World Spins Madly On

Can I say how overwhelmed I was by the outpouring of love and support from you guys?? It literally brought me to tears reading each one of your comments, and I have read over them several times.  Whether you are a regular commenter, or you de-lurked to give me some much-needed encouragement….it was all greatly appreciated.  I could not get over how thoughtful each of you were, and got K to sit down to read the comments as well.  I was so moved by you guys in the blogging community – what an awesome bunch of women you all are. Thank you all for those heartfelt and kind words.  The few days after receiving that message from my mom were rough, but I can tell you that your comments lifted my spirits so much.  So, thank you again, everyone.   I was seriously so touched by your words, as was K.  Please accept the kiss above as thanks.  It’s the least I can do after such sweetness.

In pregnancyland, tomorrow is 33 weeks.  4 weeks until we’re considered full-term.  I can’t believe that.  I am hoping that Wee One decides to come early….but I have a feeling he has his own ideas for when he wants to enter this world.  All day today he has been kicking me and moving from side to side.  He’s getting big enough now that I can tell where his head and bum are, and whether it is an elbow or a foot or hand jabbing me.  It’s pretty wild.  My stomach moves all over the place some nights, and I think he’s having another party in there.  Oh, also, I think I’ve just entered the I’m-not-going-to-be-sleeping-much-from-here-on-out phase of pregnancy.  Sleeping has been getting more difficult, but was still do-able….however, the last few nights my Montana-sized tummy has become increasingly more difficult to maneuver in bed.  I just can’t seem to get comfortable and switch my body pillow from side to side all night.  My back is screaming for me to just lay on my tummy….which is so not-doable.  I think if I could even sleep awhile straight on my back I’d feel better…but they say you are on a nerve or something if you lay on your back….and it cuts off bloodflow/oxygen to the baby….so I freak out and switch positions every time I unconsciously end up there.  I keep telling myself, not much longer and I’ll have my old (ish) body back and and our little man in my arms, and this is so worth it.

We’ve got pretty busy evenings this week (but work is starting to slowly calm down….yay!!!):

  • Tuesday – 2 1/2 hour Breastfeeding class at the local hospital
  • Wednesday – Our usual childbirth class.  MUST do homework……(more reading in The Naked Book).
  • Thursday – Couples massage!!! How excited am I?? How excited is my back?!
  • Friday – Halloween! Our close friends, C & J, are having a big Halloween bash.  I am wearing the following t-shirt (Karli is printing it for me), complete with black pants, flip-flops (I wear them ALL “winter”), black fingernails and skeletony (I don’t think that’s a word) make-up.

Planning to make these oh-so-cute spiderweb cupcakes in orange and purple too.  I love baking!

Saturday night, K’s roomate from college (we haven’t seen her in 4 years!) is flying in from WA to spend a few days with us. We’re taking her and a bunch of friends to the lesbian club in town….. She just told us she was gay a few months ago, so we promised we’d go with her! It should be a fun time!! Sunday is our baby shower! K and I have to finish a few last-minute things (so basically everything) for Sunday.  We have to pick up the punch fountain, order and pick up our cupcakes, order t-shirts (and print them) by Friday (we’re giving these as favors), get the balloons and curling ribbon and any other non-cheesy green & brown shower decorations we can find and put them all up on Sunday.  I feel like we have been all over creation looking for some good shower decorations (they are all pink or blue).  Our theme is green & brown….any ideas???? We really wanted to do something inexpensive but cool looking for centerpeices, but are fresh out of ideas.  Post if you have something you think we should do!  Also, we’re having a guy-girl baby shower, so we weren’t sure about doing the “typical” baby shower games…. any advice on this would be greatly appreciated.  I feel like a fish out of water when it comes to this stuff.

Leaving you with this great song, “The World Spins Madly On” by The Weepies.  The title describes our lives quite well right now, not to mention, I’m rather fond of the little blue monster in the video.  Enjoy!

Remnants Of Joy & Disaster

I’ve had the post on this in my mind for some time now, floating and bouncing around in my head but never making it to my fingertips and onto the screen.  I rarely talk about my family here (or much in the real world); it’s a source of deep pain for me and talking about it only makes it more real and upsetting, however I thought with what has transpired recently, I should get it out once and only once.  Grab a drink and bear with me, as it’s a long story and we’ll be here awhile.

I grew up with my mom and dad and older brothers that I know loved me, and I thought would do anything for me.  I was the only girl after 6 boys.  One of my brothers died of cancer before I was born….he was 10 when he died of a brain tumor.  My family had been through a lot together but seemed to be stronger for it.  My parents had always had a strong faith – belief and trust in God.  They said that that’s what got them through my brother’s death, and they raised all of us to have that same faith .  We prayed at dinner, and every night before bed as a child.  Church, Sunday school, devotions were always strongly encouraged to strengthen our relationship with God.  We usually went to a non-denominational church…but it was basically Baptist to me.  I always was more of the questioner, never sure what I believed.  I went to church with my family, but never really enjoyed it.  I did it because I was supposed to do.  It was the “right” thing.  Only, I had these feelings inside that didn’t mesh with my family. I just didn’t understand why we were “right” and everyone else was “wrong”.  There is a line in a Michael Franti song that says, “God is too big for just one religion”.  That describes what I thought well.  Weren’t these other families saying the same things about us? What if I had been born to one of those families instead? You mean God includes some people (Christians) and excludes others (of other religions)?? I was always conflicted…but they said it always came back to “faith”.  I could never win an argument, so I just kept it inside.

I went to a private Christian school, and then on to a Christian University where I met and fell in love with K.  My life completely changed.  This girl was funny, smart, outgoing and made me feel like the most important person in the world.  We really clicked…..I got her, and she got me.  We had so much fun together….doing just dumb stuff.  I never got sick of her.  I look back at those times and just smile.  It was so new and we were happy and care-free.  We spent every second together…as friends, and then more. I thought it would never end, until my parents found out about our relationship during the first semester, around Christmas, and took me out of school.  Life stopped.  Any life at all.  I remember feeling so empty and sad….like a piece of my heart had been ripped out.  At 17 years old, I was told I would never see K again.  After a semester away from school and much pressured Christian counseling, I assured them that I could go back and not start up the relationship again.  We hadn’t spoken for 8 months, and I was going back to school…..I couldn’t sleep for days before imagining what it would be like when I saw her.

My parents had made sure I wouldn’t be on the same hall as her…..but I was only one below.  After they left, she came by my room.  The feelings (that had never gone away) came rushing back with a new force.  I remember being young and scared and wanting her more than anything, but afraid of my family….knowing that things would spiral out of control if I resumed the relationship.  I tried to say no to her in the beginning, but the feelings we had for each other were more powerful than ever and I couldn’t keep being around her and pretending like I didn’t care for her.  I remember we talked in the stairwell and we were trying to keep distance from eachother, when she put her hand right above my knee, trying to pull me closer to her.  I didn’t pull away from her, and looked in her eyes….a look and a touch and we were right back where we left off.  From there, we spent lazy afternoons in bed together, nights out away from school….holding hands and enjoying every moment together.  I felt intoxicated.  I couldn’t imagine ever being apart from this girl again.  But, right, my family.  This left me in a tricky situation.  We tried. We kept the relationship hidden for about 2 months, until I was sick of ducking down in cars, watching the doors, and having sex in the showers.  It’s hard to have a lesbian relationship at a Christian university!

My parents found out about it (again) and came down and snatched me out of school (again) when K was away in NC at a hockey tournament for the weekend.  K tried calling me that Saturday, and got no response.  She assumed I was sleeping and just called back later that afternoon.  My roomate then informed her that my parents had taken me, kicking and screaming, out of school and back up to Canada.  They wouldn’t allow me to even call her and tell her I was leaving.  My dorm room was LITERALLY packed up in 15 minutes.  I remember I had cried all the way up north.  My tears never stopped running and my shirt was soaked.  Again, my heart was ripped out of my chest.  11 hours and I didn’t say a single word to my parents.  Once home, I practically collapsed in bed from exhaustion.  My parents took the phone out of my room and stayed in the room all night, scared I would try to hurt myself.

Little did I know, but once K found out about what had happened at school, she drove from NC in VA to “sign out” (you have to do that at the university we attended), and then grabbed a friend and drove STRAIGHT up to Canada.  Yup.  All 11 hours of it.  I think she made it in 8.  I had no idea what she was doing.   So, after not too long, there was a knock on the door.  I could hear my dad speaking with someone…but had no idea who it was.  I was really out of it.  My mom then told me that my spiritual life director, Chrissy, (from school) was here to pray with me.  I remember thinking in my head…..’that’s weird…..because my SLD’s name isn’t Chrissy….”.  Then I realized…..K had a girl on her hockey team named Chrissy.  Oh shit.  Was she here??? My parents let her up….and she came into my room and I shut the door.  She told me that K was outside in the car.  Chrissy had told my parents that her uncle had died, and she was in Buffalo for his funeral, when she decided she should come see me (a little an hour from Buffalo) and pray me through this difficult time.  K knew that my parents would never have let her in the house….so they had come up with this story to get her in.  When my parents were busy doing something else, I left the house with Chrissy.  K was hiding under a blanket in the car.  I lost it.  We hugged and kissed and cried and drove off.  I called my parents a few minutes later from her cell phone and told them I was at lunch with Karli and that I would call them later.  I realized later that they thought I had said “Chrissy”, hence their response, “That’s fine….you could have just told us you were going with her….just have a nice lunch and we’ll see you later”.  We went to a local pizza place and talked.

My eyes were puffy from crying so much and I was still in pajamas.  K told me that she loved me and wanted me to come back with her, but it was my decision.  There was no decision to be made….of course I wanted to!  For some reason, I thought I could just go back to my house and tell my parents that this is what I had decided, they would let me take my things and go.  I was so wrong.  I walked in the house and told them I was going with K….and then they realized she was outside.  My dad ran outside and my sister-in-law blocked the door so I couldn’t go out.  I remember it as one giant blur…my family was screaming at me “what are you doing!? you’re not going with her!”.  Someone said something about tying me down to a chair, if needed, to keep me from going with her.  I had no idea, but my dad had gone up to K’s car and with the window rolled down, hit K in the face.  Chrissy and K sped away, fearing more physical harm.  2 of my brothers had kicked at her car, then followed them, making sure they were gone for good.  Once they were safely away, K and Chrissy called the police, who (after some time) came and escorted me out.  I then met up with K and Chrissy, still wearing my pajamas.  K’s lip was puffy and bleeding and they looked so shaken up.  I was back with her though.  That was it.

This was 7 years ago.  Over the years, my parents have tried and tried to get me to change my “lifestyle”.  K has naturally kept a distance from them, but they have not come around.  They believe I’m sinning and that ultimately I’m damning my soul….I can’t get my mind around that, but that’s how they think.  All of my brothers blame me for hurting my parents….like this was all my fault.  I’ve tried now countless times to talk to my mom about just “agreeing to disagree”….is it really worth it to lose a relationship with your daughter to be “right” or righteous?  They can’t talk to me about anything but religion and my lifestyle….so I have chosen to remove myself….to step back until they change…if they change.  K’s family is very supportive and they have really become my new family.  K is always so positive and encouraging and reminds me that they may “come around” some day.  My family is still like an open wound to me, and now with the pregnancy there is a whole new batch of emotions to deal with.  I haven’t been able to call up my mom and just talk.  I haven’t been able to vent about my cankles, bad wrists or trouble sleeping with a big belly.  I thought I would wait until after our son was born to tell her the news, when she emailed me last week to say she was coming to Virginia and wanted to meet up with me to visit.  I didn’t really know what to do.  I didn’t want to meet her and be pregnant without her being prepared for it.  So, I emailed her and said this:

“I am available ____ day and ____ day.  I have wanted to tell you the following happy news for some time, but didn’t think it would be met with a happy reaction. K and I have decided to start a family and I am pregnant.  We are very excited, as are our friends and family down here.  We want to surround the baby with love and positive energy.  If we meet, I can’t engage in the back-and-forth about my lifestyle.  I don’t want to be emotionally upset, as it wouldn’t be good for either me or the baby.  I wanted to give you this news, in case it effected your decision to come (or not come) to see me. “

I felt really good about the email and thought maybe her reaction wouldn’t be so bad.  I got back a very lengthy email response and have clipped just a few segments below:

“I went home at suppertime and asked Dad to sit down and talk to me.  It was so hard to tell him, as I knew his heart would break.  I was afraid he would have a heart attack or stroke.  He told me later that by my face he thought you might have died.  I told him that it would be FAR worse if that were true, because you would be in eternity facing God’s judgment.  Dad reacted as I did, with disbelief and profound sadness.  He said he feels like he has lost his daughter.”

“The whole scenario of the past seven years is still unbelievable…and now has culminated in this.  It’s like something you’d see on Jerry Springer.  It’s one thing to do what you want, but now you have crossed a line, because you are bringing a little person into this perversion.”

“You said you wouldn’t want me to come down and talk about “choices” or “lifestyle”.  Do you think I could possibly remain silent? People who tolerate everything are people without convictions.  We know what you are doing is wrong even though you don’t (or won’t admit it).  We know you have totally lost your bearings.”

“It should have been one of the happiest days of my life, to hear that my dear daughter is having a baby, but instead it is one of the saddest.  You are NOT ‘starting a family’.  Contrary to the liberal media and pop culture, you and Karli and a baby are NOT a family.  A family is one man and one woman, committed to each other for life. I know you will love this baby dearly, and be a sweet and kind mother, but the most important elements will be missing from his life.  First, a father, and second, growing up knowing God loves him.”

I couldn’t help the emotion that came over me after reading it.  I thought I could be strong enough to hold everything I was feeling inside. It probably should have been anger I felt first, but instead was sadness.  The tears came, and I was unable to hold them back.  K was so sweet and just hugged me and let me cry and talk.   She was encouraging and loving as I knew she would be.  She kept telling me that we are starting our own family now, and that I have to focus on that.  She is my best friend and the love of my life and always will be.  I look at her and KNOW.  I know we were meant to find each other at that school, of all places. We have gone through more than any couple should, and are stronger and more in love than ever before.  Where there is great love, there are miracles…..and it is a miracle that we have gotten here. I am getting through this family stuff.  It is a process….but I haven’t been beaten down, and refuse to be.  And as I finish writing this, Wee One is dancing in my belly and I know without a shadow of a doubt the kind of Mamas we’ll be.  This little man is a product of that unbelievable love we share.  Our little family will get bigger in a few short weeks and life will be richer and fuller than ever before……And so, I close the post on family, but will have many more in the future about my new family…and the opening of a whole new chapter.  32w2d and feeling pretty good.

31 Weeks Down, 9 To Go!

Six weeks till we are safe to have Wee One at home.  6 weeks.  I keep repeating it in my head…..6 weeks, 6 weeks, 6 weeks.  Granted, our little man will probably not decide to come at 37 weeks….but one can hope right? I’ve seen a huge increase in activity with him these last few days.  He is kicking my ribs and wriggling all around in there.  It actually makes me laugh sometimes because it’s so wild to watch your belly pop out in different spots.  We’re at the stage where he will now gain 1/2 a pound a week up until birth.  How crazy is that! I guess that means we’re looking at an 8 1/2 lb baby if he comes at 40 weeks!

Have I mentioned that I’m struggling with the wait? I just want to meet this boy and hold him in my arms.  I can’t wait to see his little fingers and toes.  Time feels like it has flown by….I can’t believe we’re 31 weeks already, but at the same time I just want him to BE HERE.  I know we need this time to prepare though, and I’m grateful we have it.  It still feels like there is so much to do before we become parents.  We have to get the rest of the stuff for our birth box….hopefully we’ll work on that this weekend, set up our birthing pool (and find an adapter for the shower), interview and choose a pediatrician, wash all of Wee One’s clothes, get a carseat, swing and several other things I have no clue where to get.  ie. “nightgown suitable to nurse in”.  Are there special places that sell nursing nightgowns? Everything we’ve seen looks like something my 95-year old Nana would wear.  I love her, but no.  Frilly, lace pink mumu looking things are not going to work for me.

I’m getting excited though….things are busy, but I’m really pumped about the next few weeks and months.  First of all, it’s Fall! It hasn’t felt like it here in Richmond (high was 89 degrees yesterday), but it’s bound to start cooling down soon! Halloween is right around the corner…my 2nd fav holiday next to XMas.  Our good friends are having a Halloween bash and I can’t wait….we’re also planning to go on the Creepy Hayride and walk through Scream Forest….we really enjoyed that last year and it really gets you in the Halloween mood.  The day after Halloween we’re having K’s old college roomate (ah hem…who JUST came out of the closet!) fly in to Richmond to hang out for several days….we promised we’d take her to the lesbian club one night, so that should be a blast! Our shower is that Sunday too….we still have lots of planning to do for that, but right now we’ve got 55 people coming!! It should be so much fun!!  Then there is our anniversary (7 years!) on Nov 28th…..then baby boy….then XMas! Bring on the good times & the cold weather!!!!

I’m trying to think of what else I have to report! We’ve been attending our birth classes (another one tonight) and get some “homework” each week.  I’ve been reading the B.radley book, which our teacher calls “the naked book”…..all the women like to be completely topless, even if they are just doing some of the exercises! It’s pretty wild.  There have been some really useful things in there though, and I feel like I’m learning a lot about birthing in general! I’m still scared about the pain, but have the confidence in myself that my body can and will do this naturally.  I’ve been trying to do the kegel exercises every day (forgetting some of the time) and practicing tailor sitting (cross-legged), pelvic rocking, leg strengthening exercises and squatting (which I must admit I sort of suck at right now….I have a hard time keeping my heels down!). Did I mention that instead of squatting to pick things up, I use my toes instead??! Ha!! Truly, my back is really starting to hurt …. so I’m really looking forward to a prenatal massage…I’m going to book that for next week I think.  I will enjoy that so much…I know my back will appreciate it the most!!! Here is yesterday’s belly shots for 31 weeks:

Questions for you guys: 1) What would be a good Halloween costume for a pregnant lady!?? I’m looking for something funny……and, 2) For those who have had a natural delivery…..any tips or advice as the big day is drawing near?? What pain coping techniques worked for you and why?

Nursery!

Thanks for all the lovely comments on the belly shots!  I am getting quite large…but the end is in sight!! Only 7 more weeks till we are full-term! I am also starting to feel much better…I am a bit more rested, and my sore throat is gone! I am still stuffed up, but it’s nothing I can’t handle.  This morning we had our 30-week midwife appointment, and all is going well.  I haven’t gained any more weight in the last 2 weeks (yay!), so total weight gain is still around 23 lbs or so.  Pee and blood pressure remain the same….so I’m happy.  Wee One is still head down and N is guestimating around 3.5lbs.  We have one of our birthing classes tonight and I’m looking forward to more and more info to help prepare me for THE BIG DAY (that is starting to be on my mind more and more).  Okay, switching gears, we have completed the nursery (but for a few minor things: mobile arm cover, changing table pad, etc)!  Finally folks, PICTURES:

Exhaustion

I’ve wanted to post for a couple days now, but we have been so busy at work that I haven’t had a chance.  Our days go something like this: wake up when it’s dark, work all day, come home when it’s dark, sleep for miniscual number of hours, repeat.  Most days this week have been 14+ hour nightmares days, and I’m worn out.  I feel like I’m in a fog….I’m trying to keep my eyes open, but it’s very very difficult….so forgive me if my post is lacking in zest….Hence, the bullets to follow:

  • We went to our first birthing class.  Very similar to the “b.radley method”, but with a little more flexibility. I am the furthest along in the class of 5 couples with the closest to me at 21 weeks.  Did I mention we’ll be 30 weeks on Tuesday? We basically just introduced ourselves and gave reasons why we were taking the class, as well as what we wanted to get out of it.  We did a couple exercises to figure out (on paper) how we handle pain….it was interesting. The class basically focuses on methods of alternative pain management, active coaching techniques, labouring positions and building confidence in both the labouring mother and her partner/coach.  Classes will be once a week for the next 7 weeks and are taught by a very cool girl who has had 3 children, 2 unmedicated births (one with our midwife).
  • We attended a class at a local hospital that was 2 1/2 hours….it taught the basics of newborn care – bathing, swaddling, nutrition, etc.  We were the only “homebirthers” there, with everyone else having a planned hospital birth.  We each got a doll and practiced bathing, diapering, swaddling, etc….Karli grabbed a doll out of the bin and it was the biggest one there.  It was a freakish large baby that looked like it probably weighed 12 lbs.  The blanket used to swaddle looked like a face cloth on this child. The instructor was awesome though, and afterwards we stayed and talked with her for quite awhile.  She is a lactation consultant and has been a OB nurse for 20+ years…..she has given birth to 2 children who…..guess what……she had AT HOME, unmedicated, with our very own midwife! How cool is that??? She was so excited for us and even said “home is the BEST place to have a baby”…..and yet she’s working at a hospital….I thought it was so funny….we talked to her about circumcision too and she said after seeing so many baby boys have it done, she would never do it to her son (if she had one)…..we disussed vitamin K, eye treatments, vaccines, etc…. and shared a lot of similar views as her.  Definitely going to be using her if we need a lactation consultant.  She even gave us her cell phone…how sweet is that?
  • We have to interview pediatricians…..we’re going to do that soon! N, our midwife, gave us a recommendation for one she feels would work best for us, so he’s on the top of our list to meet with.
  • We’re slowly gathering things for our birth box….
  • Haven’t done ANY baby shower planning….we are waiting till the RSVPS finish rolling in.  Right now there are about 30 friends and family coming to the shower in early November.
  • We got our sleep positioner and our U.ppababy stroller in by UPS.  We are crazy about the stroller. Loves it.
  • Our nursery is still a wreck, so no pictures yet….but soon my friends….soon.  K’s dad is coming over on Sunday morning to help assemble the crib….it’s been a challenge….
  • Woke up early this morning with a very sore throat….now I’m freaked that I’m going to be re-visited by strep….for the 2nd time in my pregnancy…. please God, no.  I really need to get more sleep.
  • I’m starting to imagine what Wee One looks like more and more.  I keep picturing my son with no hair…..bald and beautiful and wrinkly.  I really cannot wait to meet this little man.  I’m thinking about him more and more as I can feel stronger movements each day.  I love looking down at my belly and seeing it move all over the place….I never cease to be amazed by this whole process…..and am sort of struggling with the WAIT…..

I think that’s pretty much all I have for now.  I know there was more I wanted to post about….but my head feels foggy now….I promise when I get some more sleep, I’ll find more exciting stuff to write about.  Hope you all enjoy a lovely weekend!!