Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Year in Review

We had a huge year. It's time for reflection. I found these questions on someone else's blog.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
Went to Australia, got pregnant, bought a new car

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't remember. I always want to lose weight and certainly didn't do that this year. I wanted to get pregnant and did that.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes, our close friends A & C gave birth to baby K in April.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Nanny, a close family friend who always called me her granddaughter.

5. What places did you visit?
Australia to visit K's godmother in May, CT to visit our friend X for 4th of July, Harpers Ferry in August, TN for a family reunion at Thanksgiving, Deep Creek Lake for our Baby Moon over Christmas. A good year for traveling.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
I got everything I wanted in 2008. I must have been a good girl.

7. What day from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
The day we conceived Precious Poo, the day we found out we were pregnant with Precious Poo, every day in our trip to Australia.

8. What was your biggest achievement(s) of the year?
Well, getting pregnant, of course! I'm also very proud that we are so good with our money. In one year we were able to go to Australia, make a baby, and buy a new car, all without going broke.

9. What was your biggest failure? Hmm, I'm not sure.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
No specific illness, but the first trimester knocked me out. I basically slept for three months and only recently woke up from the fog. It feels really good to be awake.

11. What was the best thing you bought? Our new car!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
K took such good care of me during the first trimester. She is amazing.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Oh, who knows.

14. Where did most of your money go? Hmm, in order:
Mortgage, taxes, condo fees
New car
Making a baby and making that baby legal
Traveling to Australia

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Getting pregnant, going to Australia, getting a new car, the birth of K

16. What songs will always remind you of 2008?
American Boy by Estelle featuring Kanye West - we heard this constantly in Australia and then downloaded it as soon as we came home and listened to it nonstop for at least two weeks.
Fidelity by Regina Spektor - K likes to sing this to our baby.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
Happier, I guess. We have a pregnancy now, but this time last year we were hopeful, so we were pretty happy then as well.
Fatter. Before I got pregnant in September I was the biggest weight I've ever been, despite a lot of talk of losing weight. Luckily I haven't gained much in the past five months (maybe 4 pounds).
Poorer - we spent a LOT of money this year!

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Helped K out more around the house, volunteered more.

20. How did you spend Christmas in 2008? On our baby moon. We woke up early Christmas morning and unwrapped our presents. Then we drove three hours to Deep Creek Lake and had lunch in our beautiful hotel room. We walked around to the lake with our dog, then got in the car and drove around the lake for a few hours. Back home at dark where I made us a nice chili dinner. Then we lit the fire in the fireplace, snuggled up, and enjoyed a Whole Foods fruit tart. It was a wonderful day.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?
I fell in love with our baby Precious Poo. I fell in love with our new family definition. I fell in love with K as the mother of our baby.

22. What are your three favourite photos of 2008?
I don't know but I'm sure it's something from our trip to Australia. There are some really cute ones of our dog too. And some great belly shots.

23. What was your favourite TV program? Ugly Betty.

24. What did you do for your birthday in 2008?
It was the big 3-0 and K went all out. My birthday was the Monday after Thanksgiving. The first celebration was the Friday before at a family reunion in TN. My parents threw a surprise birthday party and all of the toddlers jumped out and yelled surprise!

Then on my birthday I had to work but K took the day off. She brought me breakfast in bed. She drove me to work, then came and picked me up for lunch, surprising me with flowers and a balloon. Then she picked me up early from work and we went shopping for maternity clothes and then out to dinner at a little Italian restaurant. Then home for dessert and presents.

My coworkers took me out to lunch at California Pizza Kitchen later in the week. Then on Saturday K threw me a 'Dirty South' birthday party. It was a big year of celebrations!

25. What was the best book you read? I don't remember. I don't read a lot any more, sadly.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery? American Boy by Estelle featuring Kanye West.

27. What did you want and get? A baby in my belly, a new car, a flat screen TV for only $400.

28. What did you want and not get? Keyless entry on my new car.

29. What were your favourite three films this year? The Dark Knight was the best. There were some other good ones, but they don't compare to The Dark Knight.

30. Did you make some new friends this year? Hmm, I don't think so. I'll have to work on that.

31.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
It was a pretty good year, so I can't say.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
Right now I'm wearing maternity clothes that I got from other people that I don't necessarily like but they aren't bad, so I guess my current concept 'other people's fashion'.

33. What kept you sane? K as always.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Prop 8, electing Barack Obama.

35. Who did you miss? We lost our friend P. He just stopped calling. I liked him.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
I'm not sure.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
Patience. Trying to make a baby is very emotional, but you have to keep your head and be patient. The month it worked we were so depressed thinking it didn't work, but it did.

Happy new year everyone. I hope 2009 is as good as 2008, or better!

Monday, December 29, 2008

We didn't do IVF!

At least 5 people have said something about IVF when talking about our pregnancy, something like 'So since you did IVF...'. I know that it's not traditional to get pregnant as a same-sex couple, and people don't know anything about it, but come on! I always respond "We didn't do IVF. IVF is for people who can't get pregnant." Then they ask what we did do and we explain it. I don't mind explaining it to people, I wish they would just ask from the start instead of assuming we did IVF.

I think this bothers us because IVF is where we drew the line from the start. We said we would do IUIs, like we did, and if needed, we would do drugs, but not IVF. If it got to that point, we would stop and explore our options. We just couldn't see spending so much money before the kid is even born, starting a family with debt. So we drew the line, no IVF, and yet this is where people assume we started.

I also think it bothers me because IVF is for people who can't get pregnant. I got pregnant in four months, only really having two tries with IUIs, unmedicated. The only difference between me and a 'natural' pregnancy is access to sperm. I am fertile, damn it!

There is nothing wrong with being infertile or having to use IVF to get pregnant, but this is just because we are a same-sex couple. When other people get pregnant, people don't automatically assume that they had to use IVF. And I know that people don't know what they are talking about and they mean well, but it's still annoying.

Our baby moon

We just got back from our baby moon in beautiful Deep Creek Lake, MD. We splurged on a nicer hotel than we normally stay at, and we had a kitchen, dining room, living room with fireplace, arched ceiling with exposed beams, just a short walk to the lake. It was wonderful! It was not snowy, sadly. In fact, on Saturday it got as warm as 68 degrees! But the lake was still frozen in parts, so it was still wintery. We went to many state parks, hiked to waterfalls, shopped in tiny local art stores, ate at an old-fashioned soda fountain (K had her first ice cream float!), sat by the fire everynight with hot cocoa, and had a wonderful time. K took pictures of my exposed belly all over the place - in front of waterfalls, in front of the lake, everywhere. Who knows where those pictures will resurface!

Yesterday we came home and invited our friends over for dinner. After they left I threw up my whole dinner! I haven't thrown up anytime except morning yet so this totally sucked. Hopefully it's the last time - I'm definitely through with all of this morning sickness bullshit.

I got an email from my sister yesterday that surprised me. She said to tell her the details of our baby shower because she'd like to fly up for it and help plan it in any way she can. I told her that no one has volunteered to throw us a baby shower yet, but we would love a family shower in FL if she is willing to throw one. Hopefully she will - I was able to think of 9 women in my family that I could invite. I'm all for coed baby showers, but not with the men in my family - it's best to just invite the women who actually care about this stuff! If she does throw us a shower, K is going to ask her aunt and mom to throw a shower the same weekend for her family and our friends that live nearby.

In my response to my sister, I also asked her to write a character reference letter for K's second-parent adoption. Basically, we need three letters of reference stating that K should be allowed to adopt our child. We're supposed to ask family members on both sides of our family and friends of ours. We've decided to ask K's mom (this letter will be very strange but heartfelt), my sister, and our friends J & S who came over last night for dinner. J & S volunteered to write the letter months ago, before we even started trying to get pregnant, so they were always on the list. And we have some backups in mind in case these three don't work out.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

My crappy Christmas Eve morning

I have to work today since I'm saving all of my vacation time for maternity leave. K is home because she has use-it-or-lose-it vacation time to use-or-lose and I'm jealous.

So I wake up this morning and quietly get ready for work, starting with breakfast - tasty pumpkin bread with cranberries that we baked last night. But my pregnancy rhinitis is really going strong right now and I sneezed a lot all over my tasty breakfast. That's number 1.

Then I take a shower and try to find some clothes to wear. Since we are packed to go on a trip tomorrow, I don't have many pants. I had been planning to wear a skirt with some tights, but the tights were dirty (I found this out after searching all over for them this morning). I pull out my only clean pants - green corduroys that I wore just last weekend - and realized that they have a big hole in the ass (was it there last weekend?). So now I am wearing the only thing left, the pants I wore yesterday to the same place I wore them yesterday. That's number 2.

Then I brush my teeth. All is going well until I throw up - all of that pumpkin bread and cranberries and orange juice - violently all over the sink. A huge mess. I haven't thrown up in weeks, since before Thanksgiving. But today I did, and it was the worst one yet, and it made a huge mess. That's number 3.

So now I'm at work filling my empty tummy with an egg and cheese bagel from the cafeteria that is only okay, and counting the hours until I go home (which may be early - I think I deserve it).

Monday, December 22, 2008

What to do about Santa?

K and I have been discussing lately what to do about Santa. K doesn't like the idea of lying to our children, but I can't imagine Christmas without Santa. We've still got a couple of Christmases to figure this out.

On The Day You Were Born

We celebrated Christmas with A & C and baby K on Saturday by visiting the annual light show at Brookside Gardens. We'd never been before and it was really fun, though quite cold. We then went to our favorite restaurant for Burmese food and then back to our place where we exchanged gifts. They gave us the book On The Day You Were Born rewritten as a photo journal for the baby. On each page you place a picture regarding the baby's birth that corresponds to the passage in the book and then fill in info about the birth (like the time, the weather, who was there, etc.) And then it's a fun children's book to read about the child's favorite subject - them! It's a really great book and I can imagine children would really love reading it. It's really interactive and asks questions that the children can answer as the memorize the story (like what time were you born). It just seems like it will be really fun to read with them and then also to keep as a keepsake. Also, it's all gender neutral, so we don't have to deal with mother/father issues. It doesn't replace a baby journal, because it doesn't cover anything but the birth. But it covers the birth in great detail so it's a good addition to a baby journal.
As far as a baby journal, we're registering for this one: The New Baby's Baby Journal by Michelle Sinclair Colman (Author), Nathalie Dion (Illustrator), the same people who do the Urban Baby's Wear Black series. It has a family tree with 'Mother/Father' on both sides and you just pick the relevant one. And it's fun like the Urban Baby's Wear Black series, with fun illustrations and fun events to celebrate (like baby's first art museum). We found it while shopping along the U St corridor in DC at a stationary store that is known to have lgbt-friendly items, like same-sex wedding cards and stuff. And we're very excited about it!

Twitch, Twitch, Twitch, Twitch

I'm sitting at work in front of my computer and all of the sudden I start to feel a twitching in my lower belly. It was a series, maybe 6 total, and then it stopped. I may have just felt the baby for the first time!

Old people

I told my grandma about the pregnancy in a Thanksgiving card (this may seem weird, but we never talk on the phone). She sent me a birthday card that said "Good luck on your venture."

I told a man that is a grandfather figure (Poppa I call him) in a Christmas card. He called home on Friday while I was at work and left a voice mail that said "Congratulations on your event."

It's a lot for them the take in. I'm a lot for them to take in. But at least they are saying positive things, even if they can't bring themselves to say "Congrats on your pregnancy" like most people do.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

You ate the whole thing?

Yesterday I went to lunch with a friend to Hard Times Cafe. I ordered a chili mac, which is chili poured over spaghetti noodles. It's a lot of food and usually I eat half and save the rest for another meal. Yesterday I ate the whole thing, along with a piece of corn bread! My friend, who did not finish his meal, said, 'Wow, you ate the whole thing?' I was pretty amazed too. I think that might be the baby's favorite restaurant.

This week I have been eating like crazy. I've read that right now I need lots of carbs, and I've certainly been craving carbs. I need more fruit and vegetables and generally a balanced diet, but it's the carbs I want. Until this week, I hadn't gained any weight. Today I weighed myself and I was up 4 pounds. In a week?

It kind of sucks to be craving carbs during the holidays - people put out food and I eat it. I need restraint, and I certainly don't have it. Tuesday I went to a coworkers retirement brunch. Today is my office holiday party. And people have been bringing in treats all week, with today being the ultimate. Today alone at work I've had a bagel with cream cheese, a glass of oj, a donut hole, 3 clementines, 3 stuffed grape leaves, 2 small samosas, and half a pita with hummus. And I'm hungry! Bring me more!

A male coworker with kids said 'Enjoy it. It's the only time in your life you don't have to worry about weight gain.' He doesn't have to worry about losing it all after the birth.

Monday, December 15, 2008

It's the Honda Fit for us!

We're going to buy our first car! Until now, we've been driving the car my parents bought me in college 10 years ago. It's a wonderful car considering we didn't pay for it. And it still works pretty well. But it only has two doors, so it's not for our growing family. And it's kind of gross and if we were to keep it any longer I would definitely want it detailed.

The new car is a Honda Fit in blue (we wanted silver with blue as our backup color). We will buy it on Saturday. I placed the deposit today because this cheap car is very popular (at least that's what the sales person said, and I think it's true).

So now we have to figure out how you buy a car. Like, do we just right a check or do we need to get a certified check? What do we need to look out for? How long will this take? We're excited about the new, clean car that we'll be bringing home, but a little nervous about actually buying a car. This is a really adult thing to do (but of course, so is having a baby...).

The good news (I guess) is that there is not any negotiations with these cars - you pay the price on the sticker. They are too popular - if you don't want it, someone else will come along and buy it. It's cheap, efficient, and well-designed, all the reasons we want it and all the reasons everyone else wants it too. So we don't have to bargain, we just have to buy the car.

How exciting - the new car for our new family! Four doors, lots of cargo space, good gas mileage, small to fit in parking garages easily, everything we need!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Jon Stewart is totally awesome!

A little more legal protection

Yesterday was another visit to our lawyer for more legal protections for our family. We updated my Health Care Power of Attorney to give K the right to make decisions about the pregnancy/baby. And we set up a Temporary Guardianship that gives K the right to make decisions about the baby and to become the temporary guardian if I go in a coma but the baby is okay or something morbid like that. Just $250 more to protect our family, on top of the $1575 we've already spent. It's expensive but totally worth it to protect our non-legal family.

Next step is after the baby is born - Standby Guardianship for the first couple of months and Second-parent Adoption after that.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

No more irrational fear

We went to the midwife today and we heard the heartbeat. The baby is alive! And active - lots of kicks. She said she saw my stomach move with one of the kicks so I should be able to feel them soon (Yay!). I layed on the table crying.

Precious Poo's Infinite Play List

Ever since getting pregnant, K has wanted to sing to Precious Poo in the womb. She decided to wait until the baby developed ears and could hear, about 18 weeks. We are at 17 weeks now, and K is convinced that Precious Poo is very advanced, so last night, she sang to my belly. She's been making a playlist of the songs she wants to sing and started from that list last night. The number 1 song is Fidelity by Regina Spektor. She also sang American Boy by Estelle and Kanye West, I Love New York by Madonna, The Sound of Settling by Death Cab for Cutie, and Golddigger by Kanye West. She sang and I cried (when does that go away?). More of that to come in the next few months.

Merry Christmas (pat, pat, pat)

Last night we asked our sweet old retired neighbor A over to take our picture for our holiday cards. I put on the one dress that makes me look really pregnant and K put on something pretty, and we stood in front of our Christmas tree. It looks really nice.

When A came over, he asked how I was feeling and patted me on the belly. I've heard that old men like to do this - they want to touch pregnant bellies and they don't ask permission. I don't mind too much from A because he's a sweet old man, but come on, personal boundaries! I guess I'll have to get used to it - I'm just going to get bigger and more men will want to touch my belly.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


My work does a yearly calendar made of pictures submitted by employees. This year's theme is patterns. I submitted a picture of the fountain at Darling Harbor in Sydney, Australia, and it was selected. Go me.

A coworker stopped by today and said, "Hey, Congratulations". I smiled and said "Thanks" and put my hand to my belly. She got a confused look on her face and paused and said "Um, I'm talking about the calendar." And I said "Oh, I thought you were talking about this" and rubbed my belly. Looking shocked, she paused for a minute and said "Oh, Congratulations! I didn't know about that!" and then proceeded to ask me about the baby. And I said, "But thanks about the calendar. That's pretty cool, too."

Monday, December 8, 2008

More clothes

A friend from church gave me her maternity clothes - all of them petite. It doesn't all fit - she's smaller than I am I guess. But at least half fits, and that doubles my current wardrobe. All of the pants are the perfect length, and I got two pair of cordoroys, which is awesome. Now I have something casual.

She also gave me a snoogle, which is this crazy looking pregnancy pillow thing. It comes with instructions, which is kind of funny. I put it in the closet - I'm sure I'll want to use it one day.

My 30th Birthday Party

K threw me a 'Dirty South' birthday party to celebrate the big 3-0. She wanted to honor my southern heritage, so she made traditional southern food - beanie weenies, BBQ chips, banana pudding, coke, Budweiser - and played southern music - country, hip-hop. Everyone brought gifts of 30 - 30 cookies, 30 wishes. She hung up pictures of me through the years looking southern - riding in the back of a pick-up truck, swimming in a lake in my underwear, playing in the dirt. And our friends came and we had fun. I'm not sure people enjoyed the food as much as I did, but it was my party. And now the celebrations are over and I'm definitely 30.

I was wearing a maternity dress that made me look hugely pregnant - its crazy how maternity clothes do this to you. K had me hold a can of Budweiser in front of my belly - that is truly 'dirty south'! Of course I didn't drink any - Bud tastes like piss. But it's definitely a southern favorite.

Living up here where no one is southern, no one is country, its nice to have a little fun and feel like home. We're not 'dirty south' anymore (K never was). We're just as urban and liberal as the rest of the people here. But I do want our kids to have some of that - it's my heritage just as much as K's is Indian. We do a little - K went camping with me in August, and she's a fan of BBQ sauce now. And we'll do a little more when the baby is born.

We made the right choice

We met a couple that was 38 weeks pregnant. The baby was measuring large (maybe 8.5 - 9lbs) and they were working with an OB. The OB was starting to pressure them into a c-section ("Let's just go ahead and schedule it.") They were starting to regret that they didn't go with a midwife. It certainly made us feel better about our choice.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Irrational fear

For the last week I've been consumed by irrational fear. I fear that my baby is dead. There is no reason to think this, except that I don't feel pregnant. K looked it up online and found that lots of women feel this in the 2nd trimester. I no longer feel nauseous or overwhelmingly tired. My breasts aren't tender anymore. I haven't felt the baby yet (and won't for sometime). How do I know things are okay? I've always said I'm not worried - I'm leaving that up to K. But now I'm worried and I know it's irrational. Luckily we have a midwife appointment on Wednesday, but that seems like ages away.

You won't be able to sleep!

I was talking to two people in our church that I don't know very well, N and C. N gave birth in a hospital with a midwife, and was raving about the experience. She was saying that she really liked knowing that if anything went wrong, there is backup there as needed. It gave her peace of mind. And she said the two days in the postpartum room were wonderful - she was able to sleep without worrying about anything. She said that it was really the best way for her to go. This made me feel good because this is what we are doing - hospital birth with a midwife.

C gave birth with our midwives at the birthing center that is now closed. C overheard me telling N that I am really looking forward to the two days in postpartum and that the thought of having those two days before bringing the baby home makes me feel really peaceful and less nervous about the whole thing. C interrupted the conversation to say that my ideas about hospital births were wrong - in the two days following birth the nurses will come in and poke and prod me and not let me sleep. It will be a horrible experience. And then she said "I guess I shouldn't be telling you this - the birthing center is closed. You really have no choice."

I thought this was incredibly rude. This woman has never given birth in a hospital, so she really doesn't know what she is talking about. N, speaking from experience, said it was fabulous. And really, it doesn't matter. You should be supportive of whatever options a woman chooses. It's her body.

So that's what was wrong with me...

I called my midwife yesterday since I'm still sick and it's been over a week. She reviewed again the meds I can take, and recommended a Neti Pot, which I bought last night but haven't used yet because it looks gross and hard to use. She also added Sudafed to the list of approved meds, so I think I'm going to try that right now. She then said Benedryl, which I said didn't work so well for me the first time I tried it. And she said that for most people Benedryl puts them to sleep, but for some people it makes them nervous and anxious. Which explains why I couldn't sleep over Thanksgiving - I just laid there in bed with my head spinning, nervous and anxious like when I take Midol, which has a lot of caffeine. The anxiety probably contributed to all of the tears, on top of lack of sleep. I've taken Benedryl before, and it always knocks me out, but I guess everything changes when you are pregnant. No more Benedryl for me - I hate that anxious feeling.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Remote access

I haven't been to work in two days, but that doesn't mean my deadline for Monday slips. So I took this as an opportunity to finally get permission to have remote access to work from home sometimes. My boss approved it today and my coworker set up my computer and now I can log on and work away, still in my pjs. Off to work I go.


I'm 16 weeks pregnant today. For the first 15 weeks I successfully avoided all drugs. This week everything fell apart. I took Zofran on Thursday and Sunday for motion sickness while driving 7 hours to and from TN. Thursday night I took Benedryl to help with my cold (it didn't help). From Friday on I've been taking Robutussin every 4 hours (this does help). Starting last night I've been taking regular strength Tylenol every 6 hours for my aches and pains from this cold (or maybe from just lying in bed for so long). What else can I throw at this baby?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I'm 30!

I made it over the threshold. My birthday was yesterday. I was at work, very sick and very tired from the long thanksgiving weekend. But I was at work because I didn't want to be thought of as a slacker who takes the Monday after Thanksgiving off and pretends to be sick. I was coughing a lot, so everyone is aware that I'm sick, so I went ahead and took today off. If I can't take drugs, I think I needs lots of sleep.

So my birthday could have totally sucked, but K saved the day. She took the day off and spent it with me as much as possible. She brought be breakfast in bed (bagels with three candles). Then drove me to work, and met me later for lunch with flowers and balloons. We went to a Latin American cafe, where I had vegan orange chicken, and then walked over to a bakery, where I had a fruit tart. Then back to work until 4pm (I deserve to leave one hour early on my 30th birthday, right?). K picked me up and we went to the mall to spend my birthday money on maternity clothes. I bought leggings at Target so that I can wear all of the skirts I got from C in this cold weather, a pair of nice black pants from Old Navy, and a pair of nice grey pants from Motherhood Maternity. Then we had dinner at a nice Italian restaurant we'd never been to before - Baked Stuffed Eggplant is very tasty! Then home for presents and a dessert sampler platter from Whole Foods. Then in bed early because I'm sick and pregnant.

All in all, a good day. It's just the beginning, though. K is throwing me a 'Dirty South' birthday party on Saturday. Can't wait! I've got the best wife ever.

Monday, December 1, 2008


We traveled to rural TN for a family reunion. 12 adults and 7 children under 5 sharing one house with four bedrooms and 1.5 baths. It was crowded, and loud, and lots of fun. It was my family (parents, sister & family, cousin & family, K & I) and another family we grew up with (parents, 2 daughters and their two families). Only my sister and my parents knew we were pregnant, supposedly. When we arrived, we started telling people, and they kept saying "I know!" It seems my mom spread the word. Everyone except my cousin, who seemed offended to be the last one to know. Not my fault! My parents were acting like they were excited for a new grandchild, which is good news. My mom's talking about making her traditional Christmas stocking for the new baby next Christmas and my dad's hugging me and asking if it's a boy or a girl.

I was/still am really sick with a cold. We woke up at 4am on Thursday and drove 7 hours to TN. I was exhausted and sick. I was tired and grumpy through Thanksgiving and went to bed at 8:30. But we were sleeping on an inflatable mattress on the floor. It was cold (heat rises) and uncomfortable and I couldn't breathe because of the cold. So I didn't sleep much, and spent much of the night crying because I couldn't sleep, and praying for morning. When my mom got up at 6am, I joined her. And I sat at the kitchen table in the dark with her, crying. And I cried on and off until around 2pm. It was so embarrassing. If that is the only experience my family sees of me as a pregnant woman, they are going to think I'm handling it really poorly, when actually, I think mostly in public I'm doing okay in general.

My parents threw me a surprise party on Friday for my 30th birthday, which is today. There was some confusion and we needed to go to Wal-mart* and my brother-in-law and dad were going to Wal-mart but wouldn't let us go with them. Actually, they were buying me a cake. We got back after they did and my dad came out to apologize, saying he didn't know we wanted to go and he would've come with us and I broke down and sobbed and told him not to worry I just couldn't stop crying today and this really wasn't that upsetting to me. He looked really uncomfortable. Then we walk inside, and all the kids jumped out and yelled surprise and I started crying again. It's seriously embarrassing! It was a nice surprise. I got some nice baby related presents. My parents gave me money to buy maternity clothes (we're going to Old Navy tonight to see what's available). My sister gave us a Winnie the Pooh bath set, rubber ducky included.

My four year old nephew is very confused about this baby. He told me that when the baby comes out of my belly, he will have a little sister. I said "Well, actually, a little cousin." Later, he put his hand on my stomach to touch the baby and said "This reminds me of when I was in my mom's belly and my dad put his hand on her belly to feel me." And I said "I'm sure the baby is happy its cousin is saying hi." And he said "But maybe the baby thinks I'm its brother." We'll leave this one up to my sister to sort out!

We finally feel included in my family. We are the very last people to have children. Now that we're pregnant, and there is a baby on the way, it's like we are real. People can relate to us. Maybe it tells them that we are normal after all, and that we just want what everyone else wants. Whatever it means, it's nice.

*We normally don't go to Wal-mart out of principle, but this is rural TN, and if you need something, you have to go to Wal-mart.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I'm getting a cold

Lucky me - the first cold of the season. Much worse when you're pregnant and can't take a lot of drugs. I called the midwife and she said I could take Robotussin (plain, no letters behind it) for the cough, Benedryl for the congestion (but she said only at night because it will knock you out), and Tylenol for aches and pains. At least it's something. The fun part is that this is a holiday! I get to be sick on a holiday! Plus, we are getting up at 4am tomorrow to drive to TN for 7 hours to spend the weekend sleeping on the floor crowded into a house with 20 people, 8 of which are between 2 and 5 years old. I'm sure I'll get over this one quick. Maybe I'll even pick up a bonus cold from the kids. Happy thanksgiving everyone!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Telling my coworkers

I finally had my annual review. I'm a team player, willing to work hard to get things done. Go me. After the review, as I was signing the paperwork, I told my personnel supervisor that I was pregnant. Congratulations, that's great news, how long will you take off, have you told your other project managers yet... No, I haven't. So I spent the rest of the day telling people I was pregnant. My workplace is weird in that I have different 'bosses' for each project I'm on. So I had to tell 6 different people yesterday - my personnel supervisor, the VP of our department, and 4 project managers. This, along with my review, took about 3 hours. It's fun, but also exhausting, and I haven't gotten anything done. Everyone said positive things, everyone seemed excited. One project manager said she somehow knew I was trying but couldn't remember how. I didn't tell her, so who spilled the beans? Anyway, things will be much easier now that I'm not hiding anything anymore. And now I can eat popcorn whenever I want without anyone judging me.

Maternity clothes

C gave me all of her maternity clothes on Saturday. She said "besides those pants I gave you, how much maternity clothes do you have?" Um, I only have those pants... She told me to get to her house right away and try her clothes on. So I did a little fashion show for C & A & K and even baby K. She's crazy tall and I'm crazy short, so her pants don't fit. But her capris fit me as pants, so I ended up with three pants, along with lots of shirts, some skits, and a couple of dresses. So last night I packed all my new clothes for our Thanksgiving trip to TN - a whole new wardrobe.

It's interesting how when I wear maternity clothes, I look pregnant, but in normal clothes I don't. The clothes aren't necessarily things I would buy myself, and they aren't even things that C would buy for herself (these are at least 2nd generation hand-me-downs), but they are pretty good, and are saving us lots of money. It's a lot of pastel, which is interesting. Baby clothes are all pastel, and now I've learned that maternity clothes are also all pastel. I guess this is our life for the next couple of years...

I moved all of these clothes into my closet and let K raid my closet. So now I'm wearing all of C's maternity clothes and K is wearing all of my clothes. Everybody wins.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Family pictures

My cousin is putting together a gift for my grandma with pictures of her great-grandchildren and family dogs (yes, we certainly love our dogs in my family). So my mom emailed me for a picture of our dog. I reminded her that we have a great-grandchild picture to be added as well and sent along the ultrasound picture. Hopefully she's not too ashamed of my alternative family to pass it along to my cousin.

Yes, I am eating popcorn at 8:30 in the morning!

I ate my yogurt parfait breakfast this morning at 7am when I woke up - yogurt, bananas, granola, blackberries, raspberries. It was very tasty. As I was driving to work, I started to feel sick, and felt that I needed to eat something starchy. So as soon as I got to work at 8:30 this morning, I popped some popcorn. A coworker was in the kitchen with me and said "Please don't tell me you're eating popcorn for breakfast." So I said "No, actually, I already had breakfast, but I felt like I needed a little more, so now I'm having popcorn." He gave me a very strange look.

It will be so much easier when I finally tell these people I'm pregnant - pregnant women can eat whatever they want and people just say, well, she's pregnant and have a little laugh. And if I want to eat popcorn at 8:30 in the morning, after I've already eaten breakfast, I would just say "well, you know, I'm pregnant..." and nobody would care.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


K worries a lot about money these days. I'm much more confident that we have enough. We've always budgeted well, we make decent salaries, we've got investments, we get raises every year, I get a bonus every year, we are in a good place. Babies add expenses for sure. Plus we need to buy a new car and our condo fees just increased 34%. And in general things cost more these days. But we're also very frugal. Our friends A & C, whose baby is 6 months old, have said that besides childcare, they haven't spent much on the baby. All of their baby furniture is hand-me-downs. They use cloth diapers, which means you don't have the expense of constantly buying diapers. They breastfeed, which is free. We plan to do all of these things too.

Baby furniture offers have been coming from everywhere. A coworker said she has been begging people to take her crib forever, and she has tons of other stuff to give away too now that her daughter is three. J & S, whose youngest is 6, say that their garage is full of baby stuff, including a crib and lots of bottles. And A & C, whose baby will be one when ours is born and has already outgrown lots of things, have offered to give us their things too. Plus there is freecycle, and I'm doing my first pick-up of baby paraphernalia tonight. We won't be buying very much for this baby, and that feels really good.

As far as the rest of it, I guess I just think we are good with money and we'll make this work. My parents had nothing and raised my sister and I well. Cousins and family friends have so much less than we do, and they make it work. Yes it would be easier to make more money. My sister's husband makes way much more than we do combined, which is why my sister can afford to stay at home and send her kids to day care. But we don't need to make tons of money. We make decent money, we are penny pinchers, and we're willing to make sacrifices. I'm pretty sure it's going to be okay. I know it's going to be okay. Now how do I convince her?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Food diary

My midwife asked me to keep a food diary, so I started yesterday. It's a crazy long list. No one should ever do this - it's just a weird exercise and makes you feel weird. With this much food going in me, it's amazing I haven't gained any weight yet. Here's the list for yesterday:

2 slices whole grain french toast with syrup and raspberries/blackberries
orange juice
Peanut butter and jelly sandwich on honey wheat bread (natural peanut butter and raspberry jam)
3oz strawberry on the bottom yogurt (I only ate half of the 6oz container - my tummy was feeling funny because I threw up in the morning)
Three lentil vegetable soup
Grilled cheese
2 oranges
Fake chicken breaded with cheese
Cheese ravioli with tomato sauce
Salad with lettuce , tomato, raspberries, Parmesan cheese and lime vinaigrette
apple with peanut butter

Today's list is almost as long, and it's only 4:30:
2 slices whole grain french toast with syrup and blackberries
orange juice
Thai cucumber salad
Mushroom soup (I picked the mushrooms out)
Fried zucchini with honey mustard
Roasted potatoes
2 oranges
Peanut butter and jelly sandwich on honey wheat bread (natural peanut butter and raspberry jam)

Not an ache, exactly...

Here's the email I sent to my friend M who asked about the ache:

Hmm, lot's of questions. I certainly don't know how to answer them, but I'll take a stab.

I also find rude kids really annoying, and would hate to have one of those. I don't think kids are born rude. I think they learn it from their family, friends, and society. So we won't raise rude kids - we'll raise really good ones. I think most of the problem is they way people parent these days. A lot of parents are afraid to be strict with their kids. They need discipline.

I also find suburban kids really annoying, so we won't be having one of those either. We also find suburban moms really annoying. We live in the city. We can walk to many things we need, including close friends and a playground. We only have one car. If we don't have a suburban life, we can't have a suburban kid.

You develop the kid the way you want. It takes thought and effort. I think many people just go through their lives and get really busy and don't think about it, but we will. Community service is very important to us. We volunteer now and we will continue to volunteer when we have children. Spiritual foundation is really important to us. We attend church, and we celebrate rituals at home, and we'll continue to do this, and probably do it more when we have children. We will do our best to make sure they aren't snot-nosed brats.

As for ache, I don't know that I would describe it like that. I know some people have an ache. We don't have an ache - we have a desire, but it's not an ache. We both always wanted kids. K had some young cousins born when she was in high school and college and she just really loved spending time with them. We both always envisioned ourselves as mothers. We love spending time with our friends kids - very fun to be with but also very well behaved. And just very cool - the 8 year old plays the drums!

As for the timing, we are at a good place in our lives now. We are both in stable jobs with decent income. We love our neighborhood and have developed strong bonds with friends in our area. We have a good church to bring them to. We own our home. Things could certainly be better - it's always nice to have more money, it would be great to be more advanced in our careers - but these things will always be there. You always feel like you need more money and you always want to keep advancing in your career.

Age was a big factor for us. Adoption was something we always talked about, but it's becoming harder and harder to do international adoption these days as a same-sex couple. Many countries ban adoptions by same-sex couples, so you have to lie and pretend you are single, which is really difficult with home visits and financial checks and everything. And many countries have started requiring people to be married because they've realized that all of the same-sex couples are lying. As for domestic adoption, generally I've heard that many places will work with same-sex couples (not all - for example, Catholic charities runs a major adoption agency) but the person placing the child up for adoption often has an 'ideal family' in their head regarding who they want to raise their child, and same-sex couples don't fit that image. So we decided that adoption was out, also because it is is super-expensive ($30K +).

So if you aren't adopting, age become a big deal. It's already hard to get pregnant using frozen sperm. Fresh sperm and sex with a man have much higher rates of pregnancy. As you get older, your ability to get pregnant goes down. So if you are older and using frozen sperm, you just really don't have great chances. We know many 35+ women trying to get pregnant using frozen sperm and trying for years. I know one woman who started trying in her late 30's and took five years to get pregnant. This stuff is not cheap - we were spending $1500 a month and I wasn't even taking any fertility drugs or doing anything very aggressive. These older women spend thousands per month and still have no baby to show for it. It's emotionally draining and financially draining. We didn't want to go through that, so we started early when I was only 29. This way we can squeeze in one more before I turn 35.

How do you know it's the right time? You never do, really, because where is life taking us? But it can't be the wrong time. K and I are strong together. We support each other very well. Neither of us ever feels we do more around the house, or that we work harder than the other. We've struck a true balance, a true partnership, and we'll be great parents together. That much we know. So whatever we do, as long as we're doing it together, we'll be great, and we'll love it. I certainly would never want to be my mom or my dad, and raise a child. My mom did all of the housework and child care and worked. My dad worked even harder at work and didn't have a strong relationship with his kids. But that's not the relationship we have. Do you know what I mean?

As for what kind of woman you are? I'm not sure I can answer that one. Fiercely independent. Not willing to be tied down. Skeptical. You love your job. You work hard. Do these things sound right?

So what are these pictures you've attached? You didn't tell me anything about them. I'm attaching a picture of my big belly. I already had a big belly before, so I look farther along than I am. But now, instead of looking like fat, my belly has gotten hard and well formed. I haven't gained any weight but haven't been able to button my pants in over a month. it's strange. I'm learning a lot about the female body.

So that's a lot of stuff about me, probably more than enough. So I'm signing off now.

Why didn't you tell me this three months ago?

We've heard this from multiple people this week as we've been calling and sharing the good news. People who have had babies or know people who've had babies don't ask this question - they seem to understand the general three month rule. But others, close friends who live far away that we don't talk to much, are hurt that we would wait so long. Then we feel guilty, but it seemed right at the time. Oh well, no regrets, we can't go back. We told who we told and now we're telling everyone else. And the phone calls keep going - we still have a long list of people to tell and a long list of people's feelings to hurt.

Monday, November 17, 2008


All I've been reading lately are books about pregnancy - what's going on in my body, how to take care of my body, what to eat, what the baby looks like. On Saturday I started reading something else. I picked up Eat, Pray, Love a month ago at our church rummage sale. Our minister loves it, so I thought it was worth a try. I've been reading it nonstop since Saturday. I'm not ever sure I like it. I find the woman weak and needy and self-indulgent, and someone I probably wouldn't like in real life. But I can't stop reading it because it's not about pregnancy. It's completely unrelated. It's an easy read and won't take me long to finish. Then I'll get back to reading about pregnancy, but I'm welcoming the break now.

A bad day

Friday was a bad day. It was unexpected because last week was a good week. But Friday my body said, nope, too much, let's back up. I woke up in the morning feeling okay, brushed my teeth and threw up. I never recovered from throwing up and stayed sick all day. I went to work, did what was absolutely necessary, and came home at 2pm. I slept until 5:30. I was up with K in the evening doing small things. Then I crashed at 9:30 on the sofa. K woke me up later to send me to bed, but I decided to sleep all night on the sofa, using my dog's favorite stuffed animal as my pillow. She offered to bring me a real pillow, but I declined - a gross, licked all over stuffed animal was fine with me. I then woke up sometime in the middle of the night with my dog sleeping on my feet. I thought the dog was K and tried to get her to move to her side of the bed. When I realized it was Angel, I couldn't figure out where I was or how I got there. I also realized I was hugging something like a doll - my bra. It was like I was coming out of a fog. I woke up the next morning fine and have been feeling great ever since. I guess my body decides what it wants and if it wants sleep, it takes it. At least now I know who is in charge.

The ache?

I got this email from my high school friend M that I don't know how to respond to. She is married to a man and lives in CA. She's always been kind of different, bucking the traditional route. She did get married, after living with her boyfriend for many years and then sneaking off to HI to elope last year. In high school she always talked about how she didn't believe in marriage and didn't want kids, which I never understood because all I wanted was to get married and have kids. She came from a very happy family, her parents are still married, and she's close to her brother. This is the email that she sent. Just to clarify, I never mentioned anything about an 'ache', those are her words.

I also agree that it is so amazing that you will have a new life in just a few months...unbelievalbe to me sometimes!

What is the ache to have children? I mean, how do you know if you have an ache or not? I like kids ok, though most annoy me because they are misbehaved and ruder as they get older. But then there are some that you would love to have yourself. You just dont know what you will get. I just dont want to have that bored suburban kid. What kind of ache did you have? Have you always known it would be a segment of your life or that you would make it so? Funny questions maybe, but I seriously dont know. I also don't want to have children just to have them. You know, automatically, with no question or concern like some people who dont think to much about it until the kid is sitting on their lap.

What kind of woman do you think I am or am to be? Sometimes I just dont know anymore what this is all about or what I want out of it while I have the chance. What did you think I would become? I have a really bad memory when it comes to what I was like even one year ago. Did I really say I didnt believe in marriage? I wonder what I meant, I have forgotten that too :) Though, I still dont know if I believe that "marriage" is necessary. Things are what you make of them, marriage certificate or not.

Alright, you probably think I am crazy now! But I am really serious! Send me pictures of yourself pregnant! Love, M

Maternity pants

Today I'm wearing my first pair of maternity pants. They were C's old pants, given to me yesterday. They were capris on C, but they are full length pants on me. This is the first time in a month (or months?) that I'm wearing buttoned pants, and it feels good. My belly band is nice, but my pants still fall off of me. And with these pants, I don't have to wear a long, baggy shirt to cover the fact that my pants aren't buttoned. I think it's getting close to time to switch to maternity pants. My parents are getting me a gift card to Motherhood Maternity for my birthday, still a couple of weeks away. I guess I'll wait to buy more pants until then, but for now I'm enjoying my one pair. Thanks C!

Friday, November 14, 2008


K emailed our college friend D yesterday and got a great response. This telling people thing is fun. Here's the email exchange. Her college nickname was Buttlover, and K doesn't let things like that get forgotten...

Hey Buttlover, We've got great news! J is pregnant! We're due in May. We just passed 13 weeks. The anonymous donor is Indian, so our baby will be half Indian, which is nice. J's been doing well. Nauseous, tired, etc but still doing well. She has a baby bump and she's getting bigger for sure. I'll have to send you pictures. Hope you guys are doing well. What's up with you all anyway? Haven't heard from you in a while. Unfortunately, we're not going to FL this year for Thanksgiving or Christmas. J's family is having a family reunion in TN and my Mom decided to spend her holidays in India, so besides TN for thanksgiving J and I decided to go on a BabyMoon -- the last trip you take before having a baby -- for Christmas. We're going to Deep Creek Lake in MD. It has the same snowfall of Fairbanks, Alaska. So it'll be a snowy Christmas for us. And of course, Angel gets to come with us which is even better. I'm so excited to give little Angel a new brother or sister! I know it's hard to travel, but it would be great if you could come up for a few days after the baby is born. Talk to you later, K

Holy cow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU BOTH!!!!!!! Oh my gosh, I can't believe it!!!!!!! I didn't even know you guys were that ready!!! Man, you should've seen my face. The moment I read "J's pregnant!" my eyes turned to saucers and I yelled out loud, "WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!" Dude, that is so awesome, esp since the baby will be part Indian! Please please please send me pics and keep me updated. I definitely want to come see you guys some time after the baby's born. Are you going to find out the gender of the baby? Do you have any names picked out yet??? Holy moly, little tiny J carrying around a baby belly. Wow!! I'm so happy for you guys!! Please keep me updated on her progress.
I just got home from a loooooong and frustrating day at work so I'll update you about my end some other time..... I'm gonna eat dinner now.
Tell J I said CONGRATULATIONS for me please!! I'll be thinking of y'all.
Take care,D

Thursday, November 13, 2008


I think I'm getting energy again. For the past few months, all I could manage was to go home from work and lay down until we went to bed. But for the past few nights I've been going home and making dinner without taking a rest first. I like this. I could get used to this.


I don't know if I have cravings, but I have very specific things that I want. I went through a pizza stage, but I think I'm past that. I'm very into oranges right now, but I'm a FL girl who grew up with orange trees in the back yard. I always crave oranges. I usually get oranges for Christmas and my birthday from my family because the ones from FL taste better than the ones in the grocery store, and winter is orange season in FL. So I'm not sure this is a craving, or if it's just me.

But I do get these things where I can almost taste a certain food in my mouth and want it until I finally get it. We went to breakfast at Teaism on Sunday. I kind of wanted french toast, but everyone was raving about the cilantro scrambled eggs, so I got those. They were okay, but the guy I was eating with got the french toast and it looked amazing. I talked about the french toast all day. Monday when I got to work, I went to the cafeteria to get french toast but they were out. I've not gotten french toast yet, and the desire has kind of died down, but it's still there.

The other night I was lying in bed and said that I really wanted a yogurt parfait. We used to make these at home and eat them for breakfast - plain nonfat yogurt, granola, bananas, a combination of organic blackberries, raspberries, strawberries. It tasted so good. I went to work yesterday and bought a strawberry parfait in the cafeteria, but the granola was soggy. I still want a parfait, but a really good one.

Last night traffic was horrible because of the rain. I waited 6 times through the traffic light less than a block from my house. It took me 1 hour and 15 minutes for a drive that usually takes 30 minutes. While sitting in the car, I thought about going home and making spaghetti. I thought about what I could add to it. I tasted it in my mouth. When I got home, the jar of sauce in the fridge was bad because I haven't cooked anything since getting pregnant. K said 'that's okay, just make something else.' But I couldn't think of anything else to make. Nothing sounded good. So she helped me to decide on veggie burgers, sweet potato fries, and green beans. It was a good meal, but left me wanting.

K promised the next time we go to the grocery store, we will buy ingredients for all of my food needs. I'm not sure if these are cravings or if I'm just bored with the food we've been eating lately. I feel like cravings should be stronger - like I can't do anything but think of this food. Maybe that's just Hollywood.

Telling people

Yesterday we decided we were ready to start telling people, everybody but our coworkers. Most of our family and friends live out of state, so this requires phone calls, emails, and letters to people we may not talk to very often. It's a lot of work - exciting, but exhausting. So we decided we will tell one person a day.

Yesterday we told our retired neighbors. They were excited for us, and had a million questions about how it works, and they were very sweet. It felt nice to finally say it out loud. For months we've been so evasive when people ask how are you, what's going on with you. Now, when people ask, we can say "We are wonderful. We're having a baby!"

Today K is emailing a college friend D. D was an usher in our wedding, but we don't talk much now. Maybe once a year at Christmas if we are in FL. We thought email was okay in this instance. And we needed a quick and easy one because tonight is Ugly Betty and we can't spend hours on the phone with someone.

So two down, many to go. It's fun!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

We saw our baby!

Yesterday we had an ultrasound to test for down syndrome. K is worried about this because my beta levels were high in early pregnancy, so we got the test. But the most awesome part about it was the ultrasound. Last time we saw our baby, he/she was only 6 weeks old and just looked like a white dot. This time we saw an actual baby - spinning around, kicking, waving, crossing his/her legs. It was like 'wow, that little human is inside of me?' It's totally more real now. I just wish I could feel the little one moving around, but I know I will soon.

We also went to our 13 week midwife appointment yesterday, and we got to hear the heartbeat. It was just amazing. Here's a video of the heartbeat, and you can hear a little kick.

And here are the pictures from the ultrasound. Isn't our baby beautiful?

Friday, November 7, 2008


Since getting pregnant, I haven't been big on cooking. Normally, I cook every night. Nothing too special, but a healthy balanced meal. Since getting pregnant, it's been whatever's quickest and easiest. We always try to have a protein and a fruit or vegetable with every meal, but that's really it for the criteria. The other night I had a corn dog and a can of green beans. Not horribly unhealthy, mostly balanced, but probably not the best way to eat. Lots of fruit because they are easier to eat than vegetables (which typically require chopping and cutting).

K and I have been feeling a little icky lately and both felt that we needed more vegetables. Last night I was determined to cook something with vegetables. I opened the vegetable drawer in the refrigerator and it was disgusting. All of the vegetables had grown fur. Who knows how long they had been in there? It was so gross. We cleaned out the drawer and I found one zucchini in decent condition and cooked that with some microwaveable rice.

I'll be twelve weeks on Sunday. I'm hoping for more energy soon so that I can get back to making healthy meals for my family.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Shocked and Amazed

My parents went to a segregated elementary school. My children will be born when there is a black president. What a difference 50 years can make. Isn't this country amazing?! Last night we stayed up to watch the results, but I fell asleep after Obama won Ohio - I knew it was over then. K stayed up and watched the whole thing. They kept showing footage of street parties in DC and K said that she wanted to say "Let's go be a part of this. It's historic!" but then she looked at me sleeping and decided it was best for me and the baby if we just stayed home.

Monday, November 3, 2008

My weekend

It was quite a weekend. I'm exhausted.

Friday night was our Halloween party. I was the Joker and K was Two-face. I cooked a decent meal mostly from scratch. I stayed up late and had fun. We went to bed at 1:30am. I'm a pregnant lady that is used to going to bed at 9pm. This was certainly my latest night in a long time.

Saturday I made up for my lack of sleep. I got up around 8:45am to go out to breakfast with K. Then I went back to bed until 12:30. I woke up for lunch, then back in bed by 1:30. At 3:30 I woke up and thought, wow, I need to do something. All I've done today is eat and sleep! Pretty insane.

We went to drop off our dry cleaning in a nearby mostly Hispanic neighborhood. Outside the dry cleaning place was a pupusa truck. I got a cheese pupusa for $1.25. They should put these trucks everywhere. Fulfilling the needs of a hungry pregnant lady for only $1.25 - amazing!

We went to Target for Halloween clearance and bought some stuff our baby for next Halloween - two Halloween onesies, Halloween booties, and Halloween barrettes. Next year's Halloween will be so much fun!

We stopped by J & S's on the way home, hoping to see the kids before they went to bed, but we missed them. So we stayed and talked to J & S for hours, until midnight. I guess the all day nap gave me the energy to stay up late. S said I was looking big and pregnant. I'm only 11 weeks! How can I already look big and pregnant? They mentioned that they had a lot of baby stuff in their garage. Their youngest is 6, so they've been holding onto these things for a while. They want to give the stuff to us! Awesome!

They recently discussed with their kids about sex and where babies come from. K and I wanted to make sure the kids didn't think that I had to have sex with a man to have this baby. J said no, they've already explained all of that to the kids too. They are such great parents! J said when talking to the kids about our sperm donor, she explained that we used sperm from a man who was Indian so that our child would look like K. The older child said, "But K is African American. She has dark skin and curly hair." Interesting.

On Sunday was the baby expo at Shady Grove Hospital, where we will be giving birth. They had lots of vendors giving away free stuff. We got booties and a swaddling blanket and kit kats, amongst other things. We learned about breast pumps and car seats. But most importantly, we toured the labor rooms and the delivery rooms. The labor rooms were fine - basically what you would expect from a hospital. The nice thing is that they are all private and you get your own bathroom with a jacuzzi tub. I thought the rooms were a little small for the pacing and stuff that I expect to be doing, but otherwise, all to be expected.

The postpartum rooms are awesome! Every room is private with a private bath. For vaginal births, you typically stay 2 nights, 3-4 nights for a c-section. Each room has a fold out sofa-bed and the baby stays in the room with you, so basically the three of us can sleep comfortably for two days. Each room has a TV and DVD player, and both K and I instantly thought 'Arrested Development!' There's a family lounge with sofas and a dining table and kitchenette, where you can greet your guests if your room gets too crowded. And best of all, there are classes - breastfeeding and infant care - and there are support groups. And there are consultants to teach you things. I feel like after those two days, we will be ready to go home. We'll have baby practice with others around to help us. Just being sent home with the baby would be so scary but now we have the transition period. Also, I think I'll be able to sleep better at the hospital there knowing that there are nurses watching over the baby. At home I think I would be too nervous to sleep. After seeing the postpartum rooms, I feel really comfortable and peaceful. I'm still super-scared of labor but now I'm comfortable with the part afterwards. Soon I'll work on getting comfortable with the idea of labor...

We had our pregnancy support group last night followed by a dinner celebration of L's 30th birthday. I asked L what it felt like to be 30 - he said it felt like death. Great - something to look forward to. We met A, one of the guys L is dating. As soon as I met him, he pointed to my stomach and said, 'This is exciting!' I was like, 'wow, is it that obvious?' but he said that L told him already.

L said that if Amendment 2 passes in FL, he is leaving FL for good. Finally! Come to DC forever, L! We told him that if he's still here in May, we want him to attend the birth and he was really excited. I hope he can make it work.

I was up late again - in bed around 11pm. This morning I considered sleeping in and calling in sick, but figured I should save my sick leave for when I'm feeling really horrible. Right now I'm just feeling tired.

Things I can't do

The blood drive - I've been giving blood since I was 17, as soon as I became eligible. Last week at work was the big blood drive we do twice a year. I always participate, but not this year.

Get a flu shot - the midwife said to definitely get one but not until twelve weeks. I'm only 11 weeks. My work had a clinic last week, which would have been easy. Sometime next week I need to go out of my way to find a flu shot somewhere, after I'm at 12 weeks. Sigh.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is K's favorite holiday. We spend the whole month of October watching shows about true hauntings, reading books about true hauntings, and just emersing ourselves in the scariness of it. This year we got the Discover channel show A Haunting and and the sci-fi show Ghost Hunters off of netflix and we've been watching and getting super scared.

K bought me a gift - the paperback of Amityville Horror, another true haunting story. Her mom read this book while pregnant with K, probably how K got so obsessed with the paranormal. So now we're going to read this book while pregnant with Precious Poo and the tradition continues.

Tonight we are having an elegant adults only Halloween dinner party. We're having a lot of these adults only parties right now since it will be our last for many years to come. We've draped our home with black fabric and set black candles on the table. We've downloaded scary classical music, like the theme to Psycho. And we have a haunted menu planned, complete with blood orange soda and dirt for dessert. It should be fun.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Happy Diwali!

Today is Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, where the lights signify victory of good over the evil within every human being. We started celebrating last year, just a quiet celebration in our home. Last year it was just the two of us, this year L will be joining us. This year is much more low-key because that's our life right now. To officially celebrate, you clean your entire home and wear new clothes so that you are presenting your pure self. Well, K did some cleaning last night while I rested and tried not to be sick, but it's certainly not a super clean home. And we don't have any new clothes to wear - we're trying to save money and don't have time for shopping with all of the sleeping I do. I'm sure the gods will understand. Last year I also cooked a nice Indian meal. This year I'm stopping at Whole Foods on the way home to pick up some frozen Indian food. It's not the same but the sentiment is still there. Happy Diwali everyone!

Emails and voting

Here is an email I sent to a high school friend of mine that lives in Sacramento:

Hey M - it's been a long time! How's it going? You two aren't newlyweds anymore - just and old married couple now. It feels good, right? We are doing wonderfully. We have some big news - I'm pregnant! The baby is due in May. It's very exciting, and also very scary. Mostly I'm very tired right now, with some queasiness. But suposedly all of that will clear up soon and I'll have lots of energy during the second trimester. I can't wait! We're planning our baby moon (the last trip before we are parents) to snowy Deep Creek Lake, MD, for Christmas. After this year, the Christmases will be all about the baby!

Hey, by the way, I wanted to remind you to vote No on Proposition 8 - the same-sex marriage ban. I hear the vote is expected to be very close but that the yes votes are winning right now. Everybody in the country is watching this vote and if the proposition doesn't pass, it'll be a big deal - saying that the people of CA really support same-sex marriage. And it might make it easier for the rest of us to have same-sex marriage in other states, which would be so amazing for K and I and our growing family. But if the ban does pass, who knows about the rest of us.

So hope all is well with you. We really wanted to share our big news with you. Any baby plans in your future? Let me know what's up.

And I sent this email to 8 friends and family that live in FL:

Hey everyone, I am super jealous that you are voting in a state where your vote actually counts. I remember how exciting it was to be in FL in 2000 when it was so much in the news. K went down and watched the hand counting of votes in DeLand and some of our professors invited us to a protest. MD always votes democrat, so it doesn't matter what we do, so it's kind of like watching from the sidelines. So, for me and K, make sure you get out there and vote! We can live vicariously through you. Living in FL is a unique experience - elections in FL are won by only a few hundred votes so your vote really, really matters.

You probably know that on the ballot in FL is the ammendment to the FL constitution that bans same-sex marriage in FL. This ammendment is completely unnecessary - state law already says that marriage is between a man and a woman and federal law says that no state has to recognize same-sex marriages from other states or countries. All this ammendment will do is further emphasize that same-sex marriages are illegal - it won't change anything. Same-sex marriage is already illegal in FL. There are many same-sex couples living in FL currently that are not trying to get married. They know that it's illegal and still live in FL because they like FL. In many other states that have passed this constitutional ammendment banning same-sex marriage, same-sex couples have started to leave the state because they feel very unwelcome. They were fine not being able to marry but now they feel like the state doesn't want them there at all. They don't usually move to a state where marriage is legal (there are only 3 of these), they just move somewhere that doesn't have the constitutional ammendment just because they feel less negativity there. So for all of these reasons, please vote no on this ammendment! Here's a website with more information: http://www.christchurchofpeace.org/ktnf/amendment-and-you.html

Thanks for voting and letting us live vicariously through you! Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 27, 2008

My mother-in-law is driving me crazy!

She calls every other day with a lecture. She was a nurse like 40 years ago and thinks she knows a lot and wants to tell me all about it. Here are things she says in every phone call:

1. You need to eat a lot of protein. Are you eating enough protein?
Yes, I'm eating enough protein. You're only asking me this because I'm a vegetarian, and I find that annoying even when I'm not pregnant.

2. I tell her I'm really tired. She first tells me that this is not a symptom of pregnancy - she's never heard of that before. Then she says, in a voice full of judgement, that I need to go to bed earlier, stop going out so much, reduce my social life. I'm tired because I do too much.
Um, hello, I don't do anything. I took three naps this weekend. I go to bed every night at 9pm. And everyone is tired during the first 12 weeks.

3. Lie to your work about how far along you are. You're not allowed to work past 7 months, so you need to lie to them.
So many things wrong with this - it's just not true!

4. I tell her we are going to a family reunion in TN for Thanksgiving that my parents have been planning for two years. She says, "No, you can't go to that. You need to stay home and rest."
I will be in my second trimester, feeling more energetic than I have in months. It's only a 7 hour drive, and we plan to take multiple breaks so that I can walk and get my circulation going. There is nothing wrong with traveling when you are 3 1/2 months pregnant! And besides, I want to go!

5. How long do you want me to stay in May?
It's May! It's like forever from now. I can barely make it through work awake, I come home and all I want to do is sleep. I cannot think about how long I want you to stay with me in May. And frankly, you are driving me crazy, so right now I want to tell you not to come at all! Why don't you call back when I'm feeling good in the second trimester and we'll talk about it then, when I can be nicer?

6. I ask her what her plans are for her visit for New Years. She asks me to help her find tickets. Then she says it's too much money and why should she come if she's coming in May. I tell her I did a lot of work to research this, we will pay for her tickets as a Christmas present. She says she'll call me back in a day or two. She hasn't called back in a week, so I'm assuming she's not coming. At least this was a way to get her to stop calling!

She's said many other crazy things as well, but these recur every phone call. When I give her responses to her craziness, she is adamant that she is right - No, I know you're not allowed to work past 7 months. It's a rule, you can't get past it. Or I know how you guys are - you stay up late and you have a big social life. You've got to make sacrifices.

And frankly, she was a nurse for the shortest time ever, and hasn't worked in like a million years, and she didn't work on the maternity wing. She only had one child. She is certainly no pregnancy expert.

I told K that I don't want to talk to her for a few weeks. I'm not answering the phone for a while. K can answer it and tell her I'm sleeping. I understand that this her first grandchild and I'm glad that she is excited. She's always gotten on my nerves with her "I know more than you" attitude, but now that I've got pregnancy hormones, and I'm tired, I cannot take it. I don't want to say anything mean, so I'm not going to talk to her anymore for now. She's not my mom, so I don't have to talk to her if I don't want to.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


I woke up from a nap today at noon, and I was hungry. I couldn't figure out what to eat for lunch, so I started crying. And I cried for about an hour. K kept saying "Why are you crying?" and I couldn't come up with an answer. Emotions!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Belly Band

Mine arrived in the mail yesterday. It's fabulous. I'm wearing my cordoroys, which I had pretty much written off this season because they were too tight. It's wonderful - my wardrobe has opened up again. And it's really comfortable - snug but not tight. A wonderful purchase. I got the crazy color that was on clearance, as shown in the picture, but it's cool because I'm wearing my cords again.

Monday, October 20, 2008


I'm watching a lot of TV these days since I'm so tired. I come home from work, lay down for a while to watch TV, get up to make/eat dinner, lay down and watch more TV, and then go to bed by 9pm. We don't have cable, so the TV choices are very limited, and I'm watching things I would never normally watch. Like reruns of Two and a Half Men. I hate the show - it is not funny at all. Yet I watch it most nights since it's on 5 nights a week. Other bad TV I find myself watching - TMZ, My Wife and Kids, NCIS, Desperate Housewives, Friends, Extreme Makeover Home Edition, Judge Judy, Judge Joe Brown. On Saturday I watched a movie on the CW called Boys and Girls. It was horrible, but I watched the whole thing (well I snoozed in the middle but I'm sure I didn't miss anything). I also watch a lot of Curious George. It's sad when the best thing I can find to watch is on PBS kids.

It's times like these when I think "I want cable!" But then I remember that I'm at 9 weeks, and supposedly something magical happens at 12 weeks when all of the sudden I have energy again and I won't waste all of my time snoozing on the sofa and watching horrible TV. I can make it through three more weeks, but not much longer...


1. I had my first throw up on Friday. Yea for a milestone, I guess...

2. We visited a day care on Friday. We loved it. It's an intergenerational center, so they do both adult and child care, and the adults and children interact. It's close to our home. But it costs a lot. I think it's pretty typical - $80 per day - but that's a lot of money 5 days a week all year. Oh well... We spent the $165 to get on their wait list. K is touring a place by her work soon.

3. The first midwife appointment was on Friday. K took pictures. Midwife said everything looked good. We're going back on Nov 11.

4. My belly is hard. All of the flabby fat is now a hard protective layer. It's very interesting. I ordered a belly band from Amazon today because my pants don't fit anymore. Even though I haven't gained any weight (I've actually lost 3 pounds), my shape is different, and now harder, and my pants don't fit and I'm tired of walking around with unbuttoned pants that are falling off of me. Today I'm wearing K's skirt, which fits nicely except that it's long. It's hard to be this short.

5. We went hiking yesterday. The easy trail at Cunningham Falls State Park. It was beautiful with the fall leaves. It was fun. I came home exhausted. I can't wait for the energy that is promised with the second trimester.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Don't tell!

Today I had a class at work with lots of colleagues. The class was 11am - 12:30, followed by lunch. Knowing that eating a late lunch wouldn't sit so well on my tummy, I grabbed my trusty crackers to go with me. As we sat down to lunch, M said, with a knowing twinkle in his eye, "Is there a reason for the Saltines?" to which I replied "Not that I want to talk about here, but I'll tell you later." And then we had this email exchange:

Me: So you know why women eat crackers, right?
M: that's why I was asking…just confirming my suspicions…congratulations!
Me: Thanks! May due date. I'm waiting until after my big review to tell people at work.
M: I've seen enough cracker eating in my day to have bells and whistles go off in my head. I'll keep it hush-hush.

I admit, crackers and a long, baggy shirt are pretty tell-tale signs of pregnancy (though long, baggy shirts are actually in right now and I bought this shirt before I was pregnant). And closer friends are really starting to comment on the size of my breasts. I would like to keep this work secret until Thanksgiving, the time of my annual review, but I can see that it will get harder.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Last night

We went to our midwife group orientation session last night. Friday is our first midwife appointment. I liked the midwife we met, and I liked the ideas she presented. They really believe in nature and your body, but they also believe in safety first. They deliver in a hospital, so you have access to whatever medical interventions are necessary, but you are free to roam about the room and can deliver in whatever position you want. It's the best of both worlds.

Before the appointment we went to dinner at Hard Times Cafe (mmm, chili...). I got there before K, so I went into the baby store next door and found a book I had to buy for K. It's called Urban Babies Wear Black. K is always saying she wants our baby to wear black. Inside it has fun phrases like "Urban Babies do yoga, urban babies appreciate architecture, urban babies take taxis after a long day". The art is adorable. We want to have an urban baby!
Last night I had my first baby dream. I'm sure there will be more to come. We brought home our little girl from the hospital. She was wearing a black dress with flowers. She slept the whole time. We just put her down and watched her sleep. Lots of friends stopped by and our home was full of people. Then we got a delivery - someone sent us chocolate chip cookies. It was a nice dream.

Monday, October 13, 2008


We figured out our baby moon - the last trip we will take before we are parents. We're going to Deep Creek Lake, MD, for Christmas. K's mom is coming to town for New Year's but we'll be alone for Christmas. Deep Creek Lake is in this weird place in the mountains and so it gets a ton of snow, starting early November. So it should be beautifully snowy by Christmas. There are lots of things I can't do as a pregnant lady - snow tubing, skiing, snowboarding, snow mobiling, ice skating - for fear of falling. But one thing I can do is snowshoe. We've never done that before and are looking forward to it. And besides that we will sit in our room by our fireplace drinking hot chocolate and eating smores, and just relax and have fun together.

Friday, October 10, 2008


All I want is pizza. Ever since I got pregnant - pizza. When I was sick, I would think about pizza and know I couldn't have it because it would make me sick, but I still wanted it. Since Wed I've been feeling better and have had pizza for lunch every day. Today I couldn't wait and ate my leftover pizza early. I'm still hungry and all I want is more pizza. Last night we ate our favorite food - Burmese from Mandalay - but what I really was thinking about was going to Ledo's pizza.

It's really strange. Pizza is not the healthiest thing to eat. I need to resist the urge. But when I think about what to eat, everything seems ho-hum except pizza.

Wow - that's a big raise!

I called my sister Wednesday night to tell her, but left a message and got a call back yesterday morning. I asked why she wasn't at work. She said "Don't you know? I quit my job." Huh? Her husband got a raise that was more than twice her salary, so she said, 'why am I working?' Now she stays home to raise her two kids under 5.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I think I feel better because I stopped taking iron supplements. According to the book Your Vegetarian Pregnancy, vegetarians should take iron supplements in addition to their prenatal vitamins because you need twice as much iron when your pregnant. So I've been doing that. But then I read this:

"Iron is important, but it's also a common cause of nausea. Ask your doc about a vitamin with less iron, or try a liquid or chewable form that might help with the queasiness."

So yesterday I stopped taking iron. And I feel completely different. For the last couple weeks I've been in a constant state of ick. Yesterday I felt almost normal. There is still some queasiness when I eat, but I'm not feeling that constant uneasiness. So I tried it again today - no iron - and again I feel pretty good.