Monthly Archives: December 2009

2009: The Best Year Ever

Exactly one year ago today, as I slept somewhat fitfully, T came tearing out of the bathroom, fumbling for a light. In her hand she clutched a positive pregnancy stick, and tears welled in her eyes as she sought to accept that finally, yes finally, our dreams were coming true. It was possibly the best day of my life other than the one on which our son was born.

One year later, my wife is resting peacefully (at last) after a long, frustrating night trying to get our almost four-month-old to sleep. What a difference a year makes. How different we both are, and while some things remain frustratingly the same in our lives, having him here has made our lives so much more full and has challenged us in some profound ways, challenged us as individuals and as a couple. Our emerging family is painfully beautiful to me. Hard fought for and hard won, we exist because we willed it so, and even when hope seemed out of reach, we never gave up. A year that gave and then took away a marriage ten years in the making also gave us our son. I don’t know what that means except that despite the storm outside, we managed to have the best year of our almost twelve-year relationship.

We loved her pregnancy, those days spent dreaming, planning, and gestating. I watched in awe as she grew our son, watched the way she stroked her belly, already in love with the baby and the changes he would bring. I remember how much fun she had at milestone events like her brother’s wedding, not caring a bit that she couldn’t drink (and later on at another wedding, couldn’t dance). The showers, the clothes she kept growing out of, the necessary trips to the pool; everyday was a gift, and we treated it as such.

Then BG was born, and those dreamy days turned to shock as we realized that they actually let us bring him home. That one still floors me sometimes. Honestly, I knew T would be a fantastic mom. She’s always had this nurturing thing down: the voice, the touch, the patience. I, however, didn’t have the faintest idea what kind of mom I was going to be, but I hoped like hell I’d have some talent for it. I’ve spent the past four months attempting, through trial and error, to determine who I am as a mother. Oh, there are days I’m so confused or frustrated, but mostly I’m humbled by it all, at how hard it is, at how I never get tired of being this little baby’s Mamma. I’ve been so silent on this blog, Dear Readers, because I simply don’t know how to put words to this experience, this process of becoming something so important to someone so precious. I am so busy doing it, that I rarely reflect on what it has meant, but today seems a perfect opportunity for such reflection.

This year has been not only the best of my relationship with T, but the best of my life. It brought me my son, and in many ways, it brought me home to myself.

Happy New Year Everyone.



Filed under Uncategorized

post-holiday catch-up

Not blogging certainly does make coming back to it more daunting. I have so much that I could write about, and yet I I almost feel like I have nothing post-worthy. The only way to get over that, I suppose, is to post, post, post.

We had a lovely holiday here at home. It was our first as a family–the first even J and I have spent without the extended family. It was so relaxing, so free of pressure. We did have one visitor. My dad decided to pop in Christmas morning for a couple of hours to see Baby Genius. He came with gifts and got to hang out with BG for a good long time, have breakfast with us, etc. His wife died five or six years ago, and since then, he’s been a bit aimless. I’ve also discussed here that he and I spent a few years not speaking, but we reconnected just this past year, and this effort he has been making to come see us is nice. I don’t count on it, but it’s good to have him around again.

Baby Genius seemed to enjoy his first Christmas as much as any three and a half month old can. He learned to tear tissue paper, so he was able to open some gifts we gave him (books), and he thoroughly enjoyed the music and the fake yule log on the television. Despite our desires to keep him from watching TV, we couldn’t keep the boy’s eyes off of that fake burning log.

I continue to be dairy and soy free, but it seems to be making little difference for BG. When we took the trip to my parents’ house a couple of weeks ago, the diaper situation did improve some, and I thought that because I hadn’t had soy there, that it was soy that was doing it. This week, I also realized that I didn’t have the prenatals with me that I  usually take. These prenatals have a few different herbs in them, and I thought perhaps they were the culprit, so I stopped taking them a few days ago. Sure enough, we did see a big change. In fact, we have even had a few normal-ish diapers. On Christmas day, I did consume a little dairy, and I think that has set us back again. I really feel like I’m flying blind with this, but we may be getting somewhere. We’ll see how he’s doing in a few days’ time.

Our son has also decided that he no longer cares to sleep for longer than an hour or two at a time at night. I don’t think he likes his co-sleeper; unfortunately, that’s where he has to stay for now. We bought some flannel to make some bigger swaddle blankets for him in order to do some heavy-duty swaddling, but this doesn’t seem to be the issue. No, instead, the issue is that our baby boy likes to kick, and in the night, whether he has no coverage at all or he is in the firmest of swaddles, he will lift up his legs, kick them together straight up into the air, and then throw them back down onto the bed. He does this until he wakes himself up. Short of duct-taping him to his mattress, we’re not sure how to fix this one. By 5am, I usually just bring him into bed with us, and I snuggle with him so that he will sleep, but it would be nice to get some rest in the middle of the night too. I miss my baby who would wake just once in the night!

Daytime with Baby Genius has been getting more and more fun though. He loves to sit, so he insists that when we hold him, he gets to sit up. How does he insist? He lifts his head up and grabs onto things to try to pull himself up. The boy isn’t rolling over yet, but he’s determined to sit up on his own by his four-month birthday. Everything in due time, son. He also is at this point where he is grabbing everything, and everything must go into his mouth. If it will not go into his mouth, he gets incredibly frustrated. This happens often in his bouncy seat where various toys dangle. For the last few weeks, there has been a dangling turtle that he can easily reach, but it was coming within just an inch of so of his mouth, so he would yell at it repeatedly. This week, he has found a way to reach the turtle, which has brought increased satisfaction. The latest thing he’s trying to conquer is getting his toes into his mouth, which has resulted in a good deal of hilarity.

We’re so happy to have our little boy. Life isn’t always easy here at the house of Reproducing Genius, but we have a lot of joy; we simply couldn’t be happier to have our son here. Now if only the rest of life would fall into place for us. Sigh.


Filed under Baby Genius, holidays

happy holidays!

I have been trying to post for a few days now, but I suppose I’ve gotten caught up in the holidays. We had oour annual candle-making day on Sunday, and we’ve been doing a lot of baking. It has been a great week, and we have loved celebrating our first holiday season with our son.

We hope you all are celebrating with the people you love this holiday season.

Merry Christmas!


The Reproducing Genius Family


Filed under holidays


One year ago today, my wife and I were finishing up grades. We submitted them online, and we were free of the semester, free of any further duties related to the students we had over the fall. We were ready for our winter holiday. In our dining room, a tank from the sperm bank had been sitting for a few days, but I couldn’t think about it. The last month’s failed cycle had devastated me in a new way. I had turned off all hope and completely disconnected from the process. I kind of dreaded starting another cycle because I felt like we were flushing our money down the toilet. On the other hand, the semester was over, and I didn’t have to teach, and it was time to relax. At least there was that.

I don’t remember much of the day. We may have done some shopping; we might have simply lounged around the house. I do know that we had a little wine in the evening, and that my wife was eager to inseminate, and I was fairly ambivalent about it. I remember telling her that I didn’t want to yet because I didn’t feel like lying around in bed. And then, around nine, my wife said, “I think we need to do this, and I think we need to do it now.” So I polished off my wine, and she left hers on the table, and off we went. We used a speculum for the first time, and it was uncomfortable and pinchy. My wife saw my cervix immediately, placed the catheter right on the cervix, depressed the plunger on the syringe, and sent the genetic material on its way. This was the most no-nonsense, least intimate of our eleven attempts, but it was the one that worked.

I never imagined that evening that a year later, I would be typing a post one-handed while feeding my baby boy. It never occurred to me that this might just be the one, but here we are. I am so unbelievably grateful.

What a difference a year makes.

December 2008


December 2009

December 2009


Filed under Baby Genius, ttc


Our boy’s diaper issues continue. I have sworn off dairy in all its forms, and the problem continued; however, I had replaced said dairy with a good deal of soy. When at my parents’ house, I didn’t consume any soy products, and miraculously, our son started to have some normal diapers for the first time in what seems like eons. Once I came home and was back on the soy, however, the blood and off consistency came back.

BG’s doctor called yesterday to let us know that all of his tests came back normal. Blood is normal; stool is normal. He thinks I should keep up the nondairy diet, and once I told him about the soy matter, he agreed that I ought to cut that out too. We’ll see in a few days if this makes any difference. He won’t go back to the doctor until his four month checkup, and at that time, if we don’t see any improvement, the doctor is sending our Baby Genius to a pediatric gastroenterologist.

Honestly, I’m willing to eliminate whatever it takes, although I know that in some rare cases, even that doesn’t help. In all honesty, I never imagined that I would one day be so obsessed with the color and consistency of diaper substances. Normal poop is suddenly the holy grail, and I feel very much initiated into motherhood.


Filed under Baby Genius, health

home for the holidays

I can’t believe I have let nearly a week pass since writing again, but I do have good reason. We were out if town for our extended family Christmas celebration. Two years ago, plans were made for my parents, siblings, and us to go on a cruise for Christmas this year. At the time, we hoped that we would have a baby or be pregnant and wouldn’t be able to go. And of course, the universe finally granted us our wish for a Baby Genius, providing us with the best possible reason not to go (not that we would have minded a week in the Mexican Riviera, mind you, but we have the best alternative imaginable).

Anyway, the family wanted to celebrate with us, so we made the three hour trek to see them. It was a frenzied Christmas celebration filled with way too many gifts for Baby Genius and his eighteen-month-old cousin. Said cousin was hopped up on Christmas cookies and lack of sleep, so she would run up to BG exclaiming, “BABY!” and then proceed to give him something–cookies, toys, her sippy cup, big sloppy kisses. It was all very cute, but it was also overwhelming. Let’s just say I’m glad we have time to ease into toddlerhood. The rest of the celebration was quick, but just enough Christmas to make me feel as though we aren’t missing anything by staying home.

The greatest moment of the day came when my dear younger brother–one of my very favorite people in the whole wide world–stopped the gift opening to say, “I just wanted to say Merry Christmas, everybody, and we’re pregnant!” He and his wife had planned to start trying post-cruise. Needless to say, all the “trying” that was necessary was for her to give up birth control. It’s hard to believe that this would affect me at all, but there is still a part of me that feels bitter when people get pregnant so easily–even when it is one of my favorite people in the whole wide world, the person we would want to raise our son should something happen to us. It’s shocking to me how quickly that feeling comes back despite the fact that we’ve got our very own boy to squeeze.

That said, we are positively delighted at the thought that our son is going to have a cousin less than a year younger than he is and one just over a year older. Our dear cousin (one of our only family members to read here) is also having twins this year after a long journey that started when ours did. Our family’s next generation is in full bloom, and I am finding it incredibly awesome.  Next year’s Christmas will be filled with the wonder of babies and toddlers and happy, tired new parents. I love it.

So our familial obligations are complete for the year. We don’t have to go anywhere at all for months, and it’s such a relief. Now we get to settle in for our baby’s first Winter Solstice, his first Christmas, and his first New Year. We’re so looking forward to relaxing through it all.


Filed under family, holidays

3 months

Dear Baby Genius,

This weekend you turned three months old, and because we were so engrossed with you, your birthday went by without an email or a picture. In some ways, you are like a whole new baby now. You are emerging more and more by the day, and we’re so excited to be getting to know who lies behind those big blue eyes of yours.

This month, you found your giggle and your hands. Most of your giggles are still hard-won. You do enjoy your elephants above your changing table as well as the occasional tickle or tongue sticking out. Today Mama discovered that you also like bouncing, and yesterday, we all learned that you like funny high and low-pitched noises. You don’t laugh much for me yet, but I do get lots of smiles and encouragement from you when I try to make you laugh

You’re interacting with nearly everything and everyone around you now. You have new friends: Freddy, Phillipe, and Francois (the firefly, the squeak-faced frog, and the fish, respectively).

You enjoy hugging Freddy to you and manipulating his crinkly wings. You are in love with textures of all kinds, especially those of these cool taggy toys that someone made for you. You especially like skin, and you enjoy touching (and hitting) our faces as much as possible.

You are also starting to explore the world with  your mouth. If something feels cool to your hands, then it must be interesting to touch with your tongue as well, right? Well, most things you touch these days also get a healthy dose of your baby spit. When I wear you in the Moby or the Sleepy Wrap now, you inevitably cover the part near your face in spit. It’s pretty funny.

This month you did some more travelling and had your very first big family holiday. The travelling you handled very well, but the family to-dos you could have done without. You had two Thanksgivings! One was with your aunts and uncle and grandparents and cousin, where you were passed around to everyone and kissed endlessly by these people who adore you. Your second one was too much even for your moms. It was a big family reunion at your great-grandma’s  house where 22 grownups and two little kids (you included) packed into her tiny little two-bedroom house. When we showed up, and opened the door, seeing the big crowd of people made you cry. You weren’t ready for that, and we’re so sorry to have subjected you to it. You did get to spend some good time with your great-grandma–and you even giggled for her. That made her day. It certainly was a special moment for me to see the oldest and youngest members of my family bonding the way you two were. And you know what’s special? You have her lips–just as I do.

You seem to enjoy getting out more these days, so we’re taking full advantage of that. It’s so fun to take you places, whether it’s just on a walk or shopping or to a cool Goddess Craft Faire like we went to on your birthday. People everywhere admire how gorgeous you are, how lovely your big blue eyes are, and, oddly, how perfectly shaped your head is. You finally enjoy your stroller, but when we’re really out in public you definitely like me to wear you in the wrap. This way, you can look around and see all the cool  things up high.

You have had a few extra visits to the doctor this month. We think you might be allergic to something I eat, so for now I have given up dairy products. One day you will understand what a big deal this is for your cheese and yogurt-lovin’ mom. For you, my boy, I would do just about anything.

You’re growing so fast, baby boy. You already wear some six month clothes, and at your last doctor’s appointment, you weighed over fifteen pounds! You’re strong too. You love to sit up by holding onto our hands. When you do  this, you lift your own head and tighten your arms so that you can sit up and look around. It’s pretty remarkable.

Because you are so good at growing, you have also nearly outgrown your moses basket where you have slept for the past three months.

We thought you would sleep there until you were six months old or so, but we were wrong. Fortunately, we just got a new co-sleeper for you, which should fit until you’re ready to sleep in your own room and your own crib. Last night was your first night trying it out, and as you can see, you loved it.

At this moment, sweet boy, you are nursing and fighting sleep. Most evenings, you seem to know that the sun has gone down because you start fussing then. Your Mama will walk you and sing to you to get you to sleep, but some nights, you fight sleep so hard that we have to take turns for an hour or more to try to get you to  sleepanytime near your 7pm bedtime. We are hoping you outgrow this soon, but we will do what it takes to help you sleep as long as you need it.

Baby Genius, there is so much more to say. You continue to rock our worlds, and while it’s a little hard to see you growing up so fast, we can’t wait to see what your fourth month of life brings.

I love you, little crocodile.



Filed under Baby Genius, birthdays

more BG updates

So it’s settled. I’m going off dairy for at least two weeks starting tomorrow. We have no conclusive results of any tests, so we’re sending in more stool samples and taking Baby Genius for a complete blood panel. Count collecting stool samples among the other things I never expected to find myself doing. 

This time when we go for the blood draw, I am allowing my wife to go hide in the restroom while his blood is drawn so that she doesn’t have to hear him wailing. I’m not sure I’ll take it any better than she will, but I at least have the comfort of milk for him. If none of his tests are conclusive, and if he doesn’t respond to my nondairy diet, his doctor (who was particularly lispy with us yesterday) wants to send him to a pediatric gastroenterologist for some testing (read: probing). We’re really hoping I just have to lay off the cheese and ice cream and such for awhile and that it doesn’t come to that. Oh please don’t let it come to that–or worse, a visit to the Oakland children’s hospital. I really think that we’re just looking at an allergy though. I’ll do whatever it takes to keep this boy healthy. Just look at him. Who wouldn’t?


Filed under Baby Genius