Saturday, November 30, 2013

Hello, are you in there?

I first reported feeling quickening around the 12-13 week mark. Which was super early. And super exciting.


That's what it's been ever since. 
At nearly 17 weeks... this is just a bit odd for me. 

Don't get me wrong, I'll feel the occasional kick. But either this kid is super mellow or the placenta is out front.

I have no reason to be concerned. Heartbeat has always been strong and consistent, and we've had no bleeding or cramping. This is not a scary thing. Just a new thing to me.

Baby movement is my FAVORITEST part of pregnancy, and usually by this point my uterus is a three ring circus. So these tumbleweeds bellowing by are a bit of a let down.

Come on ( name censored until parents release it), let's get this party started.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Oh The Planning

It's a good thing that my body craves organization like yours craves air.

Really... because prepping for this upcoming visit is taking a lot of preplanning and organization. Which, of course, makes me feel very needed, in control and useful.

I love it. 

During their 9 day visit we're squeezing in a LOT of things. Ultrasounds, hospital tours, social worker meet and greets, OB introductions, Christmas and all the traditions that come with and a few other American must dos (football, hot wings and beer... for them, not for me). It seems like almost every moment of every day is planned out. We've even found time for some surprises for the guys and a pair of date nights in there.

On top of all the other emotions... I feel so thankful for my AMAZING match. Because when I ask M if there is time to do yet another activity he says,

 "I don't know, let me check T's spreadsheet."

Sigh. A man after my own heart. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Oh! Do You Know Them?

While I may not be "obviously" showing yet (truly, it depends on the day as to if I'm showing at all...) enough people know that I'm pregnant that they'e beginning to talk to me about it. The news that this baby is not mine is still regarded highly and often met with a mix of confusion and disbelief. And now, a new question is popping up quite a little bit.

"Oh! That's so wonderful, Do you know them?" 

The short answer for me is always, "Well, I do now!"

But that seems a bit evasive. I usually explain that, for matters of my heart and legalities, I felt it would be very difficult for me to be a carrier for someone I knew in real life prior to making this decision. At least for a first journey. I explain that we both used an agency to find one another, were expertly matched and have since become an extended family based on love and trust.

That's the real truth of it. I share tons of stuff with the guys. I mean, one of them knocked me up after all. They share their lives with me. We are family. There is love there. Does it matter how we met?

From the looks of people's faces, it must. There seems to be less honor in helping a "stranger." Or perhaps it's the fact that we met through a mediator? Let's call GG a "matchmaker" for this purpose. How many "families" today started as the result of a "matchmaker" like eHarmony, Match or

Maybe I should just start telling people I'm carrying for my brothers. 

Then let them sort out the plural. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Sweet Spot

Mandy tells us the second trimester is the sweet spot - the early pregnancy sickness, tests and worries have all passed; she's still a maneuverable size; yet the home stretch mayhem/excitement is still a couple of months away! It's really a case of 'no news is good news'.

For IPs though, it's a busy time as we rapidly move from the dream of becoming parents, to the reality of "this is really happening. In a little over 5 months!"
So with Mandy not having much to report, we thought we'd share some of our adventures since entering the second trimester.

The NT Scan.

We got the results back this morning and we have a 1 in 10,000 chance of a genetic abnormality. We're not betting men, but those are pretty good odds in anyone's books.  It's exciting to think the next scan will be at the halfway point - 20 weeks - and that we will be there in person for it.

We Are Moving. 

Although our current house is fine for minimalists like us (another thing we have in common with our surrogate and her family!), we could see us outgrowing it as soon as this little bean begins to walk. The idea of applying for a bank loan with one income terrifies us, but the idea of moving with a toddler terrifies us even more, so we decided to bite the proverbial bullet and move somewhere larger while we still have the luxury of time and money.

We Upsized Our Car. 

Our old two-door car wouldn't fit a child seat - no matter how hard we tried - so we have upgraded to a family car. To be honest, it feels a little empty with just the two of us, and a 5kg dog sitting in the backseat, but we it won't be long before it's filled with baby and all the parephenalia.

We Had a New Arrival. 

Welcome to the newest cousin!
M's sister had a gorgeous baby girl, which will be our baby's 14th cousin. His mum tells us we need to spend lots of time with her, practicing changing nappies and washing bottles. We think we will be happy waiting until we have our own baby to practice on!  It was very special holding her in our arms though; this is the first baby we've held since being pregnant ourselves, and will also be the closest in age to our child.  (We were also selfishly eying off her baby gear as they will hopefully become our hand-me-downs - don't judge us)

We Have Finalised Travel Plans. 

Tickets are booked and we leave in one month from today.  We fly into Vancouver and will spend a few days at Whistler recovering from jetlag (Mandy & Chris do NOT want to see us immediately after 22 hours of flying - believe me!).  We'll have 10 days in Seattle and can't wait to spend some time with our new extended family, to finally meet their 'Blondesters' and have some other fun adventures.  What makes it extra special is that we get to spend Christmas with them, and we're insisting Mandy puts her feet up while we cook lunch (but not until she's baked a peppermint cheesecake!). They have also talked us into watching a Seahawks game and eating something called 'hot wings' - for those who know us this is as adventurous as it gets!
So Mandy, enjoy this 'boring' time; as you can see we're more than making up for it down under!

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Quilt With Many Pieces

After my last post I had a great discussion with T about these sort of issues. Chances are I'll only run into them for a few more months. Chances are they'll be running into them for the rest of their lives.

I was thrilled to see that the guys had their wits abut them. That this instance of hate didn't get under their skin nearly as much as it did mine. That it rolled off their backs like water off of a duck. A great trait in a good parent, I might add. T shared with my a publication sent to he and M from Growing Generations. I wish I could post it here, as it is beautifully written and stated, but it's likely copy written. And I don't think they want this joey born behind bars.

So, I'm jut going to paraphrase some of the finer points.

The best of it to me is this snippet: A baby isn't born knowing what is "normal" and what is not. That is taught. They are born able to recognize love, and look to that love for guidance about how the world SHOULD be.

This child won't be born sad that there is no female parental figure in his/her life. This child won't even realize that they're "missing" out on anything. And in fact, with proper nurturing, overtime could come to feel they've really got the best of it through their unique exposure to two dads.

This isn't a recipe with a missing ingredient. 
It's a quilt with many pieces. 

Will the teen years be hard? Yes. Were you an easier teen because you had a mom and a dad? Will other parents be cruel? Yes. Have YOU ever been judged by other parents? Each of these experiences adds a patch to the quilt that will create a beautiful and unique story. We should all be so lucky to have such a warm and beautiful quilt.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Got My First Nay Sayer

I had to get it sometime, right? 

The good news is that it didn't come from family, or close friends. It came in the form of a Facebook Email from someone I'd only met in person once, and un-friended months ago. So truly, no big loss.

The letter was long, most of it trying to school me on how the bible says Homosexuality is a sin, and how my support of gay men parenting is a friendship deal killer for her. At a minimum, I am proud that she felt able to voice her religious standpoint and friendship breaking points. That takes integrity and courage to be sure.

I really don't want to dive into another religious debate here. We've been there, done that. But the part that really stands out to me is this:

"My heart bleeds that this new little person won't have a mom and dad as God designed - one parent to show them beautiful feminism, the other strength and leadership. "

Now this really breaks my heart. Who says I need a penis to teach my girls "strength and leadership" or that Chris needs a vagina in order to teach my girls how to be feminine and ladylike? Or that a single parent can't embody both? I resent the accusation.

I did reply, in a very kind manner. I told her that for every mention of homosexuality being a sin, there are 10 more preaching the importance of love, tolerance, acceptance and forgiveness. I'm not judged by law and society for my sins, and I don't think it's fair to use religion to punish others. I reminded her that Jesus dined with tax collectors and whores, that he preached acceptance and love.

Sin or not, I will always stand for equality, just as my Savior did during his time on Earth.

Matthew 25:40 spoke to me as I spoke to her.

"40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

I don't know what will happen on Judgement Day, but I can not believe that God will punish me for bringing new life into the world, or for loving ALL of his sons and daughters. I also can not believe that God will punish two parents who love a child so deeply and diligently, no matter which other sins they are guilty of. Because there is no such thing as a supersin, and we're all sinners.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The NT Scan

Yesterday we had our 13 week NT scan. It's a combined ultrasound and blood test that measures the fluid in the spinal column as well as certain blood hormones. When paired, these results will give a hint into the probability of a child born with a genetic disorder like Down's Syndrome.

This is a test we never had done with either of our girls. It's a test I wouldn't ever opt to do, if we're being honest. On a personal level, I feel like I'd never abort an "abnormal" child, so all knowing that you're carrying an abnormal child would do for me, would be to ruin the next 6 months of pregnancy.

But, this isn't my baby. 
It's not my pregnancy. 
It wasn't my choice to make. 

Baby waving at Adela 
It's the first time in this process where I would have made a different choice than the guys, if this were my baby. Probably about time that happened, too. I am proud and pleased  to say that the difference in opinion on having the test didn't create any hard feelings or awkward moments. I didn't/don't harbor hard feelings towards the guys for wanting this test.

This is a brilliant sign. It highlights to me that I am able to separate emotionally that this isn't my baby, and these aren't my choices to make. And that I won't feel negative emotions if the parents choices aren't the same ones I'd make for my own babies. This, friends, is a very very good thing.

Even so, I was nervous as I've been yet as I laid there and the scan started. What IF we saw something bad?

The news was good though, folks. The genetic counselor saw nothing to be concerned about. Though we won't have official results for a week or so while they process the blood draw, they said it'd be surprising for anything to be flagged.

During the scan we got a lot of great profile views, and a clear vision of baby sucking his/her thumb a lot. I swear I could hear the baby asking me for another glass of milk. My number one craving. The best part of the screening was that I had my 4 year old with me. She kept saying, "Hi, baby!" And every time she did, the baby waved right back at her.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Reverse Gaydar

As many of you know, I've spent the last week or so cruising around the Caribbean. It's a hard life, I know.

I've spent most every night in the club with my cruising pal, Joy. It's her scene and once upon a time it was really mine too. But alas, 8 years and three pregnancies after my prime, I just can't keep up anymore. Plus, I just don't get the attention I once did. Could be because I'm with a blonde bombshell who can dance circles around me. Or, it could be those aforementioned 8 years and 3 pregnancies.

So last night we split company so that I could wander into my new scene, the piano bar. I really love piano bars. So I walked in and within 30 seconds had a gay man offer to buy me a drink. I politely declined. Within 5 minutes had two more offers from two more gay men. Of course I declined, this time explaining to the group why. Insert choruses of, "you go girl", "awe" and, "wow, you're an amazing woman."

My head grew larger by my nanosecond. It was ah-mazing.  Here are those compliments and the special attention I once found in the club.

Apparently my uterus is now more attractive than my ass. 


So, this all has me thinking about Gaydar.

If you don't know what that is, its this sort of "six sense" that a woman claims to have about identifying gay men. Let me say two things about this.

  • I wish it didn't have to exist. Gay or straight shouldn't be an identifiable trait, nor should it have to be something that is hidden to where people need "gaydar" to know. 

  • My gaydar is prrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrretty good. 

But now I wonder, is there such thing as like, reverse gaydar? Wherein Gay men see me, and just know I am an instant friend? Is there something about me that screams advocate? I sure hope so.

I must make a note to ask the guys.