Barbie and Ken?

As a little kid, I loved Barbie dolls. 

At around the age of eight, I’d play with the most beautiful Barbie doll I owned and the neighbourhood boy would play with the male Barbie doll named Ken.  In our fictional Barbie world, Barbie and Ken would get married and then they’d have sex.  Sex meant putting our Barbies up against one another for one second – they would barely touch.  Barbie would immediately get pregnant and sometimes we’d roll some of her clothes up underneath her regular Barbie clothes to portray “pregnant Barbie”.  After about five minutes of pretending to be pregnant, pregnant Barbie and doting husband Ken would go to the hospital and Skipper was born. Skipper’s head would appear between Barbie’s legs while Ken was standing close by.  From there, Barbie, Ken, and Skipper would go on to be the perfect little Barbie family.

Back then, to two eight-year old’s, a family meant a mom (Barbie), a Dad (Ken), and Skipper (who looked like a teenager but who we had to use because we didn’t own a baby Barbie doll).

Unfortunately, this is not Barbie world where finding a future partner is easy.

I sure as hell don’t look like Barbie and I sure as hell can’t find a Ken.

So what happens if you are a woman and you want a baby?

In choosing to become a mom I had a couple of options – IUI (Intrauterine Insemination – placing sperm inside my uterus in hopes of becoming pregnant), IVF (In Vitro Fertilization – taking my eggs, adding sperm, and combining them in a lab), and/or the process of adoption (legally bringing up a child that is not biologically mine).

Option 1: IUI

To be honest, I had this feeling that I wanted a baby to grow inside of me – a baby that was biologically a part of me.  To some, this probably sounds incredibly arrogant which I can understand.

Another reason why I wanted to go through IUI was because I wanted the chance to experience pregnancy (please note that I am fully aware that I may regret saying this because from what I have heard, pregnancy and labour are no joke).

The final reason I decided on IUI was because it is the least expensive of the three options.  My doctor said that it takes the average woman 3-4 tries using IUI before she gets pregnant.  If I am an “average woman”,  the IUI process should end up costing about $5,000 – $8,000 (sperm + sperm wash + fertility drugs + IUI’s).

Option 2: IVF

If IUI doesn’t work, I am going to try IVF next.  IVF has a greater chance of succeeding but is costlier. Luckily, the first round of IVF is covered in Canada but I have heard that further IVF rounds are around $15,000 each.

The only reason I am not starting with IVF is because of cost.

Option 3:  Adoption

If IUI and IVF don’t work, I want to adopt a child.  Adoption is such a beautiful thing to me.  As a teacher, I find it so weird because I feel so connected to my students.  I’d even go as far to say that I love (some) of them. If it is so easy to love a student that is not biologically mine, I am 100 % confident that I would have so much love to give to an adopted child.

Some may wonder why adoption isn’t my first choice.  The two main reasons come down to a) affordability b) the emotional toll it can take.

I have heard that private adoption costs about $15,000 and there is usually a minimum of a two- year waiting period.  I have also heard that the likelihood of adopting a newborn is highly unlikely.

From the personal stories I have heard, adoption is an emotionally gruelling process.  While it is such a beautiful thing to do, I worry about whether or not I could go through the waiting period to find out if the adoption went through (i.e. if I am legally considered the mother of the child). I have watched some friends go through the process only to have a parent change their mind officially ending the adoption process.  I have tremendous respect for the couples and single moms/single dads who have gone through this process. 

Please note that I respect any way that someone becomes a parent (or hell if someone decides NOT to become a parent). One option may be best suited for one person while it is not best suited for another.  There is no one option that is better.  This blog post is just about what works for me.

What next?

There is this saying that “we plan and God laughs.” I feel like I’ve planned this process as much as I possibly can.  There have already been a bunch of setbacks (which I will write about later). Originally my IUI was scheduled for January 2019 but now it looks as though I am waiting until at least April 2019.

So will it be IUI, IVF, or adoption?  I feel like only the Universe knows that answer. 

Overall, I just think that I am blessed to even have three possible options.  I feel so lucky going through this in 2019 with all of the medical advancements we have.

So I may not be Barbie and I may not have Ken, but I sure hope there is some sort of Skipper in the future. Maybe she is a newborn or maybe she is an adopted teen.  Who knows.

I have options.

Parenthood doesn’t have to include a Barbie and a Ken.  I don’t have to stay in a broken marriage just for the possibility of becoming a Mom. Barbie can meet Barbie. Ken can meet another Ken.  Barbie can decide to become a Choice Mom.

In the end, does it even really matter how our kids come into our lives?  What matters most is that we all try our best to raise healthy and happy children.

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