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The Queer & Pregnant thread - January/February 2008! - Page 2

post #21 of 137
Hi guys,

I shouldn't really bother joining, but just wanted to briefly be part of this group. I'm pregnant with our third child, who was due on the 13th so I shouldn't have more than another week to be part of the pregnant queer thread!

I'm hoping for a VBAC so have been tryign acupuncture, evening primose oil and every old wives tale about labour encouragement ever, not even a niggle yet though, I'll have an elective c section towards the end of next week if nothing happens by then but I'm hopeful something will.

Our sons are so excited and really want the baby to come out! We are having a surprise so they can't wait to see if it is a girl or a boy.
post #22 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by snoopy13 View Post
that means that I "pass" as male a lot of the time, especially with people who are less familiar with what dykes can look like! I still use the womens rest room but i often get shit for it... I'm not actually sure I'm "mama" identified, I'm definitely not a lady... guess I'll see how it feels when the kid is here. I identify as somewhere between butch and trans -- I don't have a preferred pronoun, for example.
Oh right, yeah that makes sense. People get confused with me occasionally, which always surprises me. People are just so goddamn ignorant.

I've found it really weird being pregnant just because it seems like such a feminine state to be in, and I totally don't identify with being feminine. It's been a real process for me. And all of the pregnancy magazines/books etc are so stereotyped that it's impossible for me to feel like part of the general pregnant community, if that makes sense. It's been such a long time since I felt on the outer like this that it's taken me by surprise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by snoopy13 View Post
wow, thanks for sharing that with me. it stopped progressing for a few days and then today it escalated in my left hand and up my right leg... it's super weird but there's nothing they'd be able to do (even like an MRI) in the first trimester anyway. It's not painful or anything, just annoying. I'm going to the neurologist on Wednesday, so that's good, I like him a lot.

did you go through all that when you had your child in your life already, or was it before that? how often does it come and go? Did you have a "flare up" after delivery? hope the questions are ok, and feel free to PM me if you'd prefer.
I don't mind the questions at all! Ali wasn't born - or conceived - when all the tests etc were being done. I think it would have been hard to do both simultaneously. 2 such big and very different foci. And I actually wasn't pregnant with Ali, Annie was, so I'm not much help on the questions re symptoms during and post delivery.

I find my symptoms get much worse when I'm stressed with work or something, and probably phase in and out over a period of several months. It's most severe when I'm sleeping - sometimes I wake up to completely numb arms and legs (not at all related to sleeping position), which can be quite painful while the feeling is slowly creeping back & going through full on pins and needles etc. Because it's not so bad when I'm awake (as long as I'm not spending too much time on computers) I don't find it interferes with looking after Ali at all.

I haven't noticed any particular change with pregnancy though, unlike you from the sounds? I don't think anything I've said is particularly useful for you though? Sorry!


Quote:
Originally Posted by snoopy13 View Post
We're going for my first ultrasound 2/1, which is just 8 weeks into it, so i think it's too early to see a beating heart, right? I was thinking to ask them to hold off a few weeks if the only purpose is to nail down due date -- as we've pretty much got that nailed down due to our certainty about when we inseminated!! but on the other hand, to be able to confirm that there's the right kind of development happening in there, even this early on, would be great.
I had a dating scan at a similar time and you could hear the heart beat. Doesn't it start beating at about week 6, or have I made that up?! I was surprised they gave me a dating scan because I knew all the dates to the day, so it was entirely unnecessary! But I was stoked to have the chance to 'see' the baby, which looked like a tiny blob in the middle of the screen, with a flashing pixel where the heart was - it was awesome just to make it more real.
post #23 of 137
I had a dating scan at a similar time and you could hear the heart beat. Doesn't it start beating at about week 6, or have I made that up?! I was surprised they gave me a dating scan because I knew all the dates to the day, so it was entirely unnecessary! But I was stoked to have the chance to 'see' the baby, which looked like a tiny blob in the middle of the screen, with a flashing pixel where the heart was - it was awesome just to make it more real.[/QUOTE]

Yup! You can almost always see the heart beating during ultrasound after 6 weeks. That was so cool for us... it looked like the whole little blob was thumping!

I've had some issues with all the various books and magazines out there too. Everything refers to your "husband" and has sections for "Dad" to read. I really want dp to be part of the research-y stuff that I do, but reading those books just makes her feel alienated...

As for what dd-to-be will call us? I have no idea. I guess we'll let her decide. Probably some variations of mom, ma, mama, mommy for each of us!
post #24 of 137
Thread Starter 
Welcome NZmumof2!

I hope that your stay here is very short and sweet, especially if that keeps you in VBAC territory!
post #25 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by NZmumof2 View Post
Hi guys,

I shouldn't really bother joining, but just wanted to briefly be part of this group. I'm pregnant with our third child, who was due on the 13th so I shouldn't have more than another week to be part of the pregnant queer thread!

I'm hoping for a VBAC so have been tryign acupuncture, evening primose oil and every old wives tale about labour encouragement ever, not even a niggle yet though, I'll have an elective c section towards the end of next week if nothing happens by then but I'm hopeful something will.

Our sons are so excited and really want the baby to come out! We are having a surprise so they can't wait to see if it is a girl or a boy.
Your lucky boys! I was the youngest of 4, and always so desperately wanted a younger baby to play with! I couldn't possibly not find out the sex - far too exciting for my level of patience! I admire your self control!

What's a VBAC? I've seen it come up a few times but never have any idea. Is it something to do with a vaginal birth??

Good luck with hanging in there for it!
post #26 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by snoopy13 View Post
we haven't figured this out yet. i feel like i will either be mom or something non-traditional/non-gendered. i think my partner may be mommy or maybe mom if i'm not mom...

JD
Have a "different" name....One of my friends has a mom that EVERYONE, including me, call Honey. Why should the name be mommy or a derivative? I think it is ultra cool to have a somewhat offbeat name for yourself. What about Sugar? Or Mimi? Ya know. Something interesting.
My best friends are lesbians and they chose Mama and Mommy, and now that their son is seven, it is VERY difficult to tell who he's asking for (usually quite loudly LOL he's my godson and can do no wrong). Anyway, they wish that one of them had chosen a really different name.
Just my two cents!
post #27 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lissacamille View Post
Have a "different" name....One of my friends has a mom that EVERYONE, including me, call Honey. Why should the name be mommy or a derivative? I think it is ultra cool to have a somewhat offbeat name for yourself. What about Sugar? Or Mimi? Ya know. Something interesting.
My best friends are lesbians and they chose Mama and Mommy, and now that their son is seven, it is VERY difficult to tell who he's asking for (usually quite loudly LOL he's my godson and can do no wrong). Anyway, they wish that one of them had chosen a really different name.
Just my two cents!
I know personally I have always wanted to be a mother, and being called a derivative of that is very natural. As for dp, I think it's difficult enough to feel validated as a queer nonbio mom in our culture, and calling her "Sugar" instead of anything related to parenting would only serve to make that more difficult. We are going to have to fight for her recognition in our extended families and the world at large...

Along the same lines, I am changing my last name to dp's, and the dc will have that name as well. As a feminist, I always swore that I would never give up my name. But as a queer family in America, we have to fight for equality and respect and validation on a daily basis, and changing my name is one more thing I can do.

So for me, all of that is vastly more consequential than other people not being sure who dd is asking for, kwim?
post #28 of 137
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by msjodi View Post
I know personally I have always wanted to be a mother, and being called a derivative of that is very natural. As for dp, I think it's difficult enough to feel validated as a queer nonbio mom in our culture, and calling her "Sugar" instead of anything related to parenting would only serve to make that more difficult. We are going to have to fight for her recognition in our extended families and the world at large...

So for me, all of that is vastly more consequential than other people not being sure who dd is asking for, kwim?
Yes, I agree with this. I'm single parenting, so I have a whole different set of family-recognition issues, but I agree that as queer families, we have to work significantly harder to make sure that society in general recognizes and understands our families. And I think that especially for non-bio moms, using non-traditional names like "Honey" or "Sugar" makes it all that much easier for the rest of the world to consider those parents "not the real mom."

It's hard. As someone who is politically committed to making space in society for families that fall outside the two-parent norm, I recognize that just as not all families have a mommy and daddy, not all queer families have two moms. I want a language, a vocabulary, that gives us the tools for imagining all sorts of family structures. And I've certainly dated a lot of women who would be more comfortable being called "Dad" than "Mom." But I also see the importance, as MsJodi said, of labeling our families in ways that bring them some sort of mainstream recognition, and allows the general public to understand that in two-mom families, both people are equal partners and equal parents.
post #29 of 137
We have an apt on the 28th to get my Dp's name changed to mine. Also finally get wills in place and put her name on the title of our house. I just want everything to be in line for the arrival of our little one and for my dp to be protected if something should happen to me.

Also our first u/s is on friday (7wks)...I am so excited!!!
post #30 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scalpel View Post
We have an apt on the 28th to get my Dp's name changed to mine. Also finally get wills in place and put her name on the title of our house. I just want everything to be in line for the arrival of our little one and for my dp to be protected if something should happen to me.

Also our first u/s is on friday (7wks)...I am so excited!!!
Wow! You guys have got your ducks in a row! Good for you. I am 26 weeks today and am starting to feel overwhelmed and constricted by time. We have gotten the ball rolling on the 2nd parent adoption and are awaiting the home visit. I know we need to do wills and living wills. What other paperwork do we need to complete? I saw a list somewhere, but I didn't copy it and now I can't find it!

And GOOD LUCK on your ultrasound on Friday! The first one is SO SO SO exciting... you will probably be able to see the little heart beating... can't wait to hear about it!
post #31 of 137

quite a day...

so i went to the neurologist today (he's about an hour drive from my house) to follow up on this scary re-occurance of the numbness... i figured he'd say well, we just don't know, we just have to wait and see, we can't do anything in first trimester anyhow, maybe it's from the weird hormonal fluctuations of pregnancy, etc etc, and then i'd proceed into boston to have lunch with an old friend...

instead he said:
"this is definitely a flare-up due to inflammation, not just a now-and-then-symptoms-can-re-occur situation."
" you have 'relapsing myelitis,' and if there's no other cause identified, which there hasn't been, we should get ready to start MS treatment once you deliver."
"you should talk to your midwife about if we can use steroids at this stage of pregnancy."
"if you weren't pregnant, i'd be starting you right away on IV steroids and interferon (which is MS treatment.)"

then...

he noticed i had redness on my neck. and he said,

"one of the few things that can cause myelitis is herpes zoster [which is from the chicken pox virus, and is otherwise known as shingles], and in rare cases you can get it without the painful blisters, it's called zoster sine herpete."
"we can test for this with a spinal tap."
" i can get you in for this today."

so, if it IS from zoster, it's VERY treatable, and as i came to find out later from my midwife, the treatment (valtrex) is considered safe in pregnancy and in fact they give it to women in the last month of pregnancy who have herpes....

so i get a last minute spinal tap. so much for the lunch date.

heroic partner jumps on her bike and on a train and into a taxi to come pick me up afterwards and drive me home, which was really excellent because i was totally achy afterwards and driving from boston to providence in rush hour traffic is no joke, i don't know how i could have done it.

it takes a week to get the results back, but both the neurologist and my midwife are recommending that i start the valtrex right away. i am going to wait till tomorrow to have one more check in with the midwife about it because i am of course nervous about taking ANYTHING so early in my pregnancy.

but... i am cautiously optimistic that this may be a definitive, TREATABLE cause. i'm cautious because even for this rare form of zoster, i'd still be atypical as i am numb on both sides, not just one side, weird stuff like that.

what a year it has been so far:

1/1, 7 am: peed on a stick and it's positive

1/2: peed on a stick again and it's positive again

fri 1/4: the almost-born child of our donor and his girlfriend, who was due to deliver by planned c-section on 1/7, is stillborn. it's terrible, absolutely awful.

1/7: i go to midwife and find out that i'm not automatically high risk just because i'm 40 and had this weird myelitis thing, and start dreaming of delivering in the alternative birthing suite for low risk pregnancies.

1/8: wake up in the middle of the night with a bad cold that's still hanging around, have to cancel day trip to NYC where i was going to pick up baby stuff from our donor and give him a hug and see how he's doing.

1/9 or so: wake up in the morning and my right hand is numb

1/16: go to neurologist, by now a lot of my body is mildly numb, and find out i might have MS or have this other thing they should have tested me for a year ago but didn't, and get last minute scary spinal tap.

and i'm supposed to not be stressed out??!!???!?!?!?!

on the way home, just for variety, i started freaking out on the way home because i feel like i haven't had any unreasonable mood swings or crying jags or nausea in the past few days and am worrying that maybe the fetus isn't developing....

ok that's the report for now.

JD
post #32 of 137
Thread Starter 
Snoopy- Hugs, hugs, hugs.

I am so sorry that you are dealing with such scary health stuff in the midst of what is already a stressful, nervous time (early pregnancy). I really hope that the spinal tap yields good news, and that something as simple as Valtrex is the answer to some of this.

And try not to freak out about not having "enough" nausea or mood swings. These things come and go for everyone, in every pregnancy.

Be good to yourself, okay?

xo
a
post #33 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by snoopy13 View Post

on the way home, just for variety, i started freaking out on the way home because i feel like i haven't had any unreasonable mood swings or crying jags or nausea in the past few days and am worrying that maybe the fetus isn't developing....

ok that's the report for now.

JD
I think that the universe doesn't often give us more than we can handle, and for you that means a little while of being nausea free.
Don't expect your brake to last too long though,It will probably all come back soon enough!
post #34 of 137
msjodi-

calling me either a boy scout or anal...one of the two haha

Here is a list of things my laywer offers:

Wills and Trusts
Power of Attorney for Health Care
Living Wills
Financial Powers of Attorney
Partnership Agreements
Parenting Agreements

Good luck on your second parent adoption!! I wish I could do that here. My dp and I have decided to drive 15 minutes to a neighboring state to have our baby....there I can be listed afterward on the birth certificate.
post #35 of 137
Hello everyone!

I am Liz and my DP is Janet. I am almost 23weeks with B/G twins who will be our #3 and #4. We have a DS in kindergarten and a 2.5 year old DD.

As to the names of what our kids call us. We had a bunch of ideas (can't remember them now) but once our son started talking he had his own ideas. His first versions were Ma Miz for me and Ma J for Janet. This has become Mommy Liz and Mommy J and that's what we go by. It's interesting because when he (or our daughter) are just with one of us we're just Mommy. It's been a pretty natural process for both them and us.
post #36 of 137
Still here - had a postdates assessment today and baby is happy as in there, has turned anterior and head engaged so hopefully will be a vaginal birth but we will have a c section on Weds if baby doesn't appear by then. (VBAC is vaginal birth after c section kk davey).

Our boys call us both mum and use "Mummy Anna" "Mummy Leah" if they need to specify. Not confusing for us and they seem very happy about it. Our oldest has become friends with a kid of lesbians who has a mum and calls the partner (been around longer than he has) her first name. My boy finds this quite confusing. They are quite closeted despite having 3 kids and I don't actually know if they see the partner as an equal parent nor do I feel able to ask. I can't imagine choosing this option for ourselves. Plus Bede has delighted in outing us at every opportunity since toddlerhood! "I don't have a daddy you know, I have two mummies", to the elderly woman waiting to cross the road beside us for example!
post #37 of 137
i had an idea for the birth certificate and wanted to see what you all think... my partner's first name is Liz (Elizabeth)... what if i say the other parent's name is first name Eli, and put the last name as her last name... that way it will be a version of her name, but appear to be male, and maybe we can get it retroactively corrected to Elizabeth? is that wacky or dangerous to consider?

JD
post #38 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by snoopy13 View Post
i had an idea for the birth certificate and wanted to see what you all think... my partner's first name is Liz (Elizabeth)... what if i say the other parent's name is first name Eli, and put the last name as her last name... that way it will be a version of her name, but appear to be male, and maybe we can get it retroactively corrected to Elizabeth? is that wacky or dangerous to consider?

JD
I'm not sure but I would research before doing that. They might not (probably won't) recognize that 'Eli' is Elizabeth, and then to add your partner's actual name might be a real mess to first get the 'father' removed, or prove there was no father and you were using a short form of her name, kwim? Red tape gets expensive quickly and there are all sorts of weirdnesses re: birth certs.

Creative though, for sure!
post #39 of 137
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by snoopy13 View Post
i had an idea for the birth certificate and wanted to see what you all think... my partner's first name is Liz (Elizabeth)... what if i say the other parent's name is first name Eli, and put the last name as her last name... that way it will be a version of her name, but appear to be male, and maybe we can get it retroactively corrected to Elizabeth? is that wacky or dangerous to consider?

JD
I think that in Rhode Island you can have her name put on the birth certificate. At my appointment the other day the nurse in the midwife's office asked me if I'd be putting my GF's name on the birth certificate. Not sure- and a second parent adoption is still necessary to secure custodial rights for her- but you should look into it...
post #40 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by snoopy13 View Post
so i went to the neurologist today (he's about an hour drive from my house) to follow up on this scary re-occurance of the numbness...

instead he said:
"this is definitely a flare-up due to inflammation, not just a now-and-then-symptoms-can-re-occur situation."
" you have 'relapsing myelitis,' and if there's no other cause identified, which there hasn't been, we should get ready to start MS treatment once you deliver."
"you should talk to your midwife about if we can use steroids at this stage of pregnancy."
"if you weren't pregnant, i'd be starting you right away on IV steroids and interferon (which is MS treatment.)"

but... i am cautiously optimistic that this may be a definitive, TREATABLE cause. i'm cautious because even for this rare form of zoster, i'd still be atypical as i am numb on both sides, not just one side, weird stuff like that.

...
fri 1/4: the almost-born child of our donor and his girlfriend, who was due to deliver by planned c-section on 1/7, is stillborn. it's terrible, absolutely awful.
Man you're sure dealing with a lot of the moment! What a start to the new year!!. Hopefully it can all be explained away with the herpes zoster thing. And hopefully it won't be too damned long til you find out the truth about what's going on. The not knowing bit can be so hard. Your brain just goes nuts with the possibilities.

And your poor donor and girlfriend! I can't imagine getting right the way through the pregnancy - 3 days from delivery! - and having a still born. I just can't imagine how you would recover from that. Can we never stop worrying through this process?? What went wrong?? If you don't mind me asking. Ignore me if you do.

Anyway, I hope things are settling down for you.

My mum just met our baby for the first time today (she lives in Perth and I live in Melbourne - opposite sides of Australia), which was good. She hasn't been that great with understanding our family and has outright said that she couldn't see little Ali in the same way as she does my niece and nephew, because Ali's not my biological daughter. So, we have some educating to do. So today - her seeing our family all together for the first time - was important to us, and I think it went pretty well. Ali's so cute which sure helps!

snoopy - I'm not sure why you'd want Elizabeth's name to be ungendered so I'm not sure if it's a good idea or not. Who would you be showing the birth certificate to that you wouldn't want to know about Elizabeth? Or is it a legal thing that you're not allowed to, or is it just for personal reasons or ...? If the reason is really important then sure it might be a good idea. But I also think it could cause problems in the future like thismama says.

NZmumof2 - excellent news about your little one turning anterior! I thought you couldn't do a vaginal birth after a C section (I don't have a clue why I thought that though!) so excellent if you can & it all works out for you.
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