Category Archives: The way the world works

The Other Shoe

posted by Mel

We had an OB appointment yesterday, and the doctor had trouble finding Simone’s heartbeat. So she sent us down for an ultrasound. Good news: Simone is alive. Bad news: We watched her heartrate drop from 121 to 78 to 66 within a matter of a minute. At 121 I looked at the u/s tech and said, “That’s awfully low, isn’t it?” She looked a little panicky, but she said, “Yes, that’s low, but they do that and then bounce up. Let’s watch it.” Second later she was on her feet saying something like, “I’m just going to step out and get the fetal/maternal medicine specialist around the corner.” Shit.

They were gone a long time. I gripped Vanessa’s hand and tried not to cry. We heard scuffling in the hallway. They were out there talking about us in low excited tones. Finally the u/s tech returned with our OB b/c she had not been able to find the perinatologist. It’s not coming coherently. Just need to get out the facts here.

The upshot of the whole thing is that Simone has an arrhythmia. From the Google research conducted in our home last night, we have surmised that this is called fetal bradycardia. We had an appointment in two weeks at Riley Children’s Hospital for a fetal echocardiogram anyway because of the two-vessel umbilical cord, but that has now been moved up to next Tuesday. We are to continue using the doppler every night and call the OB if we can’t find the HB. So far we’ve been able to find it. I think Vanessa has the magic touch– have always thought so, since she is always able to find it almost immediately. I never can. We’re not measuring the BPM (didn’t rent a fancy enough doppler apparently), but it is much faster and more consistent at home. So maybe it’s stress-related? They took blood from me to test for a couple of autoimmune disorders that might be responsible. They briefly considered keeping me overnight for observation, but they decided against since there is really nothing they can do but watch and wait– at least until she’s viable, which will be a minimum of 4 more weeks. From now on we’ll have OB appointments at a minimum of every two weeks and ultrasounds probably just as often. We’re told that we can choose to move our OB care to the perinatologist at any time. We really like our OB and she works closely with the perinatologist, so the jury’s still out on that one.

In the space of a two hour appointment (they’re usually 30 min), we went from worrying about daycare to worrying about whether Simone’s going to make it long enough to deliver safely and whether or not she’ll require a pacemaker at birth. We hope we’ll know more after speaking to the fetal cardiologist on Tuesday.



Filed under Preggo, The way the world works


posted by Mel

As a daycare business I will not discriminate because of your choice of lifestyle.  I do not have a problem caring and loving your child and being friends with you.  However, even though I’m a Methodist and we accept everyone I do not agree with your lifestyle but that is my personal opinion and would not reflect on our friendship.  We all make choices and do things that others don’t agree on and it shouldn’t reflect on loving the person for who they are.

From a real e-mail I received this morning from a in-her-own-home daycare provider. I’m feeling chafed, and I’m unsure how to respond. I’m sure this woman feels that she has been very reasonable with me, and I don’t want to fly off the handle.

Still. So many complex issues to work through here. 1.) Choice. My immediate response to the choice thing is always: IF my lesbianism is a choice, it is a legitimate one. 2.) Lifestyle– I don’t view my romantic relationship as a lifestyle. It’s a partnership, a union of souls; some might even call it a marriage. When I think about my lifestyle, it’s usually a lot more about what I do with the roughly 16 hours/day I spend upright rather than the 8 I spend horizontal. I’m an urban dweller who tries to avoid waste, strives for balance and simplicity, and prefers a walk in the park, a glass of wine in an intimate restaurant, and a good book on the couch to a night dancing to loud music. That’s what I think when someone says “lifestyle.” 3.) Friend– is it possible to be friends with someone who disapproves of my “lifestyle” when the only thing she’s basing her disapproval on is that I’m a member of a two-mom household? 4.) Accept– What does this word mean in the context of this paragraph? My ex-Lutheran ears hear the same old fool’s bargain that most churches have been shilling for the past few decades. Come on in. Everything will be fine as long as you are properly ashamed of yourself and know that the rest of us are morally superior to you.

You know what our OB said when she met Vanessa and me for the first time? “Lucky baby.” Why can’t it always be like that?


Filed under The way the world works, Young'n

The capital of Vermont is Montpelier

posted by Mel 

If you, like Vanessa and me, missed Tina Fey’s performance on last weekend’s SNL, check out this site for some great clips:

including her awesome Weekend Update all about Hillary Clinton. Too bad the Writer’s Strike didn’t end a couple of weeks earlier. A few more endorsements like this one might save Hil’s campaign. I already enjoyed and admired Tina Fey. Now I love her even more.

Oh– and this is day 3 of stims for Vanessa. Symptoms so far? Ravenous, yet queasy. I feel bad for her.

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Filed under Gettin' Knocked Up, The way the world works

Who’s the Daddy?

posted by Mel


There are a lot of interesting discussions in the fertility/lesbian mom blogosphere around parenting roles, specifically whether a non-bio/non-birth mom equates to or should equate to a dad and how to navigate those dangerous waters. After all, most women are never going to see themselves as fathers, nor do they want to be called Daddy. In our case, should this next IVF attempt prove successful, Vanessa will be the bio-mom, while I will be the birth mom. Talk about confusing! There will be some trade-offs. Vanessa will get to look at our children’s physical characteristics and see her parents and her grandparents, her aunts and uncles. I won’t get that. Instead, I’ll get to know them much earlier than she does. I’ll get to sustain them with my own body. In a way I think our donor/surrogate model might alleviate some of the role confusion inherent in a same sex parenting relationship.

To date Vanessa and I have never felt the need to suss out who will be mama and who will be mommy, the separate names a lot of lesbian parents use. I can’t make myself believe that our kid or anyone else will be confused if our names are the same. When referring to one another around the dogs I call her MamaNess, and she calls me MamaMel— if two retriever mixes get it, surely a human child can. While we have made no moves to define our roles in terms of gender, I want to carry. Vanessa has no desire to do that. I want to breastfeed. Vanessa does not. That happens to fit very tidily into our plans/hopes for the begetting of children, but it never puts Vanessa in the role of Dad in my mind.

Since childhood I have been very uncomfortable with the idea of myself as a stay-at-home mom. From time to time I daydream about staying home for a while with our baby, but even the daydream makes me feel restless. My mom was a SAHM, and I always got a restless, even trapped, vibe off her. As I grew older, she frequently told me that she had given up her career to stay at home with me. It was clear that she was bored and a little bitter, and it was my duty to impress and entertain her so that she wouldn’t feel her sacrifice was wasted. So I have always seen myself as a working mom because I want to insure an intellectual life outside the home. I think that will be better for me and for our children, because I hope to avoid pressuring them to fulfill me. I hope that I will not feel different when the baby is actually here, that I will not resent needing to go back to work and being the stable one because I carry the health insurance. While Vanessa’s income potential and current income is higher than mine, my career is the one that provides security for our household. We’ve taken some significant risks with her career, and they’ve paid off. I’m happy doing what I’m doing right now and glad I can make it possible for her to do some exploration, and I believe Vanessa would be willing to do the same for me if I asked. Right now, though, Vanessa’s path provides a lot of flexibility for her to stay at home at least a couple of days a week with our children— pretty atypical for a non-birth mom who a lot of people would probably try to force into the Dad role.

So if no one claims the Daddy role, who performs all those functions specific to fathers? Providing for the family financially? Both of us. Taking out the garbage? Both of us. Driving on long trips? Usually Vanessa. Disposing of bugs? Usually me. Fixing shit that breaks around the house? We do it together—cursing each other the entire time—or we call somebody. Here’s a tougher one—providing spiritual direction. The Promise Keepers wouldn’t like this one, but both of us will, and we will encourage spiritual exploration. Lifting heavy stuff—here’s hoping Eric doesn’t move far away, but in a pinch we can do this together. Football games and navigating the men’s locker room—we will learn, and we have a circle of friends. We are not alone in this. I had a pretty good dad. With a little work, I think he will make a pretty good grand-dad. Our kids will not have a dad, but they’ll have two great moms and a village of both female and male trusted adults in their lives that can fill in the gaps that exist in any parenting situation, even the most traditional ones.


Filed under The way the world works, Young'n

Juno– oh yes we did.

posted by Mel


So Vanessa and I went to see Juno. A 16-year-old girl gets pregnant during a one night stand with her best friend, considers abortion, and then opts for a closed adoption instead to the world’s richest, most beautiful straight couple. What could go wrong with us seeing a movie like that? I knew it was playing with fire, but the previews were so enticing. Guess what—I am not sorry.

They got it mostly right. The pathetic juxtaposition between an oops teenage pregnancy and 30-something infertility and what varying states of fertility and the desire for a child can do to your relationships. It’s tragically ironic. Honestly, a great movie for the infertile who has moved into the laugh about it even when you cry about it phase of infertility. Among my favorite exchanges: “I think pregnancy is so beautiful.” “You’re lucky it’s not you.” Made me laugh even as I held back my own vomit.


Filed under Gettin' Knocked Up, The cat will always love me, The way the world works

Worth the Price?

Is it just me, or this site mostly about selling stuff?

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Filed under The way the world works

Mom made the papers

Posted by v.


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Filed under Cancer Sucks, The way the world works