Thursday, March 29, 2012


I am beginning to wonder if some of T's pregnancy symptoms are rubbing off on me.  Or maybe it's the huge amount of hormones coursing through my body from the birth control pills I'm taking, who knows.  I've been having very vivid dreams as of late.  

Last night, I had one that just seemed to be a small snapshot of a day in our life with a baby.  We had a son, and his name was Orion, and he had big dark brown eyes and was just gorgeous.  

Another one I had last night, it was just me and our most recent foster daughter, "Eva"*.  We went to visit a friend of mine from high school who just had her third baby, and I was telling Eva that my friend had just had a baby - like her mommy just had her little brother.  I remember she was so pleased, as she always was, to see a new baby.  Her speech impediment was spot-on to real life, as well.  In the dream, my eyes welled up with tears when she and I talked about her mommy and her new little brother.  It hurt that she had a "real" mommy and I wasn't her.  

The previous night, I had a dream about Eva's little brother, "Andrew"*.  A number of people, plus myself and Andrew, were all sardined into this little house, sleeping on the floor.  Andrew was in some kind of strange rollaway crib thing that fit underneath a raised bed that someone else slept on.  It was quite odd, but he was really smiley and happy and, in the dream, I remember thinking we were all going to go camping.  Interestingly, Andrew did not seem to be a foster child in the dream - he was simply my son.  

I don't know what to make of dreams, usually, other than to assume they take the forms of my subconscious thoughts from the day.  

I guess I've been thinking a lot about Eva and Andrew.  I hope they're doing okay.  I hope Eva is in school and doing well.  I hope Andrew isn't being neglected at home because his younger brother is still so little.  I sometimes wish I knew what their lives were like now, but then I remember that I really don't want to know that because what if it's only bad news?  I couldn't handle that.  

I hope that maybe they feel our love for them still, in whatever way that could be possible.  Ugh.  I hate missing them so much.

We always knew those two would leave.  That wasn't surprising.  What sometimes does still take me by surprise is how much I think of them.  How I still look at photos of them, handle toys that they played with, and remember what they were like.  It's been over three months since they left, and they only lived here for nine months.  

It's incredible to me how much those nine months affected our lives - in the unobtrusive, veiled ways that nobody knew to expect.  

*names changed

In only five more days, we get to go in and have our anatomy scan done on our own little miracle baby.  Oh my goodness, it's so close!  I cannot wait.  The day after the scan is our first Centering class, and then on April 17th our Bradley natural childbirth classes begin.  Life is getting crazier by the minute over here, everybody hang on!  

One last thing!  A friend of mine over at Small Obsessions nominated Two Mothers McGill for a Liebster Blog award!  Thanks, friend!  

The following are a few blogs I've been enjoying as of late:
1. Finding Snooze
2. The Owl and The Octopus
3. 2 Aussie Mammas
4. PeaMommy
5. Chris Does Grad School
The Liebster Blog Award works like this:
Say thanks to the blogger who nominated you, and link back to them.
List 5 fab blogs ideally with fewer than 200 followers that you feel deserve the Liebster Award and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
Copy and paste the award to your blog.
Hope that the 5 people you’ve picked are tickled enough to pass the award onto their 5 Favorites!

Well, since two blogs in one day is more than sufficient, I shall bid everyone adieu!  

Choices, part II

When I talk to people being pregnant, one of three questions usually comes up depending on their philosophy on childbirth.

1. What hospital are you going to?
2. Have you heard of the Birth Center?
3. You have to read Spiritual Midwifery.

Okay, the last one isn't really a question, but I'm keeping it in there anyways.

If someone asks the first question, my answer is "I'm not." Their jaws drop and the questions start. I explain that we are going through the midwives at the birth center and that we hope for a natural birth. By this point if they are still looking at me with confusion, I add that it is very close to TMC and that they would transfer me there if there are any complications. Usually this placates the questioner and we can move on.

The second question usually comes for people who have used the Birth Center themselves, so it leads to a discussion on their birth experience, the midwives, their Centering Classes, etc.

The last "question" is the funniest to me. Usually it comes from someone older than me, but is much better and welcomed advice than "You're going to NEED the epidural". As it turns out, I have not read Spiritual Midwifery. It is on my list to read, I just bought it on Amazon, in fact. However, since we found it first, A and I read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. Ina May Gaskin wrote Spiritual Midwifery, so it is the same philosophy.

I finished the book last night and decided I needed to write about it. Now that I'm trying to write, I wish I had taken notes! First of all, it was a great book. Everyone who is pregnant should read it, even if you are going to have a hospital birth. It had a good mix of her own experiences, statistics from the births that she has attended, and facts from studies. It solidified my views on childbirth as a natural event. It is about the power women have over their bodies, especially during labor.

Labor isn't something that happens to you, it is something you are doing. How you do it needs to be in your control. Recently I read a post on a pregnancy message board by a woman who wanted to talk to her OB about a birth plan. They told her no. She just needed to be more open minded and trust them. Our midwives have an entire appointment dedicated to going over our birth plan so they know what we want and need.

Many things in this book made me stop and interrupt whatever A was reading for me to tell her some fact (which she had already read a few months ago). Here are a few that stand out the most-

  • The US has a higher maternal mortality rate than most European and some Asian and Middle Eastern countries, according to a report by the UN in 2010
  • Women are twice as likely to die from pregnancy or birth-related complications now than their mothers were.
  • The CDC estimates that more than half of the maternal deaths that occur every year could have been prevented.
  • Amniotic-fluid embolism, which is fatal about half of the time, used to only happen in one in every 50,000-80,000 births. It has become so much more common that a Phoenix hospital had a rate of one in 6,500 births in the 90's. It is now one of the most frequent killers of women in pregnancy and birth in the US. (Ina May attributes it to induced labors)
I find it insane that it is getting MORE dangerous to have babies!

If nothing else, I leave you with this: Be informed and protect yourself. Our society has become so sue-happy that it gets in the way of natural childbirth; a doctor is much less likely to be sued for doing too much than not enough.

Well, I was supposed to leave for work 20 minutes ago and I still don't have shoes on. So I will get off my soapbox and head to work. I wonder what I'll eat for lunch...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Dad's Birthday

Yesterday we drove up to visit with my family to celebrate my father's birthday!

We hit the Arizona Bike Week kickoff party at Buddy Stubbs' Harley Davidson dealership to wander amongst the thousands of motorcycles and listen to a band my parents love and follow, RIG.  We walked up to the entrance and stood in a winding line, waiting to be checked and wanded and carded and finally admitted.  The guy checking purses asked to see inside my mom's and T's purses.  When T opened hers to show him, the thing on top was a shiny red Braeburn apple.  He was visibly surprised by this, and looked at her and commented, "My, that's very health-conscious of you!"

In response, she said, "I've got a little - " and patted her hand to her dress to show that she was packin' a baby belly.  The guy laughed and smiled and said, "Wow, I didn't even notice that!  You wear it so well."

Also, we kind of stuck out like sore thumbs in the line, because we didn't realize we were going to be attending a Bike Week party, so we weren't dressed for the part!  T was gorgeously cute and round in a beautiful blue and white sundress with a navy blue button up top and black flats, my mom wore jeans and a bright pink long-sleeved shirt, and I was wearing jeans cut off at my knees and flip flops.  My dad and brother didn't stick out so much, as they were both wearing jeans and black shirts and Dad wore black leather boots, but I'm certain we were an interesting group of five, haha.  Everyone else wore jeans and boots and leather vests with patches and doo rags or bandannas folded and tied around their foreheads.

There was a rather frightening woman who wore low-rise jeans, unbuttoned, and boots, and nothing else.  Her breasts had been painted with the Harley bar and shield (poorly, I might add) and swung about as she thrust her chest out and proudly displayed herself to anyone caught looking.  She was very sun-browned and starting to get that leathery wrinkle that some people collect so vigorously.

It was really a fascinating crowd, on the whole.  Women who, dressed differently, would be considered elderly, wore leathers and drank beer and stomped their feet to the music.  Little 3 and 4 year old boys wearing jeans and Harley tshirts darted through the crowd, clinging to their fathers or grandfathers' leather vests while chasing one another.  Biker parents with biker babies wheeled strollers around the dealership.  The dealership even had a section with a bunch of Harley Davidson baby and kids' clothing.  It was simply awesome.

I especially loved the part where we wandered the dealership, sitting on these brand new and shiny Harleys and pretending that one day, I'd have one of my own.  I don't believe I ever will have one anywhere but in the daydreams my mind provides, but I'm okay with that.

We also ate well while visiting my family!  Two great restaurants, two great meals.  We hung out at their house, talking about everything that needed discussion.  My mom got to feel the Cupcake moving around in T's belly!  She began to understand why I sometimes refer to T's belly as "The Lump".

Overall, I had a great Saturday visiting with my parents and my brother.  I miss them; I hope for the second half of T's pregnancy we get to see them much more frequently.  

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Love, and why we all need it.

It's important to evaluate each of our own current situations.  The beauty of one's current situation is that it's ever-changing, requiring constant evaluation.  Everyone has good days and bad, high days and low; or at least I assume everyone does.  I know I do, so I talk about them in hopes that you all will say, "Yeah, I have highs and lows too!"  And in that, we both see that we are all only human beings who always need reaffirmation of our own normalcy.

My current situation (as in this very moment in my day) is that I'm incredibly content.  The weather is back to its gorgeous self today - eighty degrees and sunny with bright blue skies and all is right in the world.  With all the rain we had early this week, the wildflowers are blooming and the mountains are becoming green again.  As I walk outside, I feel the heat penetrate my skin and my soul drinks up the warmth, the sun, the inherent "goodness" that comes with these kind of perfect Arizona spring days.  Happiness today smells like fresh citrus blossoms opening.

I have the evening to myself.  Usually, I prefer to share my evenings with my wife, but with her job that isn't always possible.  Sometimes, I take advantage of a night home alone and do things I'd never do if she were here.  Things like eat buttered toast and Frosted Flakes for dinner, or sit on the couch for several hours to wax sentimental in a blog or on Facebook about how wonderful life is.  Or talk on the phone to my mother for an hour.  Sometimes, these things just need to be done.

I've come to the slow realization that my adult goal in life is to be direct and honest with other people.  It's one I'm figuring out how to do more consistently, because it can pose a real challenge for me to not only be honest, but to be completely honest.  I see a lot of deceptive and manipulative tendencies in myself, and it can be difficult to rein those in.  I also tend to be on the more subtle side, even calculating.  The person who taught me most about these things in me and why they aren't good qualities (and how to see them) is my wife, my T.  And she's right about them; about me.  The person I am and the person I allow myself to appear to be are often different, and I dislike that.

I veered ever-so-slightly off topic.  Back to being direct and honest with other people.  This whole thought process (however disorganized it may be) was sparked by the aforementioned conversation with my mom tonight.  I tend to learn a lot of things about myself and about humanity while I talk to my mom - which is just one of many reasons I value her so highly.

Important realization: People need truth.  No one is so highly placed that they don't require truth, affirmation, understanding, and love.  I believe I've known this for a long time, but never before have I thought about it in such simple terms, in such complex meaning.

An example.  When my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer and learned that the only treatment option available to her would actually kill her faster than the disease process, she was angry and saddened.  But when my uncle went to see her after learning about her impending death, he never mentioned the cancer or anything associated with what that meant for my grandmother's life.  I believe he was trying to be polite, afraid of bringing up death because as a society we fear death and we fear to be perceived as rude by people who matter to us.  In truth, my grandmother was greatly upset that my uncle, her son, never told her that he was sorry she had cancer and he was sorry she was dying.

That was all my grandmother wanted.  She wanted the acknowledgement of others that she had cancer, and that she was not long for this earth.  She wanted to know that she was loved and that she would be missed.

Many people must surely think that those things my grandmother wanted reassurance of are "givens".  Of course I'm sorry you're dying.  Of course I will miss you once you are gone.

But why doesn't anybody want to say that out loud?  To the person whom it affects the most?

I am completely and utterly guilty of this: I feel upset, or slighted, or pissed off, or sad about something, yet I don't say anything directly about it to the person who could help me resolve these feelings.  Why?  What am I afraid of?  Being vulnerable?  Showing weakness?  Crying?

Maybe all three.  I'm not sure.  I see that it's a problem I have, and yet I still struggle to correct it.  Perhaps someday I'll be better at it and cause myself less heartache over trivial things.

I possess a strong resolve inside me now.
I resolve to stand up, to speak out, when someone does something that touches me.
I resolve to be honest when someone asks for my opinion.
I resolve to be less subtle and more forthcoming, to stop foolishly expecting others to read my mind.
I resolve to ask for help when I need it.
I resolve to help others whenever and however I can.
I resolve to be more selfless.
I resolve to let my loved ones know how much I care for them and how important they are to me.
I resolve to be the best person I can be, in hopes that one day my children can be proud of their mama and the life she chooses to lead.

We all need love.  We all need truth.  We all need reassurance that we're doing the right thing, doing a good job.

My question is: If we all need these things, why do many of us spend so much time trying to keep one another down?

Lift someone up today, instead of putting them down.  Instead of keeping quiet when they reach out.  Instead of standing idly by as someone else hurts them.

Instead of trying to think why you're better than them, maybe try to think what you could learn from them.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

4 Months!

Okay, I guess *technically* T isn't four months along until tomorrow, but close enough.

Couple things happening in our lives right now!  First, T has been experiencing the baby moving around in there since last Friday!  She says at first, it was like maybe once a day she would feel like she was getting poked from the inside.  But now it's happening more and more; she thinks that when she first began to feel movement, it was only when the baby made a huge effort at it.  Now, she's beginning to feel enough subtlety that she's experiencing the "bubbles" or "flutters" that everyone claims is the first movement she would feel.

I keep hoping every day that maybe it'll be my turn to feel some of these pokes or flutters from the outside, but until that day happens I'm okay to wait.  Not too long though!

Sunday morning we were taking advantage of a lazy day, and stayed in bed reading after we woke up.  T placed my hand over her belly, and I was surprised to discover that there was only what could be described as a palm-sized lump in her lower abdomen.  Until now, it's always been kind of a generalized round belly that was pretty firm.  But this... was almost reminiscent of a tumor or something, haha.  It was amazing.  A few minutes later, she mentioned that the lump was in a different place.  I felt again, and indeed the baby lump was in a different place.  Over the next twenty minutes or so it went from being stretched out horizontally under T's belly button, to laying vertically on first the right side and then the left side, curled up in the middle, and then stretched out way down low.  At one point I even had my hand cupped over the lump, and T pressed into her belly just beside it and I actually felt the baby roll underneath my palm!

I can't help but look at this little lump in T's belly and be incredulous.  There really is a baby in there!  Whoa!

Which brings me to my next upcoming event: our anatomy scan is scheduled for April 3rd - TWO WEEKS away!  We are hoping to learn the sex of the baby.  If baby cooperates.

A common question surrounding learning the sex of our baby is, "Do you have a preference?"

You know, I used to.  I don't anymore.

I've hoped for years that our first baby would be a little girl.  There are reasons, but none of any real weight. I imagined that learning we were having a boy would disappoint me, and that fear drove me to request that we learn the sex of the baby before the birth.  It is important to me that the day of the birth is only a day of joy, not one with anything less than that.  Much less disappointment or resentment.

In the past week or two, I've spent a lot of time thinking about sex preferences.  I discovered that there is no reason for me to be disappointed over having a son first over a daughter.  I've known little boys and loved little boys, it isn't difficult for me to imagine having a son or loving a son.

I know that the sex of the baby is determined at the moment of conception - but knowing it doesn't always equal living it.  It finally hit me that wishing and hoping for a girl didn't do any good after we learned T was pregnant.  We're already getting who we are getting.  Our son or our daughter is already in there, we're already in love, so what does it matter which one it is?  I actually began to feel intense guilt about it.  That if we're having a boy, I've been wishing for someone other than him this whole time.  It isn't his fault he's a boy.    And ultimately I haven't been wishing for someone other than who's in there.  I want exactly who is already in there.  So whether this baby has boy-parts or girl-parts, it doesn't matter at all.

Now I'm just excited to learn which one it is!

Lastly, my domperidone finally came in after some drama with the pharmacy in New Zealand, so I ordered from another place in the UK.  So I've been taking the domperidone and the birth control since Friday, and now we're anxiously awaiting to see how severely the hormones are going to affect me.  Everyone keep your fingers crossed that I remain the unemotional, level person I always have been!  (Snicker.  Yeah...  Let's hope for NOT a crazed lunatic and call it a WIN.)

Okay.  That's been long enough.  I leave you with photos.  Happy first day of spring today!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Thoughts on having babies.

It feels (subjectively, of course!) like its been forever since I began dreaming of having children.  Realistically, it's been several years, but most of the years before active dreaming I always knew it was something I would have.

I just had to go and throw a wrench into the works by falling utterly in love with a woman, instead of a man.  Things certainly would be easier if my partner manufactured sperm!  And less expensive, that's for sure.

However, that isn't how it worked out.  I think the "lesbian aspect" of our relationship may have delayed our journey to parenthood a bit, but probably not a ton.  Bigger and more importantly than saving up money to buy sperm and potentially fertility treatments was the ability to earn enough money to support a child, and then children.  Food and diapers and clothes and childcare and all the new expenses that come with creating new life.  People may remark about how expensive buying sperm surely must be (yeah, it is) or how impressive it is that two young ladies such as ourselves (really?  We're 25, I don't really think we qualify as "young parents" anymore) managed to save up enough money to buy sperm in order to GET pregnant, and then continue to support ourselves throughout pregnancy and prepare for baby's arrival.  Well sure, if you want to think of us as impressive, I'm not gonna stop you.  We are pretty great; just ask us.

I don't have any illusions that we've got everything figured out.  Quite to the contrary, we've been adapting our visions of parenthood this entire time.  It's an ever-evolving paradigm shift, and sometimes rolling with the punches is the only way to move past a set of ideals I've held in my mind since I was a teenager.

The TWO MOMS?! consternation was a big one to get over.  Frankly, it still is.  It's probably easier for me to learn to change my ideas about what being a mom means than it is for others who haven't been forced to change their minds.  I've got the upper-hand there, certainly.  I have a huge amount of incredulosity (don't think that's a word) and awe for those people in our lives who have made the leap over to our side of the cliff, seemingly effortlessly.  After experiencing the denial that many express when told that we are a couple and having children together, it means all the more when there are people who accept us unconditionally as parents and as able to raise children together successfully.  Thank you, to everyone who is so wonderful and open-minded.

All that being said, now I'm working hard to realize that we're actually into the next stage.  The stage that was planned for, paid for, dearly desired, and at times seemed unattainable.  My wife is, for serious, pregnant.  And not even newly pregnant, at that!  She's sixteen weeks today, and definitely into her second trimester.  In only four weeks, less than a month, we will reach the halfway mark.  HALFWAY?!

Whoa, back up the baby bus there, sparky.  We can't be halfway, I'm still getting used to the idea that my wife is growing a human bean!  (Did you see what I did just there?  That's why my child will love me, because I'm friggin' hilarious.  And because it's in the rules.)

However entirely cliche it is to say, however many women before me and after me will remark the following, it DOES NOT make it less true:  I can't believe this is happening!  It's starting to get very real over here.

I have this way of thinking, maybe it's weird and unusual, I don't know.  If there is something, an event, a lifestyle change, a big trip, what have you, that I am highly anticipating and waiting for, I struggle to believe in its truth if I have never experienced it before.  If I cannot imagine what it might be like, if I cannot picture myself going somewhere or doing something, I feel that it must be doomed to fail or at least not happen.  How awful is that?  Trust me, I feel pangs of guilt over it frequently.

And the worst part is that it's utterly untrue!  After months of trying to conceive, all we knew were stark white pregnancy tests, empty uteruses (uteri?), and receipts of all the money we'd spent that cycle - knowing we would have had the same outcome if we'd taken all that money and flushed it down the toilet.  I began to believe that T getting pregnant would actually never happen.  I began to despair.  Until that one fateful day, that ridiculous little pink line showed up in the pregnancy test that both T and I dreaded her taking, fearing another BIG FAT NEGATIVE test.  It was certainly a most amazing moment.

After that, I let little fears and doubts seep in under the door.  What if it's a chemical pregnancy, doomed to fail from the start?  What if she miscarries?  And as more time passed us by, the fear of loss grew larger and larger to me because each day that ticked past was another day we grew more attached to the idea of that baby in T's uterus.  And each day, that baby grew and if something were to happen, I knew it would not only be emotionally painful but physically painful to lose that baby.

But regardless of all the negativity and fear I entertained solely in my own thoughts, here we stand.  Sixteen weeks pregnant, with a baby whose beautiful heartbeat I've heard twice already, with a baby whose first little flutters are beginning to be felt, and a mere two weeks away from the anatomy scan where we will get to see her or him for the first time.  It's another shift to make, from hoping this baby is going to stick around past that fearsome first trimester to now starting to honestly believe that this baby is going to join us in the world.  Her feet are going to make tracks in the earth in our front yard, his smile is going to be captured in a million different photographs, proving his existence.  The nursery we've had for two years is going to become the bedroom of our firstborn child, whom we haven't even met yet but who already has full possession of my heart.

I feel that although there are many roads to parenthood, it's likely that the vast majority of them converge here, where I stand now.  At this place of idealistic wonderment, of intense fear of not being good enough, of occasional continuing disbelief that this is what's next in my life.  It's oddly comforting, because I feel like I'm so very far away from being alone.  I'm walking the path that millions before me have tread... and yet, in some ways, each pregnancy and each birth and each child blaze their own trails.  As each one of us is unique, no matter how alike we may seem, no two pregnancies or births or children or families are exactly the same.

The only regret I have is that much of our society here in the States doesn't seem to understand that though I may be a woman who loves another woman, I have more similarities to everyone else than I have differences.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Running Away

I wish I could say that I love pregnancy. I really do. However, the last few weeks have been really hard on both A and I. Work has been crazy, our house and yard have become disaster areas, I'm barely ever home and when I am the last thing I want to do is house work. A has been a champ, but she can't take it all on, as much as she would like to believe she can. Last week I was finally pushed to a breaking point and just wanted to get away. Luckily my boss saw it coming and gave me a 3-day weekend, one of the many benefits of being friends with your boss.

Sunday was already dedicated to our nephew's 2nd birthday, and A had to work on Monday, so we only had Saturday to get away. We also had promised to make a birthday cake, so that was going to take away part of Saturday. But all of the time we could scrape together on Saturday, we were going to spend on Mt. Lemmon.

Saturday morning was dedicated to baking the cake, and multiple trips to the grocery store. We finished and put it in the refrigerator a little later than planned, but I was determined. We packed up our picnic, checked the weather (48 degrees on top of the mountain), each grabbed a sweater, grabbed the camera, and jumped in the truck.

We were getting close to the top and I noticed something on the side of the road, "Uhhhh..... there is still snow". Immediately A said "Noooo.... there couldn't be..." We looked at the thermometer in the truck. 38 degrees. We went around another corner and saw the north face was still covered in snow, and the temp dropped another 5 degrees.

We decided we would just stay warm by hiking, so we put on all of the layers we brought with us (fewer than ideal) and headed out. We got a fair way in and then started taking pictures.

And then... The battery died. We had a very nice hike, just not with as many photos to show for it as we had planned. It ended up being a little more challenging than we had intended, especially with the ice, but we both survived with minimal damage (A slipped and bruised her knee).

We ate our dinner in the truck and then headed back down. We stopped at one of the pullouts to watch the sunset, which was beautiful. We drove back down the mountain and watched as all of the city lights came on.

Sunday is another story and maybe A will tell it. Blogger keeps telling me it can't save my changes so I don't want to upload more photo's just to have them get lost!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Birth Center 3

On Monday, March 5th we had our third appointment at the Birth Center.  This time, our midwife was Sandy and true to Birth Center form, she was awesome.

It's one of those non-exciting appointments, but deserves mention nonetheless.  At 14 weeks, 2 days pregnant, there isn't much to cover.  The typical, "How are you feeling?" and "Do you have any questions or concerns?" sentiments were expressed.  Sandy had T lay back on the table and we got to hear Cupcake's heartbeat again. That sound always makes my heart soar.

Even more excitingly, she got us a request for an anatomy scan!  You see, the Birth Center doesn't do the detailed anatomy scans, they refer to their affiliate hospital (really close to them!) and let the perinatologists there do it.  So we actually do have a date set, but T has had a hard time getting in touch with the center to find out when we get to go.  I am so excited (SO EXCITED) to see our little baby for the first time, and learn if there is a little boy or a little girl growing in there.  Am I about to have a son?  Or a daughter?

When people would refer to our foster kids as my son and my daughter, I always inwardly flinched.  It's not that I didn't want those kids to be labeled that way, it's that in my heart I knew they weren't mine.  Not really my daughter.  Not really my son.  Particularly at the beginning of our relationship with the last set of kids we had, it was foreign and definitely weird.  But you know, towards the end of our nine months with them, they became my kids.  MY kids.  I did have a son once.  And I did have a daughter, once.

In my heart, they lived as our special little starfish children; kids who we loved and mothered and then left us.  The last day I ever picked them up from daycare, my little girl looked up as I came into her room and told everyone, "My mommy's here!"  Even now, now that they've been gone almost three months, that memory still brings stinging tears to my eyes and a stab of pain through my heart.  The day they left our lives will always be seared into my soul.  I vowed to myself to never lose another son or daughter, not if I could help it.

This son, or this daughter, is mine.  Mine in every way but the genetic way.  I can't fully express how very much it means to me that I'm going to get to know this person every day.  I've been here, every day and every night as this baby grows inside my wife.  The day he is born, I'll be there to kiss his face and tell him how much I adore him.  And the day after she's born, I'll be there to kiss her face and tell her how much I adore her.  Every. Single. Day.  This child will not have any question marks.  I'll never wonder if he's been to the doctor before, or if she's had strawberry shortcake before, or if he usually throws tantrums or if she usually is so stone-faced.  I'll already know all those things.  The concept of being so wholly present for my child... it renders me in awe.  I'm so thankful.  I'm so glad.

Little one, baby Cupcake, we are so excited you're with us.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

3 month/13 week photos

Some more of the photos we took the other night!  That's all for now - we have another appointment with our midwives on Monday!  Nothing exciting is going to likely be happening on the appointment front until we find out the sex of the baby, which is really not that far off.  I'm amazed it's already coming up fairly quickly.  (Anatomy scan happens between 18 and 20 weeks!)