When I first told my mother I was a lesbian in 2001 I was so terrified I decided to write her a letter so I couldn't chicken out of it. Much to my relief she instantly rang me up and said, I love you and I just want you to be happy! "But oh no, that means I'll never be a grandmother"! She exclaimed painfully.
My first reaction was of course exasperation and annoyance, "Well mum you know you already are a grandmother (my brothers and sisters have all got children) and also, Lesbians can have children." I rolled my eyes silently down the phone.
Me and mum
I was 19 and at that age having children and a baby was so far from my world I hadn't given it too much thought. I'd always wanted to adopt ever since I could remember then my other option was a sperm donor, I knew these as my options and left it at that.
It wasn't until I hit my 30s that I was suddenly faced with the reality of actually choosing how I would have children. I was living in the jungles of Mexico (of all places) when my body began to subconsciously scream at me - it was the most bizarre phenomena. I was a very career driven and adventurous lesbian and now suddenly I wanted to nest and spring babies - I felt like a bird that had been off gallivanting around the globe for 15 years and now my inner workings, my (cringe) womanly "clock" lassoed me kicking and screaming to migrate back to my clan to make more red-haired freckly nut jobs.
Indiana Jones eat your heart out
I was working in Wildlife Conservation sleeping in a giant sack fashioned into a hammock being eaten alive by mosquitoes in the deep misty jungles of Tlacotalpan. I realised then that my Indiana Jones days had finally caught up with me - all I wanted to do was go home and be a Mother, I could hear Mary Poppins singing in my ear.
So that's exactly what I did, I came back to England I met a beautiful woman we fell in love and I told her, I want to have a baby.
My gorgeous partner Sue Lucy
It was my partner who started the seed of the idea; she worried that our child would miss out on having a father or at least to know their roots and heritage. Why don't you have a baby with a friend she asked and we share the responsibility? If we had the choice to let them know their father wouldn't it be nice if we could give them that?
I agreed it sounded like a great idea in theory but how do we find someone like that? The memory of my mums voice on the phone the day I came out to her started to sound less and less ridiculous. This was getting complicated!
I thought of my male friends, most of them single and not in the least wanting to settle down or have a child. I asked around, put the feelers out but the word baby over a pint in a loud pub made them wince as they looked through me and smiled at some hot young thing walking by...
So of course I did what any half cocked millennial would do... I took the search online.
After a fervent Google search I discovered 'co-parenting' was the term we were looking to do. Much to my dismay the choice of network sites available left a lot to be desired and on top of that once I joined them I realised none of them were free! To me this was antiquated.
After a long time of getting nowhere, trying to sift through hundreds of posts on Facebook groups and having unsuccessful searches on out-dated websites, one day I thought, hang on, I'm a web designer - why don't I just make a free co-parent site?
So that's what I did. MyCoParenting.org is completely free and will always stay that way, there are groups, forums, map search, favourites and best of all you can chat, search and interact with everyone for free.
Since making My CoParenting I have now found a co-parent, ironically a friend I worked with in Mexico saw My CoParenting's Facebook Page and that sparked a conversation leading us to want to co-parent together.
MyCoParenting.org is not just for lesbian couples, it's for every kind of person; couples who can't conceive, the LGBTQ community and also members who are single that want to have children.
Co-Parenting is about giving every person of every ilk and creed the chance to create love and life when they are ready for it and want to share that responsibility and joy with another.
First published on the My CoParenting Blog