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Queer and Newborn! - Page 2

post #21 of 204
Weighing in on the pet question-

I'm not sure that my experience is representative, because my dog is such a low-maintenance old man, but I've found the whole thing really manageable. He definitely got less attention for the first six or eight weeks. But then, so did pretty much everyone else in my life. At some point, however, I came to realize that rather than dreading the additional chore of walking him around the block, I began to look forward to it. Our thrice-daily walks became a time to unwind, just a little bit, and take a break from all the people helping me to take care of the baby. (Don't get me wrong- it's amazing that I've had all these people, including my mother, helping. Sometimes, though, you just need a break. Or, I did at least.) Sometimes I leave the baby with whoever is in the house (mom, DP, friend). Sometimes I put her in her carrier and take her with me. Sometimes we stop along the way and have spontaneous conversations with people. Sometimes I use the time to call old friends on my cell phone. Sometimes I don't talk to anyone at all, I just breathe and walk and have a little me time. Now that it's getting colder, our walks have gotten shorter, and it is definitely more of a hassle to get the kid bundled up to take a brief walk. However, I've discovered that if I put her in her carrier in her regular clothes (not bothering with the huge fleecy bear suit, etc.) and then zip her into my own oversized sweatshirt, that makes the whole thing much easier.

Recently, she's started actually interacting a bit with the dog, and it's really cool. She reaches out to touch him, and stares and drools at him. He often hangs out under her bouncy chair, and seems to want to be around her. It's neat- I'm looking forward to teaching her about taking care of another living being.

But like I said, we're talking one geriatric chihuahua who would rather sleep than take a walk. No judgement on anyone else's situation.
post #22 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by smartycat View Post
We do get really annoyed when people ask us if we are getting rid of any of the pets. And while I understand that some pets are not safe to be around children, rehoming pets because they are no longer "convenient" is a sore spot for me. We have worked pretty extensively with a local dog rescue group and rehoming because people just don't want to deal with a baby and a pet is a real issue. Maybe I just don't get it yet because our baby is not here yet, but it breaks my heart to see people turn their backs on their pets.
Well in our case, our friend who works at the shelter that we got the problem cat from has been encouraging us to return her to the shelter to be re-homed for years. She's never been a good fit with the other pets here and she'd probably be a lot happier as an only child. But even with that assurance it still feels like a horrible thing to do - particularly knowing that it'll be hard to re-home her because of her age and feisty-ness...and we all know what happens to animals who sit at shelters for too long

But all that said, the pheromones (feliway) arrived this afternoon and it's already a whole lot more peaceful here - so maybe we're onto something.
post #23 of 204
we have one dog, a mutt that we "rescued" from dp's family in the country, where they don't believe in getting the pack of outdoors dogs fixed (there is always a new batch of puppies when we visit). i will admit that she does not get nearly as much attention as she did pre-baby. walks are a hit or miss, mostly miss as we both work full-time.

we can't have her and our son in the family room at the same time because he pesters her constantly and while she is very submissive (i'm the alpha) and tolerates him, she always looks so pitiful. as soon as he's napping or asleep for the night, she comes in and hangs out with us. our son LOVES the dog. his first word was dog and he can say her name. we think once he's older and isn't pulling her ears and poking her nose and trying to catch her wagging tail it will be more fun for both of them.

we never considered getting rid of her. but i know everyone has their own lives to live and i certainly can understand why that would be the case for others. it is a lot of work with a newborn (until you've been there you don't know how much) and if you have needy or misbehaving pets it would definitely be tough to manage it all.

g
post #24 of 204
We only have two cats.

One took to sleeping in the co-sleeper for week before and the week after baby's arrival. Then, once she noticed we were ignoring her sleeping in it, she stopped. She now tends to sleep in the rocker if we don't put a big pillow in it. This means she sometimes gets sat on in the middle of the night, for which we are rewarded with an offended "MEOW!" but if she'd just move, she wouldn't have to be offended...

The other sort of approaches warily, sniffs and backs away once E moves. The look on her face is kind of "oh jeez, why are you doing this to us AGAIN?!"

Mostly they seek out the adults for attention, and take every opportunity to get on our laps when there is not a baby in them. (Like right this very second.) the first also seeks attention from our 4yo who has finally gotten mostly gentle and appropriate with his cat petting.

All in all I believe they are doing very well with the new one... but we are going out of our way to love them up when we can.

A certain 3-week-old is getting a little fed up with the bouncy chair and staring at the Christmas tree, so I have to dump the cat off of my lap now...

eta: Angela I'm with you on the carrier under the coat thing. My maternity coat has transitioned into a baby-wearing coat. Slip child into Moby, zip coat over whole thing.
post #25 of 204
Thread Starter 
This Mama and MMM: I certainly meant no offense to your particular situations. I guess I was mostly talking out some of my thoughts and concerns. It is a big concern for us. We have 5 dogs and 5 cats who are very much a big part of our family. And I realize that there may very well be a couple of them that don't adjust to the baby and I will feel horrible if we have to re-home them... it just goes against everything I have previously stood for.

My whole life has been dedicated to helping animals, though I don't quite think of myself as an animal "zealot" or one who thinks of them as "children". And I get that having a new human in your life will change the dynamic. When Quasar moved in with me, I had 2 dogs and 4 cats. When I lived by myself for the 10 years before I met Quasar, my animals were a huge part of my life and my emotional well being. They were who I came home to... my family. Once I had Quasar, that dynamic changed. It wasn't an overnight thing, or where I shunned them... I definitely loved them very much still, but I did notice that there was a shift. And I assume there will be a shift again once the baby comes... actually I think the pets might shift more towards me and away from Quasar (or maybe that is just my insecurity that the baby won't bond with me as much as Quasar... that's a whole other topic...).

And I appreciate everyone's views on this... not just the ones that agree with me. We want to hear the good, the bad and the ugly... because with 10 pets, we are probably going to experience a little of each and then some.
post #26 of 204
Thread Starter 
oh and MMM... if the Feliway doesn't completely do the trick, consider using Prozac. I know prozac has a bad connotation, but it really does help reduce anxiety in cats. PM me if you want any additional info.
post #27 of 204
Thank you for this thread smartycat!

I thought I'd jump in on the pet convo...

I have 2 dogs and 2 cats and before Phoebe was born we were very much conscious of giving them extra attention and letting them smell the new baby stuff and DP even came home from the hospital before Phoebe and I did, just so they could smell Phoebe before she was actually in the house. I thought things would be just fine and dandy, but being on maternity leave all alone with Phoebe and the dogs, that need to be walked because we do not have a back yard made it impossible and was very, very frustrated with the animals. I tried really hard to keep reminding myself that they don't understand that it's difficult and I can't get angry with them and after about 3 weeks, I warmed up and got into a good routine. After all, I have a baby monitor. I just ended up shortening their walks to just letting them do their business and when DP got home every evening, she took them for their long walk.

Phoebe is 2 months old now and everyone is adjusting well.

I've posted it before, but here is her website

www.totsites.com/tot/phoebejoy

My question to all the queer parents (and parents-to-be if you're reading this ) is why did you choose your baby's name? What special meaning does it have to you, and are you happy with your choice?

I had a hard time choosing a name for Phoebe. I had it narrowed down to 3 names DP and I loved which were:

Gwendolyn, Charlotte, and Phoebe.

Well we kept seeing the name Phoebe everywhere and hearing things about the name so we took that as a sign. I am very happy with our decision. The names never meant anything more that us just loving the names because they're not too common.

Her middle name is Joy...that is my middle name and my mother's so I thought I'd keep it going, plus it sounds great together.

Again, I'm so happy we have this thread....yay for support beyond pregnancy!
post #28 of 204
We have 2 dogs and 1 cat....the dogs just adore the baby and the cat could actually careless. It was more of my mom who put visions of stephen kings CatEye movie in my mind with cats and people breath being stolen...anywho.. the issue hasnt even been one. I must admit we were alot more protective in the first inital weeks and were always telling the dogs to be "careful" and "watch out buddy" alot more. We do co sleep with our dogs(not baby) so they still get some of the bonding time with us. I think its just the evoultion of the family. I think I posted this before but here is our min pin with lexie:

http://i283.photobucket.com/albums/k.../Alexis055.jpg
post #29 of 204
We've got two dogs, one cat-who-thinks-he's-a-dog (loves truck rides, comes camping with us, hangs out with 'his' dogs) and a baby one the way, due in February.

Our big old dog is not going to be a problem. Sailor is like AngelaM's dog, only 80 lbs heavier. She might have a problem with a toddler, but I doubt it. And I kinda doubt she'll still be around come then. Right now though, she's so tolerant of the puppy, it's pathetic. Jasper chews on her ears and gnaws on her game leg (cancer) and yanks at her other game leg (mauling) and Sailer just sighs, gives a half hearted verbal scolding, gets up and moves to another bed.

Jasper is seven months old, and we've been training him from the start in preparation for the baby. Tugging on his tail, poking him, taking away his bones and toys unannounced, that sort of thing. He's doing great so far. We've also been super strict about leash training him, which we haven't always done being that we live rurally, and he's doing well with that too. We have a large yard, which I am eternally thankful for.

The cat is thrilled with his new room (the nursery). He loves the rocker, especially, and the new, plushy rug. We were given a crib, and I'm betting that Zephyr (the dog-cat) is the only creature who will ever sleep in it, being that we plan to co-sleep.

Our animals are family. They ain't goin' nowhere. It'll all work out.

ps. I'll let you know in a few months how things are going ...
post #30 of 204
So anyone wanna talk about babywearing? I wore my 5 year old a lot, but this time as I'm doing the solo mama thing I've gotten a lot more proficient at it. I use a ringsling sometimes but mostly I wrap. If my babe is fussy and nothing else works, putting her up on my back in a wrap is a guaranteed cry stopper. I figured out how to nurse in the wrap also pretty early on which has been a lifesaver. I don't think I've hauled out my stroller once in like the last four months.
post #31 of 204

Yay for babywearing!

Funny, thismama, because I actually just wrote a whole blog post about this.

I wear Ocean everywhere. We actually went on a trip to Florida last month and horrified people by not even bringing a stroller with us. But, it was just so much easier to carry her.

I don't really do the sling thing, because the uneven weight distribution isn't great for my shoulders. For long walks, I love her Babyhawk, and for just hanging out in the house, we use a Moby.

It's funny how odd people seem to think it is sometimes. I get really odd looks when I'm out with her and there's no stroller in sight.
post #32 of 204
Aww that's such a great entry Angela. I love your Babyhawk!! The pics are gorgeous.

Yeah babywearing is a lifesaver I find, and it really has become such an integral part of my parenting style this time around. I've been spending some time on thebabywearer.com, and although a lot of the posts are about obsessing over getting a crazy amount of carriers, there is also a TON of information and skill building stuff on there. I've become a total wrapper, I wrap every day for sure, other than my ringsling for quick carries I don't really reach for anything else. And how nice it is to be stroller free! I rarely use mine at all anymore, so nice. My LO is like 21 lbs now as well and she is super comfy to wear on my back.
post #33 of 204
I'm glad to see this thread! It's rare for me to get computer time without a breastpump or a baby in my lap, so I read a lot more than I can respond, but hopefully I can participate a little!

pets: We have 3 yorkies. DP had 2 of them when we started dating, and the third is their puppy. (DP's parents have the other 2 from the litter.) The puppy has always been very close to me and she was totally my baby. I often said I couldn't love her more if I had her myself, and I still love her very much but it changed when the babies came. The dogs have not gotten as much attention (obviously, as we now have 3 infants in the house!) but of course they are fed and watered and let outside and we try to make sure we cuddle and pet them as much as we can. They don't get brushed as much and we just apologize profusely and tip the groomer well. I feel a little guilty but I know it will get better as the babies get older. However, my puppy LOVES these babies. She is very protective and careful around them. When I was pregnant, she stuck to me constantly, especially right before I had to go into the hospital on bedrest - she knew something was happening! When we let the dogs out of the crate, she runs around and sniffs each baby as if she is counting them. I have had pets my entire life and I want my children to experience that kind of unconditional love, and caring for another being.

choosing names: We had an easy time with the girls because I chose Sage about 7-8 years ago, and I knew that would be the name of my first daughter. DP has always loved the name Jillian for a girl. DP chose our son's name (Levi) and I had veto power. I wasn't in love with the name until I knew the meaning, which is "joined" or I've seen in some places, "joined in harmony" - it seemed fitting, since they are triplets and because our family cannot be joined legally.

babywearing: It is a little unrealistic for me to go stroller-free, but I wear mine around the house if I need to get something done when they're awake, and I wear one and take the double stroller when I go out with them alone. I love it and so do they!
post #34 of 204

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays and New year to all the new and to be mom's!! It was a year ago today we found out we were pregnant with our wonderful daughter Alexis. So naturally this year has twice the magic. Wishing you and yours the best year ever!! Stay warm:
post #35 of 204
Thread Starter 
Any of you have adorable X-mas baby photos to share? Me wants to see cute babies
post #36 of 204
post #37 of 204
I will put mine up and post a link in a bit! Off to check out Jen's.
post #38 of 204
post #39 of 204
Thread Starter 
Ack, lack of access to photo sharing sites at work puts a damper in my MDC viewing pleasure.
post #40 of 204
Thread Starter 
Alexis is sooo cute. That is an awesome Santa you found! I think the reason that I think Alexis is so cute is that she looks like my dad. No offence, but I think it is funny how little babies look like old men. I guess it is just the circle of life... start out bald and toothless... end up bald and toothless. :

Jen, your link didn't work for me... just took me to my facebook account.
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