Lyn gave me some advice, so now I’m returning the favor. Lyn, here’s my advice to you about how to be a gestational parent. I’m crossing my fingers and toes that you get to start using it in a couple of weeks.

Don’t be afraid for this experience to be different. Being pregnant, giving birth, and nursing are amazing experiences. They are a real gift, and you should enjoy them. Don’t feel like you have to minimize your feelings and experiences either because you feel guilty that I’m not having them too, or because you are worried that this new experience will erase or lower what you experienced in becoming a mother to Leigh. I take a lot of pride and pleasure in the fact that I carried Leigh and gave birth to her (and I know you do too!). None of that pride and pleasure diminishes you as a mother, so remember that your joy won’t diminish me.

Be prepared for the need to come out more. You are never more straight-looking than when you are large with child. Everyone knows that you did the nasty with some man — how else would you get to be this way? Except of course, you didn’t. Being obviously pregnant puts you deep in the closet and it can be hard to fight your way back out. Maybe I’ll get you a maternity T-shirt that says “Yes, my wife is very excited about becoming a mother.”

Don’t forget that I’m going to have my own struggles — just because you figured out how to be a mother without a biological tie doesn’t mean that I have it all worked out for myself. I’m worried about whether or not I can “walk the talk” — will I really feel like a real mother to a child you carried or will I feel like something less? You can’t answer that question for me, and my struggles with it don’t mean that I don’t believe in your relationship with Leigh. I just have to walk that road on my own two feet, and I know that you are committed to giving me support to do just that.

For my part, I’m going to try to support you and empathize with you without making you feel as though I beat you to every milestone. This is our child that we hope is growing inside of you, but it’s your pregnancy as well. During my pregnancy, I was blessed with a supportive wife that helped me to survive and enjoy the pregnancy, and I hope to be able to return the favor soon. I was also blessed with a stubborn and pessimistic wife who insisted that we deal with all of the issues that threatened her security as a mother and our development as a family, and I’m going to do my best to step up to the plate in that department as well!

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