I’ve hired a scientist to watch over the babies

A few weeks ago, I found out that Lego was coming out with “female scientist” mini-figures. I’m not a huge fan of Lego, but I am a huge fan of female scientists. So, I ordered one. Because there is only one.

Don’t get me wrong, there are other females. There is Mermaid, Hollywood Starlet, Fortune Teller and Pretzel Girl. Wait! All is not lost, there is also Librarian, Zookeeper and Swimming Champion — all of whom are female.

When Scientist arrived, I needed a place to put her and next to these seemed like as good a place as any.

babies

I bought all these babies when I was trying to create the original banner for this blog, because when you’re going through fertility treatments you’re either going to have no babies or a whole pile of babies. Your choices basically look like this:

toomanybabies

And I know some people will be all “Jesus doesn’t make too many babies.” But Jesus doesn’t make these babies, scientists do. And scientists will be all “this is statistics, so we need to increase your odds of success by filling your body up with pre-babies, called zygotes.” It’s complicated, but that is the basic idea.

So I put my Scientist here with the babies.

chemist

According to Lego, “Thanks to the Scientist’s tireless research, Minifigures that have misplaced their legs can now attach new pieces to let them swim like fish, slither like snakes or stomp around like robots.” So, even though she looks like a chemist, she’s actually Dr. Frankenstein.

Then, I tried to order more female scientist mini-figures because one is never enough. And there weren’t any, so I ordered an androgynous-looking surgeon.  I put her next to the chemist.

surgeon

Then, I realized that I’ve turned into Richard Dreyfus from Close Encounters of the Third Kind. But instead of building shrines to aliens with mashed potatoes, I’m re-creating scenes from my IVF treatment using Legos.

Now we just need to name all these babies.

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© Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

If you want to feel more gay, get pregnant

When I started this blog more than a year ago, I planned to write about getting pregnant and becoming a gay parent. But that story ended up being a book – a long one. Instead, this blog became a bunch of stuff about being a gay parent.

But, now I have a problem. The more I gay parent, the less gay it seems. These days, it mostly just seems like parenting, unless I kiss Pam in a public place in front of our kids. That still feels pretty gay.

And speaking of kissing people in front of strangers, we should keep doing that because sometimes it can result in national television coverage, which is great promotion for your blog if you happen to be a black, gay NFL football player. And also because people are still surprised if you’re gay and black and a football player all at the same time.

But other people don’t seem to care anymore if you are gay. Or, at least, my dad doesn’t.

“Stop telling people you are gay. No one cares if you are gay. Talk about something that matters, like the sage grouse in Wyoming,” he said.

My dad is a biologist, so his marginalized group is the sage grouse. I understand. They have rights to fight for, namely their own legitimized breeding ground. I can relate. But we are getting off track here.

My original point was about whether or not I’m feeling particularly gay. I’m not.

And as you may have already anticipated, this conversation, which was happening mostly with myself at this point because my dad is sick of talking about being gay, continued in my head. If I wasn’t feeling particularly gay right now, then when did I feel really gay? In 1997.

I was wearing men’s shoes a lot back then, and I had short hair. But then, more than 10 years later, I got pregnant and I felt super gay. I looked really straight, but I felt really gay.

This is me (right) feeling really gay. And my friend Carol (left) also feeling gay, but in the happy meaning of the word.

This is me (right) feeling really gay. And my friend Carol (left) also feeling gay, but only in the happy sense of the word.

There has been no other time in my life when people inquired more about “my husband” or searched my left hand more often for a wedding ring. But I was neither married nor heterosexual. But all of the assumptions started making me feel more self-conscious about being gay. So, I felt more like I needed to announce it to people which, I’m guessing, is around the time when my dad started feeling irritated by my constantly announcing that I was gay.

I suppose the moral of the story is that things have changed. (Is that a moral?) To feel gay, I used to need to look gay. And now it’s the opposite. If I want to feel really gay, I just need to act or look really straight. So next weekend, I’m going to have a spa day with my girlfriends, shave my legs, get my nails done and really gay it up. Just don’t tell my dad.

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I expect the sex talk to be easier since it was an immaculate conception, literally

Now that my children are getting older, I expect them to have a few more questions about how they got here. This is one of the down sides of teaching them how to talk, but there were so many other advantages to talking and it seemed to come naturally, so we just went with it.

There is no guide book for talking to your kids about how your gay parents had you, although I’m sure someone is writing one. And if I may, here is a suggestion for a title: How to Not Talk to Your Kids about Sex.

It recently occurred to me that I got pregnant without having sex with anyone. Or at least the sex didn’t cause me to become pregnant. OK, wait, I knew that at the time but what I’m saying is that it dawned on me that I could relay all of the details of my daughter’s conception and birth to her without mentioning anything but online shopping and trips to the doctor’s office, both of which she already knows about.

Really, it would be talking about an immaculate conception – in that it was immaculate and there was conception. In fact, it was so immaculate that my dirty vagina wasn’t allowed anywhere near the place where the sperm and the egg got together. It probably happened in a sterilized room where smart people dressed in cleanroom apparel and using pipettes put some sperm in a petri dish with my eggs. But, I wouldn’t know because I wasn’t directly involved. Seriously, I have an alibi.

immacgreenhair3

And it’s probably rude or blasphemous to call it an immaculate conception. But I didn’t call it The Immaculate Conception, because I read up on that, and I don’t get it. There are so many self-referential euphemisms in the description of the Original Sin and the Immaculate Conception that I could not figure what the Catholics were talking about. It was like talking to someone who insists on using air quotes around every other word. I mean, seriously, how can you write three paragraphs about something and still not really say what it is. So, I gave up. Maybe I’ll ask my mother-in-not-law next time I get a chance.

I think all that this really means is that in our house there will be two talks: The sex talk and the how-babies-are-born talk. Except that there won’t be, because I don’t want to have a “big talk.” I would like all of this to become part of our normal, family dialogue.

Stop! Wait! Don’t call social services! We are not going to sit around all day talking to our kids about sex. We are just going to answer questions with facts and compassion when they come up, just like everything else that we talk about.

In fact, Wynn and I have “big talks” all the time. Last night’s was about “why it’s OK to feel afraid.” And the night before, it was “being nice to your sister.” And we even had a talk about how some children don’t come out of their mom’s belly (because they are adopted). So far, that one was the most surprising to her judging only by the size of her eyes. And “feeling afraid” had the most tears. And, of course, “being nice to your sister” involved the most eye-rolling.

So, I’m looking forward to seeing what we can not talk about next.

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My daughter’s birth story involves dry ice

We were sitting around the Christmas tree this weekend enjoying ten whole minutes of “family time” before some half-naked, half-crazed member of the family went running off screaming that it’s time to watch a movie. And we had a nice little family conversation about who was frozen and who wasn’t. And please don’t think this was a conversation about the weather, because it wasn’t. It started like this:

“I want to look at pictures of me in Mima’s belly,” said Wynn. She never gets tired of hearing about how she was in my uterus for 10 months. I think it’s because she’s lazy and relishes the idea of being curled up somewhere warm, carried around and automatically fed through a tube in her stomach.

“I want to look at pictures of me in Mima’s belly, too,” said Marlo.

“You were frozen,” said Pam.

“I was frozen, too,” said Wynn.

“No you weren’t. Only Marlo was frozen,” I said.

Wynn and Marlo were part of the same batch and Wynn was hatching (this is really what they call it) so they put her in my uterus — her favorite place in the whole world — and Marlo went to the deep freeze along with some others (the other little Mexicans) for two years.

“I want to be frozen!” cried Wynn.

“Listen, not everyone can be frozen. Only Marlo and Han Solo.”

“Who is Hand Solo?” said Marlo.

“A space cowboy.”

“I want to watch Toy Story!”

Family time over. And then I thought about it later and wondered if it was appropriate to tell your children that they were frozen in a lab for two years before they were born. Is it embarrassing to be frozen in a lab? Seriously. Judge me. I’m used to it. I just can’t wait to hear Marlo tell someone that she was frozen, like Hand Solo.

girl baby

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Sometimes researching this book scares the sh*t out of me

I’m writing a book about how our babies were made. Yes, the world still needs more information on this topic. And every once in while I feel the need to do some research. Not THAT kind of research. Because gays don’t make babies the way most people do. At least, we didn’t.

Quickly, as a reminder. We went to a fertility clinic, bought some sperm, and then did tons of scientific experiments on my reproductive organs. Eventually, this resulted in seven zygotes (my little Mexicans) and two girls that we love and who seem pretty normal. Except for their size. They are a bit bigger than the ones we ordered, but that’s fine. Because nothing is perfect, as we were so gently reminded the other day:

Me: Do we have all the information on our sperm donor saved on your computer?

Pam: I don’t think so, but I can probably get it from the web site.

*logs onto web site*

Pam: He’s not here.

Me: What? What happened to him?

Pam: I don’t know.

Me: Why would they do that?

More confusion ensues, including me speculating that he might be dead, have committed a horrible crime or gotten in a bad fight with his wife about being a sperm donor. I will spare you additional details.

On Monday, Pam called the clinic to find out what was going on. And then she called me at work.

Pam: The first question they asked me is whether our girls are healthy.

Me: That’s weird. Were they pretending to be in an 80s horror movie? ‘Are the children safe? You better go check…’

Pam: No. Someone reported that a baby born using his sperm has autism, so they took him off the site.

Me: Really? Wow.

*silence*

Pam: Do you think our kids have autism?

Me: Um. No. I doubt it. At least, I hope we would have noticed by now. Please tell me we would have noticed by now. I haven’t spent THAT much time playing around on my phone, have I?

Pam: Well, you do spend way too much time playing around on your phone, but that doesn’t cause autism in your children.

Me: Whew.

Pam: Anyway, they are sending our records to us via e-mail.

Me: Great. And let’s never call them again.

Pam: Right.

surprise

This is me re-enacting an 80s horror movie. Except that I’m not dressed sexy enough. And we’re talking about sperm banks.

This post is dedicated to the love of my life who wanted to know “when are you going to blog about the crazy sh*t that you have to deal when you use a sperm banks?” I hope you’re happy now.

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© Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. 

 

 

This book just punched me in the heart muscle. So I’m hitting it back with this post.

I just finished a really great book, Breeding in Captivity, about a perfectly normal woman and a perfectly normal man who are trying to start a family. Except they are not that normal, because it doesn’t really work out the way they planned. And I’ll leave it at that, because I don’t want to spoil it for you. (They win!)

And if you’re wondering what I mean by great, it made me laugh out loud. And then it made me cry out loud. Dammit! And now I can’t write a sarcastic post about it, because that just wouldn’t work from a strictly literary point-of-view. So I’m writing a mostly serious review, right here. Don’t ask me why I’m not writing it on Amazon. Actually go ahead. Here is why I’m not writing it on Amazon: 1) I don’t like assigning stars. It’s so reductionist. 2) I am more popular than Amazon, in my own mind 3) I dislike long reviews on Amazon, but on my blog they are wonderful 4) I don’t want to get in a legal battle with Amazon when the awesomeness of this review goes viral and blows up their site and 5) Haven’t I already given you enough, Amazon? My money? My time? My stars?

breedingincaptivity

But enough about me and Amazon. Let’s talk about what I think of the book. It’s funny. Here is an example:

The author, Stacy Bolt, must fill out one of the many forms that those of us who don’t get knocked up in the back seat of a Ford Escort must fill out. And on the form is the question: “How do you emotionally support your partner?” Her answer: “I compliment him on the size of his penis. I also pretend to agree with him when he claims that graphic novels are a legitimate form of literature.”

Stacy (we’re on a first-name basis now, because we have been talking about her husband’s penis) is just a teensy bit irreverent about this whole process, and it’s completely awesome. And then sometimes she’s not, and it’s also completely awesome, like this time:

“Most people go through their lives assuming that having a family is a natural thing. Hey, guess what? It’s not. It’s hard fought and won. It’s rare and precious and unfairly fragile. It has nothing to do with determination and everything to do with luck…. Whatever you have — whether you’re the Bradys or the Bundys — take stock in your luck and love it just a little more this year.”

And if that doesn’t punch you in the heart, I don’t know what would, you hard-hearted jerk. Ok. I’ll write an Amazon review. It’ll be number 22. Five stars.

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© Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

What does it mean? The name. Does it really involve Mexicans?

Yes, it does. And now I will explain what the name of this blog means for the millions out there who are reading this, because who wouldn’t want to read about a gay, inter-racial couple having babies. And since a picture is worth a thousand words, here is the picture.

7LM text

And there is a bit more to the story, as I’m sure you can imagine, but this is the internet and I know you are busy. So, if you want the long story, you’ll need to wait for the book. But it you want the short story, it’s in the next paragraph.

We wanted to have a baby. We didn’t have any sperm. (Boohoo!) So we bought some. Doctors put it in me. It didn’t work. So, doctors took the my eggs out of me and put them in a dish. Then, they added the sperm we bought. The sperm was part Mexican. It fertilized seven of the eggs. The end.

Oh, but then I decided to write this blog about it. Making the Mexicans, I mean, and living with two of them, so I needed a URL. There were not that many available because there are a gazillion moms blogging about their children, but not their Mexicans, but whatever. Mommy blogging is a great, unpaid profession so lots of people are doing it.  But I digress. I picked sevenlittlemexicans.com because the following URLs were unavailable: awkwardconversations.com, endlessdiapers.com, upseventimesanight.com. Or maybe that last one was too long, along with makingbabiesthehardway.com.

Anyhow, that’s how we got here. Any questions?

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© Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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