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Insights with Jess and Andie

Insights with Jess and Andie on parenting and IUI

In honor of Pride Month, Jess and Andie Vanacore (@twobabesonebarn) share their thoughts on parenting, IUI, life on a farm, and what this important month means to them!

Congratulations on the little one! Can you tell us a little about your pregnancy journey so far?

Thank you so much! Andie and I conceived a baby girl through IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) in 2021. Pregnancy has been the greatest gift and the ultimate adventure so far. I didn’t know what this experience would be like, since it looks different for everyone, we just hoped for the best and so far we’ve been so grateful to have a smooth and happy pregnancy. The most beautiful reminder that I’m carrying life has been her tiny-yet-mighty belly kicks — I never could have even imagined what that feeling would do to our hearts. A beautiful little reminder that I’m growing a tiny human who will change our lives forever. I’m also aware that carrying life is a privilege and one that I don’t take for granted. I know many people out there have experienced infertility or loss and my heart is with them every day. This is a true gift and we are thankful for it every minute of every day.

What are you most excited about with the upcoming arrival of your little one?

With the upcoming arrival of our daughter, we are most excited to be able to shape and mold a human from the start. It’s a huge responsibility to raise a child — your child is ultimately an outcome of their environment and the people that you surround them with to learn from, and we’ve never been more ready for that honor. I think we are also just SO excited to have a little built-in best friend. We spend a lot of time with family and as homebodies, we thrive off of each other’s company. Adding a mini to the mix is going to be such a fun adventure. The thought of bringing a little voice into this world that’s never been heard before is so exciting and we just can’t wait to experience life through her eyes.

What are some of the benefits of raising a child on a farm, in your opinion?

I love this question. The short answer is: responsibility, accountability and humility. We both think it's so important to teach these things at a young age, it’s the foundation for character building and developing confidence in the person they will grow to be. Aside from that, the connection and bond you make with animals really does change your view of the world. We want to instill a love and respect for all creatures at a very young age. We always say that our animals provide unconditional love, so even on your hardest days where you might feel alone or that no one understands you, escaping to the animals helps you reconnect with what’s important — love.

Are there any unique perspectives that you’ve learned, from being in the LGBTQ+ community, that you think will shape your approach to parenting?

Oh gosh, absolutely! There’s so much criticism from the outside world when it comes to who you are, who you’re supposed to be, what you’re supposed to look like, etc. I think a lot of silent responsibility falls on the shoulders of people in our community to constantly educate or explain ourselves to other people who are confused by us. With that being said, we have vowed to give our daughter the space to be exactly who she wants to be, not who she feels like she has to be. We will give her space and support to be unapologetically herself — whoever she is destined to be in this life. There’s always going to be people who are different from you, but if you lead with love and acceptance, you’re making the world a better place.

Andie, what are some of the unique challenges faced by trans and/or non-binary parents?

I think there’s a lot of challenges that come with being a trans and/or non-binary parent that aren’t talked about openly. I’m slowly finding out that there’s actually a lot of binary around parenting. At the hospital having to choose a box for male or female, mom or dad, having to pick which holiday you’ll celebrate — Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, who will be the one to take their kid to the “daddy/daughter” dance, choosing a bathroom to go into with your child present knowing you will get glares or comments with either gendered bathroom you choose to enter. The list goes on and on and the decisions will always be hard until society evolves in the direction of acceptance.

What do you think we as a society can do to support trans and non-binary families?

One of the most important things people can do to support trans and non-binary humans is to speak out when you see an injustice. Stand up in the moment instead of fearing what people might think about you. Correct people when they use the wrong pronouns even if it makes you slightly uncomfortable; remember that change never happens in a place of comfort. Continuously take the time to educate yourself instead of relying on the community to educate you because most of us are already overwhelmed with the reality of living through what you should be learning about on your own. No one has all the answers — so doing the work to be better is always encouraged.

Jess and Andie Vanacore are a couple expecting their first child, and social media influencers with their Instagram account. To learn more about Jess and Andie, follow them on Instagram and TikTok (@twobabesonebarn).

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