Carly (she/they) and her spouse Ky (they/them) conceived via IUI at home with a midwife. After only a few months of tracking her cycle, a host of recommended supplements, acupuncture, and magic; Carly got pregnant on the first try. At 9 weeks they moved from Brooklyn to Colorado and started their new life while preparing for a homebirth. Working with a Denver midwife, Carly and Ky followed all the suggestions for preparing for a homebirth, participated in pregnancy and birth circles of ceremony and community, and eagerly awaited their firstborn. Pregnancy was a roller-coaster of emotions, particularly those centered around the hyper-feminization of pregnant people and some physical discomfort; but, overall it was enjoyable.

queer couple birth team

After a castor-oil induction, Carly’s water broke with meconium present and they knew labor would need to progress quickly if they were to birth at home. After 24 hours the call was made to transfer to the hospital where Carly labored on Pitocin for 10 more hours without pain medication before the baby’s heart rate skyrocketed and staff strongly urged a cesarean. A trained doula and birth nerd, Carly knew the evidence for tachycardia was clear, so she consented.

Four minutes to midnight the night before the summer solstice, Rune was born. Carly’s incision struggled to heal, and she had to return to the doctor every 3 days for dressing changes and went on two rounds of antibiotics before it finally fully closed around 8 weeks postpartum.

skin to skin

Ky and Carly are practicing gender-creative or gender-open parenting. Knowing gender identity isn’t fully conceived until at least around 4 or 5 years of age, they have chosen not to assign their baby a gender. Instead, they use the singular they/them pronouns for Rune and do not disclose the baby’s genitalia. This allows for the child to grow into their own identity while stalling the pressure, assumptions, standards, stereotypes, and boxes of society. 

Carly Bio

Carly (she/they) is a dance educator and choreographer located in Colorado. She is also a trained doula currently on hiatus. Carly lives with her spouse Ky, their two rescued Pitbulls (Rex & Brooklyn Hope) and two cats (Stud & Giles) and their new baby Rune Io. Carly and Ky can be found on Instagram at @cknudme and @radically_ky where they share about their experiences as queer & sober parents raising a kid without an assigned gender. 

queer couple postpartum

Resources

Ergobaby

Today’s episode was sponsored by Ergobaby. Founded in 2003, Ergobaby is dedicated to building a global community of confident parents with smart, ergonomic solutions that enable and encourage bonding between parents and babies. Ergobaby offers a broad range of award-winning baby carriers, strollers, swaddlers, nursing pillows, and related products that fit into families’ daily lives seamlessly, comfortably and safely. At the end of today’s episode I spoke to Kelly all about the new Embrace carrier from Ergobaby.