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114: Love After Lullabies- Aaron and Miranda

Jey (00:12.203)

I feel the same as the audience does with that cheering. I'm so happy to have you guys. Welcome into another episode of the Young Dad Podcast. I'm your host Jay. Joining me today are the hosts of the Love After Lullabies podcast. Aaron and Amanda, how the heck are you guys doing today?

Love After Lullabies (00:26.949)

We're doing well. Thanks for having us. Yeah, excited to be here. Thank you.

Jey (00:30.731)

I'm excited to have you guys. So if you haven't heard their show before, it's fantastic. I've gotten to hear them on their show, but also hear them on Everyday Parents podcast. So I got to see a different side of them, which is really cool. I did not know, Aaron, that you worked for Credit Union. And, Amanda, I had an idea that you worked in mental health, but I didn't know specifically what you did. So tell us a little bit about yourselves and your day jobs and about your podcast.

Love After Lullabies (00:57.925)

Yeah, sounds good. So I'm in private practice as a mainly couples therapist. So if you were to ask me going into grad school, like, would you want to be a couples therapist? I'd be like, Oh hell no. That sounds, that sounds terrifying, but here I am. So my, my main focus has always been working with new or expectant couples. So that's been something that I've been really passionate about of helping couples maintain their relationship after the arrival of kids. Cause.

Even the healthiest, happiest relationships, two thirds of them really have a relationship decline after the birth of a child or the, you know, bringing a child into the family because of the stress and all of the other factors that are taking place of lack of sleep and new roles and all that. So, so that's what primarily the focus is, which also kind of, you know, triple or rippled into the podcasting world.

of focusing relationships after kiddos. Yeah, it's been eye -opening to not being in the therapy realm, but doing the Love After Lullabies podcast. Then that's the normal statistic. And then you add on top of parents that have kids with neurodiversities and the hardship that that puts on their relationship is just, it's overwhelming to almost listen to, let alone go through it themselves. And...

Jey (02:02.667)


Love After Lullabies (02:24.837)

you could obviously tell why divorce rates are even higher in those situations. So yeah. So we just wanted a platform that allowed couples to share their experience because I think the more that people can hear the real life kind of day to day stuff, the better because we see a lot of stuff in movies and shows and sometimes it's accurate and sometimes definitely not. So yeah, part of that.

And part of that journey we're sharing right now in our making Maya series that we have out on our Love After Lullabies. It's a seven episode series. I think it will be a total. Yeah, maybe with one teaser making an eight. But if you haven't listened to it yet, go back and listen from the beginning. And essentially, it's the story of us and our friends going through me and us being a known donor. And so it's a really interesting.

conversation and bring light to something that should be the new normal. So we're really excited about that.

Jey (03:24.811)

So tell us a little bit more about that. The known donor, did we donate eggs, sperm, both? Carry the child, kind of what did you guys do in that aspect? Because I've listened to a little bit of it. I think it's really cool. So I understand it. But for the listeners that haven't checked it out yet, that are going to check it out after they hear this a little bit, what kind of inspired all that for you guys just from the very beginning of that story?

Love After Lullabies (03:50.565)

Yeah. Well, we, we used to live in Arizona and we became really close friends with, you know, uh, a friend there. We had, we had other friends there, of course. And, uh, she, when we moved away, she met a new partner and her and her partner, uh, got married and they, you know, she's, she's gay. So, um, they wanted to have children and. It was a situation that was just the perfect circumstances. You know, I don't think we would have ever.

volunteered ourselves to be donors. Aaron is a sperm donor, so he's the biological father of their daughter. And the whole process of how it took place, how they asked us, how, you know, we have such a strong relationship with them and so much trust has been built that if it were any other circumstance, any other friend or partner situation, it probably wouldn't have worked out well for us. So, so her and her partner, her partner carried, which,

worked great because we didn't, we met her later after we moved away. So she wasn't like a super close friend. Cause I think that would have been strange. Like, well, yeah, the connection, the connection through our friend, Nicole, who's the other mom, um, you know, that, that connected her to the, to the baby as well. Right. So it's her wife and partner carried the baby and then, but the only reason they were having a baby was because we were friends with the other mom, Nicole.

beforehand. So it was a really cool kind of confusing. Listen to the series. Yeah.

Jey (05:20.253)

No, you're good. No, you're good. So like, so Nicole is Nicole's egg then and then Erin, you're the donor or is it the other her partner's egg and you're the donor? OK, gotcha. OK, I can definitely see if it was like her egg, how that might have been a little bit weird. So.

Love After Lullabies (05:33.637)

Yeah, yeah, it's her partner's egg. Yeah. Mm -hm. Yep.

Love After Lullabies (05:41.637)

Right, yeah. Yeah, it's been a great experience and we're very close to them. We're part of their lives. So not only, you know, we're the known donor, which adds a whole nother benefit of medical history and who you are and knowing who you came from, but also it's led to this really beautiful extra family that we now get to have. And our two daughters have a half sister and they're part of their lives. And we go and they come see us and we go see them.

often every year. It's been really fun, rewarding. Yeah. And I think something of why we wanted to share this. I mean, we waited until season two because it was something that we had considered, but it's also very scary, especially for, you know, Nicole and Krista, you know, exposing themselves out in the world and politically, you know, everything that's going on. And also, like we wanted to share and be vulnerable on the podcast ourselves. And also the four of us really wanted to

Jey (06:32.553)

Mm -hmm.

Love After Lullabies (06:40.869)

Um, not like preach or like, you know, when you say the new normal, that part of me is just like, I don't want it to be the new normal, but like the new normal of the conversation happening, right? Have there be more language around it or experiences to where other people who are going through that have something that they can like, you know, oh, okay, cool. We're not the only ones or there are other people who have, there's a new roadmap, the amount of times that we say.

Jey (06:51.787)


Jey (07:07.691)


Love After Lullabies (07:09.539)

Roadmap on that series is hilarious. It could be a drinking game. Yeah, if anyone's interested in listening to the series and having a drinking game, this is one way every time you say road. Salute.

Jey (07:20.555)

You know, I might... that sounds like a good excuse to drink.

Love After Lullabies (07:25.413)


Jey (07:27.275)

But no, that's super cool. And that's different. And I think it's so important to, I guess, create that roadmap. I guess if you're drinking on this episode, it'd be a great chance already. We've said it four times. And it's so important to create that conversation because if that conversation is not being had, and then it can be really scary because how does a couple who is part of that community, the LGBTQI plus community, how do they go and ask like a really close friend, like,

Love After Lullabies (07:37.317)


Jey (07:56.459)

Like if I was, if I was gay and I came up to you, man, I'd be like, Hey, I know we're really close. Will you carry my child pretty much like we can, or can we use, can we use your eggs, you know, with our, our sperm kind of thing. It's like, it's a huge ask. Cause not only does that require you to either carry or donate an egg, which includes a procedure of some kind at some point along the way, it also puts a stress on.

Love After Lullabies (07:56.579)

Mm -hmm.

Love After Lullabies (08:06.149)

Yeah. Yeah. That's a big ask.

I'm sorry.

Love After Lullabies (08:24.613)


Jey (08:26.395)

your guys's relationship and then all the things that come then after because I'm sure you guys have thought about everything from A to B to C to Z and then back around again like okay what happens if this what happens with this what happens if this doesn't work out what happens here kind of here kind of here like all the things like it's a not only is it just a donation like here you go you know I I shoot off a hundred of these a day it's fine um

Love After Lullabies (08:29.349)

Mm -hmm.

Jey (08:51.923)

But it goes to that next level. It's like, holy crap, like I know you, we have a close personal relationship. Like I'm known, like this kid like comes to me. So Aaron, what's it been like to you to like know like you're this child's like biological father, but not like the father that's like raising them essentially.

Love After Lullabies (09:12.805)

Yeah, that's a good question. Um, you know, it was such a process that we plan from the very beginning, like even from the moment of asking us, we really try to like plan things out. And the analogy of the roadmap is when you're on Google maps and it gives you a, it gives you a way to go. And so you're like, Oh, that's right. That's the way to go. That doesn't mean I have to follow that roadmap, right? You could always steer off and like, Oh, I know this way is going to be better. I'm going to choose to do this.

And so it's been.

I feel good about it. It's, it's, I'm trying to dodge this question a little bit and I don't know why. Why it's, um, well, it's hard to explain because like there's so many levels of emotion throughout the process. Right. So how I felt in the beginning definitely it's different the way I feel now, the way I feel now is just overcome joy to be able to watch our three girls like sit on a bus waiting for the bus while we're all like going to go out and hang out and having their, their funny conversations with each other. And it's,

Jey (09:58.955)


Love After Lullabies (10:15.525)

awesome given the opportunity to partake in like bring more love and joy into the world. Sounds super cheesy. But in this world of crazy political climate and uncertainty, just to push all that aside and say, you know what, this is the greater good. And it's just awesome to partake in that. But I think before, you you mentioned you think of all the scenarios, right? And we thought of as many scenarios as we possibly could, knowing that we're not thinking of all of them.

And so we made the conscious decision before committing to this. We went to couples therapy really to address not only our relationship to make sure that we were strong enough, but also for me to consider, are we done having kids? Because that made a difference for me personally of if that chapter is closed for me, that feels more, I'm more inclined for some reason, you know, but also the legal aspect of things too can be, you know, so there's a lot of conversations.

that took place and we're not going to get them all still. Yeah. There's also a factor that we'll probably come out with a later episode on this after we sit on it for a minute. But there's some uncertainty and unrest with my own internal family about this decision. They're very much more conservative and religious. And it's created some roadblocks for our family, for my extended family. So it's been.

Jey (11:16.615)

Yeah. True.

Love After Lullabies (11:41.783)

interesting to maneuver through and challenging at times, but it's No regrets 100 % worth it. Yeah, absolutely

Jey (11:49.259)

100 % I could see that on both sides, especially, you know core values or core values belief system on belief systems You know, you can't ultimately change but I think it's a great example for you guys like To have those conversations but to really say like this is my family's decision. This is our family's decision Like yes, I still love you guys. I respect your values. I respect everything you've done If you can't respect me that's on you, but this was a decision made between between us that worked for us And I totally get that

Love After Lullabies (12:13.797)


Jey (12:17.995)

Amanda for you like Miranda. I'm sorry. I keep calling you Amanda. Miranda for you like I totally make sense like to make sure that you're okay with having another kid that's not going to be yours from the father of your children for someone else. Like you have to really be sure like that conversations like clothes done 100 % wrapped up put a bow on it kind of thing.

Love After Lullabies (12:21.925)

That's okay.

Love After Lullabies (12:34.019)

Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm.

Jey (12:44.747)

Unless like that conversation leads, okay, we'll do this. But then later down the line, I want to do this kind of thing and making sure like all those conversations are had. So I think it's a great example of like you work in mental health. You are a couple of therapists. I'm a mental health clinician myself and like I can't, I had to put my kid in therapy. I put my own daughter in therapy with a different therapist that I work with. And, uh, it's like, I can't, I can't do it myself. I can't therapy my own kid.

Love After Lullabies (13:05.573)

Mm -hmm.

Jey (13:14.731)

they're too much like me. You therapy your own relationship. I'm sure it helps in time. Like it helps at times with my kid like, oh, I know what you're going through. I get it. I know how to work with you a little bit through this kind of thing. Or, oh, I didn't even think of doing that idea with my own kid. So now I can understand, understand this a little bit better, a little bit different aspects. So I think all those things are so important. And like you guys are such a great example of those things to make sure that those things were talked about, did happen and.

Love After Lullabies (13:15.269)

Right. Yeah.

Exactly. Yeah. Yeah.

Love After Lullabies (13:32.037)

Mm -hmm.

Jey (13:44.629)

those loose ends that could have been loose ends, didn't end up being loose ends that caused more contention down the line.

Love After Lullabies (13:52.517)

Yeah, that's well said. And we both, during this process, had our own individual therapists. And we also saw a couple of therapists in the beginning to make sure there wasn't any loose ends that we hadn't thought about or seeing another perspective on. And I know for me specifically working through a therapist, you hit the nail on the head as far as trying to discover what my core values were and how those may have the, that may have a ripple effect on others. And.

being okay that it's not their core value and they may have issues with it, but guess what? That's their issues. Like I have to stay strong that these are my core values and I'm not gonna deter from those as they're not going to on theirs either. So, but to respectfully say, you gotta be okay with the decisions you make and then still love and support each other. And that's why we were very closed doors during this decision. We didn't share this news with anybody.

because we didn't want outside factors affecting our decision or affecting our feelings to make a second guess or question what we were going through. And so I think that really helped to like build that foundation for us of that trust that really helped, you know, make the decision seem more cemented. It's like asking, it's like when you're pregnant and having a baby and you tell people what...

what you're gonna name your kid and they're like, oh, I knew a Robert. He was a jerk. You know, you're like, oh, I don't wanna hear about it. Cause we're gonna name our kid Robert. Right? Yeah. You suck. Why you say that? Yeah.

Jey (15:26.475)

Right? No, I get that. So no, it's important to make sure that that's like your guys' decision. Like when you guys first had your kids, like that was your decision to have like your kids. So you guys became parents in 2014 to kind of segue here. So you guys are about three years ahead of me when it comes to being parents, which is okay, which means our age gap's not too far apart. So for you guys, how long first, I guess a multi -part question here.

Love After Lullabies (15:31.397)