Monday, December 28, 2009

Already a pain in the neck!

Nickie had her 12-13 week appointment today, which was supposed to be a quick check in with the midwife. It ended up being almost an hour and a half. Why, you're wondering? It's because our child has already decided to induce anxiety in us. I anticipate this will only be the beginning...

Our midwife took the doppler out to find the baby's heartbeat. I assumed two things when she started:
1) The doppler would be a higher quality than the one we bought online for $70, which we use for fun at home.
2) Midwives, who do this daily, will be better at finding a heartbeat than we are.
Neither one of these things were true.

She put the doppler on Nickie's pelvic area after the gel slather. She pushed the doppler probe, then moved it, then pushed, then changed angles. We heard nothing but some static. After a few minutes of this, the midwife suggests that it may be the doppler, so she leaves the room and returns with another one. She reapplies gel, applies the probe, pushes, moves, reangles....nothing. At this point our smiley midwife has become pretty quiet and solemn. After about 8 minutes (aka eternity), she suggests that she brings in another midwife to try. Another midwife comes in and goes through the same motions. Still nothing. At this point, I'm starting to get nervous. I can feel my own heartbeat in my tonsils. The midwife then suggests we go for an ultrasound, "hoping" we could get it in today (what do you mean "hope"!).

We're off to the main desk to pre-register for the ultrasound, because gawd forbid we get the referral in AFTER we make sure Nickie's gut isn't carrying around a dead baby. We then run into the ultrasound room, where the tech casually fills out an information form, a requistion and enters all of Nickie's information in the computer. (Again, we couldn't have done this AFTER?! HELLO?!) Finally, the motions start again: gel, apply, push, move....and there it is- A heartbeat in a twitchy little baby, acting like we had disturbed her nap.

It was one of the longest 20 minutes I've lived through since my dad died(temporarily) in 2007. After my heart settled back in my thorasic cavity, I realized she was probably doing this to prepare us for the multitude of breathless moments she's going to provoke. What a little pain in the neck! =)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Au revoir 1st trimester

As today comes to a close so does the first 12 weeks of my pregnancy. Not so sad to say goodbye. After the intial excitement of finding out that it worked, the symptomes really become a drag. The 4 weeks of feeling like I had mono sucked pretty bad. I felt like I could just close my eyes and nap at any time of the day and then still go to bed and sleep another 10 hours. I had pretty bad afternoon nausea, although I consider myself very lucky as I never threw up once.

Now that 13 weeks is approaching, most of my afternoon nausea has ended, although I still feel a bit cheesy after taking a hot shower. Which the easy solution would be not to take a hot shower but a warm shower, but boy do I love that hot water. I'm also doing better eating cooked veggies, although the thought of broccoli still makes me gag a little.

I think it's safe to get rid of the bag of tampons I still carry around in my work bag. I have to say that I haven't missed not having my period since Sept. It weird to think that I won't be getting it again for at least 6 more months, probably more if breastfeeding goes as well as I hope.

On the downside of finishing up the first 12 weeks, my pants no longer fit. Ros and me had to go to Old Navy the other night to buy maternity pants. The thing about maternity clothes is that they aren't really geared towards the dykey pregnant chick, which poses a slight problem for me as I never wear ladies clothes. But I'll have to adapt and I got the most androgynous looking pants I could find. Forget about the shirts though, I'll just have to buy bigger T-shirts and whatnot because there is no way I am wearing anything with ruffles.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A difference


Even before birth, I can see a difference between 2 women having a child verses and man and a woman; the expectations of dads are set low by a lot of expectant mothers. Example: The message board Nickie and I follow had a question about which appointments the husbands/ boyfriends should go to. Most women said they should go to the appointments with ultrasounds and he should go to "important ones if he can". In the back of my head I'm thinking,"Which one?! ALL OF THEM!" I can't imagine not going to an appointment Nickie has. That's my kid in there! What if I miss something?!

I want to tell these women they're nuts for letting their men miss appointments, but maybe that's just the straight couple expectation. Who am I to try to change a cultural norm? Again, just an observation...

Anywho, Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas Eve

Yesterday was a day that started out great but ended on a sour note. Firstly we had our 12 week nuchal translucency u/s to check for Down's syndrome. We weren't worried about any abnormalities but wanted the u/s at 12 weeks. Everything went great, nugget was active as usual. I hope this kid isn't hyperactive once she's born, but guessing from my ultrasounds (official and unofficial), this kid's got spunk. And yes I said she, from the doctors guess (which won't be confirmed for another 6 weeks) we have a little nuggette brewing. This is based on the fact that her little nub is pointing down instead of up. But of course we won't go painting the room pink yet, or ever.

We got some great pics while we were there. They don't usually do 3D this early, but we asked and the tech got a few great ones.

Another great thing about yesterday, we found the heartbeat with our home doppler. We had been trying this for weeks but realized we probably were aiming too high. Ros put that cold gel on me and then BAM there it was, a wonderful sound going at around 150 bpm. We also heard these random thumps every now and again, we think it's nugget kicking around in there hitting the doppler. Who knows maybe it's gas.

On a sad note, our dog Avery lost her best boyfriend Crosby. He was our friends apple head chihuahua. He broke his leg and had to be put down yesterday. We will miss him. RIP Crosby :(

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

If I lived in Florida...

I would have an entire citrus grove in my backyard. But in the past few weeks I probably would have stripped all of those trees bare by now. I just can't get enough citrus. It's 11:30pm right now and I couldn't be happier with my pink grapefruit and organic cane sugar. I already ate an orange today. And I am contemplating eating clementines when I'm done. I'm sure there's some old wives tale that says eating citrus means you're having a hermaphrodite or something. I guess there are worse things to crave.


Make a federal case of it

Although the gay rights movement has come a long way since Stonewall in '69, I'm learning that there's still a lot of work to do. Quick exmple: I went to talk to our HR guy last week about opening a flexible spending account. I was told that Nickie cannot ever take advantage of he spousal benefits and I will have to legally adopt a baby before he/she can be put as a dependent because flexible spending is a federally regulated program.
To give an idea of what has to be done to adopt, here's the laundry list of things we need:

1. Birth certificate of the child
2. CORI forms for each parent
3. Petition for Adoption
4. Affidavit of Petitioners
5. Affidavit Disclosing Care and Custody
6. Motion to waive appointment of GAL & Atty for the child
7. Motion to waive homestudy
8. Motion to waive notice to unknown donor
9. Affidavit/letter from each party's doctor and the pediatrician that everyone is in good health.
10. Affidavit from the parties detailing their relationship, financial ability to support the child and reasons why the adoption should be allowed.
11. Money. Money. Money.

I appreciate the opportunity to be able to do all of this, because there are plenty of states where this isn't even an option. But... if I had a spot on my record or I was sick or I didn't convince the court my relationship was good enough, would they can say no to me? Really? I could screw a homeless man with a 50 DUI's and Hepatitis B and he'd be a parent to my child with no question. But because I don't have a dick and aren't carrying, I need to prove my abilities as a parent financially, physically and emotionally. The whole thing is just so backwards.

Even after the adoption is complete, only one of us can add the baby as a dependent on our federal taxes. And (of course) we file as single because feds don't recognize our marriage. Don't worry, though. The federal goverment is still more than happy to take a chunk of my check every 2 weeks. They don't discriminate there...

On the up side, my name will be on the birth certificate. I have full parental rights in Massachusetts before the adoption. And, we're still having a baby in about 29 weeks that will know us both as mom instead of mom and "roommate" or "friend". I'm very thankful for that.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Life...and death

My mother passed away on 12/9/09 after a brief "battle" with cancer. It was more of sucker punch than a battle as she found out she had cancer and then it just consumed her in little over 6 weeks. I guess that's the best way it could be when you have metastasized cancer all over your body. I'm glad it was quick because it was awful seeing her like that, and the stress it was putting on our family was just incredible. Cancer + profound mental illness = nightmare for everyone involved.

We found out that I was pregnant the same week we found out that she had cancer. I'm glad I didn't wait until xmas to tell her I was preggo which was my original plan. I told her about 2 weeks ago after my friend did an unofficial u/s on me when I was about 8.5 weeks (I love having friends in high places). We went to visit her after my u/s as she was in the same hospital and after seeing her, Ros and my sister said it was probably a good idea to tell her as she truly looked like crap and like she could go at any time. Needless to say, she was very happy for us and although she'd been telling me she wanted a grandson for as long as I can remember, she said she was excited to be having a granddaughter... I guess only time will tell to see if she was correct, but we all think it was an interesting change of heart at the last minute. This would have been her first grandchild. It's funny because during our TTC journey I always felt pressured to get pregnant fast because my grandmother is slipping ever so steadily into a demented oblivion and I wanted her to be able to meet her great grandchild, I had no idea at the time that my mother's end would be so imminent.

I did put a picture of my 9.5 week u/s in the casket with her. Now my entire family knows that I'm pregnant, and although they don't all talk about the fact that I am gay and married, they all wished both Ros and me the best.

I think it was a nice distraction for the family to be able to talk of this new life inside of me on the same day as the funeral of my mother. It's ironic how life can be sometimes.

Here's a pic of my mother and Ros with the pooches at during xmas last year. I can't believe how much things have changed in less than one year. Hopefully next year will bring only much needed goodness for my family.

RIP "The Sharon" 8/31/56-12/9/09


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Our TTC Journey...

Well, it's really been more of a short trip since we were really lucky and nugget was created on our second "real" try...

It all started back in Febuary of this year when I started herbal supplementing, temping and charting CM and CP. I really wanted to "take charge of my fertility" and since we aren't lucky like all of those hetero's out there and able to do it the fun way, I aimed to maximize our chances (and limit Ros's exposure of having to shoot semen into me). The Essential Guide is a must for anyone TTC. I started taking prenatals, vitex, omega-3's, evening primrose oil, B-6, eating mostly organic, and drinking fertility tea daily.

After 2 months of trying with a dear KD, we realized that he probably wasn't going to be the best option for us. It's funny because I started considering using donor sperm one night while at work and when I saw Ros the next day she had a spread sheet of all the sperm banks, prices, and options. It's like I sent her a brain wave that night and she was on it. We have a weird connection like that, it's bizarre sometimes and a little freaky.

We decided to go with a smaller bank in the midwest versus the 2 large banks that are local. Even though we had less options, like only anonymous donors and no baby pictures to look at, it was the best option for us. The prices were right which would allow us to do 2 inseminations per month, and honestly too many options and choices overwhelm us.

Our first month of TTC with donor sperm, my body decided it wouldn't cooperate and I didn't ovulate when I should have. I was like clockwork every other month, but of course with $500 riding on my ovaries, it was just too much pressure for them and I ended up ovulating 10 days late, blowing that month. This led me to panic that something was wrong with me and wondered if I could possibly have PCOS. Luckily one trip to the ob/gyn later, my fears were quelled and he told us that if we weren't successful within the next couple of months we could try clomid.

Luckily we never had to go there. Our second month of trying we weren't able to use our chosen bank as the lady who runs the place had a wrestling chamionship thingy to attend with her husband in Europe somewhere. Of course this was scheduled during my ovulation. We should have taken the month off, but we decided to check out another bank in the northwest. We found a donor we "liked" although we weren't as thrilled with him as our other donors. I just kept thinking that I hoped I didn't get pregnant because I didn't want to use this bank for siblings. Well low and behold a BFN. I was only slightly disappointed.

For our third and successful try, I feel like things just barely lined up in our favor. Our bank was able to give us our first choice donor (which is very difficult). We almost didn't get our shipment on time as I ovulated 2 days early and the FedEx truck almost didn't make the delivery on time. I remember sitting home checking the tracking obsessively. Around 2:45 (was supposed to be delivered by 3) I started getting nervous. Ros checked the tracking and it said something like, recipient not available for delivery. Thank god for Ros because she was on the phone with the FedEx headquarters in like 2 seconds flat, even going to the nearest FedEx shipping facility in her scrubs demanding that her patient receives their necessary medical equipment that day. Needless to say Ros gets things done and by 3:45, we had our cryotank. Maybe the extra time we waited made the difference, who knows??? Or maybe it was the pep talk we gave to each of the 2 vials before inseminating.

Needless to say, here we are almost 10 weeks into our pregnancy. My fatigue is lessening and my afternoon nausea is almost non-existent. I'm lucky that I never puked, only came close twice thanks to some eggplant and a verped up omega-3. My boobs are still sore which gives me comfort that not all my symptoms have gone away. Now we can hope that my cravings for fast food will subside and my aversions of cooked veggies will disappear.

Through all of this I would have to say that our journey was a very enjoyable one. Everything worked out just the way we hoped it would and we were able to create our little miracle at home with just the two of us :)

Now let's hope that everything stays where it's supposed to and grows into a beautiful, healthy little baby.



In waiting to let the big news come out, I've decided to start blogging to quell my urges to scream it from the rooftops...

Nickie's pregnant!!!!!!

Finding this out was not as black-and-white as we have thought it would be. We thought that Nickie would just pee on a stick and either we'd get one line or two. Not really the case....

Being 2 women, I feel like we sometimes have that objective side to say things like, "You're not due for your period for 4 more days, so don't bother yet." We're both emotion-driven women, who are also a bit impatient.

So we tested 9 days after ovulation. Here's what we got on October 23rd:

Nothing, right?

Well, we looked at it, and looked at it. We swore there was SOMETHING... so I started playing with it on Photoshop and got this:

There's definitely a line, but was it REALLY a line? Do lines that need Photoshop count as lines?

Moving onto October 24th...we got another almost-but-not-really line. More photoshop intervention got us this:

There's SOMETHING there. Is that it?

Still not sure...

By Sunday, October 25th, both of us were totally over using the line tests. I had class that Sunday. I didn't hear or retain a single bit of class content that morning; it was research class, so I'm too upset, trust me. Anyways, on the way home from class, I picked up a digital test.

She went upstairs.

She peed.

She covered the test.

She brought it downstairs.

And we waited...

Waiting those 5 minutes seemed like eternity. When it was finally time to check it, I pulled the test out and it looked like this:

Then we looked like this:

And there was much rejoicing. =)

"Nugget" is due July 8th, 2010. Everyone says it's a girl, so I say "boy" to be different.

Here's his/her big debute, done last week! (Thanks, Meghan!)

Is it a baby? Is it a bean? Is it an alien? Not too sure, but we'll assume the first answer until proven differently.
We're absolutely thrilled and can't wait for Nugget to make their appearance!