English writer Elizabeth James has just released her brand new humorous story about LGBT parenting, titled The Turkey Baster Diaries and we have have the opportunity to offer you an exclusive free sneak peak!
Read on for a free extract of The Turkey Baster Diaries and to get to know more about the author herself."A book for anyone who has ever thought about having children and outlines the trials and tribulations people go through in order to fulfil a dream of parenthood." Read more about this LGBTQIA+ read by @drlizziejames. Click To Tweet
The Turkey Baster Diaries is a humorous, poignant and empowering autobiography of a British female couple’s tumultuous quest for parenthood. Introverted Lizzie and international traveller Anna meet; fall in love and marry. Anna had always wanted children; Lizzie was receptive to the idea, but it hadn’t been on her horizon. The couple make baby plans, but circumstances change and tension builds.
Will Lizzie and Anna be fairly treated? Will they become parents? Will it cost them their relationship? What they try isn’t for the faint hearted!
This book is for anyone who has ever thought about having children and outlines the trials and tribulations people go through in order to fulfil a dream of parenthood.
“In a literary world with so little attention to LGBT parenting, this tale is funny, profound and full of human honesty. You will laugh and shed a tear. Recommended wholeheartedly.” Mark Dowd, author Queer and Catholic
Free book extract
Outing myself as a prospective gay parent
I’ve now told my sister and a gay male friend of our parenting plans, and both are excited. I’m overjoyed and relieved they are on board. Saying these sorts of things out loud feels like revealing my inner five-year-old—I’d be crushed if it met with rejection. I haven’t quite managed to tell my parents yet. How on earth do I start that conversation?
Anna thinks we should have a gynaecological MOT before trying for children, and I agree. After all, the vitamins didn’t hurt, and we need to ensure my eggs are fertile and she’s a receptive host. Following an embarrassing chat with our lovely straight, male GP an appointment was booked for tests at a local NHS clinic. It’s heartwarming he’s on board.
Tea and tests at the fertility clinic
It was a contemporary building but felt much older. In one corner of the waiting room, a tea-hatch was operated by respectable old ladies wearing crossover aprons and twinkly smiles. It reminded of me a WW2 drama. I bought a tea and a coffee and prayed they didn’t ask any questions; I didn’t fancy coming out to Miss Marple.
We had no idea what lay ahead, but with hindsight, ignorance is bliss. For one test we each had to drink two pints of water, then return to the waiting room. That was hard enough. About an hour later I was called in first and told to strip from the waist and put on a hospital gown (the sort that shows your arse). I felt swollen, naked and deeply embarrassed. My display of support was starting to wear thin.
A voice from behind another door told me to come in. I shuffled over, trying to keep my gown closed and my dignity intact. The room was large, sparsely decorated and overly warm. In the centre was a gigantic dentist’s chair with leg rests. My heart rate started to rise. Between the chair and an old-fashioned computer monitor stood a man who reminded me of the comic-shop owner in the Simpsons cartoon. Larger than life, with a ponytail and a short beard, he stood in stark contrast to a small, slim, mute female colleague. Apparently, I was to have an ultrasound. That didn’t sound so bad. A small rollerball was produced, but much to my horror it was not rubbed over my stomach.
The roller was attached to a phallic wand, which was attached to a cable and plugged into a 1990s PC monitor. I was told to sit on the dentist’s chair with my legs open and to ‘relax’ by Simpsons Guy. ‘Are you shitting me? Why don’t we spread your legs, shove a cold wand up your hole and tell you to relax?’ was the inner monologue I managed to stifle. He smiled professionally, proceeded to put a condom on the phallic thing, applied some blue gel, inserted it gently up my front bum and looked at the grainy screen. I was in discomfort overload, which was compounded by the shock of the freezing gel and the knowledge I had literally put myself in this position.
So mortified was I, that I had to start a conversation, but what to say? Simpsons man said he was going to take some photos. Crimson with embarrassment, I asked if I should smile. Jovially he responded, ‘The condom on the probe doesn’t keep out sperm’. I didn’t think this was an appropriate coming-out scenario, so retorted, ‘A condom in a fertility clinic seems oddly out-of-place’. The conversation moved onto my research job and studies. Why on earth did I think this was a suitable scenario for an academic discussion? Shock, probably. Bizarrely enough, after a few minutes I did start to relax, safe in the knowledge that even my PhD examination has to be less traumatic than this.
Unfortunately, the images from my camera weren’t clear enough to check for potential fallopian tube blockages. Consequently, I had to have an even more intrusive procedure. Me and my big supportive mouth! I donned the arse commando gown once more. This time I was taken to a larger room with a bigger chair and two straight-faced female nurses. My face was lobster pink, and regrettably my Simpsons funny man was nowhere to be seen. I started to panic. The last thing I wanted was sympathy. Too late: After I assumed the same position on what looked like a laser death-chair from a James Bond film, one nurse inserted something like a hunting rifle into my front bum. The other one told me how brave I was and asked me about my PhD. I really must stop telling people I’m a part-time student; it’s impossible to muster intellectual thoughts while your bottom half is being meddled with.
The hunting rifle contained orange liquid, which they used to highlight areas of my womb on a monitor. Again I was told to lie there and ‘relax’ while we discussed my research progress to date. This time it really did hurt, and I felt deeply uncomfortable. When finally allowed to sit up, I was told to ‘hold an incontinence pad underneath’, as the orange liquid would ‘just drip out’. Shame-faced and hurting, I shuffled sheepishly back to the changing room. My front bum dripped orange liquid, while my back bum smiled at the world. My boundaries of humiliation had reached new lows. I vowed never to tell anyone or offer medical support ever again.
Elizabeth James is a writer, researcher and author of The Turkey Baster Diaries: the true story of a female couple’s quest for parenthood. She lives in NW England, and loves reading Jane Austen novels, watching rugby, playing cajon and growing things to eat.
Get to know Elizabeth by following her on Twitter here.
Like this? Then you’ll love my post about Ten Awesome #LesFic Authors Who Are Giving You Their Work For Free!
Do you want an Author Feature like this? Check out my ‘For Authors‘ section.