We're celebrating Pride Month, and the release of the Pride & Joy collection, alongside LGBTQ+ families that feel pride for the journey and struggles of becoming parents, raising their children, and forming communities. We gathered families to feature in our photos for the collection and we chatted with them to share their stories.
From Rhiannon (she/her) My wife, Six (she/her) and I have a 3-year-old neurodivergent son who is very enthusiastic about climbing anything and everything and seeking unique sensory experiences and the newest addition to our family, our 4-month-old baby whose favorite activity is watching her older brother perform his acrobatic antics all over the house.
PLANNING A FAMILY
Envisioning myself as a parent didn’t happen until I was a bit older. I was not one of those people who knew I wanted to be a mom my whole life. But then it was like this intuitive knowing kicked in that having a family of my own was part of my life journey. This was around the same time my wife and I got serious and I just knew she would be an awesome parent.
LESSONS FROM PARENTING
Becoming a parent changes you in every way, really. To be honest, I underestimated how life-changing it would be. It really requires you to stretch your capacity for what you can hold, manage, and juggle. You are asked to step into an even stronger version of yourself as you carry the responsibility of shaping these little humans. It also requires you to have a complete presence and release all expectations. Our journey of having a neurodivergent child has especially required me to step into the unknown on a daily basis and release any expectations. Parenthood also opened my heart more than I have ever could have imagined, the journey has been so healing.
THEIR UNIQUE JOURNEY
Being queer, the journey of becoming a parent was very intentional with a lot of fertility medical intervention. A beautiful thing for us both has always been being part of this very supportive queer-family community.
We did reciprocal IVF, which means we took my wife's eggs out and I carried her genetic baby. We loved the idea of connecting our family in this way. It was all an adventure. A particularly memorable moment was picking up the sperm on dry ice from the sperm bank in Berkeley and driving it over to the IVF clinic in San Francisco. Having sperm in the backseat of the car just felt like such special cargo.
We were lucky to become pregnant on the first IVF transfer with both kids. The hurdles for myself were taking synthetic hormones during IVF and pregnancy. It was so medicalized that we made it a point to weave ceremony and spirituality into the process so it could be a balance of science and magic. I also did not love being pregnant.
My first started at a birthing center then complications occurred and we had to go to the hospital. With my second child, I had Hyperemesis Graverderum (severe morning sickness) Throughout my whole pregnancy I was in and out of the hospital getting IV’s for dehydration. My second birth was absolutely beautiful and healing, we had an empowering home-birth with a wonderful midwife and her assistant.
A MESSAGE TO OTHER QUEER FAMILIES
Sleep all you can now because you may not sleep again for a very long long time! Our favorite part about parenthood has been the LOVE. Our capacities to give and receive love are larger than we could have ever imagined.
Thank you to Rhiannon and Six for sharing their story with us!! You can see the entire Pride & Joy Collection here: https://babytula.com/collections/pride-and-joy