are you my moms?

the musings of yet another lesbian couple on the journey of mother(s)hood

Monkey’s 1st Photo Shoot December 27, 2011

Filed under: Pregnancy — areyoumymoms @ 7:30 pm
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Sorry to have been quiet for a spell.  I’ve truly been too tired to type.

Today we had our 8-week ultrasound.  I didn’t fully realize just how nervous I was about the appointment until my eyes refused to close last night.  I had been anxiously anticipating the day when we’d see the first picture of our little monkey.  I know early ultrasounds just look like blurry crustaceans.  But still, that’d be our blurry little shrimp on the screen – a shrimp only its moms could love.  And then sometime last night it dawned on me that today’s scan could show something not-so-good.  When the guru called a month ago with my updated hcg numbers, she said that the first ultrasound was intended to confirm that the little monkey has taken root in the uterus and not the tubes, to check for multiples (gulp) and to ensure there was a heartbeat.  What I heard: you’re super-dooper pregnant, and the first ultrasound will be the little monkey’s on-camera debut!  It was around 8:00 last night that I started considering the other outcomes: we could find out about an ectopic pregnancy, see that I’m carrying a litter (twins would’ve been fine, but there were 3 follicles, after all!), or see a great little embryo whose heart wasn’t beating.

We went back to doc for the first time in 6 weeks.  Strange, how I haven’t gone more than 2 weeks without a butter-churn exam since August, and now more than ever, we were dying to see what it looked like in there.  My uterus was starting to feel awfully neglected.  I weighed in, got my blood pressure taken (after announcing to anyone who would listen that I was very nervous so they wouldn’t judge the number), and then got ready for the most important butter churn yet.  Doc gave a careful warning: “I’m going to look around for a while and I won’t say anything.  Don’t misinterpret that.”  Uh…k.  I’ll do my best.  I took a few deep breaths and tried to just keep my eyes closed.  Doc, the guru, and MKL all stared at the screen in silence.  Complete silence.  Total f$%king silence.  It was like I had entered my elementary school library for what seemed like 2 days.  In real-time, she spent about 5-10 minutes churning, and then started printing pictures and speaking in code to the guru.  I finally looked up to see MKL’s eyes glistening with tears and she gave me a thumbs up.  (I realize she considers herself an amateur gynecologist, but I was still not entirely put at ease.)

Finally, doc spoke.  She turned the screen around and said, “OK – there is your single pregnancy.”  She pointed to the inner sac, the outer sac, and showed us an eye and the heartbeat.  I still just saw a shrimp, but I didn’t care.  Doc said that our little monkey looked great, and congratulated us.  She pointed out another little spot on the screen that she called a sub-chorionic separation.  At first she thought it was a second sac…apparently the guru and the amateur gyno thought so, too.  Nope – the monkey’s all by itself.  The sub-chorionic separation is just a small tear in the uterus that should heal itself.  Nothing to be too worried about, but just something to keep an eye on.  It’s also something that will keep me out of the gym for the next 4 weeks.  Oh well.  If doc told me to spend the next 4 weeks suspended from the ceiling by my toes, I’d do just that.

Then our normally stoic doc melted into a human right before our eyes.  Her poker face relaxed into a beautiful, broad smile.  I didn’t even know she had teeth!  She congratulated us again and remarked that with AMH as low as mine, we’d overcome some serious obstacles to get to this point.  She even said that our case would give her reason to be optimistic when another patient presented with wonky hormones like mine.  (She might not have said “wonky.”)  And then she hugged us and sent us forth with her blessings, our medical records, and instructions to see my regular ob-gyn in the next 2 weeks for another ultrasound.  We then went to the window to pay one last time, and the guru hugged us and told us to keep her posted.  I cried all the way home.  Happy tears, and tears of gratitude for doc and the guru – two of the most important people we’ll ever meet.

So without any further ado, I am pleased to introduce you to our little monkey.  I think it looks like MKL.  Don’t you?  A little around the eye, at least?

thankfully doc got the monkey's good side...I think

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My Life is a Contradiction December 13, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — areyoumymoms @ 8:36 pm

I’m ravenously hungry, but sick to my stomach at the mere mention of food.  Am going to buy stock in Saltines.

I’m exhausted, but can’t sleep more than 30 minutes at a time.  Could’ve napped during a sales presentation today and caught up on two hours of sleep.  But I felt that might be a little inappropriate.

I’m overjoyed at being pregnant, and trying to savor every minute.  Also anxiously awaiting the day when the first trimester symptoms go away.

I’m filled to the brim with love for MKL, and snapping at her at every turn.  Awesome.

So for now I’ll just repeat my new mantra: We wanted this to happen.  We wanted this to happen.  We wanted this to happen.  We wanted this to happen.  We wanted this to happen.  We wanted this to happen.  We wanted this to happen.  We wanted this to happen.  We wanted this to happen.  We wanted this to happen.  We wanted this to happen.  We wanted this to happen.  We wanted this to happen.  We wanted this to happen.  We wanted this to happen.  We wanted this to happen.  We wanted this to happen.

…and we still do.

 

The Princess and the Pea December 12, 2011

Filed under: Pregnancy — areyoumymoms @ 5:58 pm
Tags: ,

I know it has been a while since I last posted, but there hasn’t been too much to say.  I’ve read that right now our little monkey is the size of a sweet pea.  How is it possible that something so small could disrupt my body with such force?  Most days I’m exhausted from the time I get up to the time I go to bed, nauseous for about 4 hours of the day (contrary to the popular term, that nausea is not confined to the morning!), and my mood swings violently from bliss to blues like the pirate ride at Six Flags.  On other days I feel fantastic – full of energy and wondering if I’m even pregnant at all.

The past 36 hours have been the roughest so far.  Yesterday MKL and I got out early in the morning to do some Christmas shopping.  It was truly an out-of-body experience.  I have no idea what we bought, what we passed up, or how we got to or from the store.  What I do remember is that I had to work really hard to keep from crying the whole time.  No matter how good my nonfat, decaf gingerbread latte tasted, regardless of how much fun it is to find gifts for family and friends, and despite MKL’s best efforts to keep the atmosphere light and festive, I just wanted to crawl in bed and weep.  After shopping, I was planning to go to yoga and brunch with friends.  That plan was quickly derailed the minute we pulled into the driveway and I could tell the dam wasn’t going to hold any longer.  Before we could even get our bags out of the car, tears were streaming down my face.  Streaming tears gave way to sobs – gut-wrenching sobs – that didn’t stop for an hour.  Realizing the possibility that hearing “exhale…and chaturanga up” or “how do you want your eggs?” could make me inexplicably weep like a child, I bowed out of yoga and brunch and went to bed to cry some more, feeling like a total choad for being that girl.

MKL was adorable, as always.  She kept chanting, “yep – that sounds great!” and “sure, baby – whatever you want.”  She could teach a class in going along with your pregnant wife.  After a little lunch, we went for a nice long walk.  Even though I get strangely out of breath just going up the slightest hill these days, the walk seemed to do some good and the day picked up a bit.  I thought I was out of the woods, at least for a few days.  Ha.  HAHAHA!!  I got about an hour of sleep after we went to bed, and then spent the rest of the night helping my body rid itself of everything I’ve eaten since June.  Yuck.

Having said all of this, I’ve never been happier to be sick in my life!  It’s not the flu.  It’s not something I ate.  It’s that sweet little pea, poking at me, just like in the fairy tale.  Pretty soon we’ll see doc again, an appointment that I view as our opportunity both to see the monkey’s first picture and appear before the progesterone parole board.  With any luck I’ll be able to stop taking the supplements and the symptoms will start to diminish a little.  In the meantime, I’ll just continue to try to sleep while that tiny sweet pea pokes at me through a  stack of mattresses.

 

Going Public December 4, 2011

Filed under: Pregnancy — areyoumymoms @ 7:57 pm
Tags: , , ,

Well, the cat’s officially out of the bag.  As difficult as it was to keep ttc a secret, it’s virtually impossible not to blab to everyone around us that we’re pregnant.  Last night we went to my company’s holiday party and it seemed like all of a sudden everyone knew.  It feels so premature for this to be so public, but it’s too late now.  I can keep bad news a secret indefinitely but when something this good is going on in our lives, it’s hard not to share it with people we love (and apparently the blogosphere).  Truth be told, I’d put up a billboard if we could afford it.  It feels so gratifying to hear words of congratulations instead of condolence that at this point we couldn’t really care less who knows.

With a growing number of people “in the know,” come endless words of advice and pregnancy anecdotes.  I love the advice from those who have had kids.  Since announcing our bfp, I’ve learned of a few remedies for nausea, and had several ladies tell me just how much sleep to get.  I learned that it’s going to be awhile before the breast tenderness will go away, and got advice about everything from what to keep in the car to entertain a toddler, to the best kind of cloth diapers to use (the jury’s still out on how “green” we’ll be when it comes to diapers!).  I’ve even heard a rumor that the years I’ve dedicated to building my diaphragm strength to support my singing voice will come in handy when it comes time to push.  And then last night I talked with a co-worker who had spent a little time at the open bar.  Through wine-stained teeth, she told me about her friend who invested $28,000 in ivf.  She got pregnant, a state that lasted exactly 4 days before her hcg levels started to drop, and she found herself once again with an empty womb.  Awesome.  What a great story to tell a woman who is about 20 minutes pregnant.  She meant no harm by passing on this tale, and I love her no less for it – she’s an adorable mother of 3 who was just relaying the only personal knowledge she has of any kind of assisted reproduction.  All the same, I peed on a stick the minute we got home.  Still preggers…phew!

And of course there’s the standard round of questions, all of which I’m happy to answer every time.  The most popular:

  • “Do you know how far along you are?”  Such a cute question from women who conceived naturally with their husbands and had to wait until a few days or a week after they missed their period to realize they were potentially expecting.  Uh, yeah.  We know how far along I am…our entire existence for the past 4 months has centered around this process, so we’re pretty well in tune with my body’s calendar.  For the record, today begins my 5th week.  I love that the 40 weeks of gestation begin on day 1 of the cycle you conceive.  It’s like two free weeks of pregnancy!
  • “How do you feel?”  I assume most people are asking about my physical state of being, so I’ll address that first.  Overall, I feel about the same as I have for the past few months during progesterone treatments, which stands to reason, since that’s the hormone that causes pregnancy symptoms.  This time around though, the symptoms are heightened, since I now have both natural and synthetic progesterone in me.  I’m more tired, more nauseous, and my normally nothing-to-write-home-about breasts are swelling at a seemingly hourly rate.  My sense of smell is also crazy right now.  If someone is smoking a cigarette within a 2-mile radius, I can tell.  And it makes my stomach churn, even despite years of being a smoker.

The physical signs of pregnancy are definitely here, and I’m fully aware of what’s going on in my body.  In the meantime, what has amazed me most is how I feel emotionally.  I had a brief crying spell yesterday that I couldn’t control, but other than that – knock on wood – I’ve felt pretty good.  Of course I’m concerned about the health of the little monkey, and won’t really rest safely until we’ve heard a heartbeat and doc tells us that everything is fine.  But I seem to be in a rare state of optimistic zen about the whole thing.  [My mind and mood are subject to change without notice…I do know that the stress will continue to build over the next 9 months.]  My mind wanders constantly to topics like how to convert our spare room (aka MKL’s office/my vocal teaching studio) into a nursery and forecasting how big my belly will be at different milestones in the spring and summer.  And I think constantly about how this is impacting MKL.

Each time I think I can’t love my wife more than I do, I am proven wrong.  Since Tuesday afternoon I’ve watched her read the pregnancy books that have been on our shelf since May and make mental list after list of projects she wants to complete to get our house baby-ready – she’s constantly nesting.  She has always been very protective of me, but I’ve seen this trait explode in the past 6 days, as she keeps me away from anything that could potentially harm me or our little monkey – right down to soft, bacteria-laden cheeses and second-hand smoke.  While we were still in the planning phase of this journey (pre-iui), MKL once said that she felt a little detached from the process.  At the time it hurt a little to hear that, but I totally understand why.  The world knows how to treat an expectant father; most people are far less experienced in talking to the expectant non-biological lesbian mother.  And this is why I love our merry band of supporters.  At the party last night, I saw her face light up more than once when friends greeted her with hugs of congratulations and called her “mama.”  A few jokingly referred to her as “dad,” making us laugh but also prompting a dialogue about parental nomenclature.  Every now and again, I look over at her and she smiles a twinkly, nervous smile, telling me she has just remembered I’m knocked up, and that her stomach has flipped again as a result.

Tomorrow I have another round of bloodwork to check my hcg level.  If everything looks good, then I’m settled until my ultrasound in a few weeks.  So for now we’re just taking one day at a time, one hurdle at a time.  We’re nesting, reading, laughing, listening, and marveling at the life now growing in me.

 

 
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