I'm about to become a lesbian mother: any books or websites I should be reading?

March 1 |
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Amie Miller's She Looks Just Like You: A Memoir of (Nonbiological Lesbian) Motherhood.
My lovely wife and I just found out that we're expecting! After about a year of trying with a known donor, lots of ups and downs with a low sperm count, and finally getting to a place where we were okay with waiting for a baby, we came as close to a surprise lesbian pregnancy as we think is possible. It's still super early, so we're cautious, but bolstered by the knowledge that we CAN get pregnant!

As the non-bio mom, I am super excited, and know that I have a huge and important part in this — but I don't know where to start looking for resources! I've been scouring the web for blogs, articles, and other resources for non-bio moms. Many of the blogs I've found are out of date and/or no longer being updated. The articles I'm finding don't quite fit our situation. I can't find any sort of pregnancy journal for the non-bio parent that isn't for a dad.

I want to have pregnancy-related projects and responsibilities that are my own to manage and work on and throw love into — but I can't find any of those features or articles that you always come across and think, "What a good idea! I can't wait to do that when it's our turn."

So I guess what I'm asking for, of other non-bio moms out there or anyone else who has ideas… where do I start? I'm looking for blogs that are regularly updated, books I can read (Confessions of the Other Mother and She Looks Just Like You are on hold at my library), articles, journals, etc. — Katie

  1. CONGRATS!

    I've been reading _And Baby Makes More_ by Susan Goldberg and Chloë Brushwood Rose and I'm really enjoying it. It's the only book I've seen exclusively dealing with known donor family configurations – mostly first-person "here's what happened in our situation" type essays. Really good.

    I've also been keeping up with the new site, http://itsconceivablenow.com/

    Enjoy!

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    • A big yes to 'and Baby Makes More'-the essays are fantastic, and cover many different perspectives.

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  2. You've already got two awesome books on hold – I highly recommend both. I haven't gotten to And Baby Makes More yet, but have heard great things about it.

    Definitely definitely look up First Time, Second Time (http://firsttimesecondtime.com/) – each mom is a bio and non-bio, and they talk a LOT about what that means.

    I'm interested in other responses to this, too, since I know my wife will be in this situation one day!

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  3. Have you visited the 'queer parenting' section of mothering.com's forum? There are a lot of helpful folks there who may be able to provide these resources. I just posted a link there to this here so hopefully a few will come over to chime in. Congratulations!

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  4. I also just plugged in "non-bio mom" to the search tool for that forum and a bunch of posts came up about non-bio mom's experiences, hardships, resources, etc. Just FYI.:)

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  5. Congratulations!! How wonderful for you and your wife.
    My wife is carrying our first baby right now, she's 13 weeks along. So not a lot further than your wife is… but if you're interested, we're blogging about our lives and the things we each experience and how they differ from one another. In a few years we hope to add another child to our family and I will be carrying that one, so we'll swap sides of the gestational fence. Feel free to check us out at http://www.twomothersmcgill.blogspot.com
    We also couldn't find any kind of directed journal that wasn't for a dad figure, so we bought a nice leather-bound journal and we both write "love letters" to the baby as we feel inclined to do so. Additionally, we plan to create our own baby book so we don't have to worry about heteronormative baby books without the things we want in them. We have found some queer-friendly baby books, but feel that we could do just as good a job ourselves, if not better.
    Best of luck to you!

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    • "The First 1000 Days" is abeautiful baby journal by artist Nikki McClure. She makes no assumptions about the sex/gender of parents, and her art is so sweet. I highly recommend it. My honey and I were given it by the moms that he donated to when we had our first baby.

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  6. I am not 100% sure if this exactly what you are looking for, but I thoroughly enjoyed http://www.amazon.com/Bear-Me-About-Pregnancy-Motherhood/dp/0771047649/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1330658962&sr=8-2 while I was pregnant. The author and her partner are lesbians, and although the book is primarily from the pregnant one's point of view, she does touch on both of their roles during the pregnancy. It discusses their relationship, but it doesn't make it the focus of the book. I am in a hetero relationship and I found the book to be a honest and hilarious look at pregnancy and early parenting, while bringing up some experiences that were specific to them being in a same gender relationship. It was probably one of my favourite books I read during my pregnancy.

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  7. I second the nomination of firsttimesecondtime.com. It's been very interesting and helpful for me to read, first as the gestational mother and now as the non-gestational mother. Our oldest turned 1 a couple of days ago and my wife is now 12 weeks pregnant with our "number 2," as we are calling him/her until s/he arrives. Congratulations! It takes some work to not be left out at appointments and all the pregnancy excitement.

    P.S. "She Looks Just Like You" is a downer. Be careful with it.

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  8. I've really loved reading Lesbian Dad for several years. She doesn't post terribly frequently, but her perspective on being Baba to her little ones is just sweet.

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    • I second Lesbian Dad. It's a great site.

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    • Third Lesbian Dad! It's wonderful and beautiful in all possible ways.

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  9. I'm not trying to plug myself, but well… I do update regularly on my blog, http://onebabytwomoms.com. Although, I'll admit. It's not too much different from any other mommyblog/baby blog/pregnancy blog. Our biggest form of activism is showing folks that our family is not all that different from anyone else's. Lol.

    That said, I do have a few posts about our donor and my partner adopting our daughter, etc.

    And, I'd second the queer parenting forum over on mothering.com. Although, I'll say I "used" it more when I was TTC than I do now. Maybe that has a bit to do with having less time to participate in forum chattery now that the babe is here, though.

    Good luck, and congrats!

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  10. I'm going to tell you a secret – there are a couple of books and a handful of really great blogs, but generally speaking there isn't a lot out there.
    I'm the non-gestational mom of a 16 month old and I still wish there was somewhere – even a central online presence – I could turn to connect with others in this new role. Maybe we should create one!
    One thing I really wish someone had been there to say to me during the pregnancy was this — IT IS OKAY TO BE JEALOUS. There are going to be moments when being the non-bio mom (I refer to myself sometimes as robot mom, because non-bio mom? like non-biological entity?) is alienating and it is okay to feel whatever you feel in those moments because eventually they really stop being so important.

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  11. Congratulations! The Wonder of You is a good start on baby books for once the kid is here. It isn't the most fancy baby book out there, but it is at least gender-neutral on the parenting side of things, and it's pretty cute. You can also get fancy ones on Etsy from various vendors who will personalize them for 2 moms (or any other combination of parents) that are beautiful, depending on what you want to spend. You can also check out wiegandwrites.blogspot.com (her wife is currently pregnant), breakingintoblossom.wordpress.com (both moms write about their experience and their new son), and twomomsandababybump.blogspot.com (the NGP writes about the two daughters that she carried and the twin boys that her wife carried).

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  12. I'm the non-bio mom to twins, and we are newly expecting a third (I'm carrying this time)! There were a couple essays in The Other Mother that really flipped me out in a not-so-good way. Check out LesbianFamily.org for a good list of blogs. Throw yourself into as much of the pregnancy as you can and really take ownership… but I second what Roxarita said, there will be times when you might feel left out or jealous- be honest and gentle with yourself, because those feelings are valid. Good luck!

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  13. Comgratulations! I too am the non tummy mummy in our family. My wife is almost 20 weeks pregnant. It's such an amazig experience! But definitely one where I'm having to pave my own way, because there isn't a lot out there. I blog, not very well, but I try 😉 feel free to drop by and have a look! 2aussiemammas.blogspot.com

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  14. Hi all! This was my question – thank you all SO much for all of the thoughtful suggestions and answers! I can't wait to start reading all of the wonderful resources you recommended. We're 8 weeks this week! Yay!

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  15. Congratulations! Although we are parents of adopted children, (we call ourselves heart mommies), I am the "other mommy". I would like to recommend a book for you that we read before kids(b.k.). Our kids are now 14, 13 and 11 years and we still reference this book. It's called "Parenting with Love and Logic". It is a short read, but packed with great insight. It's a mainstream book, but excellent.
    If you need help with issues after the baby is born, check out http://www.nocryingbabies.com.
    Good luck with everything!
    Jill

  16. Hi – shout out to all you non-bio mums, what do you call yourself? My partner will be the bio-mum and I don't know what I will be to our child, and I want it to be something very 'mumlike' without confusing the poor thing. Any ideas for sweet mumlike words for the non-bio mum?

    • @flic – I (the mom who carried and gave birth) am "Mama" and my wife is "Mommy." Of course, our kiddo could say "mama" first and "mommy" came awhile later, but she caught on. :) Sometimes she just calls us both "mom." I'm finding that she'll find her own ways to refer to us, and that's okay, too. Good luck!

  17. hi…weighing in late here…but we liked the essential guide to lesbian conception, pregnancy and birth …had great tips/legal info.

    also liked: the lesbian parenting book

    my non-carrying partner enjoyed this book for the birth process even though it's not directed specifically towards lesbians: the birth partner

    i second most all of the recommends above, too! another blog we like is http://www.westphillymama.com/

    not sure whether you identify as "butch" but no matter what, the site butches and babies is fun to look at and sometimes i learn about new bloggers through those photos (that's how i found west philly mama): http://butchesandbabies.com/

    hameless self promotion…and i post about things that come up with 2 moms…not necessarily from the non-bio mom perspective, but i do blog about patty's (my partner) experiences…http://steadyhappy.blogspot.com/

    congrats & good luck!!

    oh and ps…we went through every possible name and ended up with mama for me (carrying mama) and simply mom for my partner…bea doesn't get confused, but we do sometimes! 😉 she definitely calls me "mama" and a distinct "mom" for patty!

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  18. Thank you all so much for this thread! I've been feeling jealous and all sorts of other things over the past 20 weeks (our kiddo's due in late July), but, like so many of you, didn't know where to turn. I didn't even know what to google (I got here from googling lesbian dad, since I'd seen that blog a long while ago).

    Thank you for the resources, and for breaking the isolation I feel in this strange role.

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  19. My wife and I are on our third try at trying to concieve. I too wish there was a forum for the non carrying mother. I have browsed so many TTC sites but don't feel like I belong in them. I will definitely be checking out the blogs listed here.
    As far as what we will be called my wife and I have decided that she will be Mom and I will be Mama.

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