… to a lesbian conception adventure!

Posts tagged ‘hope’

Second Post: Goodbye 2012 (22 weeks)

There is SO MUCH TO SAY with so little time to say it.

2012 was a fantastic year for us.  And a challenging year.

We spent just over the first half looking forward to the baby.  The first couple months included ongoing nausea and vomiting for me on an almost daily basis — it boggles my mind to imagine just how long I felt so bad.  We announced the baby to the world in February and all was well until March, when we had a scare that something very serious could be wrong.  Made it through that okay (and just in time for a trip to see family) and spent the next several months in high gear, preparing as much as we could for childbirth and the aftermath, getting the nursery together (building a closet! painting! hanging light fixtures!) as well as enjoying our time as a family of two + Wonderdog.  Despite super hot heat, swollen ankles, and fifty new pounds of weight, I thoroughly enjoyed the last weeks of my pregnancy and spent the day before giving birth on a walk, at a child’s birthday party in a park, and shopping.

The end of July brought the beginning of our new reality.  Labor was fast, intense, and unbelievable (I still marvel at times that that was me, that I was that pregnant, that I had the baby, and that I am a mother — STILL — I sometimes look at pictures in amazement, like it was a time from a different reality, which I suppose it was).  We had a hospital birth and outside of some trouble we all had sleeping, I found the hospital to be just fine and a nice break between the world that was and the world that was becoming.

When we got home on the very last day of July, we started a whole new set of adventures.  We functioned better than ever as a team – I would nurse, C would change diapers (and do so much more those first weeks – like pretty much everything while I got the hang of nursing).  We visited with families and introduced K to her world (and Wonderdog to K).  We made it from the hospital to home, from home to nearby places, from nearby places to distant places.  C went back to work after 6 amazing weeks, my relationship with the baby got deeper, and just before I went back to work, C officially adopted K so there is no doubt in anyone’s (legal) mind where K belongs.  K stared daycare and thrived and I returned to work and made the best of it, enjoying it some days, longing for my baby on others.  I contemplated nursing, working, marriage.

We celebrated the holidays, holding three of the four gatherings that we usually hold from mid-October until today (and we were grateful that we have held these gatherings so many times before that we were able to incorporate K in instead of  trying to create a gathering AND manage the baby).  We took our first set of flights with the baby and agreed that four months old was the perfect flying time.  I took tons and tons and tons of pictures and videos, recording each moment for K so that she can see herself with her family and see their love for her even if relationships change, even if people die.  She celebrated her first Christmas, opening presents if we tore a small piece for her.  I felt simultaneously happy and nostalgic, recognizing that these moments are so precious and so distinct from all the other moments we will have with K in her entire life.

Last night, rather than gathering with friends and preparing a large meal (and cleaning up after it) as we usually do, we ended up at my parent’s house, having an amazing meal, watching television, and just relaxing.  And it really was so relaxing.  When the ball dropped (which has never been such an amazing thing to C and I), K was in the den with her grandparents, asleep in grandma’s arms.  A good beginning to what will hopefully be a great year of growth, development, and discovery for us all.

One day…

Some days, when I have the time and energy to sit and stare at the baby and think about all the things in the world, I think about her future.  More, I think about the future of her relationship with me.  And, unsurprisingly if you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, I am already nostalgic for this simple, beautiful time.  Because while I can imagine the great deal of good that it is ahead, I spend more time pondering the thousand ways my heart will break.  I think about how there will be a day when I get really, truly mad at her for some reason or another.  How there will be a day when she says “no” just to spite me, instead of to exercise her freedom as a toddler.  How there will very likely be a day when she does her best to hurt me because she is so mad at me, spitting negativity because she does not know any better way to handle some intense emotion.  I think about our simple, feed-change-play-snuggle relationship morphing and growing in complexity and I am overwhelmed.  I realize there is not going to be some gigantic leap from here to there and that all of our days will be woven together to create the relationship we will have, that it will likely not seem so overwhelming on the other side.  And of course I want my child to grow and learn and develop and become who she will be.  I want to talk to her as a toddler, a child, a teenager, an adult.  I see a thousand possible futures and I am excited to know the person she becomes.  But this simple world where she and her mama and I climb into bed for a story and nursing and end up falling asleep, cuddled together – this is nice, too.  And hopefully the memories of all the days like this will steel me against the challenging times that my heart knows will one day come.

Conception-versary

Today marks one year (give or take) of Miss K’s existence.

I realize that most of the world’s parents probably don’t stop and marvel about the moment of conception.  But most of the world’s parents don’t spend such a significant amount of time, energy, and resources preparing to and attempting to conceive.

We were very lucky in that it only took us three tries before K’s conception, but I do think that knowing that we had some tries that did not work followed by the one magical try that did makes the day more surreal and even magical.  There were tries that would have produced a whole different baby that did not work out… and a try that was like any of the others that absolutely did work out.  It’s the kind of thing that keeps me pondering the possibility of God versus the possibility of total complete random luck, the kind of thing that made me so fascinated by visits to the RE.  On this day, a year ago, that sperm, that egg, that specific timing led to this specific, wonderful, can’t-imagine-the-world-without-her person.  Truly a miracle.

And then to think that a year ago, K’s existence was nothing more than the tiniest of tiny specks.  And yet my body was already beginning it’s special work that would allow her to grow and thrive, and the choices I was making were already (or would soon be) affecting her growth and development.  To think that she has been with us in tiniest of ways (and the biggest of ways) for a whole year, even though I’m just getting to know who she is and what she means to me.

There really aren’t words for it.  I am amazed.  And I am grateful.

One Month

One month ago today, Miss K came passionately into our lives.  And we will never be the same.

We have spent the past month joyfully, tiredly getting to know this little being with all of her likes and dislikes and personality.  We have celebrated each step we have taken: healthy birth, good check-up at the hospital, coming home, learning a “routine,” getting better at nursing, meeting family and friends.  We have celebrated weight gain and increased focus, the start of cooing and increased cuddling.  We have marveled that she is ours (and wondered aloud when her real parents would be coming to take her home).

We have looked at the past: the decisions and steps that got us here.  And we have looked at the future: anxiety about return to work, pumping, finding a “schedule” for a little person who needs to schedule herself; hope for health and holidays and passionate living.  We have also tried to stay present to her in the moment and to each other.

We have changed diapers, changed clothes (hers and ours), changed plans.  We have given baths to a creature who becomes incredibly stoic the second she gets submerged in the tub and incredibly sad when she is forced to leave her warm splashy place.  We have attended pediatrician appointments and support groups.  We’ve cuddled, snuggled, slept, stayed wide awake.  We’ve never wanted to let her go and prayed for just a little break.  We’ve worried when she’s not sleeping, worried when she is, worried in the midst of our own sleep in the form of strange dreams.

We are growing together as parents, as a couple.  We agreed early on to form a mutual admiration society and have used it often to praise the other for her hard and good work as a parent.  We are amazed and amazing and incredibly grateful for the time that we’ve had off together as a family, especially because we live in a country where such leave is only kind of guaranteed if you’ve been working long enough and if you can find a way to afford it.

She is nothing like we imagined.  She is everything we could have imagined.  She has changed our lives immeasurably, weaving herself into the fabric of our family, improving it and improving us.  We will never be the same.

A moment of emotion

The day K was born, my mother came to the hospital bearing a cold cut (one of the foods that I had given up and desperately missed) and a card.  The card has a picture of a newborn on it (with a cute knit hat) and says the following:

Outside:

Someday she’ll be a strong, confident woman… but you’ll always remember the first time you held her in your arms.

Inside:

Someday she’ll have her own hopes and dreams, not knowing that once upon a quiet time, you closed your eyes and dreamed to have her in your life.

I get teary every time I read it.  Every. Time.  It immediately takes me back to the day she was born, all of the thoughts and emotions.  And it also makes me think about how quickly she is already growing, how my job is to help her become the person she is meant to be.  It reminds me that the only control I had, oddly enough, was the “control” of choosing to try to have a baby.  Everything after that – TTC, pregnancy, birth, parenting – has had and will have some control and lots of illusion of control, but the goal is to move past wanting to control and to a place where relationship and guidance, along with the school of hard knocks, leads to K controlling her own life, hopefully in a way that is safe and healthy, even if it isn’t always agreeable with what her mama or I might want for her.

It also makes me realize that I am old enough to – and actually do – have a child and that time marches on into a future where the day she was born will be a distant joyful memory when all of the hopes and dreams of the world were possibilities for this new little being.

 

Still waiting :)

Made it through another full week of work with no appearance of the Cub.

Really, outside of the awesomeness of meeting this little person, there really isn’t a compelling reason I’m begging for an appearance just yet – except for the fact that I would prefer not to go to work on Monday.  Having had occasional (likely gas) pains the past few days, I’m also a little anxious to know what the start of labor will feel like.  And it’s weird to wonder with every twinge and movement – “is this the beginning of something?”  Poor Dr. G.oo.gle has gotten lots of questions about back pain and labor or twinges and labor or decreased/increased fetal movement and labor.  It’s become a bit of a pastime for me when I’m not doing other things.

I’ve gained more weight this week and the midwife – the only one who ever comments on my weight – noted when I said that I honestly don’t know where it’s coming from (I don’t – I’m not eating significantly more, I’ve been walking around and moving, etc.) “Well, you’re not gonna push out a 45 pound baby.”  Thanks. I realize that.  And I don’t need you contributing to any body image issues I’ll have after the Cub is born (I’m hoping they won’t be many, as I’ve loved and continue to love my body through pregnancy, but non-pregnant belly is a lot different than pregnant belly).  C has always loved my body regardless of shape, but I’ve already “placed an order” for additional affirmation about my body post-baby because I hate to be one of those women who is asking “what do you think of my body?!” but I also am going to need to hear the “you’re body is awesome!”

You know, maybe if I make more plans, the Cub will decide it’s time to interrupt them!  So this weekend, I plan to do the following:

  • Put at least SOME things in our hospital bag (yeah, yeah, it’s not packed at all yet)
  • Clean the office AGAIN
  • Hang one of the wall hangings and a couple shelves in the nursery
  • Put away clean laundry
  • Purchase more for-when-after-the-baby-is-here food.
  • Add movies / shows to queue for watching during maternity leave
  • Dream about the late summer / fall with the Cub: festivals, holidays, pumpkins, gatherings, pretty leafy walks 🙂

 

 

39 Weeks!

One week left! Or two days! Or 21 days!  Who knows?

Pregnancy signs this week have been mostly the same old, same old.  Some swelling (though less with tons of walking, oddly enough), lots of wiggly-moving-stretchy-baby, some minor heartburn.  BH contractions seem to have increased and some have a mildly uncomfortable element to them.  I’ve also had some mild cramping that leaves me thinking “is this the start?” but it never seems to be.  It seems to me that the baby has dropped (I can’t see my belly button in my bathroom mirror any more) but I can’t say I’m have significantly more discomfort than I was prior to the “dropping” and so I’m not sure if it’s actually occurred and I’m lucky or if it has not occurred at all.

We enjoyed ourselves this past weekend making last minute baby purchases, spending time at a festival, and enjoying our together alone time in significantly cooler weather than what we’ve been facing the last several weeks.  We were probably hoping it was a last hurrah though it’s likely it was a second-to-last (third-to-last?) hurrah!  I guess we’ll see 🙂

Meanwhile, everyone else is getting antsy and excited and ready to hear the good news any day now.  Parents are reminding us of where they can be reached in case there needs to be a sudden check-in, siblings are sharing their enthusiasm, and coworkers are constantly surprised by my presence at work (“You’re still here!?” they say in surprise and wonder).  Mostly everyone thinks I’ll go soon, but I think that is mostly wishful thinking / surprise at my size.  We’ve dodged many birthdays of friends and family and I kind of hope to keep dodging them – I like the idea of the Cub’s own day (though some folks like the idea of sharing their day with the Cub).

I keep wondering what labor will be like, what it will feel like, and how I’ll handle it.  It’s so hard to know until you’ve been there and while so many women so willingly share their stories, no two stories are alike and no one can share all the feelings, emotions, etc. that they experienced.  I am hoping to be a trooper and work with the pain and the baby and have as calm a birth as possible but I’m also very aware that that might not be possible.  So we wait and see.

The only other thing going on is that we are working – document by document – on second parent adoption.  I feel strongly that I should have just videotaped C trying to make dinners during the first trimester. Or her support TTC. Or the love and care that she will be showing our baby from the moment of birth.  And that that should be sufficient.  But apparently it won’t be and we need to prove ourselves in every conceivable way – financially, with family support letters, etc. etc.  That being said, the adoption day will provide us with an opportunity to celebrate (even if it changes little about our interpersonal relationship with the Cub) and who doesn’t like celebrating?  Maybe we can have cake!

Hope you all are having a good week!