Episode #27 River’s Story, Lesbian Parenting and Travelling with Grief with Jaimie-Lee Roy

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This week, I have a long-distance interview with my first Australian guest! Jaimie-Lee Roy’s daughter, River died just 32 hours after being born prematurely in 2019. Jaimie-Lee’s wife’s pregnancy with River was far from straightforward and we discuss the challenges of being the non-birth mother during pregnancy, River’s birth and after she died.

In the interview we talk about:

  • Their decision to start a family and finding out they were pregnant (05:00)
  • Pregnancy complications and being told their baby was going to die at 13 weeks after premature rupture of membrane (11:25)
  • Continuing with the pregnancy, knowing River would be born prematurely (27:33)
  • Being admitted to hospital at 25 weeks (37:17)
  • Her wife being rushed into theatre and being left in a room not knowing whether either Lisa or their baby would live (49:13)
  • Meeting River and then having to say goodbye to her 32 hours later (56:25)
  • Going home and struggling with loss of support, in particular for what Jaimie-Lee had been through as the mother who didn’t carry River (1:17:17)
  • Going travelling in a converted bus, coming home and having to learn to live again (1:24:25)

You can find out more about River’s story and connect with Jaimie-Lee on Instagram @jaimieleeroy.

If you want to know more about the route to lesbian parenting and the legalities of donor conception and same-sex parenting in the UK, I recommend this blog post on The Legacy of Leo website.

In the introduction, I talk about the Jonah Bichotte Cowan law which was recently passed in the New York State Assembly and Senate. You can find out more here.