Baby Welcome - COZY ZONE with Ben Weber


uh-huh The council way not though we got doorway thing though way the thing that way thing not a thing the law. uh-huh the dog. Oh ooh EH in Now Now a way Oh I love only oh hello. Hello Dearest cozy zone friends over here. Six days ago in Los Angeles California on February twenty-second twenty seventeen seventeen at ten thirty six. Am Pacific Time. A baby was born to my sweet darling friends sage and Julia Julia. She entered the world at nine pounds and was twenty one inches long. She has ten fingers and ten toes and a radiant radiant beautiful chubby face. Oh my her name is Mira Eleanor. I'm MIRA welcome. Come Baby Zone IRS. I'm sharing the birth of this baby with you because it is in fact the most important moment of my life thus far I gave my sperm to sage and Julia so that this baby could exist I am the biological dialogical father of Mira. Eleanor but I am not her parent MIRA to extraordinary moms. Who got very helpful? Assist from me me but as you can imagine i. I'm sitting here in my my cozy Brooklyn bedroom having a huge assortment of feelings and so my sweet zone. I'm harnessing my public processing platform of the cozy EST podcast on the planet to share with view. What is going on in my heart? Mind in terms of this baby. I wrote a little letter to MIRA that I will share with you today. Even if you're not a six day L. A. based baby you'll probably enjoy. It should be a little something in there for everyone so everyone thank you so much for listening to this very special l. very earnest very vulnerable episode of Cozy Zone with Ben Weber. Here's my letter. Dear Mira Eleanor. Hello baby welcome to this life. I'm so happy you're here. I want to introduce myself off. My name is Ben Weber. I'm a huge fan of your mom's I have a hit podcast. Cozy zone with Ben Weber. That's me It's the cozy EST podcast on the planet. A podcast probably don't know what that is but it's it's like a radio show on the Internet Okay I supposed does have to explain radio show in Internet. You know what you're GONNA YOU'RE GONNA get it. You're going to get the hang of it. I know you will. Okay so who am I. I'm a guy who really loves loves art. I love making it and talking about it I work at a theater for kids and families in New York City and place called Times Square. Which I'll introduce to you someday? But it's a big bright loud disgusting center of the world I love making people laugh at something. I have big plans to make you laugh for so many years Mera get ready. I Love Love I love Romance. I love a woman named Nicolette. She's she's on episode. One of Cho's own with Ben Weber. I live with Nicolette in Brooklyn New York. I also love a woman named Jen. I'm really really looking forward to talking with you about love when you're a little older because it's wonderful and complicated and there's a lot to say and frankly I'm I'm still wrapping my mind wind around the whole thing as why tell you this you're probably thinking Oh okay. I'm a newborn baby her ray. Wow while the whole world is exciting being in its own new and everyone excited that I'm here and they're sending me gifts and Ben Weber from cozy zone is making a special podcast episode. Because that's what always happens when there's a newborn baby. Yeah that's that's what the universe is and I totally get that point of view. I understand that I can. I can really understand what you're thinking that But it's really important for me to say that you're not just any sweet chubby gorgeous baby I gave your mom's mice sperm so you could exist okay so it actually feels quite important to explain all this to break it down. Okay so What does this mean? All living things have a genetic code called DNA or deoxyribonucleic acid and that DNA contains all of the information nation for how that living thing is put together life which as far as we know as human beings. That's what we are we are. We are human beings only exist here on our planet earth okay. So we're we're on the third planet from the Sun. The Sun is a star. Are we exist in the cosmos which is is beyond our ability really to to comprehend. We're just sort of learning about it So life you know we. Life is very rare and precious And so on our planet over over hundreds of millions of years different types of life from from super tiny single celled organisms. Which you actually were at one point To fish they are little things that swim in the ocean into dinosaurs unite. You and I are going to talk a lot about dinosaurs. Promise to monkeys. And we're we're definitely GONNA make some monkey noises. Oh Yeah can you make some monkey noises. Mira you're you're young but we'll get there. Don't worry so okay. All all of this life has developed different strategies to pass along their particular particular. DNA so that life can continue. Okay so when I say I gave your mom's my sperm. It means you have half of my DNA and half of your mom sages DNA. So technically biologically. You could say that I am your father but but I mentioned that we are human beings and human beings have a special quality That we call consciousness okay so consciousness is the ability to know with our our brains that we are alive and that we we have thoughts and we are aware of our position as thinking feeling beings in the world and that is very unique to life on earth. Okay so as far as we know we are the only creatures with consciousness and that and as humans woman's we also have something called language so you're experiencing spoken language right now you're already forming the connections and your brain you'll need to produce a language which of your own and there's also written language and you're GonNa Learn all about the alphabet and you'll be able to read some day and it's going to be great and so you're GonNa have a lot of language okay. So because of consciousness and the complexity of emotions and social networks and the imperfect way that we convey a meaning through language. Saying that. I'm your father isn't quite right. That's not exactly who I am to you. I I am something to you. I WanNa be something to you. It's very important that I am something. Maybe not your father okay So really really. I'm right now. I'm grappling with this question. Who Am I to you? Okay let me let you in on my who am I to you journey here. Okay okay So at the beginning of this whole process I was calling myself. Boasts spunk. Olha which is funny a little noddy. Sperm what. I gave your mom's Tom Uncle family role. That might play in your life. Okay spunk is also another word. For sperm traditionally an uncle and aunt the sibling of your parents parents also inspired by what author activist S Bear Bergman calls. His donor family members sparkle and the offspring of a sparkles sparkling. But you know now that you're here I I'm not really feeling sparkle. It's not not really a laughing matter and into it's just wasn't working. I read an article A therapist gave me about donor families of this kind kind and That gave me the phrase donor. Dad which I really liked the The young one couldn't really say donor dads so so They would say doughnut. Oh Not Dad which is very cute But again as I mentioned before Dan is is a little heavy and fraught. And I'm not your dad even though I'm really in the market to be a truly benevolent presence in your life. So I've been talking with your moms and doing a lot of thinking myself and I I'd like to try something out with you now. This doesn't have to be forever but as of now I would like to be your donor. Dude what do you think for me. Donor dude it makes me smile. It makes me think about the movie. the big Lebowski. That will watch some day when you're a little older it's sweet wheat to think of myself as someone's dude like Mira Dude. I'm your donor dude. What do you think we'll try it out so for now? I'm I'm your donor. Dude Mira I gotta tell you though your origin story it is. It is epic get cozy. Let me let me delay on this this epoch story of how you came to be in the world so I met your mom's in Applied Theatre Grad School in New York City. Okay and I think you're going to be one of the rare human beings on the planet who will always know what applied theatre is for those of you. Who Don't it is an umbrella? The term referring to a performing arts practices that are used for things other than entertainment including education. Social Justice this and community building But for you Mira it's going to be part of of the basic colors and numbers. I animal sounds and Circle Games and tableau and Augusta baugh shapes and food. An the antidepressant pedagogy a good life mirror so I I became close to your mom Julia. She is very wise and funny Eh and fierce. She's from Chicago. I'm from Milwaukee. We know some of the same people. So we have this sort of mid Western connection. You know now And and she really has like this profound spirit of a community organizer whenever I spent time with her. She's she's doing something she's on the move you you know. She's doing something in the name of justice like mapping out a march ruder. Editing protests. Copy your folding leaflets. She's she reminds me of like a young ruth. Bader Peter Ginsberg with curly hair she's She's incredible and your mom. Julia fell in love with your mom sage. Who was a dear colleague colleague that I admired deeply but from a bit more of a distance? Get your mom. Sage is like ferry royalty. You know she's like Sticky Stackhouse Sir. I played by Anna. Pack win from televisions. True blood. We're also going to watch that. I hope I got to ask permission from your MOM's if we can watch true blood it's a little violent a little sexy it's about vampires you don't need to know about vampires quite yet but okay so sage. Though she possesses these profound powers of healing hand empathy and gentle leadership that seemed to flow directly from the spirit world. Sage when you around her. It's like she is glowing or maybe like she is kindling the light from inside you. She's she's a magical person so your mom's graduated from Applied Applied Theatre Grad School. They got their M. as they moved to La and they got engaged to be married. And so- Julia came to visit me and in Nicolette lead and October two thousand fourteen and at breakfast during the final morning of her trip. Julia asked me if I would consider being the known sperm donor. If and when she ian sage wanted to start a family. Oh my wow oof lots lots of things flooded into my mind. In that moment I was so flattered. This is I mean truly profound come on. Hey you're very handsome and sweet. Can I have your number so I can call you and use your genetic material to create a loving family. I think you're so fundamentally great that we WANNA make a being thing that resembles you that's amazing that is so sweet so uplifting and validating I was so I'm touched but I was also so frightened. Would I be responsible for this child forever. What I want to take responsibility ability for this child? How would I deal with my inevitable complicated overwhelming feelings? And what did it mean for my own family plans. How would my sweetie Nicolette? Colette feel about it. How would she be affected? What would my parents think? Would I be able to handle the way that my life would profoundly shift. So he said I think about it. Ten months past sage and Julia got married. August Twenty Ninth Twenty fifteen eighteen Nicolette and I were invited to be the bud honey at their wedding These are the folks who are responsible for rejoicing the bride and bride according according to ancient Jewish tradition we were the goofy master and mistress of ceremonies during the wedding meal inviting family and friends to come forward and entertain tain the bride's. It was a most beautiful wedding and we danced our butts off And I think it was at the wedding really wants bearing witness to the love of sage Julia amongst their community. Their family both blood and chosen that. I decided without a doubt that I was. Who's going to give your mom's my sperm cut to boxing day December Twenty Fifteen Nicolette and I drive to alight from mm Sandiego? We're where we are visiting family and friends say Julia Nicolette and I have a big lunch and talk about sperm donation. Logistics and feelings. The moms have been doing a lot of research on the legal implications of creating queer family as well as the necessary choreography of an at home insemination nation. I learn a lot and I talk about my feelings and and talk about maybe the kind of communication I would be hoping for and just sort of get everyone. Ready for the deluge of feelings. That are definitely going to come after lunch. I meet up with my friend Max. You can hear him in. Episode Nineteen of course zone with Ben Weber and who at the time is living at Sydney Australia but is in town visiting his family. Nicholas ex is in town so so she meets up with him. Max and I hike around the griffiths observatory and really bro out. We've big big talks about family and love and Star Wars. The Force Awakens we land at the Dresden Room and have a spirited conversation has always about politics in the evening. We all meet up with our friend Rami. WHO's an episode? Twenty seven of cozy with Ben Weber at a Los feeless Mexican restaurant. I am brimming with joy being altogether together with this incredible chosen family over the next few months. Your Mom's and I put together a loving kindness contract a document that states aren't tensions. Both state sanctioned. Sage and Julia will be your legal parents. I will not and emotional. Your Mom's think I'm great. I think your mom's great. Here's a little excerpt from our our contract. Sage and Julia who are married have asked Ben Weber to be a known donor owner as they attempt to start a family. The couple met Ben in Graduate School in Twenty Ten and the three have been good friends ever since sage and Julius and Ben a kind heart a creative thinker and a fierce ally in his relationship with his partner Nicolette. Ben has demonstrated an ability to communicate with respect expect and generosity and to work through challenging emotions with loving kindness Benz humor integrity and artistic spirit. Or just some of the reasons that at sage and Julia care for him and have asked him to be part of this process. Ben has agreed to assist sage and Julia because he deeply loves and respects them as individuals. And they're loving partnership both sage and Julia possessed the ideal qualities of loving nurturing and overall oh exemplary parents. Sage is deeply attuned to the physical emotional and spiritual wellbeing of everyone in her path she. She is grounded graceful generous and strong bringing light and love to anywhere she is present. Julia possesses does an exquisite mind and formidable courage. She encounters life's challenges with wisdom and grace and bundles up her loved ones with her. Bright Heart in their partnership. Ben has observed the ways in which they cultivate the best in each other they build bond based on love and support fueled by beauty laughter community and hope for a better world. There's no doubt in Ben's mind that sage Julia would make exceptional parents. He will proudly take part of the process to bring life into the world under their parental care in preparation. I got a thorough doctor's doctor's examination STI tests and worked on keeping my body free of intoxicants. All right. We're we're at may twenty sixteen A week before I'm to fly away. I see Mike Elbows one man show sperm hood at Dixon Place. Mike is a Brooklyn based writer and performer. WHO shares his story of being a sperm donor to his dear lesbian friends? A few things struck me about the performance. Mike takes us into his deep emotional world throughout the whole process unleashing insights about doubts and insecurities about love and romance and relationships in his own life life next. His process took a very long time. He would go to the fertility clinic month after month for years without success only until the team took a relaxing trip. Upstate without the clinical setting up a clinic did the pregnancy happen was was so moved by seeing this story dramatized before my eyes and left feeling glycine and relieved but also bracing myself for a very a long process filled with complicated emotions. Okay May Twentieth Twenty Sixteen Insemination Emma Nation weekend comes right before I get in my cab and head to the airport. nicolette sweetly poses for some pictures to inspire the whole process us. They are awesome beloved artifact from your origin story. MIRA as I'm sitting on the plane I realize I'm not exactly sure how the insemination is going to go as you will learn someday not too soon there are nearly infinite ways to get sperm into position to meet eat an egg. Would your mom's be looking for a direct deposit as depicted in the spike Lee film. She hates me. Probably not but anything is possible. Where would would I be? Where would they be? I been abstaining from making any deposits for the last seventy two hours so my generally busy mind is is a touch more graphic than usual as soon as I arrived in. La Your Mom's gave me my very clear briefing my battle station. The bathroom might target that Cute Little Mason Jar. Lovingly sterilize in boiling water on the stove might equipment My macbook air and a generous helping of coconut oil just to keep everything smooth breath. After I had hit the target I was to knock on the bedroom door where it would be intercepted by Julia. Who would then deliver the payload to sage age using a feeding syringe at this point or at rather at that point? I was to leave the premises as quickly as possible. So that your mom's could engage in some special grownup magic. Once semination had occurred. I would then make my way back to your mom's house and story a very clear procedure excellent boundaries boundaries. I was ready to dance so we eat a delicious meal at home. We watch bring it on which is weird. cheerleading movie and Go to bed the next day we go to the neighborhood credit union to get our loving kindness contract and our California statutory forms for assisted. Reproduction notarized notarized we sit down with kind notary public who nearly turns US away because we're not all credit union members. And what exactly are you looking to get notarized today we we give her our best blushing cute queer family maker faces and slide the forms in front of her and give her some insistent eyebrows. I see let me see what I can do. She says our hero notary notarize documents. Hurry we stopped at a CVS to pick up our little feeding syringe enj- that would be our key insemination tool we cool our heels at Barnes. Dale are park. A beautiful greenspace on a los villas hilltop framed by airy classical structures. I does a little reckon with the chatter in my mind. The little and sit quietly Komo your mom's do some reading then it's go time. We get back to the house. Light some candles and put on some vinyl stevie wonder's his original music query him insemination session. Number one goes swimmingly. I make my deposit handed off to Julia. I screwed out of the House. I head to the Los Villas Branch library and do some podcast. Editing episode forty-seven Spencer Lot in. What feels like no time at all the MOMS James Comey back? We go to the getty to see Robert Mapplethorpe the perfect medium the flowers and the nudes and the extreme in bondage. It was the perfect pairing to our day. We drive to Venice to have tacos Margaritas. The next day Sunday I get the the day off. Hang out with my friend. Rami we get a delicious delicious lunch at Mess Hall and go on a gorgeous hike Monday morning as time. I'm for another insemination session. I hit my target. Make the hand off and scurry out of the House. This time I had to a cute little cafe called alcove again. I've brought on my podcasting stuff with me because I I'm finding that staying busy with creative work soothes me. Alcove doesn't have WIFI. So of course. I I feel a bit trapped so I venture to another to hip cafe brew Coffee Bar in and try to think about something other than the possibility of my little swimmers. Creating another human being that will have a life and consciousness and emotions will feel pain and joy disappointment and rage and because they'll share my genetics. They'll oh probably also be able to see how truly weak and frightened I am as a person and they'll tell the whole world and then everyone will stop loving me. Oh my I I think I had too many expresses that morning the moms call me back and I bring them some gluten free scones sage drives me to the airport and we managed to have a nice conversation. Even though it's clear that there's a pretty strong subtext to the conversation which is yes my sperm inside. You know it will live there up to three days. Yes you're sperms inside me my wife put it there. And now we're having a conversation version as if we are more than sperm and a womb more than sperm and a womb preposterous. I've already booked my return flight and we're GONNA be doing this for at least six months. It could take years. I don't know I'm going to handle it because this is super intense pants. But I'll do my best. I get back home to Brooklyn. They wait June twelfth twenty sixteen so on this morning we all wake up to the horrible news of the biggest mass shooting. In American history at the pulse nightclub in Orlando. I gather myself together in head to a street fair in Williamsburg where I am planning on doing. Some live cozy zone recording. Your Mom's give me a call and they tell me they're pregnant. Oh my wow I. I can't believe that the stars were aligned. Sage Julian I completed our mission with fierce precision and love. I decided to go back to La Anyway to celebrate this but the news that you are on the way is challenging to hear amidst the news of this profound tragedy Mirra. I'm I'm so sorry to say but the world you've just entered is filled with suffering. I was telling you about human beings and how special they are because of language and consciousness but they are also really fantastic at inflicting pain on each other. There's a lot of darkness There's a lot of despair but the beautiful thing about you. MIRA and about all brand new babies is that welcoming when you loving you gives us all another chance to say Yes to light and hope and sweetness you who are already perfect but the world around you is very far from it. No matter how hard we try we will never be able to protect protect your perfection. But I promise we will try. So you're cooking in your mom's sage for nine months and I'm pretty profound denial about your impending arrival and I know there are a lot of compact complex feelings knocking around inside me. But I'm basically numb to them. I don't know how to deal with this. I don't know how to talk about this. I've visit your mom's in September. Sage has this extraordinary bump bump. That's you I tear up for a moment but my defenses quickly sweep all big feelings away cut to a a week before you arrive. I think my feelings finally emerge mirror. I'm curious to see how you deal with anxiety in the future. I have to tell you your donor dude processes anxiety with his stomach. Okay so we're it. Wednesday February Fifteenth Fifteenth. I wake up feeling terrible. I think it might be a hangover from a lovely Valentine's Day dinner with Nicolette. I go to rehearsal for drew. Peterson's sends new play the prizefighter of PS two seventeen. And I nearly have an irreparable accident. the Q train Irreparable reparable in the fact that. It's very embarrassing. When when you're a little older than you to Poop your pants so I almost put my pants? On the train Thursday February sixteenth. I feel terrible. I have no appetite. I go to therapy. I managed to eat a little Friday February seventeenth all morning. I have the most explosive diarrhea. I call in sick to rehearsal Saturday February eighteenth. I have no appetite. I go to rehearsal so Sunday February nineteenth. I can only eat little bits of bland things Monday February twentieth. I'm feeling better after. I think my feelings are working themselves out. I realized though. I don't know how you're going to be born sage and Julia going to go to the hospital. What are they gonNA do? uh-huh discover it's going to be at gratitude birthday birthing center and Silverlake Los Angeles and it is so beautiful so relaxing. I'm very excited for them. And you Tuesday February twenty first. Your mom's email us in the morning that you're on your way it's Romney's birthday we have set up a little love alter turn a candle. I like the candle. Wednesday February twenty-second. There's no word from your mom. You're mom's it's been over are twenty four hours. I'm so distraught but I'm trying to keep it cool. I go to therapy. When I emerged from therapy I learned that you have arrived ten thirty six? Am Pacific Time. Nine pounds twenty one inches. You're a girl no name yet. GotTa Wait Until Thursday February twenty third. That's nicolette birthday. And we learn. Your name is Muira. Eleanor Mirror Eleanor. You have changed my life forever the star stuff that leaves inside me and has lived inside my ancestors now lives inside you. The very cells of my body are singing for are you. It feels like every action. I take matters so much more deeply. I can't help but live my life in your your honor. I want to love you and protect you and know you and share with you. I want to be the best donor dude there is. I love you Mira Eleanor. I can't wait to meet you Intimately finding our And then you interviews. It's awkward it tastefully thing to be nosy in somebody's so so sweet beautiful

Coming up next