FET For Me

Callie and I have always known that we wanted a big family.  5 children is our ideal.  She always knew that she wanted to carry, and even after having to be on bed rest for a little less than half of her pregnancy, she can’t wait to feel a baby moving around inside of her again.  I, on the other hand, didn’t really feel that maternal need to carry until I was probably 25 or 26.  It was all cool and dandy to have babies, but only if my partner was having them.  I was more than prepared to be the other parent, and not giving birth to them was just fine by me!

I have always struggled with my gender identity and gender expression.  There are many times in my life (like when I was in my late teens and early 20’s) when I tried my hardest to pass as a boy.  I would bind my chest (2 ace bandages and a compression shirt, tight undershirt and then whatever I was wearing), got short haircuts or my hair braided, and tried to find “casual encounters” on Craigslist where I would post ads in “W4W” but explain that I was to be seen as a “boi” and would act like one (read: I would bring my favorite “attachment”).  I never wanted to be pregnant, mainly because I didn’t want people to see me as any less masculine.  Lots of the time I don’t even tell people my real name (which is super pretty and feminine) for fear that it just sounded weird and didn’t go well with my personality or appearance.  During the two years that I worked really hard on myself, I realized that I had to let go of some of those things that were plaguing me.  That there were things in my life that I would be really sad about if I didn’t get to experience them myself, no matter what gender I felt that I associated with.  One of those things was pregnancy.  I don’t know where my life is going to take me a few years from now, or what will happen in the future, but I do know, that I would be really sad if I weren’t able to carry at least one child.  PCOS, Uterine Fibroids, and Breast Cancer are things that are very common with the women in my family.  My mother had both a hysterectomy when she was in her late 30’s from fibroids so bad that they NEEDED to remove everything as there was no saving anything, and a double mastectomy from the cancer.  Thank goodness that she is very well now, but the fact that 2 of my mothers 3 sisters also experienced the same fate within a few months of each other, makes me fearful that it’s now or never.

After much talking, assessing our financial situation, considering how Mary’s adoption would/could play out and affect our family, age, potential medical issues, our ideal age gap between children, and if emotionally we were both ready to take on any other challenges, we decided that, YES!  We are going to have another baby!!!  We’re crazy, I know!!!! After having spent almost $25,000 trying to get pregnant the first time, having our savings account dwindle almost down to nothing since Callie has been home for almost 7 months now, two infants and a 7 year old, you would think that having more children would be the last thing that we wanted to do, but no! It’s not.  It keeps sneaking to the forefront of all of our thoughts, conversations and other decisions.  Planning our vacation, “Put what if we’re pregnant then?”  Making plans for a friends wedding in May 2016, “But what if we’re pregnant then?” Making sushi dinner plans with friends, “BUt what if we’re pregnant then?!?!”  It doesn’t go away! We’re gonna get a lot of shit from our parents, for sure.  And we might be making a not-so-smart choice, but we can’t help but feel like this is the right thing for us to do. The right thing for our family.  So on Monday afternoon, we will go for a consultation with our RE to find out what the next steps would be for me to do a Frozen Embryo Transfer with one of Callie’s frozen embies.  Not sure how PCOS plays a role in transfers, so I’ll be googling my life away at work this week.

I have to admit, I’m scared outta my mind, but so excited about what could potentially happen in a months time.  Hopefully, by my birthday on the first day of summer, I’ll be able to share some good news…it’s not often a lesbian gets to say, “I’m pregnant with my wife’s baby!”  Can’t wait!

Sleep Over at Wita and Wito’s

We caved!  We didn’t think we could do it, but we did!  And it was AMAZING!!!  My mom text me, and told me that she was available Friday night for a sleepover with the kids, so that Callie and I could enjoy a night out on the town.  At first, we thought it wouldn’t be right to torture my parents with a 7 year old who has been asking an incessant amount of questions and talking like words are going out of style, and 2 newborn infants that are still, for the most part, eating, crying, pooping, and waking up every 3-4 hours or so.  They might get lucky to get a 5-6 hour stretch, but those are contingent on what we like to call “Mommy Tricks”.  You know, those little things you pick up along the way, like putting a pacifier back in to a crying baby’s mouth at 2am, and rocking the pack and play for a few minutes so that they sleep for an extra 45 minutes.  Or when you pull them into bed and let them sleep on your chest while you’re inclined, just so you can get another hour or so.  Grandparents don’t know those tricks.  But hesitantly, and reluctantly, we packed up all “The Littles” things, and went over to Wita and Wito’s for a family slumber party.  Callie and I were originally going to go home after our night out, but decided to go to a bar near my parents, cab it, and stay at their house afterword.  We set the kids up, took out their pj’s, explained formula since Noah is getting 4oz now but Levi is still on 3, explained Mary’s nightly routine, kissed all the kids, thanked my parents, and head out the door (but not before my dad handed me a few rolled up bills for our “first drink”, which ended up being enough money to open a tab and take a $20 cab home!).

There is a local gay bar that we became regulars at a few years back, and established ourselves as the token lesbians.  Karaoke every Friday night, and the same people came out every week.  We never thought we would be able to go back, or if people would remember us, but when my sister Raquel dropped us off, a few of our old friends were standing outside, and couldn’t believe that we had made it out.  Our bartender friend RAN outside to greet us, gave us big hugs, and only a $20 tab for the whole night!  We enjoyed ourselves, singing some songs, throwing back a few beers, taking body shots, and dancing the night away.  It was obvious that we don’t get out much.  We called a cab, and were home before 2am for a good snuggle and a bad ass make out session.  That night, we completely bypassed the sex, so that we could get 8+ hours of sleep, while my parents tended to the kids.  It was extraordinary!  We still talked about our kids all night, and everyone was telling us how they love seeing their pictures on FB and IG, but Saturday morning we felt refreshed to take on the world (and 3 kids birthday parties).  All in all, it was great to spend a night with my lady, sans children, and remember what it was like when we first hung out.  What it was like to hold her hand, stand behind her with my hands around her waist, two stepping on the dance floor, see her face light up when I sing “Don’t Know Why” by Norah Jones, or putting whip cream on her belly and a blowjob shot in between her boobs, and knock it back with no hands! Those were the days!

DATE NIGHT WITH MY LADY (BEFORE BJ SHOTS)

DATE NIGHT WITH MY LADY (BEFORE BJ SHOTS)

SLEEP OVER AT WITA AND WITO'S

SLEEP OVER AT WITA AND WITO’S

And for no other reason, I will flood this post with pictures of my best boys…

ANYONE INTERESTED IN TAKING "THE LOVE BOAT" WITH MY LITTLE CAPTAIN?

ANYONE INTERESTED IN TAKING “THE LOVE BOAT” WITH MY LITTLE CAPTAIN?

LEVI FINALLY NOTICED THE KITTY

LEVI FINALLY NOTICED THE KITTY

NOAH TELLING MOMMY "NO MORE PICTURES LADY!"

NOAH TELLING MOMMY “NO MORE PICTURES LADY!”

LEVI BEING A LITTLE HAM

LEVI BEING A LITTLE HAM

HOW IS IT POSSIBLE TO CONTAIN ALL THIS CUTENESS IN ONE PICTURE?!?!

HOW IS IT POSSIBLE TO CONTAIN ALL THIS CUTENESS IN ONE PICTURE?!?!

Welcome Back Lasciviousness! Welcome Back!

It’s fair to say that after almost a year and a half of TTC, hormones that made us BOTH crazy, Dr.’s appointments every other day, and my Callie just not feeling sexy and much like herself, WE ARE BACK IN ACTION! I repeat: WE ARE BACK IN ACTION! Not that we have every really been much of a sexual couple, but when it was time to get busy, we sure did! These past couple of months especially, have been TORTURE! Torture I tell you!!!  Wanting to touch and caress every inch of Callie’s body and her not wanting much to deal with that, has been quite difficult.  Even though she wasn’t pregnant at the time, the hormones were changing her body.  She felt fat and not very attractive.  Her weight was fluctuating and she was finding it hard to find things to wear that made her feel sexy.  Hormones and stress were taking a toll on her skin and hair. She was overtired.  She was anxious, nervous, and awaiting good news that seemed to never come.  I wanted to reassure her that I saw her no differently and that she was still my beautiful Babeski (an affectionate term we made up and have convinced ourselves means “little piggy” in German which we actually found out is Saumensch which we occasionally call each other) but with things going on and her mind not being in the right place, it was difficult for her to let herself go and allow us to be. She was ok with it being like that for a while. I, on the other hand, damn near lost my sh*t recently.

In my own selfish way, I started feeling unattractive, fat, less than desirable, and like my “skills” weren’t up to par.  “Am I a crappy lovemaker?” “Tell me what you want me to change!” “How long have you hated having sex with me?” “WHO ELSE ARE YOU F*CKING!?!?!?!?!  All of these things, of course, were just me being ridiculous and needing to feel connected to my honey.  Our schedules were on opposites, all these appointments, adjustments to our new school age foster daughters schedule with tutoring and therapy and visits with her mom, and just the madness of life was leaving us disconnected.  I was looking for something that would bring us back together.

Well, Friday, we both decided to take the day off and “reconnect”, and boy did we ever! We reconnected alright! On the couch, in the shower, in the bedroom, on the boat, and last night we did a little reconnecting after we put the kiddo to bed.  Maybe it’s all her pregnancy hormones or maybe my hormones with all this inducing lactation stuff, but finally, we are back! And being back feels good!

 

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.

1044881_10151529044137075_2112044583_n photo20

That is NOT a penis…unfortunately!

Image

Every time we go to an ultrasound appointment, I kind of hope that they’ll be able to tell me what gender my babies are.  I know that it’s technically not possible yet, but what’s wrong with hoping right? Our 9 week ultrasound was no exception!

We get into the room, the Dr. steps out, and my Callie goes through the usual routine.  She quickly undresses before the Dr. comes back in (they’ve probably seen that thing as many times as I have this past year and a half), throws her pants and underwear at me but not before she tucks the underwear into the folds of the pants as EVERY woman does when she goes to the GYN (why is that???), and sits on the table, excited as ever to see our tiny humans again. 

Sidebar: We opted out of our appointment last week because our Dr. was on vacation and rescheduled for this past Wednesday, only to find out that our Dr. was in his NYC office that day and we wouldn’t be seeing him anyway.  Fantastically enough, we got his assistant who allowed us to really spend some quality time watching our babies wiggling around. IT WAS AWESOME!!!

So Callie lays back, and no matter how “safe and sound” we know our babies are, there is still this little twinge of fear when they do the ultrasound and you’ve seen baby 1 and not baby 2.  You have no idea the wave of relief that comes when you see baby 2 and hear his/her heart beat (let’s say “his” in hopes that the God’s will hear me and grant me my one true wish!). I’ve been a good person for the better part of my adult life, paying it forward, lending a helping hand, and doing the best I can do.  A son to watch my NY Giants with would be the greatest blessing, but two healthy babies, regardless of gender, takes the cake.

Having my partner, our Foster daughter Mary, our kitty Gracie, our 3 birds (2 females), our rabbit, and myself, it’s fair to say that our house might as well be called Estrogenfest!  Imagine we have 2 girls?!?! I will probably make front page on the Daily News with the headline, “New Mama throws self from Tappan Zee Bridge because she did not have a son!”.  Still, we look at the monitor and see what’s going on.  I’m happy to say that there are still 2 little ones in there, cute as ever.  They actually have little bodies, and aren’t just bean-looking anymore.  There are heads, and noticeable little paddles for hands and feet, and the best part, no tail! We no longer have tadpoles but tiny humans, big heads and all! What a difference a week makes. But I see something in the image.  Something LONG and smack in the middle where genitalia should be.  I know it’s too soon to tell, but in my head I’m like, “OH, HELL YEAH! My son is PACKING!”. I know damn well it’s the cord! And then the Dr. confirms what I already knew , “And that’s just the cord, not the penis.” DEFLATED! I start cracking up, mainly because I was JUST thinking that, but also to hide that weird farty sound that balloons make when you let that last little bit of air out of them.  I guess the personalized infant NY Giants Jersey I have in my cart on the NFL store website to match mine will have to wait a few more weeks…hopefully…twins1