About Mittenguy

I'm a transgender man blogging with my wife about becoming a first time father, and carrying the baby myself.

4.5 months

I can’t believe E is 4 and a half months old!  I can’t believe I’ve been someone’s dad for 4 months!!!  I’ve miss you all and wanted to give a quick E four month update.

I’ve really noticed his personality emerging more and more–which is fascinating to watch. He’s very laid back and easy going, yet focused and determined when trying new things. I’ve noticed him expressing preferences more and more.  The other day I had a variety of toys out and I switched toys.  He started to fuss and look for the one I took away.  There are so many little amazing moments I want to write about.  I think my favorite thing is how interested he is lately in books.  He really seems to focus intently on them and is now trying to turn the pages himself or trying to hold the book.

Right now he loves:

  • Rolling all over the place
  • Drooling and blowing bubbles
  • Motown music
  • Watching his crazy parents dance and sing to Motown music
  • Kismet, the black and white kitty
  • Nature–trees, grass, flowers, the sky
  • His new BIGGer bottles
  • People!  I would say he’s partial to other babies and older women 🙂

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Working Daddy

Do you know that I have a running list of blog topics that I want to post about.  I didn’t want our blog to become one of those pregnancy blogs that disappears after the kiddo arrives, but it’s looking a little like that these days, huh?

My 11 week leave was a magical time. I got to learn all about how this little creature we created likes to be cared for.  I was able to see the beginnings of his personality.  I could devote every minute of everyday caring for E if I wanted to (which is sure easy to do as a new parent).  It wasn’t always perfect, or easy, caring for E by myself during the day.  He really struggled with terrible reflux, and it took a while to get the proper treatment.  There were some days that were a blur of epic vomiting and terrible screaming after very meal. I give a lot of love and credit to C who went back to work so soon after his birth so we wouldn’t be too financially impacted.  She didn’t get as much time home with him, and while I worked hard caring for him, I also got to experience all the joy that comes with spending hours and hours with a cuddly new baby.

And then it all came to an abrupt end……and I went back to work on Monday of this week.  It’s been a rocky transition.  I miss the way his head smells and the way his breath smells. I miss staring at him all day long (and let’s be honest—taking pictures of him all day long).  I miss knowing what he is doing every second.  I miss, and have anxiety about, making decisions about every little thing he does, and how he/we spend our day.  (I know this sounds real crazy.)  Now I have to trust that his other caregivers are making the right decisions and taking good care of our little guy.

The good news is I love his daycare.  I love the staff, the philosophy, the community of other working parents we are meeting there.  Without these positive feelings I would have never survived this week.  I know I don’t need to worry about the quality of his care, and that is a huge burden to let go of.  Now I just am left feeling heartbroken and missing him.

On my first day back I  managed not to cry all day.  I was emotional a little on the car ride home, probably out of sheer exhaustion.  I waited until Carrie and E were sleeping. Then I broke down and bawled, crying myself to sleep. The thought of leaving him again and getting up and doing it all over again (the 2 hour commute, the stress of playing catch up at work, the exhaustion, all the extra chooses that come with parenting that need to get done on a weeknight) was overwhelming.

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Who could leave this face?

While I muddled through Monday and Tuesday, I was feeling pretty decent on Wednesday.  Today I had a few moments where I forgot I was just off for almost 3 months.  There are some benefits to being back at work. Eating lunch slowly, uninterrupted feels downright decadent. I really love what I do, and genuinely like 90 percent of my co-workers. While the work I do doesn’t save lives ( or feel as important as child rearing) I do know that I’m doing good work and contributing to patient communication and shared decision-making fields. If I have to work outside the home it’s a pretty great job.

I’m having a hard time not feeling envious of other families who have more flexible schedules, work part-time, or are financially able to have someone stay home. I hate these feelings, and feel embarrassed to be complaining about being securely employed. I also hate all the guilt and the thoughts I sometimes have like….”if you couldn’t stay home with him why did you even have him!”  I know that is so DRAMATIC, but if I’m being honest, I’ve battled thoughts like these a lot for the past 3 weeks.  

I’m working on not feeling sad or angry about our reality. I want to remember those lovely 11 weeks when all I did was take walks with E and watch him take in the world. I will never take an hour for granted on a weekday night, and will fiercely savor the weekends.

Many people this week have told me that it gets easier as time goes on.  I can say that C and E are sleeping, and I’m up late blogging instead of crying my eyes out.  That’s some progress right?

Baby E’s newborn photos

After a long wait we finally got our pics back from his photoshoot. He was only 12 days old in these pics and already looks so much bigger! There are a few more pictures but we are keeping the best ones to ourselves until we pick the one we will use on his announcements. We debated not sending out birth announcements at this point since it is 7 weeks past his birthday. Darn slow photographer! But I’m glad we are still going to do it. it’s a tradition I wouldn’t want to miss out on! Here are a few…

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2 weeks old

C and I have been adjusting well to parenthood.  Because Falco arrived so early, and C is really dedicated to her job, she’s postponed her maternity leave until after the 26th of April.  She works in fundraising/development, and there is a very large annual event that takes place on the 25th.  She plays a huge role in making this event happen, and didn’t want to leave her  co-workers or the agency in a lurch.  I respect how hard she is working, while still doing as much as she can at home to help me out.  She’s seriously worked about 60 hours this week already.  It’s rough.  It’s been a little challenging for me, home alone with the little guy.  I feel cooped up here and a little emotional and miss having her around to reassure me when I’m afraid I’m doing everything wrong.  C is totally the calm one right now….but I’m hoping that is just the pregnancy hormones and I’ll relax a little more soon.

Cloth diapering is going really well.  I have to admit I was a little scared of the poo and the poo sprayer!  (Since we’re bottle feeding the poop is not water soluble like breast milk feed babies).  But it really hasn’t been that bad at all, especially since we have this Spray Pal.  I highly recommend it!

The most challenging thing so far has been feeding.  Falco has some reflux and it’s a slow process to feed him and difficult to watch him uncomfortable and struggle while eating.  The pediatrician isn’t too worried about it since he isn’t having any trouble gaining weight.

And now for some pictures!!

daddy and baby had a rough start

daddy and baby had a rough start

Team Spirit

Team Spirit

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About 1 week old

About 1 week old

2 weeks

2 weeks

1 week old

Baby E is snuggled in his swing, Mama is taking a nap and Daddy keeps thinking about writing a blog post.  There’s so much I want to say about our first week as parents, but instead, I just keep looking down at him and tearing up.  I can’t really find the words except to say that I had no idea how intense this love could be–for him and my amazing wife.

I promise less sappy stuff and more fun photo filled posts soon.

-K

37 Weeks

I keep meaning to write a post but I feel like all I would be doing would be complaining about being 9 months pregnant.  I’ve felt pretty upbeat and positive most of this pregnancy, but these past two week has really knocked me on my ass.  I keep thinking that I have 24 days until the due date, and as you’ve probably read from C’s previous posts,the doc thinks Falco may be coming earlier.  Here’s a little update from the preggo.

Hard things:

I’ve been so sick these past weeks, probably sicker than I have been in years.  I think the most stressful part was the constant intense coughing which gave me days worth of braxton hicks contractions and kept making me barf and pee myself.  😦

I’m tired as hell.  Walking to my carpool at the end of my workday I feel so weary.  I walk soooo slowly. And I feel HUGE.  It’s seriously getting hard to get comfortable driving (sleeping, sitting, etc.)  Plus I wake up every 45 minutes to pee all night long.  Really….it is that often; I check the time!

I am feeling a ton of early, early labor symptoms this week (cramping, bad lower back pain, extreme pressure (it really feels like I am walking around trying to hold a bowling ball between my legs) lightening/baby dropping, crazy bowel movements, an increase in cervical mucus).  All this stuff is a bit overwhelming emotionally.  I’m trying to just make a note of what is happening, and not pay too much attention to anything or read too much into anything.  Easier said than done!

I have absolutely ZERO desire to wear clothes.  I’ve been sleeping naked and am hardly dressed when I’m around the house.  I no longer give a shit what I look like or wear to work.  Some of my man-ternity pants don’t even fit me anymore, and I don’t even care.  I just cycle through the same 3 or 4 outfits and think to myself, at least I’m still working.

Good things:

The nursery is done!  It’s so cute and cheery and makes me happy every time I pop my head in the room.

Our bags are packed, and virtually everything left on our to-do list is crossed off.  C and I both busted our butts this weekend.

I have finally finished my contingency plan for my leave after Falco is born–A detailed 5 page document outlining the status of all the projects I oversee, coverage plans, and alternate contact info, etc.  I have a draft of my work email away message ready to go!  This makes me feel so much better.  As much as I want to spend a ton of time home after the birth it’s going to be really stressful for me to be away from work.  I really love and enjoy what I do and it is going to drive me a little nuts to feel disconnected from the studies I manage and work on.

I’m 3 centimeters dilated and 80% effaced at about 37 weeks.  This means nothing EXCEPT it makes me feel like SOMETHING is happening.  My body is getting ready and sooner or later we will meet this little one.

 

Almost 33 weeks

Hey everyone.  I haven’t posted much in the past few weeks, mainly because things have been going pretty well.  The first few weeks (28, 29, 30…) of the third trimester have been pretty chill, but all of a sudden I feel like I’ve hit a wall.  I’m just feeling really exhausted and really irritable.  My body is irritating me, my emotional/mental state is irritating me, and worst of all—the world (people in general) are driving me nuts.  

Here comes my complaint session:  

Between my desk job and daily 2 hour commute my back is feeling really messed up.  Before I was pregnant I would get strange upper back pains, cramping and muscle spasms which I attributed to years of binding my chest.  This has been getting worse and I’m thinking about looking into prenatal massage or chiropractics or something…?  

I’ve also been feeling a lot of pelvic pressure.  Every time I stand up it’s like “Whoa gravity!”  I really just expected pregnancy to feel like being fat/fatter.  I’m serious!  I’ve been lots of different weights in my life so I just assumed pregnancy would just feel like getting bigger.  I’m not sure why I didn’t consider that I’d mainly be getting bigger in one area…lol  I’ve gained about 25 pounds so far and it all currently feels like it’s in my uterus and pressing on my bladder and pelvis.  This is concerning at 33 weeks since this kiddo hasn’t even dropped yet!!  

I’ve also been having insomnia.  I wake up at around 1am and stay up until about 4am.  I have no idea why, because it’s not like I’m anxious or stressed or in pain when I sleep.  Actually sleeping is one of my favorite things to do lately.  So, I get up and hang out in the baby’s room in the rocking chair and read for a few hours.  

I’ve also been having strange food/eating issues.  I was crazy and picky in the first trimester.  I felt like I ate normally in the second trimester.  Now, I’m hungry all the time but don’t want to eat anything or cook anything or even try to figure out what sounds good.  Food in general makes me grumpy.  I pretty much only want to eat fruit, crackers, and smoothies (which I guess also falls into the fruit category)  I’m trying so hard for Falco to get my veggies and proteins in!!

Lastly, being annoyed with people in general really makes me sad.  I feel like I’m a pretty patient person and normally I genuinely like people.  But…..these days the smallest thing makes my head spin.  I don’t want to be that person and I am really trying to take some quiet time each day to breathe and relax so I can face the world and all it’s stupidity with my normally kind heart.  

With 7 more weeks until the due date I better get used to some of these uncomfortable ailments.  I know it will all be worth it in the end.  

Thanks for listening to me whine.  

Sitting around

I know that this is a super dorky thing to get excited about—-but we just had a workplace ergonomics specialist come and show us how to use our fancy desk chairs.  We’ve been in our new work space for more than 6 months and I’d never even attempted to move any of the 10 knobs on my chair.  Since the pregnancy has made me a little more uncomfortable this is a very exciting development.  

My back and legs are real happy!!! 

Welcome to the Third Trimester

In honor of making it to the third trimester I thought I would do a 28 week roundup. Another fabulous blog I follow, Kathryn Finding Fertility, does great weekly updates so I’ve taken a few of her categories.

How Far Along? 28 weeks as of 1/31/2013

Size of Baby: 2.5 lbs and about 15 inches

Symptoms:

  • Hip pain. This mostly happens at night when I sleep on my side. Unfortunately, it’s so painful in the morning that it wakes me up, and causes me to limp around the first few hours of the day. I’m still trying different sleep and pillow configurations. I’ve also heard that getting some sort of extra mattress pad may help.
  • It might just be my imagination, but it seems like my chest has gotten a lot bigger this past month. This really stresses me out and is my LEAST favorite part of the pregnancy thus far. I still have some tissue left after top surgery, and I swear it’s multiplying by the day. So far it’s not enough to wear some sort of binder/light compression/sports bra thingy. At this point, I think it would take a lot for me to sacrifice comfort
  • Fatigue. I just don’t feel like I can do all the shit I want to get done, and between every chore or project, I feel like I need to sit down and rest. On a weekday, getting through a 2 hour commute and 8 hour workday pretty much does me in.

Movement: As you know, C felt Falco move for the first time last week! That was fun and really exciting. I’ve noticed some sleep/wake patterns and am feeling lots of movement all day (and night).

Food cravings: Still obsessed with citrus and tomatoes. Even the resulting heartburn from all these acidy things isn’t enough to deter me! lol. And french fries. But not just any fries, the thick cut, potato wedge kind from Red Robin—that’s the only kind I want.

Clothes: I feel like I have a pregnancy uniform (especially during the work week). 3 button down shirts, 2 v-neck sweaters, and one lone polo shirt that I’m still able to squeeze into. Black pants, navy pants, khaki pants–repeat. To be honest I’m kinda bored of the wardrobe. On the weekend I’ll pull out some favorite old t-shirt that I haven’t worn for months and wear it about, pretending it still fits.

Ring: I can still wear my wedding band if I’m a little cold. Does that count? I’ve pretty much stopped wearing it because I’m anxious it will get stuck if I get overheated (which happens frequently throughout the day).

Belly Button: Shallower and shallower by the day. Any bets on if/when it will become an outie?

Sleep: Okay, aside from the hip pain. I do roll from side to side A LOT and wake up twice per night to pee.

Doctor Appointments: Because this pregnancy is going so well and is so average, we get to postpone moving to every 2 week OB visits for another month. (C and I find this really funny–that the pregnant dude is having a textbook pregnancy). Our next appointment is on Feb. 19th. After that, we’ll switch over to two week visits for weeks 32, 34, and 36. Then we’ll go every week from 36 weeks on. This is very standard; however, since our OB’s office is 45 minutes away, the once a week visits are going to be a pain in the butt.

Underwear

I didn’t expect pregnancy to be comfortable.  In fact, one of the things that has become totally uncomfortable wasn’t even on my radar.  UNDERWEAR!  I just assumed that people wore their normal underwear all through pregnancy, so I just pictured I’d do the same.  Like, just wear them below my belly and it would be fine.  But no, the last 3 weeks I’ve been in uncomfortable underwear hell.  I refused to do anything about it.  I feel very attached to my underwear.  They make me feel stylish and faggy.  I usually wear briefs or boxer briefs like these from Target.

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For weeks my underwear have been digging into my lower abdomen, leaving a red mark from the tight elastic.  They just roll down and feel tight and terrible.  The final straw happened in the middle of the night.  I woke up for my second pee of the night around 3am.  While I was stumbling to the bathroom, half asleep, I was suddenly outraged at my underwear.  On the way back to bed, I grabbed a pair of scissors and SERIOUSLY cut a slit into the elastic waist band!  In the morning, I had to laugh at my crazed desperation.  Since I would actually like to have some of my underwear to wear after I’m pregnant, I decided I better break down and buy some maternity “panties”  (can I just tell you all how much I hate the word panties?!)

I haven’t worn “women’s” underwear since about 2003, so I wasn’t looking forward to it.  I found the least offensive kind possible at Motherhood Maternity and bought 6 pairs.  As much as I dislike the look, they are AMAZING.  Since getting them this past weekend, I can get dressed and not even notice my underwear or think about how uncomfortable they are all day long.

Once again, pregnancy comfort beats out my gender dysphoria.

Here are my new “sexy” undies:

dmc