The "traditional" story of how a baby is brought into the world goes something like this: Boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, boy and girl get married, boy and girl have penis-in-vagina sex, girl gets pregnant, girl has a baby.
But, like many things in life, that "traditional" story isn't a one-size-fits-all. Sometimes boy meets boy, for example, and then boy and boy decide to use a surrogate to start their family.
That's what happened for one couple, who were recently featured on the photography project Humans of New York. But it's more than just the parents' genders and the fact that they didn't have sex to conceive this child that makes their story out of the norm, they said. It's that they didn't get to watch the pregnancy happen day-to-day.
"We didn’t see the stomach getting bigger. We didn’t have the same sort of emotional preparation as traditional parents," the couple said. "It’s like one day we weren’t parents, and then the next day we are."
Their son was born two weeks early and their surrogate didn't live nearby, so they truly weren't prepared. The couple quickly booked plane tickets after getting the call that their surrogate was in labor, but didn't end up making it to the hospital in time.
"We actually met our son for the first time in an elevator," they said. "We were heading up to the room, and the nurses were bringing him up from the nursery. They noticed two guys carrying luggage, and said: 'I think this might be your son!'"
Of course, their story isn't a typical surrogacy story either — because there is no "typical" story. Even though we can talk about what most commonly happens when someone has a child through sex with a partner, or through surrogacy, or through fertility treatments, or through adoption, the truth is that every baby is brought into the world in a unique way — and every pregnancy is different.
It doesn't matter that these men met their son for the first time in an elevator, or that they weren't able to track his growth in utero every day. What matters is that they were able to start their (incredibly adorable) family at all.
Welcome to Mothership: Parenting stories you actually want to read, whether you're thinking about or passing on kids, from egg-freezing to taking home baby and beyond. Because motherhood is a big if — not when — and it's time we talked about it that way.
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