Now that I’ve written the title of this post, I’m thinking I should make this into a series. There are lots of little things that happen in life that are kinda-sorta insignificant to everyone else but you. Today, one such thing happened. I took my son, the baby, to Ikea. I know, I know – don’t everybody trip over themselves trying to pat me on the back! You guys, this was actually pretty darn big for me. Even before JJ was born, I always held the false belief that I wouldn’t be caught dead struggling with a crying, unruly child in a store. I don’t take him with me on important errands because of that fear and we’ve had our groceries delivered since he was born. Thank you, Instacart. I understand that one day I’ll be out of options and it will happen. I get that. But NOT TODAY SATAN! I got up, got dressed, downed some coffee and off we went to Michael’s and Ikea. JJ cried in the car on the way to Michael’s but not in the store. He stayed equally sane for the 50 minutes that we were in Ikea (I take alllll the shortcuts, girl). I even fit lunch in while I was there! He did lose his shit on the drive home, though. But still! A victory for this mama. Hooray!
Pictured: Some Ikea artificial foliage on our small patio. Originally we were going to try and grow some grass out there in pots but we got lazy. There’s a time and a place for fake plants – weddings NO patios YES
When the mood strikes and the lighting is nice, I like to whip out the “big camera” aka my Canon DSLR. Holly and I took these pics on a random day at a random time – just because. I think they turned out nicely. Nothing fancy. Just capturing a moment in our family’s time together. And of course, as always, my girl cat Jeanie was ready for her close up. She’s such a photogenic girl. Here’s to simplicity. *clink*
When we finally finished JJ’s nursery, I took some quick photos before it got bogged down with baby shower gifts and other random things. Here they are! I adore how it turned out. We didn’t know if we were going to have a girl or a boy so we wanted to keep things neutral. And since the nursery is merely a nook of our bedroom, it was priority to keep the styles simpatico – no bright colors or cartoonish items. I prefer a more natural, mature look in a home and that includes my baby’s nursery. If you ask me, the best part of it all is the solar system mobile that we bought from Pottery Barn. So bad ass, huh?? We actually had to do a little DIYing on the canopy so that the mobile would fit. We just added a second, larger hoop underneath the original so that it could contain the mobile. The small details such as the sailboat, salt lamp and hanging plants really give it some cozy style. Don’t you just love it?!
WARNING: This post is very, very long.
I know you’re curious. Most people are. It’s understandable. There are plenty of avenues that a lesbian couple could take to have a baby. If ever you’ve met a gay couple that has kids you’ve undoubtedly wondered how they made it happen. Even I wonder. Some couples find it intrusive to ask but not us. It’s one of our favorite things to talk about! Our journey was joyful and we’re pretty open people.
So how did we choose to bring baby J to life? We went the simple route – used a sperm donor and artificial insemination! Hooray! We feel fortunate that we could carry our own baby and that we didn’t come across any fertility issues along the way. For whatever reason, there seems to be a common misconception that being in a lesbian relationship = IVF. Not true. IVF occurs when infertility issues come about. All of my equipment works so all we needed were some little swimmers. I was 31 when i got pregnant and ended up having a perfectly healthy and natural gestation & birth. And yes, it was always going to be ME that carried our babies. It’s probably written in stone somewhere. Holly never had interest in carrying a child so we’ve designated this duty as mine (happily!). We went about the process of choosing a sperm donor online using the California Cryobank‘s website. Their website was so easy to use and we appreciated the plethora of information that they had for each potential donor. What was most important for us was that the donor had a similar ethnic background, interests and physical features as Holly. That made it easy to narrow the candidates down. Ultimately, Holly got the final word on which donor to go with. We purchased 2 vials of sperm from 2 different donors that we loved.
What sort of information did we have about these guys? Glad you ask! We know ethnic makeup, interests, education, medical background of donor and family, answers to some general personality questions, childhood photos, staff perceptions, pregnancies achieved and there were even samples of the donor’s original music. All in all we felt very comfortable with who we chose. No reservations whatsoever.
We hired a local midwife that performs at-home inseminations and started to track my monthly cycle. When I ovulated, she would come over the next day, crack open the metal vessel that we had shipped overnight from the Bank, prep the pre-washed sperm and insert it into my cervix. Easy as pie. Not painful. Took about 30 mins total. A note on the shipping vessel: it was HUGE and heavy and when you opened it up it had dry ice smoke billowing out. All of this for a teeny tiny vial of sperm the size of a quarter. Pure sciencey magic!
Again, being the lucky girls that we are, I got pregnant on the 2nd try! We did double IUI that time which means we inseminated 2 days in a row. Coincidentally, one of those days fell on June 26th which was the day that Gay Marriage was legalized by the US Supreme Court (YAS!). Talk about an incredible 24 hours! The rest is history as they say. When it’s time for baby #2, we will do things exactly the same. We’re thrilled with the results (obvi, we’re obsessed with our little guy!) but there were a few downsides to making a baby the way that we did. It’s hella spendy. I’m talking like a grand a pop. Also, it very much felt like there were a lot of people involved and a few more hoops to jump through than we would’ve guessed. Making a baby is such an intimate thing. It’s a personal decision that my wife and I made when we felt good and ready. Before you can even purchase sperm you have to submit paperwork, have your doc sign off, etc to prove that you’re able physically and otherwise. When you make a baby the usual way, you don’t have to get the approval of anyone else. Is this a negative-nancy way to look at it? Absolutely. But, it’s how I felt. How I still feel. But hey, it is what it is. At the end of the day I would do it all again, without change, because it got us Baby J.
So that’s the story, morning glory. Any questions?
*The pictures in this post were taken the day that we believe J was conceived June 26th 2015, almost a year ago.
Some things just sorta happen organically. Our long-held tradition of buying refrigerator magnets from the places we’ve traveled developed as such. While I was trying to brainstorm something more clever, the magnet idea just sort of happened and we went with it. Now that Baby J’s here I’ve been brainstorming AGAIN about how we can creatively record his travels starting with his very first flight 2 weeks ago. In the midst of reminding my wife NOT to forget to buy a Ft. Lauderdale magnet for the fifth time an idea struck me – why don’t we just photograph J dawg with each magnet that we purchase from each place?! Eureka! It’ll show his rate of growth at each location we visit. I love it. And so, it shall be. JJ’s first flight was to Ft. Lauderdale, FL this month to visit great-gran’s. Just under 3 months of age. Here he is with our Ft. Lauderdale magnet (now on our fridge). I think this new tradition is going to work out juuuusstt fine. <3
The other day H made one of my favoritist, favoritist foods – ceviche! As much as I love it we’ve never made it at home until now. Major fail considering how easy it is. We used red snapper for this recipe and paired it with some blue corn tortilla chips. We finished this whole bowl off in mere minutes, it was so unbelievably fresh and tasty! I love dishes like this because they’re healthy and versatile. You can add stone fruit, mango, different chili peppers and a variety of different fish. What’s your favorite ceviche combination?
Something has been heavy on my mind for quite a while: the paradox of having a strong desire to blog/journal openly about my life vs. the knowledge that privacy and safety for my family are paramount. How does one balance the two? It’s been a major literary cockblock since the conception of this blog. It prevents me from being as forthcoming and reckless about my inner-workings as I could be…which is a good thing I guess? If you think about it, when the past generation of mothers wanted to record their baby’s lives they put it in a book. Complete with hair trimmings, baby socks, cards, you name it. It feels so important to keep these memories in some form but I have 0% desire to put together a traditional “baby book.” I’m not a scrapbooking type of gal. Plus, things with my generation have transitioned to online sharing which is easy, fun and reaches a lot more people without the requirement of a physical presence. I’m strongly compelled to share my family’s adventures on this blog. I love to get it out. I love to read it back. It’s a warm reminder and a space that makes me feel proud of all the things we’ve accomplished. The risk of someone stealing my photos or subjecting us to harm is small, I think. There’s a tiny (read: nonexistent) community of people reading this blog currently. *Hi, wife!* That works for me. However, just to be safe, I try not to divulge personal details. I think it gives a good balance and provides a safe space. Am I wrong? Am I right? What do you think, invisible reader?
“Enamored Mom” Is that redundant? For any new mom the word “enamored” barely even scratches the surface of feels when the baby that you’ve always wanted is now in your arms…but we’ll go with it for now. Since Baby J came into our world I’ve been so sublimely happy. At times I’ve been tired, cranky, worried and anxious – yes. But just so sublimely happy despite it all. When I look at him and realize that I’ve given birth and I’m now an actual mom I get this giddy feeling in my stomach. Smiling happens involuntarily! I imagine that this is how it feels when you first discover that you’ve won the lottery and all of your problems will be no more. Your life will be smooth sailing from here on out and so will the lives of those you love. Possibilities are endless. This is exactly what looking at him feels like only I get to experience it in waves throughout the day. EVERY day. What a gift, truly. So far, being a Mom is everything that I hoped it would be and more. Let us check in again when he’s two. 😉
P.S. I do understand that winning the lotto never really solved anyone’s problems, in fact, it’s done a number on many people’s lives in the worst way. I’m referring to the very moment that someone finds out that they’ve won. That high.
Yeah, yeah, Mya. Nobody cares.