First of all: wow people. The comments on the switcheroo post are amazing. We haven’t been doing this long, but it is wonderful to already have such thoughtful and clever readers. Gail and I had several discussions about the smart things you said, and have now started to refer to our (ongoing) debate over when/if to pass on our remaining vials as our “lesbian vasectomy” (thanks Lex!).
Amy wrote on the switcheroo thread that “#2 is certainly as important but won’t define us the way the first did. With the first, we became moms.” And you know, that’s true for me too, even though I’m probably coming at it from a different direction than Amy. When I’m out there in blog land, or poring over queer parenting books (usually grumbling at their inadequacy), I am absolutely elated when I find a non-bio-mom writing (of any flavor, aspiring, TTC, expecting or parenting. Lately, I’ve been loving liberation theory, Olive at Insert Metaphor , J’s posts at Two Hot Mamas, strawberry at 1 in Vermillion). I seek out the writing by folks who are thinking hard about, and maybe struggling with, how to build a place in their families as a lesbian NGP. There’s nothing like a desperate post from an expecting or new NGP saying how she feels left out to get me going, writing about 3 books worth of comments. It doesn’t take much to get those feelings flooding back, and the internet assvice exploding in unmanageable and inappropriate quantities. This is still true. Even now. Even though here I am pregnant. Even though I should be all over the pregnancy blogs and wanting to describe the intimate details of my nausea to any and all comers (which I suppose I do, but it’s just not as exciting as a really good non-bio-mom thread).
When we started down this road for our second, at some point very early on, when I was just coming to grips with the fact that this might be hard, that my body might not be the kind where you just plunk a little sperm in there and you’re good to go, I remember saying to Gail in a rather exasperated tone “I just want to do this regularly…I just want to get pregnant…and have people gush over my belly and talk to me about nausea and birth and nursing and all of it without always having to explain…I just want to have a kid like normal.” And I am enjoying getting a chance to experience this, to share this with many mothers the world over. But a huge part of my identity as a parent was built as I walked the road to parenting Leigh, as I fought off the demons, real and imagined, internal, external, that could have kept me from truly mothering her. I don’t think I’m ever going to lose that, and while I’m enjoying this whole pregnancy thing, and am perhaps unrealistically looking forward to birth, it somehow seems tame by comparison. I’ll probably always bond with dads at the playground, especially dads who are home taking care of nursing babies (I gabbed about this with our neighbor just the other day on my way home from work, a father of 2-month twins who he’ll be home with alone soon). I’ll probably always bristle when hippie mommy groups go on and on about how there is absolutely nothing that can bond you with your baby as closely as nursing. I think I’ll always fancy myself a bit of a revolutionary, even though I’m doing it “regular” this time.