Non-Bio Parent Support Thread - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 57 Old 11-03-2008, 12:28 PM
 
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Interesting thoughts here. I was just discussing with M yesterday that, when we are together with Noah, the one who is holding him is assumed to be the mom. I think this comes down to society in general, and the fact that people are always trying to find ways to put each other in boxes. You can kinda see the thought processes that go on when we are out and about. People see a baby, and two women of about the same age. The women don't look alike, so they can't be sisters. Well, maybe they are sisters even though they don't look alike since they are acting so close and friendly. Oh, ok, yeah, they must be sisters and that baby must belong to one of them. Well, the one holding him must be the mom.
I understand, I really, really do. But it also is frustrating and tiring sometimes. I love being a mother, and I love so much about our lives, but I still get annoyed by the fact that it rarely occurs to anyone that we are a couple and we are coparenting our son. Before we had a kid, it bugged me that people seemed oblivious to the fact that we were a couple, but I didn't really harp on it. But now it just seems so much more important that people know our relationship to each other. I guess I'm just sick of being a novelty! I'm happy to explain my life to people (and I do, all the time) but I can't even describe how much nicer it is when someone assumes that we are a couple and that Noah is our son.
What kind of nice experiences have you all had? I need some heartwarming stories.

Mama (non-bio) to REPlaySkateboard04HL.gifmy little man (6), and mama (bio) to babyboy.gif my tiny man (2/14)
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#32 of 57 Old 11-03-2008, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well we live in a very queer friendly area. We are never the only lesbian moms on the sidewalk at any given time. So, when we are together with the kids, people usually assume that we are both the moms (my mom always worries that people will think that she and I are a couple when we're out and about without dw, lol). I think in general two women walking closely together are probably more likely to be assumed to be a couple than anything else (sister, friends) around here. Of course, when I'm *alone* with the kids, people often still assume that there's a husband somewhere. We're not that evolved.

It was a really nice thing about having twins the first time, we each had a baby to wear in a sling around town, and we got equal recognition from the public at large. I don't even notice the attention that I get with a baby strapped to me anymore (because it's been so constant for the last 5.5 years), but dw definitely appreciates that she gets a different energy from passersby if she's the one wearing the baby/pushing the stroller.

Lex

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#33 of 57 Old 11-22-2008, 06:35 PM
 
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Hi non-bio moms,
Help please? My wife and I are trying to get pregnant (with frozen swimmers, she's carrying) and we're disagreeing on the plan. She wants at home, no doctors (which we've been trying for a while -2yrs) and I want her to go to the doctor and have some tests run. I get that it's her body and she should be able to choose, but this is my family and will be my child as well... shouldn't I have some say? What do you guys do if you disagree when it comes to baby carrying decisions? Does she get veto power because it's her body? Do you get a vote as the other parent of child-to-be?
We talk about this all the time but have come to a point where she is stubbornly saying she doesn't want to go and I am stubbornly saying that she should.
What to do?
I guess I sort of feel like going to the doctor would magically make things happen, which I know logically isn't necessarily the case... but I'm tired of taking it slow a waiting, you know? I get frustrated and want to switch to trying with me carrying, even though we've thought this out for years and both want Heather to carry first for the reasons that you guys are talking about with extended family as well as thinking that Heather had the greater desire to be pregnant and bf...
People keep suggesting to us that we try for fresh instead of frozen, which I would love to do, but Heather is weirded out by it (and we don't know anyone to ask) so we pay for expensive frozen and keep trying... I feel like every day is a bit of a struggle over what Heather eats, or if she exercises, and I don't want to see these things as signs that she's not really trying, and I don't want to pressure her so much, but I just get so frustrated and feel like I'm not allowed to have any input at all.
(thanks for letting me vent)

K, H, and baby E (who is now three!!!)
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#34 of 57 Old 11-23-2008, 08:11 AM
 
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i do think you should have a say in deciding to have your partner checked out by a doctor. typically i think this would happen prior to two whole years of trying. i think you have to try to encourage your wife to go to the doctor, especially since it could increases her pregnancy chances. i think it should be both of your decisions. my partner and i are just starting now and we try to make decisions together. it gets harder for things like eating and exercising though. just because you would eat differently and exercise more, doesn't mean your wife will feel the same way. i just try to get us both to the gym together and try to make healthy meals. it is hard though to know you may do things differently, but you have to understand that you are different people. what works for you may not work for her and it doesn't necessarily mean she's less into getting pregnant. i think you need to work on the doc visit more than the other little things. perhaps she is scared of something?
i hope it all works out for you!
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#35 of 57 Old 11-23-2008, 01:07 PM
 
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Thanks Wazzmum,
We actually did have a big talk about it and she told me exactly that, that she terrified of going to the doctor. Her dad died young (40) and they didn't know anything was wrong until he went to the doctor and was wisked away to surgery for colon cancer at 35.
We'll keep talking about it and hopefully get in to the doctor together sometime soon.
Thanks again!

K, H, and baby E (who is now three!!!)
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#36 of 57 Old 11-23-2008, 11:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by osker View Post
Hi non-bio moms,
Help please? My wife and I are trying to get pregnant (with frozen swimmers, she's carrying) and we're disagreeing on the plan. She wants at home, no doctors (which we've been trying for a while -2yrs) and I want her to go to the doctor and have some tests run. I get that it's her body and she should be able to choose, but this is my family and will be my child as well... shouldn't I have some say? What do you guys do if you disagree when it comes to baby carrying decisions? Does she get veto power because it's her body? Do you get a vote as the other parent of child-to-be?
It definitely sounds like a trip to the doctor would be a good idea if you've been trying for two years. Normally it's recommended to get "checked out" after 12 months of unsuccessful ttc (I am assuming you've tried at least that many times during the two years of trying, if not, maybe you guys could agree to wait until after try #12). If your dw is afraid of going to the doctor, I wonder if perhaps she has some underlying fear issues that might need to be resolved before she should get pregnant anyway. Just because, during pregnancy, you really need to have the ability to trust your body and trust your caregivers.

I definitely think that every woman ultimately gets to decide what happens to her body, but I think it would be reasonable in this case that if your dw is deciding that she doesn't want to take the next step and go to the doctor then it makes sense that you should consider switching and trying with your uterus for a while.

This all came up for us a little bit because we only had the one last vial of our donor's sperm for dw to try with. It was not a HUGE deal, we would have happily kept trying with a new donor if we weren't successful on the first try, but it made sense to us that we do everything we could--within reason--to increase our chances of getting pregnant on the first try. I guess the part where we disagreed was what "within reason" meant. Dw had previously been diagnosed with PCOS, so we both thought it was reasonable that she get bloodwork and u/s done before ttc, just to see if she was really ovulating, etc. I also thought that it would make sense for dw to take something (like clomid or femara) to increase her chances of pregnancy. She disagreed and said she didn't want to take anything. Ultimately, we compromised by having her do a monitored cycle (with u/s) and a trigger shot, to get as close to perfect timing as we could. So, if it were MY body, I would have taken clomid or something, but in the end it was up to dw and she decided not to (and, clearly, she made the right choice ).

Quote:
Originally Posted by osker
I feel like every day is a bit of a struggle over what Heather eats, or if she exercises, and I don't want to see these things as signs that she's not really trying, and I don't want to pressure her so much, but I just get so frustrated and feel like I'm not allowed to have any input at all.
(thanks for letting me vent)
I can see how that would be really hard, to feel like your wife is making choices that indicate she's not trying her hardest. We dealt with this a little bit too because dw wanted to keeping drinking (alcohol, caffeine, etc.) right up until we put the sperm in. She wasn't consuming a huge amount or anything, but when we were ttc with my uterus, I cut those things out months ahead of time to increase my fertility. I ended up choosing not to fight that battle because I didn't want to make dw into the obsessive-ttcer that I was, and I just didn't want my role to be "the food police" or whatever. I did try to make especially healthy meals and make sure that dw was eating enough . . . I treated her like she was already pregnant. It made me feel like I was doing my part in making the baby.

HTH!

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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#37 of 57 Old 11-24-2008, 11:53 AM
 
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my dp was a little resistant to all the testing and doing it far ahead of time for ttc'ing #2. there was some question of her being hypothyroid and so after much discussion (and me trying NOT to be the ttc police!) she finally agreed. in the end it was a GOOD thing because we found multiple issues that would have prevented her from even getting pregnant and some that would have caused complications when pregnant.

i don't think what you are asking for is unreasonable. if there is something wrong, even if it's a very bad thing, it's better to know so it can be treated. in our case, undiagnosed hypothyroidism can cause heart disease.

good luck!
g

edited to add dp's list of issues (with no obvious signs of anything being wrong): hashimoto's thyroiditis (hypothyroidism - can cause heart disease, annovulatory cycles, m/c and birth defects), factor v leiden hetero (blood clotting disorder that can cause m/c and blood clots post partum), mthfr hetero A1298C (b vitamin absorption disorder that can cause neural tube defects). the hypothyroidism caused annovulatory cycles but if we hadn't been tracking we wouldn't have known.

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#38 of 57 Old 11-25-2008, 06:07 PM
 
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Hey K! It's hard for me to relate completely because I am the lazy one in our relationship and M is always reminding me about doctor's appointments. Anyway, we headed the medical route after 3 at-home tries primarily because of money, and sort of because it was really tough to go through the tww each time. It also helped that our friends had been trying longer than us, and were not successful until they saw a fertility doc. We used frozen and it was just too expensive to keep trying at home, not knowing for sure if we had our timing right. Of course, there is no guarantee that a fertility doc can make the magic happen, but we figured it was worth a shot. We ended up doing what lexbeach and her wife did (monitored cycle (with u/s) and a trigger shot) and it worked for us on the first try. Unfortunately, I don't know what advice to give about getting H into doctor mode. I have to say, we went to an all-female practice and everyone was super nice, so maybe you could look into the kind of practice that would make H feel comfortable. Another thing I'm thinking is that, I recognize that H is worried about her life based on her father's death, but it doesn't seem fair to use that as a reason to not see a fertility doctor. I mean, she's willing to have a child despite the concerns, but not willing to see a doctor first. I do think that going to a fertility doc can seem like you are giving up the reins, but sometimes that's a good thing. The end result everyone wants is a kid. Has she ever said what might make her go to a doctor? Can you get her to go by saying you've tried it X way for 2 years, now can we try it Z way for some period of time? Hmm.

Mama (non-bio) to REPlaySkateboard04HL.gifmy little man (6), and mama (bio) to babyboy.gif my tiny man (2/14)
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#39 of 57 Old 11-27-2008, 03:51 AM
 
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hi all! i'm new to this site. my partner is on here so i thought i would check it out. we just found a kd. we will be ttc in a few months. dp has some issues with her cycle and i have been gently reminding her that she needs to follow through on some blood work that was ordered by the doc to figure out what is going on with her. I will be the non-bio parent. I have 2 adult children and she has a 6yr old son from a previous relationship so this will be our first baby together. i know there will be differences for me this time around but i am excited for them. i am very excited to have a pregnant partner that i can spoil and treat like a goddess (not that i don't do that now). i know that she will be the pcg as she is a sahm currently and will continue to be that. i work fulltime and will continue to do so after the baby comes. i am going to take some parental leave though so i can spend some quality time with my family. as far as outside influences go, i don't care. my family is my family. i have been out for 18 yrs. i have gotten more looks walking into the women's bathroom than i could ever count. i have been called sir more times than i can count. i know who i am and i like who i am. it took me alot of years to figure that out and now that i have, i really don't care what other people think or perceive about who i am or what my role is. i know, my dp knows, my kids know, and anyone else in my life that matters knows. i stopped explaining my lie to people a long time ago. now it is what it is. i talk about my dp at work since day one at my job as anyone would talk about their signiicant other. i don't make a big deal out of it and it isn't a big deal. it just is and when my co worker talks about his wife, it just is. when dp and i conceive and i share the news with my co-workers and friends and family, i know it will be joyous and congratulatory all around. i guess my advice is don't look to others to validate your role. figure out what your role is and live it proudly regardless of others looks, words, or actions. iown your role strongly. no one can cause inferior feelings within you without your consent.
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#40 of 57 Old 12-10-2008, 04:14 PM
 
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Wanted to stop in and say hey!

Non-bio mom to two year old whirlwind of chaos and magic. Expecting our second in January.

:

Jen
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#41 of 57 Old 12-10-2008, 07:32 PM
 
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Welcome and congrats!!

: DD 8/29/08 and twin boys 11/3/09
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#42 of 57 Old 12-11-2008, 05:51 PM
 
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First of all...congrats Lex! The last post I saw from you was when Lena was just starting to consider ttc herself and now you're preggo!

There's been a lot written on these three pages I wanted to comment on but I don't have time to write a book with the boy napping for not much longer so I'll just share a bit and comment on what I remember most.

My DW carried our DS but I was the driving force on ttc research, since I'm science minded and she was just finishing school/getting a new job when we started. This made me feel VERY involved. I was often referred to (mostly lovingly, sometimes not) as the pregnancy manager. While this was a good experience in a lot of ways, it sometimes wasn't. It's great when both are so involved but when it's not your body, there's only so much you can control and when you are the or becoming the non-bio parent, you have to let go of some of the reins. If I had it to do again I would try to keep my mouth shut more often than not (something that's hard for me). In the end, all of my "helpful" comments ended up hurting my wife and there's still some unrepaired relationship damage because of that. After birth I became the breastfeeding police too. I only wanted what was best for my wife and son but sometimes went too far in my pushing.

Like someone else mentioned, during ttc, my DW didn't want medical intervention despite her short LP and after a few tries I was ready for some more help. In the end, it took us 8 tries at home (the last combined with one unmedicated IUI). It's so stressful going through it, especially when you really CAN'T make the decisions and feel you would do things differently. My DW wasn't afraid of the Dr., she just wanted to trust her body, which is awesome, right? I guess I tend to be more pessimistic and wanted more information. But she stuck to her guns and now we have a beautiful son. I do believe that as the non-bio partner, you can say what you want to happen but ultimately it is the bio partner's decision to make since it is their body.

Being a non-bio partner who wants to birth/bf, makes it really hard. I think in Lex's pregnancies, it was more like a traditional male/female couple and I think that can be easier in a lot of ways. But with me, I had my own hopes and dreams about how I would do things. I am really excited about ttc myself in the near future. Not that it would be MY baby, but that it would be my body and I would have more clout in decision making and MY bodily experience.

So, for me lack of control has been the hardest part of the ttc/pregnancy/bf journey. We've had some family issues too of me not being seen as a full parent by the bio grandparents. But other than that, things have been really equal. Most of the time when we're in public as a family people don't even ask who the mom is. I don't know if they think we both are or are just keeping their mouths closed? But it really hasn't been an issue. We never hide it and when someone does ask, we always state that we both are and have never had a poor response to that...even from an elderly woman in an elevator once.

So, my advice to those starting out is to try to step back and let the bio partner make the decisions with your point of view taken into account and with your full support - obviously this can be super hard for some of us. My partner has vowed to do this for me and it sounds nice (I think she'll be successful as she can't let go more easily). I wish I could have been more like that for her and started out our parenting on a more considerate/compassionate footing.

Well, that's really all I can remember I wanted to comment on at this time. I'm sure more will come up later.

Megan-39, Postpartum Doula, DW to Sacha-40 (18 years together) and Mama to Finn Alexander born 4/2/07 and Zivia Littlewood born 8/23/10

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#43 of 57 Old 12-13-2008, 08:27 AM
 
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hi megan sacha,

i just started the ttc process w/ my partner and i will be the non-bio mom. i am so glad i stumbled upon your post because i am already feeling like i wish i had more control and realizing i have to chill out. so thanks for your advice about stepping back.
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#44 of 57 Old 12-15-2008, 01:52 AM
 
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i think you actually have really hit on something here. i think that a lot of the key to being treated like and considered an equal parent is to act like one. treat the person who might question you as the one who is coming from left field, not the other way around.

there is a subtle difference between acceptance and approval. my dad is fond of reminding me that even though the entirety of my extended family is very accepting of me and lemurmommies and signal, that doesn't necessarily mean that they approve. and i am fond of reminding him back that as long as they accept, i don't care one whit whether they approve or not!

as parents we need to remember not to look for validation of our roles from other people, who might well not at all understand, accept, or approve. we don't need to be validated. we are parents, full and equal. we have earned (or will earn, for all those TTCers) that honour and distinction by waking up every 45 minutes when the LO has a cold, by cleaning up the puke and the snot and the poop, by loving and being loved by our children.
Very well said! This is hard to learn, but once you do -- you're GOLDEN.

Jen
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#45 of 57 Old 12-16-2008, 11:09 AM
 
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hey everyone! stopping back by just to check in. i returned to work yesterday after a week of bereavement leave following the loss of noelle. and of couse, DS picked these last two nights to stop. sleeping. altogether. seriously, i was up with him from probably 1:30 or 2:00 until 5:45. and then lemurmommies had to go in with him and get him down, at which point he slept until 7:45.

i am hoping that next week he starts driving my car or writing a novel! keep your fingers crossed for a developmental leap that justifies the bags under all our eyes this morning! :yawning:

that's all! wishing everyone a good week out there.
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#46 of 57 Old 12-18-2008, 04:06 PM
 
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Megan-- It is so nice to see such a thoughtful post from you! I've been reading Sacha's writing at babycakes for ages (our daughter is a bit older than Finn) and always wondered about how things were for you! You guys seem very conscientious and thorough in your thinking, at least from Sacha's POV!

My anxiety about becoming a mother by the non-bio-route definitely made me a...nag. Thankfully, my wife was gracious about it, interpreted it as my trying to make a connection with our baby, and we were enough on the same page about most things that it didn't do any damage. I can't say I would have necessarily done the same in her shoes. We also had the "non-nursing mom is more serious about nursing" dynamic that was hard there for a while until we hit our stride. I waffle between agreeing with you that it is the right thing to do to step back a bit, say, during TTC/pregnancy, and wanting to urge expecting non-bio-parents to jump in there and claim their parental space right from the get-go. On the one hand, I'm sort of in Sacha's camp, in that if my wife had been pushing me to meds sooner while we were TTC number 2 (in my body), I probably would have blown my top, but on the other hand, I think too often there is not space for an expecting non-bio-mom/parent anywhere in pregnancy, and it is important for BOTH parents to remember to make room, that it isn't going to happen automatically. And the thing is, chances are an expecting bio-mom won't automatically know what room needs to be made, or what support her partner needs, unless the non-bio-parent says. I also think there can be a very myopic bio-mom centric view that starts during pregnancy and infancy, and can carry over much later into childhood than you intend, if you aren't careful about it from the get-go, meaning even during TTC and pregancy.

--Lyn

I'm Lyn (32) wife to Gail (38) Mama to Leigh (born 6/06 ,via Gail) and Ira (born 5/09, via me)
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#47 of 57 Old 12-18-2008, 07:21 PM
 
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Lyn, thanks for your kind words. I definitely agree with you that there needs to be space made for the non-bio mom, I just don't think she really is fully equal during ttc and pregnancy in that it isn't her body. But of course she is fully equal in terms of being a mother. And, outside of breastfeeding, everything after birth can be totally equal. In our case, DW is still BF so that disparity still exists. But, Finn is totally bonded to me and I would say equally bonded to both his moms. He just has an additional bond with the boobs that happen to be on Sacha!

Can you share what your experience has been like so far being pg with #2? I hope to be in that position in about a year.

Megan-39, Postpartum Doula, DW to Sacha-40 (18 years together) and Mama to Finn Alexander born 4/2/07 and Zivia Littlewood born 8/23/10

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#48 of 57 Old 12-19-2008, 01:50 PM
 
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Lyn, thanks for your kind words. I definitely agree with you that there needs to be space made for the non-bio mom, I just don't think she really is fully equal during ttc and pregnancy in that it isn't her body.
Yeah, we agree here (my wife has written about that rude awakening with this pregnancy, actually, since we're so used to sharing everything she forgot she wouldn't be all that included in the pregnancy part) but I wouldn't be surprised if your (and my) perhaps ill-advised clamoring during TTC and pregnancy also contributed to building secure parental space for us in our families.

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Can you share what your experience has been like so far being pg with #2? I hope to be in that position in about a year.
We're both writing about this extensively over at our blog, so I won't clog up a non-bio support thread with too many details (see sig for link). TTC was a bit more of a struggle this time, both for fertility reasons and because I was somewhat more motivated than my wife. It was fine, but the dynamic was definitely different than the first time, when TTC was the only thing on both of our minds. I've also been a little surprised to find how much I still strongly identify with other non-gestational-parents (other queer non-bio-parents, dads, adoptive parents). I'm still thrilled when I see anyone writing or thinking about these issues, way more than reading about pregnancy, even though I'm sitting here pregnant. I think I'll always have that. Do come visit though, and good luck.

I'm Lyn (32) wife to Gail (38) Mama to Leigh (born 6/06 ,via Gail) and Ira (born 5/09, via me)
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#49 of 57 Old 12-26-2008, 11:31 AM
 
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Fairly new to these boards and it's so wonderful to find others out there who are in the same position I am - watching a dear one go through this amazing wonderful experience and experiencing all the thrills and joys but also all the fears of not being what is traditionally recognized as family.

My big question of the day is whether any of you have suffered sympathy symptoms - nausea, extreme emotional responses, etc?
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#50 of 57 Old 12-28-2008, 01:13 AM
 
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My big question of the day is whether any of you have suffered sympathy symptoms - nausea, extreme emotional responses, etc?
i don't think that this is exactly what you mean, but i get sympathetically fat! :

thankfully, the ensuing output of energy with chasing around a child helped me slim down after DS's birth!
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#51 of 57 Old 12-28-2008, 08:09 PM
 
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I am curious if/how gender has played into this for others? I identify as a femme and DP is pretty butch / genderqueer. I have been pretty nuts over babies- and pregnancy - my whole life, and DP has definitely NOT been that into it until recently when her bio clock started kicking. Even now, I am the one who is constantly bringing up TTC and our future kiddos (we're at the very beginning of the process and starting to look for a KD) - to the point where DP is often asking me to calm down a bit about it. The complicating thing is that because DP is four years older than me, and has concerns about fertility problems in her family, she feels strongly that she should go first and I should go second. This has been really hard for me to wrap my head around - i have always imagined i would be the one pregnant, nursing, etc and never envisioned myself with a pregnant partner. I think a lot of it has to do with my femme identity, and honestly the last few months that we've gotten deeper into these discussions have been really good for me because it has forced me to probe a lot of my conceptions about what it means to mother, to be femme with a more masculine (and pregnant!)partner, and think about what role society's messages and my internalized homophobia have to do with all of this. But on a more pragmatic level i'm also just really scared that by DP going first it really reduces my chance of ever carrying a baby. (which is fairly irrational since I'm still in my late twenties)...but still I have now read on lots of blogs that even when the plan is for the 2nd baby to be carried by the other partner, it doesn't always happen. I worry she'll have multiples and then we won't be able to afford another. I also feel irrationally jealous of her having the experience of preganancy without a toddler running around....
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#52 of 57 Old 12-28-2008, 10:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Fairly new to these boards and it's so wonderful to find others out there who are in the same position I am - watching a dear one go through this amazing wonderful experience and experiencing all the thrills and joys but also all the fears of not being what is traditionally recognized as family.
Welcome!

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Originally Posted by nyc_amu View Post
My big question of the day is whether any of you have suffered sympathy symptoms - nausea, extreme emotional responses, etc?
I did feel somewhat queasy in the first couple weeks, ironically before dw started feeling queasy herself, lol. I think it was due to my having been pregnant before, and remembering what early pregnancy felt like for me. And also just being nervous about the whole thing, if the pregnancy would stick, etc. But by the time dw actually started having symptoms, I felt fine. And I have been thoroughly enjoying this symptomless pregnancy since then .

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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#53 of 57 Old 12-29-2008, 11:26 AM
 
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Hi and welcome citygirl! :
I think pregnancy/kids always bring up strong feelings in people! My wife and I are both sorta middle-of-the-road lesbians, though I am a makeup loving, hair curling kinda girl, and my wife would love to avoid dressing up for the rest of her life. Overall, though, we don't stick out much on the butch/femme scale.
Anyway, we both wanted kids, but my wife really wanted to be pregnant. That was all fine and good until my biological clock starting ticking at age 27, and my wife was 25. I got baby crazy and she just thought I was nuts! I have fertility issues, so we always knew she would be the one to get pregnant. It was an odd position to be in because I was older and ready to have a baby, but I had to wait on her to get to that point herself. Over a two year time period, we started saving more money, my wife finished school, and we had lots of discussions about pregnancy, kids and our future. Although I was feeling impatient, I tried to keep it to myself because I knew at some point she would be ready. I think if we were older, I may have been pushier, especially if she had already finished school. Now that we have our son, my wife could not be happier. I think it helps that she felt ready when she got pregnant because she was able to be relaxed and try to enjoy the 9 months.
The biggest difference for her, being a little more butch, was that she hated almost all maternity clothes. If your DP gets pregnant first, expect to go into the maternity stores yourself and buy stuff that is as plain and unfrilly as you can find.
I can totally understand that your DP is feeling overwhelmed by all of your excitement about babies. I know my wife thought I was nuts and wished I would just stop talking about it. I think if you can explain your fears, and discuss the possibilities, you will feel better. There's a big difference between wanting to generally discuss having kids, and wanting to discuss real concerns about the what ifs. I never plan on getting pregnant, so I can't help with any info on those discussions, but I'm sure others on here can describe their conversations. I can imagine that it's tough because now that we have our son, we both are interested in having another kid, but acknowledge that if, for some reason, we can't have another, that would be ok. If I was still waiting for my turn, that would be heartbreaking.
Good luck and let us know how things are going!
-Meredith

Mama (non-bio) to REPlaySkateboard04HL.gifmy little man (6), and mama (bio) to babyboy.gif my tiny man (2/14)
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#54 of 57 Old 12-29-2008, 11:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by citygirl144 View Post
I am curious if/how gender has played into this for others? I identify as a femme and DP is pretty butch / genderqueer. I have been pretty nuts over babies- and pregnancy - my whole life, and DP has definitely NOT been that into it until recently when her bio clock started kicking. Even now, I am the one who is constantly bringing up TTC and our future kiddos (we're at the very beginning of the process and starting to look for a KD) - to the point where DP is often asking me to calm down a bit about it. The complicating thing is that because DP is four years older than me, and has concerns about fertility problems in her family, she feels strongly that she should go first and I should go second. This has been really hard for me to wrap my head around - i have always imagined i would be the one pregnant, nursing, etc and never envisioned myself with a pregnant partner. I think a lot of it has to do with my femme identity, and honestly the last few months that we've gotten deeper into these discussions have been really good for me because it has forced me to probe a lot of my conceptions about what it means to mother, to be femme with a more masculine (and pregnant!)partner, and think about what role society's messages and my internalized homophobia have to do with all of this. But on a more pragmatic level i'm also just really scared that by DP going first it really reduces my chance of ever carrying a baby. (which is fairly irrational since I'm still in my late twenties)...but still I have now read on lots of blogs that even when the plan is for the 2nd baby to be carried by the other partner, it doesn't always happen. I worry she'll have multiples and then we won't be able to afford another. I also feel irrationally jealous of her having the experience of preganancy without a toddler running around....
Maybe you guys would be good candidates for joint pregnancy (both ttc at the same time)? I always thought that would be a fun idea (although the first trimester would have sucked).

Neither dw nor I identifies as butch or femme, so that wasn't as much of an issue for us. Though I've been very surprised by how much butchier I've been feeling since dw got pregnant. I'm definitely not wanting to wear skirts and I seriously feel like my testosterone levels have surged or something. I feel, for the first time ever, a drive to be financially successful and provide for my family (I've been a SAHM for six years now). I wish I could buy us a house and get us all settled before the baby arrives. It's been really funny!

I understand your jealousy about not being the one to go first, but I will say that I think being "the one to go second" would be an equally desirable position. Now that we already have kids, dw is getting to experience pregnancy in the context of our fabulous community of young families (which we did not have the first time around at all). We already have our favorite pediatrician, know how to deal with sick babies, know all about baby-wearing and cloth diapering and all sorts of resources that will be available to us . . . we're finally using the homebirth midwives of our dreams (who we didn't know about the first time) . . . we're really doing it dreamily this time. It's like everything is finally in place and I'm sure it will be MUCH less stressful all around. Also, even though I was the one to give birth the first time and the second time, getting to experience the whole thing through the eyes of the product of our first pregnancy only made it all so much more fun and special. We have definitely appreciated our third baby's infancy SO MUCH MORE than we appreciated our twins' infancy. So I could see being equally jealous were your pregnancy positions to be switched.



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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#55 of 57 Old 12-31-2008, 05:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by citygirl144 View Post
I am curious if/how gender has played into this for others? I identify as a femme and DP is pretty butch / genderqueer. I have been pretty nuts over babies- and pregnancy - my whole life, and DP has definitely NOT been that into it until recently when her bio clock started kicking...The complicating thing is that because DP is four years older than me, and has concerns about fertility problems in her family, she feels strongly that she should go first and I should go second. This has been really hard for me to wrap my head around - i have always imagined i would be the one pregnant, nursing, etc and never envisioned myself with a pregnant partner...But on a more pragmatic level i'm also just really scared that by DP going first it really reduces my chance of ever carrying a baby. (which is fairly irrational since I'm still in my late twenties)...but still I have now read on lots of blogs that even when the plan is for the 2nd baby to be carried by the other partner, it doesn't always happen. I worry she'll have multiples and then we won't be able to afford another. I also feel irrationally jealous of her having the experience of preganancy without a toddler running around....
First, it's great you and DP are hashing this out and you are questioning your assumptions about gender/mothering/parenting before you are even on the TTC bandwagon. If your goal is to get both of you very involved as parents, this is absolutely essential.

Second, DP "going first" might actually work in your favor, especially if DP has been a little slow on the uptake getting on the baby bandwagon. It really takes more work to get engaged as a parent, and a mother, when you are not carrying the child. It isn't easy. There isn't a lot of support, and what there is out there often operates on the assumption that you should be a secondary "supportive" parent (including many of the essays in the "other mother" anthology, and much of the published writing on queer parenting in general). But it doesn't have to be that way, and it sounds like such a secondary status would rankle for you (it doesn't for everyone, it did for me). It wasn't that way in our family, and one of the main reasons is that both my wife and I prioritized getting me on solid footing as a mother as soon after birth as possible, and I was motivated to get in there quickly and do the work of building a relationship with our kid without the aid of biology. Our personalities are such that, had roles been reversed, I don't think it would have worked out as well. My wife is a bit more generous, a bit less territorial, and was quite willing to share the "mother" turf. I am more likely to speak up when something feels strange or upsetting, making me better suited to the less traveled path. Perhaps your strong motivation, and DPs slight reluctance, as well as a possible increased willingness to share the "mother" role and title due to gender considerations, could work in your favor the same way, and help your family avoid many of the pitfalls of a more traditional gendered approach.

Third, you are right to be concerned about your "try" actually materializing. In our family, even though my wife was absolutely dead set on having two, once we'd had the first, she really dragged her feet on getting going on the second. It all worked out; I'm now pregnant with our second and we're both on the same page, but I think it's telling that even for us, where we had similar levels of commitment, there was a real discrepancy in our motivations for the second child. There are also all kinds of other things that get in the way of switching up for the second pregnancy. There are multiples (as you mention), money (there will be less once you have a kid and realize how much daycare costs). If one of you is staying home, there will be even less money. There's also the issue of genetic connection for kids, especially if you are using frozen and are running out of vials, or your KD isn't on board for a second. I think for many folks a genetic link for the kids seems more important *after* they have the first (it was for us). There are some things you can do to mitigate these ahead of time though. The most important of which is making absolute sure that you are both committed to doing your dead level best to achieve a pregnancy for each of you. If you are talking to a KD, do what you can to get his commitment for a second pregnancy. If you go with frozen, go ahead and dish out the money once you achieve the first pregnancy for a hefty number of vials from the same donor, before the baby starts sucking the bank account dry. Talk with DP about timelines. As you think through how to arrange childcare for your first, keep in mind you *both* will still need to prioritize finances for making the second a reality, even though you have a child you are both head over heels for. DON'T take a "we'll just wait and see" approach to your try for pregnancy, if it is as important to you as it sounds like it is.

You are also right that the second pregnancy with a toddler in tow isn't as much "fun." With the first, we were both enthralled. Right now, it's all about survival. But it is nice in some ways. I knew what I was getting into ahead of time. Birth is not as frightening to me as it might otherwise be. My wife is supportive in ways that I couldn't be for her, because she really gets it.

This is all good stuff that you and DP are working through. It's all important, and if circumstances weren't such that you were dealing with it now, you'd still have to hash it out later, possibly during more chaotic and stressful times. Good luck.

--Lyn

I'm Lyn (32) wife to Gail (38) Mama to Leigh (born 6/06 ,via Gail) and Ira (born 5/09, via me)
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#56 of 57 Old 01-06-2009, 11:18 PM
 
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Thank you all for such insightful posts! These are so helpful...
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#57 of 57 Old 01-27-2009, 06:05 PM
 
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Hi,
I'm really glad this thread got started.
I just found out this morning that DW Tami is not pregnant this time, cycle #7, spaced over almost 3 years with breaks. She wants to try one more time at home. I feel in my gut that that's a good idea but am having trouble imagining it once more. We used frozen the 1st two times, then last year swicthed to a KD in another state who is shipping it to us using a kit, which thankfully is much much MUCH cheaper, as money is a big issue (isn't it always? ) A few cycles ago, we went to a fertility doc, and found that Tami's progesterone is low and she started on prometrium. This was the 2nd cycle witrh the prometrium.
I am just at a point where it is hard for me to imagine doing another one. We have gotten to this place before, and taken a break, but neither of us feels like a break is the answer right now. We've been communicating openly about our feelings and when to stop at home and try to come up with a way to pay for some IUI's (Tami's insurance is crappy) and we think after try #8, that's what we'll do.
But I guess what I am wondering is, as the non-bio parent-to-be, what have others' experiences been in this situation? I am very very very tired of this. Each time it gets harder. I know it is the same for Tami, only with the added stress of it being her body. And the fact that I'm not 100% attached to us biologically having a baby as the way for us to become parents. Anybody have anything that's helped? I just feel nauseated thinking of one more try!! (Could be my recent stomach bug. . . )
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