Gender Reveal…Part 2

It started out as a pretty hectic day.  We were moving, providing respite care for another foster mother’s 7 month old son for the weekend, dealing with our own 9 month old with a stomach bug, and setting up an outdoor party NEAR THE WATER on probably the windiest, crappiest, “threatening rain”iest day on record so far.  Things were not looking good.  I had allotted myself plenty of time to get things together.  I knew I still hadn’t made a trip to the grocery store to pick up the things we needed, I had to go to the $1 Store to get balloons filled, I had to bring down tables (from the marina rec room), wipe them down, and set them up. I also had to help Callie get all 3 kids ready for the party. Luckily, Marco, as usual, stayed the night in order to 1) help me move 2) help watch the kids 3) help me set up and run errands 4) inject his undying and unwavering positivity to an otherwise hectic situation.  I thank my lucky stars every day for that guy!

Wake up call was 7:30 am, kind of.  And by 7:30 I mean 8:30.  I was dressed, ready and walking out the door by 8:40.  I shot over to the grocery store to pick up some soda, juice, chips, paper goods, condiments, salad dressing, bottled water, and powdered lemonade mix.  I also picked up potatoes, eggs, mayonnaise, onions, and an aluminum tin to make potato salad, but I never actually got around to making it.  Too busy! After that, I drove over to the $1 store, which ultimately ended up being a waste of time and money because it was so darn windy out that day, that the balloon decorations for the tables ended up being tied to the fence, and being blown all over the place! Shortly after my day began, at approximately 9:40, I picked up some breakfast (and much needed coffee) for us, and head home to see what Callie, Marco, and the kids were up to.  Everyone looked a hot, terrible, tired mess! After a 15 minute argument about what should happen next (should Marco and I go decorate and come get the kids later, or if we should get the kids ready and take them with us now while Callie got ready, or if we should all get ready and leave together but not necessarily have enough time to pull this all together), we decided to take our chances with the amount of time that we had, and all get ready and head out together.  Needless to say, we left the house at about 11:20am and walked the block over to the marina to start decorating for the party.  Luckily, my sister Raquel, soon to be BIL Sebastian, my parents, My FIL, and my friend Cat and her husband Shane showed up and help us with the bulk of the decorating.  Granted it wasn’t much, because the wind was taking everything with it, but it DID take all of us to tape and tie table cloths down to all the tables.  The saying “Teamwork makes the dream work” totally applies here!

Our guests started arriving at around 1-1:15pm.  We had pulled it all together just in time.  Once people started arriving, we really were able to put faces and a number on all of the support and love that we and our twins have.  It was pretty overwhelming to see all those people together for us and our family.  Words can hardly describe what was going on inside of me that afternoon.  I felt like all the love in that space was lifting me to a greater height, like I could physically see love, in colors and hugs and warmth.  I’ve never felt that before, and it made me all teary eyed.  I played it off like my contacts were bothering me.

At around 2pm, we invited everyone to eat.  My moms Pernil (roasted pork shoulder marinated in red and green peppers, cilantro, onions and garlic, vinegar and oil) and Arroz Con Gandules (yellow rice with pigeon peas) are to die for! Most people went back for seconds, and some even went back for thirds!  We waited for everyone to finish eating and got then got together for the moment they had all been waiting for and the reason we had invited them all to share that day with us.  I had spent 3 hours the night before (while on my overnight shift mind you) filling black balloons with glitter and confetti.  At the party, I had everyone line up in a semicircle around Callie and I and distributed the balloons for everyone to blow up, but not before we begged and pleaded with them not to cheat and ruin the surprise. They had waited that long, what was 2 more minutes, right?! Surprisingly enough, no one cheated, and they blew up the balloons, tied them off, and waited for our cue. [Random fact about me: I am deathly afraid of balloons.  Like, ridiculous, paralyzing fear!  My father makes fun of me all the time, and my friends do their best to protect me whenever there are balloons around.  Something about the unexpected popping of balloons that gets me all freaked out, my hands start shaking, my stomach feels weird, my heart races out of my chest.  It’s the weirdest thing, but I can’t shake it and I have no idea where it comes from or how it started.  It’s kinda always been there.]  Callie counted off a “1…2…3” and balloons popped all over the place- cue stalled heart!  Blue glitter and “It’s a Boy” confetti went flying everywhere!!  Some people rejoiced right away, others looked for a speck of pink somewhere in the mix, and some people took a minute to process.  My mom took about 15 seconds longer than everyone else before she realized that she would not only be getting her first grandson son but also her second!  She never in a million years expected twin boys.  Hardly anyone did! It made that moment that much cooler.  After tons of hugs, tears, and congratulations, we continued to party well into the evening.  People mingled, had cake, asked tons of questions and relished in the fact that two beautiful baby boys will be joining our predominantly female family, and will finally add some testosterone to our home.

Levi James & Noah Oscar, your Mommy and Mama (and the rest of this crazy large family) are waiting for you with hearts so full and arms wide open…

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Wear Your Guess

Wear Your Guess

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Tons of Pink and Blue

Tons of Pink and Blue

Cake Pops thanks to Tia Raquel and Tio S

Cake Pops thanks to Tia Raquel and Tio Sebas

Popping Balloons

Popping Balloons

photo 2    kisboysIf you want  to watch a brief video of the reveal (less than a minute) feel free…watch my family go nuts!

To “B”-Feed Or Not To B-“Feed”

That is truly the question! Callie and I were talking about getting our kids on a schedule and how important it is, not just for us but for them as well. We both work less that favorable schedules, what with my 2 overnights, a school aged kiddo who is being shuttled back and forth, and Callie’s demanding job as the Director of a childcare learning center that is the Ivy league of daycare, scheduling and routine are our life! The subject of breastfeeding came up.

(DISCLAIMER: This will probably get a little too descriptive for some people, especially if you don’t get the whole breastfeeding thing, but even more so if you are my little brother or my male best friend Marco reading this.)

Callie has never really been into the whole nursing thing. It’s just not for her, and to each their own. It’s her body and her prerogative so whatever decision she makes, I support her but we both agree that it is important for the babies and their well-being. I, on the other hand, think it’s awesome, beautiful, bonding, and starting your kids lives off by giving them their breast (I mean best) chance. So after much conversation and a whole lot more research, we decided that “adoptive breastfeeding” was the course that we were going to take and a decision that was perfect for our family. I’m home 3 days out of the week and since the the babies would be with me, it was the perfect solution.

I didn’t think it was possible to not give birth and breastfeed. I thought that it was all based on hormones and that the milk came in once your baby was delivered. NOPE! Not true. It’s all based on your pituitary gland and how it produces Oxycontin. To put it simply, if you can trick your body into thinking that a baby needs milk to eat, it will produce milk. How do you trick your body you ask? Weeeellllll, let me tell you! It’s a process!

I have been using manual expression for about 3 weeks now to get the milk out, even though there technically is no milk being produced yet. After about 15 minutes of that, I use a breast pump for about 5-7 minutes. All of this is supposed to be done about every 2-3 hours for a minimum of 3 months JUST TO SEE A DROP because breast milk works mainly on supply and demand. I also do breast massage as often as I can, and take 2 different herbal supplements (3 pills 3x’s a day OF EACH) to help increase the amount of milk I make. I’m trying to do it as natural as possible without taking any hormones and things like that. I love the hell out of my babies already to be doing all of this, primarily because I know that they are really going to benefit from it.

I have some issues not being the belly-mama. I always feel like my bond with my tykes won’t be as strong or as prevalent as it is with Callie, who carried them. I know that is probably ludicrous, but it’s a legitimate fear. It’s almost the same fear as them growing up and being the annoyingly obnoxious teenagers that we were, saying things like, “I don’t have to listen to you! You’re not my REAL mother!”. Even the thought of that boils and freezes my blood all at the same time!
I also have some issues that I need to get over. Stereotype issues. Everyone has always known me to be the sporty type, always overweight, not ever feminine, more like the dad than the mom. I have pretty horrible PCOS which makes body hair my ultimate curse (especially in places that they shouldn’t be on a female and highly noticeable). I don’t think that anyone in a million years would think that I would want to carry (when I tell people this their usual reaction is “Really?!?! You?!?!), and the people that I told I was inducing lactation give me this face like, “Isn’t that gonna be weird for you? or “seriously?” Why? Because I prefer to wear jeans, polo’s and boat shoes over skirts and heels? Is it because of my outward appearance? I’M STILL A WOMAN PEOPLE! I still have very feminine qualities that I embrace and I definitely don’t have penis envy like some of the other butches I know. But how comfortable will I really feel when I’m at a public park and my 3 month old starts wailing cause he’s hungry, and it’s time to whip my boob out and nurse him? Will I hide my head in shame even though I know I’m doing the right thing? Will I all of a sudden rush home so that I can nurse in private? Will my face flush with the ultimate sign of embarrassment, or will it be a complete non-issue?

I don’t know the answer to those questions yet. I’m pretty sure I won’t know until my 2 little nuggets are here. But until then, I’ll keep pushing (or pumping) on. Gotta get things right as there are 2 little ones to make sure are well fed and plump. The only thing better than a little chubby baby is 2 little chubby babies. Callie may be going through the actual labor, but this adoptive breastfeeding thing is a true labor of love.

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2 YOU SAY?!?!?!

 Woke up last Friday morning, got our 6-year-old ready for school, dropped her off, and we head out for our appointment at our fertility specialist.  Our first sonogram! How exciting!  We were geeked and couldn’t wait to see our baby.  I mean, let’s be real! We knew it would only be a tiny little black speck in her uterus, but it was OUR tiny little black speck that we have been waiting to create for months!
We get to the Dr. and make small talk in the waiting area. We are so excited we can hardly contain ourselves, but we’re trying our best to be sympathetic to the other couples in the waiting area that may not be as lucky as we are. We’ve been in that position, and our positive attitudes, pregnant with anticipation (no pun intended) are probably the last thing these women need. We speak in hushed voices trying not to let go of our little secret yet.
Our names are called. I spring to my feet, thanks to the 3 cups of coffee I’ve had in the past hour, and do my proud “I’m gonna be a Mama” strut, protecting my lady and my unborn child from whatever dangers could present themselves in the 10 foot walk from chair to exam room. I hold the door and in we go. We are about to see our little Poppy Seed.
The nurse turns out the light and my eyes focus instantly on that black and white screen that only trained professional eyes can understand. I have no idea what I’m looking at, but as soon as the Dr. says, “There’s your baby!” I damn near lost it! My heart started racing, my palms started sweating, and I felt this surge of indescribable love for my Callie, laying there completely exposed, having been through so much just so we can have this incredible moment. I kiss her. I kiss her and I hold her hand and I admire her. I turn my eyes away from the screen for a second so we can lock eyes and then I hear him say it. I hear him say, “And there is the other one!”
THE OTHER ONE!?!?! OMG! The other one! There are 2!?!? There are totally 2! Suddenly, my ears started ringing, my head felt like all the blood in my body rushed to it, and then in a flash…Euphoria. 2 babies. 2 gloriously chubby babies with 20 fingers for hand holding, 20 toes for tickling, 4 cheeks to kiss, 2 bellies for loud raspberries, 4 knees to kiss boo-boos, 4 eyes to show the wonders of this amazing world to. Oh man! It’s 2! Our TWO Poppy Seeds growing in Mommy’s belly. This adventure is going to be even more awesome than we anticipated. 2 little babies…