MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry had her second child on Valentine's Day, surprising many viewers of her show because she wasn't "visibly pregnant." She gave birth to her first child in 2002, but had her uterus removed in 2008 after suffering from uterine fibroids. She credits "a dear friend and his husband," who had their child by surrogacy, for suggesting that she do the same.
Here's what she tweeted the day after the birth:
Harris-Perry writes about "How We Made Our Miracle" over at the MSNBC website. It's a wonderful piece, and I found myself noting the similarities to my own parenting story.
Having a child when not visibly pregnant? Check. Going through the ups and downs of IVF with a partner? Check. Tied genetically to the child but not having carried it? Check. Informed by friends both gay and straight? Check.
Many of us who created our family in "non-traditional" ways can relate to her when she says, "It took two families, three states, four doctors, and five attorneys to get this little girl here. And while our gestational carrier has no genetic tie to our little one, she is now our family."
Of course, her experience also differs from mine in many ways. I donated an egg that my spouse carried. She donated an egg (and her husband donated sperm) that a surrogate carried. She is welcoming the surrogate into their family life; my spouse and I used an anonymous donor. I am a white lesbian; she is a black straight woman.>
It is in the interplay of similarities and differences that the great web of human families is made, however. We connect with our similarities and learn from our differences. Harris-Perry notes that starting in May, she will write a monthly column for Essence magazine "chronicling my parenting adventures." I can't wait to read it.
All the best to her and her entire growing family.