All about one queer family's experience with IVF and making babies

Guestpost by Zoë Gemelli on Jan 4th

The Story of Sadie sits on the mantle in Shannon, Allison, and Sadie's home. The book tells the tale of two adventurous queer women who wanted to make a baby together. It's far from a love story about one getting pregnant with anonymous donor sperm while the other massages feet and masters the art of Lamaze. They opted for a difficult yet decidedly more magical route: Allison carried Shannon's egg.

All photos by Zoë Gemelli.



Since Shannon was adopted, she felt it was important for her to have a blood connection to her child. Allison wanted the pregnancy experience, which meant that Sadie would be a part of both of them. Together they endured painful IVF treatments knowing that it was for the chance to have their dream come true. Ask Shannon about it today and she doesn't recall the stinging of the daily needles with as much disdain.

"One of those is Sadie," Shannon beams when showing off a picture of the two embryos that were implanted into Allison. She got pregnant immediately and was the picture of a glowing, radiant pregnant person.

The only difficultly they encountered was an unexpected hospital birth since Sadie's head wasn't positioned correctly. "The kid has a giant head like me!" Shannon says. Sadie's head was stuck in Allison's birth canal, which meant that after two hours of pushing at home (the maximum time allowed) she had to be transferred to the hospital. After four more hours of pushing at the hospital, forceps are what brought Sadie out.

Moments later, they posted a photo of Sadie on Facebook. Bloody and freshly hatched, she was the breathtaking spitting image of Shannon. Born with a full head of dark brown hair and alert brown eyes, Sadie looked like a full grown kid when we did her first photo shoot at three weeks old. With Shannon's Punky Brewster looks and Allison's steadfast spirit, it's only a matter of time before Sadie's hair is dyed fuchsia, too.

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About Zoë Gemelli

After living in New York for almost a decade, Zoë Gemelli moved home to Toronto just in time for Sadie’s birth. Zoë’s writing and photography has appeared in the Village Voice, Boston Phoenix, NOW Magazine, Curve Magazine, Rockrgrl Magazine, Bay Windows, Philadelphia Gay News and others. She also runs a portrait photography business: http://www.zoegemelli.com.

http://www.zoegemelli.com/