Stress

It's been an exceptionally stressful month–mainly work stress, but it's been intense.  The TTC planning isn't helping, either.  

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I am hoping to relax this weekend.  We are having dinner with my family to celebrate my birthday on Saturday, and I am so looking forward to it.  Then, Catch and I will be spending Sunday/Monday at Disneyland doing whatever we want whenever we want for as long as we want.  Nothing stressful about that.  It would be only fitting if I managed to get a positive OPK while at Disneyland.  

After this weekend though, it's time to seriously look into the yoga studio by my house. I am giving up my precious post-bad-day-at-work vodka after my birthday, so something's gotta give.  

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Book Love

Twix_book_drink

Memorial weekend was a whirlwind of chaos. There's so much that I want to write about, but not right now.  Right now, I just want to say that I spent a good chunk of the weekend sitting by my in-laws pool with a drink and my little hound girl reading Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected, by Kelle Hampton.

I love, love, loved this book.  I especially love how she talked about finding out that her father is gay and her childhood path to tuning out the church and loving her dad anyway.  Her whole story was beautiful–right down to the book itself.  I almost felt guilty for the dog eared pages because they were too pretty to fold.

And yes, my legs are as white as that very light khaki, and I will not apologize for it no matter how many times my inlaws make fun of me for hiding in the shade.  

Check

Intake appointment scheduled with our IUI clinic… check.

Purchase & storage agreement submitted to cryobank… check.

"Authorization for Release of Semen" faxed to my doctor for signature… check.

Funds transferred to our general savings account to cover 6 months worth of sperm & IUI… check.

Wife spending her free time looking at #lesbianmom and #lesbianfamily hashtags on Instagram… check.

Ten gazillion baby-related pins on my "Someday" Pinterest board… check.

Is it just me or is this whole babymaking journey a heck of a lot of go-go-go-W A I T?

Time Keeps Ticking

7 Years Ago

When I first met Catch, she was playing on a softball team
with a bunch of fantastic women.  That’s
how we met our friend, The Italian.  We
were pretty sure The Italian was dating one of the other girls on the team, but
they were very hush hush about it, and no matter how many times we invited them
over, they never took us up on our offers. We really liked The Italian, but at
some point, she just disappeared. We figured we’d misread things and that they
just didn’t want to be our friends.

One night, The Italian called us and asked if she could come
over.  She HAD been dating the other girl
on the team, and the other girl had broken up with her the previous month.  The Italian was a MESS, and she spent a good
amount of time on our couch as we tried to help her pick up the pieces.

6 Years Ago

The Italian met The Singer. 
She started bringing her to Sunday softball, and we loved her
instantly.  Over the years, she became
one of my very best friends.  The four of
us did everything together.  There were
more back yard BBQs than I can count. Camping trips.  Double dates. Heart to hearts. The Singer was
one of my bridesmaids. They got engaged. 
We all talked of babies and futures and pasts we were happy to leave
behind.

9 Months Ago

The Italian and The Singer fell off the grid.  They stopped coming to softball games.  They stopped responding to invitations.  After a few attempts, Catch and I were
puzzled.  We knew something wasn’t right, but
we were also hurt.  We missed our
friends, but we carried on with our lives figuring they’d let us in when/if
they were ready.

Last Night

I am in the kitchen cooking dinner when my phone
chirps.  It’s The Italian.  She said, “I need you guys.”  The next thing we know, she’s sitting in our
back yard by the glow of tiki torches telling us her story.

The Singer met someone else on the train eight months ago and
told The Italian that she needed time to figure things out. They broke up. They
got back together.  They broke up.  They got back together.  All the while, The Singer kept telling The
Italian that she loves her and she misses her, but that she also loves HIM.

I gotta say—I never saw that coming.

The Italian has been supporting The Singer financially
throughout all of this.  She has been
paying The Singer’s rent even though HIM is living there too.  She has been too ashamed and in denial
throughout everything to reach out to her friends.  She’s been struggling through this on her own
for the past 8 months. 

Things are bad—so bad that I am honestly still in
shock.  I can’t even say here half of the
things The Italian told us about HIM last night, but it’s a terrible
situation.  HIM threatened The Italian
yesterday on her way to work—he almost hit her with his car and then got out
and told her that The Singer (who was sitting in the car) is “his bitch now.” 

My bridesmaid—my confidante—the person who held her head
high and who you could always count on to tell it like it is—she is someone’s “bitch”
now?  I can’t even wrap my head around
it.  I am a 30-something middle class
white girl from the suburbs—I’ve never had a friend who was content to be
someone’s bitch.

I gave The Italian the best advice I have to offer—my favorite song…

Non, je ne regrette rien

 

Cart Before Horse: Why I Hate Twilight

I can't remember a time when I didn't daydream about being a mommy. The desire has just always been there. There are decades of daydreams and plans stored inside my head. 

For instance, I have always wanted to name a son after my maternal grandfather.  My mom's dad passed away suddenly of a heart attack in his mid-fifties.  I never met him, but I've heard the stories and seen the pictures, and I've always wished I could have known him.  I feel like we would have had some great conversations.  

My grandparents were Canadian, and after my grandmother's death, we found an old black & white photo of my grandfather standing with an interracial hockey team. I didn't think twice about it until my mom reminded me of the time–of how uncomon that was. She said that his team was shunned when they would travel to the States to play games against all-white teams.

It makes me feel like he would have been okay with his lesbian granddaughter–like he would have stood by me the way he stood by the men on his hockey team.  I'll never know for sure, but it feels right.

When I shared my feelings with Catch–about naming a son after my grandfather–she was on board. We're all about the family names. We even decided that this imaginary future son's middle name would be Catch's grandfather's name.  That has been the plan. For years.  We've had our babies' names picked out longer than we've been married.

Here's the catch:

My grandfather's name was Jacob.

Catch's grandfather's name is Edward.

Thanks a lot, Twilight.

PS:  Other relatives I would love to include in our future childrens' names, but cannot for obvious reasons:

My paternal grandfather: Donald Alfred. Um, no.

My maternal grandmother: Thelma Florence. Not gonna happen.

Sunshine

To quote one of the donor profiles we were considering, “the
minutia of daily life” has been pretty stressful of late. Work is insane for
both of us. The house is a mess, and the laundry is never ending.  It feels like there’s no time for anything,
but the reality is that when we do have down time, we just plant ourselves on
the couch in front of the television.

In general, we’ve both been feeling a bit down.  Throughout our relationship, we have always
relied on each other to help pull the other out of a funk. When I’m feeling out
of control, Catch finds a way to get me into the garden or out with my camera where
she knows I’m happy.  When Catch is
feeling down, I give myself a wake up call and just try harder to be a good
wife—whether that means unexpectedly doing the dishes or setting the dining
room table, cooking a real dinner and opening a bottle of wine. 

Point being that it’s unusual for us BOTH to be in this grey
area at the same time and we are both grasping at straws to try to bring
ourselves out of the gloom and into the beautiful spring sunshine. 

I know it’s temporary. Soon, she’ll have a month off from
teaching, and I will have hired another person for my team at the office and
some of the pressure will be relieved.  In
the meantime, we’re instituting, Get Out and Do Something Alone Together That
Does Not Involve Sitting in a Restaurant Tuesdays.

So far, our list of possibilities includes:

  • mini golf
  • wiffle ball at the park
  • bowling (Catch started looking at lesbian
    bowling leagues, but I’m about as likely to join a bowling league as I am to
    join her softball team)
  • batting cages
  • a movie (we NEVER go to the movies and have
    amassed a collection of gift cards)
  • pool, although I am so terrible at it that I
    have been known to send balls flying across the room
  • an excursion to the used book store by our house
    that I have always wanted to go to, but never have
  • one of the shows at the Samuel Oschin
    Planetarium
    at the Griffith Park Observatory (tickets are only $7—not too
    bad)

I like our list so far. It may seem a bit boring and
predictable, but honestly? We’re pretty boring and predictable. I’m just
looking forward to spending some time with my wife. I can already see some
sunshine peeking through.

Oh, Amazon

I love books.  All kinds of books.  Audiobooks, paperbacks, fiction, non-fiction, teen fiction, little golden books–I just love books.

That's why it surprises me that I never sat down to research any lesbian pregnancy books until this morning.  Oh, sure I've done my online research, courtesy of Dr. Google.  I've listened to Fertility Friend's Charting for Conception podcasts. I've tracked down the myriad lesbian mommy bloggers who have been there/done that. Ask me a technical question, and I can probably give a technical answer that includes all of the acronyms. (Acronyms which, incidentally, make me cringe. Almost as much as it makes me cringe when my boss emails to say, "txs."  Texas?  To excess?  Was it really so hard to type "thanks?" Are three extra keystrokes going to interrupt your golf game?)

But I haven't read any actual books on the subject of pregnancy–lesbian or otherwise.  Not a single one.

I ended up on Amazon.  I browsed for a while–looking up books I've heard of, reading reviews, and following Amazon's suggestions from one place to another.  I added the Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy for Lesbians to my cart, and went in search of the remaining $12 purchase I needed to make to save myself $5 on shipping–because that makes perfect sense.

As usual, Amazon had a few suggestions for me:

Ohamazon

What they don't realize is that purchasing karaoke show tunes is a surefire way for me to end up with a miserable, lonely lesbian pregnancy.  

Nothing is Certain…

…Except death and taxes and me needing a strong cup of
coffee to get my ass going in the morning
.

There are few things I fear more as we approach babymaking
than being forced to cut out my caffeine consumption.

Liquor?  No
biggie. 

Wine? More of a biggie, but I will live.

Decaf? I die. 

Seriously.

Let me be clear: I don’t drink a TON of caffeine.  It’s not like I’m swigging a pot of coffee
before I get myself out of bed in the morning. 
I usually have half a cup from our French press at home, followed by a
cup at the office.  Generally, I don’t
finish the cup at the office, which is why there are two half empty mugs of
coffee sitting there right now. 

I also don’t tend to drink soda.  I like to order a diet coke when I go out for
lunch, but other than that—nada.  I went
to offer my mom a diet coke when she came over a few months ago, and it was
expired.  Whoops.

Still though, the effect of that ten or sixteen ounces of
coffee in the morning will get me through the day.  Caffeine aside, I just LOVE coffee. 

In my head, I have already started a list:

Things I will hold
over our future child’s head for the rest of my life: 

1)     
I had to stop drinking coffee for you.  COFFEE. 
For payback, I will steal your college registration materials and make
sure you’re signed up exclusively for 8 am classes all the way across campus.

2)     
Your mother insisted that I do Yoga while trying
to get pregnant with you.  YOGA.  Do you have any idea how anti-yoga I am?  But I was so pro-baby that I never batted an
eye.  Payback?  You want to take ballet lessons?  You don’t want to play soccer?  Ballet class is full and you’re playing
soccer BECAUSEISAIDSO.

3)     
I have to be sober at my company’s holiday party
in December (I hope). I haven’t been sober at a company holiday party in 13
years.  That’s older than you!  Payback? You are going to put on your Easter
best in all its itchy, uncomfortable glory and sit through Easter mass with
your grandparents while your mother and I sip mimosas on the patio and eat the
candy out of the plastic eggs hidden all over the yard.

4)     
I have to spread my legs a gazillion times over
the coming months for a bunch of complete strangers who never even bought me a
drink first.  Payback?  We’re using your most awkward naked baby
picture as your high school graduation announcements.

5)     
No sushi for me? 
I used to have a friend whose mother had her convinced for the first
several years of her childhood that cupcakes are bran muffins with cream cheese
on top. Guess what we’re serving at your first big “invite the whole class”
birthday party?!

And baby, we’re just getting started.

19 Days

There was a box from Amazon.com sitting on our doorstep
yesterday when I got home.

I tore into it immediately, knowing what was inside…

The test strips.

Little bundles of blue ovulation prediction strips, and a
small bundle of home pregnancy tests.

Home. Pregnancy. Tests.

I could barely even look at them because although they are
in tiny little pink packages, they are huge. 
HUGE.  Heart racing, stomach
turning, fluttery all over GIGANTIC.

As I pawed through the packages in a bit of a fog, Catch
eagerly grabbed one of the OPKs and ran to the bathroom with it.  I had to laugh.  The strip did detect some LH, but not enough
for a positive result.  She cracks me up.

I’m going to start testing on Thursday morning.  I’m trying to figure out how I am going to
discreetly manage these tests while I’m at work, but I will find a way.  I can’t be the only person in this office who’s
ever peed on a stick in the ladies room.

All that aside, today is Catch’s birthday.  For 19 days, I get to enjoy that she has
reached 32 while I’m still a mere 31. 
Delusions of Catch as a cradle robber float through my brain in great
big flashes of denial. 

We met when we were 24, and in these past (almost) 8 years,
we have conquered so many mountains. We have held each other as our families
have faced everything from cancer to suicide—from deaths to recovery. We have
faced homophobia and been rejected by people we care about, and through it all our voice and resolve to stand up for ourselves has grown stronger. We are
surrounded by friends and family who love us just the way we are and who will
stand up for us.  Jobs have turned into
careers. Houses have turned into homes. Girlfriends have become wives. Families
have been tied together.

As 32 looms so close I can almost touch it, so does motherhood.  I cannot imagine a better partner for this
journey… 

…Even if she is an older woman.

Happy birthday, baby.

Silver Linings Playbook

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I never saw the movie when it was in theaters, so once I saw that Silver Linings Playbook was out on video, I decided I'd better read the book before it started calling to us on pay per view.  I'm one of those people who likes to read books before I see the movies.  

I still have about an hour left of the audiobook, but let me just say that I love this book.  I love the writing.  I love how head-on the author addresses depression.  I love how the characters are so real.  No polished edges, just polished writing.

I really had no idea what I was headed into when I downloaded this book, and it's all unfolded like a wonderful surprise.  I can't wait to go sit in Friday rush hour, because it might just give me time to finish it!