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Giving in to baby

Giving in to baby


In the first entry of a biweekly series, writer Maggie Quale chronicles the funny, sad, and thoroughly modern journey she and her partner are taking in their quest to become moms.

I have a confession: My partner and I have an acute case of baby fever. We're passing it back and forth like some kind of virus. It's bad. We dream up baby names, joke about back pain, contractions, sleepless nights, stretch marks, and bleeding nipples. And you know what? It all seems like heaven. We are women obsessed. Yesterday I stuffed a beach ball under my dress and walked around playing pregnant while I vacuumed and paid the bills. I even picture-messaged a photo of myself to Kim at work. We're sick with wannabe-mommy love, but the question remains: How do we parlay these surging maternal hormones into a drooling, cooing bundle of joy?

I must admit that, from where I sit, I'm slightly overwhelmed by the process. It's kind of like growing up with a swimming pool in your backyard. You never had to go find a place to swim--you simply slipped into your suit and dove in. Well, this whole "how do I get pregnant?" thing is equally baffling. For queer folks like us, baby making is not like cannonballing into the deep end. It's more like competing in a triathlon. Even though we may lie awake until midnight imagining how we'll decorate the nursery, the majority of our time is spent researching sperm banks, considering potential friends as donors, and reviewing adoption and foster parenting options.

But making babies is much bigger than simply finding a way to connect an eager sperm with a willing egg. Over our morning tea we're debating the ethical, social, and financial dilemmas and challenging ourselves to find the healthiest ways to combat them. We're learning about the current and proposed legislation in our state and how it might impact our future.

And let's face it, our lives today are not as simple as they were in our 20s. I'm 31 and Kim is 42. We're complicated people with pasts, patterns, and present considerations. Kim is still learning how to be a parent to my own 5-year-old son Calvin. I bring an ex-husband to the party, not to mention an extended family still coming to terms with my sexuality in a rainbow of degrees. We're carefully considering the existing interpersonal relationships and how our new baby might impact our community.

When I think of all these pieces pulling us in every direction I secretly start feeling a little sorry for myself. Shouldn't this be easier? Why can't we do this the old-fashioned way: one too many mojitos followed by panic and peeing on a stick. At times it's enough to make me want to forego mommyhood and take up rock-climbing or hang gliding instead. Kim just smiles and tells me to breathe.

But you know what I realized? All these caveats and constraints and quandaries aren't a curse to queer parents--they're actually a blessing. We've got choices, tons of choices, in fact. Instead of belly flopping into these crystal-blue baby waters, we get to take a deep breath and set up the perfect swan dive.

You know what else? We've got a village to love this baby--a whole confused, stubborn, surprised, insane, lovely little village. In these moments, I remember why we're doing this--for family. My family is the reason I walk this planet. Becoming a mother the first time around taught me that lesson. Family is the reason Kim and I should be quarantined with babyfeveritus. And suddenly I see Kim with her smiling eyes, reminding me to breathe and saying, "The water's fine, baby . . . come on in."

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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Maggie Quale