Monthly Archives: June 2014

Changes

Lesley and I decided before we started trying to have a baby that when baby came she would quit one of her part time jobs and be home part time. She works as an office manager for two different non profit’s (because that’s what you do with a master’s degree in historic preservation) and likes one more than the other. She would quit the less liked one and our friends would do part time childcare and the rest of the time she’d be home keeping our house in order and playing with the baby and making me food.

I have great respect for working families and by no means thought that us both working full time would damage our child. But I also think there is no point in paying someone else to watch your kiddo to work a job you don’t love.

So fast forward to the here and now. Lesley interviewed for a job at our public library in October (before we were pregnant). This past month they have been having her submit background check forms, take a physical (which involved opening and closing a DVD case 20 times in a row), and calling her references. We knew a job offer was coming, we knew it’d be part time, but we didn’t know what that meant.

So now at 6 months pregnant our plans have changed. She got 4 different schedules to choose from this morning and after much conversation and only a little convincing on my part she picked the schedule I like best. So instead of losing hours at one job, she’ll now be working forty hours a week. The job involves a little weekend work (8-1 on Sunday, not bad) so we still don’t quite hit full time childcare but come in, with commute time, at 37.5 hours. 

The best laid plans, right? I am not one for change but because we’ve had much anticipation for this (and the schedule is MUCH better than we expected) I am pleased with this idea. I suppose this is thing number 1 in a long list of parenting decisions that did not go as planned. 

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Hiccups!

Lesley is fast asleep with a stomach bug so I don’t want to wake her but need to tell someone.

I was laying in bed and put my hand on my stomach and it was pulsing. I googled and baby had hiccups!

That was so cool/totally freaky.

Past love and marriage

On Saturday my ex girlfriend got married. We haven’t been together for almost ten years but she was my first girlfriend and first love.

A and I met when I was 18 and a freshman in college. She was three years older and had become friends with my high school best friend (who was a year older than me and already at the University for a year by the time I arrived). We were introduced, became friends, and shortly afterwards realized we were lesbians. We fell in love and remained so for about a year and a half, although we dated for three years. Neither of us were out to our families while we were dating and were not out to our friends for the first two years or so. The relationship lasted much longer than it should have because of this and then ended tragically and dramatically when she fell in love with someone else.

We’ve kept in touch over the years but that has faded over time. I think I forgot to wish her a happy birthday this year. She hasn’t said anything to me about the baby. I see her name with a green dot next to it on gchat regularly, yet we don’t talk. There’s no hostility, just the changes that come over time.

This is A’s second marriage since we split. Her and the woman she fell madly in love with got married many years ago and have since divorced. The other woman was and is one of my best friends. Two years ago I was lucky enough to stand beside other woman at her second wedding and am lucky enough to have her be a major part of my life. I don’t know if this has added to the distance between A and I or not. In many ways, it does not matter.

When A got married the first time I attended a wedding shower (where I decided you should NEVER go to you ex’s wedding shower) and was excited to see things about the day. Yesterday morning I laid in bed and looked at pictures from her second wedding that I could find through mutual friends on facebook or instagram hashtags. I almost felt sad, not because of the loss of her or her happiness but mourning the passage of time.

We were different people when we were together. I was young and she was scared. It seems like a lifetime ago. I looked at these pictures and hardly recognized her. I looked at photos of her sister and her mom and thought about their lives then and what they must be now. I thought about how these people were huge parts of my life I no longer know. I looked at her standing up to get married surrounded by my high school friends. I looked at the things that were so different and things that were still the same. There was a picture of her posed with a champagne bottle to her lips and I laughed at how I have a similar picture tucked away in a closet somewhere.

Maybe it was just the hormones messing with me but these wedding pictures really struck me. But as I laid there looking at them I also laid feeling this life move around inside of me. Lesley rolled over and, without being awake or aware of my alertness, put her arm around me and pulled me closer to her. Our little family of 2.5, in our little home, thousands of miles away from the pictures. I thought about where my life has taken me. I thought about how I felt when A left and how I never imagined being as happy as I am. She told me after she left that each time a person falls in love they fall in love harder than the time before. At the time, I thought she was a jerk but those words have always hung in my mind. I realized yesterday morning that it isn’t just Lesley that I have fallen in love with in the last 8 years but myself, too. Her and me and our home and our life together and now this baby. I thought about how I’ve fallen for each of these things harder than I ever knew was possible. I thought about that old life, ten years and thousands of miles away, and then I thought about the life I have now. I laid there, with both of our hands on my stomach as it danced around, and fell back asleep.

PWOC

On Friday we went to a potluck at our midwife’s house. She has a spring potluck every year and there was a wide range of kids that she had brought into the world and their parents there. We knew it would be a bit awkward but had another dinner party to go to afterwards so decided to go for a short period of time and try to be social.

We were the only gay couple there. We were the only people there who are Pregnant Without Other Children (PWOC, as we named it). No one talked to us. We sat alone and shortly after eating someone organized a photo with the midwife and all the kids and we saw that as our opportunity and took our cucumber salad and left.

It’s weird to see parents interact with one another. It’s like someone walks up and says, “Hello person with child. I also have a child.” And then they talk about their kids. No one approaches the pregnant folks and beyond that, it seems no one knows how to approach the lesbian couple.

Lesley has no problems with being considered a parent to our child. She feels like an equal partner in this and is not worried about how others see her as a parent. But in things like this it’s weird. She doesn’t fit in with the dad’s and does not have the shared pregnancy experience with the other moms. She felt extremely out of place.

I wonder how this will play out when baby is here. We think that if people meet her and baby, either without me or before seeing me, there will be no questions. If people see us as a family, they won’t doubt our authenticity as a family. But while we’re in this holding pattern it’s interesting to watch how people interact, or avoid interaction, with us.

Preparing

I am halfway between 24 and 25 weeks pregnant and surprisingly, feel calm.

Overall things are good. My sister pulled her stuff together and is working on getting invites out for the long distance aspect of our baby shower. This was a stressful process with long debates about wording and whether or not to put any registry information on the card. I sent her a draft of wording and she plans to edit it a bit from there and get them sent. I have about a week before I need to bug her about getting this done. We have an invite list made for our actual physical shower and I just need to gather addresses. Once I pass those off things are pretty much out of my hands. This has for some reason been the most stressful part. Probably because I don’t trust other people to do things the way I want them done.

We had a midwife appointment this morning which went great. I am feeling good (for the most part) and babe is doing great. The heartbeat this morning was 140 which annoys me because I am trying to use heartbeat as my gender guesser and it always hangs out right there in an unpredictable spot. Maybe this is a sign that I should not guess. There are other methods, like dangling a ring on a string above your belly and seeing which way it rotates, but that sounds like voodoo witchcraft to me.

We’ve really kicked preparing for baby into high gear. We have all the furniture for the nursery and our roommate is moving out in mid July so we can get things set up. We’re ready to put things together and not have stuff shoved in closets, boxes under the bed, and a friend’s garage. We bought a car seat from good friends of ours and after Walter decided to nap in it I disassembled it, washed everything, and putting it somewhere he can’t reach.

Walter's new favorite bed.

Walter’s new favorite bed.

We met with a pediatrician yesterday and upon liking her just fine (and digging her strong Jersey accent) we decided we’ll use her. We talked with our midwife this morning about childbirth classes and decided that we’re not going to do them. I feel remarkably calm about the idea of actually birthing a baby which is surprising from someone with a touch of anxiety and little pain tolerance. I feel like we’re getting closer and closer to the end of September and as steakums flutters around all day I am overwhelmed with excitement and able to let go of so much worry. This isn’t how I expected to feel but I am sure glad it’s where I am at (for now, anyway).