Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Honeymoon Phase Is...

Today (12/9/2012), I am 18 weeks and 5 days pregnant. My various baby phone apps all confirm that I am 46.8% through my pregnancy. In addition to the apps, the countless websites and books exclaim I am in the honeymoon phase because I am in my second trimester. Friends and family remarked that my pregnancy has been going by so quickly.

✋Warning, stop reading now if you don't want to read the complaints of a whining and bitchin pregnant woman. 😡

I can't say this is the honeymoon phase. If it were, K and I would be swinging from the chandeliers. I feel awkward, not sexy with a high libido. I have no idea how or when couples who are expecting figure out how to be physically intimate. I can barely stay up pass 8:15 p.m. On top of that, all of the body pillows to prop me up, now physically separate us in bed. Oh how I miss my wife...

The symptoms from my first to second trimester are different, not better or worse. I am relieved that I am pass the stage with the higher percentage of miscarriage. I am also enjoying those gas bubbles that are not gas bubbles, but our baby letting us know he is "kicking clouds."

However, the never ending runny nose, post nasal drip, and sinus headaches are kicking my ass. I feel very fortunate that I work from home most days of the week. The horrible gas that results in incessant burbing and crepatating keeps me barricaded up in my home. In addition, I haven't had a normal bowel movement in months. I have to eat prunes, drink OJ with Metamucil, drink tons of water and pop 3 Colace tablets just to have a painful fight in the bathroom that results in pebble poops. When that fails to work, K is kind enough to bend me over and give me an enema to help ease the pain and partially unclog my intestines.

I can go on about my lower back and round ligament pain due to the growth of my uterus, but I think at this point, enough has been shared.

I can handle all of the symptoms I just described because they are ALL worth it.

I think the hardest symptom thus far is the heart ache from missing Baby Z. I know he is there and talk with him everyday. However, in my flawed logic, the only time I get to Really know he is there is during my monthly doctors' appointment. My primary Ob/Gyn let's me hear his heartbeat for 10 seconds and that makes my heart smile. However, the best appointments (I only had one thus far) are with my high-risk Ob/Gyn because he lets us see our baby. Seeing our little one makes my heart soar and helps to steady my patience because I know I will get to see this gift everyday starting in May.

Monday, October 22, 2012


The vast array of pregnancy symptoms thankfully eluded me when I was pregnant with E about thirteen years ago. I always say that God gave me an easy pregnancy considering that I had some trauma going on in my life at the time. So the morning sickness, constipation and copious amounts of gas didn't plague me as it did other pregnant women. In fact it wasn't until my last two months of pregnancy (after gorging myself on bread and pasta) that I even began to feel uncomfortable as I gained nearly twenty pounds in those last months totaling my weight gain to nearly fifty pounds. But all in all when I would be asked how my pregnancy was I had no complaints. Little did I know that I would no longer be able to utter those words ever again.

I was excited for my wife to be pregnant and not for the reasons that most would think; no weight gain, no discomfort, and most of all no pesky pregnancy symptoms. I was happy to be on the supportive end. The dotting wife who would be taking care of S as our unborn child grew inside her. I was prepared for snack runs, massages, and positive words of encouragement when emotions would run high. But what I was not prepared for was a little something called Couvade Syndrome or in layman's terms, sympathetic pregnancy. Google it my friends, this is an actual thing. Sympathetic pregnancy is when the partner of a pregnant woman experiences some of the same symptoms as the mom to be. Initially I thought this was all in my head but then I started to notice that I was complaining about the very same things that S was.

The first obvious symptom was morning sickness. During her first couple of weeks of pregnancy S was not feeling the queasy stomach, in fact she kind of welcomed it as if it was some sort of right of passage. But before she was feeling nauseous after each meal or vomiting in the morning I was noticing a sour stomach of my own. Damn it! Mornings became a horrendous game of what food would make me clutch my stomach and take a salt lick. For those of you that don't know me very well breakfast food is almost like the black plague for me in the morning. Once I became an adult I no longer stuck to cereal or eggs and pancakes. I would eat whatever my body felt it wanted and nothing was off the table. I've been known to eat asparagus, couscous, chicken, salmon, whatever looked good and seemed right for belly went in my mouth (and mostly without heating it up in the microwave which my wife really can't understand). But four weeks into S's pregnancy and I could barely keep a cup of coffee in my stomach without wanting to keep an eye out for the bathroom just in case. I never actually vomited but there were some touch and go moments.

Next major symptom that has plagued my body was insomnia. Initially I didn't complain about this symptom too much because there have been many nights when I like to stay up and play video games or watch television. I always considered the night my personal time when I could relax and be by myself. But after a rough summer semester in school I've been much better about getting a good night's sleep. It was only in the past couple of weeks that this symptom began to rear it's ugly head. I started to notice that I would wake up multiple times throughout the night and find it nearly impossible to fall back asleep. I counted backwards, slowed down my breathing, erased all the thoughts of the day from my mind, but nothing seemed to get me back to lala land. By the time my alarm would wake me back up I suddenly felt the weight of sleeplessness hitting me. It seemed as though the Sandman would say Oh I thought you said you wanted to sleep at 9AM not 9 PM. Oops!

In addition to the nausea and lack of sleep I have managed to include indigestion, dizziness, back pain, bloating and headaches. I became a walking mirror to all of the things that my wife had started to complain about. I took all of these signs for granted until I came across a baby magazine that had an article about partners of pregnant women and the Couvade Syndrome. What?! Could I really not be making this up? It all started to make sense. As the weeks passed and my wife would read about new symptoms she was experiencing from the various reading material she acquired my ears perked up. I began reading more about the symptoms of pregnancy not so much for my wife's sake but for mine.

As we approach the end of the first trimester I have started to feel a bit apprehensive about what I would be expecting for the second trimester. My wife is a trooper and has managed to not only feel all of the same things that I feel and not complain (unlike myself) but she is also managing work on top of it. I would have to find some magic potion that would muster up some energy in my body so that I'm able to get through this pregnancy and labor. I mean if she can do all of this I can certainly get it together for her; I mean I'm not even pregnant. I started to read up about the second trimester to prepare for the road ahead and was pleased to find that at around this point relief would be coming for the mommy-to-be. YES!!!! That means relief for me too!

Hats off to you babe for getting through all of this and making it look easy. And I hate to make this all about me but I can't wait until we go into I can get a break.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

What in the F&CK am I going to do?

So the other day I was driving E home from piano practice, when some MUTHA F&CKING A$$WIPE cut me off.  In my typical fashion, I yelled several expletives after driving up to the side of him.  As I zoomed away, I thought yet another epic fail in my attempt to end my love affair with profane language.  Since I feel I need to end this comforting relationship prior to baby Z's birth, dejected, I drove home wondering what in the F&CK am I going to do?  Three months into my pregnancy, I realized curbing my cursing is more of a marathon in the Sahara than a sprint down the street.

Anyone who is a close family member, friend or even acquaintance of mine knows that I have had an intimate and close relationship with cursing.  For the past 30 years, since the age of 5, I have used words such as A$$H0L3, D1CKH3AD and SH1T on a regular basis. From Pre-K with Mrs. Liberman, to Advanced Placement English with Mrs. Mason and throughout my professional career, profane language helped to shape my existence.  When I first confessed my sins to my mother at 9, she rationalized my use of swearing as a release and response to stress.  I've experienced lots of stress throughout my life so, I've always had a valid reason (from my mother's perspective) to swear.  I curse more than most marines, cops, soldiers and ex-cons, I love me some hanky-panky with F&CK and all of it's derivatives. 

It's not something that I'm proud or ashamed of.  I've lived by George Carlin's "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television" monologue and Bernie Mac's "The Word Mutha F&cka" routine. There are times that I don't even realize I used a curse word until it's said and the three second delay in my mind informed me that I just used one. I also get clues from folks who don't appreciate the beauty of F&CK and I see their faces scrunch up.

Now in no way am I bragging and by no means have I meant any disrespect in using these words when speaking, it's been part of my diction and has been a fundamental part of who I am.   I have been around people who have said I curse because I'm lazy, but in no way is my vocabulary limited and I enjoy word play being both staccato and eloquent and verbose with my verbal communications.   Sure there have been times in my life where I've tried to limit or even quit, telling my love F&CK that we have to part ways, that we can no longer be.  But I am weak and F&CK knows my previous attempts to severe the relationship was a farce.  I have been as unsuccessful as Chris Brown and Rih Rih in staying apart from my beloved. Can I love both F&CK and have the desire to not curse at the same time...

Well now that I'm expecting, I feel like I have to do something radical, this thing has to end. Since the day of implantation, Baby Z has a first row seat to learning the fundamentals to a well placed "Get the F&CK Outta here." By time we reach the ninth month, Z will graduate with honors with a Master in "Are you F&CKING Kidding Me."   My first fear is that toddler Z will have the same zest and affinity toward Mutha F&CKA and will use it as interchangeably as I do at both the right and wrong times.  My second and greatest fear is that Little Z will ask Mommy why she curses so GOT DAMN much.  So now that I know what I need to do, I'm trying to figure out how to do it.  I wish it was as simple as not cursing, but it's not some freaking simple.  Maybe it truly is...

Friday, September 28, 2012

Hear ye, Hear ye...

Okay, okay. I know what you're going to say before you even say it. Yes we have been gone for quite some time and while we wanted to give you updates we wanted to lay low for a while before we started posting. So after weeks (dare I say a month) of waiting I am proud to announce that we are officially PREGNANT!

S is currently 8 weeks and 3 days pregnant. And guess what!? We got the news that she was pregnant on my birthday, August 29th! That's a birthday gift that will be hard to top for a while.Of course I was would be in class when S would get the news so I kept my phone attached to my hip until she called. And when she did all I could hear on the other end was her hyperventilating from crying so hard. Through her gasps of air she was able to utter the words, "It's positive." I was so excited but since I had to handle heavy machinery I couldn't get too emotional. I had to quickly end our conversation.

So my birthday dinner ended up being a celebration for not only me but for our family as a whole. Our daughter E was equally excited and got emotional after hearing the news when she came home from school. The day was so special and exciting that none of us could keep the smiles off of our faces.

 After we went to the doctor and took the blood test we had to have two ultrasounds before we would be released to our Ob/Gyn. The first ultrasound was on September 13th and it was the first time we got to see the baby that we had only been seeing in our dreams. At that point the baby was about as long as a chocolate sprinkle but curled up like a lentil bean. But even at such a tiny size we were able to see the heartbeat of the baby. It was at that very moment that I lost it. I got so emotional that I started crying. All of our hopes and dreams had culminated in that moment. Sounds kind of corny but hey, that's how I was feeling. I didn't even realize that you could see the heartbeat that early. And it was at that moment that we named the baby Boo-Boops (the sound that a heartbeat makes)

The technician (Jenny) was so wonderful and equally as excited for us. Our fill-in doctor was also in the room with us checking in and giving us some friendly advice. She (the doctor) was so lighthearted and funny and all we kept thinking was why wasn't she our doctor from the beginning. She was cracking jokes and making us feel so at ease and comfortable. Even when we asked her questions that we thought were crazy not only did she answer them with no judgement but she came right back and gave us some zingers to laugh about. All in all our first ultrasound was a positive one. 

The next ultrasound appointment was on September 24th (this past Monday) with S being 7 weeks and six days. We knew that the baby would be bigger but we weren't prepared for the fact that what was once a speck on the screen was now a larger speck :). Wow! How time flies. By now the baby is about the size of a kidney bean and while that is still small it seemed so large in comparison to the baby that we saw merely ten days earlier. The heartbeat was still strong and our love grew even more. We toyed with the idea of letting E miss the earlier part of school so that she could see the baby for the ultrasound but soon changed our minds. I think seeing something that looks more like a baby than a speck will be more interesting to a twelve-year old.

So here we are and while we are happy to be at this point with baby and mommy doing great we are still anxious to get past the first trimester. S still wanted to keep the news a secret until after the first trimester but I just couldn't wait.

So there you have it. We will do our best to keep you up-to-date with what's going on. Please post your comments and questions as always. We would love to hear what you have to say.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Can't wait

Tomorrow is the big day. Our first (and hopefully last) egg transfer in step three of our IVF process. Anxious you ask? What? I'm cool as a cucumber. (Yeah right) To say that I'm excited is an understatement. We still have to wait for twelve days before we find out if we are pregnant or not but that is too damn long to wait. Damn it!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Follicle watch

Well it has been quite a while since we last updated our blog and I want to apologize for not keeping you all up to date. I was finishing up my last couple of weeks this semester, which could only be described as one of the most painful and tiring processes.  We needed to catch up on sleep before we went ape sh*t batty. Needless to say now that we've fully rested and the bags under our eyes are not so dark, we are in full gear now and are excited to be back to give an update.

Right now we are in day 10 of the antagonist protocol process. What the hell does that mean? Well with the IVF process S is taking medications to grow and mature multiple follicles, at the same time she has to prevent premature ovulation. The doctors want to make sure that there are a good amount of follicles (the sacs the eggs grow in) growing at a certain rate and that they can retrieve the optimum ones for better chances of implanting the sperm. S has a total of 24 (yes you read that correctly) follicles that are growing at a steady rate together. Her ovaries each have gone from the size of a walnut to the size of a lemon. We're hoping the lemons don't make lemonade, but make Babies!!!!  

While that is a great thing for us we also have to be careful because we don't want S to hyper-stimulate. When that happens she could have some fluid leak into her abdomen when the doctor retrieves her eggs. And we DO NOT want that. So in order to keep her follicles growing, but not too much, it means medication out the wazoo! She's taking medication at  night (via injections), medication in the morning (via injections), vitamins in the middle of the day and antibiotics. Her distended stomach has little prickly scars all around her belly button.  In addition to gaining weight, her hips are continuing to widen and she has hot flashes.  She looking more and more like the penguins from Happy Feet, none of her clothes, including her sweat pants fit. She wonders if she's trying to prepare to have a baby or is experiencing early signs of menopause.  Since she is uncomfortable, she now likes to be literally butt naked from the waste down. If you know S, you know she is pretty conservative.  For her to walk around partially naked is amusing.  I think she is beginning to understand and appreciate the nudist concept more as the days pass by.

We've also been going to the doctor's office every day to check S's estrogen levels and measure the size of her follicles. And when I mean everyday I mean e v e r y d a y. That means that again she is getting stuck with a needle because they need to take a vial of blood. They use a wand for the ultrasound. After 9 days of monitoring her arms are bruised and her vagina is sore.  The nurses have gotten to the point where they say, "See you tomorrow" at the end of each visit. Each time we go we inch closer and closer to mature follicles. Oh and every time we ask the nurse what size the follicles are we get a different goal size for the follicles to grow to. First they said they wanted them to grow to 16-18 mm and then they said the size should be 18-20 mm. Right now the sizes range from 16-21mm in both the left and right ovaries. So we are hoping that we will get the thumbs up to have the egg retrieval on Tuesday.

While we wait for the follicles to grow we also want to make sure that they are healthy and in great condition. So S has been eating protein, protein, protein and drinking tons of Gatorade. Why Gatorade? It's the thirst quencher.  Well in addition to drinking a lot of fluids S also needs a good amount of sodium to absorb some of the fluid and hopefully reducing the risk of hyper-stimulation. What combines the two better than Gatorade! So if you come by our house hoping to rummage through the fridge for goodies you will be greatly disappointed since all we are stocked with is fertility medication, Chobani and Gatorade.

Well now you know all of the factual information so you might be wondering how all of this is sitting with us emotionally. While we knew (and still know) that this process is relatively slow and delicate we can't help but be anxious. We always go into the visits hoping that the follicles grew at least two millimeters from the previous day. We check the phone to hear messages from the office wondering if we got the go ahead for the egg retrieval. We go to baby stores and look at clothes and furniture that we need to keep our minds focused on the end goal. To put it bluntly we're on an emotional roller coaster and the only way we can get off is once we see the positive pregnancy test. Of course after that there is another set of emotions that we will have to tackle but we want to get through this stage first.  I'll let S give you the details of how she feels in another post.

All in all we're doing good.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Counting the blessing, despite the costs

For whatever reason, I allow myself to be vulnerable on Sundays.  It allows me to reflect on past blessings and prepare myself for future challenges.  This rainy Sunday is no exception.

As K has mentioned in previous posts, 2012 has been an active year for us.  "They" say moving, marriage, death, starting school and getting a job are major life events. Imagine stuffing all of those major types of events in one year for a family of three to manage.  In addition to K starting school in January, we have a razor sharp focus in making not only the love in our family recognized, but also doing whatever we can to make sure the financial and legal protections are there as well.  Our amazing wedding in March was one step in that direction (though at this point our marriage is not yet acknowledged or recognized by our great federal government or in the Sunshine State in which we live). 

Another milestone in our life took place on July 6th.  That was the day that Judge W. issued her final judgement declaring that our little E is now legally both K and my daughter. We prepared for this day for over a year, with background checks, thousand of dollars spent, home visits by our social worker and 10 different letters of recommendations from E's grandparents, teachers, and others who know us.  Thank goodness the close session was smooth and took only 10 minutes.

E is now officially E.E.!!!! WooHoo!!!!! We're the first family in our county to have a second parent adoption. (In 2010, Florida overturned it's neanderthal ban against gay parent adoption allowing for 2nd parent adoptions).* 

I am so grateful and appreciative that "little E" (um she actually is now taller than me)  feels that I am Mom 2 (too)  :-).  As K and I developed our relationship, E and I did too (if you would have asked either E or me at the time, we probably would have passed on getting to know each other).  We muddled through the bumps, bruises, mistakes, insecurities, laughter and tears. She not only gets my jokes, but laughs.  She loves house music and I have a new found respect for Avatar The Last Airbender and Adventure Time. Together we've been through emergency room visits, the start of middle school and countless piano performances (she's amazing by the way, and no I am not bias).  E understands that no matter what, K will always be there and be her mom. So Will I.  No matter what happens, regardless of our success in trying to add to our family, E will always be our first born and the joy in both of our hearts.  She is an AWESOME person, her energy and spirit is remarkable and I'm proud she is ours.

She also knows that even though her biological father has passed and despite never meeting him, she will always be His daughter and at Anytime explore who He was and that part of Her and Her family when She Is Ready.

For several years E has been my "daughter", but now she is my Daughter. Not through 9 months of gestation, but it happened authentically and organically.  It's imperative and important to me that I am responsible and accountable for her emotional, legal and financial well being.  No person, law or backwards ideology can take those rights and privileges away.  It's so kewl that she has an extended family to share with and love inclusive of a Papa, Bube, Aunt T, Aunt N, Cousins K & K and countless others.

For more information and a much better explanation of the challenges same-sex families encounter see the NYTimes Article:
A Family With Two Moms, Except in the Eyes of the Law

*Second parent adoption  is when an "unmarried" parent adopts her partner’s biological or adoptive child. This adoption generally gives the second parent full legal parental rights, legal and custodial.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Are you my mother, mom, momma?

Since my last entry was a bit down in the dumps I wanted to post something fun and interactive for all of you guys reading. For the past couple of weeks (actually longer) E, our oldest daughter, has been on a mission to figure out what to call S. She's always called S by her name but when she talks to friends or strangers she will refer to S as her mom.

As we get deeper and deeper into the baby making process we realized that it would be awkward for E to call S by her name and the baby to call us mom or momma (or mommy, whichever). So we started to think about names that E could call S that would represent mom since that title is already in use. We have some suggestions but we would like to hear from all of you what you think. Please leave us a comment and give us some suggestions and who knows....we may pick one of your ideas!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Rough times

Well if you happened to catch our last post and played along with our wonderful game I want to let you know that if you were on the pregnant team, I'm sad to say that you lost (as did we). This IUI cycle seemed a bit more promising to me and although S started getting cramps and started bleeding earlier this week, I still held out hope. Even when we took two pregnancy tests, which both came out negative, in the back of my mind I was thinking that there would be a possibility that the tests would be incorrect.

I don't know if it's because my hormones are raging as well (in addition to getting very little sleep), but today I was feeling drained and a bit run down about everything. S went to meet with the new doctor today because we were not happy with our original doctor (check the Seriously.. post). After the appointment she called me up to tell me everything that we will be doing for the next couple of weeks to prepare for the IVF process, which we are now officially doing. The more she talked the more I felt like my head was spinning. All I heard was prescriptions and more visits and shots, which after a while started to sound like a cash register in my head.

Not only is all of this an emotional roller coaster but I also can't help but think about all of the money and time that we spent on two IUI treatments when we could have done IVF, which is what S originally wanted to do. This makes me even more angry at our previous doctor who we entrusted with our emotions, time AND S's body. I mean, come on.

I know this is hard on S too so I got her a card to show her that I'm here for her and how amazing she is for going through all of this. I don't want her to feel any pressure to "deliver" (no pun intended) because as it stands all eyes are on S's uterus. As I drove into school the other day it finally hit me, I got emotional. Forget that I'm in school from 7:30am until midnight Monday through Friday and working off of very little sleep. Or the fact that we are living off of one income for the time being or that my cycle is on it's way and I'm simply a blob of emotion but as I sat in traffic on the turnpike waiting to get off my exit I just started crying.

Bottom line, this is the hard part. I know that we'll look back on this experience after the baby is born and talk about how emotional and scared we were. but we have yet to reach that point. So for now all I can say is that I'm patiently waiting to cross that bridge.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

It's time to play...

We are slowly coming to the end of our two week wait and we have been chomping at the bit. S has been going through some changes and her body is talking to her in ways that neither she nor I have been accustomed to. But how do we know that it's pregnancy and not something else? Well we don't. As usual we've been reading books and the internet and blogs to see if these changes are early signs of pregnancy. You're probably asking what these symptoms are and if they really ARE early signs of pregnancy? Well let me introduce you to a little game that S and I have been playing called...

We're either pregnant or We're not

In this game we will give you certain scenarios that have given us hope but also left us confused. Can they be signs of pregnancy or bodily changes due to the hormones. You be the judge as we play We're either pregnant or we're not...

Pregnancy scenario #1:
S's breasts have been tender starting a couple of days after the second insemination
Same scenario:
The tenderness last for about five days and while they have come back, tenderness is also a sign that her cycle is starting.
Pregnant or not?!?

Pregnancy scenario #2:
S is terribly exhausted and takes little cat naps as often as she can
Same scenario:
The hormones she's taking (even the small dosages) are causing her to be tired
Pregnant or not?!?

Pregnancy scenario #3:
S's emotions have been all over the place and she even cries
Same scenario:
Another symptom of hormone injections
Pregnant or not?!?

I could go on and on and give you more symptoms (constipation, indigestion, abnormal appetite, headaches, and a not so sunny personality *love you babe!) But what we have come to realize is that while these symptoms give us hope they don't necessarily mean she's pregnant. For all we know this could be in our heads.

But I hold out hope. I rub S's belly and talk to it almost everyday. There may not be a baby in there but if there is I want our baby to know Me from the very beginning. I want our baby to know that I love it with all of my heart and I am helping him/her to grow and come out into this world. I talk to God every day and thank him for all of the blessings that we've been given. Even when things don't work out the way that we want it's all for the greater good.

So regardless of whether there's a baby in there or not, I've always got S's back.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

S's Letter to Baby Z

Baby Z I know you are getting ready to make your way down to earth to join us in making you a reality.  You are deciding who you want to be and we can't wait to discover who you are and will become.  Before things get chaotic and attention is focused on pregnancy, I wanted you to know what you are made of and some of the extraordinary things you will face once you join this pod.

There's an old nursery rhyme which exclaims you're made of Snips and snails, and puppy dogs tails.  That's not you at all, you're made of all of the anticipation, desire, intention, love, anxiety and hope from me and your mom.  In addition to a huge amount of loyalty your older sister sprinkled in a bit of style, artistry, support, humor, focus and humility.  Your grandparents stirred in your eventual wisdom, faith, patience, determination, care and reverence for Jehovah. Your aunts and uncle added dashes of safety, humor, acceptance, curiosity, intelligence, tenacity, common sense and love of music. Lastly your cousins added the garnish of swagger, resourcefulness, cunning, silliness, athleticism and a keen sense for individuality and independence.     

Though none of us have met you in the flesh, we all love you so much and have caught glimpses of you in our dreams and private moments.  The family uses my stomach as a phone receiver to say hello and let you know they're ready for your arrival.   A day does not pass by where you are mentioned or talked about in detail.  All of us are ready to give you everything you need and teach you to strive and work for everything you want.  Me and your mom not only wished and planned for you, but we also prayed, sacrificed and compromised and used a lot of science and technology to get you here.  Though you will be a surprise, you are by no means an accident and it was all worth it!  This family is ready to zerbert your tummy, kiss your cheeks and love all over you.

Baby Z even though life with us will be amazing, it will not be easy.  That's ok, because you'll learn that the challenges and the lessons will make life fascinating. All that me and your mom expect is that you acknowledge, learn and grow from your mistakes (they'll come often and will be plenty), remain inquisitive, be a student of life always striving for knowledge, balance confidence and humility, be loyal and supportive to your family and friends and open to the possibilities for your greatness.  Know that at times you'll be disappointed and sometimes you're feelings will get hurt and you'll be sad inside, we may in fact be the cause of that pain.  Please believe me and know that time will pass and you'll have plenty of opportunities to feel happiness and elation.  Live is fluid so be flexible and go with the flow.

There is so much more I want to share, in time I will...but for now know I'm like a kid waiting in line to ride Magic Mountain, I can't wait to get on the roller-coaster of being your parent.

Eagerly Anticipating Your Arrival and Always Loving You,

 Mommy S

Sunday, July 1, 2012

That's what E said

The post below was wholly and completely drafted by 12 year old mini E.  Though her views are solely expressed, they are 100% endorsed by me and K...

When I first heard that S was yearning to have a baby I was really surprised and shocked.  I didn't know what to think at first but once I understood that my parents were serious then I got excited and very happy because I always wanted a sibling very badly since I was about 8. Some kids, like me, who were only children for most of their lives have trouble sharing but I don't think that I have a problem with that. My parents didn't have to tell me how they were going to get S pregnant, I just somehow caught on that they would need to go to the doctor to make this happen since they can't make a baby together.

We started talking about names for the baby and came up with a really good one. However about right after a certain songstress took the name for her newborn baby we decided to change it.  I was really disappointed for a while then time passed and we came up with other wonderful names.

S had to go to many doctor visits and there were only about two that I went to before I said this was enough.  I am glad that I got to experience and observe the baby-making process however, two visits is enough.  S is presently in try number two and the family all agrees that this is the lucky one.  We are all being very positive and confident. The doctor visits that I went to were very odd and I have to admit a little gross.  Especially the one where the nice nurse had to inject the sperm in S. However, the ultrasound where they had to look at S eggs wasn't that bad.  The only thing that was uncomfortable was that the nurses kept sticking foreign objects in S private part.  The highlights were the baby pictures in the hospital (That's really the only thing though).  I am very happy and can't wait until the fun parts like holding the baby and my favorite BABY CLOTHES (baby clothes look like mini people clothes). MY fashion sense will no doubt rub off on my baby sister or brother.

Saturday, June 30, 2012


You can call this the update of the This process is a M@th$r F*%&#r  post.

Last time we spoke about the process, S was taking the Gonal-F pen to help her follicles (eggs) mature and get to a certain size in order to inseminate. Well S has now been to the office practically everyday since that last post for the nurses to monitor the growth of her eggs and simply keep us on pins and needles. May I also remind you that each time S goes to the doctor's office we are charged and as many of you may very well know, this is not covered by insurance so....yeah. Money, money, money.

Last weekend we noticed that only one follicle was growing an estimated 2 millimeters every two days. We decided to talk to a nurse to have a better understanding of what is going on and what the overall plan is since we haven't been given any information. Essentially every time S goes to get tests or be inseminated she's run through the baby making conveyer belt and no one seems to sit down and explain what is going on until she has to ask for clarification.

When we met with the nurse we wanted to know why S's follicles were not growing faster and why the dosage for the Gonal-F pen was so low considering we saw other couples who were getting higher dosages. The nurse informed us that the dosage was low as a precaution because S had so many follicles and if the dosage was higher than a large number of follicles would mature at the same time which is not good. Hmmm.....interesting because what she was telling us sounded like something called Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. S was told before that she has PCOS but this was not confirmed by the any of the nurses or the doctor after the battery of tests that she was given when we first started the process. I could go into what Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is but I'm sure I would be missing some vital information. If you Google it there are a ton of sites that have detailed information about it.

So S tells the nurse, "Maybe I have so many follicles because I have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome." Guess what the nurse said. "That's a possibility." REALLY! Maybe that would be some vital information for us to know since this is essentially an infertility issue. Luckily we already knew about this but had we not known anything we would have remained in the dark the entire time. And may I remind you, spending more money. We came to the conclusion that the doctor must have noticed that S had PCOS but failed to communicate this information to us. Otherwise why would she be given such a small dose of medication and why would she have to have her follicles monitored nearly everyday. Obviously this made us very upset so we decided to talk with the doctor. That was a disappointing conversation.

First off the doctor didn't have his facts straight and kept referring to me as S's husband. Wrong! Secondly he was distant and aloof on the phone. Once S expressed that she had some concerns about going ahead with the IUI process since she had PCOS the doctor said, "that's why I recommend doing IVF rather than IUI." REALLY! Cause guess what folks, he didn't recommend that to us. In fact at our very first visit S told the doctor that we wanted to go ahead and do IVF but the doctor suggested (actually insisted) that we do IUI. In his very words, "Why do the big guns when we can go this route first." So we went ahead and did what he suggested. I mean he's the doctor and has been doing this for years with such success that we figured we could take his advice. Needless to say S and I had a talk and have made the decision to do IVF if this second round of IUI doesn't work.

While we have the second round of IUI to look forward to we felt so frustrated and overlooked by the lack of communication and poor bedside manner of the doctor. Have you ever heard the saying, Want to know how to make God laugh? Make a plan. We we are learning that first hand. This is certainly teaching us about patience and holding on to faith. If we can get through this we can certainly get through anything.

But do you see what I'm talking about? This process is a M@*%er  F#$+&r for real!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Lawyer says what?

We got such great news today and it comes on the heels of a conversation S and I had this morning so this is proof that the power of intention is working for us.

Our family lawyer called today (actually her assistant did) to tell us that we have a court date for the hearing of our adoption case. Since we have just started blogging let me catch you up on this situation.

E did not come into this world by immaculate conception. Although the relationship was not what I expected or hoped for I was given the most wonderful gift of being a mother to my best friend and most cherished gift, E. As I wandered through the confusing and mystifying jungle of dating I made it a point to not bring E into that world. However things don't always go as planned as I have come to know and accept. For the first time ever E was a part of my dating experience with S and while it was helpful at certain times it was extremely difficult and often down right frustrating. 

Do you know how hard it is to try and have fun at Animal Kingdom while your little one is giving your girlfriend the evil eye the entire time? Yeah, let's just say that it wasn't fun and it sucks to be in the middle. I'm glad that stage is over!

 So when it got to a point where S and E were not only getting along but understanding one another on a deeper level it made me breathe a sigh of relief. Of course with both of my girls being stubborn it took them some time to admit that THEY were more alike than different.

I knew that S's family would like E, but I had no idea that they would fall head over heels for her. I mean she is the kind of kid that if you don't like kids, you'll love E. She's so calm, cool and collected. It may seem like I'm bragging but once you meet E, you'll know what I'm talking about. I mean if she wasn't my daughter she would be the kind of kid that I would look at and say I wish I had a daughter like that... (seriously).

Once S and I knew that we were in it for the long haul she decided that she wanted to adopt E because she felt like E was not only a part of her family but a part of her as well. Emotionally we were already a family, it was import for her to put the legal protections in place.  S found a great lawyer who has worked with other same sex couples who have adopted children in the state of Florida. And as you may or may not know Florida is such a red state that if you are a same sex couple you have NO rights.So to know that there are not only lawyers but also judges who believe and support our rights to be a family in the legal sense (at least the adoption aspect) was such a wonderful surprise.

Before our wedding and expanding our family we wanted to make this adoption official. However time (and some other more pressing circumstances)  prolonged the process more than we hoped, so we had to put some of the logistical aspects on hold. Once we had our wedding, everything was in line to resume the adoption process. Unfortunately we were playing phone tag with the lawyer for quite a bit with no real answers to our questions of when we would be getting a court date for this process to be finished.

Oh I forgot to mention something. An important part of the pre-work for the adoption was doing a home visit with a social worker to make sure that S is sane and I wasn't bonkers. We found a social worker who has worked with same sex couples before, and "got it" as to why it was so important for S to legally become E's mom. First S and I met with her in her office and then she came to our house to see how we lived and spoke with E to make sure we lived up to all of the wonderful things that we said. In addition to the social worker we needed to have letters from reputable sources saying that S was a wonderful parent and (again) that I wasn't crazy. We got great letters from my mom and E's teachers from fourth and fifth grade.

So now down to the news I wanted to tell you. This morning as E and I were getting ready for a shopping spree I got a call from our lawyer's assistant. She gave us an official court date for the adoption proceedings which will be coming up in the next two weeks. I was so excited when I got the news that I sent S a text as I  was on the phone with the lawyer's assistant to have her call me. The only thing that we have to do is confirm the date and the time (which we did) and we will get all of the paperwork in the mail telling us what will happen now.

So now that you are all caught up and you know the story you'll understand why we are so excited. Of course I plan to take pictures and we will keep you posted on all the great news.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

This process is a M*@!# F&)!*@!!!!!!!

Who knew that making a baby would be this emotional?!

Actually we did.

Something that we often tell each other is that there is always a difference between theory and reality. While we can discuss, strategize and layout the logistics of this plan, the actual execution and associated feelings cannot be predicted or premeditated. At the end of the day you can't plan or be ready to cry, get excited, be anxious or apprehensive cause it's raw emotion. You hear me? F*@!king emotion!

From the time that we decided to have another baby we have gone through a myriad of emotions and spent a whole lotta Got Dern money! It seems that the closer we get to expanding our family the more anxious we have become. 

S (who will be carrying the baby) is a woman who lives by logic and structure with a dash of emotion and dry humor thrown in for good measure. But now the pendulum has swung to the other side of the spectrum and her cup runneth over with tears, apprehension, fear and overall mush.  All types of thoughts are racing through our minds. S's newest fear is about being a failure after using all of this reproductive technology and still not being able to actually get pregnant.

We don't have any gay friends who have gone through this process who can share their stories with us. This is a new frontier for me, S and our daughter E. We feel special to be part of this Renaissances of the professional, black lesbian led family.  In addition to not having any role models, as trailblazers we feel a bit lonely in this process. The irony is that internet has become our close friend as we look at other blogs and YouTube videos of other lesbian couples who have gone through or are going through the same process. We do have both gay and lesbian friends who are considering having babies but have yet to take the plunge.What we have determined through all of our reading and video watching is that this process, while rewarding in the end, is emotionally taxing and draining.

Damn, the last part of this entry sounds a bit sad and at times this process is. BUT in the end this is part of what WE want in our life so we take the vinegar with the sweet tea because it's all worth it.

Follicle or Egg?

We came back from our ultrasound appointment this morning and S's follicles are about 10 millimeters in diameter but we need them to be 20 millimeters. She also got her blood drawn to check her estrogen levels which we will get the results some time later today. The nurse advised her to continue taking the shots and check back with them in another couple of days to see if her follicles have grown to a mature size. If they have then we start the second IUI treatment which is what we are looking forward to. I'm assuming that we will be going back in a couple of days anyway since she should be ovulating around that time. But as always we will keep you posted on what's going on. Other than that there isn't much else to report in the baby making process. Keep your fingers crossed! :)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

IUI #1

Hey guys! Sorry that I have not been posting as often as I would like. My school schedule is insane for the summer so it gives me very little time to blog.Anyway...

At the end of May we started our first IUI cycle. As I stated in the last blog everything was a go and S's doctor gave her a glowing report for the baby making process.We tracked her ovulation with a ClearBlue easy Ovulation test and were excited to see a smiley face letting us know that S was ovulating and we were in full swing to get the process underway.

The very next morning (Tuesday, May 29) S went to the doctor and got her first "shot" of the spermies. The nurse told her that she should do the ovulation test again that night and if the smiley face came up again that she should come in the next day and get another shot. Which is exactly what she did. So on May 30 she got her next shot and we started the arduous two week waiting period.

We tried not to think about it or get our hopes up but we stalked the calendar to see when we would be able to take a pregnancy test. In the mean time S was beginning to feel a difference in her body. Two to three days after the second insemination she began feeling extremely tired, much more than normal. In addition to the sleepiness she felt bloated, her breasts were tender and she had some cramping.

We looked up other lesbian couples on YouTube who were able to share their experiences and discovered that some of the women had some of the same symptoms as S and discovered that they had gotten pregnant. Needless to say we knew it would be a stretch to get pregnant on the first try but we still held out hope.

S's period comes like clockwork every 28 days and was scheduled to come on the 16th of this month (June) but we were both surprised when she started spotting on the 10th. We heard that spotting can happen and doesn't necessarily mean that you aren't pregnant so we still held on to some hope. But when her period officially came two days later on the 12th our hopes were dashed. She took a pregnancy test anyway and found only a single line rather than a double line.We'd be lying if we said we weren't disappointed but felt confident that as long as we are vigilant we would be pregnant before the summer is over.

After her test S went back to the doctor for them to run some more tests. They checked her hcg levels and did an ultrasound. The nurse said that she saw a lot of anti-follicles which was a good sign. To help give  mother nature (and science) a little boost they gave S a prescription for self-injecting Gonal-f RFF pen. For five days she would have to be injected with this medicine which is supposed to help the eggs (actually follicles) mature faster and bulk them up a little bit. She has to then take a test to see if the follicles have matured based on their size and if they have she will get a human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) shot to help release the follicles (eggs). This shot has the ability to release more eggs which can increase our chances of getting pregnant and also having multiples. *You may or may not know that a woman releases only one egg for each cycle to be fertilized.

Today we are on day three of the Gonal-f RFF pen and on Tuesday she goes back to the doctors office to check her follicles. If all goes well she will get the hCG shot and we will inseminate on Thursday and Friday. As soon as we have some more information we will keep you all posted. Wish us luck!

Monday, April 16, 2012

The ball is rolling

I know that I am writing this late but after studying boring complex DC circuits I wanted to have something fun to talk about. So we have a bit to catch up on since my last post. My wife did her HSG and the results came back great. She is healthy and as the doctor said, the pathways are clear so we are ready  to make a baby. After we did all of the tests we had to meet with our doctor to discuss our plans of action.

Our doctor recommended that we not go the IVF route right now since my wife is healthy and young. After a couple of conversations she decided to go with the IUI procedure first and if, for whatever reason, we are not able to conceive through IUI we will go the IVF route. Right after we met with the doctor we spoke with the nurse who handles the sperm situation of the deal. This was interesting.

We originally wanted to have two of our friends be the sperm donors since they wanted children well. It would be an even "swap" of sperm and eggs. But as it turns out they are waiting to have their children while we have been ready since yesterday. So then we started the process of looking for sperm on the Internet.

For those of you that have not looked for sperm on the Internet may I say that this is an experience that you will never forget. You spend hours scanning the profiles, looking at words on the page trying to match your ideal with what is given to you. We had a specific type of donor in mind but as it turns out they are very few and very far between. Not taking the discourage to heart we pressed on and allowed ourselves to be open and seek out donors from all types of backgrounds...but we did have certain criteria.

Must be intelligent, must have no serious health issues, must be at least 5'10" (if we have a boy we didn't want him to be short), must have an open status for when our child decided to meet with this person later in life and overall must have a good vibe from the computer screen alone. Little did we know that this process would be such a tedious one. As it turns out looking for sperm has become quite daunting and tedious. It almost makes you stop and think about people who have children and don't think about these criteria (schooling, family background, etc)

Well we finally found sperm that we liked and couldn't wait to get it. Turns out that this guy's sperm is in high demand and the vials are running low. The nurse that we spoke to said that we needed at least 4-6 vials of sperm and as we are in the process of ordering to make sure that the donor had about 15 vials on hand at the sperm bank. Hmmm... This presents quite a situation because the donor that we like has only 9 vials of sperm left. What do we do.

We made sure that we had a couple of other options waiting in the wings but we are still holding out for the ultimate guy. So I guess after reading up to this point you must be asking So did you order the sperm? Not yet. My wife decided that she should take a genetic test to determine if there were any serious illness that she could be a carrier for and thereby would be an issue if our guy was also a carrier for. Though we doubt that she carries anything that would be a concern we didn't want to have to get to the point where we bought the sperm and suddenly there would be an issue. Sperm isn't cheap people! On so many levels.

So what's the next step? Well now we are in limbo because we have to wait for the genetic test results. Once the results come in we can then (depending on the results) order the sperm. And since my wife's period is here as of today we have to get this ball rolling within a week or so.

But K, how does all of this make you feel? I'm glad you asked. honestly I had no idea what goes into this entire process and what all of this means. When I had my daughter it was by natural means and totally unexpected so there was no planning involved. All of these tests and questions feels so invasive and downright frustrating. I understand that the process is to make sure that we are fit parents and will not do any harm to the child but the fact of the matter is that no matter what tests you take there is no way to tell if you will be cut out to be a good parent.

Honestly I had my daughter when I was 20 and I had no idea what in the world to do. All I knew was that I would try and do that best that I could given whatever circumstances came my way. I like to think that I am and have done a great job in raising my daughter. She is a well-rounded, respectful young lady who is not only intelligent but also artistic. She amazes me with her confidence and strength which I did not posses at her age.

I must say that being a parent is the most confusing and yet rewarding experience that I think anyone can have. I look forward to the challenges that lie ahead of us and in the mean time I guess we'll just have to wait and see what lies ahead.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Let the conceiving begin!

My wife and I have officially started the baby making process. It has taken some time for us to come to the realization that we wanted to do this and considering that the older we get, the less time we have to make a decision we decided it's now or never. Before the baby making process could start we wanted to make sure that we got married first. On March 10th of this year (yes only two weeks ago) we signed on the dotted line and became Mrs. and Mrs. in a beautiful ceremony in SoHo NY. Yay! As soon we returned from our trip we got right down to business.

I should probably mention that we technically started the process before the wedding. We had our first appointment on March 5 at IVF of South Florida. My wife took some tests, we got all the paperwork and met the doctor that will be working with us. So we are actually into week two of the process.
My wife (we'll call her S) got her blood work done last Friday and just yesterday got her pelvic ultrasound. This was the first appointment that I was unable to attend with her but she said that the technician gave her a glowing report. S was informed years ago that she has polycystic ovaries. Women with polycystic ovaries can have POCS (polycystic ovary syndrome) but that's not usually the case. It's best that you have an ultrasound done and speak with your doctor to determine if you have the syndrome or just cysts. The technician looked at S's ovaries and as it turns out she does not have polycystic ovaries (see why it's good to get an ultrasound). Whew! So that's one less thing that we have to worry about.

Thursday is our next appointment to get the Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) done and S is not looking forward to the procedure. Apparently it can be painful but fortunately I will be there with her to give her emotional and moral support. We've already told some family members that we've started the process and our 11 year-old daughter is the most excited out of everyone. Since this time is very emotional and a bit scary I wanted to be able to voice my excitement, concern, fear and overall joy with others who may be going through or who have already gone through this process.

So if you happen to be reading this blog please feel free to comment, chat and laugh with me as we go on this journey.