Posted by: chicagoshells | January 21, 2015

Sperm Twins!


That Valentine’s Day sperm is some good stuff😀

Posted by: chicagoshells | January 7, 2015

Return of the Valentine’s Day Sperm

Again, with the “I mean to write more often.”  Hats off to the many moms I know who work, parent, and still manage to share witty and articulate blog posts on a semi-regular basis.  Clearly, I’m not one of them.  I suppose I could be if I devoted more time to writing and less to binge-watching Orange is the New Black (I know, I’m what– two years behind the world on that one?) but, such is life.

We did sneak in our one 2014 try, in early December.  We did try at home.  While we didn’t conceive, it was a positive experience– trying at home was less intimidating and overwhelming than expected, and the concept of conceiving a child in our bedroom rather than a clinic was kind of awesome.  So, we’re going to try at home for at least a few more cycles.  Unless, of course, we’re fortunate enough to get lucky on our second try, like we did with Mulberry.  And that try will be…TONIGHT.

While the giant tank (although, I have to admit, it’s smaller than I’d been led to believe by friends…though still ridiculous compared to the teensy tiny sperm vial) will be delivered to our house this evening, we already got the paperwork from the bank with the info on the “sample”…count, motility, all that good stuff.  And the date of the donation.  Valentine’s Day, 2009.  Throwback.

It is both bizarre and amazing to realize that exact same sperm donation that helped up create Mulberry could also help create his brother or sister, almost three years later.  Bizarre, amazing, and comforting in the same way that long-ago donation date comforted me years ago.  This man’s donation is crucial.  Of course.  And I will always be grateful.  But in the process of conception, in the moment of conception,  he is irrelevant.  That is reserved for me and Trouble.

Here’s hoping that the Valentine’s Day Sperm is lucky for us once again.

Posted by: chicagoshells | October 29, 2014

Three Years Later

Three years ago tomorrow, a woman sat at a restaurant/bar in Chicago, drank for six hours, and then got in her car and changed my life.

While the pain, helplessness, and frustration of the following months will never be forgotten, on this anniversary I just feel lucky.  Last month, a friend was riding her bike and got hit by a falling tree when a storm began suddenly.  She died the next day.  So sudden.  So senseless.  So unfair.  Her husband lost his wife, her sons lost their mother, and too many people to count lost a kind and caring friend.

I’m alive.  I can walk.  I can hug and kiss and argue with Trouble.  I can snuggle and tickle and get exasperated with Mulberry.  I can think about the future.  And last month, I even rode a bike again.

I am grateful.

While yes, often exasperating as toddlers tend to be, I am especially grateful for Mulberry, and he astounds me every day.  Here are some things I don’t want to forget:

-His vocabulary is incredible.  He has well over 100 words, so many I don’t think I could count if I tried.  Being able to truly communicate with him is amazing.

-He sings along to familiar songs, including the lullabies I sing before he goes to sleep.  It’s the most wonderful sound I’ve ever heard.

-Lately he sleeps best with his hooded monkey blanket on his head.  Usually he also wants his baby doll in his crib with him as well, and he wants to make sure she’s wrapped up in a blanket, too.  Seriously, I think my heart might explode from the sweetness.  We think he’ll be an incredible big brother.*

-His memory is amazing.  He remembers events from months ago– months after July 4, a picture of fireworks prompted “Big boom!  Popcorn!  Gramma B!  [Cousin’s Name]!”  Yes, we did watch fireworks while eating popcorn with his grandma and his cousins.  He makes connections between things that constantly impress me.  The other day, Trouble mentioned someone from work with the same name as my (almost) sister-in-law. Mulberry jumped in– “[SIL Name]!  Unka [Bro’s Name]!  See soon!”  Yes, we are going to visit them (for their wedding!) next week.  Yesterday, he started singing a song, then stopped and said “Lullaby book.  Gramma B. Monkey– peek-a-boo monkey!” Yes, his grandmother visited last month and gave him a book of lullabies including the song he’d been singing, as well as a monkey toy that plays peek-a-boo.

-He prefers wearing pajamas to other clothes, and being naked to wearing pajamas.  In this, he is just like Trouble!  He especially hates jeans and refuses them in favor of “nice soft pants.”

-Current obsessions:  Lightning McQueen and Mater from “Cars,” Thomas and Friends (and all trains in general), Elmo, and Dora the Explorer.

-His hair is long and floppy and gets in his eyes.  I mention that because we’re going to get it trimmed for the first time this weekend, before the wedding, at which he’ll be the ring-bearer.  Considering his dislike of clothing in general, getting him into his tuxedo (yup), which includes a jacket, vest, and bow-tie, should be interesting.

-He’s not perfect.  He throws tantrums, does things he knows he’s not supposed to do while looking at us with a challenging gleam in his darkening eyes, and poops in the bathtub.  But he is the joy of my life and I am just so grateful.

*No, there is no second baby on the way yet.  I just realized I haven’t written since I started my new job– my sometimes boring, sometimes interesting, sometimes tedious, but beautifully regular-schedule new job that gives me evenings and weekends with my family.  Yes.  Grateful.  And within, I don’t know, maybe a week of starting the new job, many of the fears about a second baby just melted away.  I might actually be more ready than Trouble now, at this particular moment.  Things keep side-tracking us since, as anyone reading this well knows, “trying” isn’t really simple.  But stay tuned– I am determined to get at least one 2014 try in!

Posted by: chicagoshells | August 1, 2014

2014…A Conception Odyssey?

Lots of changes in the past few months, and as always, I wish I’d written more.  Such is life, however.

*We moved.  To the suburbs.  And bought a minivan.  Momification complete!  The house is wonderful, but it’s definitely been an adjustment.  I wasn’t particularly social when we lived in the city, so I was struck by the feelings of isolation post-move.  I haven’t been working this summer, so I was home with Mulberry, and there were several moments, usually while grocery shopping at 9am and looking at all the other moms with toddlers in their shopping carts; or standing at the playground with a whining toddler looking at all the other moms who didn’t forget to bring snacks or toys for the sandbox, that I wondered “Is this really my life?  No really, it’s a nice life, with this house and minivan and toddler, but it’s not mine…right?”  It is in fact my life though, and I’m adjusting to it.  It helped when we put Mulberry in daycare a few days a week so I could get other things done.  Namely…

*Job search.  I’ve been mentioning it since Mulberry was a wee thing, but this job-that-is-mainly-nights-and-weekends is simply not going to cut it any longer.  I finally realized that part of my issue is that, in the days of longing for motherhood, I fully anticipated that after we had a baby I would want to be a stay-at-home mom, so I would simply give up my job and do so.  And that…is not the case.  I love Mulberry, I adore him, but I.Can.Not.Do.24-7.  Nope nope nope.  And I can’t continue in my present career.  I like it and am good at it, but it is not going to give us the family time, or Trouble and I the couple time, that I would like (read: any).  So I’ve been trying to figure out how to re-frame my skill-set into something that might land me a Real Job, which is…challenging.  After a long summer of no movement, though, there are currently a few possibilities floating out there.  All good vibes on that front will be happily accepted.

*Drugs.  Back on anxiety meds.  Not sure why I thought that buying a house, selling a condo, moving, looking for a new job, and managing a toddler was a good time to try going without them.  Not so much.  

*As you might have guessed by the title of this post, we are considering baby #2.  To be more accurate, in a complete and total role reversal from our pre-Mulberry days, Trouble is chomping at the bit to get started on baby #2, and I am scared as hell.  In her rational way, she pointed out that we have switched roles in other things as well (pre-Mulberry, she was trying to figure out what to do career-wise, and then in school with no real idea what life would be like post-graduation and post-baby.  Now she’s settled in a career and job she really likes, and I’m trying to figure out What To Do With My Life.  Of course I’m scared of throwing yet another major life change in there and adding a second child).  It’s funny…when I think of our life five, ten years down the road, there is always at least one more child.  I don’t honestly want Mulberry to be an only.  But I am having trouble wrapping my head around the practicalities of getting from this time, when I get overwhelmed with our single child and don’t always think I’m being a particularly great mom, to the picture of the future in my head.  That in-between involves another newborn, this time combined with a toddler/preschooler…and (hopefully?) me with a job that doesn’t allow me to just stop working for months at a time after the baby is born.  The logistics of it all are mentally exhausting.  That said, we don’t want them to be too far apart in age and (as I constantly reminded Trouble before we TTC Mulberry), there’s no telling how long it’ll take.  So…probably jumping back into that craziness in the next few months.  And considering trying at home this time for a few cycles.  EEEK.

Posted by: chicagoshells | April 24, 2014

Things I Don’t Want to Forget


You’re 16 months old today…wow.  A few weeks ago I finally updated your baby book for the first time since you were about 5 months old. I always thought I’d be the kind of mom who documented diligently, but that was before I knew the reality of life with a child! 

In the past few months, you’ve become such a person.  You are the son of two quite stubborn mothers, and you already have that streak in you.  You know what you want and when you want it.  You also seem to learn more every day.  You repeat new words, and remember them– Mommy and Mama need to work on their cursing or we’re going to be in trouble!

We’ve been very busy these past few months…we are getting ready to move to a new house where you’ll have much more room to play, but it’s been hectic and I worry that the days move too fast.  I worry that I’ll forget these things about amazing little/not-so-little you.  Here are some things about you that I want to make sure I remember later:

-You usually wake up happy and talk to yourself in your crib.  “Uh-oh” is one of your favorite things to say, even when there’s no reason for it. 

-You love animal noises.  We can ask you what a horse, cow, sheep, dog, elephant, lion, monkey, or snake says, and you will grin and make the corresponding noise. Of course, we’re certain you’re something of a genius.

-You have amazing fine motor skills and love to put coins in a piggy-bank…and at this point, you hardly ever even try to eat them instead.

-You love keys and like to try to fit them into doors and other locks.

-You love our cats, but you also love dogs, and will almost climb out of your stroller trying to get to the ones we see on the street so you can pet them.  You’re not even two, and I can already imagine myself breaking my “I’ll never own a dog” promise because you love them so much.

-You point to the El running on the tracks above us with glee and cry “choo-choo!”  You bounce with joy watching it.  You also point to the sky and point out “eh-panes!” (although sometimes you’re not sure if the flying thing is a bird or a plane).

-Sometimes in the middle of playing in the house, you’ll very deliberately go over and sit in your stroller, telling us clearly that you want to go out.  Once outside, though, you often call “Walk!” and squirm to get out of the stroller to walk on your own.]

-You love music and dancing.

-You hate when Mommy or Mama (or Grandma) leave you with a babysitter.  No matter how many times the sitters assure me you’re fine after I leave, it breaks my heart.  You know that the door buzzer usually means a sitter is coming, and you will try to climb me like a tree.  It’s terrible and wonderful at the same time.

-When I come home or to pick you up at day-care you break in to a huge smile and hurry to me with your arms out to get picked up.  Once at daycare, seated at the table doing an art project, you saw me, signed “all done,” and climbed over the table in your haste to get to me.

-You seem like such a big boy so much of the time, but when I sing and rock you to sleep, you still feel small in my arms.  I love the weight of you and the way you settle against me, the way your eyes flutter closed.  No matter how busy or exasperated or exhausted I am, I am so incredibly grateful that you are in my life, that I get to be your Mama.



Posted by: chicagoshells | March 15, 2014

Brain vs. Body

The plan was always that Trouble would carry and birth our first child, and if, after that, I felt that I was “missing something” by not having that experience, or found that I just wanted to try it for whatever reason, I would consider being the bio-mom of the next one.  Because Trouble was going to the “the body,” I made myself very much part of the process by being “the brain.”  I did all the communication with the sperm bank and the clinic.  I did the majority of the donor selection.  I tracked Trouble’s temps.  Etc. Because I was so involved, I can say with certainty that Mulberry would not exist without me, despite the fact that I didn’t contribute in any way to his genetic make-up.  For Trouble and I, it struck a very nice balance.  Now, I toy occasionally with the idea of being the gestational mom for Baby #2, but the fact is, personality wise, I know I would still end up being “the brain” in a lot of respects (that’s not a slam on Trouble.  It’s my inability to not be a control freak).  And I don’t know that I want to the “the brain” and “the body” at the same time– I think it would just end up making me irritated and resentful.  If I really WANTED to carry and birth a baby, of course, I wouldn’t let that stop me.  Trouble and I would have to do a lot of talking and I would have to work to let her take over the “brain” aspects.  But the fact is…I don’t have any desire to do it.  Watching Trouble go through pregnancy, childbirth, and recovery– all of which were “easy,” comparatively speaking– didn’t give me any urge to do it myself.  I have no doubt that Mulberry is bonded to me and now that he’s no longer breast-feeding, he’s as likely to reach for me as he is for Trouble.  I feel completely his mother.  My family, Trouble’s family, and our friends recognize me as his mother.  I don’t think it would be possible for me to feel MORE “a mother” than I do right now.

So why do I ever even think about it?

I’m afraid that I’ll regret it later.  That even though right now I feel no need or desire to grow a child within my body, to have the biological connection, that someday, when it’s too late, I’ll wish I had tried.  And I don’t know if that tiny seed of “what if” is enough to really, seriously, consider it.

If I’m being honest, there’s also part of me that wonders what’s “wrong with me” that I don’t want that experience.  Of the lesbian couples that I know (mostly online, some in real life) with children, it seems like it’s very common to take turns and each birth a child.  Of those who don’t, they seem to fall into two groups– 1) the non-bio mom wanted to carry, and often tried, but couldn’t get pregnant or carry a child to term successfully or 2) the couple has a very traditional butch/femme relationship and therefore the femme member did the child-bearing.  I don’t fit into either of those groups.  I mean, I would likely have a harder time getting pregnant than Trouble, based on things like cycle regularity, but I have no reason to think it’s impossible.  And we don’t have a butch/femme dynamic at all, but if we HAD to take those labels, I’d probably be the femme one.

The longer I sit and think about it, the more I can think of other couples that (to my knowledge, as I of course don’t know the details of everyone’s fertility or lack there of) are similar…one member is equally “femme-y” (or not) and possibly equally fertile, but still made the decision, for whatever reason, not to carry.  I wonder if they all wondered if something was “wrong” with them too.  I wonder if they all wonder if they might regret it some day.

Posted by: chicagoshells | November 8, 2013

For Mulberry

I just want to put into words how very much I love you, little boy.  You’re sick now, getting over your first real cold and cough.  Undoubtedly related to starting daycare last week, which makes Mommy and I feel horribly guilty.  I stayed home with you on Monday, my day off.  Mommy took a sick day to stay with you on Tuesday.  On Wednesday I brought you back to daycare, still sniffly.  You started to cry as soon we got into your classroom.  You crawled around after me as I put your bottles in the fridge and a change of clothes in your drawer, whimpering and pointing at me.  It broke my heart to leave you there.  I cried on my way to work.  I cried 10 hours later, still at work, when a slow co-worker meant I missed a bus and might not get a chance to kiss you goodnight.  I walked halfway home and then finally gave in and took a cab the rest of the way, hoping I might be able to hold you just for a moment.  You were nursing when I got home, falling asleep in Mommy’s arms.  I got to carry you, milk-drunk and eyelids drooping, into your room and cuddle you for a few minutes before I put you in your crib.  It was the best part of my day.  I know I am tired and impatient a lot of the time right now, trying to figure out how to get through the next few months of this job, that has often felt silly but seems ridiculous now. Trying to figure out what to do instead of continuing this job that keeps me away from you and Mommy far too many nights.  Life can be hard, but you are amazing.  You bring your mothers such incredible joy.  I am so lucky to be your mama.

Posted by: chicagoshells | October 7, 2013

It Shouldn’t Be Luck

I’m working right now, on a project that basically consists of an hour or so of total craziness every morning followed by 3-6 hours of sitting at my computer listening to other people discuss fictional characters I couldn’t care less about, and reminding those other people to take breaks from their discussions every hour and a half.  This means I’ve had a lot of time to mess around on the internet, gnashing my teeth over the fact that I’m paying other people a dollar more an hour to watch Mulberry than I’m making to be away from him.  But that’s a vent for another time.  Or not, because I’m not going to do these kinds of projects anymore.

Anyway, in my internet travels I came across this beatiful, horrible blog  I started reading it and became completely sucked in.  It’s the story of someone else living through my worst nightmare…having her (non-bio) child taken away from her and not being able to do a thing about it.  I found it because someone else posted it in the NGP group I’m in…because another member of the group is (or if not quite yet, will shortly be) going through a similar ordeal.  Years later, a different state, different circumstances, but the same damn thing.  People using unfair laws against someone they used to love, at the expense of children they claim to love.  I will never, ever understand.

When I read these stories, I think of how lucky I am…how lucky to have Trouble, how lucky to live in a state where I quickly and easily became Mulberry’s legal parent before he was two months old.  But see, it shouldn’t be luck.  Something as essential as not depriving a child of one of their parents shouldn’t come down to what state that child was born in, whether their bio-mother has PPD or finds “religion” or decides she just doesn’t want to share.  Luck should have nothing to do with it.  And I know things are getting better, that it is now law more than luck in many places, but I just fear it will never be enough.  That there will always be people who don’t know what they need to do to protect themselves and their children, or know but can’t afford it, or can afford it but think they just don’t need it.  I think people on some of the parenting boards I post on must be tired of me preaching about why second-parent adoptions in states that allow them are still essential, even with the recent progress, DOMA falling, etc.  I know it’s a lot of money and it’s all kinds of unfair, but the possible alternative is just…unthinkable.

Anyway…there’s no real reason I’m writing this, I guess, other than needing to get it out somewhere.  I say it to Trouble, but I think when I talk about stories like this she interprets it as fear that she might do something like that if she had the chance, and her usual response is “I’m not a cunt.”  I know she’s not, I trust her completely, but…these stories tug at my heart and soul in an incredibly profound way.  Maybe this is just one of the “things” about being a NGP that I just can’t expect her to understand.  The tiny kernal of fear that is always there.


When I logged in to write the above post, I had forgotten that my last post was a long vent.  I’m happy to say that things are far better than they were a few months ago!

-Knee surgery complete.  Not without being rescheduled several times, and an extra week with stitches in, and now possible insurance fraud on behalf of the greedy surgeon’s office, mind you.  But complete.  And I don’t feel the weird little “pop” in my knee every time I go up stairs.  We’ll call that a success.

-Trouble not only passed her boards, but got her first choice job, at the hospital where one of her clinical internships was.  She likes it and has a “grown-up” paycheck, including little things like health insurance and a pension.  I’m not the sole wage-earner for the first time in years, and it feels like a gigantic exhale.

-Mulberry is thriving. As my friend Bionic of mentioned, 9 months is wildly better than 7 months.  The biggest difference is the simplest, I think– we’re sleeping more.  I’ve deliberately not written much here about “parenting style” because when it comes down to it, our “style” is “keep doing what works for our family” and not much more, and I don’t really have the desire to debate our choices with other people.  But just in case anyone who reads this is taking Dr. Sears’ words as law…our lives improved dramatically once we let go of the idea that our child crying in his crib for a few minutes would actually lead him to a lifetime of using drugs or sex to fill that void left by his parents allowing him to cry.  And that’s all I’ll say about that.

-NO MORE BUGS!!!!  On some level, it really is the little things.


Posted by: chicagoshells | July 23, 2013

A Whiny Vent, and an Admission

Disclaimer…I’m aware that I’m complaining about “first world problems.”  I’m aware that overall I am incredibly lucky, to live where I live, to have what I have, to be married to Trouble and mama to Mulberry.  I get that others have it much worse, worse than I could ever imagine.  The fact is, the past few months have still sucked.  Here’s why.

*I need more knee surgery.  Two of the screws in my knee are loose and have to come out.  This means I’ve had to deal with my rude, disorganized, greedy surgeon’s office again.  It took a month to get the surgery scheduled and they still won’t tell me the cost.  While it’s an outpatient surgery, it is still surgery and involves being put under and all the risks that come with that.  I may need a crutch for balance again just after.  I’m not sure how exactly I’ll manage that with taking care of Mulberry.  And of course being back in that office, dealing with this again, has brought a lot of the PTSD from the accident back to the surface.  And my therapist moved.

*We had bedbugs.  And  carpet beetle larvae (possibly) or some other disgusting worm-like bug as well, but nothing as awful as bedbugs.  And even though I understand intellectually that having those horrid things isn’t related to poor housekeeping, I’m embarrassed about it.  It turns out we only had a few and not a big infestation, which is good of course, but getting rid of them still involved putting nearly all our belongings in garbage bags and living like that for two weeks while we put everything through the dryer.  Trouble and I slept on our couch for over two weeks.  On the days of both treatments the exterminators were hours late.  Super awesome.

*I applied for a job with normal hours as opposed to the crazy, erratic, lots of nights-and-weekends job I have now.  It’s at the same place that I’ve worked at for 12 years.  Everyone I told I was applying was very enthusiastic and seemed to think I would be great at it.  I didn’t get it.  The person who did was still in middle school when I started working here.  Not getting a job because someone else has determined that you’re over-qualified should be a compliment in some way, but it still royally sucks when you’re trying to figure out how to be a good mama on a crazy schedule.

*Although I didn’t get that job, I am still working, and at the same place.  Right now I’m making very little money doing it, and I’m not even sure I want to be doing it anymore.  I want to quit every day.

*I got sick.  Really sick, fever and a throat that felt like there was broken glass in it when I spoke or swallowed or took a deep breath.  In the middle of a heat wave, no less.

*Trouble has been studying for her board exams.  She’s taking them today.  She’s a good test taker and all her practice tests have been in the passing range, but with the shitty luck we’re having lately, we’re both pretty scared she’s going to fail.

*All of this would have been pretty crappy before we had Mulberry.  Dealing with it all along with him makes me feel like I’m constantly fighting an undertow in the ocean and any second I’m going to get pulled completely under…which in turn makes me feel guilty and like a terrible mama.  Guilt, of course, is always super helpful to every situation.  Mulberry is amazing.  He’s just turning 7 months, but he already pulls himself to standing and wants to walk all over the place holding on to one of us.  It’s adorable and wonderful…and exhausting, and he’s teething and not sleeping great, so we’re not sleeping great.  I knew that was part of parenthood, of course.  I knew less sleep, less sex, less “free time” were the trade-offs to having a baby.  I thought I was prepared for it.  But at 1am when he’s screaming and infant Tylenol is dripping stickily down my back and I have to get up and be helpful and accommodating and, you know, AWAKE at work all day, it’s hard to remember why I wanted this so badly.  And then I immediately feel awful for even having that thought.

I guess, in some way, all that is why I’m writing now.  Because I DO have the thought, and you know what?  That doesn’t make me a bad person, or a bad mama.  Parenting is hard.  It is really, really hard.  And people like me, who want a child so desperately for so long, think we know that and are prepared for it.  I don’t think any of us can ever be prepared for it (and I bet someone, somewhere is reading this and thinking “I’m totally prepared!”  I bet that because I was that person reading blogs two years ago.  I was sure that I was SO ready that it just couldn’t be THAT hard.  I was wrong).  I wish it was more acceptable to admit that in places other than anonymous(ish) blogs.  To admit that it’s hard.  To admit that we don’t know what we’re doing sometimes.  To admit that sometimes we wonder why we wanted this so badly.  I wish we could have those discussions without guilt or judgment or resentment.  Right now, the best I can do is to say it here.

Posted by: chicagoshells | May 19, 2013

Against Ourselves

I’ve never really liked the phrase “the gay community.”  Not that I’m against the concept of community by any means, but I feel like whenever we use those kinds of expressions– “the African-Amerincan community,” “the Latina community,” “the gay community”– it perpetruates the idea that all people who belong to that particular group share ideals in some way.  And, as any thinking person knows, that’s simply not true.  Whenever someone asks me how “the gay community” feels about a given issue, I usually make some remark about how I’m not sure, but I’ll certainly ask at the next monthly meeting.  It’s amazing how often that comment is met with a blank stare.  People really seem to think that I can answer that question.

That said…when I hear of someone in “the gay community” behaving badly, particularly to another “community member,” it hits me harder than similar situations outside “the community” (and here I’m going to stop with the tiresome quotation marks.  You get my drift).  This spans a wide variety of issues, from the silly to the serious.  On the silly side, I was much more saddened by Arizona cheating on Callie than I’ve been by any of the near-constant heterosexual bed-hopping on Grey’s Anatomy.  On the serious side…we all know that divorce, regardless of the sexual orientation of the couple involved, can cause people to act in absolutely disgusting ways to people they once loved.  This includes putting their children in the middle of horrible tug-of-wars.  It happens all the time, but I get much more upset about it when I hear about lesbian couples acting like that…particularly because the cases I hear about most often are cases of “bio-moms behaving badly”…separating from their partners and suddenly deciding that the women they’ve shared their lives and children with aren’t “real moms” after all, and they are entitled to sole custody of their biological children.  Obviously, those cases hit me on an emotional, gut-wrenching level.  It’s one of the many reasons there was never any question of whether I would legally adopt Mulberry.  And it’s not that I don’t trust Trouble– I do, I trust her with my life, with our son’s life– but I imagine all the non-bio moms who have suddenly had their children kept from them once trusted their exes, as well. 

Other than the obvious, what gets me about these kinds of cases is the fact that homophobic laws are being used against the gay community– by other members of the gay community.  And I find that so hard to even comprehend.  The specific instance that started me thinking about this most recently is a member of my GLBT non-gestational parents group– I’ve mentioned her situation before.  Although she and her partner conceived of their child together, and are even fortunate enough to live in a state that permits second-parent adoptions, once their son was born her partner, the bio-mom, decided not to allow the adoption to take place.  She has flat-out said that she doesn’t consider her partner an equal parent because “she carried the baby, she has the stretch-marks and scar and went though the surgery.”  She won’t allow the adoption because she’s afraid that, if they were to separate down the line, she might have to give her partner…her son’s other mother…more time with their child than she would like.  So in other words, because she is selfish, she doesn’t care about protecting her partner or their child with the multitde of benefits of a legal relationship.

What kills me about this– what has pushed me to the point where I can barely stand to read this poor woman’s posts– is that if her partner were a man, this would be irrelevant.  She would still have carried the child, still have the strech-marks and scar, still have gone through surgery– but the child’s other parent– his father– would unquestionably be his legal parent.  If they were to separate/divorce, custody and visitation would be figured out then.  The bio mom wouldn’t be able to just not consent to acknowledging her child’s father “just in case.”  I’m willing to bet that such a thing wouldn’t even cross her mind (and yes, I’m aware that in heterosexual custody cases, decisions still often skew unfairly towards the mother, but that can be someone else’s soapbox).  The point is– this woman is taking the fact that our relationships, to each other and to our children, are treated unfairly…and using it to her advantage. There are no words for how much this disgust and upsets me.

Some “community.”

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