Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Two More Articles

I came across these articles while searching the internet for cloth diaper options. They're about same-sex and lesbian parenting, not cloth diapering, but I thought people looking at this blog might be interested. More on cloth diapering later...

No Harm From Having Same-Sex Parents Researcher Shows

An international research study has shown there is no disadvantage to having same-sex parents verses opposite-sex ones.

Some groups have long claimed that children need one male and one female parent in order to be emotionally adjusted. This new research shows that the quality of parenting has far more to do than the gender of parents for raising children. Sociologists from the University of California looked at 81 different studies on families and found no differences in children raised by a variety of parents. The researchers, Stacey and Timothy Biblarz, spent 5 years looking over the data before coming to this conclusion.

“Children being raised by same-gender parents, on most all of the measures that we care about, self-esteem, school performance, social adjustment and so on, seem to be doing just fine and, in most cases, are statistically indistinguishable from kids raised by married moms and dads on these measures,” Biblarz says.

This research not only looks at same-sex couples and how they parent, but also at single parents who raise their children alone. Again, quality of parenting counts more towards raising healthy children.
–Summer, Staff Writer

Study: Kids of Same-Sex Moms Do Better Than Peers

Two researchers from the US and Amsterdam combined to do the first ever study on children of same-sex moms. The results shocked many as it revealed that these children scored far higher than children of straight parents on many different levels.

Researchers Nanette Gartrell, a professor of psychiatry at the University of California at San Francisco, and Henry Bos, a behavioral scientist at the University of Amsterdam, tracked children who were raised by same-sex moms. Following the children from birth through adolescence, the researchers wanted to see how different children raised in two-mother families would be in social development. Previous studies had found no differences, though these studies often included the children of parents who had came out as lesbians later in life. For this study, the researchers wanted parents that identified as homosexual from the start.

While in areas of development and social behavior the two groups of children scored very similarly, the researchers were shocked to find major differences in other areas. Children raised by same-sex moms scored much better than those in traditional families when it came to of self-esteem and confidence. These children also did better academically, and had lower levels of reported behavioral problems.

“We simply expected to find no difference in psychological adjustment between adolescents reared in lesbian families and the normative sample of age-matched controls,” says Gartrell. “I was surprised to find that on some measures we found higher levels of [psychological] competency and lower levels of behavioral problems. It wasn’t something I anticipated.”

Of the children from same-sex parents, nearly half had reported teasing, ostracism or discrimination based on their parents. When the children were surveyed at age 10 there was some higher levels of stress due to these problems, however by age 17 the stress levels were average.

“Obviously there are some factors that may include family support and changes in education about appreciation for diversity that may be helping young people to come to a better place despite these experiences,” says Gartrell.

The researchers are not certain as to why the children of same-sex moms score better, but they think it has something to do with the negative discrimination these families face. Gartrell believes that same-sex parents make parenting a higher priority because they are aware that their children will face stigmatization. These parents may also be more likely to actively discuss topics such as tolerance and discrimination with their children.

“They are very involved in their children’s lives,” she says of the lesbian parents. “And that is a great recipe for healthy outcomes for children. Being present, having good communication, being there in their schools, finding out what is going on in their schools and various aspects of the children’s lives is very, very important.”

More research is being planned for the future, and the researchers hope to collect data on two father families next.
–Summer, staff writer

Monday, August 23, 2010

In the Clear

The ultrasound results came back clear. THANK GOODNESS! Our baby appears to be healthy and developing normally. It also appears to be a boy!

Before we even started fertility treatments I was quite sure that we would have a boy. Then once Jen was a few months pregnant, I thought, "Oh my, what if it's a girl and here I've been thinking boy, boy, boy?" And from that point on I started thinking of our baby as a little girl. So, when we got these ultrasound results I was thrown for a bit of a loop. (As were most people we've told -it seems almost everyone thought we were having a girl.) We were cautioned that it is a little early to tell, and have an ultrasound scheduled at the beginning of Septmeber that is typically the one where you find out the sex, but I'm pretty sure it's not going to change.

I'm excited to know the sex, but also a little bit nervous about having a boy. What do I know about being a boy? Will he have good male role-models in his life? Will he grow up happy and well-adjusted? (A concern no matter what the sex.) I hope we're good mamas to our little guy.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Anxiety-causing News

I didn't plan on updating this soon, but we got a call from our midwife today. She had just got in our second set of bloodwork from the genetic screening we did and there was an abnormal result. Jen's alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) levels came back slightly high (2.38 vs. 2.30) which may indicate a neural tube defect, specifically spina bifida. She said that that level indicates a 1/631 chance of the baby having spina bifida. From what I was able to find out online, normal chances are about 1/1000. I'm trying not to worry, but spina bifida sort of runs in Jen's family. She had an uncle who died shortly after birth who had it, and also has a cousin with it.

The plan now is to go in for another ultrasound at the end of this week. I think they'll be able to see the baby's spine and determine if it does have spina bifida.

I cried after hanging up the phone and just kept repeating, "Please don't let our baby be sick." I then proceeded to look up information online and was somewhat able to convince myself not to worry... too much... at least not yet.

From what I read Jen did everything she could to prevent this. She took prenatal vitamins with folic acid in them before conceiving, and then took additional folic acid suppliments during the first month or two. She's been eating a lot of breads and leafy greens and eggs all of which are also supposed to contain folic acid.

This is going to be a difficult week.

I keep thinking of the last ultrasound and how excited we were to see the bean moving all around and how everything seemed so wonderful and amazing.

I really hope our baby is okay.

Monday, August 9, 2010


Things here are going well. We've been really busy the past few weeks, but there hasn't been much new baby-wise to report on. We've had our second appointment with the midwife where we got to listen to the bean's heartbeat, which was pretty cool. Our next appointment is towards the end of this month and at the beginning of September we have another ultrasound where we'll find out whether we're having a boy or a girl. (Yes we're finding out, and yes, we're telling people. I know people who prefer it to be a surprise, but we're both impatient and want to know!) Jen's starting to show a little bit and we even picked up some maternity clothes recently, which was a good thing, because her old pants are definitely NOT fitting her anymore!

We've done a couple more road trips. A couple of weekends ago we drove out of town to visit my mom and see her new house. She used to live in a herritage home that had some really beautiful features, so we were sure we'd like the new place as much, but we actually liked it even more. The layout is great and even though it's not as impressive, it has a homier feel than her other place did. We could definitely picture spending Christmas and holidays there and having kids running around and whatnot. Last weekend we went to see Jen's family again since her brother and his family were visiting from overseas and we really wanted to see our nephew and meet our neice (who's almost a year and a half). We could not believe how big they were! It's too bad we don't get to see them more often. They are just so adorable. Then, this past weekend we drove just across the border to see our favourite band play. It was a lot of fun. The show was good and we got to go backstage and hang out with the band afterwards which was really nice. They were really happy to hear that Jen is pregnant and even asked if they could be "Aunties" to the bean, which I thought was very cute, and of course agreed to. :)

Now we're home, but still farily busy for the rest of the summer. There's visiting to do and barbeques to go to before September starts. I'll try to update if there's anything new going on.