I am looking for some information, and it goes into the realm of decisions that I know are very personal. So, if any of you who have considered this, are doing it, or have done it in the past are willing to share, I'd be grateful!
Anyway. First of all, I hope the title of the post is not offensive. I've seen that term and some others used, and didn't know what to call it otherwise. So, if I'm wrong, educate me!
My DP and I have gone around deciding who should get pregnant first. We've settled on me because I'm older, and are now thinking about spacing for when she should get pregnant. So for those of you who decided to be pregnant at the same time, what motivated your decision? And if you have already done this, how would you say it went? What was it like to have you both pregnant at the same time, and what was it like to be pregnant and have a newborn?
What do you see as the pros and cons?
I've also thought about the idea of both children potentially being in the same class, and having a harder time explaining their relationship to each other and things like that. If that was something you encountered, how was it?
Anything you'd be willing to share would be great, and if you think of anything else that should play into the decision, let me know!
I'm the baby-carrier in my relationship. My partner has been in grad school during both of my pregnancies which, while not comparable to DP being pregnant alongside me, has been very hard and similar in some ways I think, mainly due to me feeling like I didn't have her around or present enough to get the support I needed.
First of all, if you've not been pregnant before, there's no way to know what pregnancy will be like for you. You could be like my sister who is sick throughout her entire pregnancies--not just the 1st trimester. Or you could be like my mom who had incredibly easy pregnancies. I figured I'd take after my mom b/c we're similar physically but nope, while I don't get sick, I spend most of my pregnancies exhausted, dealing intermittently with awful heartburn and varicose veins.
If both you and your partner are unlucky enough to be the type to stay sick or just tired throughout pregnancy, I imagine it would be very difficult to care for each other. Even if one or both of you has "easy" pregnancies, pregnancy is such a hormonal time. Personally, I wouldn't choose to both be on the hormone roller coaster at the same time.
With my partner in school, I've spent a lot of time alone during my pregnancies, wishing I had my partner's support or company or care. When my DP is around though, I cannot stress enough how good it is to have a non-preggo person to handle difficult household chores, go back upstairs when I've forgotten something, massage my aching back, etc...
I'm due any minute now with our 2nd but with our 1st, I had a very long, difficult labor. He was finally born vaginally but not without a lot of physical and emotional trauma. The value of my partner's support through my recovery, as well as through the first impossible weeks of getting to know our adorable but sleepless newborn, was immeasurable. DP handled most of the diaper duty and bathing and walking/bouncing our son when he was fussy and I was still too shaky on my feet. DP made up for all the strength and energy I lacked in those first 4 weeks. If DP had also been pregnant or recovering, I don't know how we would have made it.
Anyway, you have to decide what's best for you and your partner but there's my 2 cents. Best of luck!
We kind of fit that. I'm 12 weeks pregnant and DP just had her second insem.
We started with me TTC about a year ago, I was trying to adopt before DP came into my life. I decided to switch to TTC for a variety of reasons. I said I would try 2 more times and we'd switch to her trying whenever she was ready. I got pregnant on my second to last try. I have easy pregnancies and births (relatively, anyway) so I don't worry about needing a lot of support. Well, she really wants to be pregnant now.
I see potential positives to having close in age siblings. We can both nurse the babies, which would hopefully simplify life. Having kids close developmentally would be harder up front but easier than having a newborn and a 1 year old (in my opinion anyway). Sharing the fun of pregnancy could be pretty cool, too.
Potential negatives I see are: can't hand clothes down as easily, I have 2 older kids so it will be a pretty big deal in their lives, my attention and my lap. More medical bills at the same time. More time off work at the same time (or this could be a positive, as it means I could take, say, 4 months off and cover both kids' neonatal peoiod). All the physical limitations that come with pregnancy and the postpartum period.
My kids are homeschooled, so I don't worry much about them being in the same grade. Where I live they try to keep siblings in seperate classrooms anyway, tho. I have a step/adopted brother who is 8 months older than I am. I went to daycare with boys who were 7 months apart (Second one premature? One of them adopted? We never even asked.) who just said they were twins. It happens all the time. I honestly think kids don't care much, teachers are more likely to ask questions, so if you speak to the staff there are less likely to be questions asked of the children. Hopefully my kids would be comfortable saying, "We have different biological moms."
Our boys are 2.5 years apart and that has been fun but challenging.
While I think it sounds like a great idea (close in age etc), the logistics behind it both physically and emotionally would be prohibitive for us! Pregnancy, while being a magical time can be physically demanding even if you are not vomitting 24/7 and barely able to get off the couch. I think having a parnter able to pick up your slack and support you emotionally is essential not to mention the recovery afterward. I would suggest if you want children very close in age, wait until baby #1 is born and mom #1 is recovered and then TTC. They woud still be born within a year of each other.
Having lived through switching uteri in our family (with about 3 year spacing between kids), I'd discourage you from a synchronous pregnancy plan, but for a different reason than those above (though those are extremely valid, I had an extremely difficult pregnancy, and was quite ill at the end, and was extremely reliant on my wife).
My bigger concern though is that in two-mom families, it can take some work to really make sure a non-bio mom has a great bond with her kid(s). You're both working against a lot of social pressure, and a lot of internal assumptions about what it means to be a mom. That's a lot to bite off -- for BOTH parents, particularly in a family where both parents really identify as a moms (and it sounds like that may be the case for you, since you both have a strong desire to carry -- that was also true for us). The risk I see in both carrying at the same time is that neither of you would have the resources available to deeply bond with BOTH children, possibly becoming two linked mom-baby subfamilies, instead of really a solid family of four (or more down the line). It can seem nice to have an "out" -- that no one is left out of nursing, you can both experience pregnancy together, sort of avoiding the inevitable awkwardness of finding your way as mom to a kid you didn't birth, but there is no out. You will have to figure that out.
I'd also encourage you both to make sure you have a strong plan laid out for your partner to carry on the second try, provided you proceed with carrying first. A LOT of pressures conspire to make that try disappear (which is part of why you both want the first try, it is nicer, and puts you in a more powerful position in your family), so lay some groundwork before your first kid is born. If you are going with frozen sperm, make sure you have vials in storage. Both get on the same page that that try is going to happen for real, think through timing (which you already are). Make it clear you are just as committed to your partner carrying (even if it doesn't happen quickly or easily) as you are to your own shot. If you make it clear to your partner that you are strongly committed to her carrying a pregnancy (and really mean it), the pressure to carry at the same time may be more manageable.
There's also perhaps a more subtle point, that during pregnancy, there is something really nice both about being taken care of, and being the one doing the caring. If you both carry at once, I fear neither of you would be able to really enjoy the caretaking part, since you'd both be so focused on your own pregnancy.
Good luck. It has been absolutely great for our family to both experience both of these paths to motherhood. They are both awesome, and our lives are richer for it.
If you want to do some reading and check out some others' experiences, there are two blogs I can think of. Findingchaos.com, they have "lesbian triplets". Their three year olds are 4 months apart. Also, Bay Beasts, they have two sets of "lesbian twins", http://baybeasts.blogsome.com/
We go back and forth about it and still can't decide if we want to be pregnant together the next time around. We would love twins, but it would certainly be stressful...
My first thought was "Good Lord, Why??" (not sure why Good Lord, as an atheist, but that was the thought!!)
As a mom of singletons and "real" twins I can't even imagine becoming a parent with two infants via two parents at the same time! Learning multiple new roles at the same time would not be easy. Each adult is learning to be pregnant AND learning to support a pregnant person, becoming a bio-mom and non-bio mom (NGP or whatever is currently the correct term), learning to breastfeed and supporting a breastfeeding partner. Even for the infants they would be learning multiple roles and at a time when just remembering to breathe can be hard. For example if you both nurse both children they need to learn different let-down rates, etc. And as lyn/ftst spoke of- I think you could easily fall into the your kid, my kid thing. At least I think others would see things that way.
And the "what-ifs" are huge. What if someone (or both of you) end up on bed-rest? What if pregnancy is not easy for one or both of you? What if you have a difficult birth/s? What if you are both recovering from c-sections? What if you have (knock wood) a child (or 2) with serious special needs? And you've both just given birth/had a c-section, etc? What if you have "real" twins?
Having two infants is hard. Really hard. Go back and read my posts from almost 4 years ago. I was a pathetic wreck. For a long time! And I'd already been a parent for 7 years. While it may seem contradictory for a lesbian to say biology matters, I think it does. Our menstrual cycles stop while we are breastfeeding for a reason. I think we aren't meant to be caring for multiple young ones at a time. If you want your children to be close in age then I would at least wait until one child is born before starting the next one.
That said, plenty of people do overlap pregnancies and live to tell. They might think I am nuts for dragging out the child bearing years. ("You've been pg or nursing (or both!) for over 11 years and only have 4 kids? Good Lord, why?" ) Either way, I wish you luck in your TTC.
Me. With 1 spouse, 4 kids, 16 chickens, 74 matchbox cars, 968,562+ legos, a dishwasher waiting to be emptied, a washing machine waiting to be filled and a lost cup of tea in the house.
Thanks for all the thoughtful responses, ladies! I appreciate it.
At this point, if all variables work out as we're picturing them (how in the world would that happen??), we're going to keep focusing on me trying to get pregnant and aim for kiddos close-ish in age, maybe start when first babe is around 6 months old. But who really knows how it will all go?! Time will tell, right?
I forgot to mention that I've known 2 women with "lesbian triplets" IRL. So it can't be that uncommon. There was a family on here when I was either pregnant or TTC Ari, so, 6 years ago? They had a 4 year old with autism and one was carrying twins and one a singleton. I didn't follow them all the way through, I think the main poster in the family was due in november 05? You might search the DDC archives (haha, good luck).
One gorgeous solstice babe 12/08, two smitten mothers - mothering consciously with conscience and compassion. Birth & Postnatal Doula. Student Midwife. Expecting #2 November '12.
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