Monthly Archives: June 2009
We’ve got a fun password protected post on its way, so let us know if you would like the password (or if you lost it). We’re happy to share with those in our community, so don’t be shy (even if you’re a lurker). Once you see the title of the post, you won’t be able to resist.
We’re still here. It’s a bit of a crazy week. We decided to take a whirlwind trip to my mom’s house to celebrate our niece turning one. It’s so hard to believe that she’s already a year old, and it’s making us realize just how quickly Egghead’s first year will likely go.
Part of the trip involved meeting up with my mom at I.kea. We needed to pick up a crib mattress because we just learned that two of our dear friends went in on a crib for us! Wow. During the shopping trip, my mom insisted on purchasing the mattress, and not just the cheap, this-will-be-fine mattress we had planned to purchase. No, she wanted to get the best they had to offer. My mom, in fact, has been extraordinarily generous. Today, she ordered the stroller we wanted, pictured here. It’s the City Mini (by Baby Jogger):
Honestly, we’re overwhelmed with the outpouring of generosity we’re experiencing. J and I work pretty hard to acquire our basic needs, and we have been working extra hard to acquire the basic needs to care for our son. Now, with all of the generous gifts we’re receiving, we’re almost completely ready for him. In fact, his room is starting to look more nursery and less office each day. Below are a few of the delightful items we have thus far:
This pile of items includes our first two major purchases: carseat and moses basket, and then in the box is a swing/infant seat which my brother and sister-in-law gifted us (yet to be assembled).
Here we have a changing pad, animals, and comfort items, many of which have been gifts. The white bear was given to us by a friend in our first year of TTC. The giant crocodile is something J and I simply couldn’t resist. The blue giraffe is something my mom couldn’t resist. We all had a hell of a time using our will power in I.kea.
And then there are some other special items. I started crocheting this blanket during my first trimester on J’s insistance. I was so worried that by doing so I would somehow jinx my pregnancy, but I just kept working on it, and last week, it was complete. On the right is a hat, which is the first of many I’m sure to make for this boy.
We also have managed to acquire a ton of used baby boy clothes. People who don’t even have kids–and some who are still trying–have been bringing us the used clothes of people they know. People we don’t know have been sending us clothes through mutual friends. It’s really remarkable, and there are so many cute items. We have literally opened our front door to find bags of clothes hanging on the doorknob from neighbors.
Honestly, sometimes I don’t know what we did to deserve such generosity, but we feel positively blessed that so many want to help us welcome our son into the world. This weekend we’re visiting our old hometown where the crib-buying friends are throwing us a shower. We have so many old friends attending, some of our mentors, former colleagues, people who were family to us for the years we lived in Humboldt. We’re both overwhelmed with excitement to see them and to be able to share this new chapter of our lives with them.
And so it seems, with just eleven weeks to go until our due date that somehow we’re going to have everything ready for this baby boy. Whether we will actually be ready is another question entirely, but baby gear he will have.
I just can’t wait to meet him.
During a lovely wake-up romp this morning, my wife laid on the pillow next to me with a funny look on her face. I was enjoying a bit of afterglow, but was eager to attend to her as well. Suddenly, she no longer seemed interested in her turn. “What’s wrong?” I asked.
“Nothing. Really. It’s nothing.” She replied.
I knew something was wrong, and I wasn’t letting this go. “Something just happened. Tell me what’s wrong,” I pleaded. I was getting worried.
With a funny frown on her face and a furrowed brow, she finally gave in. “The baby was kicking me in the forehead.”
Last year at this time, my wife and I were planning for our wedding at the county clerk’s office. We went to the market and had bouquets of miniature red roses made, and we pressed our clothes, preparing to be one of the first same-sex couples legally married in the state of California.
It was a glorious day, full of hope and inspiration. Our UU church was there handing out flowers and wedding favors, cheering us on as each newly married couple emerged. We were even featured on the front page of newspaper kissing following our exchange of vows (see above).
I will never forget that day–how it felt to be in that office with the press and all of the happy couples waiting to get their turn, how excited everyone around us was, how good it felt to be part of history and to be securing our commitment legally. We didn’t know what would happen down the road, but we knew that we were married, and we couldn’t imagine anyone taking that away from us.
Well, a year later, we’re still married. J and I are one couple of 18,000 who were married during the short time that California practiced marriage equality. Honestly though, I think both of us feel sad today more than celebratory. I know I feel a fair amount of guilt that we somehow got to keep our marriage just because we did it before November, guilt that so many now cannot take advantage of this privilege. It’s a bittersweet sort of day for us.
Still, I mustn’t overlook the fact that my wife–my love of over eleven years–is my legal spouse in California. Our son will have both of our names on his birth certificate from the very beginning, and for these things, we really are grateful.
Happy Anniversary, my love.
How did this happen? All of my little email updates are placing me in the third trimester now. The third trimester. As in the last trimester before the baby comes.
Throughout this pregnancy, I have been a mix of emotions. When I think about the fact that we are this far in, I sometimes get really excited. J and I muse about how eager we are to meet Egghead, how sometimes it feels like we just can’t wait any longer.
And then I see “third trimester” or “seven months” and this overwhelming panic sets in. September is just around the corner, and then we’re going to have this baby who is going to change our lives forever in more ways than we can imagine. Those moments of reality settling in are important. I don’t want to arrive at the hospital still in denial that this (a baby) could possibly happen to us, but I have a funny feeling that I’m going to be feeling this way for awhile yet.
Of course I’m not freaked like this all the time. These are just the moments of stark terror that seem to be normal amongst parents-to-be. They make me feel alive in a funny sort of way.
Since we’re now in the third trimester, we have all kinds of third trimester things going on.
- Our first baby shower is next week(!), and it turns out there will actually be real, live people in attendance (other than me, J, and the hosts).
- We have officially enrolled in a birth class that begins July 7 and continues through the end of August.
- We have scheduled a tour of the hospital.
- We will be tackling the nursery again soon, meaning we’ll sell our futon, move our desk (so that there’s an office area and a baby area), and generally prepare a space that our son–and all of the things that accompany him–can occupy when he arrives.
- We both feel (and see) Egghead move more than ever. J says that while she once found it soothing to have my belly pressed against her back with the baby kicking gently, she now finds that it keeps her from sleeping. His cute little kicks have morphed into these movements that are quite big and earnest these days, and I often sit and watch my belly take on whole new shapes as he does his crazy little workouts.
- I am getting huger (see evidence below).
After I made it through all of yesterday without a call from the doctor’s office, I felt that I might be in the clear with the glucose tolerance test. It turns out I am. At our appointment today, we learned that my levels were all perfectly normal and that I have nothing to worry about. I have never enjoyed normalcy more than during this pregnancy. It can truly be a beautiful thing.
Our appointment today was one of our best yet. We met a new midwife, and we’re sticking with her. It didn’t hurt that she and I were both wearing big moonstone pendants and were able to superficially bond over that right away. However, everything about her was just lovely. She was so grounded and pleasant. Her energy was calming. She was reassuring about so many things, and she was interested in getting to know us. She took her time, asking us questions about how we met, how we had gone through the process of getting pregnant, and so on. She even shared with us that she had contemplated using a sperm bank when she was single and thinking of having another baby. We got to tell her that we were hoping for a midwife-attended birth, and she thought that was wonderful. Really, it was a half hour of sheer pleasantness. The fact that it was half an hour may be the most shocking thing of all (we’ve been lucky to get ten minutes with the doctor before she rushes out the door).
It seems that everything looks good as well. Egghead’s heartbeat sounded great, and he kicked and kicked as she found it. The slightly scary moment came when the midwife measured my fundal height. I’m measuring at 29 weeks–two weeks ahead. J has been joking with me that he’s going to be a big baby, and the midwife confirmed that she thinks he’s a pretty big baby. However, she also reassured me that since my mom delivered large babies vaginally (I was nine pounds; my sister was ten) that my genetics are in my favor, and looking at me, she thought I looked like I was built to handle this.
Floating in the back of my mind now, though, is that we were told at our last appointment that my fibroids may cause me to measure large as well, so this could be a combination of Egghead and the fibroids. I’ll have to ask about that at the next appointment. She’s scheduled me for three weeks, and thereafter, I’ll come in every two for awhile. We’ll continue seeing her, and we’re so excited.
We also got information on some good local birth classes, and it looks like we’ll start one at the end of this month that will take us through the end of August. She had a great philosophy about birth classes suggesting that while the “brand name” classes are all great, they are each their own type of tool, and that she tends to recommend something a little more comprehensive to bulk up our birth toolboxes so that we’re not left with just a screwdriver when what we really need is a hammer. I always like a toolbox analogy.
J and I left the appointment talking about how much we really liked her, and we sincerely hope she will be able to attend our birth. The last little glitch that we have to find out about is whether the midwives at our practice attend specific patients’ births or whether we just get whomever is on call. Of course, we hope the case is the former.
I have finished the glucose tolerance test, and, as expected, it sucked. If any of you out there can avoid this thing, do so.
Of course, it wouldn’t be my life if there weren’t hoards of glitches related to my medical care. I arrived at the lab around 8am after fasting for twelve hours. The waiting room was not just packed but overflowing. I signed in, looked around for a seat, didn’t find one (and, big surprise, people don’t give pregnant women their seats these days), and thus took a seat on a bench in the atrium of the building outside the door where the other overflow patients were going.
I have to admit the atrium was far more appealing than the stuffy waiting room. It’s open and airy and filled with plants. As I sat there, I watched moms trying to keep their cute kids entertained while they waited. However, one mom came in with her own mom and her three kids–one who was around two, the other two who were twins and likely about 7-8 months old. She was taking her one-hour glucose screen and was visibly pregnant again–and really horrible in so many ways (she was one of those people who has a loud pop song for her ring tone and whose phone rings literally every thirty seconds). It’s strange how the frustrations of TTC can stick with a person even when she is pregnant, but they do, and I found myself infuriated with this woman (who was threatening to “whoop” her two-year-old for not standing still) for being so damn fertile and not seeming to be grateful for what she had. I hate feeling that, but I did, and it seemed no matter where I was for the hour she was there, she and flagrant fertility were right next to me.
After waiting far too long without being called in, I went back into the waiting room to see if I could make any progress, especially considering I was going to be there another three hours AND because the aforementioned trashy woman got her orange drink as soon as she showed up. They wanted me to sit down again, but I told the nice women at the desk that I would be there for three hours and that I wondered if I could just make sure they had my paperwork so that maybe possibly perhaps we could get me started. Lo and behold, my ever-so-efficient doctor’s office had not faxed over the order. I was standing there for seemingly no reason. I don’t think I need to mention here just how unsurprised I was considering the administrative issues that have been at work with this place since day one. Calling the doctor’s office didn’t help; they weren’t open until 9am, so I asked what I should do–if I should come back another day, wait around, etc. My patience had worn very thin, and I was starting to tear up. I was mad and frustrated and embarrassed. Luckily these women took pity on me and started me up without the order. Now I could add incredibly grateful to my long list of emotions.
Now, the drink for the screening wasn’t too horrid. It wasn’t anything I would normally drink, but it was tolerable and just sweet and reminded me of koolaid or flat orange soda. This one, on the other hadn, contained significantly more glucose and was like chilled orange syrup. I had my fasting blood drawn, and then I had to sit where I was and drink the stuff quickly. It was awful, and I couldn’t choke it down fast enough.
After another four phone calls to my doctor’s office, I finally got the medical records person on the line. She tried to tell me I would have to wait, but when I told her the test had already begun, that they were demanding the paperwork, and that it was supposed to have been faxed three days ago, she finally yelled, “Fine! I’ll do it!” and hung up on me. At least it was done and I wasn’t going to have to leave and drink the syrup again.
I did get lucky in one department: The phlebotomist who took my blood today was quite nice. She easily found my vein, and she was very gentle. As a result, we were able to use the vein all four times, and I didn’t so much as wince until the fourth draw. I think the second hour was probably the worst. I was terribly thirsty, and they wouldn’t let me drink so much as a sip of water. I was also getting very hungry and was lightheaded as a result. While I had finally gotten a seat in the waiting room, it was packed, and people in packed rooms tend to smell bad. It wasn’t pretty, and there were a few moments when I wasn’t sure I could take it anymore.
There were a few saving graces: I did bring a good book. It’s one that J just finished reading: The Last Lectureby Randy Pausch. It is written by a professor who knows he will be dead of pancreatic cancer within just a few months, and it’s about his “Last Lecture” but also the legacy of life lessons he hopes to leave for his children. It is beautiful and funny and inspiring, and it made me put the day into perspective. I also came equipped with music, which I did listen to for awhile, not to mention I had a particularly active Egghead to keep me company.
Once I was finished, and the phlebotomist had wished me a “good lunch,” I had a snack, and made the half-hour drive home. My wife took me out for Mexican food as soon as I arrived, and promptly brought me home and laid me down for a nap with Cleo the cat. And that, my friends, was my glucose torture test. Now I wait to see how I did.
I have never been a good test-taker, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I wouldn’t do well with medical tests either. I had my one-hour glucose screen on Thursday. I got to drink the orange nastiness. I also had the choice of fruit punch–why all the kids’ soft drink flavors? Why couldn’t I have chosen between margarita and mojito? The waiting for an hour wasn’t so bad (my wife accompanied me and entertained me), but getting stuck was not so fun. This lab my doctor uses has the meanest phlebotomists I’ve ever met, and they’re terrible at finding my veins. I’m still bruised from this thing.
Well, Friday came along, and the phone rang, and the advice nurse from my doctor’s office informed me that my levels were “a little higher than they like to see.” Their cut-off is 130, and mine was at 153. I failed. Now I have the distinct privilege of returning for the three-hour test on Monday morning. I have relieved my lovely wife of accompanying me, and I’m trying to find a really good book to read to keep me from dying of boredom and annoyance. I’m not looking forward to these people sticking me with needles three more times in one day. I’m not looking forward to any of it.
I hope it’s all clear. I hope that it’s another needless worry, just another hurdle to clear. Please let that be it.
Several of the books we’re reading and websites we frequent tell us we are kissing our second trimester goodbye this week; T just hit 26 weeks, which means it’s been ten weeks since last I posted. Time for another recap.
Honestly, I’m in a bit of denial about heading into the third trimester. T’s second trimester has been pretty blissful for us. We’ve gotten to enjoy lots of quality time together nesting, shopping, and talking about our hopes, our dreams, our plans for our family. We walk, talk, go to farmer’s market, sit in the baby’s room and touch his clothes (is this weird?). Initially I felt very guilty for being out of work while T was pregnant. I did look for a job for the first three months, but I didn’t get a single bite. However, since I’m still bringing in money through the online scoring gig and my occassional unemployment benefits, and considering I do the majority of the house chores, we’ve found that it has worked out just right for us. I get to be at home tending to my wife, and we’re not living in a van down by the river, so for that I’m grateful. Obviously this will not do once the baby is here. I’ll need to go back to work, even if I’m not offered classes for the fall, but for the mean time, I can’t tell you how happy I’ve been to dote on my wife and prepare for the baby.
T has slowed down quite a bit. She tried to push it a few times while out hiking and paid dearly for it. We still walk, but shorter distances and not as fast. We go to the pool from time to time, and when necessary, I suggest ways we can get out of the house and enjoy the warmer weather. She’s been amenable to all of my suggestions and has a positive attitude about most things. I say most things because there is one thing T does not like; she doesn’t like me drinking. Even though I’ve given up my wilder ways, she still can’t stand when I have more than two beers/glasses of wine. I rarely do it, mind you, but on those rare occasions when I do, the shit hits the fan. Other than those very rare blow ups, we’ve been getting on great. We’re both excited about all the new developments with her pregnancy and look forward to each new discovery.
The highlights for me have been feeling the baby kick and watching my wife transform into a living embodiment of the mother goddess. Seriously. She’s the most beautiful person on the face of the earth, and I’m a lucky lady. I try to show her this by rubbing her feet or painting her toenails, rubbing lotion on her belly, picking her flowers or making her special foods that she likes (right now it’s iced coffee–decaf, of course). I don’t say this to glorify myself but to tell you that it’s really all I can do as the non-pregnant person. I can’t grow this baby, but I can honor my wife for the difficult work of gestating him for both of us. She is doing what I cannot, and because of this, we get to have a baby in three months. Thank you, T!
Weird thing: she smells different. I know her scent; I love her scent, especially first thing in the morning, but now she either smells like vitamins, smells like this awful sandalwood lotion she bought (but has since stopped wearing), or doesn’t smell at all. I find myself burying my nose in her neck, her bosom, her hair, anywhere just to get a whiff of my wife. Still no luck. This pregnancy has changed a lot about her physically, but the one thing I really don’t like is how it changed her smell.
I have changed a lot myself. As I said above, I gave up my wilder ways, including smoking, excessive drinking, and smoking weed, which was something I had always considered pretty harmless in the grand scheme of things. However, I just wasn’t comfortable doing it anymore, so I went into the woods and “donated” a large cannister of marijuana. Don’t know if it went to a good home, but I hope so. I’ve also let go of a lot of baggage I was holding onto from my own childhood. There’s a lot of growing to be done in pregnancy, even when you’re not the pregnant one. It’s been so good for both of us. I’m more present, less prone to outbursts or moping, and we’re more connected than ever, which is so vital right now.
We have a lot to look forward to: an old friend is coming to visit next week with her 18 month old; our girlfriend baby blessing in Humboldt is in a few weeks; our best friend is getting married in July; there’s a family campout sometime over the summer; another shower in August, and then we’re hunkering down for the last month. I don’t know what the third trimester will bring, but if we welcome it with the awe and respect we did the first six months of this pregnancy, then I can predict lots of growth, more wonderful togetherness, and maybe one or two fights about my third glass of wine. Joy. Whatever comes, I hope we remain happy, healthy, and somehow manage to prepare ourselves for the adventure of our lifetimes.
Thanks for reading.