Continuing to Come Out

They say that coming out is a lifetime process. As our identities evolve, as we meet new people, there’s always new opportunities to tell our stories. Such has been the theme as of late.

I’m an active member of an online chat group that is a social spin-off of a cloth diapering focused community. The group of mostly women and a few men is raunchy, sassy and uplifting. There are few rules, but the ones they have mostly involve not judging each others’ choices, especially as it relates to parenting. I’ve developed a really good rapport with the group members and the moderators have become friends of mine.

To that end, I decided to take a risk and come out to the group. I posted the photo of K and I holding our legal marriage license and told our story. Group members had a lot of questions, which I answered openly and honestly. I talked about E’s birth story and told them how proud I am of my amazingly brave husband. I continue to be overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and encouragement from people who know so little about transgender identity and the complexities of gender, sex, and reproduction.

Ever since Saturday, I’ve been hearing from friends and coworkers that they keep seeing the footage of K and I holding our marriage license in local news broadcasts. It occurred me late on Sunday night that someone at E’s daycare may have seen one of the broadcasts and could very well ask us about it. We decided that we should prepare for this possibility and coordinate the messaging we felt comfortable conveying to them. Nothing is worse than being caught by surprise, stammering or rambling while coming out to someone. It certainly doesn’t communicate confidence in your identity.

It’s a good thing we prepared because when K picked E up from daycare on Monday, one of the teachers in E’s room said that the lead teacher mentioned that she’d seen us on the news. K told the teacher about his trans identity and explained that the law views us as a same-sex couple, even though that’s not how we identify. We decided not to tell the daycare, at this point, about E’s birth story. As we suspected would be the case, the teacher was really supportive.

It’s nice to feel a renewed sense of authenticity and feel the warmth of new allies. What was your last coming out experience and to whom?

Adoptee Drama

I am an adoptee. At the ripe age of 16, my birth mother was whisked from her family in a veil of secrecy to the other side of Texas to “live with an aunt” for a year. She lived in a home for unwed mothers, where she was able to continue her education and hide her pregnant belly as it grew before releasing me to my family.

I’ve always known I was an adoptee and my family celebrated it as something that made me special. My parents always said that they chose me and we celebrated my adoption day each year. I didn’t think a lot about it as a child, but being an adoptee has shaped a lot of who I am today as an adult. While I never longed for a relationship with my birth mother, I always wanted to one day to connect with her to see if there was someone in the world who was like me. I also wanted to thank her for what must have been a very traumatic experience, because her sacrifice gave me the life that I have today.

Texas has strict privacy laws – some of the most stringent in the nation – as it relates to adoption. In order for adoptees and birth families to connect, they both must separately apply to a registry. If there’s a match, both parties are contacted. When I was a young adult, I added my name to the registry and discovered that my birth mother wasn’t looking for me because she was not on the registry.

A few years later, while surfing the internet when I should have been working, I stumbled upon a website for adoptees and birth families who were looking for one another. I did a quick search to see if any of the few random details I know about my origins were listed anywhere on the site. They were not, so I drafted a quick post about my details before promptly forgetting that I had done so.

A few years later, I received an email from someone who said that they might be my birth mother. While guarding myself against potential disappointment, something inside me said that the email was, indeed, from my birth mother. I instructed the person about how to go about joining the registry and, while we awaited word from the adoption agency, we continued to correspond back and forth.

The adoption agency confirmed that I had been talking with my birth mother, Ruth, and we continued the process of getting to know one another. I flew to the Houston area to meet her and her family twice. I learned the name of my birth father, whose family owns a line of Western boots, and received confirmation of the sordid tale I had always assumed was the truth – that he didn’t believe Ruth was pregnant with his child and other subsequent douchebaggery.

Ruth told me about the pain and shame surrounding the adoption and I did my best to comfort her. In the end, the trauma seemed to have won out, as she stopped communicating with me, despite my many efforts. Still, I occasionally added her to mailing lists associated with major milestones – our wedding announcement, Christmas card with our wedding photo, E’s birth announcement and Christmas card with his photo on it.

As we were planning our wedding, we received a save the date card from my half-sister, and she was planning to wed the same day as K and I. We never received a formal invitation to the wedding, not that we could have attended, but I assumed that Ruth decided that it was too much for her and convinced her daughter not to invite me.

After years of radio silence, I sorted through Tuesday’s mail to find a letter from a random Texas address I had not previously seen and immediately knew that it was from Ruth. In the letter, she apologized for letting so much time slip by without getting in touch, inquired several times about E, and updated me on some of her family’s news. She moved from the address I had when I sent E’s birth announcement, so it’s clear that she never received that, but I’m unsure how she was still able to receive the Christmas card I sent with E’s photo on it. Her daughter’s fiance suddenly broke off their engagements a few months before their wedding, leaving her heartbroken and in a lurch, which explains the lack of a formal invitation to her wedding. My half-sister has since met a nice man and is pregnant with her first child, a little boy due in mid-March. My half brothers are currently living apart from Ruth in the town where my birth mother last lived – one is working and the other is in his final year of high school.

I’m not quite sure how to feel. I’m honestly not allowing myself to feel much of anything. I don’t want to extend my emotions or get my hopes up that this communication is a sign of her desire to reconnect in any meaningful way. I plan on writing her back and providing information about E (“I hope there is a very happy story I need to hear,” she says), as well as some photos, which she requested. Beyond that, I think I need to consider each communication as a singular interaction and not think about them in succession or as perhaps something that could become a trend.

K thinks that she was driven to write the letter to find out more about E. It’s clear that it was of interest to her, given her several references to him in the letter. K also theorizes that she likely wonders about whether or not they share a biological connection, which I hadn’t even considered. I’m not really letting myself go to the place of analysis, especially as it relates to E, because I’ve long since stopped wondering why Ruth does what she does. She has a right to her emotions and has a responsibility to steward her past trauma in a way that makes sense for her. I’ve always hoped that she’d be able to get to a place of peace, mostly because she’s a nice person who deserves to feel released of that shame and guilt, but I know that there isn’t anything I can do to control whether or not that happens for her. Besides, my energy needs to stay focused on my own family.

Whew. What a can of worms.

Picture Perfect

One of my least favorite things in the entire world is being photographed. I take a lot of pictures of the people I love, mostly with my iPhone and, to this end, K bought me a Photo Jojo macro and wide-angle lens for my iPhone and an online phone-ography class. But I mostly avoid being the subject of others’ photos, much to K’s frequent disappointment.

I knew that he’d been wanting a family photo for a long time and, while I did too, being in said photos felt akin to having a tooth drilled. Since gifts aren’t really supposed to be about the gift giver and I wanted to show that I valued his wishes, I purchased a family photo shoot for K for Christmas.

We were originally supposed to have our photos taken on December 26th, but with both of my guys sick, no one really felt up to the task. Plus, there’s not a frame in the world that’s beautiful enough to overcome the sheer amount of mucous that would be present in the resulting photos.

I rescheduled the shoot for New Year’s Day. Earlier that morning, despite the frigid temperatures and heaping cover of snow on the ground, I trudged outside to install E’s new convertible car seat, a Diono Radian RXT, which K’s parents got for us as a Christmas gift. It was trickier to install than our infant seat, but not too bad.

I knew that with the terrible winter weather and the steep learning curve of putting E into his new car seat, we would need to leave early for our photography shoot. Unfortunately, upon placing him in his new seat, E had the biggest meltdown I have seen to date. It required me to sit in the backseat with him, placing a paci in his mouth and trying to comfort him while K bravely traversed the slippery roads to get us to our destination. There’s nothing quite like three grumpy people headed toward an activity that pretty much demands sincere, lovely smiles.

E rings in the New Year by nomming on some steak

E rings in the New Year by enjoying some of his Daddy’s steak fajitas.

When we arrived, we gave E a bottle and we were relieved that his mood immediately brightened. He was a total charmer during the session and, much to my surprise, a lot of the resulting photos satisfied me. The present I got for K came with a disc of three of the photos, plus two printed sheets, and allowed the option of ordering additional sheets for a discounted price. I liked so many of the photos that it was difficult to decide and we ended up ordering a few extra sheets.

The disc and prints will arrive in two weeks and I plan on posting E’s solo photo that we chose as his 9 month commemorative shot as a part of the package. Since we plan on maintaining our anonymity as best we can, though, I won’t be posting the family photos we selected. You can all just take my word that we looked great. Haha!

Happy 2014, all!

The long-awaited return

As promised, I’m trying to get back into the swing of this blogging thing. It seems like I have less and less time these days, but it’s important to me that I attempt to document our experiences as parents and the rapidly changing person that is our dear E.

E these days:

  • After so many months of massive drooling, chewing on everything and general fussiness, E is finally getting his first tooth. In fact, because he’s an overachiever like his parents, he’s getting two teeth at once. He hasn’t been too large of a wreck, but there are times in which he’s clearly in pain. Tylenol has helped a bit during those horrible times, but even with it, he occasionally cries out from pain in his sleep. It’s heartbreaking.
  • E is still exploring solids, though life is so hectic and busy that it’s not unusual for us to skip solids entirely some days. His daycare is giving him solids during the day, but he really seems particular about eating them. Sometimes he turns his nose up at foods for which he’s previously shown an obsession. It’s totally normal for youngin’s to gag on solids at first, but because he has a sensitive gag reflex, this sometimes results in a pukefest. Oh what fun.
  • 6moLifetouch2He’s a general ball of silliness and joy. E literally grins and laughs the vast majority of the day. Everyone comments on what a happy baby he is and that makes me feel so good. His smile is infectious and his laughs are musical. I think his smile was captured really well in his recent photos at daycare.6moLifetouch
  • A lot of people comment on how big E is, but as of his 6 month pediatrician visit, he only weighs 18 lbs, 6 oz and is 26″ long. He’s literally 50th percentile for both height and weight on the growth charts. Mr. Average. I think he looks big to people because he has such a long torso.
  • E is on the verge of crawling. He scoots all around our hardwood floor, mostly backwards, but occasionally manages to move forward. He pivots around and around and rolls. He’s been getting up on his knees, doing some pelvic rocks and even planks. It’s only a matter of time, we think. K and I have definitely added babyproofing to our agenda in the near future.
  • HalloweenI made a simple clown costume for E’s first Halloween. I think he looked adorable and I’m shocked by how patient he was with the elasticized clown hat. I was, unfortunately, not feeling well and couldn’t attend the much-anticipated Halloween party at his daycare. K attended and my guys had a great time.

Us these days:

  • K is super busy with work. He’s on a somewhat new project that has some pretty unrealistic deadlines. It’s been making K and all of his coworkers really stressed. One of his bosses has even had an outbreak of stress-related shingles!
  • Things are really ramping up for me at work these days, too. The holidays are a very busy time of year in the fundraising world. I’m responsible for writing our fundraising letters as well as processing and acknowledging gifts. 80% of the funds raised through our direct mail program come in during the end of the year, so that should give you a sense of what will be on my plate.
  • The entire family has been sick lately. K had a 103 degree fever for over a week and had to take a lot of time off of work. E had a double ear infection. Then I got viral laryngitis, a sinus infection and am on the verge of an ear infection. Now that I’m finally feeling better (though my voice doesn’t sound like it), K is getting another cold. WHY?!?!?!?!?!
  • I feel like we’ve hit our stride as parents. I no longer feel like a new parent and I no longer feel thrown by every twist and turn that occurs. We have a decent routine down while remaining fairly flexible for all of the inevitable changes that are bound to happen. I also feel like we’re setting reasonable boundaries and expectations, and that feels good.
  • We’re still dealing with some annoyances with K’s parents. When K was sick, they tried to trample K’s boundaries to meet their own selfish needs. When K set limits, they freaked out, calling him selfish and stirring up all sorts of drama. We spoke to K’s sister about it and she said that their parents are still upset that we won’t “accept” their offer to watch E once a week. Needless to say, I am beyond thankful that they’re now in Florida until Thanksgiving.

Commence heteronormative parenting group

The hospital system through which E was born offers optional parenting groups based on a baby’s age and family’s location. For six months, a group meets every other week for two hours – the first half of the session is typically dedicated to a topic of interest to the group and the second half is for social time. While we have a lot of rad parents and kids in our lives, we liked the notion of connecting with parents whose children are experiencing similar milestones and challenges around the same pace. K and I decided to be brave and enroll in one of the evening groups and our group started this week.

Birth story aside, I knew that we’d be the weirdos of the group, and I say that mostly with pride. Even most of our mundane parenting choices and preferences (cloth diapering, baby-led weaning, babywearing, baby with a hyphenated last name, etc.) put us on the fringe of most circles. Oftentimes, the knowledge of our stark differences leaves us with the expectation of needing to defend our identities and choices, which doesn’t make for a very comfortable setting. Still, we figured that we’d be interacting with mainstream parents eventually and decided to dip our toes in when we still had the option of dropping out of this particular group.

I was right in our assumption that we were rather different from other parents, but I was expecting more judgment or hesitation from the other members. Instead, we were greeted with warm smiles and friendly questions. I also expected more stay-at-home mothers in the group, but I believe all are households in which both parents work outside of the home, likely because it’s an evening group offering. I imagine that our group feels and looks a bit different from the groups that are offered mid-morning and likely attract only mothers. I was also surprised to see that one of our group members is a local elected official who is very progressive.

K and I are on the fence about whether or not we will eventually tell the group members about E’s origins. We plan on being very open with our baby, family members and friends, but when it comes to the rest of the world, we’re kind of the standpoint of disclosing on a need-to-know basis, and I realize the privilege in our ability to make that decision. Ultimately, I want E to have as much agency as possible with regard to the disclosure of his birth story, and that can’t happen if we’ve told everyone and their brother. With that in mind, K and I were a little nervous when our icebreaker was to tell our birth stories. To sidestep the issue of needing to get into something so complex with literal strangers, I opted to tell a very vague but hilarious tale surrounding E’s birth, when he made his debut and promptly peed an arc above everyone in attendance. “He has enjoyed making a big first impression since day one,” I quipped.

E was very social and smiled at parents and babies alike. I think he might have been the only baby present who didn’t cry at least once. He had a great time wiggling on the floor with some of the other kiddles, and when we took a group picture of the babies, E had his arms casually slung around both of his neighbors, as if to say, “I’m hangin’ with my bros!” (There is only one girl in the entire group!)

One thing that I greatly dislike about the group relates to the hospital’s organization of it. At the time of each baby’s birth, the hospital promotes the parenting groups and gives everyone the option of signing up if it sounds interesting to them. Before we were discharged from the hospital with E, I sent an email to the parenting resources coordinator at the hospital to sign up for the group. In my email, I relayed the requested information including my full name, my husband’s name, our location and our baby’s date of birth. When the group was formed, K – not me – and a list of clearly all women received a mass email with the details, even though I had never sent his email address to the parenting resources coordinator. Then, the night of the group, our volunteer facilitator passed around the group roster, saying that this information was provided by the hospital, and asked us to update or change anything we needed or wanted. Luckily, she handed me the roster first, which allowed me an opportunity to black out inaccurate/inappropriate information before others saw it. The roster was a bolded list of all women’s names, including K’s legal/given name (again, I never disclosed that to the parenting resources coordinator), their contact information, babies’ names, and husband’s names with the word “father” in parentheses after the men’s names. E’s last name was listed as being K’s last name, which isn’t on ANY paperwork anywhere, and my name, which was in the “husband” area (not labeled, but clear that’s what the intention of that spot was) had parentheses with nothing inside of them, like they couldn’t even figure out what my relation to this family was! Now, it’s clear to me that the parenting resources coordinator used health information on file at the hospital instead of the information provided to them by the parents as they were signing up for the groups, and that does NOT sit well with me. I plan on reaching out to the coordinator right away to let them know that we are displeased by this fact and that we never consented for this information to be relayed to others.

For now, K and I plan to continue going to the group unless or until we decide it isn’t meeting our needs, or if the downsides end up outweighing the benefits. Hopefully, there are more interesting anecdotes to come..!

Can we please stop drawing battle lines based on parenting decisions? An open letter to fellow parents

Dear parents,

I am writing you this letter, which I hope comes across with my intended utmost of sincerity, because I’ve had something swirling around in my mind quite a bit lately.

We have something pretty major in common: we have chosen to undertake the life-changing, often joyous and stressful role of parent, and the tasks related to caring for our

children’s ever-changing needs have pretty much consumed our lives.

We could have some pretty major differences going on, too: we may or may not live in a similar community, have the same interests or hobbies, and it’s fairly safe to assume that we likely check off a whole hodgepodge of different identity labels whenever we complete a survey or government form.

These differences can divide us in very problematic, deeply rooted and complicated ways – ways far too complex for me to adequately address in this blog post. Some of these differences, though, divide us in such trivial, nonsensical ways. Specifically, I am talking about the seemingly divisive nature of our varied parental decisions, philosophies and approaches.

We all love our children, want the best for them, and do all that we can to meet those lofty goals in ways that feel right for our families, given the information and means we have available to us. Being a parent is hard. So. Fucking. Hard. And we need all of the support we can muster from as many sources as we can find. To this end, can we please stop drawing battle lines based on parenting decisions?

I don't really want my child watching TV at this young of an age, and would prefer that he be 100% screen-free for a while, but I sometimes get a kick out of it. Please don't hate me for thinking my child is cute for looking at the vibrant colors on "The Price is Right" set!

I don’t really want my child watching TV at this young of an age, and would prefer that he be 100% screen-free for a while, but I sometimes get a kick out of it. Please don’t hate me for thinking my child is cute for looking at the vibrant colors on “The Price is Right” set!

I may choose to vaccinate or not vaccinate my child, put cloth or disposable diapers on my child’s hiney, home, public or private school her/him, breast- or formula-feed him/her… The list of parenting decisions that divide us is endless and maddening.

Some of my choices may surprise or even shock you, just as some of yours might for me. Please, feel free to:

  • Ask questions about how I came to the conclusions I did on the subject.
  • Acknowledge that we have different approaches.
  • Commiserate and/or empathize about ways in which our experiences relate (ex: “It certainly derails your plans when kids do something so messy and unexpected. I’ve been there!” vs. “Maybe if you chose to cloth diaper her/him, s/he wouldn’t be blowing out those disposable diapers.”).

It makes it so much easier for us to support one another and band together through the shared experience of parenthood when we don’t:

  • Make judgmental statements based on our differences.
  • Provide one another with internet resources that are clearly geared toward our way of thinking. Hell, most unsolicited advice in general is just plain annoying.
  • Pigeonhole and stereotype one another when a choice we make seems different from other choices we’ve made (ex: “You’re ‘green,’ use cloth, don’t circ and you do vax. That caught me by surprise!! Usually most folks are totally on one side with all of those topics.”).
  • Freeze each other in time by reminding one another of previous, potentially divergent decisions/approaches we’ve had, expecting and assuming that our parenting decisions won’t/can’t evolve as our families’ and children’s needs and means change.
  • Approach our relationships from an us vs. them standpoint.

Family leave may be allowed or required by law if you work at a large enough business, but it doesn’t mean that you’ll be paid during said leave. You might feel empowered and excited by the decision to breastfeed your child, but you’ll still get, at minimum, glares and side-eyed looks when out in public. If you’re perceived as a male parent, no matter how capable and confident you are, you are either treated like a novelty or buffoon. Our world can be unkind enough to us parental types. Do we really need to attack each other, too?

Instead of looking at ourselves and each other as pro- or anti- something or other, let’s lift each other up, empathize, and give words of encouragement to our fellow unsung heroes who are covered in spit-up, spend an inordinate amount of time talking about and assessing bowel movements, and are constantly juggling a multitude of balls in order to meet the needs of our families.

Also, instead of pointing fingers at other parents when they judge our choices, let’s hold ourselves accountable for doing that very thing to others. I will freely admit that one of the judgy examples above has run through my brain a time or two. Let’s be works in progress together!

Sincerely,

A fellow parent who is trying her best

Battle weary

[I’d like to start by politely requesting that this post and subsequent responses not turn into a vax vs. no-vax sort of debate. I try to honor all individual choices made by families and simply wanted to write about something that’s currently going on in our family.]

Baby E went for his four-month visit and vaccinations on Friday morning. The pediatrician was so pleased with his development – 16 lb, 4 oz (60% for weight), 25″ (40% for height) and a head circumference of 17.25″. Her official diagnosis for E was “awesome,” and we agree. We also got the go-ahead to begin introducing solid foods as we feel comfortable.

Unfortunately, he had some pretty serious responses to the vaccines. His two month vaccines caused very mild irritability and a lot of sleepiness. This time around, we had some pretty intense irritability, to the point of being inconsolable at times, significant reduction in his threshold to cope with change when he’s normally an extraordinarily mellow guy, and the worst part: explosive diarrhea. The diarrhea has gone on for a few days and seems to be getting worse. We called the on-call pediatrician last night, and she encouraged us to introduce Pedialyte and to come in for a visit if his diarrhea continued into morning (and it, of course, did).

I had taken quite a few days off lately, so K stayed home from work with E and took him to the pediatrician. He has lost 5 oz. since Friday and the doc believes that he has Rotavirus from the live vaccine or was exposed to another tummy trouble inducing virus (which just seems too coincidental, IMO). We are to continue giving him formula and Pedialyte and, if he fails to produce three pee diapers over the course of the day, need to bring him back again tomorrow for further assessment.

Little guy is SO lethargic and sad. He doesn’t want to eat much (who does when it’s exploding out the other end?!) and it’s horrible to see him this way. Our house also smells – let’s just say – not so fresh. I am truly worried about him and it’s hard to be at work while he and Daddy both suffer.

To add insult to injury:

  • We visited my folks on Lake Michigan this weekend in a very poorly planned turn of events. Having all of our regular routines and processes disrupted by travel is significantly harder when you add a sick, disgruntled infant into the mix.
  • K and I were both battling colds through the process.
  • My generous, well-intentioned parents purchased two thoughtful but very large combined birthday gifts for K and I. This meant that we had even less room in our packed-to-the-gills small vehicle.
  • My retired engineer of a father proceeded to stand behind me and “direct” the placement of the multitude of items I was packing for our departure. After getting increasingly exasperated and after multiple requests to be left alone during this process, I finally ended up yelling at my dad, “I’m serious, Dad, WALK. AWAY.” It was a much less gracious departure than I had intended, but I really didn’t feel like my boundaries were being respected in that moment.
  • We got stuck in traffic for about half an hour on the way home, with no means of escape because there weren’t any exits on this stretch of highway. This occurred concurrently with our irritable child moaning and screaming, our only options to endure the screaming or prolong it by pulling off to the side of the road.
  • Our younger dog tried to leap into the front seat of the car when we were more than halfway home. As I turned to the backseat to yell at her, I discovered what had freaked her out: her elderly sister, whose health has been rapidly declining as of late, was actively having a seizure. K tried to pull off the side of the highway so that we could get our dog out of the car and assess her health. After a few minutes of me attempting to calm a seizing canine along a busy highway (what were we THINKING?!), we decided this was a terrible idea and got back into the car with the seizing dog on my lap while we tried to quickly find an exit.
  • We found a rest stop, where K and I could finally relieve our aching bladders and attend to the sick doggy. We were both soooo thirsty, not having had an opportunity to really focus at all on our own needs for the entire trip. K came back from his restroom trip, apologizing for not being able to purchase bottles of water for us from the vending machine because he didn’t have any dollar bills. As luck would have it, I had several dollar bills, but when I finally had the opportunity to pee and make my way to the vending machine, I fed two dollars into the machine, gleefully pressed the button for water, only to see the red “SOLD OUT” flash before my eyes. Then, the machine wouldn’t give me a refund and I sulked while I selected the best option I could manage, Diet Dr. Pepper, which isn’t even among my top five soda choices. The silver lining here is that our dog recovered from her seizure and we were able to calmly continue on in our merry (ha!) travels.
  • About half an hour later, I realized that we were low on fuel and decided we shouldn’t take any chances, given our day’s luck, and just stop at the next reasonable exit. Of course this meant that the baby woke up and was famished. K had to take him inside of the combo gas station/fast-food restaurant to change his diaper and secure some hot water to give him a bottle. E was screaming bloody murder the entire time, causing the entire crowd to stare at K, wondering what he could have possibly done to this poor child to cause him to scream in such a manner. K swears he saw a group of athletic teenage boys looking on in horror as though they realized what a seemingly heterosexual man’s life could look like if he decided not to wear a condom during sexual intercourse with a female partner.
  • Once we were finally home, our dog took another turn for the worse, searching for a place to hide like she wanted to die in peace. She laid on her side and closed her eyes while K and I cried and told her that if she felt it was her time, she could go and find her late sister, that we loved her and that she was such a good girl. After a few minutes, out of nowhere, she lifted her head, stood up, and trotted away to jump up and snuggle on the couch. K and I just stared blankly at each other, mouths gaping.

It has been a roller coaster of a weekend, to be certain. I slept so hard when I finally went to bed last night that I didn’t even require my second nightly dose of sleeping meds.

An update: After several doses of Pedialyte today, E seems to be on the upswing. He’s had a few pee diapers (enough so that he doesn’t have to go back to the pediatrician tomorrow) and is a lot more joyful and energetic. K just changed him into his overnight diaper and triumphantly declared, “His nuts look less shriveled!” That pretty much says it all, friends.

Holy $#%@!!!

While getting closer to the birth of your little one, did you have those “holy [expletive]” moments where the impending arrival of your baby suddenly washed over you like a dizzying wave? K and I have been having those a LOT lately.

This morning, in a moment of grogginess, K realized that we’re officially 32 weeks pregnant and that the ~4 lb. baby that he’s carrying will soon be here. He also recently checked one of our baby registries, which lists a countdown to our due date and had one of those “ACK!” moments.

He doesn’t envy my daily reality. The largest fundraiser of the year (think of planning an annual wedding for approximately 500 people, only it also includes auctions, raffles, etc.) is, quite literally, the day before our anticipated due date. I’m using new software this year to help streamline our planning and execution, but this software comes with an unfortunate daily reminder of how much time I have left before the world considers me a mother. Whenever I open the program, I see the following:

countdown to Falco

There is NO WAY to disable this feature (and trust me, I have thoroughly researched it). I thought it was scary when it said “109 days to go,” but this less than two months thing? ACK! The days have been rapidly dwindling and it’s freaking me out a little bit. I know we’re fairly prepared, but STILL!

What heart-pounding about-to-meet-baby moments of realization have you experienced?

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.

target mens

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