Thursday, February 5, 2015

LesFirst Appointment: Off to the Midwife

It's a big day- midwife visit #1!  Tommie has been getting some short reprieves from her nausea and exhaustion, and was able to participate in her bowling league last night (stereotypically lesbian, I know).  We reported the pregnancy to California Cryobank and will soon receive a "packet" with all of our donor's information, including his photos and everything else.  There are things that you should know about the donor you are choosing, each of which carries its own importance during pregnancy.  Here's what we do know about him, all of which will be important when we arrive at our appointment today.

1. He is blood type A-.  Since Tommie is 0+, we apparently should not have to worry too much about any sort of problem with conflicting Rh factors.  Whew.

2. He is 6'1" and 190lbs, which could account for Blanket's abnormally large size.  Blanket is measuring days ahead of schedule.  Some of the other folks who have used this donor have shared informatioin that their babies were quite sturdy when they were born.  I don't mind having a rough and tumble little one.  There's always yard work to do!  We didn't realize it when we purchased his units, but he is a LARGE man. Tommie is 5'7" with tall genes; her sister is approximately 6' tall!



I have a suspicion that we are dealing with Option 2, as the donor described himself as someone who can "walk and chew gum at the same time," but he otherwise has no coordination and no interest in fitness.  He is a smart fellow with a knack for computer programming.

3. He has no Jewish ancestry and neither does Tommie.  I do, and I had no idea that it would have meant a heck of a lot more genetic screening.

4. He is CMV negative and so is Tommie.  We erred on a negative CMV antibody test because, at the time, we didn't know Tommie's status.  Here's why we wanted to proceed with caution with the CMV test (article).

5. He listed "NONE" for his religion!  Hallelejah for us (this has nothing to do with the midwife's visit)!!

6. He has been tested for a number of genetic diseases by California Cryobank.  They regularly screen their donors for Cystic Fibrosis, hemoglobin diseases (Sickle cell, alpha and beta thalassemia), chormosomal normality, and spinal muscular atrophy.  I am hoping we can proceed with all of the other necessary genetic tests today or next week.

Tommie is doing well.  The bleeding has subsided.  Now, she gets some cramping, but her belly is growing and we are half a week away from week 12.  If we can just get a clean report on the genetic screening, we will be resting a lot easier.  I am sure it's a crazy time for all pregnant couples.  There are some good and uplifting articles about the correlation of frozen embryo transfer to the health of a baby.  They look positive!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

LesMaterinity Clothes: Pregnancy Clothes for the Butch Woman?

I woke up with my hand on Blanket.  OK, so I had it on Tommie's baby bump.  She is close to the point at which she will need maternity clothes.  Here's the problem: she normally shops in the men's or boy's sections and finding maternity clothes that don't look like doilies from grandma's couch is becoming quite a challenge. We searched and searched for maternity wear for the butch woman.  It just does not exist.  (I'm thinking...Shark Tank...any designers out there???)  We dug up a few resources:

1. Butch Preggo  
2. Maternity T-Shirts on Cafe Press
3. Offbeat Families' Page
4. Butchbaby & Co.  
5. Dykedads

Most of these sites are blogs, in which people discuss how to take normal clothing and retrofit it into maternity wear.  The common suggestions are to wear t-shirts, overalls, and men's clothing in size XXL.  The only really promising solution is Butchbaby & Co., which apparently has an 8-piece clothing line that is soon being released to the public.  I am about to invest in their company!  I'm sure they will sell out and not have more items until 2017.  By then, Blanket will be two.

For now, we have started to preview Tommie's options from the usual suspects- Old Navy, The Gap, and Target.  Here are some semi-androgynous pieces of maternity wear that we found.

The Gap: Skinny Cords
The Gap: Striped Crew Neck

The Gap: The "Boyfriend" Shirt (I hate the name, but it could work.)

Old Navy has a "hoodies" section for the pregnant butch.  The only one that I found that doesn't look like it came from Talbots' spring collection is the Old Navy Sleeveless Hoodie.


As the pregnancy (hopefully) moves closer to the summer months, I imagine that shorts will be a problem.  All of the choices are fit for pregnant teenagers; most of the maternity shorts I found have a 3.5" or 4" inseam.  What the...???  The only pair that is remotely safe is also from Old Navy: Bermuda shorts with a 9" inseam.


If Tommie wants to be totally stereotypical and wear "active wear" for the entire pregnancy, Target has some options.  Unless she is off to a pregnancy-themed softball game, however, these are completey absurd.  I guess she could wear this:


Maternity Fashion Tank Purple M-Liz Lange® for Target®

I fear that I am getting ahead of myself.  I am normally so conservative in my thinking.  I continue to have so many "what ifs" regarding Blanket's health and the longevity of the pregnancy.  Now that we are in double-digits, I guess I am more hopeful that all is well.  I am so eager to see the midwife this week and to schedule the genetic testing, and the next ultrasound.  If Blanket clears these hurdles, this will instantly become more real to me.  I am counting down the days until February 5th.  Until then, I will watch the Super Bowl, enjoy the short ribs I made, and watch the snow begin to fall.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

LesBeing the Wife of a Pregnant Person: EXHAUSTION!

Tommie and Blanket are nearing the 11-week mark.


It seems like everything is moving along.  Tommie is still sick most of the day and cannot really do much around the house (or anything, for that matter).  I spend my days working, cleaning, cooking, buying food, cleaning, sleeping, working, blah, blah, blah.  I fill Tommie's water, get her the vitamins she needs, pick up her thyroid medication, shovel when the show comes, take out the trash, get the mail, do lots and lots of laundry...

Schneider, Jake, and the two/three of us are supposed to meet for dinner tonight, but we will have to make a last-minute decision.  I'm not sure if Tommie will be able to get up and dressed, let alone take a 30-minute car ride and sit through dinner.  I am having a little bit of cabin fever, but I am hopeful that Blanket is healthy and that everything is progressing as planned.  To pass the time, I read books and imagine myself on the beach somewhere.


Tommie has had some new cravings this week, so I usually end up going to the market or a restaurant on my way home from work each day.  I tried to get Thai food, but it ended up as a fiasco.  I have a leg inury, so I must park in a handicapped spot.  All of them were covered with mountains of snow from our recent storm.  I drove around the block for 20 minutes, waiting for a place to park.  Then, I started crying.  Finally, I double-parked and "ran in" to get the food.  It was not good.  This week Blanket/Tommie wanted bologna and mayo sandwiches on Wonder Bread (??????), Thanksgiving Dinner (wtf?), and lots of requests for pancakes.  The bologna sandwich was the only troubling item because pregnant women are not supposed to eat cold cuts.  I did find out that Tommie can have them, as long as they are heated until they are "steaming."  By the time I bought the bologna and brought it home, Tommie did not even want it anymore.


I have just discovered that Tommie and I may need to work with a lawyer to get a second parent adoption, so that I am legally Blanket's parent when (s)he arrives.  The thought of dealing with this- financially and emotionally- makes me want to vomit.  BUT, I will do whatever is necessary to ensure the safety and wellbeing of Tommie and Blanket.  Does anyone out there know the deal with this?  Here in CT, we have gay marriage; Tommie and I are married.  Do I still need a second parent adoption?  Ugh.  We have some excellent lawyer friends who specialize in LGBT family law at Freed Marcroft.  Once we get all of the genetic assessments completed on Blanket, and are assured that (s)he is healthy, it will be off to the lawyer's office for a visit.

Monday, January 26, 2015

LesDouble Digits, Baby!

Tommie and Blanket are officially at the 10-week mark.  Our favorite pregnancy video vixen explained that the fetus is now the size of a prune and is beginning to be more active.  Tommie is having some discomfort.  I imagine Blanket going to IKEA, picking out the coolest stuff, and setting up a comfortable space for the next 7 months.


Tommie actually has a baby bump.  It's small, but it is definitely there.  We now start our countdown to the second trimester, with the bulk of our effort (and worry) dedicated to the upcoming genetic tests.  We uncovered the special "cell free DNA test" that we will request, along with the other, typical ones.  NPR offers an overview of the test and its benefits here.  Along with the next ultrasound scan and the regular bloodwork, this new test will provide us with adequate information about Blanket's genetic health.  Like so many newly pregnant couples, there is anxiety involved.  We are hoping that science and Mother Nature are on our side.  We have chosen to see a midwife, as planned.  Our next visit is February 5th.  Once we leap over this hurdle and everything is swell, we may begin to share the news with our family and friends.

To relax a bit, I have indeed started to plan some "me time."  I will travel out of state to visit one of my two most admired tattoo artists, Alexis Kovacs.  She was a finalist on the show Best Ink.  I have two AMAZING tattoos by her and I will soon get another.  As mentioned in an earlier post, I was in the planning stages of my next piece.  Strangely, and mabye due to fate, I got an email from her assistant to tell me that she had some unexpected openings.  It just seemed right.  I am looking forward to going to her shop because she previously tattooed me at a convention.  I am going to road trip it with one of my close friends.  In turn, I am fulfilling another one of my "me moments" that I outlined a couple of weeks ago.  I do feel horrible leaving Tommie in her current condition and may check to see if Schneider can look after her for the overnight visit.  Maybe I'll drop Tommie off for some babysitting.


We are super-snowed in tonight.  There are 2-3 FEET of snow expected here in Connecticut.  Tommie and I are going to curl up and watch our favorite shows while I put my hand on Little Blanket, as (s)he burrows into the warm pregnancy cave Tommie and I created with lots of our time, money, and positive vibes.  It's 10 weeks, baby.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

LesDonation: Fertility Medications for Free

Tommie and I have a box of fertility medications that she never used.  We asked our doctor if we could donate them to patients at The Center and we were told that we can only give them away on our own.  So, I'm looking into the legality of this.  If it appears that we can donate these medications, I will post a list that contains the name of each medication, the expiration dates, dosage, etc.; I will include a picture of each one.  We also have a ton of syringes, alcohol swabs, and a few other items.  Tommie and I only ask that any takers pay shipping.  One of the medications (Follistim) will need to be shipped in a special refrigerated envelope.  We would also require the recipient to pay for this type of container.  I don't think it is that expensive.  If you live in CT, we are fine with you coming to get them here.  

If you know whether or not we are allowed to give away and ship our medications, please share in the comments section below.  Also, let me know if you are interested.

Friday, January 23, 2015

LesGetReal: Second Ultrasound

It was a miracle that Tommie did not throw up on herself, on the way to the second ultrasound.  She looked some shade of green mixed with gray; she was sort of an overcast sky.  We got to see the fetus today and it looked like a little babydoll wrapped in a blanket.  So...we decided to upgrade our nickname to exactly that- Blanket.


On the top of the ultrasound, as you can see, our doctor wrote: "Hi, Mommy.  I'm sorry you are so sick!!!!!!"  While we were viewing it, it did a bunch of flips, put its arm on its forehead like an exasperated Southern belle (Tommie's words, not mine), and moved its feet together.  The ultrasound was just about the coolest thing I have ever seen.  The doctor showed us the blood flowing through the umbilical cord.  He also viewed the two hemispheres of the brain and Blanket's tiny toes.  We caught a glimpse of its profile and then it moved away from the light.  I guess it is a little camera shy.  Its heart was beating at 161 beats per minute and it measured approxmiately 3.5cm.  It almost tripled since the last visit.  Our doctors said it is measuring at least two days ahead of schedule!  This makes perfect sense.  We know that our donor's other offspring have all been on the bigger side at birth.  He is also a sturdy guy, at 6'1" and 180lbs.

We are officially released from the fertility doctor.  We have our first appointment with the midwife on February 5th.  Tommie is almost 10 weeks (DOUBLE DIGITS, YES!!!) and I am awaiting the next hurdle- the genetic testing.  I read that it can occur sometime between 11 and 15 weeks.  I'd like to get that accomplished as soon as possible.  Since we used a donor, he was screened for a number of diseases, but that does not put us or Blanket in the clear.  And to think that I thought getting pregnant was the hardest part...