Thanks for your responses, RP and SG! And yeah, there's definitely some good stuff in those old threads. I just like the idea of aggregating people's experiences of this particular aspect of poly parenting into one place.
If anyone hasn't experienced this stuff yet but has something to add (maybe you're pregnant, maybe your partners are trying for a kid, maybe you just think about this stuff a lot) feel free to jump in!
I suppose I should contribute myself, on the "people who've been partnered to folks who've had a baby with another partner" questions...
Did you stay together?
How did it change your relationship if at all?
It drastically affected our sex life, in that we stopped having one. :/ The pregnancy, birth and nursing have all been rough on her. We do intend to reestablish physical intimacy in the foreseeable future, though. Also, I think seeing me stick around and help out through this has solidified my partner's trust in me, and I think that I'm closer to both her and my metamour (her husband and co-parent) than I was before.
Did it change your views about parenting?
It's one thing to know it's hard, it's another to realize it close up! Soooo hard and transformative. Also, before I couldn't remotely visualize myself as a parent, now I can even though I'm tnot ready to take that step and don't know if I ever will be.
Did you feel you had a special relationship to the child?
Absolutely, I'm in love with the little guy and I think he likes me too.
I don't co-parent, but I'm more involved with him than any other adult aside from his parents and his two-days-per-week nanny.
If so, were there difficulties associated with loving a child not your own?
Leading up to the birth and shortly after, I struggled with wondering what my role in his life would be. Now that he's less an idea and more a reality, that question bugs me less... it just is what it is. I do miss him when I don't see him for a while, though, which obviously wouldn't happen if I were co-parenting. I get jealous of the nanny sometimes. :P
What were the rewards?
I'd never known what it's like to bond with a brand new person before. Now even if I never choose to have a child of my own I've gotten to experience that. And it's *awesome*.
Would you do it again?
Yes, with these people. With others, I think I'd be even more careful not to get too involved unless I believed the relationship was strong and would continue, because the idea that if we broke up I might lose the child in my life freaks me out.
If you and that partner broke up, did you maintain a relationship with the child?
Hopefully this won't come up! Would I if it did? Possibly, but it might be too hard. It'd be different if he were old enough to have a relationship of his own with me and would miss me, then I'd make sure to stay in his life if I could.