I have always known I want to be a mother. As a little kid, my parents barely even needed me to make a Christmas wish list because I usually wanted the same thing: some sort of baby doll, or anything that I could cradle in my arms. I took great pride in tending to my imaginary child, and talked about the things I’d do as a Mommy one day. I couldn’t wait to nurture something of my very own, and love him/her with everything I had. This instinctual need to take care of people has never gone away, and the older I get, the more I think about if/when I will have a child of my own. And there are times I think my current boyfriend, David, may very well be the father I raise children with, but there’s one problem.
David and I met at an open mic in Los Angeles, both struggling financially and emotionally. I had moved to be a singer-songwriter, and David hoped he’d be the next big comedian. We were the ultimate Los Angeles cliches, broke and unhappy artists. We found comfort within each other, and our relationship moved at warp speed. We moved in together within 6 months, and for the first time, I could honestly see a future for us.
We looked for little ways to make money. I would waitress during the day, bartend at night, and try to squeeze in performances anywhere I could in between. David was the King of finding odd jobs. He had a stint as an Uber driver, but found that he couldn’t stand all the drunken couples doing at it in the backseat. He’d sell things on Ebay, Craigslist, etc. He’d fill in for a catering gig. Anything you can imagine, David would do. And because of our tenacity, we always squeezed by while still trying to chase our dreams.
As one of the ways to make extra money, David started donating sperm. I thought for a moment about donating eggs, but the process was very, very time consuming, and we both thought it made more sense that he do it. I joked, “You’ve practiced your whole life for this gig.” It was funny, and not the most lucrative side job, but hey, it brought in money and was easy enough. He asked if I was okay with it, and I said I was. Why wouldn’t I be?
And then, months after David had been donating, we were talking about our future together, and for the first time, talked about children. He told me he’d always wanted to have a daughter and name her Gabrielle. I told him I wanted three kids. It was a special moment, and then it all came crashing down.
I thought about all his donations. I thought about the women who could have David’s children. I thought about the uncertainty of it all, that every baby I saw had the slight chance to be his. I couldn’t believe I had been so rash to agree to it. I hadn’t even thought about the reality of WHAT he was doing, and what this could mean.
I feel incredibly selfish in this. I think about the couples out there unable to have children of their own, and my heart breaks. I want to be okay with it, I do. I feel irrational and like I need to just let it go. His sperm existing out in the world doesn’t impact our ability to have a family together, but yet, it is all I can focus on lately. Am I wrong in this feeling? I want to talk to David about it, but at this point, I wonder if it’s all too late. Is this uneasiness I feel now permanent?