so we have a loooong story but the short of it is this: we started trying to conceive with me and i didn't get pregnant after about 7 or 8 tries and then my spouse, who i am leagally married to as a transgendered female to male man, tells me that he wants to be referred to as female now and wants to have a baby. i was shocked at this and experienced a flood of emotions i wasnt prepared for. im jealous and nervous and upset. i feel like i wont have a place anymore yet at the same time i am wanting her to have a baby and start our family, i just feel like a failure. anyone else feel any of this?
I don't have any great advice for you. My (FTM) partner would die a thousand deaths before agreeing to carry a baby, so I have had the monopoly on baby bearing in our family. I did just want to say hi and offer hugs and support.
One thing that strikes me is that there are maybe a few separate issues going on here:
- Your (totally normal) frustration around not getting pregnant, and not being sure where to go next with that;
- Your DP's announcement about wanting to be referred to as female, after being male-identified for some period of time;
- Your DP's desire to carry a baby.
These things are all related in some ways, and yet, they are also all separate issues. I know that other folks on here have dealt with questions around who will carry, how to balance competing desires to be the baby-bearer at any given time, and what to do when pregnancy isn't happening. (7 or 8 tries is very disheartening, but certainly doesn't mean that you'll never conceive!) Some of this conversation, unrelated to gender, is part of a struggle that I think a lot of queer couples have about who will have the kids. Maybe the process of watching you TTC made your partner realize that they actually wanted to experience carrying a child as well? I know there are folks here too who have dealt with various fertility challenges, and I think that there's a point where it can become easier to just say, "Okay, we'll switch uteruses since this isn't working." That can be a fine decision, but not if it's done without really thinking and talking through everyone's feelings, and making sure that both of you are comfortable with the options. For example, are there fertility treatments you might want to try? Have you discussed this with your partner? Do YOU feel ready to stop trying with your uterus?
In terms of the gender stuff, I imagine that I would have a lot of confused feelings if my partner suddenly announced that he didn't want to be male identified anymore. That is and of itself is a huge change. Add that to all of the above and I'd say it's no wonder you're feeling a lot of emotion.
Do you guys have the ability to see a counselor to talk through some of this stuff? Seems like it could be helpful. In any case, I'm thinking of you, and hope that you find some support here.
A, partner to J, mama to O, now with a new username!
Building queer family since 2008!
(and oh, did i mention we're having twins?!?)
Daily I go back and forth with feeling ready to move forward then not feeling ready. The other issue is that one of the reasons she is ready to get pregnant right now is because I am not at an ideal weight and cannot be treated at the fertility doctor until I am. We had an apointment with a fertility doctor and that is what they said so I am in the process of tying to lose weight also. My spouse on the other hand lifts weights, does crossfit and runs and is probably considered in perfect health.
Alot of what I'm feeling is just that I wasn't good enough to have a baby now and she will get pregnant easy on first try. I don't want to resent her or our child that she conceives.
me (38) + wife (34), one fabulous fur-son. Newlyweds starting TTC Feb 2013 for our first baby!
I fully agree with what knittingtigers said and chortles brought up a great point about the hormones. When you make a big change, it can take a few months for the body to get back to equilibrium and be fertile. I am not in the same situation but I can empathize with some big parts of this. It took me 9 tries to get pregnant. I got pregnant the 6th time and had an early loss. It is very difficult to be disappointed over and over again and to feel like your body is not doing what you want it to do. I think it is perfectly normal for you to feel jealous. My wife was never interested in carrying, but I always have been. When we struggled she would ask if I wanted her to try instead. I always said no because being pregnant is my dream and if I couldn't get pregnant, I wouldn't want her to. That may sound petty, but it's how I feel. Having the baby myself was my main priority. If she were to get pregnant, I'm sure I would have lots of yucky feelings about that. I'm sorry you are going through this tough time. I hope you can work through everything and come up with a plan for the future.
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my spouse took testosterone for 1 year and had chest surgery a year ago. she was feeling something wrong with her ovaries and went in for an appointment about 9 or so months ago and found out that an ovary was blocked with a ruptured cyst so she stopped taking testosterone. the doctor at that time said that she had a good egg reserve and should be able to get pregnant if she wanted to. that kind of started all of this, talking about her wanting to conceive. because i was still trying to conceive at the time i guess i didn't really take her seriously. now i dont have a choice but to take her seriously because she is telling me daily she is ready.
one of issues ive been feeling is that i am adopted and have never met my birth parents. my birth mother is now deceased and im not even sure i know my birth fathers name. one of the reasons i wanted to conceive first is to have a bond with someone in that way, seeing someone, my own child, who looks like me. i wanted to experience being a mom. i wanted her (him at the time...) to be our child (childrens) father. we had discussed children a lot in our early days of just dating and even named them years ago and began praying for them. our future children have been dreamed about, thought about, prayed for extensively and are very loved even now.
i feel like i will be ok once her child is here with us. i dont know how i will feel with her being pregnant when i have tried and not suceeded at becoming pregnant and she was he, husband, our future children's father all this time until now.
...all these mixed feelings! eeek!
Wow PokeyAC this is EXACTLY how i've been feeling! And i feel terrible for it but it is my honest feeling! I dont know a better way to explain it or to help her understand my feeling in this because it sounds so bad every time i try to explain it. But now im finding out its her dream too. And today, she told me she wants to conceive more than one, maybe even three kids. And it floored me. I'm not going to lie. I just feel like being a mom and wife was what ive had to offer here and i feel like my identity in our marriage is being taken away from me. I even told her i may not even want to conceive after shes had 2 or 3 kids. She wants me to conceive my own children as well but with how i'm feeling now with all of this--i just don't know .
Maybe there is some negotiating and planning to be done about who tries when still? Perhaps your partner could start charting for a few months before you switch over. I don't know if you continuing to try without the RE is an option. Age is also something to take into account. Are you both young and you can be patient if it takes a couple years to end up with a little one? Or do you need to get things moving ASAP?
I know for us we both really wanted DW to be the one to be pregnant. I had already given birth once, and we both really wanted her to experience that. As we struggled for several years to make that happen (first at home trying acupuncture, diet changes, weight loss, teas, etc.), we were ready to move forward with me because I am 36 and it would have been sort of now or never. I had finished 2 months of charting and getting my primary doctor to fill out all the sperm bank paperwork when DW got pregnant.
Don't feel bad for feeling jealous. That sounds totally natural and accepting a change in plans for how your family is built could take some time.
I am sorry you are going through a rough time with this. I agree with KnittingTigers that there are actually many separate and yet intertwined issues at play here. I do not mean to invalidate your partner's feelings at all - it is entirely possible that s/he realized after the transition that this simply is not who s/he is and would like to reverse transition. However, it might be worth considering that those feelings could be connected to wanting to be pregnant. We are so wired to think pregnant = female, that maybe that is getting mixed up in her/his mind. I know quite a few FTMs who are carrying or have carried children. I am not saying that your partner can't decide s/he actually fully identifies as female, but it's not a decision to be made lightly, just as I'm sure transitioning to male was not decided lightly.
I can't offer any specific advice beyond what everyone else has said - get yourself and your partner to a counselor who has experience dealing with queer couples and gender issues.
People's plans change. My wife and I started down the road to open adoption over three years ago, and now she is 4 months pregnant. Others have switched which partner is carrying; still others have adopted happily after struggling to conceive. I hope you can find the path that is right for you and your partner.
If I was in your boat I would:
Get a second opinion. Many overweight people conceive.
Put TTC on hold for 6 months. Pregnancy and parenting are brutal to a marriage/partnership. Make sure you're on very solid ground before tying yourself to your partner for life. Put all the money you would have spent on TTC into an account so it's ready when you are.
Go on a diet. 1200 calories a day, 500 at breakfast and the rest spread out, heavy on the veggies to keep from feeling hungry. This was where I was when I conceived my last pregnancy.
Have your DH chart. That may be the route you take.
I can't think of anything else. Mostly I would take a break. It's such an emotional time and it consumes so much thought. Half a year off is a blink and an eternity. It gives you a chance to really clarify your goals and work toward them and it may save you a lot of heartache a a small fortune. Once you're holding your child, looking back, a break is no time at all.
Me (S-26), DSp (B-29) married May 21, 2010 in Connecticut. DD (L-4). Billa, Hurley, Spitfire (Leroy) and Nollie too!
* * * 4 * * * 8 * * * 12 * * * 16 * * * 20 * * * 24 * * * 28 * * * 32 * * 36 * !38! * 40 - EDD 9.5.13
Think of the time you're on a break and working with a counsellor as an investment in your marriage and your family (because it IS). If you don't deal with this now and brush it under th covers (as I have been successfully doing for several years) it WILL come back to bite you in the ass (and it HURTS). I hope you guys can find a fabulous counsellor and make your relationship even stronger and more awesome than it is, because the screaming humans at 3 am turn even the most seasoned NICU nurse into a grumpy mess.
so to update...
i am feeling a lot better about things. we have not made any final decisions yet about who will get pregnant when BUT we did find a bariatric physician who is also an ob/gyn so he actually specializes in helping women lose weight to get pregnant! we are both really excited about that and i have also applied for finishing my degree with some online courses at a local college and i have a few new job prospects to get into a better financial situation for our growing family. there's alot going on and we are just trying to get everything in order so when we do make the final decision and do start trying, everything else will be in place.