are you my moms?

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

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ June 26, 2012

Filed under: 3rd Trimester,Uncategorized — areyoumymoms @ 3:36 pm
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So as it turns out, sleep is really important.  I’ve always been a good sleeper.  My mother has said that I slept through the night early, and while I’ve always been late to go to bed, I’ve also been prone to sleeping in when the schedule allows.  Always, that is, until my sweet little passenger came aboard last November.

At first it was just a general annoyance.  I’d sleep for a few hours and then lay awake the rest of the night, mostly worrying about making it safely through the first trimester.  Then as the baby got bigger, I’d get up to use the bathroom every 2-3 hours, and have a hard time falling back to sleep once I got back in bed.  Now it’s a matter of position.  Nothing is comfortable.  Lying down yields indigestion; sitting up makes my back hurt; and standing results in feet that resemble kayak-sized marshmallows.  And I fear that my body has gotten accustomed to functioning without more than two or three hours of sleep each night, so maybe now it’s just routine.

Don’t get me wrong – I’d still rather deal with all the discomforts of pregnancy – including sleep deprivation – than not be pregnant at all.  As MKL puts it, “it will all be worth it in the end.”  As usual, she’s so sweet.  Every time I sigh heavily, trying to find a position that will work, she kisses me on the forehead and thanks me for going through this so we can have a child.  And for a few seconds, I can picture what our lives will be like in six short weeks.  Then my sweet monkey kicks me in the ribs and makes me switch positions.  Back to mild misery.

A friend of ours who is also pregnant, and a few weeks ahead of us, recently said that she thought she’d never sleep again.  I’m starting to fear that she’s right.  I miss sleeping.  Really.  I love being tired and having heavy eyelids that will undoubtedly slam shut the minute my head hits the pillow.  I love that feeling I get when I wake up all rested and ready to face the day.  I love to snuggle up in bed with MKL on a rainy weekend afternoon and let the sound of the raindrops lull us into a nap.  Recreational sleep is one of my favorite pastimes.  And I miss it so. 

These days as it gets dark outside, I start to get depressed.  I dread the nighttime.  I know that I’ll most likely spend the first hour in bed propped up on pillows, trying to meditate myself into slumber.  It works for about an hour, sometimes even two, if I’m lucky.  Then I’ll have to get up and use the bathroom.  Then I’ll try to lay on my side, sleeping for a few minutes before everything I’ve eaten during the day seems to settle in my throat.  Another trip to the bathroom later, and I’ll try the other side, working hard not to glance at the clock.  Except that I do see the clock and realize the alarm will go off in three hours.  Then the dog barks, desperate to take her place at the foot of our bed, or curious about the sound she thinks she might’ve heard in the back yard (btw, this usually amounts to a bird sneezing a few blocks over, not the dangerous intruder she has signaled).  Sometime between 4:00-6:00AM, I usually take a few laps around the house to try to calm the pains in my lower back and hips.  Then I’m back in the bed for one more propped-up-cat-nap before the alarm goes off and Matt Lauer reminds me that it’s morning.  Damn that Matt Lauer.  And here’s the worst part of it all: my best sleep comes around 7:30AM – just when I should be getting out of bed and starting my day.  I could sleep from 7:30-11:00 if my schedule allowed it.  But apparently no one told my body that this just isn’t feasible.

In case you’re wondering, the baby’s awake through most of this, too…kicking, rolling, punching…as if to let me know that if I can’t sleep no one’s going to.  This makes me worry that the baby won’t be a good sleeper, or will only sleep from 7:30-11:00 every morning.  I know that’s not really the case, but one of the side effects of sleep deprivation is that one’s thoughts lean toward the irrational (like the night I convinced myself the indigestion was some type of heart episode, or the time I thought MKL’s breathing/light snoring pattern had taken on the unmistakable drum part from Queen’s We Will Rock You).  I’m sure that when our little one arrives, he or she will eventually get into a great sleeping routine and I’ll stand at the nursery door, marveling at his or her ability to conk right out whenever the body says to.  I also think “pregnant brain” is not just hormonal, but also a result of pregnant ladies’ lack of sleep.  Sometimes I can barely remember driving home from the office.  Safe, I know.

Everyone says, “It’s just your body helping you to practice for middle-of-the-night feedings!”  Or, “You think you’re tired now, wait ’til the baby comes!”  And I know they’re right.  But all the same, I’d like to tank up on some sleep now so that when the baby comes I’m awake enough to say hello.  So here’s my prayer for the day: Mr Sandman, tonight, please let me sleep…like a baby.

 

Showered June 23, 2012

Filed under: 3rd Trimester,Pregnancy — areyoumymoms @ 9:59 pm
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It has been an emotional day.  Today my mother and our bff threw us one hell of a party, and our family (biological and chosen) simply showered us.  We’ll never know how to thank the hostesses or the guests.  I am writing this in part to give them as much public love as possible, and in part to hopefully stop myself from crying.

We had asked to have a party – not a traditional baby shower.  No silly shower games, no passing the gifts around, and to have it include all our friends and family of both genders.  What we pictured was a simple brunch at a fabulous local restaurant – mimosas and bloody marys (and a special mocktail for me!), great food, great company.  What my mom and our lucky baby’s godmother gave us was so, so much more.  A room of nearly 50 people gathered to wish us well.  Along with all our local friends and family, MKL’s mother and a close family friend drove up from Florida in an amazing showing of love and support; my cousin and her husband packed up their still-tiny twins and made the 40 minute drive into the city, along with her mother who came in from Florida for the occasion; the minister who married us and his partner came in from an hour outside the city…all for us and our sweet little monkey.  Our all-too-generous florist friend packed the room with gorgeous flowers in the colors of our nursery, along with blocks and stuffed animals as centerpieces.  Guests were asked to add their stamp to a canvas in the colors of our nursery, creating a unique and truly special piece of custom artwork for the room.

Yes, we got great loot.  These folks really know how to buy some presents, and we’re beyond grateful for their efforts to fill our nursery.  What they probably don’t know is how much their presence really meant, and how much it did to fill our hearts.  The room overflowed with laughter and love, and it was written on everyone’s faces.  I kept telling people how overcome I was, and I really meant it.  I’m rarely at a loss for words, but as I saw each person at the party, I realized how much we relied on their prayers and support during the conception process, and how excited I am to have them as part of our child’s life.  All I could say was a ton of “thank yous” and “I love yous.”

Pregnancy hormones are raging, as usual.  I cry a lot these days.  But I’m pretty sure that even if there were no baby in my womb right now, I’d have had a really hard time keeping my eyes dry.  Everyone should experience what we got today.  I wish everyone the opportunity to have their family (biological and chosen) show them how much they are loved.  And I can promise that I will do my best to return their love at every turn from this moment on.

 

A Tribute to My Wife June 15, 2012

Filed under: 3rd Trimester — areyoumymoms @ 4:45 pm
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Warning: very sappy post to follow. I’m just in that kind of a mood, folks.

My wife is amazing. Beyond amazing. She’s seriously the best woman I know, and I’m infinitely lucky that she chose me. Sure, we bicker from time to time, just like any other married couple. But ultimately we are quick to resolve our issues and usually end arguments with laughter and affection. This pregnancy has taught me a lot of life lessons. It has also revealed a laundry list of reasons why I’m grateful to be with MKL.

I’ve always known – since our first date, really – that I wanted to have a baby with this woman. She is tender, sweet, and funny. And she knows everything I don’t. We’re a perfectly matched pair that way, and have a wealth of “stuff” to teach our child. She will teach our kid to garden while I teach it to bake. She will teach guitar and expose the kid to the blues while I teach piano and expose the kid to opera. She will teach football, I will teach basketball. For those in this world who think a child needs a male and female parent, think again. All a child needs is love, and ours will be fortunate enough to get it from two very well-rounded moms.

With Father’s Day approaching, I am usually forced to take a moment and face the estrangement from my own father. This year, though, my thoughts have drifted toward how our family will celebrate Father’s Day once the monkey is old enough to know that there is no male parent in our house. Will our child wish for a father on these days like I often have? Will he/she celebrate MKL’s father and all of the guncles that surround him/her with love? Or will we separate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day into one day for MKL and another day for me?

This concept has floated around in my mind even more over the last few days as I see MKL take on the traditional “daddy duties” in preparing our house for baby. She has been hard at work on the nursery for weeks – putting the crib together (I merely read the instructions and handed her the hardware when prompted); painting the baseboards (I can barely get back up off the floor once I’m down); re-finishing the reclaimed furniture (with a little help from me and our bff); and installing the new closet shelving entirely on her own. Don’t get me wrong – I helped a little with the painting of the room and the closet, and I put together an ottoman. But the lion’s share of the work has been done by MKL. She maintains a list of things to do around the house to get us ready (check smoke alarms, buy fire extinguisher, expose dog to baby sounds/smells, etc.). This brings me to a previously unforeseen benefit of raising this baby with her. She understands the biology behind everything I’m going through during this pregnancy roller coaster, but she is handy and down-to-nursery-prep-business like most new daddies I know. It’s by far the best of both worlds and I actually feel sorry for pregnant ladies who don’t have this advantage. I have reveled in watching her get our room ready, just like she lights up watching my belly grow. Not only is it completely adorable to see her this excited about it, but it’s also so comforting and comes from such a loving place that sometimes it overwhelms me a bit. Just when I thought I couldn’t love her more, she arranged the gifts from our first shower in an adorable display in the crib, just until we figure out what to do with them all!

Last night our bff dropped off a few early baby gifts (that lady is the coolest, and will undoubtedly be the best godmother ever!). One of them was a CD of jazz versions of nursery rhymes and other baby songs. While dinner heated up, we found ourselves singing along and dancing around in the new nursery. And I teared up at how cool this kid is going to be. Thanks to the love of my life, we’re physically ready to welcome the baby home. It’s also thanks to her that I’m emotionally on the edge of my seat, ready to be one of its moms.

MKL, I love you. To the moon and back.

 

Magic June 3, 2012

Filed under: 3rd Trimester,Hormones,Pregnancy — areyoumymoms @ 7:10 pm
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Everyone says pregnancy is a magical time.  And they’re right.  Today’s post breaks down the simple magic tricks we pregnant ladies do every day.  Read, and be amazed at our talent…

Disappearing Acts.  On a daily basis, my patience and sanity disappear without so much as an alacazam.  Case in point – the nursery.  The room that will soon house the baby was, until about 2 weeks ago, a multi-purpose space.  The transformation has involved hiring a crew to relocate the piano and some other heavier pieces of furniture; moving our home office upstairs; cleaning out a closet that’s stored everything from our vacuum cleaner to our dvd’s; and swapping out various bookshelves, framed photos, and decorative oddities throughout the rest of the house.  For awhile it seemed as though everywhere we turned, we found another something that had to be moved in order to make room for baby.  As MKL and I navigated our housekeeping “to-do” list, we argued, we compromised, and we longed for the day when we’d be able to stand in the doorway, admiring the finished product.

A few nights ago our bff came over to help us paint.  After dinner we started to clear a few last-minute things out of the room.  I’m not sure of the precise moment when my hormones took over, but apparently I wanted to give our guest/volunteer a show.  The logical part of me that usually predominates in any project setting gave in to the power of pregnancy magic and…poof!  It just disappeared.  As with every illusion, there was a cover – a distraction to take the audience’s attention away from the trick.  Pregnancy hormones became that cover, and I began to cry.  A lot.  For a good 10 minutes.  It seems that the hormones didn’t think we were making enough progress in the room.  My disappearing common sense knew better, though, and returned almost as quickly as it left.  Just like magic.

Levitation.  The art of levitation is one that I’m still mastering, but I’m getting there. I find that “pregnancy brain” has not just affected my basic arithmetic skills, but also my balance and coordination.  However, through the magic of pregnancy, I’ve been able to make entire glasses of liquid suspend themselves in mid-air for a few seconds before hitting the ground.  Sadly, those glasses are usually full of someone else’s drink and I seem to only be able to pull this trick off in public.  But I think it still counts.

Three-Card Monte.  In place of the cards in this trick, I use pairs of pants, three being the exact number of pairs I have that fit over my bump.  I flatly refuse to expand my wardrobe too much, since I’ll only be pregnant for another two months.  So each morning I do a little routine with my closet.  I move the three fitting pants around quickly and distract my own eye into thinking I’ve found the money pair.  And then I pick out one of a dozen maternity shirts and call it a day.  It may not be an impressive trick, and it’s really more of a con than any other.  But by the end of it, I’m fooled – albeit briefly – into thinking I don’t look like I’m smuggling a bowling ball.

Escape Trick.  It’s hard not to feel a little caged in a pregnant body.  We’re subject to a wide variety of physical symptoms, most of which you probably already know about: swollen feet, sore back and hips, stretch marks, etc.  And there are more that no one mentions to you until they happen, at which time some wise mother of six will confirm that she also got winded getting into the car, or that yes, it does in fact take a helper to get you off the couch by the time you hit 30 weeks.  She’ll probably also reassure you that your belly will eventually move on its own like that scene in Alien, but will hopefully convince you that all the visible movement is normal.  The physical side of pregnancy is well-documented, and impossible to escape until you’re ready to deliver.  The emotional symptoms are less well-known, and involve a lot more than letting your inner bitch shine through (personally, I mastered that skill long before I was pregnant).  The pregnant mind traps me into constant list-making.  I think all the time about what still needs to get done before the baby comes, play a game of “juggle the cash” in preparation for our meetings with the adoption attorney, and spend hours a day trying to figure out the baby’s gender.  But just for 45 minutes each day, I escape.  I spend my commute listening to inane chatter on morning radio, or singing at the top of my lungs.  And for those brief stretches of time, I am able to pull off the illusion, and let myself forget about the baby.  I can escape.

These tricks are each fascinating in their own special ways, and the body truly is full of surprises for these 9 months.  But the most magical part of pregnancy involves those around you.  It’s in the sweet and earnest “how are you” emails and texts from our friends and family.  It’s in the way my wife worries about my every move and anticipates my every need.  It’s in the fact that our bff actually came back yesterday to help us paint, and how our nursery magically looks like a nursery now.  The magic of pregnancy is that everyone who loves you is just as enchanted as you are.

 

 
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