Archive for August, 2011

Adoptation

Week 22 update: Return of the Nausea, Now with Heartburn! Big and Getting Bigger! Thank G-d for the Snoogle!

Last week we went to our LGBT “family” lawyers office. I realized that it had been 2.5 years since we had our first appointment there—to set up our first known-donor contract. It put some perspective on the persistence we mustered to get where we are. The head honcho, whom we adore, was very happy to see the bump (yes, I realize I just said we adore a lawyer). But the reason for our visit kind of pisses me off every time I think about it. You see, even though we live in a lefty-liberal state where domestic partners are both automatically parents and on the birth certificate, K and I do not solely exist in this state. Sometimes we like to travel to visit family, or even drive 15 minutes across our northern border to see a movie. In these other states, K is not necessarily recognized as a parent. So, for the pittance of $1,350, we get to pay for K to adopt her own child! I mean, this state-by-state march toward our civil rights is really working! Can I get an “Amen”? (Please don’t get me started on how we have to file our taxes!)

I know I should be glad we live somewhere that gives the same rights and responsibilities to domestic partners as “married” couples. I should just shrug my shoulders and think: Well, we could live in one of those states where second-parent adoption isn’t even allowed for same-sex couples. Or in a state where we’d have to suffer humiliating home studies for our own friggin’ child. But as you can tell from my tone, I am not. I’m ticked. We don’t have money like that—especially after $IVF. And I don’t think that we should have to pay to be “safe” when at least our state’s laws are on our side. It all comes down to that unfortunate scene in which K travels with the baby, with or without me, and the baby needs to go to the hospital. She may not be allowed in!

We’re going to have to carry a copy of the adoption document with us wherever we go. Even here in our home state, we still need to carry it with us in the off chance that a hospital staff person who may have just moved here from another state is not familiar with our domestic partnership laws and gives us a hard time, slowing down the process of getting emergency care for our kid. It’s all fine and good to be able to say “Told you so!” after the crisis.

Most of the time, I walk around feeling all groovy and gay and pregnant and welcome and safe. I am so grateful for that, I swear. After moving out of the hood last year, K and I haven’t been gay bashed once! As I adapt to the situation of having to pay for extra legal protections all along the way (that the vast majority of people get free for loving someone of the opposite sex), is it okay if I still want better for me and our family?

 

And the Livin’ Is Easy

I did it. I got up and out of the house this morning. Small miracles.

I ventured across town for my first prenatal yoga class. I felt like a freshman in high school again (as I do about all things pregnancy). Most of the women in the class were much further along, but there was one woman at 16 weeks (pregnant with her second child). Even though I’ve done some yoga in the past, it has been a long time. It has been a long time since I’ve been off the couch and using my body. Even though I needed some support from the teacher, I didn’t feel judged. And the session actually felt good overall. There were some moves during which I thought, “Oh, na ah!” Not because they were hard moves—they were just hard for someone who’s been atrophying due to 20 weeks of nausea-induced stasis. Things hurt that didn’t hurt before I went to the class, but I think/hope that it’s the good kind of pain from stretching and using lost muscles.

At the end of the class, we went into shavasana, or corpse position (macabre, right?). It is actually a relaxation pose in which you lay back, close your eyes, and let everything you just did sink in. There had been music playing lightly in the background during the whole class, but after a few seconds in shavasana, the Gershwin songĀ “Summertime” began to play. Now, I had been feeling really good, but as soon as this song started I had to relent to the emotions I knew would follow. You see, my dad used to sing this song to me often when I was a baby. At first, I smiled because I felt his presence. This happened the other day at the ultrasound as well. But my brain always jumps quickly from the happy, yay he’s with me to the eye-tearing, boo-hoo he’s not really here the way I need him to be. My brain then switches to shame for tearing up because he’d be so happy I’m finally pregnant and so happy I’m feeling better, that I shouldn’t be all sad and lossy. All those emotions in about 10 seconds. I know logically that there’s nothing wrong or shameful with missing my father, especially during this special time. But as Tina Turner should’ve said, “What’s logic got to do with it?”

Isn’t She Lovely

Just when we thought we were having a boy… she’s a girl! K and I both thought that the increased likelihood of a male child due to frozen sperm usage was a no-brainer. But as soon as the ultrasound technician got the fetus on screen, she announced, “That’s definitely a girl.” I still don’t get how three tiny dots = vagina when I couldn’t even tell we were looking at that part of the body. But I guess that’s why I’m not running machines.

I had no idea, too, that we’d be seeing her in 3D! What a treat. I mean, she really didn’t seem to care for the ultrasound (she was squirming like crazy), but I feel a lot better seeing all her parts. No signs of Down’s, a completely covered spine, no cleft, etc. The only “issues” the doctor brought up were a very slight placenta previa and marginal placenta cord insertion. In English, that means the placenta is partially covering my cervix and the umbilical cord comes out of the placenta closer to the bottom than the middle. Lucky for me, K is extremely knowledgeable about this stuff, and she told me right away not to worry. So I won’t. For now.

It’s so very weird to have a photo of this half-baked creature inside me. Already I think I can see features that I recognize from my face, my dad’s face, and specific nephew and niece’s faces. With another 20 weeks to go, she will most likely look quote different the next time we see her.

Because I don’t get to glide in happyland for very long at any given point in time, I recently started to notice a pinkish tinge in my urine. We called the nurse midwife on call yesterday and she told us to come down and pee in a cup. K explained that UTIs are more common in pregnancy because the urethra, like a lot of other parts, is looser and more likely to pick up bacteria. Well, I’ve got zero burning, so I wonder about it being a UTI. The pee tech said they’d have results within 24 hours, and that was 23 hours ago! Don’t they know I’m a crazy pregnant woman who needs answers?! If it is a UTI, it’s important to treat right away because kidney infection is a bad, bad idea right now. I’m not worried about that diagnosis, though, because I can take the antibiotics and be fine. My fear is when they tell me it’s not a UTI but we’ll have to run more invasive and scary tests to find out why there’s blood. That I’m not up for. Oy.

Since we found out the sex, we’ve been fielding lots of questions about what we’ll name her. It seems kinda silly so early in the game. We know we’ll name her after my dad, but we’re both hesitant to really get into it with people. I’m not sure why. Also since the ultrasound on Thursday, I’ve been feeling slightly better. I’m able to drive more without having to spend the rest of the day in bed, and I seem to have an increased appetite! I still have weird aversions and more nausea than I’d like, but getting food in is not such a horror anymore. K was so happy to hear me say, “Mmm, this is so good” about something I was eating the other day. I hope to be saying that a lot more often now.

Too Soon

With K’s mom in town, we’ve done a little walking around, poking in and out of shops on fun streets. One shop was a children’s bookstore. It was very exciting, and I could’ve gotten sucked into a must-have picture book mania, but luckily I found a 4-book section called Gay & Lesbian that narrowed my focus. I know it’s hokey, and I know it’s too soon, but I had to get the board book titled Mommy, Mama, and Me. Not only did it get our names right, but “Mommy” has brown curly hair (yo tambien) and “Mama” lighter straight hair (a la K). It had to be done. But, when K was paying for the book, I overheard the cashier ask if she wanted a store card of the get-your-tenth-book-free variety. I nearly had a heart attack and yelled across the store: “Too soon!” Apparently, in my muddled head, buying the book is okay but carrying the punch card around is way too assumptive.

Over the past few weeks I’ve seen some slight changes. The nausea seems to present only when I am not actively eating, and since eating certain things has gotten easier, I’m eating often and a lot. We had a check-up with the nurse midwife today, and I’m happy to report a 6-pound increase in my weight! The reason I’m so excited is because I’ve been walking around the past couple of weeks thinking that my belly hasn’t gotten bigger enough, and, since I haven’t felt the baby move, something must be wrong. Getting to hear the heartbeat again helped tremendously (as it always does). I’m hoping it’ll keep me calm until Thursday when we have the big 20-week ultrasound.

This afternoon we dragged K’s mom to look at car seats. I had done some research online, but it wasn’t until we were staring at a row of them, studying every detail as we moved up and down the line, that we realized how much more we need to know before deciding. K suggested turning our attention to breast pumps. In that aisle, I realized I have no fucking idea what to do once the baby is here. Pump? Where am I going? I work from home; won’t the baby be right near the boob? Travel? Who travels? I hate flying. K reminded me that she would like to feed the baby as well, which I totally get and support and look forward to. Does that warrant the big fancy dual-action super pump? In the end, all these questions didn’t matter, because when we went to purchase it, the cashier asked if we wanted the 15-month warranty. I started to flap my wings because the 15 months would start immediately and we still have 4 months of baking to go! We left the store empty handed but having learned a really great lesson: the only time to shop for and buy things is when you’re huge and waddling and don’t want to be in a store.


(Disclaimer: No men were harmed in the making of this blog.)

The Family

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