be all growed up??)

  4. Eric Says:

    Pav and I watched a documentary this last weekend – Paternal Instinct – which detailed a year-long effort of a gay couple and their heterosexual/wiccan/married/mother/all-natural surrogate. I’m not gonna lie – after all the difficulty they had getting pregnant, the only thing I really fixated on was a scene of two naked gay men and one very pregnant woman in an inflatable pool in the living room, surrounded by a husband, a 14 y/o son and a midwife.

    I’m not unsympathetic – I’ve watched family members & friends face this challenge to have children but to be honest, I personally don’t “feel” the biological urge. Maybe it’s because I’ve had an abundance of adopted sib/cousins in my life, I dunno. Pav definitely expects to have biological children, so we did establish (after watching the documentary) that there was no way in hell he was gonna be in the room, much less in the inflatable pool. :-p

  5. Keri Says:

    You are grateful for the last 7 1/2 years – that alone excuses your privilege.
    Thanks so much for all the love.

  6. Matt Says:

    You know, I have been struggling through my overwhelming pragmatism and love of independence to understand the desire of people to go through so much to bear their own children, instead of just getting children through some other means. Well, adoption, I guess, is the other means.

    Anyway, your explanation of why a woman needs to bear her own child in Utah makes sense. SO thank you for showing me the light.

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