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I was certain we were done.

I abhor pregnancy.

I need to go back to work sometime this decade.

But it seems as though the third time may be a charm? We’ve got three vials of our donor and I am game for one more…if all the stars align (and there are many to get in alignment) then this time next year we’ll start project baby #3.


The Christmas cheer began early this year.  Our tree was up two weekend before Thanksgiving and the decorations went up the following weekend.  Our calendar was marked with all the local Holiday celebrations – a different Santa event every weekend.

Then the evening of December 3rd happened.  The night the police showed up at our door to relay the devastating news that my Uncle had suddenly passed away.  The two weeks that followed included a trip to the West Coast for a memorial service where he’d lived for the better part of his life.  Aside from the sad nature of the trip, it proved to be the trip from hell on all accounts, the low-light being the day Mr. E and I both landed in the ER.

Upon returning home we prepared for the East Coast memorial, which took place last Friday, a full two weeks after the nightmare began.

December 21, 2009 – the day my Uncle was scheduled to fly East to spend Christmas and New Years with us, as he has done many times.  Having that day arrive without him weighed heavy on me.  We went ahead with our Solstice celebration and it was lovely, but I couldn’t help remember that he was here last year as we prepared for Solstice.  And we were having so much fun.  Two weeks of silliness, wine, and laughter.

Christmas is just around the corner, and I am not excited.  I know the day will be mostly fun, and I am excited to give Mr. E his big Christmas gift, but I know flashbacks of last Christmas will appear.  And then we’ll have New Years to get through.  Last year was one of the best New Years I’d had in a long time.  It was at home, and quite, but surrounded by family and good food.  You see, when my Uncle was around, everything was just that much more special.  More fun.

And so we move on. Each day getting up, and living for the kids, and focusing on making the season magical for them, but if I could I’d fast forward right to Mr. E’s birthday.

Last Thursday I was attending a meeting and left my phone in my car. I returned to a very frantic message from A. I knew it wasn’t good and was left only one doubt: Who died?

My uncle who has had some health issues lately, but seemed to be on the mend passed away unexpectedly in his home, by himself. A friend found him the next day when he went to pick him up for a post op appointment.

My mother was listed as next of kin, so the police knocked on our door at 5:45 to deliver the news to A, who was home alone with Mr. E. She proceeded to call all of our immediately family and no one was near their phone.

It’s been a very tough few days. Things are coming together for a memorial service in Washington state as well as here on the Cape. At my mother’s suggesting Mr. E and I are flying out with my parents to attend the service and help with all the details of sorting through my uncle’s stuff.

On Saturday Mr. E started vomiting, but was acting normal otherwise and had no fever. I had to make the decision to go or stay. I opted to go, tickets were purchased to fly on Tuesday. He has not stopped throwing up since. I thought he was better this morning and I took him the pediatricians to get the okay to fly, which she gave him. She also said I could give him toast and bananas. He threw up as soon as he ate.

Even better, I started throwing up. I am still unable to tell if it’s his bug or just the pregnancy. I still have nausea every day, and am sensitive to smalls. His vomit and diarrhea tend to induce my vomiting. I guess time will tell if we’ll be on that plane tomorrow.

Yeah so I had this whinny post all typed up about how we finally did Mr. E’s allergy testing and so far we know he is allergic to peanuts and dogs and not coconuts. More testing to come on all nuts. And then I went on about how there isn’t a dermatologist within a 50 mile radius who is A) accepting new patients or B) accepting new patients and works with children under the age of two. And given that Mr. E’s pedi wants him to see a dermatologist for some weird bump things on his scalp, I was left with no other option but to try to get him into’s Hospita.l in B.oston. So that process has been started. I am starting to feel like a full-time case-manager. It’s been an overwhelming day to say the least.

But, you know, a peanut allergy, although potentially very scary is not the end of the World. We know about. We are armed with EpiPens. We are taking action to protect our son. And as for the dermatologist situation, I am actually secretly relived that we’ll be going to the best hospital in the World and hopefully we can also get some guidance on his eczema while we are there…

But instead of wallowing in my own self pity over all this, I am delighted. You see, I have been a co-sleeping fan since our second night home from the hospital. A, not such a fan. But, we’ve been doing it nonetheless. Today, she became a convert. Our sweet little E woke up this morning, crawled over me and onto A. She told him she had to get up to take a shower, he fussed and hugged her tighter. She cuddled him.

Tonight she gushed, I guess it is really great to wake up with him right there and to snuggle. Yes my friends, she thinks co-sleeping is great!

As I do every Monday afternoon, I am watching my two nephews, ages 4 years and 21 months.

The four year old looked on as I nursed Mr. E after his nap:

J: What is E doing?

Me: He’s having milk.

J: Is he biting you?

And as I changed Mr. E’s diaper:

J: Does E have a pee pee:

Me: Yes he does.

J: Is it small?

Patting his own belly:

J: I have a baby in my belly!

Me: You do?

J: Yes. We’re going to have a new baby soon.

Today was the day we were supposed to meet The New Midwife.

Eight weeks ago I scheduled an appointment and arranged childcare so that A could come with me. As we were driving to Maine last Friday I received a phone call from the TNM’s office informing me they needed to reschedule…EIGHT freaking weeks ago…and just like that – nope, sorry you don’t get to come in! If she were not the most reputable midwife in this area, I swear I’d been looking for a new one… My appointment is rescheduled and *I’ll meet her in FOUR weeks.

(*A will have to stay home to watch E.)

Up until the phone call on Friday we were still on the fence about involving TNM to get pregnant and I wasn’t making a solid TTC plan until we met her, and figured out how the logistics would play out if we used her to TTC.  But now we’ve pretty much decided to use our old midwife, which will be  a logistical nightmare and involve lots of travel for inseminations. But at the same time, I will have all my care under one person, where as with TNM there would be lots of people involved. Mr. E and I will crash with friends where we use to live for a night or two every cycle. And this is where I start to stress…

I don’t really want to deal with friends knowing that we are TTC. It just adds a layer of stress. And I am not so sure I really want to call up an old friend once a month and say “hey can my baby and I stay with you tonight? I’m ovulating.” I am sad that A will not be by my side, as she was for every insemination and prenatal appointment.  I also don’t really love staying in hotels with a baby. Baby bedtime = lights out.

I am trying to be so zen about the whole process. I have made a pact with myself not to become the crazy, TTC, loony woman — that I once was. I’ve told myself that I will not go to the same lengths to get pregnant that I did with Mr. E. I am *TRYING* to be satisfied with the blessing that I already have.

It’s not easy.

I am starting to get frustrated with the process. I am resentful, YET AGAIN, that the act of becoming pregnant involves other people. I am stressed about the details. We have no more than five shots with Mr. E’s donor (less if we do more than one insemination per cycle). I am trying to think of the travel inseminations as temporary. I’ll do it so long as we have sperm in storage in our old town. Then reassess, if needed.

I want so much to be prenant again. To have one more child. To give Mr. E a sibling. I WANT IT SO BADLY. And some days, I just don’t think I am strong enough to do it.

Recently it seems as though we are finally reaching some semblance of balance in our not-so-new-anymore role as mothers. E is almost 14 months and somewhere around 13 months A and I started coming out of the cocoon we’d built. The first year is becoming a blur, and when I recall the memories, I don’t know how we got through it. But I we did.

E is becoming such a little kid. He is so opinionated and at times can have a hard time sharing his toys- especially with his cousins. He’s started walking and he using many signs to communicate his wants and needs. He JUST started eating real food last week. He’d been hot and cold with food since we introduced it at 6 months. But he is serious about it now. It’s as if a switch flipped and there is no turning back. He eats everything we eat, and he does it with great enthusiasm. He is also still very serious about breastfeeding…

Our nights are very hard. E is still co-sleeping and nursing all night long. The other night he woke and nursed six times (between 10pm-6am). The very next day I decided it’s time to night wean. Tonight was supposed to be the first night, but by some miracle he only woke to nurse once last night and did not nurse to sleep (but woke a few other times to cuddle). It’s as if he knew, and was following the method I am going to employ. We’ll see how the next week or so goes. It’s time – I am beyond exhausted and now that he’s eating food, he does not need to nurse overnight. I will gladly continue to nurse during the day.

A and I have begun to remember what it’s like to be adults – independent of our child. We’ve gone out with friends, we even stayed out dancing till midnight recently (and I am pretty sure I forgot I had a son at home…it was amazing to feel like “just us” the way it used to be – even if only for a few hours). We’re making summer plans that include a four day camping folk festival adventure. In short: we’re out of the ball and chain baby stage. We’re so excited to spend the summer in the outdoors with E, at the beach, riding bikes on the bike trail (he in the baby bike seat), walks in the state park…the warm weather can not arrive soon enough!

Some days I think we’re nuts for starting the TTC process all over again- right now- but it makes sense in our grand scheme. Midwife appointment is less than two weeks away! I’ve already started acupuncture and am quasi charting this cycle. Next cycle—full on charting. We’ll know more after meeting with the new midwife when we’ll actually start. I’m guessing late spring/early summer. And so it beings…

There seems to be so much going on and so little time to document…

Cling: we are back in clingy baby hell. E is just attached to us and it’s very taxing. There are times when I have to put him down and he refuses to sit so I have to lay him down – and he protests. I think I am an incredibly accommodating parent, and I just about do back flips to give him what he wants, but sometimes, I have to do something that does not jive with his plans (i.e. use the bathroom). I knew I’d be using the Ergo for a long time but I never thought I still be using all three of our carriers at this point— and yet I can’t make it through a day with out them.

Sleep: Same old broken record. We’re up a lot. I nurse him to back to sleep. We repeat an hour or two later. We’ve talked about night weaning but it really just seems like too much work at this point. Our co-sleeping arrangement makes the night wakings manageable most nights.

Going to sleep: E has always been pretty good at going to sleep on his own. This is something I worked on from the start –never nursing or rocking him to sleep (except in the middle of the night). We always put him down awake and he’d nod off to sleep. Recently- with the cling and the co-sleeping – he seemed to be fighting going to sleep at night (he starts the night in his crib around 7:30). One night he wanted to take a book to bed, so I let him, and I left the light on. Ten minutes later I checked on him and he was sound asleep. There was no drama. From then on – for naps and bed – we put him in sitting up with books. We return ten minutes later to cover up our sleeping boy. I am amazed.

Walking: He’s →this← close. I predict it will happen in two weeks. He is cruising like crazy and standing on his own. He’s taken a few steps when he can grab onto something. He needs just a little more confidence. This is exactly how crawling went down. He really has to work it out for himself, really understand it and one day soon I know he’ll put one foot in front of the other and take off.

Signing: After nearly six months he’s finally developing his “sign clusters.”  He’s learning at least one new sign a week and his communication is amazing. When he woke at 6:30 this morning and had gas, I asked if he needed to use the potty, he signed potty back to me, and sure enough he needed to go!

Childcare: I joined a gym a couple of weeks ago. I’ve wanted to do this for months. I’ve been ready to get back to running but I could not leave him. Well I finally sucked it up, joined the gym, feel great, and begun using the childcare. E is less than thrilled. The first time he did OK. The second time he cried when SIL picked up his cousins before he was getting picked up, the third time I got called in after 35 minutes because he was so upset. We’re working on it. I think it goes back to #1 above: cling. As hard as it is, I feel really great and have pretty much gotten back to where I left off 22 months ago!

Life before E: A and I went out last night. We left E with my mom and really went out. Met friends for drinks, then went to a ball (LGBT church fundraiser with 200+ attendees). We partied and danced ’till midnight, closing the dance floor. For the first time in about two years we went out and just had fun. We didn’t spend dinner talking about how amazing our son is, we left him and all thoughts of him at home, we stayed out for a long time and just had fun! Of course getting home at 12am, getting up with E all night and then getting up at 6:30am was not fun, but it was well worth it in order to gain a sense of normalcy– of life as we used to know it.

Life after E: There have been times lately that have been hard. It’s no secret that this economy sucks. We left our well paying stable jobs before the economic nosedive. We knew it would take a while to get on our feet but we didn’t know the economic situation ahead and how it would present greater challenges. While A is employed, she is still seeking the full time benefited job. Lots of teachers who were set to retire have changed their plans due to the economic situation. Other teachers are being laid off. And thus we feel the tightening of the job market, while remaining thankful for the jobs she does have.

We have an amazing community here – we did before we moved here, but it’s even more so now. We have real meaningful friends. People who are not transitional – are not going to move away. People we have lots of things in common with, people we really like hanging out with. This was hard in Western MA. After five years we left feeling like we never really established the community we needed. It feels really good.

We’re really torn because on the one hand, we want to stay here. We want to raise E with family and among this strong community we’re weaving. And on the other hand, it is really expensive here and we desperately need A to get the full time job. So the current plan is to stick it out at least until the time E would start school. And if we’re still not on our feet at that time, we’d need to move onto plan B – relocate to a place holding a job for A. Ugh…

Joy: We’re so happy for the addition of little J to our family. We’re so happy for his mamas, and all of his family. I’m comforted knowing that within our family we have two donor babies – only one year apart – who will surely lean on each other as they navigate the nuances of our unique family compositions.

Sadness: For friends in pain.

Hope: For jumping back on the baby train really soon.

Baby K-C!   We’re so glad to have you in our family. Congrats to your mamas!

This whole interview-which-may-result-in-me-going-back-to-work thing has had my stomach turned inside out.

My concerns are:

  1. I never wanted my son to attend formal day care
  2. I don’t want to work just to pay for day care
  3. Being home affords Mr. E a relaxed schedule, which I really really really value

I currently work about 10 hours per week. Half of which is on the morning when A is home and the other time my SIL watches Mr. E. After careful thought A and I have decided that should we be in a place where I am made an offer, I will only accept if no outside day care is needed.

Impossible, you think?

Not so. If I were to take this job (which is 18hrs/wk) and the scheduling is at my convenience, then we will be able to juggle our schedules in a way that would allow us to forgo formal day care. If not, I will have to decline. It isn’t worth it to put him in day care.

A is ready for me to go back to work. She really wants me to get a job. I, on the other hand, think I could be quite content to stay home until Mr. E and future child go to school, at which time I’d work “mothers hours.” And this baffles me…I always thought my career was going to be it for me. But things really do change when you have kids.

So think of me at Noon on Wednesday when I will be on the other side of the table for the first time in 5 1/2 years.

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