No One is Born Gay (or Straight): Here Are 5 Reasons Why

God I love this so fucking much. Sorry it’s not pregnancy/baby related . . .but I have long said that I would (and maybe did) “choose” to be gay (or queer). Because being queer is AWESOME.

Social (In)Queery

This post has been elaborated here.

1.  Just because an argument is politically strategic, does not make it true:  A couple of years ago, the Human Rights Campaign, arguably the country’s most powerful lesbian and gay organization, responded to politician Herman Cain’s assertion that being gay is a choice.  They asked their members to “Tell Herman Cain to get with the times! Being gay is not a choice!”  They reasoned that Cain’s remarks were “dangerous.”  Why?  “Because implying that homosexuality is a choice gives unwarranted credence to roundly disproven practices such as ‘conversion’ or ‘reparative’ therapy. The risks associated with attempts to consciously change one’s sexual orientation include depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior.”

Image Cynthia Nixon (right) and wife Christine Marinoni (left)

The problem with such statements is that they infuse biological accounts with an obligatory and nearly coercive force, suggesting that anyone who describes homosexual desire…

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Spew (34w 3d)

Let’s start with the good news: La is home (which is the BEST news!!), my headache has stayed away since Wednesday, and taking a few things off my plate have been incredibly helpful to my mental and physical health. Also excellent: this morning at my midwife appointment, my blood pressure was back down to normal, so Velma (the best midwife!) is not going to make me do the usual PIH monitoring at this point (which would mean twice a week fetal monitoring, fluid checks, and labs) and instead is just having me come in weekly (only a little early than usual for weekly appointments) to track my BP. So, even with last week’s visit to the screening room and list of high BP readings, I’m still technically in the clear.

We did book our appointments out through our due date which was WEIRD. Velma thinks Seafoam might be early (which is something that La has been trying to will into existence for a while now) – possibly in the 39 week timeframe. This would be awesome, since La is on spring break at that point, and as she doesn’t get any (nope, NONE) parental leave, it would be really nice to have her home for a few days after the dude is born. Obviously, she’ll be able to take a day or two off in any case, but it would be lovely to not have to worry. She said he’s sitting face up right now (still head down though) so gave me some exercises to do to help him turn face down, and estimates him to be about 4.5-5lbs at this point – good size but not huge.

The less than awesome highlight of my day: After our appointment, La and I went to eat breakfast at a diner. I’d eaten a yogurt cup before we left – smaller than my usual breakfast but by no means insignificant – but was starving by the end of the appointment, a couple of hours later. We ordered and I ate a lot of my food kind of quickly. I started to feel a little funny, and about 30 seconds later, I could feel the puke rising in my mouth. To hear La tell it, my face got a funny look, then my hand went to my mouth, then my eyes got huge as I realized that I was going to vomit. I got up and started frantically looking for where the bathroom was, and just barely made it into the door before  . . .spew. Not my most gorgeous moment, for sure. I won’t make you all relive the details, but suffice to say the ammunition came before I could get to the target, and both the bathroom and I needed some clean up. Pretty much everything I’d eaten came up before La ushered me out to the car and paid our bill. I came home, showered and brushed my teeth, and crawled into bed. My tummy is still pretty queasy, although I’ve managed water, toast and applesauce and all have stayed down successfully.

If I hadn’t just come from the midwife, where my BP was “beautiful’ I’d be freaked out. But I think this can be chalked up to either a stomach virus or eating too much too fast with too small a stomach, or food poisoning. A few folks on FB mentioned labor, but I’m thinking that’s not in the cards. Aside from being awfully early, I’m not having any contractions or other labor signs.

I get it, Universe – slow down! But I’m slowing down, so if you could let me off the hook from puking in public all over myself, that would be awesome.

And sorry, word press, I guess I just get grosser and grosser with posts the more pregnant I get!

Deep Breath (33w6d)

Sorry to leave you all hanging with my last update being entirely butt-centered. Definitely not my intention.

It has been a rough few weeks, friends. Between Babs leaving (we actually had her leave a few days before her initially determined final day, because she was being a mopey baby around the office and ain’t no one got time for that) and my having to fix a lot of her mistakes/do damage control with the young people she worked with, and my carpel tunnel becoming basically intolerably bad, and just generally starting to feel the burn of the third trimester, I have been less than chipper.

The big issue has been the sheer number of hours I’m working, trying to do my own job (which is already a solidly busy 40 hours of work under the best of circumstances), do Babs’ job (at least the stuff that really needs to happen), hire an interim person and on-board them, and help out with the federal funding application process. For the last few weeks, I go in and work a full day and then usually come home, eat dinner, and work another 3 hours or so – meeting with youth, writing some narrative, prepping trainings. All of this was even more wretched because my hands hurt so badly and my ability was compromised by needing to stop and shake my hands out every few minutes. God bless my boss and operations manager who ordered me dragon voice recognition software and a headset, which, while full of its own complexities, does at least allow me to limit the amount of typing I’m doing.

The icing on my crap cake this week is that La is out of town – left on Monday at the ass crack of dawn (guess who got to drive her to the airport in one of Colorado’s only ugly snowstorm’s this season?) Which means both not having my boo (who loves and supports me and lets me whine) and single parenting the menagerie, which maybe wouldn’t be so tough if, again, I wasn’t working crazy hours and trying to balance an extra load at work.

It’s not all doom and gloom! Last weekend we flew to Indy for a very quick trip and a baby shower. It was really lovely – all mustache and bow tie themed – and nice to catch up with folks we often only see over Xmas. And we weren’t there long enough to have any real drama emerge, which is the most awesome! Here are a couple of shots from Baby shower 2.0:

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When I saw that last picture, I asked La if my nose had gotten bigger. She admitted it had. Did you know this is a thing?! Really, it’s true! Apparently estrogen can actually make your nose get bigger during pregnancy. WTF? The feet I was expecting, but a bigger nose?

But, my final update is also a less than stellar one. Yesterday, about halfway through the afternoon training I was giving, I developed a throbbing headache. I made it through the training, and then came home and took my contacts out and laid down. That didn’t seem to help, so I took two tylenol and drank some water, laid down again. Still nothing. I ate food, drank more water. No dice. By this point I was going on 6 hours of throbbing headache with 0 relief. Aside from beginning to feel crazy, I was nervous something else was up, since headaches that don’t respond to pain meds can be a sign of pre-eclampsia. So, I called my mom and had her take me down to the OB screening room to get checked.

We arrived and they hooked me up to the fetal monitors, BP cuff and oxygen monitoring. Seafoam sounded great – strong, loud, consistent galloping! They tracked all of this for a while, and found that Seafoam was doing well, and I wasn’t having regular contractions, but my BP was ranging from quite high to low-high (from about 149/97 to 140/85) and the headache wasn’t responding to compazine. They took blood and urine, and found no protein and normal liver levels – but the BP continued to be high. They finally gave me an oxycodone for the headache – finally relief! But, I now fully qualify for the gestational hypertension diagnosis. A bummer, but better to have it at 34 weeks, rather than so much earlier.

I didn’t get home until well after 2am, so I decided to take the day off. Also, based on the recommendation of the doctors, I am limiting my schedule – and so cancelled a training for tomorrow, and my trip to Durango (about 8 hours by car, 1 hour by plane) to meet with a partner next week. I have a lot of intense guilt about this, but ultimately I don’t think the extra work will do anything but hurt my BP, and I can’t bear the thought of being so far away from home and potentially having another problem. Not to mention the restriction on flying that is now in place due to the hypertension.

I slept for hours today – woke up at 10, then took a nap from 1-3, then another from 5-6. It was glorious, and so so needed. Sleep has been a bit elusive the last few weeks, and with the stress and travel, my tank has been running low.

Today’s good news; my BFF and his wife had their baby boy! One day past his due date, a nice and easy 7 and a half pounds!

hours to make sure

‘roid rage (32 weeks) – proceed at your own peril

Y’all, I need a space to talk about my butt, and this is gonna have to be it. I can’t do it on facebook, heaven knows my co-workers don’t need to know anything, and my spouse (while lovely and supportive) just really shouldn’t have to know about these things. But you – you who have borne babies or are growing them, who stick your fingers in your vag and check out your cervical mucus and feel your cervix for changes – YOU ARE MY PEOPLE.

Right?

The last few days I’ve been pretty miserable. My carpel tunnel seems to be getting worse, and the exercises I was using to keep it manageable don’t seem to be working. It’s a lot of pain and a lot of numbness and a whole lot of pain in my (figurative) ass.

And then I got a stomach bug. And herein lies the literal pain in my ass.  We ate Indian food before our breastfeeding class on Wednesday night, and I thought maybe it had just not set well. But all night Wednesday, long into Thursday day and evening, I have been making many more trips to the bathroom than I’d like.

Today, my belly still hurts but I seem to be off the liquid poo. Unfortunately, my excess potty trips resulted in my hemorrhoids, which had been kept at bay via stool softeners and witch hazel wipes, to get hella agitated. And this, my friends, is my real suffering. Pain and irritation in my butt so bad I can hardly sit down. Walking is no better. My only vague relief is laying on my side, with no pressure anywhere near my ass. It’s really rather miserable.

This is how I spent my lunch break:

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It has made my day tolerable, but just barely. I mean, I was definitely contemplating going home from work, and now I think I can handle being here for a few more hours. So, I’m being serious about both the pain and the relief. Please send hemorrhoid shrinking woo.

In much less gross and uncomfortable news (but maybe still TMI for the weak amongst you), we went to an awesome breastfeeding class at our hospital and got to see a grown woman insert a giant stuffed breast into her mouth. La and I both looked away from each other to avoid exploding in laughter. Yes, we are that childish. After learning the hand expression technique, I tried it and got a little colostrum! This is especially exciting for me, as I have PCOS and harbor a lot of fear about being able to breastfeed adequately. The lactation consultant told me to let them know when we delivered and they’d ‘take a more aggressive approach’ to pumping, etc. Hooray!

I leave you with the 32 week bump!

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A few baby shower pictures!

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A sampling of book themed snacks!

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low key games – La’s mom killed it on this one.

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Some of Seafoam’s haul

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Folks gathered for the ‘ritual’ part of the day – a good smattering of queer buddies and mainstream family

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Is S photoboming my mom and nephew, or vice versa?

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Me and La and our moms . . .and some cake

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Included this one because doesn’t it look like Winnie the Pooh is tooting here?

Baby Shower Recap and Not the Daddy (31w4d)

Well, I don’t have much in the way of pictures yet (my dad, who is a fabulous photographer, took them all – but he isn’t the best at sending digital copies!) so you’ll have to make do with my recounting of events.

And by my recounting, it was magical! My mom, sister in law, and friend E put the whole thing together with only a small amount of guidance: no gift opening (I really am not good at being the center of attention in this way), co-ed/no overtly  girly heterosexist weirdness, no games that involved measuring my belly, books instead of cards. They took that and put together a really amazing event!

There was a wagon for books next to a shelf for gifts, all laid out for folks to enjoy looking through without the awkwardness of group opening. The food was all book themed – deviled eggs and ham (Green Eggs and Ham), crudite (Peter Rabbit), mini-meatballs (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs), Cheese Plate (Stinky Cheese Man) – you get the drift. There were two tables of activities – one to make prayer flag bunting to be hung in the nursery (folks wrote prayers/thoughts/wishes on bunting flags) and another to write a card to Seafoam for a future birthday (they chose an age from a jar, then wrote a card of advice or thoughts for him at that age – we’ll keep them and give them to him on future birthdays!) These are the kind of activities introverts like me need at showers, and it felt very sweet. A few games too, but nothing big that put anyone on the spot.

In the middle of the shower, E gathered everyone around La and I and had folks (who she’d asked before the shower) share with us words of wisdom, wishes for us as a couple, treasures or trinkets or whatever they had to fill us up as parents (vs. celebrating a baby.) It was so so lovely, and left both of us sobbing (and quite a few other folks, too!) It really affirmed for me how special a community of friends and family we are gifted with.

Of course, nothing is every completely wonderful, is it? Towards the end of the party, I was sitting with some folks at the bunting table, and behind me I heard my mom talking to someone. She was talking about her dog, Belle, a great pyranees – and happened to mention that BFF (aka: our donor) also has a great pyr, who is my mom’s dog’s litter mate. No problem, right? Until she said, “well, BFF – the DAD – has a great pyr too.” I turned around and, louder and more aggressively than I intended said, “he’s NOT THE DAD.” She asked me, “well, what is he?” (as though we haven’t had this same conversation before) and I said, “he’s the DONOR, mom. Seafoam doesn’t have a dad.” It was awkward and left me feeling uncomfortable, but I let it drop. Then I found out that she had used that language with other folks throughout the day, and as a result, so had my cousin and aunt.

I know this is part of the struggle of negotiating things with a known donor, and especially a known donor who is a close friend and actively involved in our lives. But OMFG, why is it so hard for folks to understand that this language isn’t appropriate? How hurtful it is? I think my mom ‘gets it’ in terms of seeing La as a parent, but her continued use of ‘dad’ to refer to our donor makes me question if she actually does. It enrages me to have to continue to have these conversations, and to be worried about how this might impact our kid.

I did send an e-mail, to which I received a pretty short answer. I’m trying to let go of my need to take care of my mom’s feelings, and just believe that I told her what I needed to and she appears to have heard it. Time will tell, I guess.

Shit at work is gonna be haaaaaard. February might be the end of me. Send girl scout cookies

And here are two pictures – both post-shower.

A small sampling of the books we got, on the shelves La made out of gutters, with letters from my SIL! (and my ugly foot!)

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La trying out the k’tan with little critter – you can see some of the book haul behind her

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