Preparing To Be A Lesbian Dad
les•bi•an dad n, neologism 1. a. A lesbian or genderqueer parent who feels that traditionally female titles (i.e., “mother”) don’t quite fit, and who is willing to appropriate and redefine existing male ones (i.e., “father”): She was a tomboy when she was a kid, so it’s not surprising she’s a lesbian dad as a parent. b. Often a non-biological parent in a lesbian family, whose role relative to the child in many ways resembles that of fathers. Source (http://www.lesbiandad.net/about/)
My daughter is scheduled to be born in November. Yep, we are expecting a baby girl. And like a facebook status, it’s a complicated situation in every since of the word. But, love often has a way of making even the most complicated situations seem simple. I admit; I’m excited as hell about the journey at hand because I want to be a parent more than anything. I’m also scared as hell because there is so much to expect, and even more that will arise unexpectedly along the way, and the bottom line is this: my world is about to be turned upside down.
I’ve always shied away from the idea of carrying a child of my own. To be quite honest, the thought of conceiving has crossed my mind once or twice and then never again. I’ll also admit that the biological clock folks talk about, the one that starts ticking right around 30 is true, but just because the clock is ticking doesn’t mean you have to or really want to go out and have a baby. I had long ago resigned myself to be content in my role as the “other mother.” I always knew I wanted my girlfriend or partner to conceive our baby, and my job would be to support her throughout the entire process. In fact, I settled on the logic that it’s better to not have a baby just because the clock is ticking than to do it for that reason alone. In spite of all the mental ruminating that has taken place, I am mentally and financially preparing myself for the parenthood that is soon to come.
I’m not pregnant, neither is my girlfriend, however my ex-girl, Peanut, is very pregnant (almost 7 months to date). I wrote about how I felt upon first learning of her pregnancy, which I’ve closely followed since the very beginning. Suffice to say, after months of serious internal and external reflection, lengthy discussions, and a little more reflecting, we have decided to raise the baby together. We will co-parent. Yes, of course, my girlfriend is involved in the process every step of the way. She’s just as hopeful as I, and she has the experience of being a mother to two sons to back that up. Our situation will likely be confusing for outsiders looking in, but to know us is to understand that in love there exist bonds that extend beyond what’s considered the norm. What we can all agree on is that all babies deserve the best.
My relationship with my girlfriend hasn’t been unaffected. We have worked out a lot of kinks, and we continue to do so with each passing day. She has been so supportive of the changes that have taken place since confirming our parental status, even the ones that have yet to happen. Most women do not have the capacity to accept an ex-girlfriend’s child into their life, but I am extremely fortunate in that regard. My girl has always been far more open-minded and genuinely caring than most people. She also understands that my capacity to give love just as strongly as it’s given to me is naturally expressed in many a unique way. This is one of them.
As it stands, this is will be my first child, and I still can’t get over the fact that I’m going to be a mom lesbian dad! Oh, trust and believe that I know there is an immeasurable amount of emotional maturity and stability required to raise a child, and I realize not everyone is blessed with it, but that doesn’t stop anyone from being a parent either. Thankfully, I do not believe either of those traits is lost on me.
The first thing I did after making the long-awaited decision to become a parent was to call my mom and dad. The conversations were so different, both eye opening, and to say the least, I was neither deterred nor dissuaded from my family planning goals. My dad was just too cool. He expressed concern for my girl first and foremost, then he praised me for my desire to step into someone else’s shoes and take responsibility for the baby they helped to create before turning their back on her. He’s as excited as I am, and I think a lot of it boils down to my dad just thoroughly enjoying his role as a grandfather at this stage in his life. Some of the other replies and questions upon learning the news have run the gamut of “So, you’re getting back together with your ex now?” (No.) to “Do you really think that’s a sound decision?” (Yes.) Courtesy of my mom who has always been best swayed by simply staying the course. Slow and steady (a few rough waters on occasion) and she’ll eventually come around. My sisters have been super duper supportive, but my youngest sister’s support may have more to do with the fact that the baby is scheduled to be born on her birthday, but whatever their reasons, I love them. My older sister has already started gathering my baby niece’s “newsie” and “onesie” outfits. She’s holding onto them until my daughter (i’m still getting used to saying that) is able to wear them out before moving on.
Peanut’s family is cool, calm, and collected about my anticipated role in the baby’s life. Everyone has been kind. They’ve always been fond of me so that brings with it a feeling of comfort and security that is definitely felt and needed on my end. For the most part, the last few months have been one roller coaster ride after another, but in a much different sense than what I’ve been used to in the past. It’s been exhaustively mind and soul rearranging from the the start. This baby girl is surrounded by so much love. I hope she feels it. I hope she knows how much I worry about her tiny being. I’ve missed one doctor’s appointment and that was in the very beginning, but I haven’t missed any since and don’t intend to. I’m a dedicated mofo when I need to be.
The last ultrasound pictures were in 3D and we retained some great images of baby girl chilling in her little sac, growing and thriving. When they hooked her up to the baby monitor there was so much activity inside the womb we had to turn down the volume a bit. She’s as active as a little fish out of water. What were once only flutters felt on the surface of Peanut’s belly have now turned into all out firm and visible movements. I placed my hand on her stomach the other day and the baby kicked so hard it surprised me, and brought along with it an overwhelming feeling of joy. Watching the baby, and mommy’s stomach grow has been a continuous process, conveying a sense of awe and wonder in me I never knew could exist on any level. What it feels like when you’re close to realizing one of your dreams… of having a child… along with the support of family and friends is simply indescribable. It is the beginning of something new, scary, and wonderful all mixed up into one. I’m learning to expect the unexpected and continually hoping for the best every single day.
We’re still sorting through everything, and preparing for the next steps in the never-ending process of life. Each time we get through one hurdle, we realize there’s another waiting right around the corner. And so far, we’re all okay with that.