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Queer & Pregnant & Parenting - July, August, September, and now October! - Page 5

post #81 of 641
Thread Starter 

carmen -- sending you *hugs*.  

post #82 of 641
Carmen ... Oh no! No, no, no. I'm so sorry that you are going through this. I'll be thinking of you and your partner. If there is ANYTHING that I can do ... Let me know.
post #83 of 641

More preemie info (still coming strong on my facebook group)

1. A support group/page for preemie parents


2. A comment from a NICU nurse:

I'm a NICU nurse! I would probably hold off on the moby for now for two reasons- 1) at such an early gestational age it would be very difficult to get the baby and all of the extras in and out of the wrap. Skin to skin holding in an unbuttoned shirt is easiest. 2) I am SUCH a freak about things touching the hospital floor and I think it would be difficult to wrap without the tails dragging. She could pre wrap before going in but then she's committed to wearing it the whole time.
So! I luuuurrve ring slings in the NICU! Your friend could probably start wearing her baby once he or she is stable (not on a ventilator or CPAP, blood pressure is good, etc). She can ask her nurses about this. What's most important is the skin to skin time, in a sling or not :) as far as i know there is no literature or anything on wearing in the NICU but kangaroo care has proven benefits for preemies. Best wishes for your friend and her LO!
A few other preemie moms also said they used their ring slings instead of wraps in the NICU in order to avoid the floor and for ease of use.  There are tons of places to buy ring slings.  My favorite (and probably the most comfy) kind are wrap conversion ring slings, which are made from woven wraps rather than from linen fabric.  They can be kinda hard to find ready made, but PaxBaby.com has some here.  They take a bit of practice to use correctly.  Here are some videos.
3. A lovely comment from another mom: BTW 26 weeks and 2 lbs...way to go to mama! she did a great job growing that baby as long as she did :-) 2lbs is a great size for 26 weeks :-)
post #84 of 641

Carmen, I'm so, so sorry! I'm sending you and your partner hugs and love right now, and thinking of you both.


Amanda, thank you for all the tips. We have a ring sling and a panda wrap (a bamboo moby-style wrap) that we received second hand, but we have to wait to use anything for now. I simply pull the curtains and strip down on top and then DP wraps a receiving blanket around us. We had to hold off on KC for the past 2 days because his breathing was a bit off, and we had a nurse who was more conservative. It's really amazing how different the nurses can be. But we got a full hour today before his oxygen levels kept dropping below the line, which for him is a sign that he needs to head back into his isolette. Thanks too for sharing the comment from the other mom. We're so glad that he was a bit bigger than the average for his gestational age too! The videos and descriptions are wonderful. Thank you so much!


By the way, we've started a blog if anyone wants to follow along:


post #85 of 641
Oh Carmen, I'm so sorry. I hate this whole process sometimes (more often than not, and increasingly). I'll be thinking of you and your family. hug.gif
post #86 of 641

Oh, SH*T, Carmen.  I just posted earlier--didn't read anything at all. So I missed your post. I'm so sorry.  Between your news and the sweet but difficult photos of tiny Adair, I'm suddenly a weepy mess.  I just wish it were easier to bring these desperately loved little people into the world.  Hugs to you. grouphug.gif

post #87 of 641

Thanks for the link to your blog, dandy. I have to say that Adair does look strong! You are all so strong!


And thanks to everyone for the kind words. I'm sort of in shock I think. It seems quite impossible that this could be happening for the 5th time in a row. In some ways it's not shocking though which makes it even more sad for me. I will wait and see what happens but for now I'm just going to go into auto-pilot and get through the next couple of weeks. My DD needs me and I have realized recently that my reactions to this roller coaster are really affecting her and it's really not fair. I need to change that.

post #88 of 641
Carmen.... I'm so sorry. greensad.gif
post #89 of 641
Oh Carmen - such sad news. I'm so sorry. candle.gif I will continue to hope for you but understand your need to be pragmatic and consider the needs of your little girl too. It's so tough.
post #90 of 641
Hello everyone,
I am such a fair weather but have truly had rarely a moment for internet leisure time since this babe started growing. I'm 22 weeks now and in the middle of a 6 week break from uni so finally able to breathe a bit. The pregnancy is going really well - my horrible morning sickness resolved at about 16 weeks - about the same time I submitted my last piece of assessment - coincidence, I think not. Fortunately I was well for exams and managed to get pretty good end of semester grades. I am now one semester closer to my midwifery dream. It's pretty exciting.

Had a terrible moment this morning with my 3.5 yr old. He caught me completely off guard as we were all waking up and jumped on my belly. Without even thinking, I instantly smacked his bottom. We don't do any kind of physical punishment here and I instantly burst into tears and declared how sorry I was over, and over... as did he. He then crawled up and cuddled and kissed me a lot and told me he loved me but when I got really distressed (I have been super hormonal with this pregnancy) he got super angry/sad and told me that he doesn't want a baby and then he ran off and wouldn't speak to me for another hour. We've recovered since then but it was really awful. Up until now, he's been really excited about his new sibling.

Obviously there's no way I can attempt personals but I just want to send a shout out the little Adair and his parents - you are all in my thoughts. I'm glad to hear that everything is going in the right direction and thrilled that you are able to get breastmilk into him and are managing some kangaroo care but I know it's a long road and I wish you all well.

Congratulations to those others who have recently birthed lovely babes. I hope you're all feeling more loved up than you are exhausted.

I really truly intend to try and keep up for a bit now...I'm setting my intention!
post #91 of 641

Carmen, I'm so sorry.  So many hugs to you. xoxo


Sara- Thinking of you as you are in this tough time.  Hang in there. xoxo


Dandy- Thank you for sharing your blog.  I'm so glad you guys are getting some skin-to-skin time.  He is looking strong.  I'm so glad that he is getting great care.  I continue to think of all three of you and send you much love & strength as you ride this roller coaster.  xoxo


Nosreves - Thank you for your kind words about my artwork!  Yes, get back into it!  And congratulations to you on the ultrasound.  Looks awesome!!


We survived the family reunion in Kansas; it was 106 degrees the day we spent the entire day outside in a park.  Yikes!  My partner finally talked to his closest family members about being trans and how he will be the baby's papa, not mama.  I am so proud of him!  They were loving and accepting.  Let's just say that no one was surprised...it's pretty frickin obvious!  But you never know, and it was a scary, big step, so we are both feeling much relief!


Hugs to all of you.

post #92 of 641

Carmen, I'm so sorry you have to go through this and make these decisions right now.  But I'm sure your DD will benefit a lot from how much consideration you're giving to her needs, even if she doesn't always realize it.


Dandy, I hope you'll be able to use some carriers soon! I bet Adair loves every minute of kangaroo care he can get with you two.


Sara, please keep checking in with us. You don't seem like a b*tch to me, but like a human being who's having a hard time...


MujerMamaMismo, you did the right thing apologizing to your LO.  It's not important for him to think that his mother is perfect - but it IS important for him to learn that people make mistakes and admit they're wrong and apologize.  (Obviously it would be different if you were disciplining him over and over, but somehow I don't think that's the kind of parent you are.)


Planet, that's great that your partner was able to come out to his family! He should be very proud!  My own spouse isn't close with most of his bio-family, unfortunately, though he is out to his sister...


AFU, I'm getting excited about our trip up to Massachusetts in a month.  It'll be our first road trip with A and I want to make it a lot of fun for her!

I'm also dealing with some postpartum stuff myself, though, like occasional panic attacks, weird dreams and lack of sex drive.  It could be PTSD, not from A's birth really but from her illnesses, hospitalization and breastfeeding disasters afterwards. (Of course I know she's a huge healthy kid now, but the flashbacks can be rough anyhow, does that make sense?)  I have a good toolkit of coping strategies, but of course I will look for professional help if it gets too much.


Seems like there is a lot going on emotionally this month. I hope we can be gentle with ourselves!

post #93 of 641
Carmen ... Still thinking about you and your family. I hope today was okay, and that tomorrow will be better.

Planet ... I'm so glad to hear that your dp's coming out went so well! Whenwe were together,I flew to the UK with my ex to support his coming out to his family there, who'd done fine when he'd come out as a lesbian. But when he came out as trans, it went horribly. At one point his mother said that she wished he were an axe murderer in jail instead of being trans. And then she just said she wished he were dead, because she'd lost her daughter anyway, and now he just served as a cruel reminder of her lost child. His mom has since come around, and his father did his Christian best (with the help of his second wife) but it was really rough there for a long while. I'm so glad that it went so much more smoothly for your partner!

Dandy ... Thank you for sharing your blog! Adair is a handsome wee gaffer. I'm thinking of your family often and sending you positive thoughts and prayers.

Sara ... Hang in there, Mama! We're here for you! I don't have any experience with ppd myself, but I'm happy to be a part of your sounding board and help in any way that I can. Take care, and be gentle with yourself.

MMM ... Good for you for not brushing it under the carpet and addressing the situation head-on. Your LO will respect you all the much more for it, even if he's little now. That kind of reconciliation goes a long way to building deeper bonds with loved ones. We have all had hard days and messy situations as parents ... Good for you for apologizing. We should all be so thoughtful.

Glasses ... Good that you know to turn to the professionals if you get overwhelmed. I hope your emotions smooth out soon.

AFM: H took his first step today, towards a plate of strawberries! He is an absolute joy. So happy and easy going and generally delightful and fun to be around. And huge! Haven't weighed him lately, but I'm going to guess 23 pounds or so. And only nine months! He has the most gorgeous brown eyes ... I could stare at them all day long. E is sprouting into a genuine kid. She's smart and funny and has an imagination to rival Tolkein's. We're joining a homelearner's forest meet-up this week and music lessons with the orchestra school of music in the fall. She's having a blast with the kids in the co-op. They had a lemonade stand today!

***the following mentions death and loss ... If you're feeling tender, skip it*** Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
AFM: I had typed out a big weepy update but then my iPad ate it. The short version is that my dear, dear friend is dying from cancer, and will be leaving behind three girls, aged 11, 18 & 20. It's so hard to watch her body fail her. I met her when I was a teen and her eldest was two. I helped her raise the oldest girls when she was a single mom dealing with MS. I attended her youngest daughter's home birth (baby arrived before the midwife did!). She has been my parenting inspiration, and who I learned everything I know about attachment parenting from.

I sit with her, and hold her hand, and stroke her cheek and wash her body and tell her that I love her and will be there for her girls, and all the while inside I am screaming. This is wrong. Unfair. Grossly cruel. She is in so much pain, and her girls are bewildered and scared and full of suffocating sadness. And it's sparked old anxiety in me about dying before my children are grown, or losing my dp or children. I think about death way too often, which is unusual for me. As a paramedic, I deal with it every day, but this is hitting so much harder. I've been with dozens of people as they die, but losing K is ten times worse than them all combined. I'm scared for my children, that they will lose one of us, and the other won't be able to cope. It's irrational, but what I'm going through nonetheless.
post #94 of 641

Thanks again, everyone. I have taken the week off work (I might go in one day on Thursday) and it's been the best decision. I had an acupuncture appointment today that was really good and summer has finally arrived in Vancouver. I'm really trying hard not to think about the fact that this pregnancy will likely end soon and that I'm at a loss as to what to do next. When I ignore all that I'm pretty good so I've decided to ignore it until next Thursday when my next u/s is. I have very little hope but I need to wait until I know 100% before I let myself mourn. I sometimes feel like people are shaking their heads behind my back and saying I deserve it because I'm 41 and I shouldn't be having a baby. And sometimes I feel that way myself. But my heart physically aches when I think about our DD not having a sibling. And our home not being filled with more children. I definitely don't feel old and I absolutely don't feel "done."


Starling, I'm so sorry to hear you are losing a friend. hug2.gif That must be so hard to watch. And I can relate to the panic around dying and leaving your children - I lost my dad when I was 4 and my mom when I was 32 and it was very hard on me....as an older parent I often worry about leaving Skylar alone too young. Big hugs to you and I hope your friend is surrounded by peace and love...it sounds like she is.

post #95 of 641

MMM - thinking about you in bed this morning. last month DD and i were visiting my grandparents. they have the SWEETEST cat and DD is used to picking her up and carrying her around. but, this kitty is now expecting. when DD reached around her belly to pick up her up, she screamed and swiped at DD, drawing blood. this is not characteristic of this sweet kitty at all. i have to wonder how much of your reaction was mama mammal. be gentle with yourself!

post #96 of 641

Thank you, thank you for all your wonderful thoughts and love. It means the world to me to have you all here.


Carmen, I just wanted to send you a hug. You do not deserve this, and I truly hope that no one in your life is thinking that of you. Wanting to bring another child into this world with love and open arms is a precious thing. Wanting another little one in our lives is in no way selfish, but an expanding of our hearts and our generosity of love. xo


Starling, love and hugs to you too on this journey with your friend. I'm so very sorry.

post #97 of 641

Dandy: Hoping your day with little Adair goes well.


MMM: Starling put it beautifully (as usual). Your reaction was understandable and your response was thoughtful and loving.  Please try not to be too hard on yourself.


Carmen: Glad you are taking the week off and taking things one day at a time.  There is no way that you deserve this. I know the feeling of one not being enough...it haunted me for years until I convinced (coerced? ugh) DP into having a second.  It is a powerful ache, and I know that you'll find a way to complete your family.


Whoabethy: How are you feeling today?


Isa: Happy BIRTHDAY! Hope it was a great one yesterday.


Starling: Amazing that H took his first steps already! And toward strawberries, no less. I love it. I'm enjoying your blog posts.  The account of all your friends showing up at the park made me miss Berkeley and our friends there. We just don't have that kind of community here, though I'm working on it one step at a time.  I've made several new local friends lately that I'm hoping will become closer friends with time.  It is clear that you appreciate how good you've got it. smile.gif


Your words (even the second time around) about your dear friend are so raw and heartfelt; it is somehow as if dying didn't, in fact, happen every day.... It shows that every loss really is unique for the people whom it affects.  I ache for her poor daughters and for you, for whom she has been a profound influence and source of support and meaning in your life. I'm so very sorry. I wish there were some way to stop time and to make a plea that it isn't her time yet, that she has too much to do and too many people to love. Your being there for her and her daughters is a profound gift. I hope your anxiety abates. There is nothing more frightening than thoughts of being forced to leave our own children.  Goosebumps and tears just thinking about it for a moment.  Wish I could give you a big, tight, long hug.


Sara: How are you today?


Glasses: Your trip sounds exciting.  It totally makes sense to be struggling with the effects of a traumatic transition to parenting, especially with really bad breastfeeding problems. I'm glad you are being gentle with yourself and monitoring how much help you need.


AFM: Well, this seems trivial at the moment, but I ordered a delightful cake for Lilah's party on Sunday.  She won't be one until the 24th, but this is the last weekend we'll be in town until late August, so we're having a small party in our back yard on Sunday afternoon.  I'm remembering the cake Starling made for her DD and wondering whether I should have been more ambitious and done my own, but this is my way of doing something special, and I'll be making lots of other food.  It will be vanilla cake with fresh raspberry filling and buttercream frosting, decorated with polka dots and daisies and a big #1. I ordered it from the pastry chef at the local cafe where I work about 3 afternoons each week in the summer.  I'm headed over there shortly, in fact.


Cosleeping is getting harder, since Lilah is rolling and thrashing around a lot all of a sudden. I'm hoping it is a stage. 


I managed to finish revising a manuscript chapter. I'm happy with the chapter but frustrated with how slow it is going. 

Edited by AmandaHope - 7/11/12 at 11:00am
post #98 of 641

Carmen: I am so sorry. I will remain hopeful for you and your family.


Ahope: Can you believe our babies are almost 1?


Starling: Walking? Holy moly that is insane. H isn't even close! babies are so different

post #99 of 641

Yellow: Hi!  How is baby H?  Is he pulling up? Cruising? It is amazing how different they all are. Zoe didn't walk until 14 months.  Lilah isn't in a rush, either.  She can zoom up the stairs and loves to pull up and stand, but she isn't trying to take steps at all. 

post #100 of 641
Thanks everyone - I feel like I did the right thing is my approach to apologising - I just wish I hadn't lost it so badly and alienated him after the fact. He spent that whole day telling me he didn't want a baby but he's back to loving my belly and talking proudly about being a big brother and is currently very big on listing everyone in our family, including the baby. I think we're fully recovered now. God I love him - so intensely that I think it's going to swallow me up, lately!
and whoabetty - I suspect you're right about that primal instinct. Certainly there was no conscious thought in my action and though there have been times where I've felt like throwing the kid out the window, I've always had the presence of mind not to!

- glad you're finding a way to move through these difficult days. I wish you weren't having the self admonishing thoughts that you are but I understand how difficult it is to avoid that stuff. You're still in my thoughts.

S&D - Such sadness and tragedy but how wonderful that you are able to be present to your friend and reflect so beautifully and loyally on what a deep and lasting influence she has had on your life. That legacy will remain and is such a gift. Life is just so unfair sometimes.

- keep sharing how you're feeling. Even in you're physically distant from good support, don't be afraid to reach out here, where everyone, I'm positive, is happy and willing to hear you.

Planet - wow, that sounds big. I'm glad it's over for you and that it was a generally positive experience!

AmandaHope - it took until my son turned 3 for me to brave making a birthday cake. I made a Martha Stewart monkey which was relatively easy and still took up the better part of a day. And it cost a fortune in ingredients. I'm not sure that I'll do it again! We all bring different things to parenting and cake making doesn't have to be part of our repertoire in order to be a good parent!

Glasses - sounds like you're across your postpartum stuff and won't let it sneak up on you. That's great! Sometimes this stuff is unavoidable, isn't it? I hope you can move through it with the least amount of trauma and maximum growth.

A question - How are you all dealing with explaining your kids donor/conception to them? At 3.5, I had imagined that our DS would be well versed in how he came about but he has zero interest or understanding. We haven't pushed it, or really even made any real effort to bring it up but I'm surprised that this kid - who is super articulate and curious - hasn't asked anything. He talks about Daddies often but never asks why he hasn't got one. Is it irresponsible of me not to be putting more energy into it?
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