Friday, January 29, 2010

Spinning babies for fun and profit

As you may or may not not know, I have Constant Hair On Fire Syndrome. One of the ways my CHOFS manifests itself during pregnancy is that I fail the one hour blood glucose test and then go on to pass the three hour test and never have blood sugar problems again for the rest of my pregnancy.

As I was taking the one hour test last week I knew it was just a formality. I knew I would fail it and have to come back in again to take the three hour test. I even warned my IFs that I would fail the test. I even told the lab tech taking my blood that I would fail and have to come back.

And hey, what do you know? I failed the one hour test.

Luckily I know my body and I know how weird it is so I really wasn't worried about the three hour test. It went exactly how I expected it to. Well, not exactly.

I was thrown for a little loop when there was a woman in the waiting room with me who also had the Gestational Diabetes Test Slip Of Paper Of Shame which meant we would be sitting together in a small area for three hours. She smelled. Like, really bad. She smelled like she had perhaps slept in an ashtray and then had a pack of cigarettes for breakfast and then made her clothes out of old cigarette butts and then wore Stale Smoke perfume to the lab.

I sat as far away from her as I could but even then I was worried that maybe the babies were getting a nicotine contact high from the fumes. Every time someone new would come into the lab waiting area they would notice the smell right away and then look around trying to figure it out who it was coming from. Each time it took all my restraint to not say "Oh my god! It's not me! It's her! And do you happen to have any fresh air on you!?!?"

Eventually I had to ask if I could sit in a different waiting area because the smell was just so terrible. But that's the bad news. The good news is I passed the three hour test.

Now I just need to work on getting this little girl into the right position. Sometimes I think she's in the right spot but then I'll feel a huge lurch in my tummy and I'll feel what feels a whole lot like a little back running along the top of my stomach.

Since my goal is still an unmedicated vaginal delivery I've been working like crazy to spin this baby. I've been putting myself into all kinds of goofy positions trying to get her to go head down. Most of them involve my head down on the ground and my butt up in the air. Most of them involve the kids laughing at me like crazy. I guess I'll see at my 32 weeks ultrasound if it was all for nothing.

So that's about it right now. Now I have to go clean my house because I'm interviewing a mother's helper this afternoon. I already feel like enough of an asshole hiring someone to come in and help watch the kids while I lay in bed. I don't need to feel like an even bigger asshole for being a person who hires someone to watch her kids while she lays in bed AND doesn't even bother to clean her own house. I'm going to try to hold off that level of assholery for at least a couple more weeks.

One year ago today I still used twitter.
Two years ago today Jesse and I nearly married two men.
Three years ago today I was pissed off at Aspergers.

Monday, January 25, 2010

She loves me

Elle loves me.

I know, I know. She's my daughter. Of course she loves me. But she really, really loves me. Of everyone she loves, she loves me the best. Of everyone who loves me, she's the one who loves me the most.

At least a dozen times a day Elle will suddenly stop whatever she's doing to tell me how much she loves me. She gives me countless hugs and kisses. She loves to sit on my lap and cuddle with me. She says the sweetest things me to me.

"Mama, I'm a lovebug today."

"Why's that baby?"

"It's because I love you so much."

When I pick her up from preschool she is always overjoyed to see me at the door. "Mama!" she squeals happily, her whole face lighting up. She greets me as though we had been apart for two months instead of two hours.

Elle wants to be just like me. When I stand in front of the bathroom mirror and put on make-up she stands right next to me and taps a clean make up brush against her face. When I read a book she curls up on the couch next to me and "reads" a book of her own. When I cook dinner she's right there next me, standing on a chair and waiting for her chance to stir a pot.

Sometimes she climbs down from her chair so she can stand behind me and run her little hands over the small of my back. It's her version of a back rub. It's the same way she wakes me up in the morning. She climbs into my bed, kisses my cheek and gently rubs my back. Then she says loudly "Mama! Your tummy is getting so big!"

It won't last forever, me being her favorite. Some day she'll realize I'm not as fantastic as she thinks I am now. Until that day I'm going to soak all this wonderful baby love and enjoy being my favorite girl's favorite girl.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Big as I wanna be

I'm 28 weeks pregnant now.

With past pregnancies I have always measured a bit behind. When Elle was born at 39 weeks I was measuring about 37 weeks along. When Little A was born at 38 weeks I had stalled out at about 36 weeks.

Now I'm 28 weeks pregnant and I'm measuring 40 weeks.

You guys. I am so freaking huge. It's not even funny. I can no longer move about with any kind of dignity or grace. I waddle, I heave, I hoist, I groan, I strain, I end up peeing myself a little bit. And that's just when I'm getting my shoes on.

I have continued my glorious tradition of failing the one hour blood glucose test. I expect that this time will go the same as the last two times. I'll take the three hour test and pass it and my blood sugar will never be an issue again. I'm really not worried about it. I'm not looking forward to drinking the horrible glucose drink again but whatever. I'll deal.

What I AM worried about is the position this little girl is in. Unlike her brother (who has always been head down like a good little fetus) she's decided to lie sideways for the time being. She's still got time to move into a better position and I'm hopeful that she does. If she doesn't I'll be getting a c-section and that's something I would rather avoid. So for now I'm sending DOWN vibes her way and keeping my fingers crossed.

Other than my massive size and wonky blood sugar all is going as expected with this pregnancy. I've got the usual complaints. Heartburn, a need to pee every 20 minutes, back aches, four or five charlie horses a night, swollen ankles, the growth of a thick and luxurious mustache. You know, all the good stuff.

There's really no way to end this rather boring update than to say ... 40 WEEKS!!! OMGWTFBBQ!!!

Two years ago today Elle was not a queen.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Randomness and links and youtube... oh my!

First off, I guess today is some kind of blog delurking day or something. I don't know, no one ever tells me about this stuff. Because I enjoy a good delurking as much as the next person I'm going to ask you to comment today. To help encourage you I am going to donate $1 for every comment I get on this post to Doctors Without Borders.


Pat Robertson is a dick. True story.
My feelings about Pat Robertson are pretty much the same as my feelings on Jerry Falwell. And I don't want to hear about how he needs to be left along because at least his organization is doing some good and blah blah blah. Being involved with a charity does not give you a "Get Our Of Asshole Territory Free" card. Dave says it all better than I could.


Can Muslims be good Americans? Avitable knows the answer to this age old question.


After my post about how my in-laws not supporting my surrogacy I got some amazingly kind and supportive emails. I won't go into details here but trust me, they were awesome. The support I got in the comments of that post was overwhelming to me as well. Everyone should have such kindness directed their way once in a while. To top it all off I got a call from J&B the next day. They just wanted to say hi and thank me yet again for my part in bringing Little A into this world. See? It is all good. It really is.


Brad and Angelina have donated one million dollars to Doctors Without Borders to support their relief efforts in Haiti. That's pretty impressive. Now I almost feel a little bad for laughing at Mr and Mrs Smith preview. Almost. If you want to be a philanthropist like Brad and Angelina but don't have a million dollars of your own check out what Pioneer Woman has going on. She's donating 10 cents for every comment PLUS having a giveaway giving two $500 donations to the charity of the winner's choice. Not too shabby.


In news from closer to home, yesterday Elle and I both wore red, long sleeved shirts. Hers was a turtleneck, mine was not. She noticed this and said "Hey! We're wearing the same shirts except mine has little bumpers on the neck to keep my head safe!" I like how her brain works.


Stephen Baldwin - kind of a lunatic. Who could have seen that one coming?


This is Joseph's current favorite youtube video. You should hear him belt it out.


Don't forget that every comment left on this scatter-shot post will generate a $1 donation to Doctors Without Borders. You can feel free to retweet that or whatever it is you crazy social media suave bloggers do. Remember, every dollar I donate to Doctors Without Borders is one less dollar I spend on chocolate cake. So come on, do it for my jeans!

year ago today I went to L.A.
Two years ago today I made a birth plan.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sorry, I can't respect you disrespecting me

The first time I was a surrogate my father-in-law and his wife (my step-mother-in-law?) were not exactly supportive of the whole endeavor. They were convinced that I was going to be emotionally devastated after the baby was born and I had to "give it up". This was pretty much the only topic of conversation between us every time I saw them for the entire time that I was pregnant.

I tried explaining that I didn't think of it as "giving the baby up" because it wasn't mine to give. I tried explaining that I didn't tie carrying a child to being a child's mother since I had not carried Joseph and he was mine. I tried explaining that I felt 100% confident in my ability to care for this child and nurture it while it was with me and then let go when the time came.

Nothing I said made a bit of difference. I always got the same answers. "Take care of yourself because this is going to be so hard on you." "Don't hold the baby after it's born because that will be too hard for you." "This is going to make you so sad!"

In the end I resigned myself to the fact that they simply couldn't understand where I was coming from and that I would probably never be able to make them understand my point of view. I figured I would prove it to them by not being emotionally wrecked after the baby was born.

Then Little A was born and it was so, so, so good. I was over the moon happy with the whole event. I was proud of myself and happy and excited and the whole thing really went beyond every expectation that I had. I mean, yes, there were rough spots because J was neurotic and he made me a little nuts at times but other than that it was all really positive.

At that point I figured any naysayers would have to take back their concerns. (And it wasn't just my in-laws, there have been a few others too. It's just that my in-laws have been the most vocal in their disagreement but that's partly because some people have stopped talking to us because of this but that's a whole different story.) After all, there could be no denying now that I had done the right thing. Surrogacy is a little unconventional but it was such a great thing for me and family. I think anyone who knows us, really knows us, sees how wonderful it has been for all of us.

Then I got pregnant again.

And what do you know? Second verse, same as the first. A little bit louder and a little bit worse.

"This is going to be so hard on you." "You'll be so sad when you have to give them up." "You can't be happy with how this ends!" "This will just leave you heart broken."

When we saw my father-in-law and step-mother-in-law for Christmas this was the main topic of conversation. It was beyond frustrating. It soon became clear to me that they weren't even listening to what I was saying because they were so focused on what they were saying. At one point my father-in-law said "You won't see the babies after they're born right? While you're in the hospital I mean?"

I replied that yes, I would see them and in fact that plan was for me to possibly nurse the babies while we were still in the hospital. His response? "You won't hold them though right?"

No. Someone else will stand across the room and hold them while I nurse them with my Go-Go-Gadget Boobs.

I guess it was that moment where I realized it was pointless to argue. I wasn't being listened to anyway so I took a nap.

As we were getting ready to leave my step-mother-in-law pulled me aside to warn me yet again how hard this was going to be on me. I guess I was losing my patience a little bit and I said (a little snappishly) that really, I was fine and I would be fine and that I knew what I was doing. She stiffened a little bit and said "Well then. I just hope you don't get a lot of stretch marks!"

Stretch marks? Really? That's your final warning? Stretch marks? A) It's not like I'm going around in a bikini real often anyway. Stretch marks aren't going to bother me all that much. B) Do you really think I would choose to be a "professional womb" if I was worried about stupid crap like stretch marks? C) You're just really determined that I regret this in some way, shape or form aren't you? If I'm not crying over the loss of the babies then I damned well better be crying over stretch marks.

I used to think that their lectures were coming from a place of genuine, albeit misguided, concern for me. Now, not so much. I don't know what it is but I suspect it's that they really don't agree with what I'm doing and they're using these "you'll be sorry" tactics to express that. I could be wrong but it seems to me like genuine concern doesn't usually take the form of ignoring what someone says, ignoring their past experiences and beating them over the head with your own biased and uninformed perceptions.

I don't expect everyone I know to be totally on board with what I'm doing here. I get it, you know? Surrogacy is unconventional. Surrogacy for a gay couple is even more unusual. I understand that people could have some issues or concerns. I don't agree with them but I get it.

If I can respect that other people might see things differently than me is it really so much to ask the same of them? Is it so much to ask that people don't try at every turn to make me feel bad about something that I feel so good about?

The only thing I'm feeling bad about now is my relationship with my in-laws and that's unfortunate for a variety of reasons but I really don't know how to fix it with this issue hanging over us. What to do, what to do?

One year ago today I was leaving on a jet plane.
Four years ago today Joseph skipped and it made me happy.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

A hygiene question


I'm wondering something.

Does anyone else ever step out of the shower and realize there's still soap suds under their breasts because they forgot to lift and rinse?


Two years ago today Joseph wondered about his birth mother.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Let's compromise and not be tacky

Jesse and I are locked in heated battle.

Over the Christmas tree.

You see, I follow the school of thought that says you put the tree up the weekend after Thanksgiving and take it down the weekend after New Years. I think that's pretty reasonable especially when you consider that I grew up in a house where the Christmas tree was always taken down the day after Christmas. In fact, I remember one year when our tree was out on the curb on Christmas Day.

Jesse follows the school of thought that says you put the tree up the weekend after Thanksgiving and then take it down never because you're just going to have to put it up next year again anyway.

Our difference of opinion led to a major clash this past weekend wherein I threatened to go to the basement and drag all the Christmas decoration boxes upstairs by myself thus sending myself into labor and then would have to go on bedrest and he would have to raise the kids all by himself for the next 12 weeks and I hoped he would be happy then.

Jesse was unmoved. He insisted that we do the tree next weekend. I insisted that we do it right that second. He asked if we couldn't compromise and do it next weekend.

Great, not only do I have to tell him why it's tacky to leave your Christmas tree up past New Years Day now I also have to explain what a compromise is.

As I write this the tree is still standing there in the living room, mocking me. I'm halfway considering dragging it over to the stairs and shoving it in the basement, light, ornaments and all. I love having the Christmas tree up during Christmas but now that the holidays have passed I hate it.

I'm not being unreasonable here right? I mean, I think we can all agree that people who leave their Christmas trees up past New Years Day deserve to die a thousand painful deaths. That's reasonable right? So back me up here people. Maybe if enough people help me nag Jesse he'll compromise and do things my way from now on.

year ago today I pooped and the world laughed with me. (It's my most popular post ever.)
Four years ago today I made soup. Weeeeee!!!! Not my most popular post.