Category Archives: love and marriage

Stimming Along

Best laid plans eh?

Life is hard. Two  parents working full-time is hard. Marriage is hard. TTC is hard. Cancer is hard. Big life decisions are hard. Sigh….There are so many things to write about, to process, to share. At work (and at home) I feel like I am constantly drowning, at least a month behind. I tell myself it won’t always be this way. And then I find myself frozen. Drowning and frozen, great visual haha. And the result is well, as you can imagine, stuck. I can’t always see the light at the end of the tunnel and I don’t know where to start, what to focus on. Life is just hard.

But Nature Boy is amazing. He is really the most awesome kid ever and of course everyone’s kid is the most awesome kid ever. We really lucked out with this one, now only if he would sleep better. Maybe next month.

Our nanny put in her notice last week. They are moving, her husband got an awesome job offer. Back to big life decisions and cancer….great for them, bad timing for us. After lots of talking, and thinking, and researching things like selective mustism and how awful of a mother it would make me  to put him in a daycare, we found a Montessori school we feel mostly good about sending him to all day. It will make a huge difference in our budget and hopefully our quality of life. And hopefully it will only make me a slightly awful mother for putting my sweet, extremely shy child in this new and very social environment. His poor little world is about to be rocked. All I can do at this  point is hope it doesn’t ruin him.

But the good stuff. Today is day 5 of stims. J had a blood test yesterday and I guess everything looked good. Estradiol was 260ish? We have an ultrasound and another blood test tomorrow morning. I’m really excited to see how many follicles there are. None of this seems real. We’ve written the checks and picked up the meds and it still hasn’t sunk in yet that we are doing this. That J might be pregnant in a couple of weeks. I hope it works. I want so badly for Nature Boy to have a sibling. He would be such an awesome brother. He says he wants a sister. We’ll see buddy.

And more good stuff

 

 

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3rd Time’s a Charm

I woke up yesterday morning at about 7:15. As I was settling in for a long morning nursing session, I checked the book of faces on my phone. The first story on my feed was from a small, local LGBT group. It said SCOTUS denied hearing Utah’s Prop 3 case and that marriage was legal here again. I think because it was this little group and not some big LGBT organization, I questioned whether it was really true or not. Or maybe it was because I slept like 2 hours total throughout the night, but I just didn’t believe it. I told Wifey the possible news and started scrolling to see if there was a news story somewhere and asked Wifey to turn on the news. I found a linked news story and it was true!!!!!

We first got married on July 8th, 2010 in California. It wasn’t legal there, and thus anywhere, but we wanted to get married on the beach. It was also important for us to get married, legal or not. We wanted to make a commitment and promises to each other in front of the people we love. We carried on with life as wife and wife. Then when Judge Shelby ruled Prop 3 unconstitutional and didn’t grant a stay, we rushed to get legally married during the short 17 day window here in Utah. We got married the first day it was legal here and were one of first dozens of same sex couples married in Utah. Of course, 17 days later we were unsure of our legal married status and have been in a strange limbo since. I felt like I was lying when I filled out Thijs’ birth certificate, saying he only had one parent, but we filed our taxes jointly as a married couple. But now, FINALLY, we are now married again for the 3rd time… and this time it’s for good!

Because we were technically married when Thijs was born, we can file for an amended birth certificate, which will list both of our names as his parents. I am researching how to go about doing this, but it will be happening before the end of the week.

AHHHH! This is just amazing and now it’s time to celebrate (or get back to work and celebrate later)!!!!

A belated 3 month post will be arriving shortly. Now that I’m back at work, and not holding our little bundle of love 24/7, I will hopefully be able to commit more time to writing all the mothering related things in my head.

And a couple recent pictures because, well he is just too cute not to share.

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I now pronounce you wife and wife

Friday, December 20th started out pretty bad. I’ve been exhausted over the last few weeks with everything going on with Tough Cookie, trying to get ready for Christmas and finishing our dining room project, sleep has eluded me. I  spent  all day Thursday at my dad and Tough Cookie’s house taking “care” of her. She was worried about my pregnant self lifting her up and down but I’m pretty tough too. At least I was until I woke up on Friday. I woke up with a migraine and an incredibly sore back. I texted Anxious Yogi and let her know I wasn’t feeling good and would be in to the office later. I laid in bed trying ice packs and hot packs, sleeping and meditation. Eventually I decided I had to get to work so I got up took some tylenol and headed off. I barely showered and threw my barely long enough hair into somewhat of a pony tail. Short story, I looked terrible and felt almost as terrible.

That afternoon at about 2:20 I checked fb. I was shocked to see a post from some LGBT organization (there were so many, I don’t remember which one I saw first) and a link to a local paper’s story that a federally appointed district judge named Robert J. Shelby  issued a ruling that found the State of Utah’s Constitutional Amendment 3 (proclaiming marriage to be only between one man and one woman) to be unconstitutional. I had been following the case very closely. The hearing was a few weeks prior and Shelby said he’d make a decision by his self-imposed deadline of January 7th. I thought nothing would happen until then. I was pretty confident that he would rule in the favor of equality, he was appointed by Obama after all. I definitely did NOT expect him to not issue a stay with his ruling.

I scrolled through my news feed seeing post after post about the ruling. Then, I saw one from the Utah Pride Center that said “Breaking News: Judge Shelby has struck down Utah’s ban on Same Sex Marriage. We will keep you updated with news as the day progresses! If you are part of a same sex couple wanting to get married, now is the time to visit the clerks office!”

I texted Jamie at and this is how the convo went.

2:26 me: Guess what guess what?

2:27 J: omg! What!

2:27 me: The judge struck down Utah’s ban on marriage.

2:31 me: There is no stay so we can file for a license immediately

2:54 J: Omg!

2:55 me: We can get a license today

2:55 J: Oh my

2:56 me: Can you leave early? They are only open till 5 and not open on the weekend

2:57 J: yes

2:58 J: I’m in flannel and snow boots!

The last text is my personal favorite.  I ran downstairs and told my many gay coworkers and boss that we could get married in Utah…right NOW. They thought my excitement was just adorable. After a phone call and a few more texts, J and I decided to leave work right then and get married that day. I told my boss I was going to get married and raced home. Jamie kept calling because she was stuck in traffic. There was an accident and she was worried we wouldn’t make it in time. She called some of our best friends and asked them to come be our witnesses. While I waited for her, I made myself look a more presentable for my wedding day. When she finally got home, Jamie changed out of her flannel and snow boots. Then, we raced around the house tearing it apart looking for her passport. Xena took a bite out of her driver’s license and we didn’t want to risk them not accepting it as valid ID. Finally we found it, it a suitcase of course, and Jamie drove like a Nascar driver to the County Clerk’s office. By now it was just after 4:00 pm.

We ran in and immediately saw two couples (close friends of ours) who had each just gotten married. They came with us upstairs and we began our long long wait. The line didn’t look that long, but it took us nearly two hours to get to the front. During those two hours we experienced every emotion possible. When we were close to the front we heard the State of Utah was filing a for an emergency stay. We were so scared that we weren’t going to be able to get married, everyone was. There were constant cheers as couples were married downstairs. When word of the emergency stay request spread, officiants and ministers came upstairs and started marrying couples right there in the middle of the crowd. It was so many things; chaotic, beautiful, loving, romantic and not all at the same time. News cameras were everywhere.

Finally we got our license and quickly found a minister ready to marry a couple. It turns out he is the brother of one of my sister’s best friends. Small world. I had grabbed our vows from our ceremony 3 1/2 years ago. I read mine as fast as I could. Jamie said her vows and then we repeated the traditional vows and promises after the minister. And then he said, by the power vested in me by the State of Utah, I now pronounce you wife and wife. The best words I have ever heard.

We were now legally married. Both of our names will be on Bubbles’ birth certificate. Jamie can put Bubbles on her insurance. We don’t have to go to another state to get married, pretend to be residents, and get an expensive 2nd parent adoption months after Bubbles is born. Our baby will be both of ours in the eyes of our home state. The one we reluctantly decided to move back to so that we could be near our families. We had to put our desire to raise our kids near their family over the legal protection of our family, not an easy decision to make, and now we get to have both.

2 1/2 years ago, while strolling along a beach in South Africa, Jamie and I made a bet. I, the ever optimist, declared that we would be able to get legally married in Utah within 10 years. Jamie was not convinced. I said that if I won the bet, she had to take me to Fiji to celebrate our legal marriage. If she won, well then no one really won. Fiji here we come! It’ll have to wait until Bubbles gets here, but I can’t wait. To be honest, being able to call my wife my wife without a clarification that we aren’t really legally married.

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Mastering Marriage

Marriage is great, at least mine is 😉 It can also be hard, frustrating, and heartbreaking. It hasn’t always been easy and it probably won’t always be easy. Without getting too sappy, I love my wife more than I ever thought I could and I love her more and differently every day. We often talk about not only how lucky we are that we found each other, but that we found each other when we were pretty young (but not so young that we screwed it up). A lot of people get divorced, gay, straight, young old, kids, no kids, rich, poor, yada yada. Divorce doesn’t discriminate.

Last week Wifey and I were talking about a recent separation and divorce and how sad the whole situation is. The typical the grass is greener on the other side story. I came up with some brilliant marriage advice that ought to be at least partially attributed to the abundance of rain we had recently received and how green our grass looked that day.

The grass might seem greener on the other side, and it might even be greener, a lot greener. The thing is that all grass goes through stages. Sometimes it gets dry and yellow, we forget to water it, it doesn’t rain, the dogs run all over it and rip it up, the chickens eat the seed we try to spread. But then, fall comes, it rains, it cools down a bit, and the lawn turns a lovely shade of green. Then BAM, the grass is green on this side again. It always eventually turns green again…every time, you just have to remember that dry patches happen and that the other side turns yellow too.

And there you have it, that is how to make sure your marriage last. As far as making sure your grass doesn’t die all the way before you remember to water it…you’re on your own. Don’t worry, you can thank me later. We also gladly take donations for saving all those marriages out there. It’s hard work, but someone has to do it.

Oh and guess what? It’s cycle day 2. The bank who shall remain nameless has no compassion and is going to charge us $30 per day if we keep the tank longer than 6 days. They might need a hug or something so that they aren’t so inclined to nickel and dime us poor spermless folk.

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Wedding Bells and Accountants

It’s been a week of great news and celebrations.

We decided to give it a go this cycle, as long as I ovulate before Jamie heads out of town for work. Grow eggies grow! Also the fertility center we aren’t really using said we could store the vial there if we don’t end up inseminating this cycle. Great news all around. Seriously, that was really nice of them. I should practice what I learned in grad school and send them a thank you card.

A lesbian couple we recently met and became friends with gave birth to their baby. She said giving birth was one of the easiest things she’s done. It’s amazing how different women experience labor and birth. I can only hope that I feel the same way about it.Their daughter is adorable and we are so excited to have some friends close to our age, with kids that will hopefully be close in age to ours. I imagine them being friends, having someone to talk to about having two moms, and just having an awesome time growing up together.

And then…finally the news we’d been waiting months to hear. Same sex couples can file joint tax returns, even if the state they live in doesn’t recognize their marriage. I’ll be honest, even though I am an eternal optimist I wasn’t expecting this to happen. Since DOMA was ruled unconstitutional, Jamie has said many times that she wants to get legally married somewhere. I, on the other hand thought we should wait and see what benefits, if any, we would get if we were legally married. We just bought a house, went on a vacation, and are trying to have a baby. I didn’t think we should pay for a wedding too if it didn’t financially make sense.

See, we already got married. We had a ceremony on the beach in California. It was after Prop 8 had passed so it wasn’t legal at the time, but we didn’t care. We just wanted to be married and to celebrate our decision to spend our lives together. It was beautiful and the best day of my life. I think part of me was resistant to the idea of another wedding initially because the first one was so special and I didn’t want a different wedding. I do want to be legally married to my wife though. So very much. So, I guess it’s time to start planning a wedding, a very small wedding in Seattle. Wifey says no courthouse wedding, so we’ll have to explore some other free options. A great friend from grad school is going to officiate. It’s going to be great and just as wonderful as the first wedding. My sister lives up there so I’m excited to see her and have her be our wedding planner, maid of honor and flower girl. A couple of other good friends also live in Seattle, so we won’t be short on love and celebration. A November wedding in Seattle might wpuld be pretty spectacular, or maybe December? October might be a strech, but also a super great birthday gift to ourselves. So many decisions.

Two important things to consider:

1. New vows or the same vows?

2. Fitting into my wedding dress. Time to hit the gym even more.

I guess it might be worth talking to an accountant to see if we would have to pay more or less taxes as a married couple first. I’ve always done my own taxes, but now that we own a house, are buying loads of sprem, and possibly married, I think we need the help of someone who actually understands our ridiculous tax policies and enjoys math. I’m just excited though and since we are both in the nonprofit sector and not making loads of cash, I would guess filing jointly will be better for us. For now I’m just excited that we are one step further to being recognized as married and as a family.

 

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In This Country…

Leading up to the SCOTUS rulings on DOMA and Prop 8 I was slightly obsessed. I checked the SCOTUS blog as soon as I got to work each morning and every day, only to find out they weren’t going to be announced that day. Finally, the day was set. I made sure I came to work early so that I wouldn’t be biking to work unplugged during the announcement. If she didn’t think so before, my boss surely thinks I’m a weirdo now. I explained to her the day before that I was going to be listening to Sen. Wendy Davis filibuster the out of control gynoticians in Texas and their short-sighted, over the top restrictive anti-woman, anti-family, anti-child legislation while I promised to work feverishly to make up for accidentally paying too much attention to Davis’ speech.

After staying up WAY too late (it was so worth it) and waking up early to get to work in time, I barely made it. I pulled up the SCOTUS blog right before it was announced. The text messages started rolling in and didn’t stop all day. We cried, we laughed, we celebrated, and we talked about getting legally married. Even though we live in a state that will never recognize same sex marriage (until the feds say they have to) it was a great day. The best word I can use to describe my feelings about it is relief. I felt relief that it will change, and SOON. I made a bet with my wife 2 years ago that our marriage would be recognized in the state we lived (assumed to be Utah) within 10 years. Wifey said no way no how. I, the always optimist, said just you wait. The wager: a honeymoon in Fiji to celebrate our legal marriage. I’ve got 8 years to win that trip and I’m feeling pretty good about it.

This back story has a point I promise. We just went to Mexico for a week. It was amazing, beautiful, fun, and much needed.  On the way back home we had to fill out our customs forms of course, one per family. I insisted that we just fill one out, since we are a family and all. I know they don’t ask hetero couples to bring their marriage license. Jamie was not so excited about the idea of being an activist. We were flying into Texas, home of George Dubya and the newest anti-woman legislation. I insisted because I refuse to let anyone define my family and especially to say that we are not a family. We waited forever in line and finally we were up and this is basically how the conversation went:

Customs: What’s the nature of your relationship?

Jamie: We are married

Customs: Well you should know that this country doesn’t consider you a family

Jamie: I’m sure you have heard of DOMA and how it was just ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court

Customs: It doesn’t matter, it will take years for it be implemented down here

Jamie: Well then we are sisters

Customs: You would still need two forms (as he stamps our passports) Welcome Home.

Seriously. Of course all of the witty comebacks came after we left and were fuming. I didn’t expect a big gay parade or anything. I expected surprise, but not hostility and certainly didn’t expect to be told that my country doesn’t consider us a family. I know it’s better than it was, even 5 years ago, and I know that honeymoon in Fiji will happen but I get tired of the implicit and explicit discrimination, outing, and just plain hatred we have to deal with.

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How did we get here from there

It was Pride weekend 2008 (wow that makes me feel old) I was headed to the annual white party at the local lesbian club. I went with some friends and met up with the woman I was dating at the time. A good friend of mine, Shorty, introduced me to a woman I had never seen or met before, which is rare in the lesbian community where we live. I noticed Jamie before my friend introduced us and I was like da da da da damn. Okay, it was more like violins and butterflies and rays of sunshine, but the point is I thought she was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. She just thought I was a hard ass, which of course I am.

About a month later Shorty and I were headed to the same lesbian bar. It must have been a full moon that night. Right before we went to the bar the woman I was dating broke up with me and on the way to the bar Angie and her girlfriend broke up. Jamie called Angie and asked if she could hang out with us. She and her girlfriend had just broken up a couple of weeks ago. So, there we were…. three sad saps at the bar listening to sad love songs and playing pool. Jamie and I started talking and were pretty immediately drawn to each other. I had just started as an AmeriCorps VISTA and she was in the process of joining the Peace Corps, we both loved the outdoors and were passionate about social justice.

A couple of weeks later Jamie asked me to meet up with them at the club. I swear I was not one those lesbians that went to the bar every week. These were the only three instances of me going to said bar the entire year. Jamie asked me to dance with her all night. I’m shy and kept saying no. Finally, before I left we danced a dance full of smiles, fireworks and pterodactyls (bigger than butterflies). After I got home I asked Shorty for Jamie’s number, Jamie had just done the same. Great minds think alike. So of course we started doing what modern introverts do…texting a lot. Sometimes Jamie forced me to talk on the phone, which I was super self-conscious about because I had bronchitis and sounded like an 80 year old male smoker. We went camping, had our first kiss by the lake, I impressed her with my intense scooter driving skills, and we have been stealing kisses by bodies of water around the world ever since.

We talked about whether we wanted kids or not during probably our second conversation ever and agreed that we both wanted kids and wanted to foster/adopt at some point, when the legislative system catches up with humanity.  Logically, this sealed the deal and we moved in together shortly after. I proposed after selling my plasma for months and we got married on the beach in California. Yes it was after Prop 8, but we wanted a ceremony on the beach.

Fast forward through moving across the country, going to graduate school at the same time (yikes), debating whether or not to move back to the land of zion, moving across the country again, living in a camper trailer, buying a house….and drumroll please: we are now making gaybies!

I am going to carry the first because I’m old. Jamie started telling me I was almost 30 since we met (I was 25 at the time). We’ve picked a donor we will call Socrates (more about this interesting process in a separate post). Our first insemination is planned for August at home, hoping to be one of those lucky couples that get pregnant after just 3 tries.

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