May 25, 2011

It’s my turn

by The Oven

Since Baker and I got together seven years ago, I haven’t tried to hide our life together. I attend pride events, and say my piece if someone gets me on the topic of gay rights. When Prop 8 rolled around, I found myself being more bold in sharing my opinions, asking for votes, and trying to get people to understand me. I am very comfortable with my life, and how people perceive me, even if my little town is considered conservative, it’s still in California– it’s not that bad.

Now that we have a son, I feel like it is my responsibility to make sure that he knows that we are the type of people who stand up for what we believe. I feel strongly about this, so why do I have such a hard time following through?  I am never phased about talking about being part of a two-mom family (or being part of a two-lady couple before the baby)in the grocery store, or meeting new people, so why do I have such a hard time with my extended family?

You see, they are mostly Texans, mostly conservative, and mostly the type to “sweep things under the rug”. They all know about Baker and Spud, and have even sent the baby gifts, but don’t really acknowledge “the Situation”.  It sucks. When we sent out a pregnancy announcement card, I just didn’t send one to the people that I thought might have a problem with our family. Typical “bury my head in the sand”  response. They all found out about the baby through other channels (I knew they would, and was thankful I didn’t have to tell them), but it was my family’s own personal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell whisper campaign going on.

I can’t really sort out the particulars of how I am feeling, but I did do something today that is a step in the right direction. I posted this video on my facebook:

Watch it with some tissues. It made me cry, and made me resolve to be a better person every day, so that is what my son will see when he grows up. I feel bolstered by my bravery. I know it’s silly, but it’s huge for me.

I have completed our birth announcements, and I will be the first to tell you they are kick-ass.  They also say both my name and Baker’s name in huge print across the front.  And they will be sent to every one in my family. Our baby deserves that.

Oh- and about that video: two of my cousins re-posted it.

May 13, 2011

Help Please

by The Oven

Will you please tell me what your second-parent adoptions entailed….. like, specifically?

This “abbreviated home-study” what does that mean? What do they do during the home-study?

Will Baker’s terrible iffy driving record affect things?  What about Baker having gotten arrested when she was 18 (for the record, it was a fight in which she was trying to protect someone…. a little rowdier than I have ever been, but completely justified.  She wasn’t ever charged with anything. Shut up. Bad girls are sexy.)

How long does it take? Is it just a process they have to go through, or is there a chance that Baker won’t really be able to adopt her son?

I need details…. Oh- for the record, we are in California, and are registered domestic partners, and were at the time of Spud’s birth, so if that will help, thanks.

May 9, 2011

Little hand-fulls of cement

by The Oven

Mother’s Day was never a particularly big holiday at my house growing up…. we went to church, where the Moms and Grandmas got flowers handed out by the kids.  We gave Mom a card, and all the generations got together to have Sunday lunch together. As us kids got older and moved out of the house, it turned into dinner at a restaurant, and eventually we spread ourselves across the country, and it was a call and a chat on Mother’s Day.

Yesterday was my first Mother’s Day as an official mom, but I don’t think it will be the most memorable one.  Last year, Baker and I did our first ever pregnancy test on Mother’s Day, just praying and hoping that a second line would appear to confirm that we were going to be moms in 9 short months. I remember looking at the stick and wishing so hard that a second line would appear. We knew at the time it was too early to test, but we also knew there was an outside chance a test could detect a pregnancy, so we took the test.  I couldn’t admit it at the time, but I was also scared to death that a line would appear.

(If you have been following our story, you will know that we got pregnant on our first try, and even deciding to try was sort-of on a whim (well, as much as possible as it can be for two-women). I mean, Baker always knew that she wanted to be a mom, and my clock started to tick when I turned 30. We decided we were going to try, and just a couple weeks later, we were actually trying)

Because we just can’t bear to throw away that first test (ah, hell, we can’t bear to throw away any of the pee sticks…. they are kept in a baggie under the bathroom counter, lovingly labeled at the time.  Our OPKs and HPTs will be our legacy) we have pulled it out a few times over the last year, and now that we know, we can see the most faint of faint lines, telling us what I knew in my heart was the truth: we were newly pregnant, and that was our first mother’s day.

The past year has been extraordinary. Both good and bad. I would say that my (and Baker’s) pregnancy hormones tested our relationship to the core, and having a new baby isn’t as easy as they make it seem on TV, where the baby can disappear if it doesn’t fit into the 30 minute story arc…buuttt….

(and there’s a big but)

The good outweighs the bad a million times over. I have never loved Baker more than I do today. I have never felt the pure love that I have for our son. I wouldn’t say that it is more than I love Baker, but it is so much more pure, more untainted, more pristine than anything I have ever experienced.  As a 31-year-old woman, I am very aware of my flaws, and the thought that can bring me to tears is that right now, in our son’s eyes  I (we) are the most perfect, unflawed people in the universe. I am actually perfect to someone, and not in that “i-can-ignore-your-shortcomings-and-the-fact-that-you-snore-because-I-love-you” kind of way that Baker tells me I am perfect.  The way Spud sees me is just as pure and pristine as how I see him. And that, my darlings, is really really special.

I knew life would change, and sometimes I guilty-ly long for the days when Baker and I could lounge and cuddle on the couch all day, where we could do things spur-of-the-moment and do-nothing-at-all days. I miss the intimacy that comes with being the only two people in the world.  In fact, I beat myself up about that a lot. I often times feel like I am not good enough to be a mom. I know there is someone out there that could do it better than me. A better mom wouldn’t wish for “before”, even if the thought is only fleeting, and you don’t really mean it.

And then, Baker and Spud decide that they are going to make me a hand print stepping stone for mother’s day and when we are trying to get his tiny little fingers straightened out to make his hand print, he balls them up, grabbing a handful of colored cement, making my heart burst, and I know that I am good enough, because as I try to pry the sandy bits out of his fingers, he is grinning at me, and Baker is smiling at me and looking at me like she loves me so much, and I know that I am good enough, and that this, this is the life that I wouldn’t change for anything.

Happy Mother’s day to all you moms, even if you don’t have your baby yet.

May 3, 2011

Not suitable for a Facebook Status Update

by The Oven

I am working out the kinks of being a pumping/working mom.  For example, don’t wear a dress to work when you will be pumping, otherwise you will end up in your private pumping room in your skivies, sports bra (with holes cut out for nipple shields) and work shoes while pumping. The mortification would have killed me if anyone had walked in.  It’s bad enough the threat of being walked in on while pumping normally…. but with no clothes….. ohmygosh.  I die just thinking about it, and I still have to pump one more time today.

Also today, Baker wasn’t able to get out of the house because Spud is having a rough day, with lots of screaming, so I make the 15 minute drive home to see what I can do to help on my lunch. When I walked in the door Baker was drawing Spud a bath in the sink while he screamed his precious little head off.  I immediately rushed to her aid, and helped her get him in the sink… (supposedly this should help his tummy relax so he can pass what needs passing). Spud is still crying hysterically, trying to cuddle me through my clothes and Baker and I lock eyes when the thought pops into our heads: stick a boob in his mouth.

For the second time today, I was down to my skivies and work shoes with my boobs hanging out for all the world (or at least the neighbors) to see.  And Spud?  That little bugger rested one elbow on the side of the sink and the other hand on his chubby little knee and had a nice long drink, while I stood with my back outta whack to make sure his highness had something to suck, and Baker held him (just as awkwardly) and massaged farts out of his tummy.

In the moment, it was all necessary, but looking back, I feel like we may have been a bit indulgent.  Can’t you see the conversation now:

“Excuse me, Mummy, I would like to have a bowel movement, if you would be so kind as to draw my bath.  Mama, go ahead and get that boob out, I’m going to want a warm snack whilst I bathe”

You don’t even have to tell me….. I already know.    I already know.

14 Weeks Old

April 28, 2011

Still alive…

by The Oven

…just in case you were wondering. I am back at work this week, and since I no longer have hours upon hours for baby watching/playing/feeding/snuggling, I intend to get back to regular updates.

March 4, 2011

Cut and color does a girl good

by The Oven

We didn’t have to wait until next Saturday to get our hair done. A trip to Sacramento was totally worth getting rid of those roots, despite the fact that I am so tired my left eye will barely stay open. We even took Finn with us, and he was a champ!

March 4, 2011

Should be sleeping…

by The Oven

It’s a quarter after one, and I know that I should be in bed, but honestly, I’m a little “touched out” right now, and it’s nice to not be touching anyone…. no baby, no Baker, and no dogs. Selfish? Perhaps. Am I feeling guilty? Nope.

Finn is six weeks now, and the boy just wants to eat. I am told that he is probably in a growth spurt, which I get, but my bruised nipples are a little less understanding. And speaking of body parts: I wasn’t quite ready for the war zone that is now my body.

I have always had a nice flat tummy and it isn’t back to normal yet. Remember how I told you that I got those pesky stretch marks? They are still there, and they kind of hurt. I am pretty sure I won’t be wearing a two-piece any time soon. Also, after a c-section, do you realize that you lose feeling around the incision? And that it can take a decade for the feeling to come back, if it ever does? I guess it makes sense because they do have to cut through the nerves to get to the baby, but I never really thought about it before.  It’s a very strange feeling, and it makes my, ahem, “personal grooming” quite a new experience. Coupled with the fact that my tummy isn’t flat anymore (will it ever be again?!?) and I am a nervous wreck when it comes to getting a razor anywhere near there. I have stopped fearing that I will accidentally reopen my incision site, which I think is progress, but now it takes so much longer and is so much more involved than it ever was before.

And the skin. Oy. I am broken out like a teenager, especially on my neck (!) and shoulders. It sucks. I feel like a hot mess, and I haven’t even attempted to try on any pre-baby clothes yet, so I am still wearing elastic waisted pants. Mostly pajama pants. Thankfully my sister clued me into the nursing tanks they have at Target, which are like camisole tops, but with easy “tear-away” panels so baby can get to the boob without too much hassle.

Since we moved away from Sacramento, I haven’t had a decent hair cut in three years. They still charge the same in this little town, but the skills sure leave something to be desired. I have decided to take the bull by the horns (and to pump a little extra) so next weekend I am going to get a cut and color by my guy in Sacramento. He’s available on Saturday, so we are going to take a trip, have Baker stocked up with bottles of expressed milk so I can fully enjoy a couple hours to make myself look a little more human again. Seriously, I have about 10 months worth of roots, and it isn’t a great look. Once I get the hideous haircut fixed (I sure hope my guy can fix these 80s bangs that girl gave me), and maybe a couple outfits to make me feel purty again, and I will be a new woman.

….

I am not quite used to this new “mom” identity yet. Maybe it’s because we haven’t really gone out too much, so I haven’t had much opportunity to use it, but it still feels strange to say that I am someone’s mother.  When I was in the hospital, I had to fill out paperwork for the new baby, and it asked what my relationship to the patient was. I wrote in “Mother” and then I started to bawl. I wasn’t sad about it, but the reality hit me then…. I am someone’s mother. Everywhere I go, there are mothers, but I have never been a part of that club. I am now, and it feels weird. Kind of like a new pair of shoes: you know they are the right size, and you love them, but they don’t quite fit like your old Vans.

I like thinking of myself as a mother. I like it a lot, actually.  I am crazy in love with this new guy, and every time I start to feel tired, the little guy knows and treats me to one of his smiles, and it’s like a shot of energy…. It makes the tired go away and it makes me feel all happy and gushy inside.  I just wonder when I am going to feel like a mother.

Several unexpected things have come of having this baby. I feel differently about Baker. Good different. Even when we are tired and snipping at each other, we are aware that it isn’t just us anymore, and we have a new person in our lives that is going to pick up every thing that happens between us. When a fight is gonna start, we are able to step back, see what’s going on, and figure it out without having a fight. In the past, both of us have had a tendency to be very stubborn, but now neither of us feels that need to be right, and we are able to work through any issues without any issues. It makes life so much more fun. And I love seeing her this in love with him. I love the way she is with him.

I also understand my sisters better, and I feel closer to them than I ever have in my life. I have two older sisters, and they each have two children of their own. When I would get a new niece or nephew (I have 7 now, including my niece that was born three days ago) I automatically loved them differently than I loved other kids. I mean, I would meet kids, and like them, but a picture of my nephew would make my heart expand. And now that I have a son of my own, I understand what my sisters have gone through (well, my brothers too, but the bond feels stronger with my sisters). I have never been particularly close with my sisters, we have always gotten along, but now I can call them and get advice from them and talk with them, commiserate with them. It’s really wonderful, but it does make me miss them so much more. I skyped with my oldest sister the other day, and it was so great being able to see her in person, and that she could see Finn in something other than pictures.

I just blasted you with several random thoughts…. sorry about that. It’s even later now, and even though when I began typing, I was done with being touched for the day, a little time has passed (30 minutes) and I am missing my family (Ack! I have a family now! That’s so weird!) so I am going to wrap this up.

Sweet dreams, darlings!

February 26, 2011

just to clarify

by The Oven

I went back to finish up that last post I had posted, and I realize that it came across a little bit as a downer.  Right now, Finn is sleeping on Baker’s chest (and making the sweetest little noises. They love sleeping chest to chest…. it has been their “thing” since his first night, and I imagine it always will be. Or, well, you know, while he’s still little enough to sleep on her) and the computer was within reach, so I figured I would give you an update on how it is going.

Have I already said that I feel like we won the baby lottery?  Because I feel like we did.  Finn is so amazing. He doesn’t cry (except when he needs something.  I don’t even have to provide that “something” to make him stop crying, I just have to make movement in that direction, and it’s like he knows that I am working on it, and there is no need to fuss.

Also, I have a new reason for living, and that is his smile.  He smiled at me the other day for the first time. I mean, we have had a lot of gassy smiles, and some that were possibly real, but this was the first cause and effect, genuine on purpose smile. And I fall in love with that little bugger all over again, and now I spend my days waiting for the next one. Because his smile will mealt your friggin’ heart.

So far, like I said life is a lot different, and we are learning how to cope with it. It’s not just us anymore: the world is watching. It hasn’t been uncommon for Baker and me to make midnight errand runs…. in fact, it’s always kind of been our thing.  The other night, I needed to get out of the house, so we went to Target at about 9:00.  Neither of us thought twice about it, Finn isn’t sleeping at nine and he loves car rides.  We did our shopping (he graduated a size in diapers. My baby is growing up soo fast.) and got in the checkout lane.  Some guy (who, Baker later told me, had no chin) made some comment about us having a baby out “that late”. It’s a good thing that I didn’t hear that man because if I had…… well, let’s just say that a lack of sleep and an insult to my very new motherhood might not be a good mix….

But I didn’t hear him, so no one was hurt.

It did make me realize that I am no longer an island. I can no longer sneak into a store in my jammie pants because all eyes are on me. Every one wants to see the baby. Everyone wants to give you baby coupons. Everyone wants to do something that involves the baby, and me by default.

I am having some unexpected feelings lately. Mostly guilt.  I am Finn’s preferred person and I feel sooo damn guilty about that. I mean, he adores Baker (she can calm him like nobodies business) but I have the boobies, so I am basically instant gratification walking. And the guilt comes from feeling so good about these moments, and fearing that I am taking something away from Baker. She assures me that I am not, but I can’t help my feelings. I’m going to work on that.  I would talk to the counselor about it, but we aren’t seeing her anymore.  Why, you ask? Because she called me fat.

She was trying to explain addiction to me, and since I haven’t ever had any addiction issues, she tried to put it in terms of something I would understand. She went with “not being able to stop yourself from eating” because I “obviously have struggled with my weight”.

Bitch, please. You met me when I was 8 months pregnant. And then you called me fat two weeks after I had a baby. You have no idea what I look like “for real” so why would you, as a woman who has struggled with her own weight issues, assume that I have issues of my own.  Fuck her.  Yeah, I could lose the baby weight, but let my body stop bleeding and my cesarean heal up a bit before you put me on the effin treadmill, would you?

So, I’m not going to be talking to her again. I’ll hold a grudge, just watch me.

Here are a couple of pictures: The first is his week five photo. The second is one I took of Baker and Finn when he was two weeks old. 

Aren’t they beautiful?

February 21, 2011

That’s what she said

by The Oven

I just read Schroe’s pumping post, and I just want to say that I agree. I am not pumping nearly as much as she is, but I am so tired of the damn thing. Right now I am sitting up and Finn is sleeping in Bakers chest, and I know I should be sleeping, but it’s not happening. The tiredness is so all consuming, I can’t even bother to actualy link to schroedingerswomb.blogspot.com but she’s over there on my sidebar.

I love the cuddles and the sweetness that is this baby, but life is no longer the same. I fear leaving the house because it might require public breastfeeding.

My brain, for as slow as it feels, is going four times as fast as his stupid phone. I’m gonna say screw it and finish this post later.

February 11, 2011

howdy, strangers

by The Oven

So, being new moms is a lot tougher than I would have imagined.  I mean, we really lucked out and got the best baby in the world, but I can’t believe that it has already been three weeks. I have four main tasks: feed the baby, hold the baby, change the baby and sleep.  Showering has become optional (every three days or so) and eating is more hit or miss for me (I try, but I am sure I am not getting a very balanced diet.  We are working on that).  I have written the birth story, but it was four typed pages, so I want to whittle it down before posting it… I wanted to remember every last detail, but it might be a little mundane in some parts.  I can’t believe how quickly the details are fading from my mind already.  I think it has more to do with the sheer exhaustion (we hadn’t slept in 20 hours by the time we went into the hospital, so we were already tired when it started….. and the tiredness just got worse.)

I would like to thank my lucky stars that Finn is such a good baby. I can’t believe it.  I even had a mini meltdown the other day because he is so good, I was sure I was doing something wrong….. like, why doesn’t he cry at all?  I am assured that he is just a good baby (because he will cry if he needs something, he is just really easy to console.  Knock on wood.)

As a consolation prize, I want to post his weekly photos for you.  Here he is:

One week old

Two weeks old

Three weeks old

Can you believe how much he is already changing?

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