Jonathan, Dani, and Melinda are a polyamorous family, which means that they all believe in having more than one partner. The trio and their two children all live under the same roof, with all three parents sharing every aspect of parenthood, from nighttime feeds to diaper changes.
'It might seem strange to a lot of people, but to us it makes perfect sense,' Melinda, 28, who runs her own healing company, East-West Collaborative Health, told Daily Mail Online. 'We all love each other and it was our dream to fall pregnant at the same time. Unlike conventional couples who are sleep deprived when a newborn comes along, there are three of us to take it in turns on the night shift. We breastfeed each others babies, split the finances three ways and the housework too. Even sex is great as if one person is not feeling up for it, then there are two other people to choose from.'
Dani added: 'We compliment each other perfectly as our parenting styles are so different. Whereas I'm a bit paranoid and constantly worrying about germs and if the babies are breathing, Melinda is the opposite. We just need a bigger bed, as we are all co-sleeping with the babies as well and at the moment the only way Jonathan fits is if he lays horizontally at the bottom of the bed.'
Until Dani met Melinda in 2008, Melinda had only been in monogamous relationships with men, while Dani had enjoyed relationships with both men and women. But after meeting at a music festival, the pair knew they were destined to spend the rest of their lives together. Despite gay marriages back then not being legal in California, the pair exchanged vows on the beach in a commitment ceremony on June 26, 2010, in front of friends and family. But one year later despite being desperately in love, Melinda confided to Dani that she didn't just want a wife - she wanted a husband too.
'When Melinda first told me she was missing a man in her life I thought "Why aren't I enough?"' Dani confessed. 'But the more we spoke about it, the more I realized there could be huge advantages to having three of us in our marriage. The hard part was finding a man we could both fall in love with.'
Miraculously the girls didn't have to wait too long for their dream husband to come along. Just a few months after their initial discussion, Dani and Melinda met Jonathan, after all three enrolled on the same building class. But the two admit that the were hesitant about approaching Jonathan initially, over fears that he might not feel the same way about one, or either of them. Thankfully, their fears were unfounded.
'When I met the girls I was just coming out of a long term relationship with my childhood sweetheart,' Jonathan, who run his own construction company, recalled. I knew they were married and I didn't know they were interested in me. But one day they wrote me a letter and revealed what they wanted and I'll be honest I didn't know what to do. I thought they were amazing and fancied them both, but I had to think long and hard whether I was capable of loving them both. While men might fantasize about such a situation, in reality it is double the responsibility.'
To explore their feelings for each other the threesome went on a road trip for a week. And it was then that Jonathan began to realize he was more than capable of loving both women equally. 'We just all clicked so well,' he added. 'Polyamory is an unusual concept for sure, and one I had never heard of, but the more I spent time with them, the more I fell in love with them both. We all just complimented each other so well.'
Sadly, while Jonathan's mom Sandy was open to their unusual relationship, other friends and family had a harder time accepting it. 'My mom thought it was a joke when Dani and I got married, so when we told her about Jonathan she just thought we were crazy,' Melinda explained. 'Some of Jonathan's friends just thought it was all about kinky sex and thought it was just plain weird. So much so he doesn't talk to some of them anymore. Dani's family had a hard time accepting it too. But luckily there were others, like Jonathan's mom Sandy, who thought what we had was amazing and gave us their full blessing.'
The threesome also had to learn to overcome their own feelings of jealousy too. 'At times it has been hard to adapt to, as for me just being with Melinda was enough,' Dani explained. 'So to see her fall in love with Jonathan was at times tough. But I began to realize that I could love him too, in my own way. And the more we talked to each other, the easier over time it has got. There are moments when I just want Melinda to myself, but now there are also moments when I feel just as strongly about Jonathan too. We have just learnt to cope better as time goes on. Now we all make sure we give each of us time together and separately. [...]'
By the end of 2013 Melinda, Dani and Jonathan were living together and began making plans to start a family. 'We all have a fabulous sex life, share the same bed, so we just made sure we timed things correctly and prayed our wishes would come true,' Melinda said. 'I found out I was pregnant on January 14th this year and two weeks later we all let out a scream of pure delight when we found out Dani was expecting too.'
On July 1st 2014 they got married in front of friends and some family in a park near their home. And, while their marriage contract is not yet official or legal, the family pray that one day their unique family set up will be recognized in the eyes of the law. 'My mom didn't come to the wedding as she doesn't approve of our life, ' tells Melinda. 'But Jonathan's mom Sandy gave us away and as we both stood with our blossoming bellies, it was the perfect day, full of love and laughter.'
'It was just so special experiencing pregnancy with the woman I love going through it at the same time,' Melinda said. 'The birthing center we chose was incredibly liberal and thought our family was wonderful. I would have my check up and then Dani would have hers straight after. Sharing a bed while pregnant was a little tricky though as the bigger our bellies got, the more squashed we all were.'
Both Melinda and Dani had natural water births and Jonathan was there for them both, along with a camera, which captured the entire experience for the trio's upcoming web series Looks Like Love To Me, which documents every aspect of the trio's unique lifestyle.
'Jonathan's mom Sandy was also in the room and it was incredible as our labors lasted pretty much the same time. Melinda's was 13 hours and 12 minutes and mine was 13 hours,' Dani, who is currently studying sign language explained. 'Melinda and I really wanted to share breastfeeding each others babies and this week I breastfed [Melinda's son] Oliver for the first time. It gave Melinda a break and time alone with Jonathan and me an invaluable chance to bond with a boy I consider to be my son.'
As for raising their children within an unconventional family unit, they are not concerned about what anyone else thinks. 'People sometimes ask us: "Are you not worried about the kids getting bullied at school?"' Melinda admitted. 'But in all honesty it is not something that concerns us. We had agreed that when thy become old enough we will explain our situation and are committed to instill them with tools to face any hurdle they may encounter. Thankfully we live in community that is pretty liberal and over time we hope families like ours will not be in a minority. Because in all honesty we think having two moms and one dad is the perfect way to raise a child, in a home full of love. We are even open to taking in even more lovers if it feels right in the future, as more hands make for an easier life.'