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#31 of 50 Old 06-24-2005, 08:34 PM
 
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Hi!

My wife and I are the parents of two-year-old twins, Lukas and Jasper. We all have my wife's maiden name (I was happy to get rid of mine, and it was a nice way to show my wife's family that our boys were part of their clan (they are my biological children)), and it's really nice to share that.

We used an unknown not-willing-to-be-known donor and got pregnant on the first try. I think it cost us about $600.00 (including sperm, shipping, and two IUIs at the OB's office). We were expecting it to take longer/cost more, so that was really nice when it happened right away. We still have six vials of sperm paid for in storage, and we plan on using it for another baby before too long.

My dw is unable to carry a baby, but we are thinking about using her egg and doing IVF and transferring the embryo (just ONE!) into my womb for our next baby. Has anyone considered this? It would be so cool to make a baby together like that. We have two different sets of friends who have done that (they both have twins because they transferred two embryos), and it's really neat. Of course, it's also really expensive if you don't have infertility issues (one of our friends did it just to do it and so they paid out of pocket about $25,000). We would most likely still use our same donor sperm, so the baby would be a biological half-sibling to our boys.

We are dealing with a bit of a daddy issue at the moment. Both boys are somewhat obsessed with the idea of a daddy, Jasper is totally obsessed. Any book that has a daddy in it quickly gets labeled, "the daddy book." Both boys have been known to cry, "daddy, daddy, daddy. . . " when upset which is somewhat upsetting to us! We try to make light of it, but it actually drives me a little crazy sometimes. I am officially "mom" and my wife is "mama." We talk to our boys all the time about how they have two moms (and point out which friends of theirs also have two moms--we live in a very lesbian-rich area), but they both still say that they have a daddy. Yesterday in the car, Jasper said, "I have a daddy. My daddy is a goat." But usually "daddy" is "in the carpet" or "looking for his glasses." Not sure where any of these ideas came from! I'm guessing in a year or so, it will be easier for them to understand the whole concept of the ways that babies are made and what a donor is, etc.

We have met face-to-face with two of the boys' biological half-siblings, and online with two more. We are trying to compile as much of a "donor family" for them as we can, knowing that the chances of them actually meeting their donor is quite slim.

We didn't buy any baby gear at all. Who needs it?! We were gifted some great carseats and several baby slings and a ton of cloth diapers. . . but we didn't have any budget for any of that when I got pregnant. People like to give you things when you have a baby!

Bedtime in our house!

Lex

Mindfully mothering SIX kids (ages 4, 5, 7, 8, 11 & 11) in a small house with a lot of love.
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#32 of 50 Old 06-25-2005, 02:32 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lexbeach
My dw is unable to carry a baby, but we are thinking about using her egg and doing IVF and transferring the embryo (just ONE!) into my womb for our next baby. Has anyone considered this? It would be so cool to make a baby together like that. We have two different sets of friends who have done that (they both have twins because they transferred two embryos), and it's really neat. Of course, it's also really expensive if you don't have infertility issues (one of our friends did it just to do it and so they paid out of pocket about $25,000). We would most likely still use our same donor sperm, so the baby would be a biological half-sibling to our boys.
Wow! I've never heard of anyone actually going through with this (lesbian couples) so it's really cool to hear. My dw has talked about it jokingly but for the price tag....even if we could afford it I just can't imagine. So neat though!
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#33 of 50 Old 06-25-2005, 08:56 PM
 
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Thanks to everyone for the replies to my topic. If anyone else who comes along would like to add to it, please do.

Lex - You did an amazing job of replying to all of the topics in this thread in only one post. Great job

Well, the next issue for us (coming fast and furious) is telling my mom that we are going to try for a baby next year.

I know that some of you are wondering why we would do that so soon, but DW can't wait to tell her parents, and they are coming to visit next weekend. My mom has said that she's felt like she's the 'last to know' about a lot of my recent decisions, so we decided that she needs to be the first to find out about this.

The main issue is that I'm not so sure she will initially be happy with it.

She is still having trouble adjusting to my relationship because it's the first same-sex relationship I've been in. She likes DW as a person, but, as most parents do, gets hung up on the fact that it's a same-sex relationship. She's said in the past that it's not what she had hoped for me.

Anyway, we invited her over on Thursday night for dinner. We'll tell her then. We will also have a LOT of her wine on hand

I guess I just need to remember that whatever her initial reaction is, she has almost a year to get used to the idea, and will probably be okay with it by the time the baby comes (especially considering it's probably her only shot at being a grandparent as my brother and sister will most likely not have kids).

DW's parents will most likely be okay with it. They were VERY accepting of our relationship from day 1,and stay with us about twice a year when they visit the area.

Things in the next week or so will certainly be interesting.
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#34 of 50 Old 06-25-2005, 10:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by quiltpucks
We talk about it all the time - someday we'll get up there. Last July, we went on the R Family Vacation's cruise (Rosie's cruise) and it was undescribable! We really felt so at home with all the other families. It really is an incredible feeling. My partner just started her residency so we couldn't go this year. But we've already decided, come hell or high water, next year we are going!
we really wanted to go on the cruise, but when the time came, it was really out of the question unfortunately. we have heard from friends who went the it was amazing. at this point, family week is a big high point for us- it is the only real vacation we take, generally speaking- the rest of my vacation time tends to go to family obligation visits, weddings, etc. i am excited about going on the cruise one day, but for now, i look forward to family week all year long. it is great to be around so many families that look like yours- this year will be my daughter's 4th and my son's 1st. i highly recommend it!!!
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#35 of 50 Old 06-28-2005, 10:33 AM
 
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Okay. I'm still a little freaked about telling my mom of our plans on Thursday night. I know in the end it'll be okay, but there will be some fall out until she gets to that point.

I think my sister has been priming her just a little, but I'm still a little concerned.

I'm still trying to figure out exactly how to tell her that we're going to begin trying to start a family in May.
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#36 of 50 Old 06-28-2005, 10:55 AM
 
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to you. If you really think it could be bad (she might say/react negatively) maybe think about writing her a letter instead? There are some good examples in "The Queer Parent's Primer." Good luck to you both.
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#37 of 50 Old 06-28-2005, 04:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mlrohde
the it was amazing. at this point, family week is a big high point for us- it is the only real vacation we take, generally speaking- the rest of my vacation time tends to go to family obligation visits, weddings, etc. i am excited about going on the cruise one day, but for now, i look forward to family week all year long.
What is "Family Week"? When and where is it?
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#38 of 50 Old 06-28-2005, 11:49 PM
 
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it is in provincetown, ma ( i think there is one in mi too, but i have never been there) and it is the first week in august. colage and family pride put together activities and things, but mostly it is a bunch of lgbt families and their children- being families and having fun. i can't describe how great it feels to walk around and see families that look like yours- everywhere. it is well worth checking out. http://familypride.org/events/familyweek2005.php
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#39 of 50 Old 06-29-2005, 12:58 AM
 
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We are dealing with a bit of a daddy issue at the moment. Both boys are somewhat obsessed with the idea of a daddy, Jasper is totally obsessed. Any book that has a daddy in it quickly gets labeled, "the daddy book." Both boys have been known to cry, "daddy, daddy, daddy. . . " when upset which is somewhat upsetting to us! We try to make light of it, but it actually drives me a little crazy sometimes. I am officially "mom" and my wife is "mama." We talk to our boys all the time about how they have two moms (and point out which friends of theirs also have two moms--we live in a very lesbian-rich area), but they both still say that they have a daddy. Yesterday in the car, Jasper said, "I have a daddy. My daddy is a goat." But usually "daddy" is "in the carpet" or "looking for his glasses." Not sure where any of these ideas came from! I'm guessing in a year or so, it will be easier for them to understand the whole concept of the ways that babies are made and what a donor is, etc.
Hi Lex,
Our DD isn't really doing the "daddy" thing although sometimes she will mimic one of her favourite Olivia books and run through the house yelling "mommy daddy mommy daddy" Sadly our beloved dog passsed away in dec, but when she went through the da da phase, our dog would always come running over when she did it :LOL so we decided that da in her language was dog
One of the things I think has been helpful to her is seeing some 2mom AND 2 dad families. We belong to our local rainbow Families group and I think its been really helpful for her to see that there are some family configurations that have 2 moms/2 dads/1mom/1dad etc. In fact I have somehow managed to fall into volunteering as the director of our chapter starting next month There's this great book that our DD loves called family ABC's by two lives publishing that has both 2mama/2daddy families in it which might be hepful as well. It's one of our DD's bedtime books. Do they have some two mama books to read? I'm still looking for more and on the verge of 'decorating" some of DD's books since she starting to recodgnize words and I'm not going to be able to substitute "mama" for dad much longer!
PS. i remember you guys from the Lesbian TTC boards a log time ago!
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#40 of 50 Old 06-29-2005, 10:34 AM
 
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to you. If you really think it could be bad (she might say/react negatively) maybe think about writing her a letter instead? There are some good examples in "The Queer Parent's Primer." Good luck to you both.
Thanks lunadoula.

I don't think it will be horrible, but I think she will get REALLY quiet, and then at a later date, I'll hear (probably second hand) about how she really feels. That's kind of how telling her about my relationship with DW went.

In my mom's defense, she tries really hard not to be negative about my relationship. In fact, I don't think I remember her ever saying anything really bad about DW. She'll act weirded out from time to time though (and we try really hard to keep our private life private because that's the aspect that bothers her the most).
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#41 of 50 Old 06-29-2005, 11:15 AM
 
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OK, here is a topic that I have never seen discussed. For those of you who are TTC or have children, how did you decide which partner would carry the child? DP wanted me to carry both of our children. For the first, we discussed doing IVF with her egg (me carrying). While we knew it would be expensive, money was not a huge issue. While I thought that arrangement would be wonderful, I also kinda wanted her to carry so that she could have the experience.

DP is not butch, nor is she femme...very androgynes. She has some very feminine quatities, but some butch tendancies as well. I also identify (as much as I hate labels) as androgynes, although I tend to be somewhat more feminine. I do not think DP would admit it, but I think she feels as though she is not quite "womanly" enough to carry the child.

After much discussion, DP decided she would like to actually carry the child. However, the thought really frightens and excites her. Has anyone else experieced this? How did you all decide who would carry the child(ren)?
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#42 of 50 Old 06-29-2005, 03:13 PM
 
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We will be TTC in May.

The choice at first was obvious and a very easy one for us, but then became much more complex.

DW has always wanted to carry, but medically was not sure if it was a good idea for her. For many, many years, she had an undiagnosed condition where her hand and foot would contract for no apparent reason. Once she moved here, she saw a different doctor, and was diagnosed with Dystonia (the 3rd most common movement disorder to Parkinson's and Tremor).

Since there are some forms of Dystnoia that are likely genetic, she decided that she wouldn't carry so that our child wouldn't have to worry about possibly developing it (it tends to show up in young adulthood).

So, it was decided that I would carry. At first I wasn't sure if it was for me, but I warmed up to the idea and became rather attached to the thought of possibly giving my mom her only grandchild (since my sister and brother are unlikely to have any).

But, after further research, we are quite sure that DW's Dystonia is not the genetic type. So, that stirred up a lot of feelings for her that she struggled with (believe me, we struggled with it for a couple of months).

In the end we decided that since I'm slightly younger and in generally better health, I would carry. If the baby satisfies her need to have a child, we will stop with one. If she still is compelled to carry, we'll ignore the financial difficulties that it could cause and just do it.

This was a tough decision for me because I cannot stand the idea of living paycheck to paycheck or for things to be tight financially, but if she needs to carry, I'll work harder to make it happen.
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#43 of 50 Old 06-29-2005, 11:24 PM
 
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Great topic!
.
DP (we don't call each other wife even tho we're married. Dunno why, exactly. It reminds me of the Flintstones or something...) and I have a 3-month old. I carried him, but she will probably carry number 2.

How did we decide? At first, we went with me because I'm older, so we thought better to give me a chance first. But then before we even started to TTC, I was misdiagnosed with a couple of conditions by some numbskull doctor who basically told me I should consider a hystorectomy (sp?). He was totally off, of course, but in the weeks it took for me to see a specialist, I realized I was fine with the idea of DP carrying. We stuck to that plan for a while, and even had an appointment at the fertility clinic all lined up (it's a long waiting list). As the time approached, dp started having doubts about whether she was ready to carry. We started talking about me carrying, and somehow, it just felt really right. And that's what happened! It took two tries only. We were really lucky!

I'm on mat leave right now for at least a year, and she is the main breadwinner.

We still have two samples of sperm to use up, and we're hoping she'll carry number 2.

OOPs!! Baby wants a top-off before sleeping!
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#44 of 50 Old 06-30-2005, 08:52 PM
 
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#45 of 50 Old 07-05-2005, 09:12 PM
 
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I actually haven't posted on this thread yet, though I think DW has. We have always jokingly called each other wife, and now that it's real (thank you massachusetts), it's actually taking some getting used to in terms of using it seriously in the "real world."

Our DS is 27 months, and there was no question that I would carry. It was something I really wanted to do, and something DW did NOT want to do. Right now the question of a second is on hold. If we do end up having a second, there is a good chance I would carry again. I would love to. But I would also love DW to have the experience. ACtually, it's the breastfeeding I would most like her to experience. She would NOT have fun in the first trimester!!

We are visiting family, and DS is really into who is related to whom and how. He understands that grandpa is mommy's dad. And now he's asking a lot about dads. At first (meaning, what we thought before we even conceived...)we thought it wasn't right to say "you don't have a dad" and that instead we would say "you have two moms" but now in the moment of it, that seems totally insufficient. He is exploring the notion of a dad, not at all connected to his moms. So though he has not yet asked "where is my dad", DW and I had an on the fly, update of our previous decisions about this conversation, and agreed that we would say "you don't have a dad..not everyone has one." (we have aknown donor, whom we have a great relationship with, but he is distinctly not "dad"). It's an interesting place to be as a lesbian mom.

Anyone else have anything to share about the dad conversation in your household?

Katie, DW to Megin, Mamma to Quinn (7y.o.) and Wylie, born 07-04-10
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#46 of 50 Old 07-05-2005, 11:21 PM
 
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In regards to the "wife" thing - my DW and I said it jokingly before we were married, but we had a serious conversation about it after our ceremony (we are not legally married). We decided to call each other "wife" to our family, friends, people we meet, etc. It felt really weird at first but to be honest now I wouldn't call her anything else. For me, it's an endearing term. I personally have always despised using the word "partner." It doesn't describe to me how I feel about my DW (partner feels business-like to me). Others I know like partner b/c of egalitarian reasons and feel it better describes their relationship. To each their own I say!
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#47 of 50 Old 07-06-2005, 10:39 AM
 
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In regards to the "wife" thing - my DW and I said it jokingly before we were married, but we had a serious conversation about it after our ceremony (we are not legally married). We decided to call each other "wife" to our family, friends, people we meet, etc. It felt really weird at first but to be honest now I wouldn't call her anything else. For me, it's an endearing term. I personally have always despised using the word "partner." It doesn't describe to me how I feel about my DW (partner feels business-like to me). Others I know like partner b/c of egalitarian reasons and feel it better describes their relationship. To each their own I say!
lunadoula,

I totally agree. For us, we started calling each other wife, partially as a joke and mostly as a term of endearment. Now we do it around each other, but rarely around other people (and especially not around my family because they would be uncomfortable with it). I might actually start working it into conversations around my family soon though. I'm getting just a little tired of tip toeing.

I have never been fond of 'partner' for the exact same reasons as you. For me, I find it completely lacking in feeling.

I suppose for some people though, 'wife' is completely lacking in feeling and more of a label. It just depends on how you were raised and what you've come to believe.

As for the 'dad' issue. DW and I haven't gotten to that discussion yet, but we have quite a lot to talk about and quite a lot of time before we TTC in May.

It's interesting because DW's parents are visiting and I feel even more connected to her since they've been here. They've stayed with us 3 times before and their visits have always been great, but for some reason, this time, it's different. It's bringing us even closer together.

Oh, and for those of you who are following it, I told my mom about our plans to have a baby. Well, actually, she asked me before I could even tell her. I guess she figured it out from some of the things I had told her previously. So, it was all fine.

She did ask if we had thought what our child would have to face because of our situation. To which we told her, yes (that was our first concern actually). Everyone we've talked to about it has been super supportive though. We haven't had any negative reactions (and 98% of our friends are hetero). We even asked a friend's son (he's about 12) if he cared about classmates' family configuration and he said it was no big deal because there were so many types of families.

As for DW's parents, her mom was really surprised, but pretty supportive, and I think her dad was a little happy about it.

So all is good.

Sorry for the long post!

Greer
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#48 of 50 Old 07-06-2005, 10:35 PM
 
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There have been lots of great topics on here, it gets kind of confusing to keep using this same thread for any possible lesbian parenting issues.

I am momma and my DP chose the term Ba, sometimes we say MamaBa, but DS mostly calls her Ba.

DS (just turned two in May)has never asked specifically about HIS daddy, but he has asked about fathers in books. We are going the approach that yes, he has a father, but he is not a part of our lives. We used an ID release donor, so if that is something that is important to DS, he can find out. Then, like lots of you have said, we talk about all types of families that we know. We personally don't like to say you don't have a father, of course somebody created the sperm that created him. And, when he is old enough, we will talk about the choices we had and how we chose the donor that we did, and things he may have gotten from his father. We don't use the term daddy though, because that seems like a personal connection that he does not have. So, we DO say, no, you don't have a daddy like so and so.

It is a tough issue for me personally. I really wanted to go with a known donor, creating a new family that would include my DP, donors DP, family dinners, I had this huge vision. But after being tossed around for almost four years, we went the bank route. And, now that it is all said and done, 95% of the time, I am happy with my choice. We have great male role models, but no one close person that steps in that role. It makes me sad sometimes.

DS is still young, and we may find that person yet. But for now, that is where we are.

Mo
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#49 of 50 Old 07-06-2005, 11:35 PM
 
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Hi all,
Single queer mama by choice to a stellar 2.5+ son from a non-id release donor. My choice came down to the questionaire and the desire for a multicultural child. (donor was punjabi) My son is the only offspring and my donor is "off the market" so I am offered all the rest of his samples which is 7 vials. I am slowly purchasing them up in monthly payments from the bank I used. I am planning on ttc starting in october. I really want to give my son a full blood sibling just for the ability to see himself in another besides me. Since he only has one side to see himself in, me, I like the idea of him having another to see the other side in. ykwim?

As for name changes, I changed mine twice while pregnant. FYI if you are on state aid of any kind the change is free except the newspaper posting. I wanted a new name because I was disowned by my family and wanted my child to have no association with that, we created a new name (the middle name of a cousin who passed on years ago). I love having our new name, being our own created family. I hope someday I will date again, let alone ever get married, and I would never change my own last name but I would not be completely against a partner taking ours, so long as my son was ok with it as well.

OKOKOK ALL YA'LL LISTEN UP ABOUT THE WHOLE DADA THING...PLEASE!!!!!!
I am a teacher by trade and have my MA in education. I studied language acquisition. During the early stages of primary LA children experiment with very specific sounds. They go through ba ba ba ba, ga ga ga ga, na na na na, ma ma ma ma, and da da da da amonng a few others. ALL children do. They go on to me me me, tee tee te etc and other such sounds. It is how they try out sounds, their sound and how they feel on the pallette (in the mouth). It is why I never said my kids first word was any of those, I counted the first from his first conscious, aware word. And I counted mama when he truly meant mama, when it was for me to come to him.
As for daddies, it is interesting, I worried about it some, but the few shows we watch have really great fathers in them (little bear, franklin) and he sort of just organically gets that all families are different. All my friends families are different. He also calls on of my friends, from my mothers group, husband daddy. It is pretty cute because he doesn't associate like his daddy, just that the man IS a daddy and so he calls him such. They think it is adorable as well.
On to money...I spent about $500 the first time to get pregnant, did it myself. I m/c'd that pregnancy then for my second (with bliss) I only spent about $275 (first try). That is sperm, dry ice, opk kits, preg test, speculum, and guafinison syrup (ick, I found tablets for this next time). Now for pregnancy my midwives took payments and cost about 2 grand total. As for time off work I would say 6 months salary is ideal, I had no savings and ended up on bedrest from week 5 to 15 and ended up in state aid, but that is another story. As for baby stuff, bf'ing is about as cheap as it gets and co-sleeping makes a crib unnecessary. As for clothes join a mothers group... I was given TONS of baby clothes and only ever really bought new stuff for "fun" not necessity. Remember, newborn clothes are worn for such a short time, and are worn so so gently, that they remain like-new even after one baby has gone through them so getting used newbrn clothes is a blast and so much like getting the stuff new. I think my biggest cost was toys, play gyms, bouncers, carseat, and stroller and playpen (which the former I didn't use til he was much much older, and the latter I never used except to pile stuff on).

ok I have babbled so long I can't even think let alone think of anything more to add.

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#50 of 50 Old 07-15-2005, 12:51 PM
 
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I only have a few short moments here, we're nak, just wanted to say that I really enjoyed reading through all the topics brought up here! Just to kind of reiterate our family structure as well as skim through some of the topics brought up... DP and I used a known donor who has no parental rights to our son. We spent a total of $1000 in hospital expenses because of the deductible. In retrospect, we also spent WAY too much on baby items. Crib, playpen, bouncers, etc... we don't use them! I should have just bought the bassinet for naps when he was little, a couple slings, and the carseat lol. That's one thing I learned quickly about baby toys - you might want to wait until you can see if your child actually has an interest in it before purchasing, maybe use a friend's, or test it out in the store - ugh, DS didn't like anything we bought ahead of time, baby swing, jumperoo, etc, they just didn't impress him, he has always been much more interested in being able to roam and explore.

As far as "names", I'm Mom and DP is "Mim". We decided we wanted to be able to give a separate maternal identity for each of us. DS has been doing well with this and can say both Mommy and Mim, although he usually sticks with mama and meh! And yes... his first consonant/vowel combination was "dadadada" ALL the time. It was, and still is, just a "happy" noise that he makes when he babbles to his toys or to us.

It was pretty easy for us to choose who would carry - DP wanted none of it lol. However, after watching me go through pregnancy, childbirth, and nursing, she is reconsidering. We ultimately want 3-4 children and she has indicated that she would like to be the birth mom for one of them. Hmmm that reminds me, we had planned on never indicating who was the birth mom (although like a pp said, since I'm nursing that's a clue) but ds looks SO much like me that unfortunately when we are all together no one has to guess. I try to "make up" for that by sending the two of them out on their own to do little things all the time, running to the store for a couple of items and so forth. It gives DP the chance to have everyone automatically treat her like the "mother" which is important to me for her to feel recognized as. When we are together and people stop to ask us about DS, I try to let her answer (how old is he, etc) to help matters.

Sorry for babbling, just wanted to catch up!

Me: married to my :fireman Mama to my littles: Toby 8/04 and Elina 10/08
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