I share only vaguely about our conception story but I don't have too many people ask anymore.. More when I was pregnant. People generally see right away that we are moms together. I do get told that our 11 yr old( not genetically linked to me) looks like me, and we just smile and say thank you. My 11 yr old likes that people think this--it's special.
Loving stepmom to daughters aged 13 and 17. Naturally birthed my littlest one 6/21/13.
LOVE makes a family. Genderqueer breastfeeding, cosleeping, attachment parenting Mama
M/C 2/10 ~Ahti Pan, forever in my heart.
@granite - waving right back at ya though the haze. Sorry about your rough night and in-law troubles. I hope you've gotten some more rest. I barely remember those first 10 days or so.
E2w - good to see you here! We have a different situation from you but like others, we answer conception questions only for other queers who might make use of the info. We don't answer donor questions for anyone, that will be W's info to share or not. But since we are obviously two women, the ice is already broken on W not being biologically the son of us both. DW was adopted, so she has dealt with the "you look just like" stuff forever. She genuinely does look a bit like her dad, so she got it a lot growing up. Sometimes she tells people, sometimes she let's it go. I don't think anyone in her family reads into her decision to correct or not. And as someone else said, the mannerisms and facial expressions are picked up through "nurture", so the nature only plays so much of a role in appearance anyway. And god help her, she did get her dad's sense of humor... Puns!
seraf, I'm so sorry about your separation. I actually wondered if something was up, to be honest, because you weren't posting much. I hope things settle into a good place for everyone.
So many updates from everyone...so nice to read them
I'm trucking along here with DD turning 4 at the end of December and DS turning 4 months next week. Have I mentioned I'm still slightly in shock that I have 2 kids!? DD is in a local preschool 3 afternoons a week for a couple of hours each day. We've registered her for kindergarten next fall at our new catchment school which is a highly sought after IB school that is apparently amazing. However, we are still strongly considering homeschooling...I just don't know what that can look like with us both needing to work in the longer term. DS is a sweetie and quite a different personality in a lot of ways to DD. He's sweet and chill and loves watching big sister. And boy, he can scream when he wants to lol He's not quite rolling over but can actually stand when holding on to someon or something...kinda odd! He's a big boy...wearing 9-12 months clothes and is about 18 lbs now. After a really rough start with sleep he was consistently sleeping 8ish hours a night without waking (nothing different we did...just happened) but we have had a bit of a regression. He was up hourly for a couple of nights, every 2-3 hours a couple of nights and now seems settled into waking twice between about 10 and 8:30ish. Not too bad but we were certainly spoiled for awhile! DD is still having severe behavior issues and I'm just feeling completely defeated. I honestly don't know how to fix it. Or rather I have some ideas but I'm failing.
I'm having a lot of anxiety surrounding the kids and it's starting to worry me and I'm questioning if I might be dealing with PPD. I'm not prone to anxiety or depression in general (though I was certainly anxious during pregnancy after so many losses). I'm having crazy scenarios playing in my head and i don't feel right somehow. I think I should probably reach out and figure out if perhaps I need or can get some help. It's extra hard because our usual support system basically bailed when got pregnant agin and we're not sure why. I have a lot of anger around that....mostly because I feel like they have abandoned DD who dearly loved her aunties and just asked me the other day why she hasn't seen them in so long. At times I miss my mom so much it hurts. She died 11 years ago. Ok, I must be tired, I'm rambling now!
Even with all that though, I'm SO happy and content that I have 2 beautiful kids that chose me to be there their mama. How fricken fortunate am I?!
And so nice to read an update from you, beyond our sporadic texting back and forth.
Come get the damn stroller, woman!
And when you do, let's have a coffee.
I'm so sorry to hear that your support circle got wobbly with your second pregnancy. That sucks on so many levels.
As for reaching out because you think you might be a bit off kilter, that is nothing but a crown of sparkly goodness upon your head. Help is always a good thing.
Let me know if I can do anything.
Grandview Park is cold these days, but still lots of fun if you want to do a playdate, mama-of-TWO!
So much going on in here !!
Seraf.... I'm really so sorry to hear of you n Sara splitting up ... Big big hugs
Isa.. Congrats on twins!!!
Knitting.. 7 months! They are so cute
Mrs... Adorable boys ! Glad for more sleep
Pokey ... Yes I think C has a great nanny ! ( my Dp is his nanny) and I get to snuggle him on occasion !
East... It's interesting ppl think the boys look like DP at times ... I haven't though much about it really !
Ok I can't keep up with everyone but I am reading and supporting !
Afm...babies are 9 months old on Sunday !!! Times going fast ...
Finn crawls and pulls himself up,
On everything , sits up well and eats everything !! He weighs 17-8 oz
August is crawling and sitting well , thinking about pulling himself up . He also eats everything ! He weighs 17-12 and is tall ( not sure on how but he's a head taller than other two)
Gage is rolling scooting and crawling backwards! He is sitting for short periods ... He eats but def not as well .. The biggest news is no more reflux meds! He is doing so much better and gained weight.. He's up to 16-6 he's never been this close to his brothers weights ! He's starting to sleep in his crib ( in our room) and waking only 1x sometimes 2x a night versus a month ago it was 5-6x a night .. It all changed with this pacifier we found he ei take and the stopping of reflux meds!
August and Finn sleep 7-7 every night
They are very busy, and clingy right now, they all got sick and that was hard!!!
I'm dealing with severe PPD and finally seeing a doctor/therapist ... I'm also working on Mondays and Dp stays home ( I work for her nanny kids) it's nice break to have two toddlers
Granite, so sorry to hear about the in-law troubles. They should be gone by now, right? I'm sending you guys as much EASE and SPACE as possible for you guys to just be with your sweet chunka tiny baby love without having to deal with all that drama. When my guy was tiny and my folks were around a lot, it was HARD. My mom is a serious worrier and repeats herself a lot (much more than she listens!!!) and that was challenging to deal with to say the least.
Sphinxy, sending lots of love and ease your way, too. Those early nights are so rough (and some of the later nights, too!) but as everyone is saying, they change SO MUCH. Some here might recall that W. didn't allow us to lay him down to sleep AT ALL until he was three months old. He slept on our bodies in bed until then! Boy do I understand your anxiety about the future! It seemed like things would never change because he was so particular and dramatic about it!! But.. they did. And right now he is napping in his little rocking crib which I never would have imagined at the time. Whenever I feel frustrated and overwhelmed by the current state of things (usually sleep related) I just take a deep breath, think of those first three months, and remind myself that everything will be different SOON.
Cananny, I can't believe how BIG those boys are! They look so cute and happy. :) I am amazed by what an awesome job you guys are doing raising three babies at once! How is the working going? I find it hilarious that watching two toddlers is like a "break" for you! Sorry to hear about the PPD, and glad you are getting support!
About the donor questions and "he looks just like ____" comments, we handle things on a case by case basis but generally are VERY open about our donor situation. DP is trans and even though our friends know the donor situation, they often say things like, "I can't believe how much W. looks like him!" We just laugh. They do kinda look alike! I think it's their big happy smiles and silly mannerisms. When people we don't know comment on that, we smile and don't explain. When people ask us how we got preggo or the like, we explain the situation. We don't feel the need to be private about it UNLESS the person asking is being nosy, rude, judgmental or otherwise unacceptable. Luckily we live in a progressive area filled with radical queers and the like and have experienced pretty much nothing but love when it comes to our family planning. We are aware of how fortunate we are. I teach 7th grade and co-lead our school's GSA. In the GSA (or whenever students ask) I always talk openly about our family, gender, donors, etc. When I got pregnant, my boss "interviewed" me about how we went about it in front of the students! It got pretty detailed, too. Basically, as a teacher I exploit our personal lives for educational purposes! It can be exhausting, of course, but it's also rewarding for me to think about me in middle school and how I would have had NO IDEA about any of these things.
W is now 14 months old! He just took his first steps the other day. He still co-sleeps and does side-lying nursing through the night. While it was and is a lifesaver, I have to admit I am getting pretty tired of having NO room in the bed, being pushed and prodded all night, and nursing SO MUCH on some nights. We discuss night weaning from time to time. I'd like to wait til summer vacation when I can afford to lose more sleep. Right now I am happy and totally exhausted.
Here is a cute swinging photo on his 12 month birthday:
P.S. Does anyone here know an easy way to delete past photos posted on MDC?
Carmen--hugs to you, mama. It's got to be hard having a little one and also facing some issues with your DD at the same time. I guess I'd be curious to know how your DD reacts to other teachers in making a decision about schooling. If you find it draining to be 'on' all the time teaching her (and I absolutely find it draining to be on with mine for more than a few consecutive hours, even though I love her dearly--childcare and education aren't my calling) and she enjoys being with other kids and learning from other adults, I'd say definitely send her to the school. If she's more sensitive, or if you get a lot of personal fulfillment out of teaching her, maybe work out a way to stay home. The other thing to keep in mind is that it doesn't have to be a permanent decision. You can always change your mind if things aren't working for your family. And if you're wondering if you need help, get help. It makes such a difference to not be alone in your head when you're depressed.
Planet--walking! That's awesome! He's such a cutiepie!
AFM--any thoughts on getting my kid to eat what we serve her? Even when we give her what she asks for, half the time she won't eat it. If she had her way all she'd eat are oranges and peas, which is better than what it could be, but pretty far from a balanced diet. Oh, and juice. There would be LOTS of juice.
And so are the boys!
And there's no need to be her 'teacher' or spend all day every day with her, not at all. Of all the homeschoolers I know, no parent considers themself the 'teacher,' and they're the busiest families I know, doing the most interesting things,
The parent acts more like a facilitator, researcher, tool supplier, advocate, craft supply sorter, chauffeur, secretary, and snack-provider.
We do project-based homeschooling, which has been great so far. Essentially. I note the kids' interests, facilitate their pursuits, and then get out of the way and watch the child-led awesomeness unfold.
It's also true that lots of folks begin to get petty frustrated with their kids on a regular basis just as it becomes time to send them to school, when in fact, things do start to ease and shift in positive ways as their pre-frontal cortex matures (around ages 5-7 depending) and they become capable of managing complex emotions, are more able to do more for themselves, and become generally a lot more pleasant, to put it bluntly.
Totally spouting Dr. Gordan Neufeld here, for anyone who wants to did deeper into his work.
Also, Carmen, Windsor House ( (publicly-funded, based on the democratic Sudbury model) is near you (for the time being --- they are planning a move to my side of the bridge) and could be a good compromise. S could go as little or as often you/she wanted, and they've just started an all-day outdoor component for Kingerdarteners this year. The free-form social aspect would not be a good fit for E, but might be for S if she's already successful that way.
There's a sense that whatever folks decide for their kid's kindergarten year will determine the next twelve years, but truly, you can change your mind whenever you see fit. Kindy is optional here in BC too, so no need to rush if you're not sure!
I like this discussion about disclosure of how our families are made, and am of two minds about it myself. DP is female, masculine & genderqueer & uses female pronouns, & we're usually read as a butch/femme couple, so people usually assume right away that we used a donor.
How I react to questions depends on the situation. When I was still working, a dude I barely know asked me how I got pregnant, because pretty much the only thing he knows about me is that I'm queer. I told him nicely that if he's interested in general info regarding people in my sort of situation, there's lots of info online, and if he's looking for information about me in particular, I don't feel we're close enough to share that. Keep in mind this was at a construction site where I'm the only woman & only out queer... I guard my personal life pretty closely in those circumstances!
But in general, I tell people when they ask. I say we used a donor from a bank, and isn't it nice that DP and I are both on the birth certificate from the start, which often leads to good discussions about reproductive rights. I clarify that no, we didn't do IVF, because it wasn't necessary. I often correct people who refer to a father, and say that we'll probably never meet the donor, but that we hope our kid might if it's something he wants. I want to make our situation into something Z can himself feel equally confident talking about if he chooses to, or not sharing at all if he doesn't feel like it.
Urk, baby crying, back for more hellos in a bit...
Ok, I have an obnoxious number of questions. The one time I tried side-lying it didn't work well because I have very flat nipples and W could latch. BUT, I'm not opposed to trying again. Please tell me though - are you leaving him swaddled to nurse? Or re-swaddling after he's done? Or not swaddling at all? And what about diaper changes - are you changing every feed, every other? How did you overcome the pets issue with co-sleeping? I am so happy for you that you got good rest!!
Yes, I nurse him while swaddled, if he's swaddled. But while cosleeping, no swaddle.
I change him before going to bed, and usually once or twice in the night, then early morning... We're using sposies at night right now, and while they absorb a lot of pee, they don't fit his lanky body very well & many nights his onesie gets wet. I just play it by ear, and change him whenever needed.
I found the mattress in our main bedroom to be too soft for side-lying, not to mention the pets being a pain. Our baby room has our old queen size bed in it, & that's where I sleep with Z, while DP & animals stay in main bedroom. We get together & cuddle in the mornings.
And we're getting a crib today! LOL... I'm sure that co-sleeping will still be happening for a while, but Z does sleep well on his own too, and already wiggles around alarmingly well, so it'd be nice to have somewhere contained to put him when he's napping. So far, the centre of the bed has been okay... But I'd like something a little more cat-proof. On the plus-side, the pets like him
Does that answer your questions, Sphinxy? Anything else? I'll clarify if needed...
@Sphinxy, we are dedicated swaddlers here, although i unswaddle their arms if they are cosleeping bc i read in the LLL book that they need their arms to protect themselves from adults while cosleeping. to nurse, i unswaddle and reswaddle when they are done. we changed diapers at every feeding (so, abt every 2 hours) until they stopped pooping at night (8 weeks? 10 weeks? i cant remember now). in my experience, side lying nursing got a little easier when they had a little better head control and could assist in latching themselves. M was good at it weeks before O was!
Totally unpredictable. Sometimes he can sleep through our dog barking and sometimes a cough will wake him. I assume it has something to do with where he is in his sleep cycle, but who knows.
We would swaddle W. with his arms in and legs out. It's called the double swaddle (you can you tube it). He hated being swaddled any other way, so when we discovered this swaddle style it really saved our lives! He had a very strong startle reflex for a long time and we used the double swaddle until he was 10 months old.
For side lying, W. lies on his back or side and nurses from the top boob. For me since I'm small that worked the best for us. You will figure out what will work the best for you!
Yes! Your mileage may vary! Everything depends on the combo of your body & baby's... I nurse from the bottom breast while lying on my side, with Z on his side & usually his head resting on the crook of my arm. His legs are tight up against my belly, and his head further away so that he can breathe easily through his nose. LOL... We should all post photos of our side-lying techniques... Actually, I bet that already exists somewhere here on MDC!
Their heads look like they're supporting them, but they're resting them on my shoulders and will fall asleep in this position. The hardest part of this is getting out from under them once they fall asleep. I do it all the time, my boys are pretty good at sleeping through transfers.
Top side, my camera hand would normally be above his head.
Full body tandem