As a pre-op trans woman struggling with life in the US Armed Forces (while "Don't ask, don't tell" is not gone, transgender people are still forced to live in the dark) who had just arrived at a new command with no friends, no idea what I was in for, and no clue who I could trust. A dream of a woman — who was also fairly new to the command — entered into my life. At the time I assumed I had no chance with her. Even if I did, all the heartbreak I had experienced over the years had left me believing that the women I'm attracted to never understand my journey as a transgender woman, and are never willing to help me through the issues I deal with on a daily basis.
This is Offbeat Families's archive of Considering Parenthood posts.
So you think you MIGHT want to start a family, just maybe? Or maybe not? This is the category for considerations pre-trying to conceive or starting the adoption process. Let's chew over the concept of parenthood, timing, intent, and identity.
My husband and I got married last month, but we have been living together for two years. We both have part-time jobs, we own our own coffee business, and we rent a nice apartment. I am 22, but I have always wanted kids. A lot of our friends and family tell us to wait a few years before we have kids. Wait til we have more money, wait til we have a house, etc. I see where they are coming from, but I also think we could manage having children now too.
Last year I met a fabulous genderqueer person with whom I fell into bed unexpectedly one night and fell in love with almost as quickly — a person who told me in the very first hour or two of serious conversation, right before serious cuddling became serious sex, that he was planning to get pregnant and become a single mom within a year. And I surprised myself by instantly thinking "That's interesting… where do I fit in? How can I be part of this? Who do I want to be?"
The concept of my husband thinking about babies proves to be the biggest aphrodisiac for me ever, like nature is saying, “You know you want it…” I feel as a human like I’m just flesh wrapped around a hungry uterus. I obsess over my pregnant friends and those with new babies. I’ve never felt so aware of my own body — that I am suddenly at a time in my life where I could get pregnant and rejoice seems impossible and thrilling.
What I've been considering a lot lately, and what has been upsetting me, is that marriage seems to = babies according to common logic. I find myself not just frustrated as a woman that is simply not damn ready to have a baby yet, but also insulted for pretty much any family that has done things differently.
Not that I don't want children, or babies, I just have a bit more to do first. My husband needs time to establish himself in a new, entrepreneurial endeavor. I need time to get more comfortable as a teacher in a low-income school. I also have a few more words to write before I am forced to decide between teaching and writing and the balance of motherhood. Yeah, yeah, I know, you're never ready. Maybe that's why baby fever takes over, to ensure we have those babies before it's too late.
I've always been open about my sexuality and the fact that I want more than anything to have a family of my own. If I had questions about sex or relationships, I went to my family for advice or answers. When I wanted to start on birth control pills, I talked to my Mom about it. I'm generally an open person, so why can't I just give them a firm answer on the baby of it all? The answers to those questions are somewhat complicated. The reason we've decided to be mum (ha!) on the whole situation is not: quite simply, it's none of their business.
On Tuesday, August 14th, at 1:00 p.m., I went into my OBGYN's clinic to get myself checked out, and walked away two-and-a-half hours later with the biggest shock I have ever known: I was pregnant, and half of my pregnancy had already gone by. I had no symptoms, continued having a period every month, and never experienced any weight gain. But none the less, I was going to be a mother. And I had one night to decide if I was ready to change my life, forever.