In this poignant debut memoir, Miller explores the meaning of motherhood, family and the “gayby” boom.
Rather than approaching the issue of gay and lesbian parenthood from a political angle, the author takes up the emotional and sociological aspects of nonbiological lesbian motherhood, providing a fresh, insightful perspective. After nearly 20 years of commitment, Miller and her partner decided to have a child. The obstacles and joys they faced—some expected, others unthinkable—provide the meat of the narrative. Miller attempted to get pregnant for two years, then handed the reins to her partner, who promptly got pregnant on the first artificial insemination. The first half of the book is dedicated to the process of impregnation and the pregnancy itself, with the author revealing her hopes, fears, insecurities and attempts to navigate her place in the future child’s life, neither as the biological mother nor as the father. Following the birth, Miller had to undertake the process of becoming an equal parent, both legally and emotionally. She faced many of the same problems as heterosexual couples—guilt over working, guilt over staying home, lack of sleep, etc.—and others particular to her situation as a lesbian: What should she say, if anything, when people assume she is the biological mother? Will her daughter’s preschool be tolerant of nontraditional families? Rather than providing abstract philosophical musings on such questions, Miller unveils deeply personal reflections on the meaning of parenthood in a rapidly changing society.
An introspective work that lays open the inner workings of lesbian parenthood while effectively demystifying parenthood in general.