Saturday, 12 April 2014

Passing it on

    There is an air of desperation hereabouts as I head towards my date with an estradiol patch. I've reached my early forties, been married for nearly a decade, and yet there is no pitter-patter of tiny feet. It's not for lack of wanting, just that the time has never been right for my wife. I say this without malice, I think deep down she's never really wanted a child. There has always been some excuse or other - work, salaries, family difficulties or a small flat - and now the trans one which let's face it is the mother of all excuses. It doesn't change my attachment to her but I am consumed with sadness at the thought of growing old alone.
    I'm in the queue for fertility treatment. Storing a sperm sample in a vat of liquid nitrogen, which I should be able to do within a month or two. It's why I've gone much longer than many on my RLE and have yet to have any hormones. It's odd, having dropped my Finasteride to make sure there's no chance of any effect on my fertility I find I have rather too much of the boy back. I'd grown accustomed to having that part of my body under my own control, to feeling less aggressive somehow, and yet here it is back again. I hated being a teenager.
    But storing sperm isn't the solution. You need a partner who also wants a family. And since I'm not about to dump my wife I face an uphill struggle convincing her.
    There are alternatives of course. Anonymous donation through the NHS is out, you have to be under 40. Or there are services that bring LGBT people together for sperm donation, which is a bit more interesting. You can do it anonymously, as a 'named parent' where the kid knows who you are but you play no part in their life, or as a shared parent which is I guess a bit like an amicable divorced couple.
    Still, it's a big unknown. Are they reputable? And do I fancy entering a meat market? "Above average height transgender engineer who works in the publishing industry, likes old cars and makes cider. Warning, your child may dismantle stuff for fun". Oh yeah, that'll pull 'em in.
    And then there's the embarrassment. Doing your thing into a cup and handing it over. It's bad enough having to do the one thing that's still a bloke about you without someone else having to be in the next room.
    I used to have a colleague who managed to spawn children like I amassed Wrecks at the time. It seemed he could barely keep his trousers on and unseemly fertile women would throw themselves at him in nightclubs. I tried to settle down and get it right, and this happens.
    Life ain't fair, is it.


  1. When you say you will be sad growing old alone, is this a fear of having no backup in the form of a son or daughter, or of lacking anyone to nurture and guide and make a fuss of, or of being a person without responsibilities and family status, or of straightforward loneliness? Or a complex mixture of all of these things?

    You are clearly not self-centred, and that's so good to see. Many of us go through a 'me, me, me' phase during transition. I did. It's understandable, and the medics help you feel justified about it, but my ex-partner's accusations of single-mindedness amounting to ruthlessness had foundation, and I still feel they did.

    I do hope you find a way here. But you can't of course do much more than use a sperm bank or donation service, and perhaps put it to your wife again that motherhood is a life experience that many women do find unexpectedly pleasant and diverting. But she has the clear right to take a different view. And I will confess that I could never have taken on the uncomfortable and uncertain process of making a baby, nor of being there for it lifelong, unconditionally.


  2. A perfect child in an ideal loving household sounds great but the poor child is lost to you the moment it steps out into the mad world we inhabit.

    I had come to the conclusion that I would never have anything to do with bringing a child into the world at about the same age that I knew that there was something really wrong with the way the world saw me, about age three...

    That was a terrible world to bring children into and so many world conditions have deteriorated since. Governments keep telling us to keep increasing the population in an ever more overpopulated world " to pay our pensions and care for us in our dotage"!

    As much as I see the joy with many of friends and families children I also see a greater number of them where there is little love and great demands for continued support to survive in this hostile world, the parents may not survive into dotage...

    Lucy said it more succinctly in her last sentence...

  3. You don't mention how old your wife is. It may be too late or too dangerous for her to become pregnant if she leaves it too long. No doubt you have both sat down and talked about it. What has been decided? Do you both want a child or is it only one of you? You mention a fertility clinic. Is there a problem with your fertility or do you simply both wish to defer a pregnancy? Decisions must be made one way or another. Is there any underlying reason why you are both holding back from parenthood aside from your personal gender problem? Would being a transitioned person affect your decision to be a parent? Would your wife still consider becoming pregnant using your sperm once you complete your transition? There are many things to consider aren't there? I do not envy your position and it is going to be difficult to justify any route you both decide to take but decide you must, both of you. Personally I couldn't bring children into the world without honouring my duty as a parent to raise them but it is more than a duty, it is a responsibility taken on board out of love both for the children and your partner. Which is more important? More to the point, which is more important to you?

    Shirley Anne x

  4. Like many of us I can look back on my life and feel I could have done things differently, could have made decisions earlier etc. etc. sometimes they feel like regrets, but if I had not done things how and when I did not only would I be a different person now but more importantly I would not have my daughter. Blow responsibility and duty, she is my joy, and on occasion the thing that has kept me going.

    We had given up hope of having children so our Daughter was a surprise as well as a blessing, she has continued to surprise us (and worry us, and annoy us) ever since. To be with a child as they develop into a whole person, to be part of the life of a young person as they develop, this is just about the best thing a person can do. I hope you find a way that you can manage this.

  5. Fertility was a big issue for us, and I suspect it was me. After several years, however, it happened. I love children. Best thing that ever happened to me. I only wish I had transitioned prior to raising a family, because I simply can't put my family though this change now/yet.

    In your case, it would seem that it's only fair that the child have parents who truly want to bring another human being into the world. I have known many couples, however, where one did not want children while the other did. In most cases, the one who didn't want children came to love having one of her/his own. You see screaming kids in a restaurant or you smell a poopy diaper (nappy?) and tell yourself never, never, never. Then, when you have your own, well the love for the child makes changing diapers or dealing with tears, just another daily task of love.

    Jenny, saving a few seeds is simply the right thing to do.

    Calie xxx