A Single Lesbian's Quest for Motherhood

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A Single Lesbian's Quest for Motherhood

I spent my teenage years being terrified of getting pregnant. Every Bible lesson, biology lesson, and casual reference to the future was marked with the warning: if you get pregnant, your life is over. Though I knew I wanted a family someday, I took heed, and I avoided sex for as long as I could, and when I did engage in sex with men, I was very careful never to do so without protection.

When I began dating women, it was definitely a relief not to worry about it anymore. I skipped careless through my 20 and landed, childless, into my thirties. I pursued my passions, I wrote, I chased women, I traveled, I slept late, or woke up early—my day was always my own. I imagined that one day I would meet Miss Right, spend an appropriate number of years reveling in our romance, then, over careful discussion and even more careful planning, we would find a sperm donor, who was the right combination of both our ethnicities, and we would procreate.

Except, one day I looked up from the jaded wreckage of my umpteenth breakup and was deafened by the horror of my ticking biological clock. I was 35 and living a solitary life in a one-bedroom apartment in New York City. Suddenly, writing a memoir, traveling to South Africa for the summer, being on Broadway or drinking red wine from the navel of one gorgeous, feminist lesbian after another didn't seem all that meaningful anymore. I wanted to experience another kind of love. I was ready for a baby.

My friends who had babies talked about how amazing it was to be a mother, how it changed them, how it was simultaneously the most terrifying and the most rewarding relationship they had ever had. Having never had a relationship with my mother, I had no first-hand knowledge of what they were talking about. I only knew that I wanted to experience it. Against every instinct and every bit of advice I was given by the wise old women in my past, I decided that I was going to get pregnant without having a partner.

I scanned my circle of friends for sperm donors. I wanted somebody good looking and smart and OK with signing away his parental rights. I was surprised by how many men had a problem with the latter. It took me a year to find someone who would say

Comments [3]

Conlite's picture

It is amazing how your

It is amazing how your description turns this wacky biological syringe/clinic/chemicals experience into the miracle of conception.  Congratulations!

Staceyann Chin's picture


for reading and for the congrats. Big Love.

Grace Moon's picture

I know 1000s of babies are

I know 1000s of babies are born everyday, but the intricacies and happenstances of this process seems nothing short of miraculous.


tweet tweet @gracemoon