These days, the world seems to be filled with rainbows. Colorful arches are everywhere, even brightening my Facebook feed…all because the cloud has been lifted over the debate regarding same-sex marriage. On Friday, June 26th the Supremes (the high court kind) made history by ruling that same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 states.
The decision has undoubtedly created a boom in business for wedding planners across the country…and it got me thinking about family planners. I wonder just how many more gay and lesbian couples will consider having a baby now that they don’t have to parent outside of wedlock? Being joined in matrimony gives today’s ‘modern family’ parental rights their predecessors could only imagine. No more hemming and hahhing….two him’s or two her’s can now both be listed as parents on their baby’s all-American birth certificate.
But of course LGBT couples can’t go about having kids, shall, we say…the conventional way. It takes a village for them to make a baby. Fertility specialists, sperm donors, egg donors, surrogates—all come into play. Many explore their options at the Southern California Reproductive Center—where they estimate 25-percent of their patient population comes from the LGBT community. One of those patients is a woman by the name of Elizabeth Grove.
She’s a 37 year old stylist (for food, which I believe is way more fun than fashion). The Louisiana native married a lawyer three years ago—a beautiful woman and together, these two wives are busy building a life. For Elizabeth, having kids was always a part of the plan. When she overheard her own mother lamenting the fact she didn’t have grandchildren, Elizabeth reminded her, “…I was a Lesbian. I didn’t say I was infertile.”
But Elizabeth would discover that not all of her ‘lady parts’ were fully functioning. Turns out, her tubes were blocked and she only had one ovary that was working. Problems…for which doctors found solutions.
Next obstacle, finding a sperm donor. Lucky for these ladies, they had a gay friend who was ready, willing and able…and who would easily settle into the role of favorite Uncle (or perhaps, better referred to as: “Guncle”).
Next step….a round of in vitro, which led to two fertilized eggs that were successfully implanted. Twins. At last.
When I called Elizabeth, I wanted to offer my congratulations before asking my questions…but Elizabeth stopped me short. She had an ultrasound a few days before. There had been a complication. I blood clot in her placenta. The pregnancy was over.
But, like so many of us who have traveled down this road…Elizabeth doesn’t have time to take a detour. She’s determined go another round. “If something was wrong, you have to move on,” she told me. Her resilience is refreshing…but I can tell it doesn’t diminish the devastation of losing that pregnancy. “We had the perfect timing, but I had shitty eggs,” she said her sweet Southern tone.
You see, when it comes to complications, the LGBT community experiences more than their fair share. Let me give it to you straight…finding fertility solutions isn’t easy for anybody, but it’s especially challenging for same sex couples. Now that the Supreme Court has ruled that the American family is defined by love instead of gender—I hope there is less judgement for our gay and lesbian friends. And as for Elizabeth? I pray the next time around, everything comes up rainbows (and make hers a double, if possible).