Brandi Carlile Talks About 'Not Being Pregnant' During Wife's IVF Journey

Brandi Carlile has opened up about what it means to start a family with her longtime partner Catherine Shepherd.

In her new memoir, Broken Horses, the singer/songwriter, 39, opened up about what it meant to trail-blaze a new path and start a family with Shepard. "I'm hoping people see through my story that there's no right or wrong way to evolve into a parenting role in either heterosexual or same-sex relationships," Carlile told PEOPLE in the latest issue of the mag, which drops on Friday (April 9). "There are different, complicated dynamics, and there are many ways to feel. The more we talk about it and normalize it, the easier it is to understand that your parenting journey is custom. It really is your own."

Carlile and Shepherd wed in 2012 after a year of getting to know each other via phone, followed by an in-person meeting at one of the former's New York City shows. The pair knew that they wanted to start a family, so they used IVF, harvesting Carlile's eggs for Shepherd to carry since it'd be hard for the singer to carry while touring. Carlile said that she "struggled" with the fact that she wasn't carrying their first daughter, Evangeline, and admitted that she "feeling really confused about what my role even was."

"I made peace with knowing that there was some pioneering involved in what we were doing, to the point where there wasn't even a two mother template on a birth certificate yet," she explained. "There is now, but psychologically, all these things are really hard. And the high dive into parenting is a complicated leap to take anyway."

The pair share two daughters: Evangeline, 6, and Elijah, 3.

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