Monthly Archives: April 2014
Turns out I can not update my blog in anything other than small bursts. There’s not much going on over here so I’ll give you a few things:
1) I’m getting huge. I should now post a picture but I am so bad at taking them so I will have Lesley take one and post one soon.
2) At 18 weeks baby hates it when I bend over. Rad, that should make the next 22 weeks cool.
3) I’m feeling baby move a lot which is both cool and weird. I’m excited for it to be a bit more consistent. I hurt as I expand and am starting to getting pretty uncomfortable.
4) 2 weeks away from 20 week ultrasound. I’m excited to see everything is going good and won’t be too upset if we accidently find out the sex of the baby. 🙂
5) This is probably my best update: There is only one week left in hockey season. That means that soon Lesley will not be gone for big chunks of time four days a week and I will feel like we can get stuff done. AND all hockey gear will be washed and moved to the shed so we can have our craft table back and she can start baby projects.
6) I found this today which makes all the ttc and pregnancy pains and hopefully childbirth seem totally worth it.
We had a midwife appointment this morning which was a huge relief because out last appointment was at 11 weeks 4 days and I will be 17 weeks tomorrow. It was a LONG gap that was making me anxious. Here are the highlights:
1) Babe’s heartbeat was at 156 and moving all over the place. My uterus is in the right spot and she could feel someone in there (WEIRD).
2) While measuring babe’s heartbeat we had to stop and start over because Lesley and I were laughing so hard about how intense it is and that it sounds like it is going to come right out of my body.
3) She said I can eat any kind of egg I want! When I told her how much I hate them because I only eat scrambled eggs (and it takes me 15 minutes to eat one scrambled egg) she asked why. I told her everything we read said all eggs need to be fully cooked. Her response was, “Oh fuck that”. I’m going to really enjoy my over easy eggs in the morning.
4) Lesley ratted me out for how much I worry. She confirmed what I was holding onto – that at this point if something went wrong I would know immediately. My biggest fear is losing the pregnancy now and not finding out for another few weeks. This does not need to be a fear at this point.
5) We scheduled a 20 week ultrasound for 5/9 to make sure everything is looking good.
6) She said I don’t need to be concerned about how much my 19 pound cat likes to lay DIRECTLY on my uterus.
7) (The big one.) She asked if I was feeling the baby move. I said no and said that sometimes when I lay down I feel two or three little pops when laying still and that was weird but nothing from the baby. She laughed at me. That’s the baby.
Lesley and I are not queer. I have some qualms about the queer identity but think people are free to identify that way and that it is a valid identity (I know, what a relief that I find someone’s identity valid). Not being queer makes it a bit awkward for us in our hippie college town. We’re looked at as enemies of current LGBT struggles and have never really felt like we fit in to the larger community here.
Lesley and I are not queer. We are lesbians. If asked in friendly circles, we will be completely honest: we are dykes. We are dykes not just by sexual orientation but also by political belief. We were taught by strong second wave feminist dykes and have opinions that are extremely unpopular in current day LBGT(QIIA? Is that all of it now?) politics. We’re old school. I believe that there are things about the transgender identity (movement, maybe?) that hurt women. I am not saying that transgender people hurt women, but that the identity does. I also believe that women who were socialized as girls have a different experience than women who were socialized as boys and that each group needs and deserves the space to heal from that experience alone. I’m sure by now you have figured out that these views are unpopular.
I’ve been thinking a lot about these things lately for a few reasons. First, our roommate is a teaching assistant for a sex and culture class. A student in the class asked the professor what is the difference between lesbian and queer. The professor responded that queer is more radical. This has our household enraged. I’m not going to go into why because you’ll either understand why or disagree with me without an explanation but that is issue one of what brought this to the forefront.
The next issue that brings this up is the question we have been asked about how we will identify ourselves as parents. We have been asked who will be “mama” and who will be “mommy”. I’ve been rereading this article circulating on my facebook about a family with (at least one) genderqueer parents who makes the distinction that their family does not have two moms but instead a mama and a baba. We both plan on being moms yet we hesitate to give ourselves names. We have friends who also choose not to name themselves but go by “mama l—-“ and “mama j—-“. I hate that, too as I don’t want my child calling me by my first name. Also, let’s be real, mama is the better choice so how do we decide who gets that? Neither one of us have a desire to be labeled as a parent by another name which could create some confusion for us and has many people asking how our child will identify us. I think this will happen naturally and realistically, I have always called Lesley “Doodle” (or some variation – Choo choo McDoodleroo, Chief Doodler in charge of all the doodles, ect) and wouldn’t be surprised if our child did the same.
People are quick to place labels. We all know this. I like skirts and dresses and am never questioned about my gender identity. Lesley has facial hair and wears “men’s” clothing so is often asked what pronouns she uses. This is where I think that the popularity of the transgender identity is hurtful to women. Because she does not present the way people expect a woman to present she is assumed to not be a woman. This is why older lesbians have a hard time with trans issues, y’all. It used to be the straight world that assumed that non-conventional women aren’t women, now it’s our own community. I foresee many conversations in our future with well-meaning folks wondering how to define us as parents and as I usually do, am putting the cart in front of the horse with mulling over my response to imaginary questions.
The third thing that brings identity to the forefront of my mind is a conversation going on on a forum I use. The conversation is reminding people that sex and gender are not the same and should not be used interchangeably. This has served as a reminder of the need to examine my own bias when becoming a mother. While I think it is pretty impossible to not assume your infant with female genitalia is a girl (or your infant with male genitalia is a boy) and I’m not going to beat myself up about going forward with that assumption, I want to be accept our child for whoever they may be and make sure we provide a loving home where they are welcome to be that person. I have no desire to raise child “X”, a genderless child, but need to give myself permission to evolve with them. I need to be aware that my child may not be a second wave feminist dyke. I need to be aware that I need to be nice to other well-meaning parents. I need to be aware that I may spend a bit more time explaining our family to curious people and that I should do so with compassion. And I need to be aware that while we are not queer, the many moms and dads and babas that I see around town with their infants are part of the greater community of nontraditional families that I want to try to join. Sure, I need to allow myself and my opinions to grow but mostly I need to remember that sometimes it’s okay to keep my mouth shut.
I feel overwhelmed by the stuff we don’t know. Neither of us have really taken care of a newborn before and it seems confusing. So while Lesley makes an attempt and making our own cloth diapers I am going to make a resource binder to help us out. From our conversation today about the binder it seems we might need it…
1) Today is my first day wearing maternity pants. They are too big but a nice change from wearing clothes that are too small. I bought these at the thrift store but have some new ones coming in the mail today that I hope fit a little better.
2) I still don’t think I am really showing. I can tell but other’s can’t which is making me a bit self conscious.
3) I don’t know if I have gained any weight because we don’t own a scale. I will admit I am pretty curious about this.
4) We are in a five week stretch without a midwife appointment. This is the longest we will go and it was just a weird timing issue. We did borrow a fetal Doppler from our friends and heard the heartbeat for a little extra reassurance. It is always hard to find and we can’t manage to hold it for long so I am really eager for our next appointment on the 19th.
5) I have started to get pretty hungry but hate the way I feel when I eat candy. Not enough to remember before hand that I shouldn’t eat candy but enough to not make it really worth it if I can remind myself. I dislike that as I like candy.
6) I have lost all ability to control my emotions. I’ve been crying regularly about my dad and sister visiting this weekend, the potential baby shower, and just now spent my lunch break crying about our trip to Michigan in May and how our plans switched around and now we’ll need to pay $400 to rent a car for a few days. I do not want to talk to anyone and just want to lay on the couch with no one around and my house clean.
7) I was feeling more positive about pregnancy and enjoying it more but the emotion thing is taking a toll on me. After freaking out on Lesley Monday night we called in sick yesterday and some things done. This helped mildly.
8) As an added bonus, being stressed about the things mentioned in #6 means I am sleeping terribly.
9) Never plan trips, visitors, or talk to anyone while you are pregnant.
[Long back story]
I have a pretty close knit immediate family. I am the youngest of four – two brothers and a sister. I talk to my sister often and my brother’s not so much. There’s no bad blood or family drama, we just live 3,000 away. Both my brothers have kids and I have never missed a birthday present and we send elaborate homemade Christmas gifts.
Since becoming pregnant some family drama has increased. One of my brother’s is going through a divorce. This is extremely recent – I called my sister-in-law on Feb. 15th to tell her about my pregnancy and now papers have been filed. I’m not going to discuss details on the internet but it’s a bad situation and my brother, as well as my entire family (including our freakishly close knit extended family), is pretty heartbroken about this. For very understandable reasons this situation is where a lot of my mom’s attention is right now.
On top of my brother there is my sister. My sister has been dating a man for almost two years who is a complete and total jerk. She knows this, we know this. Yet she can’t seem to move on. They are very on again-off again and on the weeks when they are off she calls and texts me non stop. Last week I spent over four hours total on the phone with her, not counting texts. These phone calls are terrible because it’s mainly me telling her the guy is a jerk and her trying to justify his behavior. We end up making some sort of progress where she knows he is a jerk and then 20 minutes later texts me something like, “Maybe this is how he loves and I can’t be upset with him if he is doing to best he can”. It’s infuriating and nonstop. The problem is that I don’t she doesn’t have a lot of other people to talk to so I keep doing this, despite it being crazy making. My mom gets a lot of these calls too so often our conversations are focused on one of my siblings.
While my family is all very excited about my pregnancy, no one asks about it. I spend over four hours some weeks on the phone with my sister and she does not ask. My mom does ask some but rarely. No one calls to check in or see how I am feeling – the only way this really becomes a topic of conversation is if I bring it up. I call my mom after all our midwife visits so she’s updated, just not asking questions. We are going to Michigan to see our families in late May and I wonder if seeing me pregnant will change some of that. Maybe once some of the current drama dies down things will be different.
My sister is a problem beyond not asking about how I am doing. Our best local friends are throwing us a shower and want to do a long distance shower that includes our families. Our friend (with my permission) contacted my sister about three weeks ago to ask if she wanted to help. Of course, my sister said and promised to call that weekend. She has not been in touch any further. When I mentioned this to my mom she said she would help and to give our friends her contact information. I did but I am upset about it. My family is big on things being done “appropriately” and someone’s mom is not supposed to throw them a baby shower. Their sister or aunt is. Unfortunately, my sister can’t stop thinking about herself long enough to do it.
I’m thinking of pulling the plug on the whole thing and saying forget the shower. I appreciate the offer, and boy, could we use the help but I want it to be done correctly. I know our friends will do a great job and ultimately my sister wouldn’t really have to do anything except call my parents for addresses and have her name on the invite but Lesley and I are the unconventional ones in my family and I feel like this not being done “appropriately” will cause so much talking behind our backs and drama with the extended family that it’s not worth it. Maybe I should just suck it up and not worry about that or maybe this isn’t really about the shower but about the fact that something huge is happening in my life and I feel like no one really cares. Welcome to the woes of being child #4.