10 Things on a Tuesday Afternoon

Oh man. This week . . .this week.

There are so many things that I have wanted to post about. Things that, really in many ways, deserve their own posts. As is usually the case for me, the times when I feel inundated with really smart, thoughtful things to post here are also the times I feel like life gets in the way of writing.

Meanwhile, when I have the space to write things well . . .that’s usually when I don’t have a whole lot to say.

So now I’m faced with the choice:

  • Fit all of those ideas into a single (lengthy) post, probably not doing them justice anyway?
  • Break them up so they each get their due, meanwhile possibly falling further behind?
  • Just spend an entire post bemoaning my current conundrum?


I think I might do a 10 things on a Tuesday afternoon post which will likely at least hit on a few of the topics and then see if I get the steam up to really dive in to any of them. The advantage of this solution is that I can also fill you in about why this week has been so long and I do so enjoy boring you with quotidian details.


So . . .

10 Things on a Tuesday Afternoon

  1. Last Monday we got somewhere around 6” of snow in Seattle. In my old life as a Denverite, this would have been laughably common. But here, it’s a BFD. By which I mean, L still happily drove to the midwife to get her blood drawn for the cffDNA test (and reported it to be a quicker and less stressful commute than is typical, thanks to empty roads) but I also gladly accepted the option to work from home and enjoy the coziness of a PNW Snow Day. We made a great snow person (Seattle has the best building snow!) and enjoyed some hot cocoa.


2. Unfortunately, the snow melted and then came heavy rain, all of which combined in the crawl space beneath our rental house into approximately 6 feet of standing water which then began bubbling up beneath the laminate flooring in our room. A call to the landlords got us the Inept Handy Man (IHM from here on out) who came and set up a hand help pump which he had emptying directly into the neighbors yard. Despite our concerns (“Um, we think maybe the neighbors will be upset.” “Just don’t say anything to them!” “Um, we think maybe they will notice water pouring into their yard from a cheap plastic tube?” “Well, if they do, call the office!”) he promptly left after setting up this less than ideal solution. Predictably, two hours later then neighbors knocked on the door complaining of the water pouring into their yard. As I stood in the doorway with Ansel, explaining to the neighbor that he would probably have more success getting a response from the landlord than we would (particularly if he mentioned “lawsuit” in his message), the little bulldog ran out into the yard. Moments later, Neighbor’s son (who is terrified of dogs, especially our dogs) came walking up the street (after being beckoned by his father) and the little bulldog got excited, ran under the fence and happily chased Scared Neighbor Kid down the street. L ran after bulldog, Neighbor ran after SNK, I went back in the house to call the landlords. L reported back, after visiting neighbor, that little bulldog had “bit” the kid which seemed implausible but possible and you’re not gonna deny that when someone says it and JESUS FUCKING CHRIST ARE WE GONNA GET SUED TOO? So, Thursday was a bunch of bullshit.

3. L continues to deal with some serious morning sickness, despite being on the highest dose of diclegis. She feels miserable much of the day, vomits a fair amount, and is overall struggling. I didn’t have terrible morning sickness, but I do have a level of empathy that most pregnant people do – you get how awful it is for something you are total not in control of to wreck such havoc on your body. I have been trying to do whatever I can to make her life easier and pick up whatever slack I can. I do this because I love her and want her life to be as easy as possible, and 98% of the time I don’t mind at all. But sometimes, it’s a lot. And sometimes, despite my best intentions, I start to feel resentment creep around the edges. This is particularly true on the days when we send Ansel to the babysitter’s, because those are the days when L gets to really focus on resting and caring for herself. Something about this fact feels harder for me, because I don’t have a day when I can just rest right now. I want to clarify that my life is actually pretty awesome, and I have great things like a super flexible job and a toddler who is (by toddler standards) pretty low maintenance, and I have a lot of other things making my life SO MUCH easier than a lot of other folks. Still, it’s wearing me down a little. I made the mistake of seeking out some support from an online queer parenting group, where I thought I might happen upon others who have similar experiences, or where at least we could have an open and frank discussion about how pregnancy is hard for everyone – even NGPs (just in VERY different ways.) I did, eventually, get some very good advice and helpful support. I also got a LOT of people who essentially told me that I was being an asshole and that life was just point blank harder for L and I should suck it up and keep my head down. I was even called a “cis-hetero stereotype” and a misogynist. I think a LOT of this was because I mentioned that I work full time and L is home with Ansel and people generally are looking for fights when it comes to stay at home parenting. But it was disappointing. Because it wasn’t helpful (turning feelings off, while incredibly useful in theory, isn’t actually a thing) but it also makes it even harder to have complex and nuanced conversations about the work of raising children, growing children in our bodies, the value we place on all of that, and the role of non gestational partners (whether they are queers or just hetero dads!) and how those NGPs can be good allies and supportive partners to pregnant people. The upshot was that in my despair about the total dearth of support, I ended up reaching out to L and we had a really great, honest, loving conversation which ultimately really helped me move through my feelings of resentment. Still, fuck simplistic answers to complicated questions.

4. We found out that some of our friends, who we have long looked to as a bit of a model when it comes to queer relationships and parenting, are getting divorced. There’s nothing quite like people in your inner circle splitting up to make you put your own relationship under a microscope and start to see signs of decay where maybe none exist. Ultimately, the timing of #3 and #4 worked out in such a way that I actually feel really solid about my relationship. But it’s scary. To know that friends who seem really “solid” are breaking up makes you think about all of the heart wrenching details. Like, what would WE do about custody? How would WE respond to each other if these same issues came up? What are we doing now to make sure we are taking care of our relationship.

5. We got the results of the cffDNA test back, which assured us that the risk profile for trisomies 18, 21 and 13 is very low. Basically, while these disorders (Down syndrome, Edwards Syndome and Patau syndrome) cannot be entirely ruled out, the possibility is very low. Our NT scan is scheduled for Feb 27th, at which point we’ll have even more information about the risk for these syndromes and open neural tube defects. We felt confident enough in the results to make the pregnancy public – which we have both been dying to do! We announced my pregnancy with Ansel at 9 weeks, thanks to the embryo testing that made miscarriage risk so low. So waiting until 12 felt like an eternity


6. The other benefit of the cffDNA test is that it detects sex chromosomes as well. So, we also know that Tiny is a boy! (or, really, we know that Tiny will have XY chromosomes and will likely be male bodied when he is born.) We knew before I was pregnant that if it took, it would be a boy. So the surprise element caught me off guard (and yes, I know that most folks have to wait until a 20 week scan and some still wait until a kid is born – fancy that!) and, if I’m being honest, I realized when the midwife told us (on speakerphone on Sunday afternoon) that I had both been expecting and hoping that Tiny would be a girl (XX chromosomes, female bodied.) I feel weird admitting that, because I have such complicated feelings about gender in all kinds of ways. I have to really interrogate myself about what the desire for a “daughter” means. If I am committed to raising children in a feminist way, with a broad and complex understanding of what gender identity means, why does it matter? But, again . . .feelings exist no matter how much we try to think them away. I am not disappointed. That is too big and intense a word for what I felt. And, the more I have allowed myself to think about Tiny, now knowing a little more about him, I am really excited about Ansel having a little brother, about raising another white boy to be an anti-racist feminist. There’s just a lot to unpack.

7. We found out that the Little Bulldog did NOT bite Scared Neighbor Kid. He fell while running away from her. Relief that we don’t have a vicious bulldog. But now Scared Neighbor Kid is SUPER scared neighbor kid

8. The landlord still hasn’t really dealt with the underlying problem of water collecting in the crawl space (and the fact that the heater was under water for a few days and the ongoing need for a sump pump and the water that is trapped in the laminate and and and) although the immediate need for remediation has been handled. I am doing everything in my power to not lose my shit and to remind myself that we have less than 6 months until our lease is up and we can get the fuck out of this house.

9. On Sunday night, Ansel woke up approximately every 45-90 minutes after 1am. Prior to 1 am, I struggled fitfully to fall asleep, ultimately failing. In the times when Ansel slept after 1am, the bulldogs wanted out to pee/wander the yard/sniff shit. Ansel woke for the day at 5am. So, basically I didn’t sleep and my first thought was “OH GOD what have we done?! I am never going to sleep again.” Thankfully, he did take a nap in the morning and my job is flexible and so we all got a couple of hours of rest but yesterday made me really wonder about our sanity in having another baby. But who doesn’t love an adventure?!?

10.Tomorrow is the end of my 6 month probation period at work! I know what I’m doing about 75% of the time, but there are definitely still things that I probably should have learned in my first week that I am just learning now because huge system + overwhelmed supervisor = bad onboarding. I think this comes with a tiny bump in salary, and definitely makes me eligible to use my vacation (Hello, countdown to Disneyworld is ON! 16 days!) and qualify for some of the more awesome benefits (hello, 3 months paid parental leave!)

Also, on Friday I got to hand out condoms to kids at a library and those kids blew the condoms up and had sword fights with them and then gently bounced them around the room until one got stuck on the ceiling and I’m just saying, “All this AND 3 paid months of leave?” We made the right choice.



7 thoughts on “10 Things on a Tuesday Afternoon

  1. I’ve been watching for an update as I know there has been a lot! 1) Sounds like things are like 4% better so that’s good. 2) A boy! As a girl-wanting-boy-having mama I’m excited about this because I am now all about boy children. 3) The break up of friends suck. We have been together longer than any of our peers at this point. It’s a big responsibility!

  2. Happy to read this update! Lots of good stuff here. My queer NGP group has a GP > NGP spinoff. I don’t know how active it is (I’m in the NGP > GP group myself) but I can connect you with the main NGP group if that would be useful. Congrats on reaching the point of public pregnancy and getting through the suspense of the cffDNA testing. The chromosome news is exciting and it sounds like you’re going to make good use of the time between now and birth to embrace it. Hope the home/neighbor stuff resolves with minimal drama. C has been scared of dogs almost her whole life, but has slowly come around to managing her fears. Sorry to hear about your friends’ divorce. However, your last statement made me laugh out loud.

  3. So much to comment on! 1. I love the broccoli eyes on your snowperson. 2. Congratulations on having another boy! 3. That is messed up that the parenting board jumped down your throat initially when you were seeking support. If you don’t vent your feelings, it will just get pent up and then the little bit of resentment you feel will build up and explode- which will make you feel worse! Glad you got some support in the end. My spouse has had to pick up so much slack for me this pregnancy (and the first too.) It’s not easy on her, and we are able to talk about it with out it causing me guilt. Hopefully La will start to feel relief soon now that she is in the second trimester.

  4. Cis-hetero stereotype? The fuck?? I get it with the feelings, tho. They’re just going to happen. You can’t logic them away – something which took me, a virgo, a long long time to accept. Feelings are gonna happen and it’s much better to accept and work through them than try to suppress/fight them. I’m glad you were able to do that.

    Yay boy! I, too, had that weird not-quite disappointment when we found out we were having a girl, which mostly told me that I’d been secretly hoping for a boy so we could work on smashing the patriarchy from the inside. But, like you said, it shouldn’t change how you parent and who knows, maybe your boy will identify as a girl. You’ll love them all the same.

  5. 1) YASSS Snow person!!! I feel the same about snow. My friends in VA are like, “Dang girl! We got 2 inches! They shut everything down!!” and I’m here like, “MARY!!! Get ready for school! We only got 18inches!” 2)Seriously, a hose? And call the landlord? Ugh! I hope that gets resolved completely (and correctly!) soon! 3)Poor L! I didn’t understand how terrible I was to Callie while she was pregnant because of exactly what you expressed. This resentment that I didn’t realize I had. “I work 40 hours a week, your home not doing anything, and I STILL have to cook!?” Mind you, she was on BEDREST! I was so mean to her. When I was pregnant and she was so, so good to me, I recognized THEN how awful I was, and had a complete breakdown. It’s so awesome that you were able to recognize it AND have a conversation with L about it. 4) It’s so hard to see friends splitting up, especially the ones you have sort of looked up to for so long. Does make you check-in with your own relationship and reevaluate some things. 5&6) You already know boys are where it’s at! LOL! This is something I have been struggling with to. Callie and I have been discussing baby #5 and with 4 embryos left, and likely only one more pregnancy for us, we have been trying to decide whether to get the embryos tested specifically to determine gender. I have been really stuck on this idea of having a baby girl. And like you, for what? if gender isn’t that importnant and I raise my kids to be able to do any and everything they are physically, emotionally and mentally capable of doing, why should it matter? But it does! And I don’t know why. This gave me a little jolt do some exploring and see why this is so important to me. 7) PHEW~! 8) Let the countdown begin! 9) With all these little kids in my house, it is most important to remember, “This is only temporary!” For EVERYTHING…the frustration, the sleep deprivation, the lack of time and money and resources. ITS OK! You’ll only lose it for a little while, but before you know it, they’ll be more self-sufficient, and you’ll start allocating more time. Temporary stress for a lifetime of love! 10) SCORE!!!!!!

  6. Sounds like life is just hard and crazy and wonderful and full of love. Rotten landlords are just impossible. I am so sorry. We had trouble with water damage and a landlord once too, and dealing with them was like beating my head against a wall. HOWEVER, if they fail to address things, they have got to be in violation of the terms of the lease. Maybe you could use that as a loophole to get out sooner than 6 months if you start to feel really desperate. We have some huge hang ups about our preference for sex chromosomes. Enough that it’s actually a (small) part of the decision not to go for #2. It feels really petty to admit to that, but it’s the truth. And I just want to say with regard to everything–including your support on my post earlier today–that you are truly someone I admire. You are a strong woman, a thoughtful partner, and a loving mama, and I have mad respect for you. Obviously things are going to be hard sometimes, but you’ve totally got this.

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