Bravotv.com: Over the season, we’ve seen that your in-laws are a big part of your life. Can this be challenging? What are the pros and cons of having a close-knit family?
Laura Leigh Abby: Families are always a challenge, but I think that having close relationships with both of our families is a very positive part of our lives. It’s so comforting having family to turn to during the tough times and there’s nothing better than sharing good news with them and celebrating life’s milestones. Big families come with lots of personalities, but also with lots of support and lots of laughs.
Samantha Abby: Laura and I are very family oriented. We prefer to spend our free time with our families. I think the pros are having built in best friends. Even when we’re not getting along we never doubt that we love each other. We all speak our minds and sometimes feelings get hurt. Luckily we aren't overly sensitive and we can always shake things off and move on. We value our family’s input in our lives.
Bravotv.com: Tell us about coming out to both your families. Laura, having a conservative Catholic bunch and Sam having less traditional gender roles in your family.
LLA: Sam and I met when we were nineteen, and in the beginning, our relationship was pretty rocky. When things weren’t going well between us I decided to go home for a weekend and visit my parents. I was broken-hearted and I needed Mom! My parents have always been open-minded and they want nothing but happiness for their children, so while I’m sure they were surprised the first time I told them about Sam, they let me figure life out for myself and welcomed her into our family.
SA: Honestly, I never came out to my parents. I never had that conversation. I didn't ever feel the need to. My parents have always supported me, they just wanted their kids to be happy. As far as coming out about my relationship with Laura, I think it was a basic conversation when I came home for Christmas break. "Hey mom, I have a new girlfriend, she's coming to visit. You'll like her, she's loud, crazy and intense just like you."
Bravotv.com: Can you share the story of meeting each other’s parents?
LLA: The first time I went to Sam’s house in Sarasota was in December of our senior year of college, which was 2006. I’d met her mom Penny before, but this was my first time in her home and spending real, quality time with her. My first night there Sam and I took a bottle of champagne into the hot tub. All the dogs were barking and we were splashing around making a racket. Suddenly the upstairs lights flicked on and Penny started screaming at us to quiet down and go to bed. That moment set the tone for my trip and my first stay at Penny’s house. We had a blast that week going to the beach and Penny’s tennis and golf clubs. I think we even visited her gym together -- Penny was a seriously active woman who had such a zest for life. Sam swore I was the only person she ever dated that Penny liked. I’m pretty inclined to believe her.
SA: The first time I met Laura's parents, I flew to Boston from LA for Laura's birthday, and when I got there she told me were going to dinner with her parents. Inside I started to hyperventilate. I knew they knew about me and I was terrified. They picked us up in her dad's car and we drove to the North End for Italian food. I'm sure looking back I was probably so quiet and awkward. I was never great with parents. I remember during the meal I was so nervous I barely ate. We talked about traveling and music. At one point, Laura and her mom got up from the table to use the restroom. I remember feeling terrified at that moment to be left alone with her dad. It actually ended up being great, we talked about wine, which thank god for my mother, at 20 years old I happened to be very well versed in it. We ended up having a really nice time.
Bravotv.com: Sam -- why the rush to have kids so quickly after getting married? Laura, why do you want to wait a few years?
LLA: I’m one of those women that would prefer to have my ducks in a row before having kids, but I also realize there’s no such thing as being "really" ready. None of us knows what we’re in store for until it happens. I know there’s a compromise for our differences in when to have children, and don’t tell her I said this, but Sam’s right, as two women trying to have children together we have to plan ahead.
SA: There is no rush. I'm just a planner. I like to be organized. Laura is the opposite, so if you don't get her on the same page we could be looking at starting a family in 2050.
And who wouldn't want to start a family with the love of her life? That’s our next big adventure together.
And who wouldn't want to start a family with the love of her life?
Bravotv.com: Tell us about the process of getting pregnant and searching for a sperm donor. What were your feelings leaving the meeting with your doctor and starting this journey?
LLA: Our meeting with the fertility doctor was really our first time speaking with a professional about what we’ll face in our quest to become parents. I left her office feeling overwhelmed by the road ahead, but there was also a mix of apprehension and excitement. No couple knows quite what they’ll face when they embark on the journey to start a family, but we want to enter into this with as much information as possible to give ourselves some peace of mind.
It’s easy to over-think the process of trying to find a sperm donor. (Donor, by the way, is a ridiculous word. It’s a purchase, not a donation). You think about all the things you want for your children -- health and happiness top the list -- and you remind yourself, I’m not buying a car or a house here, I am choosing the genetic make-up of my future children. That’s so intense. But at the end of the day we have to make a decision and realize this is only one aspect of the process, that the goal is not simply a pregnancy, the goal is a family. The parental love our kids experience will be 100% ours.
SA: I think when we left the doctor's office I felt uneducated. I don't think I really understood the process and how many things need to perfectly align to make a baby. I don't think people really understand how hard it is to make a human life. If anything I left feeling more overwhelmed by all the decisions we were going to have to make.