The Lesbian Lifetime Evolution

Disclaimer: This evolution does not apply to all lesbians…it is merely opinion and a micro-cultural observation-based account.

A woman realizes she loves women.
Living consists of relationship-making in secret…online, in person.
Then “coming out” happens (hopefully).
Living consists mainly of relationship-making and career-building.
Party, savor living, travel (not in any order).
Then continuing with marriage, travel, and maybe raising children.
Middle-aged life rolls on, maintaining or changing careers, becoming an expert juggler of personal/family time and work life.
Travel.
Work.
Savor.
Family.
Travel.
Work.
Savor.
Family
Travel.
Work.
Savor.
Family.

The end.

She has arrived!

8 days have passed since I gave birth to our healthy little girl. And not a day has gone by when I’ve not pinched myself in disbelief that this has really happened. It is surreal, and dreamlike. I’m a parent. I’m a Mom. We are a family. Everything everyone says is true. Our world has changed. Perspectives are different. Prerogatives have been realigned. Gratitude has been reinforced. Love has swelled beyond my wildest expectations. Appreciation of friends and family has breached boundaries. Although I feel like I’m on an emotional roller coaster, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my life.

I also wanted to talk about my postpartum experience thus far. I am the lucky girl to have come down with PUPPP rash, which is Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy. It started as an itchy patch a week or so before I gave birth. It then erupted as a itchy striated rash in a circular pattern on my entire belly. All of the nurses at the hospital, and my midwives thought it was an allergic reaction to the dressing they used in the operating room during my c-section, or the mesh hospital underwear. They gave me hydrocortisone cream, and denied me benedryl, because it could dry up breast milk. On my 3rd day there, a different bumpy type of rash started popping up on my knees and calves…the nurses weren’t concerned whatsoever. Today is day 8 postpartum, and the tiny-bumped rash has spread to every part of body except for my back and chest. I went to my primary care physician because all my midwife suggested was an oatmeal bath, and the itching is so bad that it wakes me up at night and I’m scratching so hard that I want to rip my skin off. My Dr. Immediately knew what is was…PUPPP….she prescribed me prednisone cream which has helped a lot already. How in the world were all of my healthcare providers who deal with birth, and pregnant women every day have no idea what I was experiencing. Yes, it’s a rash that has no immediate cure, except for giving birth…but it’s an extremely stressful rash that has an itch so bad that some women are even induced early for fear of skin infections developing from all of the scratching! No one is sure of the cause, it’s just one of those weird pregnancy things that can start in the 3rd trimester and last until around 15 days postpartum. Some say its a reaction to fetal cells, in other words an allergy to your own baby! Some say its linked to the sperm DNA… So, I’m sharing this in hope that it will raise a tiny bit of awareness to any woman out there who has a mysterious rash that no one can assign a name to. Although the diagnosis doesn’t change my symptoms, it’s good to at least know what it is….and it’s a relief that I don’t have anything that can harm my baby or my family.

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The Wait

Again, it’s been a long time since my last blog…it’s becoming a trend.

Today I am 39 weeks and 3 days pregnant. It’s hot, and all I wanna do is lie around naked or go swimming.

A few weeks ago, it was discovered through ultrasound that our baby is in a Frank breech position…in other words, she’s in a pike formation with her butt down where her head should be. Although I’m excited that she’ll prospectively be a diver, gymnast, or dancer some day, I was a bit disappointed. I was hoping for a natural birth experience, and a breech baby calls for automatic c-section. And no thanks, I’m flat out terrified of a natural breech delivery. However, we did try a version procedure with an area doctor who is renown for his baby-turning skills. Alas, no dice…my anterior placenta is just too thick and juicy, and got in the way. I tried some yoga, we tried ice packs, we tried a flashlight….It was settled, July 10 is likely to be our d-day…unless the stubborn booger wants to come sooner.

For 2 weeks now…let the waiting commence!!!
Commence the commute to work with our labor-day bag, including the toiletry bag which I have to remember to bring in and out if the house every morning and night. Commence the fear that I’ll go into labor during rush hour traffic. Commence the thoughts of “is that my mucus plug?”, and “am I peeing or is it my water breaking?”, and “wow, these Braxton hicks contractions hurt a little, are they the real ones?” Commence the avoidance of driving more than an hour away from the hospital. Commence the envisionment of a c-section birth, tackling my fears of a punctured bladder, or an accidentally scalpeled baby, or puking while in an OR table, or miserable recovery time, or lack of immediate skin-to-skin bonding, or lack of delayed cord clamping.

Fast forward to today.
48 hours from now, I will be in that OR, and we will become moms. It’s the moment we’ve been waiting for. I’ve come to grips with the cesarean procedure…I am fine with anything as long as our daughter is healthy and safe. I am anxious for our lives to be turned upside down and inside out with her arrival. I am embracing the most amazing change I’ll ever experience in my life. Baby girl, I can’t wait to meet you!

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But, She Hasn’t Even Been Born Yet!

I’m 21 weeks pregnant and my wife and I are knee-deep in the daycare selection process. Yes, we know, the baby hasn’t even left my womb and we’re already looking for other people to take care of her. I wish that there was a local “manny” service we could call, but realistically and financially this is the avenue we need to be on. And because she’ll be an only child (at least for now), the socialization will be good. It is common that popular daycares book up many months in advance. And I think it’s wise that we are getting this out if the way while we have the spare time.

(Side note: If you’re a dog-owner, this process will feel oddly similar to selecting a boarding kennel, except emotionally times 10,000.)

Before we started touring these facilities, I had to separate my ideal wants from realistic expectations. I’m sure most new parents do this also. Ideally, I want the ratio of caregiver to baby to be 1-1, realistically it’s going to be more like 1 to 2-3 babies. One deal-breaker I had in mind was if we picked up on any weird anti-gay-parent vibes from the caregivers. So far, I’m proud to report that out of the 3 facilities we’ve toured, all if them didn’t as much as flinch when I introduced my wife as “my wife.” Because I’ve been so focused on the most important priorities regarding infant care (i.e., safety, cleanliness, attention, diapering, feeding, etc.), I haven’t yet questioned if and how same-sex parents are recognized in the classroom. Maybe I’m not as concerned because I can’t imagine my baby growing past the age of 3 months, or maybe I’m naive to think that just because I live in a state of marriage equality, that it will automatically be a positive experience for our child wherever they end up.

On the next tour, I will bring this topic up, and I’ll be sure to report back with the results.

Unchartered Territories, Or Not?

I’m 17 weeks into our first pregnancy and I’ve been watching a lot of “A Baby Story” on TLC…I cry every time a baby is born (hormones). It helps me in preparation for the big birthday.

I can usually get past the fact that the show narrowly represents the population of people having babies these days by featuring mostly white married heterosexual couples. I have neither seen one lesbian couple, nor any African-American couples, nor any single moms on the show.

One recent episode highlighted an aspect of trying to conceive (TTC) that many people don’t realize about what lesbian couples go through trying to have a baby. The show was about a straight couple having fertility struggles; they tried on their own for a year, then tried 2 inseminations (IUIs) (no meds), then 1 round of In vitrio fertilization (IVF). The woman displayed the handful of meds she had to take and spoke of dreaded injections. She told of how incredibly stressful the entire process was for them, which by my math probably lasted approx. 4-6 months. I couldn’t help but feel like I had felt similar stresses during our own journey to conceive, yet I realized that the only people in my life who understood this were friends who have been through the same, or were other close friends and family who we can be open with about the process’ details. Most other people in my life really have no idea. It took us 5 attempts within 1 years time to conceive. Many lesbians I know have had to endure more prolonged struggles lasting over a year, with several medications, injections, surgeries, and in vitro fertilizations (IVF).

The reality is that many people think that a lesbian getting pregnant means simply buying sperm, and making a Dr.’s appt. Well, it’s not that simple at all. We started by having a consultation appt. with my Dr., then blood tests, choosing a fertility specialist, more blood tests, ultrasound, selecting a donor, purchasing sperm, tracking body temp.’s, ovulation predictor kits, insurance plan details, planning life around TTC, inseminations, fertility meds, stubborn cervixes, painful IUIs, lots of waiting for test results, lots of out-of-pockets expenses +\- $5500 and almost 1 year later, boom! We’re having a baby! Even though we felt stressed out at times, we still had the motivation in sight of meeting our baby for the first time. In fact, all those times in the waiting room of the fertility doc, I never felt like we were like the other patients…we weren’t there because we had to be, we were there because we wanted to be.

I truly feel for every woman out there trying to have a baby, no matter who they are. And, I think it’s about time for TLC to start having more women on “A Baby Story” who are more representative of the real women having babies in the world!

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Baby, It’s been cold outside…

The deep freeze here in New England is finally over (for now), and I’m back from my holiday hiatus!

And I’ve got wonderful news!
I’m pregnant with our first daughter!!!

I’ve been keeping the secret out of the blogosphere until I was into my 2nd trimester. Wifey and I are beyond thrilled….we’re excited, anxious, and a little nervous…all normal feelings. I am due in July and I hope this blog will evolve with me as I dive into parenthood and beyond.

Latest lesbian problem: androgynous, simple maternity clothing. Yes, I’m showing, however I don’t look preggo, I only look fat and sloppily dressed due to lack of proper wardrobe for said belly. Every maternity shirt I find has either a scoop or boat neck, a super-feminine print, or has some frilly crap on it. Sure I could wear oversized sweatshirts and maternity jeans (which there are plentiful choices), but I absolutely cannot wear that to work. For sure, this is an untapped market. Gap and Old Navy try hard, but their tops just don’t cut the mustard. I welcome any and all suggestions!

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Well, Which Is It?

Husband & Wife?
Partners?
Husbands?
Wives?
Spouses?
SO (significant other)?

In this modern age, in America, in Boston MA, the first state to legalize same sex marriage, it frustrates me to no end that people still use terminology that excludes many legally married people.

And I hear it from all sorts of people: cable TV customer service, Dr.’s office receptionists, medical professionals, manicurists, co-workers…you name it!

It’s time for the people of America to get with the program!

Sometimes when strangers ask about my husband, I simply reply that I do not have one of those, that I have a wife, and I’m sure to include a death stare.

Actually, I like to think I am grateful for every one of these occurrences, because every time I correct someone, I’m hopefully opening their eyes to the world around them.

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