Quick update first: my sperm did arrive safely (what a strange sentence to type) and I should be having my first IUI attempt sometime in the next week.
The night before Easter my immediate family (mom, dad, two sisters, brother-in-law) were sitting down to dinner. Everyone there knows at least vaguely of my plans and my sisters and my mom even came to my Sperm Donor Party. However, I have found over the past few weeks that people have A LOT of questions and I wanted to give them the opportunity to ask them.
I waited all through dinner for the perfect moment, feeling anxious butterflies in my stomach.
There was no perfect moment.
Finally, as we were clearing dishes, I smoothly jumped in with “So, moving on from that topic…I am going to be having my first attempt at getting pregnant soon” (I just can’t say insemination or sperm in front of my father. Maybe I should work on that) “and I am probably going to have some disappointments before I have any success, so I am not sure how much I am going to want to talk about it while it’s happening. So I wanted to give you the opportunity now to ask any questions you might have for me about the process.”
Awkward silence. I know how to murder a dinner party.
My mother panicked and could not think of any questions. I assured her that she was welcome to ask me things later if she wanted to.
My sister wanted to know mostly about the timeline and warn me about getting toxoplasmosis from my cat.
My other sister wanted to know if I’m moving in with my parents (maybe; they’ve invited me) and then my mom wanted to know if I’ve told my roommates I might be moving out (no, as I’m not even pregnant yet).
My brother-in-law wanted to know if I was getting genetic testing and, if there was a problem, if I would be terminating the pregnancy. While I assured him I was getting testing and had of course thought about many possible scenarios, I am in no way making a decision on that right now and hoping I never have to.
My dad said nothing.
Through this process, I have been surprised and buoyed by my father’s early acceptance of my choice. Though, looking back now, I realize that all this support was filtered through my mother and not told to me directly. My mother came to me with the invite to move in, saying that it was my dad’s idea. My mother told me at my Sperm Donor Party that while my dad didn’t want to come (good, really), he wanted her to tell me that he still fully supported my choice. The fact that my mom was telling me all of this instead of him was not strange, because that’s how our family dynamic works. We communicate with Mom the most.
At dinner, I pointed out how lovely my dad’s been about everything. He said, to the whole table, “Of course I support you in whatever you do. Just like I support you” (sister) “and you” (sister) “and you” (brother-in-law). “Doesn’t mean I agree with it, but I support you.”
Am I wrong in feeling crushed over this? Does it matter if he agrees, as long as he supports me? Aren’t they somewhat synonymous in this particular situation? Does he think support is just a financial crutch? A place to come home to?
I know there will be a lot of people who disagree with my choice, but this is really the first time I have confronted it head on. And so close to home…