Building a family in an unconventional way

Every couple of weeks, I quickly scroll through parenting groups I belong to on Facebook, and each time, there is inevitably at least one or two posts asking for night nurse requests/references. And because these posts are SO frequent, I have a little blurb about the two night nurses we hired, their contact information, and how we’d recommend them on my phone so I can just copy and paste the same thing (people do not like to use the “search” function in groups on Facebook, apparently). Well, earlier this week, someone direct messaged me on Facebook to ask if I could speak to him about the night nurses and our experiences with them, so I decided to chat with him today.

He introduced himself and his situation as being “different:” he and his partner are in a gay marriage, and they are currently expecting twins, a boy and a girl, through a surrogate. It would be their first children, they have no family nearby, and are looking for support. Initially I thought… None of this sounded that odd to me; I hear situations like this all the time in liberal cities like San Francisco, Boston, and New York. But what was actually different was how they are starting their family: the babies are both biologically theirs. How is that possible? I thought. Well, this man’s sister did IVF to extract her eggs to then fertilize with his partner’s sperm. So while the children did not come from his sperm, they are technically related to him.

That totally blew my mind. And what a selfless person this man’s sister is to go through the headache and volatility that is IVF stimulation and egg retrieval, all so that her brother could have a child that is still blood related to him. WOW.

And to add to that, the surrogate is this man’s best friend, who lives in Oregon. She will be moving in with them two months before the due date to labor and give birth to the babies here in New York. She also plans to pump milk for the babies… and even freeze and ship it to them every week!

As a pumping mama myself, that completely made me in awe of this friend. That’s a really, really good friend! I made sure to spend a few minutes letting this man know that pumping is NOT for the faint of heart, coming from someone who exclusively pumps, so I hope he realizes the sacrifices his friend is making to do this for his children. I also silently hoped he and his partner are compensating her appropriately for that effort. I’d even say in some ways… pumping is more effort and toil than pregnancy and labor!

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