Jessica Burde of Polyamory on Purpose is in the midst of an IndieGoGo campaign to fund a book she's writing, the Polyamory on Purpose Guide to Pregnancy, which she plans to release in mid-March. With almost 10 years of polyamory and some pregnancies under her belt, she is uniquely qualified to dispense advice on the subject. And the subject is in dire need of an in-depth guide. Burde explains,
Pregnancy is a big deal for anyone, but there is a whole cultural and medical template to see monogamous couples through the challenges it creates. For poly-folk, pregnancy creates many challenges that monogamous couples never need to confront, from the unexpected pregnancy when you can't be sure who the bio-father is, to deciding if everyone in your polycule will be raising the child together. There are legal hoops, medical hassles, and relationship issues challenges every polycule will need to confront when someone in the polycule becomes pregnant.
. . . I want to create the guide that I wish I'd had during my pregnancies. I want to create a something that is a concise and complete guide to pregnancy in a polyamorous relationship, so that the information is out there for future poly-parents.
The funds gathered during the IndieGoGo campaign will pay for an editor and publishing expenses. This is a flexible funding campaign, so Burde will receive all money contributed by Monday, December 10th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific, even if it falls short of her $700 goal.
Contributor perks include a copy of the ebook, a signed paperback copy of the book, mentions in the book's acknowledgements, and a subscription to all future Polyamory on Purpose guides.
Burde asks that if you don't have the financial means to contribute, help spread the word about the campaign via social media, poly forums, and local meet-ups. If you do have the means, contribute now!
How does one find childrens' books and media that do not follow the stereotype of "happily ever after" monogamy? Technogeisha wrote a post at Life on the Swingset about her struggle educating her children about alternative relationship models:
We have been trying to keep the standard narrative driven drivel to a minimum since the birth of our first. It was easier in the early years then the real challenge began in preschool. The other little girls had been fed a non-stop diet of "Someday my prince will come." which our daughter decided to embrace wholeheartedly. A couple of years later a similar thing would happen to our son.
Once they entered school, gender roles were assigned and adhered to. So was the notion of dyadic relationships with the inevitable "first comes love, then comes marriage, the comes the baby in the baby carriage." It wasn't enough to tell them this wasn't the only option in life. I needed backup. I needed to come up with resources that go against the standard narrative and offer positive views on non-traditional families and relationships. It was difficult to find but I found a few alternatives.
Although it can be hard to find books, TV shows, and movies featuring non-traditional (and especially non-monogamous) families, Technogeisha rounds up some great suggestions. She first recommends books focused on LGBT families, then lists a few with subtle poly themes, such as Else-Marie and Her Seven Little Daddies, Six Dinner Sid, and the story "The Little House That Ran Away from Home" from Strange Stories for Strange Kids.
She also mentions some books for young adult readers, books with themes of self-acceptance and favoritism, and a few movies and TV shows.
Read the whole post at Life on the Swingset.
The Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance has launched its much-anticipated Family Matters project! Ricci Levy, Woodhull's Executive Director, announced the launch of the project during her opening remarks at the Sexual Freedom Summit in Washington, DC. The website's mission statement says it all, and says it beautifully:
Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance's Family Matters project is dedicated to advancing, respecting and protecting the fundamental human right to family by eliminating discrimination based on family structure and relationship choices. This project will raise public awareness of family diversity through the sharing of stories and research using social media, provide education about human rights at conferences and public events, and facilitate collaboration with other organizations to draft and promote model policies and legislation preventing discrimination based on family form.
Family in 2012 takes many forms. Some families are legally recognized and socially respected. Others are not. All families face challenges and all families matter.
If you would like to share your family for inclusion in the Family Matters project, submit your information on their site.
Offbeat Mama is a site that celebrates non-traditional families and parenting, but even still, it is pretty remarkable that they included a birth story from a man in a polyamorous quad. More than anything else, it is a moving story from the perspective of an awestruck partner. But there are a few moments where the particulars of being poly do shine through:
The next few hours were a blur. Aimee's contractions were almost non-stop at this point. Barbara and Aimee would harmonize through her contractions, and eventually we all took it up, taking turns being her physical and emotional support.
. . . Aimee started pushing at 3:58pm. Ian supported her upper body, Mich and I stood on both sides. The nurses faded into the background. Barbara helped with ice, but from here on out, our family was pretty much running the show. With each contraction, Aimee pushed, with very little coaching or encouragement. More fluid came out, more harmonizing happened.
. . . Our son entered into this world, caught safely in the hands of his father and his little mother together, while his Dad-E held his mother safe and strong. Afterward her three partners milled about in stunned pleasure, alternating between taking pictures and stares of pleased bewilderment. And lots of hugs and tears.
Unlike most articles posted on non-poly-focused sites, the comments section is full of folks praising the story and the family. There is even some discussion of poly-specific parenting and birthing concerns. Check it out!