Polyamory and Pregnancy: Planning for the Expected

I’ve done what I can with this post without taking it down and re-writing it entirely. When I wrote it I was really ignorant of the many forms polyam can take and was kind of focused on a hierarchy/group relationship dichotomy. I was also stuck in the normative cis-hetero mindset. Unfortunately, I don’t have the spoons for a full re-write, so I’ve revised this as best I can. Please take the built in assumptions with a grain of salt. Revised Dec 7, 2016.

With the advent of effective birth control, the stork doesn’t always come by surprise anymore. My earlier warnings about unexpected pregnancies stand. However, often either you’ve decided to forgo birth control, and let nature take its course, or you deliberately set out to have a baby.

If your polycule is considering either trying to start a pregnancy or let nature take its course, there are a few things you’ll want to consider.

Polyam Parents

Who are the birth parents going to be? If you are a primary couple with rare exception this will be you. But if you are a triad, quad, group, network, etc . . . who wants children? Are two of your polycule going to try to start a pregnancy? Is your group relationship comfortable with a free for all and see who gets pregnant first? Do you want to know the bio parents from day 1 or are folks okay with a paternity test later?

Living Arrangements

If you all live together, things are simpler in some ways, more complicated in others. Same for if you don’t live together. Say you are a cis-hetero quad with each couple having their own house. The obvious set up is couples that live together have children together, but fertility, finances, and personal preference can all throw in monkey wrenches. And for couples that live together and aren’t cis- hetero the “obvious” set up flies right out the window. If for whatever reason you end up having children across households, complications galore. If you all live together, there is no ’obvious’ set up for who has the children with who. So more complications there, but easier to support each other and raise the children together.

Be aware that if you are living in different households, a new baby can drive you apart. Babies need a lot of time and attention and cut into the time and attention you can give each other. You know ’love is infinite, time is not’? Well, babies take 24/7 care, which leaves very little time for anything else. On the other hand, if you all commit to taking care of the baby, it can bring you closer together. Even if it means getting out of work and going straight to your partners’ home, playing with baby to give live-in parents a break, and sneaking dinner together during nap time.

This post is part of the Polyamory and Pregnancy blog series.

For a more in-depth look at Polyamory and Pregnancy, check out the book.