By Amy Woolvett
Lockeport author Natalie Meisner has released her sometimes serious, often funny book on how she and her wife search for Mr. Right…a sperm donor who would help them become pregnant at the same time.
Double Pregnant, Two Lesbians Make a Family is a light-hearted, true story about starting a family.
“Although the book does cover some serious issues,” said Meisner. “It uses a lot of comedy because for me laughter has always been the best way to put a situation in perspective.”
When she and her wife Vivian decided to try to have babies they decided they did not want to go to an anonymous sperm donor clinic.
“This is because my wife is a woman of colour who was adopted into a white family ...and felt strongly that she wanted our children to know their bio-dad. The more we thought about it the more it seemed a good idea to try and find a sperm donor who wouldn’t mind being known to the children.”
She said their seemed to be a lot of men who, while not wanting the full role of being a parent, would still benefit from having children in their lives.
“And so that is how two lesbians set off on a series of what we started calling ‘speed dates’ in order to find Mr. Right,” said Meisner.
Meisner divides her time between Lockeport, Holland and Alberta.
They spent their year of maternity in Lockeport.
“We got back a few weeks before our first son was born and our second son was born two months later,” she said.
“Whenever we arrive back home, we feel so warmly welcomed by everyone in the community,” said Meisner. “I think people often assume (wrongly) that small towns are less welcoming to people who are different like people of colour or gay people …but that wasn’t our experience with Shelburne and Lockeport …we are kind of like a walking postcard for diversity: a two mom family, mixed race…and people could not have been kinder to us.”
They spent the year in their little home, walking the beaches and enjoying their new and doubled in size family, Meisner also took this time to write the first draft of her book.
This is an excerpt from Double Pregnant: Two Lesbians Make a Family.
“Although I have a very long career as a writer…I have always written plays and fiction...you have the character in between you and the reader. The thought of trying to tell the truth…that was a different matter, it really made me sweat.
“So I kind of knew I had to do it then,” she said.
“Hey, look, we got our first message,” I call out to Vivien, who is stirring a pot of something fragrant in the kitchen. I catch wafts of cinnamon…cardamom. Maybe her trademark lamb stock/squash soup?
“And there are pictures. Lots of shirtless pictures.”
“What? What does he say?”
“He says he can drive down here immediately from Edmonton…at least he’s close by…and get this: take as much time as needed to get as many women pregnant as we like.”
“How many women does he think we have over here?”
“Well the ad says two,” I say.
Vivien comes running over, ladle in hand, leaving a trail of soup drops across the kitchen floor. “But we said ai. We said artificial insemination. As needed? He did not say that!”
“Read it yourself. There’s no way I could make that up.”
And there isn’t
This is only the first in a series of events that take us into terra incognita and put us into situations far stranger than fiction.
Double Pregnant can be found at the Lockeport Pharmacy, the Whirligig, ordered from Fernwood Publishing directly, or found at Chapters, Indigo and Amazon.