Meet Jana and Susan, a two mum family navigating the world with their twin boys!
Jana and Susan
Landon and Bryce (twin boys), 10 months
Where We’re from
Wisconsin, United States
Where you can find us
How did you meet?
We met in 2010 – we were living about an hour away from each other and met online.
When did you/will you get married?
We became registered Domestic Partners in 2014, and now that gay marriage is legal in Wisconsin we are planning to get married (probably in the next year or two).
What made you want a family?
We are both very close with our families, and have always wanted to share our lives with children of our own.
How did you make your family?
We were extremely fortunate in that we had a known donor. A good friend of ours knew we wanted to have a child, and offered to be our donor. We wanted to try doing the insemination at home before we went through the process of having doctors (and a lot more costs!) involved. We were VERY surprised that it worked the first time we tried it: shortly after we found out that Susan was not only pregnant, but pregnant with twins!
Did you face any challenges making your family?
I think the biggest challenge involved in making our family was when we found out Susan was pregnant with twins. It came as a total shock, and neither of us spoke much the rest of the day! It took a little time to get used to the fact that we would be having two babies, but in no time at all we were excited about it.
What were the greatest moments making your family?
The greatest moments making our family were the times when we could see our babies’ progress. In no time at all, they went from being tiny little spots on the ultrasounds to being able to see that they were actually babies. I also remember washing and folding baby clothes, rearranging furniture in our house, and putting cribs together – all while trying to wrap my head around the fact that shortly our house would be much busier. Expecting babies is a magical time – there is so much nervousness, so much fear, but even more hope, wonder, and amazement. I don’t think there will ever be anything quite like it again in my life!
Do you plan to have more kids?
No – we are very happy with our little family.
What do you love about being a parent?
Seeing our boys smile and laugh together. We definitely were not expecting twins, but seeing them now there isn’t anything we would change!
What do you think is the biggest challenge for same-sex parents?
I think the biggest challenge for same-sex parents are the legal differences. Same-sex parents have to do a lot of things (adoptions, legal releases for the nonbiological parent to be able to get information or take the child to the doctor, special wills, etc) that most parents never even have to think about.
How do you manage work and home life?
As of now, Susan is working full time and Jana stays home with the boys. The first 6 months or so were kind of a blur (probably because of the lack of sleep!) but things have definitely gotten easier. Nights and weekends are reserved for family fun time!
What are your plans for the future?
When the boys are old enough to start school, Jana is planning to go back to work. We also hope to travel with the boys, and take them to lots of Milwaukee Brewers games!
What advice do you have for people planning to make a family?
My advice is that sometimes you just have to do what feels right. You can definitely get caught up trying to think about every little detail and wait for everything in your life to be perfect, but life isn’t perfect. Don’t wait until you have every detail in order – if you want it, do it, and everything else will fall into place.
Something else you should know
Landon and Bryce were born early, at 35 weeks. We had been seeing specialists throughout the pregnancy because the type of twins (mono-di) they are is considered high risk. Around the 35th week, Susan was not able to feel the babies moving around as much and just felt like something was not right. We mentioned this to our specialist at our then-weekly appointment, and after examining and doing the ultrasound he decided to send us straight to the hospital to have the babies (due to the decreased movement, and because he could not see very much fluid around the babies). The babies were born via C-section, and went straight to the NICU. They were both having a little trouble breathing because their lungs had not been able to develop completely. They kept improving every day, and after 10 days in the NICU we were finally able to take our precious little boys home!