We often get asked questions about Oscar and the whole lesbian parenting world we are now a part of. I thought I would help answer a few of them on here.
How did we decide who would be the birth mother?
This one was easy. In addition to Candice never wanting to be pregnant, she has a medical condition that would make it risky to her health. For me, carrying a baby was something I had always known I wanted. I really wanted to experience pregnancy in all it’s glory.
Would Candice ever consider being the biological mother?
In her own words “That would be my worst nightmare”. Let me explain that a bit better. The nightmare for her is the process of getting pregnant, being pregnant and giving birth. If there was a magical way to avoid all of that and be the biological parent then it’s something she would jump at. When we first began the process of inseminations and IVF we discussed what would happen if I couldn’t get pregnant. We came up with a rough plan that we would try IUI inseminations twice and then move on to IVF. We would then try 3 full cycles of IVF and if none of the embryo transfers from those cycles resulted in a pregnancy, we would stop trying with my eggs. I don’t know if either of us would have really been ready to give up on my body if that time came but if we did, the plan was that Candice would step in. She would go through the first part of an IVF cycle but the resulting embryos would be transferred to me. In that case Candice would be the biological mother and I would have been the birth mother. For Candice, that plan was a last resort but one she was willing to be a part of.
How did we decide on Oscar’s last name?
Candice and I got married a few months before Oscar was conceived and decided that we wanted to have the same surname. The problem was that I wasn’t quite ready to give up my last name and neither was Candice. So we decided to hyphenate both our names. When Oscar was born, naturally, we wanted him to have the same surname as us.
What does Oscar call us both?
Well at the moment Oscar can only babble so he doesn’t call us anything yet. The plan however, is that I will be known as ‘Mummy’ and Candice will be ‘Mum’. Originally Candice was going to be known as ‘Mumma’ but after trying it out for the first couple of months we decided it didn’t work for us. It felt forced when either of us would say it but ‘Mum’ came naturally and flowed better. As Oscar gets older and grows out of calling me ‘Mummy’, Candice and I will simply both be called ‘Mum’.
What will we tell Oscar about the donor?
This question really depends on how old he is when he is asking. We don’t plan on complicating it when he is really young but as Oscar gets older and begins to wonder about where babies come from, we will go more into the role of the donor and his conception. We will also explain the difference between a ‘Donor’ and a ‘Dad’ and help him to understand the many kinds of family structures. We would like to be as open with him about everything as we can. Once he is 18, Oscar can request to make contact with the donor if he wishes, through QFG Donor program.
Do we plan on using the same donor for any future children?
Yes, we do. At the moment we have 3 frozen embryos and 1 vial of sperm from the same donor used to conceive Oscar.
How many children do we plan on having?
We would like to have 2 in total, so just 1 more. Though, I’ll be honest here – if we have any frozen embryos left, I will probably want to hang on to them for a few years. Just incase we change our minds and decide we would like to have 1 more kid. I probably wouldn’t be ready to say goodbye to those remaining embryos until our second child is about 5 years old.
What legal rights does Candice have as Oscar’s mother?
Same as me! She is listed on his birth certificate as being his parent and can do whatever I can. Travel, enrolling him in daycare/school, doctor appointments, etc. As far as the government is concerned, along side myself, Candice is Oscar’s legal guardian.
How has having a baby affected your relationship?
Candice and I have always had a great relationship but it has honestly become so much stronger now that we have Oscar. We are both so invested in that boy and equally share an obsession with all things Oscar related. I know it probably sounds like I’m boasting but we communicate ridiculously well with each other and I think that is the key to being able to feel so secure in our marriage. Speaking for myself, I feel incredibly supported. Of course, being new parents we have the odd snipe at each other due to being over tired or stressed but they are always forgiven. It’s important to still be silly. Laugh lots. I felt like I was going to pop a few stitches while I was recovering from the c-section, we laughed that much. It’s just a big ol’ love fest in our home.
Is there anything we miss about life before parenthood?
We both agreed that the thing we miss about life before being a parent is the ability to be spontaneous. Having a baby means planning things, at least initially. As Oscar gets older and we no longer need to bring half the contents of our house when we go out, I’m sure we will be able to get some of that spontaneity back. For the time being, impromptu weekends away or even a last minute movie date isn’t really an option.
Favourite thing about being his mum so far?
Almost everything! If I had to pick just 3 things, I would choose the look of recognition on his face when Oscar sees me walk into the room; when he puts his arms around my neck while I’m holding him and the way my heart quickens when listening to his cooing noises. Candice’s 3 favourite things are seeing the pure joy in his morning smiles, being on the receiving end of his snuggly hugs and getting to witness his bashful expressions. Above all, we agree that our all time favourite thing about being his parent is the way he makes us feel so, so loved and important. You can’t buy that kind of feeling.