Confessions of a Lonely Pregnant Lesbian 

Andrea Askowitz's memoir is both hilarious and honest.

She wanted to get pregnant. And she'd been planning, calculating, and scheduling the process for five years: since turning thirty. Planning was mandatory, Andrea Askowitz muses, because "for a lesbian, nothing is an accident": at least, nothing involving conception. Her memoir My Miserable, Lonely, Lesbian Pregnancy is a touching and funny account that starts at a sperm bank; that day, Askowitz was awash in breakup blues: Her girlfriend had left her. "I always imagined I'd have a partner and create a family.  But because I'm a lesbian I think I was already used to the idea of creating a family in a different way," explains the a author, who will be at Cody's Books (2201 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley) on June 8. Nonetheless, "I never expected to be so depressed and lonely the way I was when I actually got pregnant." The sperm bank was a practical choice: "One surprising thing I learned is that when a lesbian makes it known that she wants to get pregnant, lots of guys say they want to have sex with her. And I don't think it's just me. ... I went online and picked my sperm, much like Internet dating. I'm so glad, in the end, that I did it that way." She's a happy momma to daughter Tashi now, but Askowitz makes no bones in the book about being nauseous and depressed around the clock while pregnant: "Women need to know the truth. ... Pregnancy sucks. Well, it did for me. And no one's talking about it." Having a baby improved relationships within her own nuclear family: "At 23, I came out and everyone freaked, even my dad, who's totally mellow. My brother tried to set me up with his fraternity brothers. My mom suddenly got concerned with how much makeup I was wearing and if I had armpit hair, even though she's a total feminist. I think her biggest fear was that her baby was not going to have a baby. So when Tashi was born, everything changed. My mom is back to being my biggest fan and my brother stopped trying to set me up with frat boys. ... Since having a child, I realized that maybe much of the distance with my family was coming from me. I felt like an outsider for years. I saw myself as the crazy, alternative, bike-riding, hippie kid, living alone in California while my brother was a home-owner and a father of three. Maybe my emotional exile had nothing to do with them. That realization was both sad and liberating." Askowitz, who created the nonprofit Bike Out to introduce gay and lesbian inner city kids to the outdoors, will be joined at Cody's by fellow writers Jill Pixley, Marta Acosta, Adrenne Armundson, and Karen Sabine. 7 p.m.


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