Gratitude, week 26

It’s been 9 weeks since I last expressed my weekly gratitude. Despite an abundance of joy and excitement, a cloud of stress and anxiety has been hanging overhead lately. I am finding it even more important to state how grateful I am for:

  • Sharing one of the ultimate pregnancy milestones, birth classes, with a phenomenal queer couple. The instructor, despite being told about our identities multiple times and in multiple ways, kept using exclusive terms like “moms” and “ladies.” Without the support of our friends, the experience would have been a lot more isolating and awkward. It was really special to be able to get to know them better.
  • The ability to get a good night’s sleep in the same bed as my partner. I’ve complained rather liberally about K’s increased snoring since becoming pregnant. Our OB just shrugs, says it’s only going to get worse, and asserts that if we’re not sleeping in separate beds now, we will be soon. That advice just didn’t sit well with me. Sleeping in the same bed as the person I love is really important to me, so I decided to try wearing earplugs. There were only a few types from which to choose at Target, so I selected the Sleep Pretty in Pink by Hearos. They’re an obnoxious neon pink color and the package features a photo of a peacefully slumbering woman in bed next to, presumably, her snoring husband. As annoying as the heterosexist marketing is, these puppies are a game changer. I’ve been getting the best sleep lately!
  • Rapidly ticking items off of our to-do list. I’m trying to front-load some of the necessary tasks to prepare for Falco’s arrival because her/his arrival coincides with our largest fundraiser of the year at work (translation: I will be hugely busy at work while K is hugely pregnant with our little one). I feel very productive and it’s helping me to feel less overwhelmed.

Our next OB appointment is on Friday and I’m looking forward to whether our we’re going to switch to a bi-monthly schedule or continue with one more monthly visit before making the switch. This will all depend on the results of K’s recent glucose tolerance test and his blood pressure during the office visit. His BP is always very slightly elevated when he gets to the office, likely because he’s nervous about being weighed and the worry about any potential commentary about it, but is normal when they recheck it at the end of the visit. Still, because our OB is on top of everything, she wants to make sure that it’s no cause for concern.

Gratitude, week 20

There is always so much for which I feel grateful, even though I don’t always take the time to express it, and sometimes it is difficult to narrow down what to write here. This week, I want to express my gratitude for:

  • K’s hard uterus with a growing baby inside! Yesterday, K came close to give me a hug and I swear, his hard belly jabbed me in the gut. It was the first time this has happened and it’s a fun milestone to experience. K is also able to identify fetal movement much more reliably these days.
  • Feeling calm about impending motherhood. When you’re about to be a first-time parent, it can feel like there is just SO much information to learn and it isn’t possible to ever know enough. K and I went to a baby care and safety class yesterday afternoon and, while there was a fair share of irksome heterosexism and parenting gender stereotypes, not to mention a major skew toward breastfeeding and use of disposable diapers, I feel really empowered after the class. I realized that so much of the essential knowledge to care for our newborn already exists in my brain and that I truly can trust my instincts.
  • A wonderful community of gender variant gestational parents and parents-to-be! Yesterday, via Google+ Hangouts, K had a really outstanding video chat with a group of transgender gestational parents and hopeful parents. It was really great for him to be able to make these connections, share resources and hope, and encourage one another. Surprisingly, one hopeful couple lives just a couple of hours from us and we’re planning on getting together with them in-person in the not-too-distant future.

I sure am looking forward to all of the many things for which to feel grateful over the course of the next 20 weeks, give or take!

Liebster Blog Award

Thank you so much to the beautiful birminghambell for nominating us for the Liebster Blog Award! According to our blogger friend, the Liebster Blog Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. “Liebster” is German for “favorite.”

Liebster Blog Award

Here are the rules of the award:

  • Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
  • Answer the 11 questions the tagger has set for you.
  • Create 11 questions for the people you’ve tagged to answer.
  • Choose 11 people and link them in your post.
  • Go to their page and tell them.
  • Remember no tag backs!

Eleven random facts about us:

  1. Our birthdays are approximately 1 year and 3 weeks apart. For three weeks of the year, my age is two years older than K’s. During this time, he teases me relentlessly and refers to me as a cougar.
  2. I am extraordinarily sensitive about feeling included, considered, remembered, etc. I think this is because I’m an adoptee and have never totally felt like I fit in.
  3. K is pretty gullible, but only because he is a kindhearted person who believes the best in people.
  4. My favorite time of day is when I walk through the door of our home and can take off my bra.
  5. K and I are pretty much always well hydrated and drink a lot of water.
  6. We only have one car and have for several years. It can present challenges from time to time, but I choose to believe that it has caused us to become better communicators who plan ahead. That being said, we hope we can one day save up for a second car, which will be significantly more important when Falco is here.
  7. K and I were in relationships with other people when we fell in love. Because of this “overlap,” it was a messy, dramatic beginning to what has become a beautiful, peaceful life.
  8. Other than when I was a little girl who was obsessed with pink, I have never known how to answer the question, “What is your favorite color?” There are far too many lovely hues to pick!
  9. If it was up to K, he would be a book hoarder.
  10. If it was up to me, I’d be a cloth diaper hoarder (ok, I’m kind of already there).
  11. Neither of us really like professional sports.

Questions from the Bell:

  1. What is the number one thing you catch yourself censoring on your blog? and have you ever been asked to remove anything?
    While we have some friends who follow our blog, the number one thing I self-censor is our identities! We’re trying to keep our blog anonymous, at least during the pregnancy. We’ve never been asked to remove anything.
  2. What’s your guilty food pleasure?
    I love pizza. Being gluten-free presents a challenge in this regard. Luckily, I found a really delicious gluten-free pizza dough recipe.
  3. What do you do when nobody’s looking?
    Embarrassing. I pick my cuticles.
  4. What qualities of yours do you hope your kid/s get?
    I would be so thrilled to have a ginger baby. We’ve done everything we possibly can to ensure this is the case! HA!
  5. What’s your least favorite food?
    Other than the obvious food allergies/sensitivities, I think my least favorite food is lentils. I’ve tried to like them, but they just taste chalky to me.
  6. What is the nastiest thing you’ve ever seen?
    Hatred. Unfortunately, I’ve seen a lot of it.
  7. What was that “defining moment” that made you sit back and go “okay…I’m a REAL parent now!!!!”
    It was definitely the recent experiences of dogs vomiting, followed by K vomiting.
  8. How do you de-stress after a terrible day?
    I plop on the couch and watch crappy tv.
  9. What are you OCD about? Come on, there’s gotta be something!
    Maintaining a full supply of ice cubes in our freezer. We don’t have an automatic ice maker in our freezer, so, unfortunately, the task has fallen to me. I’m often irritated that I’m the only one in the house who does it, but seeing a diminishing supply of ice cubes makes me panic and spring into action.
  10. What is a special talent that people are always asking you to do? (example: make that phenomenal pie you always make, take some pictures of our family since you’re so good at it…etc…)
    Ha! K and I are always asked to make and bring salads to social engagements. I suppose we’re pretty good at it.
  11. What’s your favorite time-saving trick for doing chores with kids?
    I wish I knew! I sure hope I’ll figure one out!

We adore reading the following blogs and are thrilled to nominate them for the Liebster Blog Award:

I certainly hope you’ll check them out and know that you’ll appreciate their posts as much as we do! Here are the questions we hope they’ll answer as they accept our nomination:

  1. What’s one thing about your significant other that drives you absolutely bonkers?
  2. What is your biggest vice?
  3. Do you consider any subject matter “off-limits” on your blog?
  4. What inspired you to start writing your blog? What motivates you to continue?
  5. If you knew you’d succeed and could have a “do over,” what profession might you pursue instead of what you’re currently doing?
  6. What is your absolute favorite moment of the day?
  7. Do you have any allergies? What are they?
  8. If you had one million dollars to donate to a cause or organization, which would you pick and why?
  9. What is your least favorite chore?
  10. Do you have any recurring dreams or nightmares? What are they?
  11. What major lesson have you learned in 2012?

Gratitude, week 17

I can’t believe it’s been about 3 weeks since I’ve expressed my weekly gratitude! There’s always so much for which I’m thankful, not just during the upcoming Thanksgiving holidays, and I feel guilty for not having kept that top-of-mind recently. I am grateful for:

  • Being financially stable. We’re not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination, but I want to recognize the economic privilege we experience. None of this – from trying to conceive, to accessing healthcare, to affording baby items and man-ternity clothes, to feeding our baby – would be remotely possible. It’s really important to me to never forget this and to keep people who aren’t as fortunate in my heart and mind.
  • Having the ability to celebrate the upcoming holidays with people we love. We’re having Thanksgiving dinner with my in-laws, including my favorite of K’s aunts, and I am hopeful that we’ll have some conversations about pregnancy and our baby-to-be that will further normalize this experience for my mother-in-law. I think she’s really come a long way in her acceptance and understanding of this issue, but I’m sure that these conversations could only help this progress. On Friday, we’re headed up to visit my parents, where we’ll see my aunt and uncle, as well as my ailing grandmother, who is in advanced stages of dementia. It will be good to see them all again. It feels far to infrequent at times.
  • K finally feeling Falco move in a way that he can more reliably identify. Our weekly pregnancy update emails indicated that our little one is starting to hear loud sounds and might react by moving when s/he hears loud sounds like trains, car horns, etc. This information was especially timely because, on Friday evening, that’s exactly what happened. K was stuck driving the van home with the vanpool he shares with a group of 6 others. One of the vanpool members was late getting to his pickup location and the vanpool leader, who was sitting next to K, was yelling really loudly in Mandarin to the late vanpool member. During this ruckus, K felt Falco “swim” quickly, I imagine, to some safe corner of his uterus. Only we would experience such bizarre circumstances related to the first identifiable movement of our baby-to-be.
  • [I’m adding an extra gratitude, since it’s been so damn long since I expressed it!] FINALLY being able to see Falco again! This coming Friday, we’re having our anatomy scan and, if Falco cooperates, hopefully find out the sex of our baby-to-be! I’m so twitchy about this information and I can’t believe we’re finally going to know in less than a week! AHHHH!

 

A better world for Falco

K and I have always been civically engaged. We’ve been involved our share of protests, rebellions, volunteering and donating to political campaigns, and, of course, voting. For some reason, though, this year’s presidential election seemed even more critical to us with Falco’s pending arrival. The stakes just felt so much higher now that we’re responsible for another human being.

It’s no surprise that we supported President Obama in his reelection. Community Marketing & Insights studied LGBT Americans and determined that 90% of us backed Barack Obama and that LGBT’s were second only to the African American community in our support of the President. This fact does not shock me. The President’s acceptance speech, where he recognizes and acknowledges the LGBT community, is just one of a very long list of examples of his support of our community.

I stayed up very, very late to hear election results, to the point where concentrating at work today was extraordinarily difficult due to sleep deprivation. It was beyond worth it to hear President Obama’s speech. Tears welled up in my eyes when he talked about LGBT Americans during such a momentous event. My heart is full knowing that our child will be born under an administration that values and respects his/her parent’s identities, that will fight for equality between Falco’s gender and other genders, that wants nothing but the best for this country.

Four more years, indeed!

Gratitude, week 14

What a rollercoaster of a week! I received some great news, then some terrible news that turned out just fine. Before I put the cart before the horse, I should get to the point of this post. During this fourteenth week of our pregnancy, I’m thankful for:

  • Learning that our ginger kitty is going to be okay! Earlier this week, K took him to the vet because we thought he had a UTI. The vet discovered that his bladder was blocked and needed to cathederize him. After draining his bladder, the vet discovered what he believed was an inoperable bladder and/or colon tumor, which he believed was causing the initial health concern. The vet couldn’t get his X-ray machine to work in order to confirm the tumor. Once the machine started working again, he discovered, much to our great relief, that the kitty didn’t have a tumor after all. He was just severely constipated, which has been an ongoing issue. I was so happy to hear this news that I cried!
  • We had another lovely low-key weekend that allowed us the opportunity to tackle some of the longstanding to-do’s on our Falco list. K and I went to our local IKEA store to look at and confirm some of the nursery furniture items we’ve been considering for a while. He also called a painter that his mother recommended and scheduled him to come out for a quote tomorrow evening. Today, I spent about two hours sewing a fitted crib sheet for Falco. Kitty assisted me in this endeavor:

    Kitty loves to help me with crafts!

  • Fluff mail! I squealed like a kid at Christmastime when our postal carrier delivered two cloth diaper related package yesterday afternoon. Included in the bounty was two dozen seconds of Green Mountain Diapers unbleached prefolds, five Sunbabies pocket diapers that were customized with hip snaps, and five bamboo blend inserts. Lately, K has been searching the internet for cloth diaper related obsessive disorders because I’ve been spending so much of my time researching them and shopping for deals with co-op groups. It’s been a blast for me, though, and I think actually seeing some of this cuteness arrive in the mail put K’s mind at ease.

I’m still hopeful that K will have time to post about coming out to his bosses at work, which happened last week, and about meeting with his aunt on Tuesday. So many exciting things on the horizon, friends!

Gratitude, week 13

It’s been a low-key weekend so far. K and I have spent a lot of time lounging, doing chores, and we saw the movie Looper last night. Today, we’re headed to the home of friends for one part social gathering, one part dog play date. Should be fun times!

We’ve received a lot of conflicting information about what pregnancy week signals the start of the second trimester. Some resources say week 12, some say 14. Since we’re at week 13, we decided to consider this second trimester, which brings me to my gratitude list. This week, I’m grateful:

  • That we’re in our second trimester, when the risk of miscarriage significantly drops. This provides us both with a lot less anxiety and also allows us to feel a lot more comfortable with sharing our news with extended family members. We’re certain to report more about that in the coming week or two.
  • That K will soon have the experience of sharing pregnancy news with his bosses, for which he has an appointment to do on Tuesday. He’s very nervous but I just know that they’ll be supportive and that he’ll feel a lot of relief from not having to lie to everyone in his workplace any longer.
  • For more action on the pregnancy front in the coming weeks. The past few weeks have been pretty bland, which is nice sometimes, but I’ve felt like we were just waiting to make it to this imaginary goal of safety. Before us, we’ll soon experience coming out to the remainder of our family, our next OB appointment, the inevitable maternity clothes shopping trip, and very happy holidays.

 

Gratitude, week 12

Since C is still at her sleep study until later this afternoon, I thought I would take on our gratitude post. Yay, my first one!  This week I’m grateful for:

  • Getting a lot of my energy back.  I didn’t realize how tired and unproductive I had been in the first trimester until I’ve felt more energetic recently.  This morning I cleaned the house for 3 hours.  C has been taking on extra housework since I was feeling so tired and sick.  I hope this means I’ll be able to take back some of my cooking and cleaning tasks.
  • I’m feeling more comfortable about coming out to others about the pregnancy since we’re on the cusp of the second trimester.  I have an appointment to meet with my supervisor and our research center manager on October 22nd.  I think once I tell a few people at work I’ll feel a little less stressed at work.  I’m also working on drafting a Facebook private message to send to about 30 of our friends.  I’m actually feeling pretty excited to share this news with a wider circle of folks.
  • For C, who is the best partner a pregnant man can have!  🙂

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!