Friday, May 28, 2010

Papa can you hear me?

So I have made a new bloggy friend and she is a devastatingly good writer.

She is in a similar situation to me: she's gay, she using donor sperm to make a baby, she is using IVF, she's a she...see how much we have in common?

However, let me tell you the one big thing we differ markedly on: the identity of the donor.

She knows him, has a good relationship with him, she's moved house to be closer to him, they have coffee regularly and she even uses words like daddy and father when referring to him.

Honestly I mean no offence, but I cannot imagine anything more awkward or strange or icky.

The most we know about our donor is contained in a 10-page questionnaire. To us, he is a number. And it might sound harsh or clinical, but that's just the way we like it.

We met up with another friend while in Adelaide a week ago - she's in a same-sex relationship too, they have one little boy also and are also trying for number two.

Her school of thought was all about full disclosure also. "I cannot imagine having someone's sperm inside me from someone I didn't know, or like."

After I gagged, I kind of got her drift. But we actually prefer and like the not knowing. And thank Christ we agree.

Honestly, we are probably a bit gun-shy. Perhaps because T's parents have not been the most, shall we say, accepting of our relationship; and perhaps because we have read one too many magazine stories and seen one too many documentaries about known donor relationships going horribly awry. I guess it is just one less thing we have to worry about trusting.

I mean, we are devoted to each other and committed 100% - that's fine, I will never question that. But then you want to bring in a third party? Who you might not know very well, whose circumstances and mind could change for all sorts of reasons?

It was a preservation mechanism: both for us and whatever children we had, I think.

Of course, there is potential for Jay to go searching for this man when he turns 18. We will help him find him and go with him on the plane if that's what he wants and if that's what ends up happening.

Right now, we are flat out preparing for how we have that conversation - and how we have it age-appropriately.

Believe me, we have both lost sleep over wondering what the hell we are going to say if Jay comes home from Year 1 to tell us that his best friend was telling him that day that he was going camping with his dad on the weekend and where was Jay's dad?

At this stage, I am content to default to what the counsellor told us at the IVF clinic: your son will not have a father, he will have two mums.

And, my, wasn't it a relief to hear those simple words? My brain had over-analysed to the hilt...I was getting ready to draw diagrams, make a papier mache diorama, write a book, illustrate it, clip a topiary interpretation of the situation on the hedge outside and stage a play to help us explain how in god's name Jay came into the world and why he had two people of the same sex as his parents...this, yes this was much better.

"Well son, you don't have a dad. You have two mums."

The scary thing of course, however, is what is said after we deal with that moment when Jay looks at us in the seconds after we deliver such forthright words with blank, naive eyes and his sharp little brain starts formulating the very next question.

Those words are something, but I know they won't be enough.

What will we say?

Who knows? But we will work it out, just as we have always done.

That was a very Hallmark end to the post, wasn't it? Didn't it smack of the "and they all lived happily ever after"?

But that's what I am slowly gathering about parenting. You just do your freaking best. Most days it's fine, some days it is spectacular and others, it's truly from a place called hell.

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