And so it begins…

Two and a half years ago, on the eve of my thirtieth birthday, I had a meltdown of epic proportions. There was a lot of crying, self pity, and a general feeling of being tethered to nothing and feeling ready for things that I neither had nor knew how I was going to get them [namely- a dog, a boyfriend and a baby]. That night I made a pact with myself that in two years time, whether I was partnered or single, I would actively be on the path to fatherhood. The next day I adopted a dog, and a few weeks later a cute boy asked me on a dog walk date. Eventually that cute boy [Josh] and I fell in love and slowly and steadily we began to build a life together. I don’t remember the first time I brought up having children, but it was very early on in our courtship and still I didn’t scare him off. As time went on and our relationship grew so did our conversations about parenting, about family, about values, about how and when and why we wanted to have children. In some ways we were on the very same page, in other ways- not so much, but in the most important ways, we absolutely saw eye to eye. In Josh I had finally found a person who I completely trusted to co-parent with me, to learn and grow with me as a partner and as a parent, to have faith that wherever life should take us- we would always be connected by this shared honor and responsibility of parenting.

Through the course of many conversations, after much soul searching and exploring of our options we decided that what felt like the best and most right decision for us would be that I would carry a child for us. I am transgender [i.e. I was born and raised female, grew up to identify as male, and as a young adult medically and socially transitioned to male] and Josh is not transgender. For us that meant that when it came to how we would create a family there would [hopefully] be no fertility treatments, sperm banks, or adoption paper work, I would stop taking my hormones [under the care of and with the support of my doctor], and we would try to make a baby. There were many factors that brought us to this place, and while I support all of the beautiful and diverse ways in which other people choose to create a family, having a baby this way was not only something I hoped we would be able to do, but it was something we really wanted to do. So, in November of 2012 I stopped taking my hormones and started putting my faith in that if we were meant to have a child this way, we would.

On my 32nd birthday [August, 2013] Josh and I went on a weekend paddling and camping trip with some friends. Even though I had been off my hormones for nine months we hadn’t begun actively trying to make a baby and were stuck in a sort of cycle of “when is the right time/is it ever the right time?” I recalled the pact I had made with myself two years prior, and in so many ways knew it had already come to fruition- I was indeed on the path to becoming a father, if not actively in some ways, at least we had a plan and an end goal. But still, I went alone to stand on the rocks and face the water, I took a big deep breath and rooted myself in the spot where I stood and opened up my heart to ask for the wish that was laying in the deepest, most sacred place inside of me. I said, I am ready for you. I am also not ready for you, but mostly I am ready for you to be here whenever you are ready to be here. There is a place for you here and it will be here waiting for you and only you. Then I closed my eyes and stood still and quiet with that truth, I really let go of how and when my baby was going to come, and I started to trust that however and whenever it happened, my baby would find me.

Two weeks later we made a baby.

baby!

Now it is nearing the end of January 2014 and I am 24 weeks pregnant. Some days I can still hardly believe it, but it is happening. The weeks are going by so quickly now, my belly is getting bigger, we saw all the tiny perfect parts on the sonogram screen, and recently the little person growing inside of there began kicking and poking at me, reminding me gently that they are very real and that this really is happening. As much as I could know before that I wanted to have a baby, I was wholly unprepared for how it would feel to actually have one growing inside of me- which is nothing short of amazing. This baby shares bits of Josh and bits of me to create an entirely new, unique and incredible person and I can’t help but feel lucky, blessed, and honored to be carrying this life. I can only hope, and try not to worry, that the rest of this pregnancy will continue to go smoothly and come May 18, 2014 we will be welcoming this new person into the world and into our family with so much joy, love, and utter amazement.

Every day now I wake up early and I feel like there is a little fish swimming around in my belly, I say good morning baby and Joshua reaches over in his sleep and wraps his arm around me, so we are all three snuggling in the bed quiet, content and perfect. Right then I feel like the absolute luckiest person in the whole wide world…and it is only going to get better and better.

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6 thoughts on “And so it begins…

  1. Steven and Josh. I’m speechless. My heart is huge-full. I’m grateful and proud and awed by your love and courage. Thank you for leading us forward. Such a blessed child this will be. You’re in my thoughts, and as my (85 year old) mother loves to say : I;m sending you good vibes! (and thank your mom for putting this link on facebook!!) Sending love: Lucinda (aka Cindy) Garthwaite.

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