I have never been the type of person that did anything “normal” or by the book. I enjoyed being different and unique and standing out. It is deep-rooted in who I am and how I live my life and I can say 90% of the time I have enjoyed being different. That small amount of time that I have disliked being different was because of fear of rejection and prejudice that I would face.
Some facts about me: I am a lesbian, and I have known that since I was about 5-years old. I would be happy to dispel those that believe it is a choice – because I would have CHOSEN otherwise, based on the negative stigma associated with being gay. I am a kid at heart and enjoy kids of all ages. I love teaching children and being a role model in their formative years. I have a strong passion for children and also knew from about age 5 that I would want children of my own.
Now, start to paint the picture…I knew early on that I was a girl who liked other girls and because I was this way, I was not going to be able to have children unless I was with a man, which was not something I desired. I was left with this confused mindset of what I was supposed to do and how I was supposed to live my life.
Do I live a lie to have children, which I know will be my greatest joy in life? Do I accept the fact that because I live my life this way that I will never be able to have the happiness that comes from a child joining my life? Do I realize that I can adopt a child and that is as good as it gets for me? Now the last tidbit about me…I am one of those envelope pushers. I am happy to try something before anyone else does. I don’t mind being the guinea pig.
So as my fairy tale goes…Girl meets girl, girl falls in love with girl, girl moves in with other girl and girl gets girl pregnant. Yep, that is what happened, that is my fairy tale.
When Krystal and I got to the point in our relationship that we started to talk about having kids it was just as, if not more, stressful that any of our straight friends that were having that same discussion. We didn’t have the luxury or “equipment” to be able to try to have kids as often as we liked or possibility of the excitement of an unplanned pregnancy as a result of our deep love for one another.
We had to put a lot of thought into our decision. It was incredibly expensive, and once again because of the stigmas of non-normalcy we had to be very methodical on who we let in on our journey for fear of rejection, prejudice, and discrimination.
Going back to my childhood desires to have a “mini-me” running around, Krystal and I decided that we wanted to use my eggs in the process, so that the genetics of the baby would be linked to me. Only one problem…I didn’t want to carry the baby. I had ZERO desire to get fat and uncomfortable and go through the excruciating pain of an actual pregnancy. It almost seemed like we were back at square one. After some research we were able to find out that my eggs could be used but that Krystal could carry the child. I found this information to be the shining light at the end of the tunnel. Clearly we were still missing that other piece of the equation, and with the help of our awesome doctors we were able to work with a sperm bank in Georgia to find a donor with qualities and characteristics similar to Krystal. We wanted this child to be like the both of us as much as possible.
On to the medical part of the process, for over 2 months we had to take several different medications and we had to go through some tests at the doctor’s office in order to be sure that we could really make it happen. On May 12, 2010, I went into surgery and had eggs removed. They were initially thinking they were only going to be able to retrieve 6 or 7 eggs, but they retrieved 13, which they were extremely excited about, because it was already a great starting point for success. Nine of the thirteen eggs were fertilized with the donor, then of those 9, only 4 survived, to become embryos. They transferred 2 of the 4 embryos into Krystal on May 17th. Because there were 2 embryos there was a possibility of multiple babies, but the doctors did this to increase our chances. It was not like the Octo-mom though…that doctor used like 6 embryos.
So much excitement and happiness, followed by so much anxiety and fear. I knew this is what I wanted, and what Krystal and I wanted together, but I was afraid, afraid that we wouldn’t be supported or accepted. All kinds of questions began to surface of how people would react, and I began to truly reflect on the decision we had made and I became very angry. I was so appalled at the thought that anyone could possibly judge the decision that we had made.
I started to ask myself questions that I expected to receive like: Why didn’t you carry the baby? What if you and Krystal split up? Why not wait until you are more financially sound, etc, etc, etc. I became obsessed with answering these questions before anyone even ever asked me. Even telling my parents was a month-long preparation and practice. I was so afraid that this wonderful child that I was going to be having was going to be left in the cold by all of his/her extended family and I became very upset.
As we continued in the process I had that wonderful day of revelation on the first day I was able to see my child on that grainy black and white screen. To hear the heartbeat, to see movement, to see what would soon evolve into 10 little fingers and 10 little toes…I was unable to contain my excitement. It was in that day that I was no longer afraid. I knew that I did something wonderful, powerful, and purely joyous, and I knew deep in my heart that I had made the right decision. I was finally going to be a mother, to say I was overjoyed is an understatement.
I couldn’t wait to be called mom. I eagerly anticipated when that child would run into my arms in times of sadness, sickness, and happiness…. I wanted to be the proud, loving parent that I knew the two of my parents were for me. I wanted to teach this child, I want to show this child all the love in the world that I was given in my life, and to help this child grow into a wonderful person.
January 27, 2011 – The day that will forever be more vivid in my memory than any other single experience in my life. Landon Dominic Jorgensen entered the world and completely took over my heart and soul. I cried tears of absolute joy and my entire being was overcome with an incredible feeling that I have trouble describing. More than joy, more than happiness, it was truly a life long dream come true. The most shocking result was that the second that Landon was born people flocked to him – not out of curiosity of how it was possible that he was born from the result of a lesbian relationship, but out of that genuine love that friends and families have when accepting a new baby into their lives.
I have never been the type of person that did anything “normal” but it’s oddily a normal feeling being a mom and doing all the things that all moms do. After having conversations with several straight couples that were having children around the same time, I have really come to the conclusion that having a child the way that Krystal and I did was filled with much of the same anxiety that straight couples experience. I guess I might be a little “normal” after all.
So I guess the fairy tale goes…Girl meets girl, girl falls in love with girl, the girls have a child and live happily ever after.
Shilo Jorgensen, “Mom” to two rambunctious boys. She moved to Omaha from Colorado for a softball and academic scholarship and claims to have gotten stuck here somehow. She has been with her partner, Krissy for just shy of 7 years. She is step-mom, mom, or Shilo to Caleb who is 8 years old, from Krissy’s previous relationship. She is just simply, mom to Landon, 2 1/2 years old, who was conceived through IVF with the use of a donor and egg transfer from her to embryo implant in Krissy. Always wanting kids she was excited when she met Krissy and started to parent a child, although not biologically hers. The desire to have a child of her own led her and Krissy to venture down the scary and expensive path of IVF. She also enjoys sports, history, comedy, and new technology. She is an open book that loves to teach others as well as never stop learning. Follow her on Twitter: @shilojorgensen.