Monthly Archives: February 2014

It’s a…..

Baby!

A healthy baby measuring right on track with two arms, two legs, 4  pumping heart chambers, a nice looking cerebellum, 10 fingers and 10 toes, no cleft palate, and a cute little nose.

Bubbles was moving around a lot during the scan. It did not want the tech to be able to get good pictures of it’s heart and didn’t want us to see it’s face. Maybe we have a shy one like me on our hands (er in my uterus). While I personally wouldn’t get an ultrasound for fun it sure was fun to see our little one and watch it squirming around. During almost the whole scan Bubbles had one arm behinds its back while the other arm and legs were moving around almost constantly.

J made this cute little collage. We didn’t get a little profile pic like everyone else, but we did get an awesome skeletor face. 😉

bubbles20weeks

Now to the not so good news, because these days it seems like there is always not good news too. Towards the end of the scan the tech told me my placenta was barely, like really just barely, covering my cervix*. Boo placenta! Here is my best attempt (okay let’s be honest it’s my first and only attempt) at drawing what it looks like in the wonderful program called paint. Remember when it was the coolest thing on a computer? haha

Placenta

The tech said she had to put complete placenta previa in my chart and that my midwife would call me to discuss it, but that I would need come back and get a transvaginal ultrasound at some point to check it. I was like yeah okay no big deal. I had read enough about it before the scan to know that 1 in 3 pregnancies has placenta previa at some point and that it resolves in 80-90% of cases.

Then, Activist Genius (our midwife) called me on Friday. When I answered she sounded pretty bummed and had me confirm my birthday. When I told her she said “Ugh so it is you then” She asked me if the tech told me about the placenta and I said yes, but that I wasn’t worried because I knew it would most likely move away from the cervix as time went on. Well, then she went on to tell me that it is extremely unlikely that a complete placenta previa would resolve. She has never seen it happen in her career.  She talked about family centered c-sections and reassured us that she would be there for the c-section. She said I’ll need to get a follow up scan at 32 weeks and we’ll see what happens then. In the meantime I am on pelvic rest (not a big deal) and if I bleed at all I have to go to the hospital straight away. I spent Friday and Saturday pretty devastated about the possibility of not having a home birth, having a c-section, a premie, the NICU, bed rest, etc. I read a million studies and stories about complete previa’s resolving and am now just focusing on my placenta moving away from the cervix as my uterus grows. I’ve been talking to my placenta and Bubbles about helping me out with this plan. I spend lots of time visualizing it moving and telling my body that is what it is going to do.

I feel like I’m at a standstill for the next 12 weeks. Do I keep preparing for a home birth? Find and hire a doula? Start working through the Pink Kit? Or do I start preparing for a c-section? Research the choices we’ll have to make for the birth and for a possible stay in the NICU? Most of me says just go along as if everything is okay and plan the homebirth, but a tiny part wants to be really prepared incase things don’t go the way that I’ve envisioned them. Decisions decisions.

* For anyone that knows us in real life we are not sharing this information with the catastrophizers in the family so pretty please do not say anything. You know who they are and I don’t need or want to deal with their over dramatic and worrisome reactions. Love you!

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Can you feel the love tonight?

We got back from Little Rock on Monday night and our baby is LOVED. I feel so lucky to have such supportive family and friends. We just started volunteering for a program that provides “foster homes” for kids who are LGBT and get kicked out by their, often LDS, families. It’s hard to believe that things like that are still happening. We, for the most part, live in a pretty little bubble and I feel so lucky to have had the experience I and we have so far.

I went to graduate school with an amazing group of people. One of them, who is also one of the best straight allies out there, pretty much demanded to throw us a baby shower when she first found out we were TTC. We called her shortly after our BFP and she started the planning away. First, the shower was going to be in D.C., where most of our closest friends moved after graduation. Then, Tennessee, New Orleans, Virginia and Utah were thrown around. Finally, everyone decided Little Rock would be the best. Quite a few people still lived there, including my favorite professors so it made a lot of sense. More places for people to stay and such and somewhere to host the shower for free.

It might seems a little odd to have a shower at 19 weeks, but it was the only weekend that would work for almost everyone and it was a 3 day weekend, which Jamie and I preferred. We headed out Saturday morning and after a loooong day of travel finally made it to our friend’s house. You might remember him as the “I’m not saying I’m the father, I’m just saying I was the only man in the house when the baby was conceived” friend. All was going well (tired but well) until we decided to head out to a bar we all used to go to when we didn’t want to study or just finished big projects. Using the repulsive bar bathroom might have been what pushed me over the edge (it is such a different experience when you aren’t drinking). Or maybe it was the glares I imagined I was getting as I held Jamie’s beer while she played pool. I guess it could have been the long day of flying and exhaustion too 😉 I told J I wanted to leave after her game was over. Then, I got really dizzy and lightheaded. My vision got blurry and I felt really sick. I said I was going out to get some fresh air. As soon as I got outside I threw up. Silly baby didn’t make me sick until halfway through the pregnancy. We headed back “home” and went to bed and I felt fine the next day. Pregnancy is weird y’all.

Sunday was the shower and it was so great. So many people came to show us their love and support (and maybe a little bit for the reunion with everyone else). They gave us sweet cards, beautiful gifts and wonderful advice. Most of them don’t have kids yet so the advice was pretty great.

“Don’t push on the baby’s soft spot. I used to get yelled at for doing it to my sister 🙂 “

“Burp the kid after you feed it”

“Teach your little one to say y’all. It’s efficient and will connect the baby back to Arkansas”

There was also some really sweet advice:

“One of my favorite all time quotes is ‘I used to worry that I’d fail at things that mattered, now I’m concerned that I’ll succeed at things that don’t.’ Here’s to the truly important things!”

“Kiss him/her every chance you get..no matter how ‘cool’ they are. Give them as much confidence as possible to be proud of who they are and who y’all are!”

We went on a great hike to the top of Pinnacle “mountain” after the shower. Really it was such a beautiful weekend full of beautiful people. I already miss them all to pieces.

Here are a couple of photos of the weekend.

J and I so much in love

J and I so much in love

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

J asked me to show off my bump

J asked me to show off my bump

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Group shot

Group shot

 

 

 

 

 

 

Activism is a must in our family

Activism is a must in our family

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I might go back and delete the group shot in a few days. Don’t want to be plastering folks all over the web without their permission. Anatomy scan  update coming soon.

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Ch-ch-ch-ch changes

I went to art school, and yes it was just like this movie. I have very fond memories of art school, one of them is meeting one of my now best friends. We took most of our classes together .Then she decided to go and get pregnant on me and I decided to change my emphasis to painting and drawing. We had a good time, made ridiculous art together and challenged each other to make really good art too. When she was pregnant with her son, I helped her with homework and even painted a few silly landscapes for her. Shhh don’t tell. Her class picked mine as the best in the critique though. 🙂

Anywho, enough rambling, so one semester she had a metal works course. I don’t remember what the exact assignment was, but she came up with the brilliant plan to make a nipple ring. No not a ring for your nipple, a ring for your finger with a nipple on it. Guess who got to be the nipple model? Yours truly. The conversation went something like this:

J: Do you have really cute perky boobs?

me: Umm I guess so

J: I need you to come over so that we can make a cast of your nipple

me: Okay

So I made myself as cold as possible, stuck my boob in a cup of alginate and voila! A cast of my nipple was made. My friend made it into a metal ring of some kind and it has sit  happily on my dresser in a box for the last 5 1/2 years.

Wifey told me that she “found” it a couple of days ago. She of course has seen it before, it was more like she rediscovered it. Well last night we decided to compare the ring to my current boob and nipple state. It’s like when you see a kid everyday they don’t seem to be getting bigger, but if you don’t seem them for months it seems like they are growing like a weed. I am fully aware that I am growing and expanding is almost every direction (I’m already up 2 cup sizes) but that was really a shocker. I’d post comparison pictures so other folks could be amazed with me, but that might bring in the wrong crowd. I’ll just say that poor little ring looks so small now, when before it looked huge. Maybe I can get my friend to make a new one. I’ll wear the pre-pregnancy one and Wifey can wear the pregnancy one. I really can’t imagine my boobs or my nipples getting any bigger, someone please tell me it will stop at some point.

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She acts like summer and walks like rain

It’s been 29 days, 21 hours, 31 minutes, and roughly 27 seconds since Tough Cookie left us. Just writing that brings on the tears.

I am in denial and you could say that it’s working for me right now, more or less. I know that I should let myself grieve, I just can’t. It hurts too much. When I acknowledge that it is real, that she is gone and will never come back, I feel like my chest becomes a deep, cold, black hole. Everything that is good in the world, that makes me happy and gives me hope starts getting swallowed by the emptiness that I feel without her here.

The weeks leading up to and after her death I dreamt of her all night long. Before she died, I dreamt of her dying. again and again and again. It was awful. After she died every single night in my dreams, the last minutes of her life were replayed. All of us sitting around her, holding her, touching her, grasping at the life that remained. I still can’t get the image of her last breath out of my head and maybe I shouldn’t want to. The weeks following her death I also dreamt of her alive and not sick. I liked those dreams. The real Tough Cookie was with me again, the one I never really got to say goodbye to. We laughed and talked and she taught me all the things I thought we had decades to do together. Waking up was like losing her all over again.

Now the dreams are gone for the most part. I think of her every night as I try to fall asleep (which isn’t helping the already pregnancy induced insomnia). I try to remember her before she was sick so that I don’t have dreams of her dying. Something happens that reminds me of her nearly everyday. When we made cookies the other day I remembered how she would only eat cookies fresh out of the oven, all ooey and gooey. We were driving and Drops of Jupiter by Train came on the radio. She loved that song and would belt it out at the top of her lungs whenever it came on. Ironically, we discovered the day after Tough Cookie died that the singer wrote that song about his mom after she died of cancer. Every day after work I look at the pots of herbs she planted for us when we moved into our new house. Something she did even though she had just had surgery and could barely walk. Her contagious laugh plays in my head when we laugh.

Our midwife  (who shall now be called Activist Genius-an explanation will follow soon) said I should really try to do some grief work before Bubbles gets here. She said that if I don’t, it’s very possible that if will all come out during the birth because it’s such an emotionally vulnerable experience. I guess that means I have some work to do in the next 5 months so that doesn’t happen. I want the birth of our baby to be the happiest day of our lives.

I really pushed Wifey to have conversations with her family about us starting a family. I wanted our pregnancy and child’s first year(s) to be filled with happiness and to minimize the grief of possibly cutting ties with her family if they weren’t supportive. And now here we are two years later and our pregnancy is filled with grief and sadness. I guess I can’t control everything eh?

On a not terribly sad note, Bubbles is doing great. We heard that heartbeat again last weekend and it was a strong 140-150ish. I feel him/her moving around alot, although not a lot today. We have our anatomy scan schedule for February 20th and no we still don’t have to find out the sex. Okay I do a little bit, but I want to wait more.

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