Lazy weekend

So far, this has been a lazy, rainy fall weekend.

We woke up early this morning and went to two Mom to Mom sales. We were one of the first to get into the first sale, and we were able to successfully make up for our recent mistake of not grabbing for sale tags of larger items we were considering before moving on. If you don’t do that and still expect the item to be there once you’ve decided, you’re totally out of luck. At the first sale, we scored an adorable green and brown Graco pack and play with bassinet for $30 and a minky, gender neutral Baby Gap outfit for $2. The second sale wasn’t as spectacular, at least it wasn’t by the time we got there, but we ended up with a cute array of pants and overalls, mostly in 6-12 mo sizes, for about $12. On our way out, I turned to K and said, “I really can’t justify spending full price on baby clothes. Hell, I don’t even pay full price on my own clothes and I’m not constantly shitting myself.”

When we got home, we lounged around, got caught up on recorded television shows, did a few chores, and took naps. I showered in preparation of a sleep study (oh joy), then promptly discovered a flea on our youngest dog. K helped me corral the menagerie into the gated kitchen, where I then applied a flea treatment while K took cover in the bedroom to avoid the terrible chemicals. Of course, I accidentally doused myself in said chemicals, so I had to take another shower. Never a dull moment in our household.

The only silver lining of the annoying sleep study tonight is that it’s located by a ton of large baby stores that we don’t have closer to our home. We’re going to leave early for the test, have dinner, and shop around a little bit before I must have all of those sexy electrodes and sensors attached to my body. While the majority of my weekend has been monopolized by this study, at least the rest of the weekend has a slow, easy pace, which is such a relief after this hectic week.

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Happy Coming Out Day!

In honor of National Coming Out Day, I decided to boldly go where no one has gone before at my place of work: I announced to a few close coworkers that I have a pregnant husband and am going to be a mom.

For those who didn’t even know that K is trans, the story was a bit awkward and bumpy. It basically involved me saying something along the lines of, “You might not know this, but my husband is a transgender man. He was born female and identifies as a man…” It’s pretty much the least graceful way to start a conversation, but I knew that if I didn’t just SAY it, I might lose my nerve.

A few of my coworkers know K from when we both worked at a different agency and he came to my current place of work to talk about transgender inclusion and awareness. Telling them was a lot easier because it wasn’t as large of a leap to go to “pregnant man.”

Everyone reacted appropriately, some were so excited that they cried and hugged me. There were a few understandable questions, which I comfortable answered. There were also several laughs when they heard our due date, as it is literally one day after our largest event of the year, for which I have tons of responsibilities.

Disclosing this information is making this all so damn real and it’s scary at times. A large part of me is still so afraid of counting my chickens before they’re hatched. I know that our risk for something bad happening is much lower at this point, but knowing that something has even an infinitesimal chance of happening can be nerve-wracking. Thankfully, K and I both have the outlet of this blog, the support of our friends, family and faithful readers, and love for one another to get us through any challenge that may come our way.

Belly

I’ll be 12 weeks pregnant by the end of this week and C insists that I am starting to show.  I don’t know if I see it yet.  I’ve been so bloated nearly this entire first trimester, and that’s finally going away.  I suppose my uterus has popped out a little bit….especally this week, but I really don’t think it’s very noticeable.

Thankfully all my work pants (dress pants and Khakis) still fit and probably will for at least a few more weeks.  Unfortunately, none of my jeans fit 😦  Okay, correction, none of my jeans comfortably fit.  I mean, I could squeeze myself into them, but then I look real sausagy and I don’t want to squish Falco.

So. this weekend I ordered one of these Bella Bands in an attempt to avoid gendered maternity clothes for as long as possible.  At some point I’m sure I’m just not going to care and will cave and buy some gendered preggo pants (just pants!) but I’m not there yet.  I’m a little skeptical and wonder if this thing will even hold up my jeans.  Dear readers, I will keep you posted! 

Things WERE going well

I thought that K was easily transitioning into the ease of second trimester. Nausea and exhaustion was becoming a thankful thing of the past. He was no longer running to the restroom every five minutes with a screaming bladder that was demanding his attention. I was looking forward to eating dinner together again and spent a near mint on groceries for the upcoming week.

Then, last night, while I was cheerfully preparing one of my favorite fall meals, spaghetti squash with marinara, sautéed peppers, mushrooms and Italian chicken sausage, I heard K make a beeline from our bedroom to the bathroom. A fraction of a second later, I heard the poor guy throwing up. He’d taken a lovely Sunday afternoon nap, likely went a wee bit too long between snacks, and awoke with a terrible migraine and nausea.

I, of course, knocked on the door and asked if I could do anything or fetch him water, and he said no. Whenever he feels sick, especially throughout his pregnancy so far, I feel so darn helpless. I would do literally anything to absorb the morning sickness to give him a break. I just wish there was something I could DO!

One of our kitties knew just what to do to lift our spirits. I spotted him curled into a tiny ball in the bassinet my dad had made for be as a baby. Even a very green K cracked a smile. Hopefully, kitty will bring a smile to your face, too.

The cat's in the cradle.

Gratitude, week 11

It occurred to me that we really didn’t write so much this week. We’ve been pretty busy, but not so much so that I’ve felt overwhelmed. During our eleventh week of pregnancy, I’m thankful for:

  • Having very few plans this weekend, which allowed us the time to relax a bit. We also had time to thoroughly clean more of the nursery-to-be. The only part left to do in that space is to figure out where to put the supplies that are currently housed in the part of the room that is formerly known as my craft corner.
  • Going to a cloth diapering class at a local crunchy store.The class really confirmed that all the time I’ve been spending lately researching cloth dipes has translated to a lot more knowledge than I’d realized.
  • Feeling calmer about the OB we’re seeing. Until our appointment last week, I had a billion fears about our OB, that she would insist on a totally medicalized labor and delivery where K would be strapped to a bed and unable to naturally manage his pain. Obviously this fear was unfounded and a product of being an anxious first time mom-to-be, and I’m so thankful for that.

There isn’t a ton going on in the next couple of weeks. K and I are just working quite a bit and focusing on the start of our second trimester on October 25. It’ll be here before we know it, thankfully!

First OB appointment

Well, we survived our first OB visit and left feeling pretty good.  When we arrived, I wasn’t in the best mood since we both have pretty terrible colds (wife is almost over hers).  Also, it always feels slightly uncomfortable to hang out in the waiting room and have people stare and wonder why they’re calling me (the guy) as the patient and not my wife.

After they took my vitals, we were given a large purple bag full of informational brochures and samples including this lovely gem featuring a pregnant person who is wearing a checkered tablecloth:

This is what a pregnant person looks like, right?

The first visit is usually just with a nurse practitioner, and I was very excited to have C meet the NP I’ve been working with for the past 4-5 years.  She went over the usual pregnancy do’s and don’t’s, discussed early screening options, cord banking, nutrition, exercise, and expectations around pregnancy weight gain.  I’m sure I’ll write another post in the near future about size and body image, etc.  I did briefly mention some of my history with disordered eating and large amounts of weight loss and gain. I did so mostly just to get it on the table and to mention to her that restriction is stressful and my focus during pregnancy was eating a balanced, healthy diet.

Aside from her being a LOUDER talker than I remember, both C and I were pleased with the conversation.  While we aren’t supposed to see our OB until our next monthly visit, I asked if we could say hello and ask a few quick questions.  I had originally met Dr. K years ago at a previous job where part of my responsibilities included maintaining a list of LGBT friendly health care providers.  I haven’t seen her for a few years but when she popped in our room she was just as I remembered.  Dr. K is what C would call a “soft butch”.  She’s in her late 40’s, glasses, shortish spiky hair, and was wearing *pleated* plaid dress pants and a white turtleneck with penguins on the collar.  Yes, penguins.

We had a friendly, quick conversation where I awkwardly asked her if the NP had talked to her about me (translation: “You know I’m a pregnant dude, right?”), if doulas were okay with her, and how supportive she was of our more natural birth plan. Turns out her answers were yes, yes, and YES, which was a huge relief.

Although our interaction was brief, we both feel really good about her warmth, sense of humor, and nerdy yet unpretentious personality.

Bargainista Mommy-to-Be, an update

As you may remember, I adore saving money. For me, being thrifty where I can is an essential part of my values that allows me to be able to spend the difference where I want or where saving isn’t always possible.

We’ve been stocking up on needs for Falco by going to thrift stores, perusing Craigslist ads and the BabyCenter Cloth Diaper Swap (approval needed to join), buying on sale/clearance, and going to Mom-to-Mom sales. After coming home from a Mom-to-Mom sale last weekend, I spent some time organizing and taking an informal inventory of our Falco supplies thus far, which will help inform future shopping needs. Below is what we have so far. Please note that Falco’s signature colors are clearly yellow and green.

Clothing and accessories (spent approx. $150 total):

Clothing, zero to six months0-3 months:

  • 6 sleep outfits, including 1 sleep sack, 2 swaddle sacks, and 3 sleep-to-play outfits
  • 9 onesies/all-in-one outfits
  • 1 adorable owl hoodie
  • 4 pants
  • 1 shirt/short outfit
  • 3 hats
  • 15 pairs of socks

3-6 months:

  • 3 sleep outfits, including 1 sleep sack and 2 sleep-to-play outfits
  • 19 onesies/all-in-one outfits
  • 5 pants
  • 1 sweater
  • 1 sweater outfit
  • 1 hat
  • 12 pairs of socks

Clothes, six to eighteen months6-12 months:

  • 1 sleep sack
  • 5 onesies/all-in-one outfits
  • 1 pant
  • 18 pairs of socks

12-18 months:

  • 1 sleep sack
  • 4 onesies/all-in-one outfits
  • 3 shirts
  • 1 neon yellow tutu

Cloth Diapers (spent approx. $150 total):

  • 10 Thirsties Duo Wraps (snap), size one (6-18 lbs)
  • 1 Thirsties Duo Wrap (snap), size two (18-40 lbs)
  • 2 Kawaii Baby pockets, one size (8-36 lbs)
  • 1 Fuzzibunz pocket, one size (7-18 lbs)
  • 20 Osocozy unbleached prefolds, infant (6-16 lbs)
  • 12 Dandelion Diapers organic cotton blend prefolds, size two (7-15 lbs)
  • 6 misc. brand bamboo pocket inserts
  • 1 misc. no-brand pocket

Shopping list:

  • Pants
  • All clothing, sizes 6+ months
  • A few Snappis
  • 12 small prefolds
  • 18+ snap AIO’s and/or pockets (I’ll go with new Alva pockets through a co-op if I can’t find good quality used)
  • 24+ larger prefolds
  • 12+ Thirsties Duos, size 2
  • Pack-and-play
  • Tummy tub
  • Space saver high chair
  • InGenuity Cozy Coo Sway Seat

Gratitude, week 10

With all of the excitement of doula interviews last weekend, I didn’t have an opportunity to thoroughly express my gratitude during our ninth week of pregnancy. Luckily, there’s enough gratitude to carry into this week. During our tenth week of pregnancy, I’m thankful for:

  • The opportunity to have worked with a phenomenal reproductive endocrinologist and his kickass staff, who helped us to conceive, cheered us on and supported us when we needed information and empathy. While we’re now moving onto traditional OB care and won’t be seeing the RE for the remainder of this pregnancy journey, I am so very grateful for their skills, expertise and care.
  • Hanging out with our favorite group of queers this weekend. Their support and camaraderie means so much to us! K and I hosted brunch this time and then we went to the Zoo. I made a baked oatmeal based on this recipe. I’ve found it’s easier to incorporate the spices by adding them to the melted butter, then adding brown sugar, an egg, salt and baking powder before whisking in milk and pouring the whole thing over the dry ingredients. My favorite flavor combination includes raspberries, chopped almonds and semi-sweet chocolate chips. YUM!
  • Seeing my parents for the first time in several months! They live about four hours from us and we only get the opportunity to see them a few times a year. They’re bringing down the wooden bassinet my father made for me when they adopted me. I’m thrilled that we’ll be able to use it for Falco and maybe, one day, Falco will be able to use it for our grandchildren.

The coming week brings more excitement, and so much more for which we can feel grateful, including our first OB appointment (which will likely be mostly spent with the nurse practitioner) and a cloth diapering class next weekend.

You’re Hired: a doula overview

What we learned from all of our meetings with the doula candidates is that we live in a truly amazing community of doulas and that we are making the right decision in hiring a doula. With the exception of the far too conservative EB, we trusted them all and felt a sense of acceptance and zero judgment about our identities or birth choices. I feel sad that we can’t hire all but EB because we truly enjoyed spending time with them, and that made the decision really difficult.

Ultimately, we felt that BB and HE were really fabulous, and will make really phenomenal doulas when they’ve had more experiences, but we wanted someone who’ve attended more births than they have at this point. I want to BB and HE to be my mommy friends because they’re the type of mom that I want to be.

LM and MK have all of the qualities we’re looking for in a doula: someone who can advocate for us and tell a caregiver that we need space, help us review what caregivers are telling us so that we can make informed, empowered decisions, provide us with birth expertise through pain management ideas and normalizing of our experiences, and offer empathy and support when we truly need it. MK has attended many, many births, while LM has attended several. Both have a lot of tools in their belts. At the end of the day, I worry that, in the midst of a stressful situation, LM will say something totally earthy and woo-woo, and I won’t be able to take her seriously. She also came across as bit cocky, which is a major turnoff, and MK is just way more approachable and kind.

That being said, I emailed MK on Monday night to tell her that we feel like she is the perfect doula for us and that we want to move forward with a deposit and contract, which are now currently en route to her home. We’re thrilled to know that we have two full trimesters to build a relationship with this phenomenal woman so that we will have the best birth experience that we can possibly have!

Falco’s second ultrasound

Yesterday afternoon, K and I went to our final visit at our reproductive endocrinologist’s office, where we went for our second ultrasound. It was so phenomenal to hear Falco’s strong heartbeat (on the high range of normal at 180 bpm) and see the little one moving all around. It’s so amazing to see how much Falco has changed in a few short weeks. Our baby is finally looking like a BABY, albeit one with alien-like translucent skin.

Our doctor took videos with his iPhone of Falco’s heartbeat and of Falco moving all around, which he emailed to us after our visit. It’s this thoughtful nature, coupled with the doctor and staff’s sweet, supportive demeanor, that we’ll miss the most about their practice. It’s sad to be leaving them, even though it’s for a very happy reason. We look forward to referring many other hopeful parents-to-be and, perhaps, we’ll be back there for help conceiving our second kid! (Right now, K’s rolling his eyes at me and telling me that we’ll see.)

Now, some close-ups of our now FETUS (no longer an embryo!) named Falco:

All nestled in

The heartbeat

A sideways view of Falco

Now, because we’re opting out of some of the diagnostic tests like the NT scan, we likely won’t catch a glimpse of dear Falco again until our sex scan at 16-20 weeks. At least K can continue to watch that video on loop like he did last night.