The Worry Machine

One of the most difficult adjustments for me as a parent has been the constant worrying.

I am, by nature, not a person that worries. I don’t worry about bad things happening to me. I’m overly trusting and optimistic. I don’t worry about being robbed or anything like that. I don’t worry that someone will get sick or that something bad will happen to someone I love. But my goodness, ever since Nature Boy was born, I constantly worry about him. Sometimes they are rational worries and sometimes they are extremely irrational.

Right after he was born I had the most vivid and awful “day dreams” or visions about just terrible things happening to him. Most of the time whatever happened was my fault. Thanks a lot postpartum hormones. That doesn’t happen as much now. Now, I worry that he’ll have autism (the rates here are the 2nd highest in the U.S.). I worry that he won’t be healthy-physically or mentally. And then I feel bad for thinking those things. I worry that he won’t be happy. I worry that one day he won’t be able to stand us (his parents). I worry that he’ll resent us working instead of staying home with him. It’s so hard to shut it off.

We often call Nature Boy our backwards baby. He has done a lot of things backwards.

He walked before he crawled, his first word was “twinkle” not “mama” or “no”, the majority of the signs he uses have everything to do with nature and nothing to do with communicating his needs, he likes french onion soup and hates strawberries, he rolled once and never again for months, and he ran before he could get to standing position by himself.

Thankfully, our pediatrician is amazing. Every time we have a concern, she assures us that whatever it is, is a variation of “normal”. At his 6 month visit he wasn’t even trying to crawl and “tummy-time” lasted 5 seconds or less until the screaming started and she told us not to worry. At his 9 month visit when he still refused to be on his tummy, was showing no signs of crawling or pulling up, but was almost walking, she again said not to worry and said he’d be in the 6% of kids who go straight to walking. At his 12 month visit when he was walking, but still couldn’t stand up on his own, she was perplexed and said she’d read up on some stuff, but again said not to worry. At his 15 month visit when he was running, but still couldn’t get up from sitting, we were really starting to worry. Again she said to keep working with him and that although extremely odd, he didn’t show any other signs of something serious going on.

Well, on Sunday at 15 1/2 months old, Nature Boy finally stood up from a seated position. We shouted “Hip, Hip, Hurray!” as he alternated between thrusting his arms into the air in celebration and clapping. There was hugging and kissing and pride-so much pride-from Nature Boy of course. We are proud of him too, but he is sooo much more proud of himself which is so cute to see.

And then I breathed a sigh of relief and marked one thing of my worry list.

And a few pictures of our recent shenanigans.

Classic Nature Boy face

Classic Nature Boy face

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So happy to be on a tractor

Oh and I think we’re 1 or 2 DPO. J seems like she’s not going to be a test-a-holic like me so this could be a looong wait.

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Sibling in a box

After another aggravating phone call and lots of stress, our swim team arrived today! Thanks for the comments by the way. It’s good to hear we aren’t the only ones who thought it seemed a little odd.

Originally we thought the swim team was going to be delivered this afternoon and were wondering how odd our nanny thought it would be to tell her she had to stay at the house until it arrived. Phew, awkward conversation avoided. She did sign for it though, which is kind of funny. Did I mention our nanny is LDS (Mormon)? She’s a good one though, in fact one of the reasons we liked her is because she has two moms herself. I always wonder how Mormons like her deal with it though. They totally love and accept people who are gay and lesbian, but their religion (which they believe in wholeheartedly) tells them we are sinning. Hmmm. All I know is that she is great and she loves our son, so it’s good enough for me.

Sorry, tangent.

So, J got a positive OPK this morning and a peak on the fertility monitor. We were thinking we’d do the insemination 18-24 hours after the positive. 18 hours puts us at around 1 am and 24 would be 7 am. We had a brief chat this morning and J was leaning towards the middle. Who isn’t up for a 3 am insemination? We’ll probably be up with Nature Boy anyway 😉

We talked last week. I was feeling bad for not being as TTC obsessed for #2. I think part of it is because I’m not tracking MY body and analyzing every twinge and speck of cervical fluid. J feels somewhat the same way too though. It’s just different when you already have a baby and that baby takes up 150% of your life. I was relieved that J wasn’t upset by it. I didn’t want her to feel like she got the short end of the stick when it comes to getting and being pregnant.

It suddenly seems more real now though. I saw that familiar package from the bank and got butterflies. We are having another baby! I’m so excited and I’m nervous and messing up the insemination and I am already a wreck about the TWW, which hasn’t even happened yet. I’m really hoping we get lucky and it only takes one try. A girl can dream right?

The Sperm of Many Hoops

We always wanted at least 2 kids. After Nature Boy* was born, J brought up having 4 kids. And yes I did have a minor freak out. She comes from a family of 4 kids and I come from a family of 3. Also losing my stepmom and having my mom diagnosed with cancer made us think that we wanted to give our kids a bigger support system for when we get old and are no longer around. So 4 is the current plan (only having 1 might make that seem more realistic, we’ll update after 2).

We also knew we wanted our kids between 2 and 3 years apart, but closer to 2. Which, for all you math whizzes out there, means it’s time to start trying to make a baby. Sometimes I feel totally ready and excited and other times I feel like we are barely surviving now, how will we survive 2 babies that don’t sleep through the night, and both go to work the next day? I also think about Nature Boy and how much I want him to have siblings to grow up and play with, basically to share his life with, and that outweighs all the fears and hesitations that I have.

So we are jumping back on the TTC train ready or not.

Or at least we were. We were going to try last month, but the bank told us we needed up update forms since it had been 2 years (barely) and one form was a medical certification form (also known as get permission from a dr. to get sperm sent to your house). Unfortunately, it was Labor Day weekend. J called her dr. office and found out her dr. was on maternity leave and no one else would sign it. Then she talked to someone else who said they would. I faxed her the form and then crickets. We left for our little Labor Day getaway and hoped it would all work out. Well it didn’t and one of the women at the bank was unnecessarily rude about it all. If we didn’t already have vials and didn’t care about our kids sharing genetics, we’d be seriously considered using another bank. So last month didn’t work out and it’s probably for the best. We had a super busy weekend on the possible insemination days and we all caught an awful tummy bug on our Labor Day vacay, so it wasn’t even close to ideal.

Here we are now approaching attempt #2 of TTC #2. J talked to the bank yesterday to make sure they got her medical form. They did, but said they didn’t have all the other forms we sent. So, after talking for a while, we realized they put them in my file and were her making J register as a client with them. Which is not just checking a box.  It includes a $75 fee and an hour long consult with their nurse practitioner and me authorizing the vials we already purchased to be released to J. Seriously folks. This is ridiculous. We thought we were finally done jumping through hoops and being nickled and dimed.

Then today, J called me to let me know the consult was done, they have all the forms, but now she has to have some sort of psych eval done because she, like 22% of Utahns*, suffers from depression and anxiety. There is a call in to her therapist, who she has already discussed pregnancy and postpartum with before we decided to go forward with her carrying #2.

I could write a novel about how discriminatory this is. I could list all the medical conditions that don’t require approval in order to buy sperm. Ones that are just as serious, ones that are just as deadly, ones that impact your ability to parent. Example: I suffer from migraines. They are awful. I’ve had one for 3 days now. I can barely take care of myself let alone a child when I have a migraine. They didn’t make me get a dr. note, essentially giving me permission to get pregnant, in order to get the sperm I purchased sent to me. I am beyond angry.

I am angry because suffering from depression should not be treated any different than suffering from migraines. I don’t suffer from depression, but I can imagine that the assumption that you cannot or should not be pregnant and/or have children (or need someone else’s permission to do so) could be quite triggering for someone who does. It makes me want to lie in order to not have my wife treated differently. It also makes me want to call them up and demand they treat all illnesses the same.

For now I will focus on the positive and what a great big brother Nature Boy is going to be. He loves taking care of his babies and even the little neighbor he has been sharing his nanny with.

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It’s hilarious when baby drinks water

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Getting baby ready for a ride in the stroller

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Showing lamb how to play with the bouncey chair

* Nature Boy shall be M’s new blog name

* Utah is home to the highest rate of depression in the U.S.

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A new chapter

Today is the second day I haven’t pumped at work in well over a year. I have a lot of feelings about this. Some good, some not so good. I think overall it’s a signifier that my baby isn’t a baby anymore. He is growing up…much too quickly.

When our new nanny started a couple of weeks ago, M (I need to think of a blog name for him) would not take a bottle from her. He was down to just 3-4 oz before each of his naps before the nanny switch. We had her try a regular cup with lunch and  a straw cup and he just does not want milk unless it comes straight from the tap.

So, I gave it a few days to see if it was just a fluke. He wouldn’t take milk from J either when she stayed home with him. No reason to keep pumping then. First, I cut down to one pumping session a day. Then next week I did that one session later in the day.

Yesterday was my first day not pumping at all. I was super engorged when I got home and M wanted to nurse, but not for long. Poor kid has a cold, which makes nursing hard. I finally had to pump because it was getting painful. Boo, I hope today goes a little better.

For what it’s worth, I don’t think he will wean anytime soon. He still nurses all night long most nights and frequently during the day when I am home. He has a new habit which involves him sticking his hands in my shirt ALL the time. Seriously kid, they are attached, you don’t have to keep checking to make sure. Nursing a toddler is definitely different than a newborn, both with things to love and despise. One of his favorite places to nurse is in the bath. He gets so excited for bath time and tries to rip of his clothes and diaper and climb into the tub as fast as he can. And then he dive bombs for the milk.*

I remember when I thought it was weird to nurse a toddler, but now I can’t imagine anything different. I don’t ever want ever force him to wean. Right now I imagine he’ll self-wean between 2-3ish. The other day I was walking with J’s mom and mentioned that I could help breastfeed #2 if M is still nursing when we have #2. Her response was “I sure hope you aren’t” and told me a story about a kid who would come ask to nurse and was around 3 and how inappropriate it was. Sigh. I didn’t say anything, but I am really not looking forward to the judgements of nursing a toddler. I have a friend who has made similar comments. I wish someone could explain to me why other people get so emotional about how long another woman decides to breastfeed.

So here we are entering a new chapter. We now have a toddler who eats 3 meals and multiple snacks a day and doesn’t drink bottles of milk. He loves to drink water, wants to run faster than his toddler coordination will let him, is the sweetest thing ever, and as hard as it is to say goodbye to the pump (who would have thought) I am going to embrace my new freedom in wardrobe and time, and find something fun to do with him in those extra 10 minutes I have been spending won’t be spending every day getting pumping supplies and bottles of milk ready.

*We co-bathe, always have. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to give him a bath while not in the tub with him.

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Taking off on a jet plane

We went on our first real family vacation last month. We also went camping the month before, but I don’t really consider camping a vacation. We went to Portland to visit my sister. She moved the the PNW 6ish years ago and we had never made the trip up to visit, so it was much overdue. I was nervous to fly with a 13 month old, but he did A to the MAZING! On the flight there we has so intrigued by EVERYTHING on the plane. The air, the lights, the windows, the trays, he was entertained. It helped that it was a short flight. 11802752_10100390795903961_4979825274470897933_o

My phone got stolen the first night we were there, boo Portland! Other than that our trip was awesome. M rolled with it and did so great. He got short naps and went to bed late and was still a happy camper until the last day, when he got a little grumpy and tired.

We went to Oceanside and M got to see the ocean for the first time. He was pretty excited

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He loved playing in (and eating) the sand. OMG the kid ate soooo much sand. Toddlers are nothing but strange creatures. 🙂 The water was a little chilly, but he loved playing in the bit of water farther out, it was nice and warm and not deep. We  stayed in Tillamook and ate an an awful restaurant. Then we went on a lovely forest walk and went to Cannon Beach, which was lovely.

We finally got a taste of the Portland weather and hung out at the museum while it rained all day. This group of introverts was worn out after that. We went on another forest walk later. Then, on our last day there we went to the Gorge and saw lots of waterfalls, which was awesome. I was glad when M finally woke up and got to see ponytail falls, because he thought it was pretty neat.

Can’t wait for our next vacation over Labor Day!

And some pictures of the toddler’s first vacation adventure:

Oceanside

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Carrying a nursing/sleeping toddler across the beach is tough. We almost got caught when the tide came in, yikes!

Cannon Beach

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We had to make the obligatory stop for doughnuts

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This happened A LOT during the trip

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This place was the coolest, I wish we had restaurants like this here

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Hike that I don’t remember the name of. We basically went to the top of a mountain that overlooked the ocean

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He LOVES trees

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He did this a lot, looking up at the tall trees and signing “tree” over and over again.

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Being silly. M isn’t amused

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Hotels are fun places to drive trucks all over apparently

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M loves pizza

 

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10 things

Thanks to Little Rainbow Bug for tagging me for this fun little game. It’s always fun to learn more about the folks I read about all the time, aside from their pregnancy/parenting journeys.

  1. How old were you the first time you fell in love?

Well, obviously when I met my wife. So, I was 26.

I very first fell “in love” when I was 17. I had a boyfriend in highschool. I thought I loved him at the time and maybe I did as much as a 17 year old can, but it was a pretty awful relationship after the first 6 months. We’re still friends though.

   2.  Cats or dogs?

Dogs all the way. I’m not a cat person even a little bit. Sorry cat lovers. In the words of Amy Poehler, “great for her, not for me”

   3.   What is your favorite book or author?

Great question. I love books I don’t know if I could pick a favorite. I remember that I really loved Brave New World when I read it in high school. I’ve read so many great books. I used to read a lot of memoirs and such, but since I started my current job almost 3 years ago, I need a break from all the awful things in the world. So, now I usually prefer funny books. The last book I read was Yes Please and it was hilarious.

   4.   If you had the time to study anything in depth, what would it be?

Like for a career? I’d love to go back in time 5-10 years and become a midwife.

For fun? everything. I used to joke around about how I’d get 15 undergrad degrees because I love learning about new things all the time.

   5.  What is your favorite season and why?

Summer! I love wearing shorts and sandals and feeling the warm sun on my skin. And of course I love that we get to go camping, hiking, swimming, and all the other fun stuff that happens in the summer.

   6.  If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Well, after graduate school we intentionally moved back to our home state. We still wonder why sometimes. I think I’d really like living in Boulder, CO or northern California, but I thought that about Portland before we went there recently. I really like it here and I’m a creature of habit. I want to travel all over the world though, next stop Fiji? Maybe, my wife still owes me from our bet.

  7.  Have you ever traveled abroad from whatever your country of origin is?

Yes. I’ve been to England, South Africa and Mexico. Can’t wait for our next adventure!

  8.  Do you play a musical instrument?

I was learning to play the drums back in the day. My teacher said I was a natural and I could make a lot of money if I stuck with it. But I got married and went to grad school and had a baby instead. I need to sell my set, but it makes me kind of sad.

  9.  What is your favorite way to spend a weekend?

With my family. I love going on hikes or just playing at the park. It’s so fun to see M explore new places and discover new things and skills. It’s my favorite thing about the weekends.

 10. Are you a planner or a doer?

I’m definitely more of a planner most of the time, though since having M, I often forget to do the planning and things get a little more like flying by the seat of my pants. Which can be fun, but I really prefer plans most of the time.

I just finished pumping and have to run home for the nanny switch. OMG we have a new nanny and it’s like going back to work with a newborn all over again. Hold me please. I’ll come back with 10 new questions and hopefully 10 more people to tag.

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It’s started…

I have now called my child my dog’s name, and my dog my child’s name on multiple occasions.

But look how cute they are! He only wanted to fall asleep cuddling his puppy. One of the few times he hasn’t fallen asleep nursing.

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Lesson learned: whenever we have another baby, it will have to have a very different name so as not attempt not to call our kids the wrong name. Not that our son and our dog have similar names though, so this might not help. And don’t worry I didn’t leave him sleeping like that all night. He woke up about 5 minutes after I took the bottom picture and I put him back to sleep in his crib.

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Beep, beep, beep…we have a toddler

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Our baby is 1! And thus a toddler, or so I hear.

Sometimes I look at him, remember his tiny little sleepy body, and think wow he is huge! When did he get so huge?!?! Yesterday, every time I looked at him I thought he looked tiny. Maybe he is losing weight. 😉 He still has giant cheeks, that sometimes look like puppy jowls. Otherwise, he is getting slimmer and slimmer all the time. We have to snap his diapers tighter than we did a couple months ago. When we went on vacation and used disposable diapers, I thought his pants were going to fall right off his nonexistent bum.

He is always on the go, only stopping to snuggle or read books. He says news words more and more often. The most recent are tongue and owl. I call him my backwards baby. He didn’t crawl and still has trouble sitting and standing on his own, but he runs all over the place once he’s up. He doesn’t say mama, or milk, or no; instead his first words were twinkle, moon, and sun. The same with signs; he does sun, tree, diaper and more, but doesn’t do milk, eat or all done (ones we have used the most frequently). I love seeing him grow and change, it’s the most fun I’ve ever had.

His birthday party was great! Everyone had so much fun and he got sooooo many presents (naively unexpected). It was overwhelming. There sure are a lot of people who love this little guy. We did a Little Blue Truck theme, which ended up mostly just being farm animals. We threw in some suns and stars because he is OBSESSED! The bakery messed up on the cake 😦 but oh well, next year I’ll make the cake myself.

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Custom Little Blue Truck diaper cover

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Sprinkler!

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A present bomb exploded!

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Farmer baby

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Not sure about the cake

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Giving it a go

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He loved his new little blue truck and riding around with his cousins

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Doh, I forgot to put my water in the cooler!

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Here, you eat the cake

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Pushing around his new pirate ship

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We gave him his water table present on his birthday, the night before the party. Then ate vegan cupcakes, which were a much bigger hit than the cake at the party.

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Mother of the Year Moment

I’ve certainly had my “I feel like a terrible mother” moments over the last 12 month, but I had my first noteworthy MOTY moment this weekend.

We were out in our front yard and I was watering plants while J and M were playing. I felt something crawling on my arm and figured it was just some bug, maybe a ladybug, and kept watering. A few seconds later I look down to swat it away and see that it’s a wasp. AHHHH! I hate wasps, they terrify me. Like sprint at cheetah speed in the other direction kind of fear. It’s totally irrational. I experienced my first sting a few years ago, in the neck. I yelled an expletive and that was that. It is much worse in my head than in real life. 

So back to the story….I freak out and tell J in a terrified, but trying to stay calm voice, that there is a wasp on my arm. She says to spray it with the hose I’m holding. I take a few more seconds to get up the courage and then spray the little bugger.

It Doesn’t move.

Now the panic is starting to set in because I’ve surely pissed it off by spraying it. I start flailing my arms around while spraying the hose all over the place.

It disappears. Phew!!!

I carry on with my watering and playing with the fam.

A few minutes later M is walking along the cement path in front of our steps and starts screaming. He stepped on the wasp and it stung him.

I felt so awful. Here I am a grown person that can handle a wasp freaked out and drowned a wasp onto the ground and my sweet little baby stepped on it.

J hurried and put some baking soda on it and he made sure he didn’t have a bad reaction. He was walking on his foot again 10 minutes later, but I still felt awful.

Note to self, put shoes on the baby when you go outside.

And to make it even better. Our poor Xena got stung last night. You might remember this happened a while ago. This time it was much worse. I thought her eyes were going to swell shut. We were so worried that her airway was going to close so J rushed her to the emergency vet at 9:00 last night (when she got stung). This is her after she came back from the vet. She was looking better when we left for work this morning. Hopefully she is feeling better tonight, she was just miserable and pathetic all night.

Team Wasps: 3

Team Humans: 0

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DSC_0296And how cute is this guy? He started smiling for the camera recently.

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11 Months

Well our little guy just turned 1 on Friday, what?? We officially have a boddler (he still my baby, even if he is turning into a toddler 😉 )

DSC_0765Since he’s already 1 and this post is clearly a month late, I’ll just leave this photo here and do a birthday post promptly.

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