Friday, January 1, 2010

Oddities of being the "non gestational mother"

I'm a Florida Alum and thus bleed Orange and Blue. I know enough about football to not appear totally ignorant- but I still can't get THAT into football. The game is on and what am I doing?..blogging about a few observations of being the non gestational mother (NGM) and genetic mother (GnM). (still, I'll throw in- GO GATOR's!)

As the NGM/GnM below are bulleted feelings/mixed emotions:

• Janet opening the door for me is now a bit disconcerting. We've always done this for each other- as gestures of kindness and romance. Now that she is pregnant, her opening the door for me feels weird, like I'm not living up to my proper role.

• I use "our" too much, as if forcing myself into the connection: our OB appointment, our sonogram, our nursery. I know that this is primarily Janet's experience, and she's one helluva trooper, but for some reason this is my verbal way of staying part of it.

• I have an internal need to tell everyone that I donated genetic material for this pregnancy. I typically restrain myself- but I have a deep seeded need to proclaim "this is my baby too!".

Hopefully Janet will post about her feelings about the being the gestational mother, non genetic mother. We had an interesting sharing conversation about bullet three this afternoon.


Growing up Clangley said...

Interesting. Im not sure how i would feel if i were in your in your shoes, however i will say this. it is both of your experience...although very different. think about when this baby is born and everyone says how he/she looks like you, has your eyes, etc it will be more about your experience then Janets at that point. So, both will get different things from it. keep the communication open and enjoy that both of you got to participate in this journey. i always thought that would be the best of both worlds to have my egg used and liz to carry...

anofferingoflove said...

Interesting note about the the bio/carrying mom, I'm very conscious of trying to always say "our" instead of "my" so as not to exclude my partner. Such a lesbian mom issue - I'm sure straight women never think of this - it's as if we need to constantly reinforce the legitimacy of our families. Not sure what my point is; guess I'm just interested to hear of others thinking about the same issue.

The Miller Menagerie said...

I wouldn't feel bad for saying "our", if I were you. I always speak that way about our pregnancies, even though Drew isn't carrying it (he does strut the preggers physique, though, No?) I've never been a "my pregnancy", "my baby" kind of person. It sure seems the rest of the world is that way, which is weird to me.

One older relative proceeded to call the family saying, "Well, Deedee's had her baby." Last I checked, it was Drew's kid too, and the man's changed his share of diapers to earn the street cred.

I do notice that most pregger chicks do speak in a way that makes it sound like it's a singular experience. As anofferingoflove mentioned, it might be a straight chick way of doing things. Think about it, these average women are in a relationship with a (cave)man. You're average man isn't doing the work to make it an "our" or "shared" experience, so it probably is "her pregnancy" with "her birth".

I wouldn't feel right talking that way about my and Drew's births. That dude sat there and supported me (sometimes physically) through labor while Newt was riding his back. It was definitely "our birth".

Keep us posted on how you navigate the story and your feelings of being NGM/GnM!

cindyhoo2 said...

This post really strikes a chord with me (as you might imagine). Since Joey and I will be using donor eggs again, any baby(ies) we create will not technically be genetically related to either one of us. But I can totally imagine myself saying WE and OUR all the time as a means of validating my shared parenthood while Joey is pregnant. I suppose that even when we choose a non-traditional path (such as one donating and one carrying), we find some surprising baggage along the way. I agree with Ms Miller though: carrying the baby isn't all that can earn a partner street cred. You are definitely an equal parent even if society's definition of a family hasn't quite caught up yet.