two uteri, two mamas pregnant, AGAIN, with baby number two

the other mother October 28, 2007

Filed under: ttc — charlotte @ 10:03 pm

When I gave birth to our son, my connection to him was automatic and visceral. I loved him instantly, ferociously.

Of course, during my pregnancy I did not know this would happen. I was convinced I would be one of those moms who finally bonded with her baby after 2 weeks, or 2 months. The gigantic love was therefor even more unexpected, it relentlessly filled my entire being.

I know what that feels like.

I know that eventually breastfeeding is easy and so sweet I could cry now just thinking about it. I also know what in your bones exhaustion feels like when you have not slept for fucking ever and you confirm for yourself that yes, you are not that kind of mom built for endless giving. I know what it feels like to wish you could put your baby outside in the middle of winter, and shut the fucking door to just.have.some.peace.

Know what it feels like to ask guiltlessly, for dinner to be made, or a glass of juice to be served because I’mnursingandIcan’tgetup.

I was the one having giant hormonal meltdowns and being taken care of. I was also the one responsible all the time for this little life and it was, and is, the hardest thing I have even done in my life.

I know what it feels like to be my child’s ‘favorite’ because I spend more time with him. I know the suck ass parts of that and the wonderful parts.
This is what I know.

Now that it appears that we are really going to have this baby (probably maybe while knocking on wood prayer to the deities of non-retardation), I am coming to terms with the fact that I absolutely don’t know how to be the other mother. At all. I don’t know how to be the breadwinner. I don’t know how to be the support person, the bringer of juice, the one who hands off the screaming baby to my partner to breastfeed.

I don’t know how to be good at it. S is the unbelievably almost perfect non bio mom. The role plays to her strengths, not mine. She never cares about going first or getting attention. She is generous by nature. She never notices who gets a bigger piece. She has an uncanny ability to let our son be a child. She doesn’t over analyze why he often wants me over her. When LM started getting mad at her when she got home from work, she didn’t take it personally…she mused about what was going on and realized he was mad at her for going to work instead of being with him and then talked to him about it and spent more time with him! He responded immediately.
She’s no saint, my wife, but she is really good at being this kind of mom. Her issues are with things like being too overprotective with him. She has trouble setting boundaries. Enmeshment. Among other things. I don’t need to get into her parenting challenges here, lets just say she isn’t perfect, but she is pretty fucking good at being the non-bio, working mom.

Her dream, however, is to stay at home with her kid our next kid . If I had better earning potential I would try to give this to her, but I don’t right now, so she needs to work. I feel guilty about this. I feel guilty about a lot of things lately: that I’m not taking as good care of her as she did of me when I was pregnant (but we didn’t have a toddler), that I am staying home and she isn’t, that she would be a much better stay at home mom than I am anyway (she truly would), that I am insecure about my love for the new baby.

If I was pregnant I certainly wouldn’t want to deal with my partner wondering how much she is going to love the baby I’m carrying.

Here I am though, with a jumble of feelings. Of course I am also in love with her belly, protective, solidly knowing this is my kid too, and grateful every day to be having these problems instead of trying to conceive.

But it is messy, this lesbian baby making. And I have no one in my real life who has been through a similar situation, meaning both partners having a baby. Actually, scratch that, a nurse friend of ours was in this situation and she and her parter split up and each took custody of their bio kids! Seriously.

Biology matters and doesn’t matter at all, in equal measure. Messy indeed.


There are no words. October 24, 2007

Filed under: ttc — charlotte @ 9:14 pm

There are times, as I wrote recently, that I know that the universe truly has no mercy. That it doesn’t matter who you are or how nice you are. Or how generous. Bad shit might still happen to you and it might happen again, and again, and again.

This is what is happening to my friend Calliope. Despite a massive and truly breathtaking outpouring of support and money (she fucking had the funds to do the IVF!!) it is all canceled. Totally and completely canceled. She must now get on a plane, and return home to wait for her period, where she will bleed out the 20 eggs her body so dutifully plumped up for her. All those hopes. It is beyond sad.

This cycle is not being canceled because of just anything, no. She must halt the IVF, and let the eggs go to waste because she probably has Hep C. The consequences for this are shocking and scary. It is this kind of slap in the face setback to someone who has already given up so much, and tryed so hard to become a mother, that makes me wonder if there is any fairness at all, that exisits, ever.

I think not.


Everyone knows

Filed under: ttc — charlotte @ 12:07 pm

S told her work today, which felt momentous. She works at a small company, all men, with lots of 23 year old geeky boys who do programming and art and was really nervous to tell people she was knocked up. She wanted everyone to know at once, so she waited until a once a week company meeting and announced it to everyone.

As it turns out the whole company burst into applause. Can you imagine? They irrupted into cheers.

Anyway, it feels pretty fucking good to be almost 13 weeks. But I must say, as it looks more and more like we are going to actually have a baby, my focus is shifting and some fears are arising that can’t really be there when you are wondering if your baby will die. I’ll post more later about how it feels to be the boob/birth mom and then the “other” mother. Now? Off to do some cake supply shopping for my Cath.edral cake (it won’t be done until Sunday and yes I will totally post pics).


some good October 23, 2007

Filed under: ttc — charlotte @ 9:13 am

We had our 12 week OB appt yesterday and we heard the heartbeat. Alive baby at 12w5d is good.

I’m going to be busy this week baking a cake that looks like St. B.asil’s Ca.thedral. But it is very short notice, and will not be paid (I offered for a very very good friend who is finally having a baby shower for the child she is adopting). I wanted to do a gesture, and it will be in an aflfuent area so i thought it would be good exposure, but now hardly anyone can actually come to the shower. Ack.

But our baby is alive!


if ever there was a time… October 22, 2007

Filed under: ttc — charlotte @ 2:10 pm

…to help someone. My good friend online and IRL at Creating Motherhood (Steinbockfrau), is in trouble. The big ugly kind, as in her IVF cycle (her one and only shot) is about to be canceled because she tested positive for Hep C, even though there is viturally no way she could have it (false positive are not uncommon). She was signed up as an egg donor for a shared IVF cycle. Anyway, she explains it better on her blog. I wonder if we all pitch in even a little (or a lot if you are a rich mofo), we might be able to make it possible. Otherwise, her 20 ripe eggs will go to waste on what is really her only and last chance to get pregnant. Thanks, in advance, you are the best. She has a “donate” button on her blog.


trimester dos October 18, 2007

Filed under: ttc — charlotte @ 8:44 am

Amid the fear, the terror, the all day sickness, the scary ultrasounds, the good ultrasounds and the how likely is it that your kid is messed up statistics (not likely, thank you internets), we have apparently entered the 2nd trimester. S and I are turning around, looking behind us at the invisible other couple who must be 12 weeks pregnant, not us. Then we are looking at each other like whatha? Who? Us?

The second freaking trimester?

It does not feel like it went by quickly. Fucking first trimester of horror. No. It feels like we clawed our way here through the fear of what happened to us last time and what has happened to our friends. The worst one, honestly was WTF. After she lost her baby at 21 weeks, we were convinced, all of us, despite our fear, that certainly her next pregnancy just had to go well. It just had to. It was unimaginable that something bad would happen again.

But it did.

She had a late miscarriage. At freaking 11 1/2 weeks. Crumpled dead baby ultrasound. I drove my ass down there again, AGAIN, to cry with her. My experience with WTF was one of those where you really know that the universe has no mercy. Bad shit happens when you expect it, and when you don’t. Bad shit happens to good people and sometimes it happens over and over.

How does this relate to us exiting the 1st trimester? Honestly, I’m simply shocked that we have made it this far. I want to weep with relief. Miraculously, today I am feeling hopeful about the pregnancy. Not because I forced myself (hah! if only I could) but because I just am.

We are going to wait for the results of the 3rd part of the quadruple screen, which is a blood test in four weeks. The results of that test will combine with the nuchal ultrasound and 9 week blood test either make the odds go up or down. If they improve significantly we won’t get an amnio, and if they get crappier, we will. I am wanting the amnio regardless (because I’m afraid I’ll worry the whole fucking time), but S doesn’t and I don’t feel like I can insist upon one if the results of the next blood test give us a 94% detection rate (so 94% of downs cases will be detected by the 3rd blood test – is that right?). I also did some research and it looks like S’s age is not what made our statistic so crappy, it was her free hcg level. My researchy understanding is that the nuchal measurements are more important than the blood result. Whatever.

We’ll see how I feel as the weeks progress. I know my faith is inconsistent and I have accepted my role with S as the medical intervention pusher.

For now? Our baby is alive and there is 99.7% chance that all is well in the retardation department. It is enough to pull me through for a bit. It is enough to let in some excitement. We are in the second.fucking.trimester.


Today S and I did our our “Wonder Twin powers activate!” routine where we touch our matching wrist tattoos and say:

‘g-o-o-o-o team’.

Yes we really do that.

Speakingofwhich, the Wonder Twins had a pet…yes they did. A pet Space Monkey.

Introducing (properly this time, with growing excitment):

our Space Monkey


the big scary ultrasound… October 16, 2007

Filed under: ttc — charlotte @ 4:44 pm

…was good. BUT.

Yes, there is a big fat giant but.

First though I will tell you that there was an adorable, ALIVE, kicking baby in there measuring a day ahead at 5.1cm (11w6d). It was miraculous and we thought all was well (silly us) when the nuchal fold measurements were coming back at 1.5 and 1.7. Oh those blissful 10 minutes before the doctor returned with our results.

The combined screening results (S had her blood drawn last week) were scary. To me. Our Downs Sy.drome statistic came back at 1/342. That, my friends, is not a reassuring number to me. Not at all. Not when yours were like 1/1700 (bri) or 1/6200 (familyo).

The fucking cutoff for the “increased risk zone” where they recommend an amnio or further testing was 1/298. Am I supposed to be reassured that we missed the cutoff by fucking 44 instead of 1000? No. Hells no. Our trisomy results were reassuring at 1/6,221. I think the issue that messed the whole thing up was the blood result. The fre.e b.eta number was 2.94 which is in the 98th percentile, which means it was high. Which is a downs indicator, I think.

If any of you know more about these numbers, please tell me. Am I over reacting? Everyone I know gets way way better numbers than that. So I just feel sad and confused. Am I being completely fucking ridiculous? Insane? Is this really a great number and I just don’t understand the whole freaking thing? **BTW S is 36 and will be 37 at due date.

Following is the neat little chart they gave me. Following that is the picture of what I hope is our chromosomally normal little baby. The baby sure was cute with all the toes and fingers and pretty little heartbeat. Good god. Must we be terrified this whole fucking pregnancy?

I can’t tell you how badly I wanted to post a picture of our perfect baby and be so relieved, so happy, so ready to finally relax. And for the ten minutes while we waited for the results of the blood test to do fancy statistical things with the neck fold measurements, I was.

I felt happy about the baby in a new way. I was just happy. It was unexpected and very, very lovely. Anyway, here is the baby, who really did look incredibly cute. I’m off to Google this and likely to freak myself out and cry.