Real Couple Stories: Erica & Alana Talk Raising A Black Son As Two Lesbian Women

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MN: Erica, what has been the most unexpected part about pregnancy?

Erica: Oh! I kind of feel bad saying this I went into it so excited about the process, being pregnant and making a person, it’s going to be so great. But it has been very hard. I think, while we have been very lucky of not having to go through the expense and trying, it was emotional with all the poking and prodding at the beginning. And then there have been times where I’m just like, ‘I am tired. I don’t want to be pregnant anymore.’ So it’s been hard for me to be in the process but there have been days when it’s been horrible. I had really bad morning sickness, lost a lot of weight and then I ran into pregnancy exhaustion.

And I think it’s been hard because people don’t talk about it very often. Most things you read are, ‘The miracle of pregnancy.’ No one really talks about what it feels like when it doesn’t feel that great. And in my mind, I feel like I shouldn’t be feeling this way because I could be one of those women who couldn’t get pregnant or gets pregnant and has a miscarriage. But I’ve been telling Alana, I’ve been ready to not be pregnant since I was five months.

I haven’t actually gotten excited about being pregnant until a few weeks ago because I had this constant aching nervousness everything has gone so well, something is going to go wrong. I have that little bit of tension in my shoulders the whole time, worrying. That’s the part that’s been the hardest of the whole thing.


MN: Alana, what has been unexpected for you, witnessing it?

Alana: Honestly, I got really jealous in the middle of it. I never expected to feel this way. Before I realized that I was gay, even when I was little, I was like ‘I’m going to adopt a kid one day.’ I never thought I’d give birth to the child I have. But five months in, when he started moving, I got so jealous. And I was also having pregnancy dreams. In the first trimester, with her morning sickness I felt bad for her but I’m so happy she’s chosen to do this for us. Then, when she started feeling better and he started moving, I was like, ‘This seems like the best thing ever and I don’t get to experience any of it.’ They’re bonding and I’m wondering if he’s going to know her more than me. I’m not worried about the affection and the emotional part of it but this is the person who has housed him for ten months.

I talk to him every night and I read books to him. The doctor told us that he can recognize sounds. But he really responds to my voice. When we see each other at night, I’ll be talking to him and if I lay on her stomach, he’ll be punching me in the face. I think those feelings of jealousy have subsided but I was very surprised I felt that way. And I was honest about it. I woke up one morning and I told Erica, ‘I am so jealous of you right now.’ And she said, ‘Oh, do you think you want to carry.’ And I was like, ‘Let’s not go that far.’

And you know how they say women’s periods can follow each others? I swear to God that my hormones were going nuts with her hormones. I think the real difference for us, is that I’m experiencing this yet I’m also 100 percent capable of also carrying a child.


MN: Have you guys decided on a name?

Alana: We just picked one last night! We could not agree on anything. We polled everyone we’d ever met. We asked every relative.

Erica: We started asking strangers, waiters at restaurants. We were trying to find inspiration from everywhere. We had a name if he was going to be a girl. So we were ready. And they were like, ‘It’s a boy.’ And we’re like ‘Sh*t.’ So we started coming up with a list. And I think we started making ourselves crazy. And then we went through a period of time where I wanted him to have the same initials as Alana. And then we went through a nickname phase. We wanted old man names at one point and her mom started looking through the obituaries, which is kind of creepy. Then last night we were talking and we came up with a name and we kind of looked at each other and– it felt like a cartoon where the lightbulb goes off. And we high-fived each other. And we have four weeks to go. We had a list of things we wanted to get done before the baby got here, and I will say finding a name has been the hardest thing. I would say to Alana, this is something very significant that we’re going to give to him and I want to make sure that it encompasses who he is now but also who we want him to be.

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