As part of our ongoing Spotlight Series, we thought we would sit down with new moms celebrating being Mother’s for the first time this year. Sarah Toce is Editor-in-Chief and founder of The Seattle Lesbian.
TNF: Did you and your wife always know you wanted to have kids?
Sarah: Yes, we’ve always discussed having kids – even on our first date! It’s an important subject to agree on, isn’t it? We both knew we wanted to be mothers and, as time went on, I couldn’t wait to see her hold our child.
TNF: How has having a baby changed your life?
Sarah: In every way. I have no time for bullshit anymore, and dramatic, immature people in my life no longer have a seat at the table. I’ve learned to prioritize – and Sophia always comes first – before work, interviews, meetings, anything else. She is absolutely breathtaking in every way. Every day I fall more and more in love with her and can’t wait to see who she becomes. I hope to guide her to being the most authentic person she can be.
TNF: What does motherhood mean to you?
Sarah: There is a huge responsibility that comes with bringing a new life into the world. Having Sophia has encouraged me to be my best possible self and to reach above and beyond my comfort zone to protect her from harm. I can’t remember the last time I wore makeup, or had a spa day where I wasn’t constantly checking my phone to make sure she was okay, but it’s all worth it. The pure joy in her bright blue eyes is worth any sacrifice that comes my way. Loving a human being more than you love yourself makes you a better person. I’d totally endorse motherhood to anyone still on the fence about it.
TNF: Tell us about your family creation process?
Sarah: We used an anonymous sperm donor with characteristics resembling my wife’s family attributes. You can read all about our journey in Huffington Post or Curve magazine, but we essentially tried to have a baby for about two years before it all came together. During this time we had an early miscarriage and a chemical pregnancy. With science as it is these days, we knew immediately via blood test when we were pregnant, which didn’t make the losses any easier. We ultimately became pregnant with a simple IUI in the medical office. Guess we were just waiting for the right egg to make the long haul!
TNF: Who carried? Was that a tough decision?
Sarah: I carried, and it wasn’t a tough decision. There was a superficial moment where I was worried about never being able to lose the weight, but it was an unnecessary fear. Any weight I gained during pregnancy was lost on the operating table during the C-section. It was all baby – 8 lbs. of her! Add nursing to that and I think I was in better shape than before becoming pregnant!
TNF: Any advice for prospective parents?
Sarah: Keep trying. If you want that family, don’t give up. It’s not easy for me to say because “I’m not involved,” I was deeply involved. I wanted to quit many times (but not really or I would’ve given up), but I had faith and a great partner and support system and that made it all manageable. Preparing to start your family can be a daunting task when you’re dealing with a multitude of hurdles, but it is possible. Always believe. If you want it, don’t be afraid to start. You’ll never make it past the finish line unless you start.
TNF: What do you wish for your child?
Sarah: So much. I want her to know her power. I want her to have the confidence and strength to never give up, even when it would be easier to do that than keep going. I want her to be kind, an amazing friend and companion to others. I want her to know that it’s far better to give than to receive in life – to remember that not every person who pays you a compliment is in it for the right reasons. I want her to have a conscience and treat others with dignity and respect – even when they don’t offer the same luxury to her. I want her to work hard and know the value of a dollar. Most importantly, I want her to be happy.
TNF: How are you juggling work and motherhood?
Sarah: I have a lot of faith that I am doing the best I can with what I have and that I am being guided in the best possible way. I’ve had to say no to a lot of projects since having my daughter and I can honestly say, I haven’t regretted anything. I’m much more selective with work and I’m pickier with my friends and where I allot my time. I don’t give as many second chances, mostly because I have no time and I expect people to bring their best a lot more than I used to before. My standards are higher and my BS detector is lower. So far, it’s working out great.
TNF: What is the best advice you have been given about being a parent?
Sarah: That everyone is quick to give advice and no one actually knows anything. We’re all just trying to make it, no matter how put together or successful at business others appear to be on the outside. Inside we all want the same basic things: to get through the day and mold a happy, healthy, well-adjusted person.
Thank you Sarah for a beautiful interview and Happy Mother’s Day to you and your wife.