Monthly Archives: May 2014

Que Sera, Sera

Whatever will be, will be

We had a follow up ultrasound last Friday to check on the placenta previa. I’ve been doing meditations and visualizations, taking iron supplements, talking to Bubbles, my uterus and placenta, and drinking loads of pregnancy tea. Did any of it help? Of course not.

My placenta is still covering the opening of my cervix by about 1 cm. It might have budged about 1/2 cm since our last ultrasound at 25 weeks, but that’s a generous estimate.

I blamed it on our birthday party at the trampoline park a few days after our BFP. I must  have jumped enough that the growing embryo slid down to its crappy position. I was only 40% serious. The ultrasound tech told the MFM, who made sure I knew it wasn’t my fault. I only wanted to cry about 10%.

I know that we are lucky to have gotten pregnant so quickly and are very lucky and privileged folk in many ways, but I can’t stop myself from asking why me? Why not that women who WANTS a c-section. Why oh why does the woman who so badly wanted a homebirth need to get placenta previa? As my mom told me all too often growing up, nothing in life is fair, which I should add I hated and is a phrase I won’t be saying to Bubbles.

At the last ultrasound the MFM said there was about a 50% chance that it would resolve. I didn’t even bother to ask this time. She said she wanted to give us one last ultrasound to make sure before the surgery. That is going to be on the 9th, a week from Monday.

The silver lining (if there is one) is that Activist Genius will definitely be there for the birth. We were worried she might move before our home birth, but she’ll be here at least until the end of June. So there is that. I’m glad she will be there and is advocating for us to have the best birth experience we can, even if it is a planned cesarean.

So, Bubbles is going to be born on or around June 19th (unless a miracle happens of course). I told Wifey that if we had to have a planned cesarean we might as well give Bubbles an awesome birthday, the solstice, then I realized that was a Saturday. Lame. Activist Genius is in Kenya until Monday, doing awesome activist, genius things. We are hoping to meet with her before the 9th to talk about birth plans and even possibly schedule the surgery. I just hope it turns out like this. The MFM questioned whether or not I’d really want to watch the actual birth, but the more I think about it and watch videos, the more I am convinced I want to.

Oh and I told my mom about the need for the c-section. It went a lot better than I imagined. If she’s googled things and is freaking out she hasn’t shared it with me thank goodness. And of course during the conversation she told me she was so excited to find out if it’s a girl or boy and that she bought her last “gender neutral” thing. Sigh, we haven’t had that convo yet.

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Hospital beds are not comfortable

My uterus likes to be different, which shouldn’t be a surprise. It is my uterus after all.

I noticed braxton hicks contractions pretty early on in my pregnancy, around 23ish weeks or so. They didn’t happen very often, but of course I looked it up to see if it was normal for them to start so early. Did you know they start around 6 weeks? You just can’t feel them until you are 20-25 weeks pregnant, who knew?

So about two weeks ago I noticed that I was having braxton hicks much more frequently. I hadn’t really had a conversation with Activist Genius about them at that point so I wasn’t sure what was and wasn’t normal. She had talked to me about pre-term labor and the signs of that to watch for. I certainly wasn’t having back pain or cramping at all so I wasn’t too worried.

Since they were happening so often, I decided maybe I should track them. So, I downloaded a nifty little app and pushed stop and start all day long at work on Wednesday (two weeks ago). After a while I checked and they were about 15-20 minutes apart… so about 4 an hour. Everything I had read said to call if you had more than 4-5 an hour, so I didn’t call. They started getting closer together, about every 5-10 minutes, and then during our staff meeting some were just 2 minutes apart. I told Wifey, who called Activist Genius. Activist Genius said to try some things to get them to stop or slow down and if nothing made them change to let her know.

My mom stopped by after work to bring Wifey a gift and see the mural, then we all ate dinner together. After she left I laid on the couch with my feet up and timed the contractions again. They were still every 10 minutes or less. This time I talked to Activist Genius and although she didn’t come right out and say it, she seemed to be urging me to come in and get checked out. She just happened to be at the hospital on call that night. I wasn’t too worried, because that’s my nature, so I was hesitant. She explained that it is very unusual to have such an active uterus with a first pregnancy. It happens a lot with subsequent pregnancies, but she was a little worried and said there was no way to tell without checking the status of my cervix. She said they could run some tests, hook up some monitors and do a speculum check, how fun!

I talked with Wifey and we decided we’d rather have Activist Genius check us out than some random OB if we had to go in the next day rather than that night. So, at 10:30 pm we headed to the hospital. They checked us in and I settled into a very uncomfortable bed and hospital gown. Do people really wear those to give birth in? I’d rather be naked, it was awful. They hooked up the monitors (to measure Bubbles’ heart rate and the contractions) and I hung out for a while. Activist Genius came back a little bit later alarmed by what she saw on the monitor in the hallway. The contractions were every 2 minutes or so. I sheepishly suggested maybe I missed a few at home or maybe my uterus was just showing off?

They took a urine sample to make sure I didn’t have a UTI, and then Activist Genius came in to do a speculum exam. It was all pretty hilarious. The bed didn’t have an easy way to do the exam so I had to prob myself up on a bed pan while Activist Genius uncomfortably examined me with a giant light that her head kept blocking. Oh fun. She took some swabs and said my cervix was nice and closed, phew. She found an OB who came to do an ultrasound to see if they could see the placenta. Bubbles’ head and arm were right on my cervix so she couldn’t tell enough about the placenta to do a cervical check, which could cause bleeding if the placenta was still covering my cervix. She said I wasn’t dehydrated, since my urine was basically clear. They ran a test for some type of fetal cell that I can’t possible remember the name of. If it was present, it meant the baby would be here in 2 weeks or less. If it wasn’t then we were in the clear. Activist Genius said she’d do another speculum exam in a few hours to make sure the contractions weren’t causing my cervix to dilate. She suggested we snuggle up and take a nap. Haha right. She brought in a chair/bed for Wifey, who quickly fell asleep. I tossed and turned and peed constantly for the next 3 hours until she came back to do the exam. No change to the cervix and no weird long-named fetal cells, so we were free to go home. She explained that I just have a really excited, active uterus for some reason. So this is my normal- contracting every 5-10 minutes, or more often, until delivery day. The coolest part is the strange shapes my uterus makes when it contracts. I should take pictures and give them names.

More exciting news (as if an excited uterus wasn’t enough) Wifey got a new job! It’s a great career move for her and more money for me and Bubbles 🙂 We’ll share it with Wifey too I guess. This is her first full-time week at the new gig and she’s going to kill it with a skillet, or something like that.

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Boxes are for moving, not for babies

One of the things that I said needed it’s own upcoming post is that not finding out the sex of your baby is not brave. We decided that we didn’t want to know the sex of our baby for a number of reasons.

1. Our kiddo has it’s whole life to be shoved into boxes based on what people think it should be, why start before it’s even born?

2. It would be a fun surprise

3. We don’t want a bunch of gender specific clothes, toys, diapers books, etc.

We have received a number of responses in reaction to us not finding out the sex of Bubbles. Most people are surprisingly quite upset. We have also been told we are brave on numerous occasions. We’ve been asked how on earth we will prepare. People have said that they cannot buy Bubbles anything until it’s born because they don’t know the sex. We were told that a shower couldn’t be thrown until after the baby is born because we don’t know the sex. One friend told me it was the dumbest decision ever.

To be completely honest, the main reason we decided not to find out the sex of our baby is my mom. I love my mom. She is great and very supportive of us and our little family, but she just doesn’t get it. We have expressed our desire to raise our children open when it comes to gender and why this is important to us. One minute she says how great it is and the next she is bombarding me with stories about people with stereotypical very boy or very girl children and how funny it would be if that is how our kid turns out.

Her constant fixation on our baby’s sex beyond frustrates and aggravates me. Every single conversation we have about Bubbles turns into the sex and her disagreement with our decision to not find out what it is. She even told my sister that we’ll change our minds when the baby is born and WANT a bunch of gender specific stuff for it. Because we don’t know ourselves and the kind of family we want to create?

She insists that when the baby is born she is going to go buy tons of gender specific things for the baby. I’ve asked her not to. Told her we don’t want or need them. She just doesn’t care. In a moment of frustration I told her that maybe we’d decide not to tell anyone the sex after its born. To which she replied that she would take the baby and look in its diaper. WTF? Who does that? Or says that?

My new plan is that anyone who asks if the baby is a boy or girl doesn’t get to know. As soon as they don’t care, we will tell them 😉 kidding kidding. But it’s tempting.

I worry for our kiddo. I was raised to only want “girl” things and to only want to do “girly” things. I was taught to be passive, timid, insecure, lack confidence, be afraid, submit to others (especially men), want to be a mother before anything else, not get dirty, want to dance, hate my body, and the list goes on. If we have a girl people will try to teach her these things. If we have a boy people will try to teach him to be tough, get dirty, hide his emotions, lack empathy and compassion, only care about himself, be destructive, only want to play sports, etc. I don’t want this for my child.

It also makes me feel like I can’t enjoy stereotypical girl and boy things with my own child. I experienced this with my niece and I refuse to do so with my own kid. If I want to buy my son a football and play basketball with him, I don’t want to feel like I can’t because everyone else in his life thinks boys only like sports. If I want to buy my daughter a doll, I don’t want to feel like I can’t because that’s all anyone buys her.

There is hope right? It’s getting better? We are learning that limiting a child to one set of experiences, clothes, toys, goals, attributes is detrimental?

I’m going to talk to my mom and send her this article to read. What do you think? Do you have other non-academic articles to share on gender open parenting or the negative effects of gender stereotypes on kids?

Wish me luck

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Chugging Along

I start blog posts in my head all the time. I just never actually start them on the computer and then they slowly disappear. Maybe if I start with short snippets, it will evolve into thoughtful, inspiring, and maybe interesting topics at some point in the near future.

Bubbles is still head down as of our appointment with Activist Genius on Monday. She showed Wifey and I how to feel the head, it was kind of crazy. They also said Bubbles has a tiny butt. It explains the weird and creepy hand movements I feel in my pelvis. Seriously it’s the weirdest feeling ever. Imagine a baby gently caressing the inside of your pelvis, yup creepy right? Bubbles had its hands up by its face and Activist Genius said it moved them away real fast when she felt the head. So baby is ready and in the ideal position for a vaginal birth. Now, if only my placenta would get it’s act into gear. Our next ultrasound is only 1 1/2 weeks away! Fingers crossed for good news

I started painting the mural in Bubbles’ room (pictures to come soon). I’m not too confident that I will finish it before our due date, but it’s worth trying right? My silly mom said that she would come hold the baby so I can finish it. Ummm, I think I’ll want to hold my own baby thanks. I don’t really care, and I’m sure Bubbles won’t care, if it’s not done. The baby won’t be sleeping in there for who know how long anyway. It could be  years.

Wifey and I are going to dinner and an art show with my dad and the woman he is dating on Friday. I have lots of feelings about this. We have met her a few times and she seems like a very nice person, not at all what I expected, but that makes for the third time (my mom, Tough Cookie, and her). My dad is a complex creature I suppose. I know what it is like to not be accepted by the friends and family of the person you are dating. It’s not fun. I can tell how uncomfortable she feels sometimes. I feel for her and understand what it’s like. I never want her to feel unwelcome by us at all and will certainly do my best to welcome her into our lives. It’s hard though, really hard.

The wake for Tough Cookie is a week from Saturday, again lots of feelings. We discussed our emotions and PTSD like symptoms about going to the hospital with Activist Genius on Monday. Tough Cookie had all of her surgeries at the same hospital where we will possibly be having our baby. Everytime we drive there for an ultrasound I freak out, cry, and such. The whole thing is so….uncomfortable for lack of a better word. The parking garage, the escalator, the cafeteria, the elevators. It all brings back memories of Tough Cookie, good ones, bad ones, and horrible ones. It was the last place I saw her, talked to her, laughed with her. She was gone after her last surgery. She lived for another 2+ months, but SHE was gone. Activist Genius invited us to come tour the hospital as part of their meet the midwives event (we did last night) and said she would get us in touch with a social worker who can help us figure out how to figure this all out.

 

  • We haven’t started our dining room table yet, or sod, or chicken coop, or garden…yikes
  • We are expecting some beyond exciting news today or tomorrow (details to come)
  • This country needs to figure out that families are important and raising children is important and thus maternity leave is important (this deserves it’s own post and I will put that on my post it note to do later)
  • Heartburn isn’t fun, I may never eat again
  • Not finding out the sex of your baby is not brave (also deserves it’s own post)
  • Why do our parents insist on knowing the sex of the baby before they can buy anything, it’s not like they knew with us (same own post issue here)
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