Family building for the LGBTQ community, while an exciting decision to move forward with having a baby, can be a roller coaster. From the length of time it takes to conceive to the hurdles of parenthood, the expectations versus reality of family building for a two mom family can be a surprise for many.
Chloe and her wife Jessica live in Prince Edward Island, Canada with their nine month old daughter Rosie. After meeting in a yoga class and beginning their relationship in 2015, Chloe and Jessica tied the knot in 2017 and started planning their future family together. We connected with Chloe as part of our Shared Stories series profiling LGBTQ families during Pride Month. Here’s a sneak-peak at our interview, available to listen in full in The Expectful App.
Did you always know that you wanted to have children?
It’s always been a dream of mine to be a mom, and when I realized that I was attracted to women, I guess I was kind of fearful that that dream wouldn’t be able to come true. Now just seeing our family and having Rosie, I’ve realized that things are possible and that being able to create a family looks different for everyone.
When did you start your trying to conceive process?
In the summer of 2018 we decided to try to have a baby and I guess you could say we were a little bit naive and it was a much longer journey than we anticipated. We started the process thinking that we’d get pregnant right away and nine months later, we’d have a baby. But for us, we needed to start with a referral from my family doctor and then we found out that there was an estimated twelve month wait to get into a fertility clinic for a consult.
After those unexpected delays, how was the rest of the process for you?
There were a lot of bumps in the road and we had lots of failed treatments but it all worked out in the end. With all the other procedures that we had done and after so many negative results, we were obsessed with testing, as everyone is I’m sure.
When did you learn you were pregnant with Rosie?
So with this final round, it was kind of like a perfect storm. We had taken a break, and then we went on a trip and decided to try one more time right before Christmas. We had been telling our families when we were getting previous treatments done, but this time we didn’t want anyone to be disappointed over Christmas.
So we agreed to keep it private and not to test at home during this cycle. Then, I went for bloodwork one morning and the nurse called that afternoon, and she gave me the good news. Jessica was at work so I had to call her after the fact. But I was in shock.
We told our families on Christmas Eve, it was the perfect Christmas gift.
Looking back at your pregnancy, what is the biggest lesson you’ve learned along the way?
So I guess for me, the biggest lesson was just learning to kind of let go. Just trusting the process. After having so many failed treatments and thinking that nothing would be working in our favor, I really was really working on learning to let go.
Then, when we became pregnant, I was like, Oh my gosh, is this gonna work? I thought that I needed to do everything perfectly, but you can’t sustain that for nine months.
Especially now as a new mom, that ability to let go is coming in handy. One day can be good, one day can be not so good, but you just need to go with the flow. We’re trying not to be too stressed or concerned about things not going in our favor and enjoying the whole parenting journey.
If you could share a message to yourself or your wife before you became mothers, what would you say?
I wish I would have been a bit more prepared with the postpartum. So my message would be to work as a team. We did tag team sleep, which was good because Rosie only liked to be held when she slept, so it made for a lot of long nights.
I would just say that it does get better, and social media can definitely be a highlight reel. I’ve spoken to a lot of new moms who have said they feel like they’re the only ones struggling with the newborn stage. In reality, I think everyone is kind of struggling their own ways behind their closed doors.
Do you have any words of affirmation or encouragement for other LGBTQ families that are pregnant or in the early days of parenthood?
There’s a whole other layer of hoops that we need to jump through to even try to have a family which kind of throws you for a loop right from the get go. Something that helped me throughout our journey was seeing other families on social media, showing their journey of becoming parents.
It was so helpful for me to read stories and see other families with two moms or two dads. We do come from kind of like a small town so there’s not a lot of same sex parents around and I’m always trying to normalize our two mom family.
My message to anyone who’s trying to have a family or unsure if they’re able to have a family, is that I see you, and it’s all going to work out in the end.
I think that for anyone who’s raising kids, it’s important for them to know families come in all shapes and sizes and not everyone’s gonna have a mom and a dad. I think that’s the biggest takeaway for me is to raise the next generation to understand that.
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