We have come into the practice of sitting in a folding chair outside of Cakie’s door as he falls asleep. To some of you this may seem extreme or unnecessary. (My mom keeps asking me if we still do it.) To us it is a giant leap from when we had to sit in his room right next to his bed in the dark doing Kegels or meditating or anything else that can be done in the dark without moving or making noise, before we ever-so-carfeully tippy-toed out of there to freedom. The folding chair in the hallway is nothing.
I have a point, I swear.
Part of the point being that now I can grab a book from the hall bookself and read it while I wait for the Cake-meister to go to dreamland. Last night I was reading Bird-by-Bird by Anne Lamott. It is a silly little book about writing that has a few tasty kernels of truth and wisdom. I’d bought it when I was in grad school for poetry. I’m pretty sure when it came out, people didn’t have email so much. The chapter I was reading was about “calling around.” Essentially, Lamott was suggesting that when an author is bored and/or lonely, he or she should call people who might have information that would be of use to them for their book. Here’s my point. Did you see it coming?
I need some information from you, my dear dear readers. I’m waiting for some interviews to come back. In the meantime, I’m trying to draft a chapter about the range of emotions a non-gestational co-mom experiences during her partner’s pregnancy.
Can any of you share? With permission to quote you in the book? I want to know what kinds of unexpected or expected, even, emotions came up for you while your partner was pregnant. How did you feel, or what did you think when you first got the test results? How did you respond to the ways other people treated you or your partner? What made you relieved, worried, crazy?
PS you don’t need to leave it in a comment. Email me!
This past week was my tenth anniversary with my honey. She still likes me for some reason. I’m grateful and blessed and blissed. I’m also so very glad she can take a hint. For the past two years I have been STRONGLY suggesting she take me to my boyfriend’s restaurant.
This weekend, she did.
But before we could even leave the house, our wonderful babysitter/friend brought me an extremely bloggable moment from her son, who I call Hymen on the blog. Apparently Hymen was not happy when she told him she was coming over here to watch Cakie.
“But! But!! That’s not fair! Cakie has one, two moms! He does not need one, two, THREE moms!”
Dinner at Harold’s was fun, too. The food was a whole lot of fun, despite a withering NYT review. I had the “Tasting of Three Piggies.” Sorry vegetarians. But if I could eat three piggies I would. It was so very Top Chef to have three little things to eat on the plate. I would describe it, if I had enough brain cells after giving birth to have enough memory for that. One was a “pig booty” pate, one was a yummy tender sliced somethingorother, and one was “wild boar” wrapped in something crispy. Ah, my future as a food critic: not looking so bright. I ate them in the wrong order. The cold pate should have been first. As my honey noted she warned me before I started eating. But I survived. I felt kind of bad because we were high-maintenance wine drinkers, sending two glasses back.
Anyway. After dinner we strolled (sans stroller, of course) through the West Village. I haven’t spent much time in Manhattan since we had Cakie. I was pleased to see that it is still teeming with young lesbians. We walked out to the pier and looked at the Statue of Liberty. It was perfect.
I just had to tell you all about the three moms. And the three piggies.
“ice the girls around the time I usually pump”
Not as simple as it seemed when I wrote that last post.
I have no love for the pump.
I’m going to dump her. It just isn’t working out. She’s always, “Me, me, me.” (Or as the case may be, double trouble double trouble double trouble.) I need some time for myself. I’m breaking this thing off.
So after talking to several people — including my lactation consultant — about the possibilty of ceasing the pump without losing my milk for the part I do enjoy, the actual nursing of the actual baby, I have decided to kick little miss time-suck to the curb.
The plan is to cut my pumping time in half today. Then tomorrow drop one pump and ice the girls around the time I usually pump. Then drop another on the next day and the last one the next day.
And then… [cue 1970’s women’s lib anthem of choice] I will be free. Free to luxuriate in every one of my 45 minutes at lunch. Free to stop washing pump parts. Free to go to bed whenever I want, instead of staying up for the final pump. Free to have one less thing to do in the morning and one less thing to remember (I have on occasion forgotten to take my ebm out of the fridge at work) at dismissal.
We’ll only have to deal with formula (ick) for two months. I found a nice, cheapish organic one, too.
I am perfectly happy with this decision.
This a little follow-up to a post written by firsttimesecondtime, the link is in my last post.
I’m thinking about baby hogging. While I was reading ftst’s post about how she’s a little afraid her personality might cause her to become that very same type of gestational parent baby hog she often dislikes in other relationships, it made me think about personalities. There are at least three personalities in a two-parent lesbian home. Yours, your partner’s and the baby’s. Much like ftst, I find myself grateful that my partner gave birth first, becuase I’m more emotionally needy that my honey. My baby, surprise surprise, is a little needy, too. At least at this moment. Trucker is going through his stranger anxiety phase. When Cakie went through this phase, a stranger was anyone but me or my honey. For Trucker, a stanger is anyone but me — me or Ms. Gigi at daycare. If the roles had been reversed, I probably would have been crushed by the baby’s preference for his gestational parent. I would have known intellectually that it is just a phase, but I would have taken it harder. It may also be easier because Trucker is our second child, but my honey’s personality fits into this scenario quite well. I give her the baby, he turns to me in distress, and she just looks at him and says, “Listen, I pay half the bills, change half the diapers, and put you to bed half the time. So you’re going to hang out with Mama now and you’re going to like it.”
I just feel lucky that our personaities match our roles right now.
That said, I’m not a baby hog in a I-want-the-baby-all-the-time way. I am perfectly happy to leave Truck with A and take Cakie to the food coop for some less-urgent grocery shopping. I like getting away from him both for time alone with Cakie or my honey and for some occasional time to myself. It is only those times when he’s crying for me that I just want to take him away from whomever has him at the moment and hug him and make him feel safe. Which is natural, I guess. I also notice that if we are out as a family, I spend more time holding Trucker and A spends more time with Cakie. This is probably partly because it is easier for both adults. But I guess we should make a point to mix it up more often.
Does anyone else who has taken turns have any more insight into this baby hogging business?
I am getting back to the book.
I just had to stop to share with you all that I think it is a little magic how writing to you beautiful strangers about writing or not writing the book makes me write the book. First, I wanted to write the book. So I thought I’d just blog about writing it. The next thing I knew, I was writing the book. Then, after giving birth, I wasn’t writing it. So I blogged about not writing it. That was just what I needed to get back to work.
I really am getting back to work. Which is why though I really really want to respond to the lovely and flattering post the grrrls over at firsttimesecondtime wrote, I am not going to do so right at this very moment.
I did just want to take a little break to tell you how funny this is. I went back into my emails on my blog email to try to make sense of the work I’ve already done and to better organize my interviews. I found SO MANY emails and interviews I was doing on the day before and of my birth. In one of them, I actually said, “I’ll try to get you those questions today (if I don’t give birth.)” And I did. My water broke three hours after I sent that email. And I never did send that woman the questions. Not until today. Just nine little months later. Maybe I needed another full gestation period to make room for the book. Even though who, Adrienne Rich or somebody, says, “A book is not a baby is not a book.”
I need to get back to my interview organizing and apologizing to folks for dropping off the face of the earth. But I do want to invite any and/or all of you to be interviewed. My process is slightly lame (by my own standards.) I do email interviews. I found trying to get a mom of a toddler on the phone for an hour, when I am also the mom of a toddler, is nearly impossible. So I started sending the questions via email. It really doesn’t take much time and can be done at your leisure. Let me know! I promise not to give birth in the middle of any more interviews. Ever.
If you go to the top of my home page, you’ll see a page about my book. The book I’m supposed to be writing. Supposed to have written by now, more likely.
We were tweaking the proposal. Which was really good, but the sample chapter maybe wasn’t the perfect subject matter for a proposal. We were on a roll. Then it happened.
I gave birth.
That was eight months ago. Now. I need a little time off. I do. I need to enoy the baby and wrap my head around the existence of said baby. And the fact that I don’t have to TTC any more. Ever. I hope. But the other thing is that becoming a gestational mom while writing a book about non-gestational co-moms (for lack of a more romantic, less syllabic term) kind of puts a kink in things. It has been almost impossible to step outside of the biology of my motherhood. Does that make any sense? I think, once I get a little more distance from the birth, having given birth will actually make me write a better book. There are so many things about being a gestational mom that I overlooked before. Being the one who did not give birth was mostly awesome (and not in a valley girl way, in a full-of-awe way) but also difficult emotionally. Being the one who gave birth was difficult mostly physically. But because it is also hormonal and at least for the first year or so, so tied to my mammary glands, it was also emotional in a way over which I feel I have no control. Now I understand how hard it is to give your partner the time and space she needs with the baby. I do it. But I also see why some women have a hard time with it. The funny thing is, my honey is way less sensitive about it than I am. I guess because I’m “writing the book.”
So that’s it. For now, I’m writing the book, but I make little quotation marks around it with my fingers when I say it out loud. I will go back full-force. It needs to be written. I need to write it. For real.