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Mothering › Groups › August 2012 Birth Club › Discussions › SPOTLIGHT ON..... Desert Sunsets!!!!

SPOTLIGHT ON..... Desert Sunsets!!!!

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

DesertSunsets, this is your spotlight thread! 

People can ask you questions, and you can answer (or not, your choice). Or you can just share if you want to. It's up to you!


To get the ball rolling, here are a few starter questions!


  1. Backstory! Tell us about you, where you came from, how you got to where you are now. 
  2. What are you craving right now?
  3. If someone handed you $1000, no strings attached, what would you do with it?
  4. What's your favorite type of soup?
  5. Talk about your house a little-- are you happy where you live? Best part about your house? Worst?


post #2 of 17


I grew up in a small town in southern AZ and moved to Tucson to go to the U of A for sign language interpreting.  My wife and I met in roller derby when we were 18 (we are 25 now).  We got married in California in '08.  We did it more as an excuse to go to the beach than for the marriage license since AZ doesn't recognize it, but it has come in handy since then.  She is a tech in a lab that diagnoses skin cancer and I am a technical director at a theater that hosts touring shows (even though it doesn't use my degree). We were foster parents for a year and a half, it was both rewarding and heartbreaking. We decided that we were ready to have our own family and were finally successful in conceiving after 5 cycles using frozen donor sperm at home. 


Right now I am craving chocolate.  Anything with chocolate.  Luckily I had some gluten-free chocolate chip cookie dough, so it is baking while I type!


$1000- We just bought a Honda CR-V that was a bit more than we could afford, so it would go to that. 


My favorite soup is chicken and dumplings. I've eaten a lot more soup lately than I normally do, but it's just too warm here to want chicken and dumplings. 


Our house is a newer house in an older neighborhood.  I think they tore down the old house and built this one on the same foundation which made a few things sort of odd.  Like the toilet that is too far from the wall. I like it inside. It is very colorful and fun. I do not like it outside.  We are in a constant war against weeds and they are winning. We really need to get it under control before the monsoon season starts and all hope is lost. 



post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

My husband and I want to foster too at some point.  But it will have to wait now. 


What do you like most about Tuscon?

Do you find your ASL skills are fading a bit if you don't use them for work?  Will you sign with the baby?

Are you and your wife doing any home improvements to prep for the baby?

post #4 of 17

I think we will probably foster again in the future.  Maybe once our kiddos are teenagers.  My inlaws were foster parents when DW was 4 (I think) and then again when she was a teenager and it seemed to be a bit smoother when she was older. 



I'm not sure what my favorite thing about Tucson is...  The scenery can be pretty great.  We actually had a spring this year so I got to spend lots of time outside. We really just stay here for family.  My parents live about 2 miles from us and my in-laws are in Phoenix. 


My ASL skills are fading quickly.  I actually had a meeting today with a deaf student and an interpreter and realized just how much skill I have lost.  We are definitely going to sign with the baby, DW learned when she was in high school so she still remembers enough.  We used it with our foster kids and it was fun. 


We aren't doing any real improvements, just lots of cleaning and organizing.  We are talking about making the office into a guest room so MIL can come stay with us a bit. 

post #5 of 17

We fostered for a while, but the system is seriously messed up!!!


What is the hardest part of your pregnancy so far?  your favorite?


What has been the most unexpected thing about your pregnancy?


What have you bought and what do you still need to buy for baby?


What are your birth plans?


And why has no one else commented????

post #6 of 17

I agree- the system is messed up.  It made it so much harder when you feel like you are fighting against the people who are supposed to be protecting these kids. 


The hardest part of my pregnancy is how tired I always am. It was worse in the first tri, but I'm still tired all day, every day.  My favorite part has been feeling her kick (except when it is in the bladder!).


The most unexpected thing for me has been how I'm handling it physically.  I really thought I would be a little better, but I am not doing well with being less physically able. 


I think the only thing we *need* still is new car seats.  Having foster kids really helped us know what is necessary and what is just extra.  Plus we still have a lot of the small things left. 


We are going through a birth center that has 7 (I think) midwives.  You get who ever is on call when you go into labor.  I'm not thrilled about not having a consistent midwife, but I prefer it over the alternative.  They have rights at the hospital, so if there are any complications and you need to be transfered, you stay in their care. We are taking also Bradley classes.

post #7 of 17

If you could live anywhere (family aside) where would you go??


You mentioned gluten-free cookies-- are you and your DW gluten free?  if so, why?  And do you have any cookbooks or blogs that you can recommend on the topic?

post #8 of 17

So awesome about teaching the baby ASL...my brother-in-law is deaf, so my husband speaks ASL - I'm so excited to teach the baby (and learn myself)!


My question: I keep seeing "we have a blog" in your signature, so...where is it?  orngtongue.gif

post #9 of 17
Originally Posted by DesertSunsets View Post


...We were foster parents for a year and a half, it was both rewarding and heartbreaking. We decided that we were ready to have our own family and were finally successful in conceiving after 5 cycles using frozen donor sperm at home. 


Ahh, I'm just starting to read these spotlights, and wish I had been doing so sooner!!


What an experience you must have gotten from the foster parenting.... I had always thought to give it a shot before having our own, but now that ship has passed.  Maybe someday still.....


So did you conceive using the at-home "turkey baster" method (which I know nothing about but find very interesting!)?  It sounds very DIY, is that true?  Or was there a lot of medical prep involved (such as taking hormone shots, etc. as people do for in-vitro)?

post #10 of 17

If we could move anywhere Portland, OR and Seattle, WA have always been on the top of our list.  Lately we've been thinking it would be nice to live somewhere that recognized our marriage and family.  Maybe the west coast of Canada. 


I have been gluten free for about 4 years.  I was having a lot of stomach problems that were only partially solved with meds and some other health problems that are symptoms of Celiac Disease.  I went gluten free on a whim without being tested and it helped a lot, but it means I can't actually be tested without eating it again.  I really, really hate gluten free cook books. I make a lot of desserts out of The Dessert Bible.  The author explains so much of the science behind it that it is really easy to make substitutions.  


About the blog- I think DW just put the link on our profile so people would have to actually look for it instead of it being plastered on everything.  http://twomothersmcgill.blogspot.com/  We also had one from when our horse was unexpectedly pregnant a few years back if anyone likes horses or has too much time on their hands http://adventureswithequines.blogspot.com/


Hmmm... whenever I am asked about how we actually conceived it is hard to find a good balance between satiating peoples' curiosity and over sharing, so here it goes! We conceived at home with frozen donor sperm from a bank.  We did BBT charting and tracked other fertility signs, along with ovulation predictor kits.  My DW is not squeamish about things like this so we did actual intra-cervical inseminations (ICI).  Speculum, catheter, and all.  We had planned on doing one intra-uterine (IUI) each cycle as well, but we were only successful once, every other cycle just ended up with 2 ICIs. We didn't use any meds, and it took us 5 cycles to conceive. So it was very DYI, but not to the point  of a blind, stick it in and shoot it up there approach.  If we had used a fresh donor we probably would have since there is so much more... um... product, but the vials from the bank are only 0.5-1cc and we didn't want to waste any! It was definitely a very interesting experience and I'm glad we were able to do it without medical help.

post #11 of 17

I love the PNW.... always thought of it as a great area to live....


Thank you so much for sharing your experience with conceiving at home...and congrats!!  I find it very encouraging to hear of women who have had success with this - especially those who may not have many other options available to them - although I've never been in a position to hear their story first-hand (apologies if I put you on the spot!).  I'm hoping to someday see my BF and her GF start their own family and I was naive of what they could be capable of accomplishing on their own without the more 'standard' medical interventions....


Love your blog too... thanks for sharing!

post #12 of 17

Very interesting to me too.

post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 

Desert, I agree about it being a cool story.  I'm glad NewMum was willing to ask.  I get nervous because I've heard people who struggle with infertility complain about people asking really invasive questions and really so much of it is all personal (I mean, no one asks me what position my husband and I conceived in, so it feels weird to ask you guys how you did it, you know?).  Very cool story and good to know that it doesn't always require tons of freaking doctors in lab coats running around. 


I also love your blog.  Very sweet and I love how you and your wife trade off writing.  My husband would laugh me out of the room so it wouldn't be an option for us but it'll be such a cool thing to share with your daughter.


How did you get into horses?  (I've always loved them but think of them primarily as sort of foreign and expensive)

If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?

post #14 of 17

Thanks for the tact in asking about our TTC journey.  We are probably open about it to a fault, but every once and a while someone asks in a way that annoys me so I say something.... snarky, maybe?  I've had more than one person ask if it is planned. Um... yeah. I'm gay. Its not like I just fell and landed on some sperm. A lot of people have been surprised we didn't go through a doctor and just did it at home, so we ask them where their children were conceived (or where they were, if they don't have children yet)!  We started young so we wouldn't have to worry about age-related infertility.  NewMum- If your friend does decided to start trying, there is a great forum on MDC in Queer Parenting.  There is tons of knowledge and support!


Also, thanks for the nice things about our blog.  I'm always intimidated by writing where it can be compared to DW.  She is much more of a writer than I am, but we've been working on ways to have our writing complement each other more and it has been fun.  We also write in a journal that is actually to the baby.  I am happy it is all being documented.


Back to the questions-

Horses were imposed on me by DW.  As I said, I grew up in a small town and I knew lots of people with horses, but never really got into it myself.  When I met DW in college she had a horse and it has all gone from there.  Most of my experience came from Rose, the mama horse in the blog.  She was a race horse and was the sweetest horse I have ever met in my life... when you weren't riding her.  When she was being ridden, she was all work, all the time, and to her, work meant fast. So it was an adrenaline filled experience!  We technically still have one horse, but he lives with a friend of ours about an hour and a half away. Our friend is a vet and he has some health issues so it is the best arrangement. 


If I could have any job, I think I would want to have a gluten-free bakery. Unfortunately someone just opened one in Tucson, so I don't think that will happen any time soon. 

post #15 of 17

Was it planned?  LOL>  I hate that questions myself and there is nothing extra I have to do.  I can imagine how it must annoy you!

post #16 of 17
Nice to meet you, DesertSunsets! Thanks for sharing so much about yourself. My sister also studied ASL and has forgotten a lot of it but for some reason the signs all come back to her if she signs to music! Its a good skill to have and I hear interpreters are in high demand and make good money.

If you are interested in sharing, I'd love to know how you and your wife decided who would carry the baby/ be pregnant. I hope this is ok to ask. If me and DH could choose who would carry the baby, my vote would go to him lol!!!
post #17 of 17

youngspiritmom you made us both laugh. Thanks!  


As DW just pointed out to me, it all came down to time off. We both wanted to carry (although not at the same time), but her lab is too small to qualify for FMLA and they told her she would have to take a unpaid leave of absence after 2 weeks.  We couldn't afford that so I am going first.  Hopefully by the time we try for #2 we are in a place for her to just be a SAHM, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it.  


So far I'm happy to have this experience, but I'm very happy that she has to do it next time!

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