TNF: Tell me about your family.
KRISTEN: My wife and I got married on August 20, 2011 in a ceremony and celebration with 100 of our closest friends & family, though same sex marriage was not legal at that time. When same sex did become legal once again in California in 2013, since 8/20 was our wedding date in our hearts we got legally married on August 20, 2013. We have one child, Carter who is 7 weeks old today!
TNF: How did you meet your wife?
KRISTEN: We met on Match.com in 2009.
TNF: How did you decide who would get pregnant?
KRISTEN: It was always our plan that I would carry our first child. My wife was sure she wanted to be a mother but not 100% sure she wanted to carry. I on the other hand wanted nothing more since I was a little girl.
TNF: I know you went through some fertility issues, can you share with us?
KRISTEN: We started trying to conceive via donor in May 2013. My entire world became based on ovulation sticks, 2 week waits and negative pregnancy tests…. we did this for 9 consecutive months before we decided to seek fertility help. My initial fertility tests came back okay, they were not great but with a little help from some fertility meds we should be good to go! I had one more test to do before we started down this new path, the HSG test to make sure my tubes were open! 2 weeks after we had this test done, I ended up in the ER with severe abdominal pain. The initial ultrasounds showed that I had an infection inside my tube the size of a grapefruit. When the first doctor told me hey wanted to do an emergency hysterectomy, my world came crashing down! Turns out I was one of the rare 10,000 who got an infection from the HSG test. I refused the hysterectomy. There was no way I was going to let them take out the part of my body that was necessary for the only thing I ever really wanted in life. I opted for plan B and was hospitalized for a week as they drained the infection. I knew this was only a temporary fix, that most likely the infection would return and I also knew though no one told me for sure that this would most likely prevent me from ever carrying our child. When I was finally discharged I left feeling a loss like I had never felt before. I was devastated.
My wife, she was amazing! I don’t know how I would have ever gotten through those next weeks without her! And then one day she came to me and said, she would do it… she would carry our baby. We met with our fertility doctor asap. Her tests came back great. After such a long journey with me, we did not expect this to be a quick process, but we knew it was our only chance to begin this journey all over again. I always say she got pregnant to make me stop crying…. and she really did! It wasn’t our plan, but as we sat in the office at our doctor she said something that made me change the way I looked at it, she said “if you were a straight couple, I would be sitting here telling you guys that you would never be able to conceive your own child.” Those words hit me hard! My biggest fear of coming out, turned out to be the only way I may ever have a child of my own. Krista started her first round right away. We picked a donor, started fertility drugs and had our first insemination on June 9th, 2014. We were praying that she would get pregnant within the average “first 3 months”. Well, as impatient as I am I made her take a pregnancy test on the 19th, even though I knew it was early…and low and behold… that 2nd line that I had searched for 9 long months appeared! We were pregnant! I scheduled my full hysterectomy for when Krista was 6 weeks pregnant. a hysterectomy at 33 yrs old is one of the most terrifying things to go through… and that little baby that was growing and my selfless wife who was growing our child was the ONLY way I got through it!
The first few months were still pretty scary! So much time dealing with infertility makes you aware of all the things that can and do go wrong. When we were out of the first trimester, we found out we were having a baby girl! There were times in the pregnancy that were hard for me, like when krista could feel her move but I couldn’t. i knew 100% this was my daughter but there were times I wondered if it would feel different for me then it would for Krista and there were moments where I still broke down and cried and thought about the loss my body had gone through… but all of my fears and heart ache was soon to disappear. Our daughter Carter Olivia was born on February 16th at 5:24pm. When I held her for the first time… everything in me changed. I knew 100% that she was the Baby we were suppose to have! I was 100% her mother and always would be! She is the most amazing thing that we have ever done and though she came into this world different then we had planned, she is our miracle! Our baby girl, and for the first time ever I can honestly I would not change one part of our journey to get HER to US
TNF: What was it like you finally found out that you guys were pregnant?
KRISTEN: I think we were seriously in shock…. We just never imagined it would happen so quickly after all those months of having stark white pregnancy tests. We were of course overjoyed but I think until we first heard the heart beat at 7 weeks, we were always wondering if it was real.
TNF: Do you feel different from other families? If so, how so?
KRISTEN: I don’t feel different at all. I think when Carter gets older and may get questioned at having 2 moms it may be a little different and difficult but as of now I feel like we have the perfect family.
TNF: Where do you live? Is it tough being a gay couple where you live?
KRISTEN: We live in Southern California, which I know is a huge part of why we will feel like a normal family. We have been very fortunate to not have to deal with much prejudice and to for the most part have our family embraced by everyone. We have an extremely supportive family and great group of friends who have always accepted and loved us. We do often get asked who the mom is when were out & about… which I always find strange but we just say we both are and move about our day!
TNF: What has having a family meant to you?
KRISTEN: It means everything to me! Having our daughter is such an amazing blessing and remembering the time when I really wasn’t sure we would have a child, it was just the hardest reality I ever had to face. Having our baby has brought my wife and I to a closer place then I ever imagined. My wife made me a mother. And I will always be grateful for this amazing gift. Carter is our whole world and I have never been happier.
Thank you for sharing your beautiful family with us!