Archive for July, 2010

friday fun

for your friday, jude’s favorite song of the moment:

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i’ve never mentioned my position on circumcision here on the blog because i’ve never really had one. i grew up assuming that if i ever had a boychild, i’d automatically have him circumcised. because this is america and that’s what we do. honestly, though, like most non-parent women who have no interest in penises, i never really thought about it beyond my vague assumptions.

when i was pregnant with jude–before officially finding out that she was a girl–h and i threw around the subject a bit, but we were so sure i was having a girl that we never delved into what our actual decision would be.

so. cut (no pun intended) to a few months ago, when we learned we were really very much going to have a boy with a penis for a son. we had to make a proper decision about whether to snip or not to snip.

that decision was remarkably easy to come to: no snip.

our reasons are simple: most of the non-american men in our life aren’t circumcised, and not one of them has ever dealt with hygiene issues. and they’re all fond of their foreskins. and most of the wee boys in our world aren’t circumcised either. the arguments of “he’ll be different from all the other boys/he should look like his daddy” are simply irrelevant in our world. circumcision, in our minds, would be a purely cosmetic surgery. and from that perspective, who are we to mess with our son’s business?

i realize that circumcision is a divisive issue for a lot of people, especially on the internet, and it’s easy for conversations to devolve into hostile rants. we refuse to engage that. penises can find themselves in all kinds of trouble, with or without a foreskin. no one is ever going to win the war(skin).

for the record, neither h nor i harbor any judgment toward parents who choose to circumcise their sons. our choice isn’t THE choice. but we are at peace with it.

i’m happy to continue the conversation if any of you would like, without any of the aforementioned hostility of course : )
(not that i think any of my readers would be hostile. just laying the one ground rule.)

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a brief synopsis of today’s ultrasound: mister zig weighs about 5 (FIVE!) pounds, is measuring a week ahead in size (today is 32w4d), and is expected to be an 8-9 pounder like his sister. he remains head down. (stay boy, stay!)

everything looks perfect, save for his left kidney, which is measuring 9ish mm today. (10mm is the magic number when normal becomes abnormal.) so. another ultrasound is scheduled for 37 weeks.

we actually saw the dr today. my midwife delivered his baby at home. for this reason alone, i like him. he doesn’t seem to be doctor intervention-irrational-freakout man. he is not worried about zig at this point; he really thinks everything will be okay in the end. he doubts surgery will be necessary, but wants to stay on top of it all just the same.

and so, for now, i’m just trying to enjoy the sneak peeks of my son, and trying not to dwell on something i cannot at all influence until after he is born.

here he is, again with the hands:

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bullets ahoy:

  • so very, very nauseous right now.  nothing helps but sleep.  every food upsets my belly and causes cramps that feel like labor.  the cramps bring on braxton hicks.  i hurt.  this sucks.  and is totally normal.
  • but sunday was a relief sort of day.  we ventured over to new friends’ house for a playdate.  we met c&s through a mutual friend in april. c gave birth to a wee baby boy last month–little brother to nearly 3 year old big sister, v.  on sunday, jude and v played and played together, independent of us, in a whole other room even.  and it was interactive play, not just the parallel sort.  it was a wonder to behold for both sets of parents.  a first.  and so excellent.  grownups got to talk like grownups for long, uninterrupted segments of time.  we are all kinds of excited about this developmental milestone.
  • still haven’t forgotten the posts i want to write.  i anticipate the headspace and timespace to write them this week.
  • a video of sweet j this morning. watching super why, and eating breakfast.  peep those brows when she realizes i’m recording her.   and also, peep the need to demonstrate her water-drinking abilities:  “watch jude.”

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cue the mariachis.

et tu, hemorrhoids?

third trimester is ass. pun intended.

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stand by.

so my week has turned unexpectedly bizzzzzy. like, all hands on deck work busy. not sure when/if i will find time to properly post all those interesting topics brought up last week.

in the meantime, think nausea-free thoughts for me, as i have been pretty miserable over the past couple of days. maine root ginger brew is my current silver bullet expectation. here’s hoping it delivers. because this pukeyness is total bullshit.

happy tuesday. over and out.

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so, the other topic of interest brought up in the comments was about how we’re preparing jude for being a big sister.

i’ve talked a bit about the ongoing conversations here from time to time, but basically, it all goes like this:

every day, we discuss the baby. conversations usually begin after jude once again attempts to body slam my big belly, and i have to remind her to be gentle with mommy, because of the…? beebee, she says. yes! the baby! perfect icebreaker, right?

she loves to blow raspberries on my belly, to say hello to the beebee by speaking loudly into my belly button, and she’s now graduated to offering the beebee “big hugs” as well.

we ask jude if she is a baby. she usually says no, and backs it up with an emphatic head shake: she is a big kid. did she used to be a baby? yes, she concedes, she once was a baby. and so i bring up the topic of breastfeeding: how mommy used to nurse jude, but she’s a big kid now who drinks milk from a cup. sometimes she wants to check out the old restaurant, as it were. she asks to nurse. i remind her that i do not currently have milk (which isn’t entirely true; it’s colostrum time, folks!), and won’t till the baby comes. she understands, but pushes: try, mommy? jude try? so i let her try. and she doesn’t remember how to do it. (whew.) on most days, she’ll give up her attempt to nurse ask for a cup of milk. two days ago, however, she kind of lost her shit.

i gave her an ice cold cup o milk, and she threw it at me. and then she smacked me. then kicked me. then screamed, threw some toys and ran out of the room in what can only be described as a tizzy. i gave her a few minutes to calm down before approaching her. i asked, jude, are you angry? she nodded yes. i asked, are you angry because mommy doesn’t have any milk, and when she does again, it’ll be for the baby? yesh, she said out loud. then she broke eye contact from me and looked at my belly. sorry bebe, she said. big hug? and she gave my belly a big hug.

i was momentarily surprised that she was mad at the baby, and not me, but i also realized that she understands there is a person inside me with whom she can be angry. that makes me think she’s really getting it, as much as she can.

for the next half hour or so, jude pretended to be a baby, which she has never really done before. she developed a pretend baby cry; a perfect whah, whah. h and i shrugged our shoulders and played along. we asked aloud what we could do to comfort the baby, and she supplied us with several suggestions. we took turns cradling her like a newborn, burping her, singing to her, etc.

then her gabby and pop pop arrived at our house, and the game was over. she was jude the big kid again. she hasn’t reverted since.

so yeah, that is where we are with prepping jude for big sisterhood. we’re talking talking talking all the time, and letting jude do what she needs to do to communicate and cope with all this change.

[translation: we’re winging it. and wondering how she’ll actually be when ziggy is actually born.]

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i hears you.

thank you all for your comments about what you want to know. i hear you want to hear about the following:

1. my thoughts about circumcising my son.
2. more info about uncle g’s (formerly the coach) role(s) in our kids’ lives.
3. what it’s like being a 2 mom household in texass.

i shall get to work on all of that. more to come soon.

(and to those of you who have hopped over to my place via the lovely christine’s pimpin’, welcome! stay awhile. i’m happy you’re here.)

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any questions?

so, i’m ticking off the days until my maternity leave begins, and part of my nesting is all about cultivating my little blog.

any fodder for me? is there anything you’d like to know? is there anything specific you’d like to see here?

many thanks,

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like many moms before me, it’s been all kinds of difficult to find the time and headspace to meditate, in a meaningful way, on the present tense reality of my pregnancy. but here i am, approaching 30 weeks along, with a heavy belly full of limbs jutting out at odd angles. i’ve got 16 inches of son balled up in there, and in seven short weeks, it’ll be safe for him to make an exit at home.

aside from the obvious limitations of being a very pregnant person, i often forget i’m pregnant at all. i’m still very engaged at work, and at home my focus is on being a good parent to a spirited toddler, as well as being a present, loving partner. our family life is a steady current, and our son’s immanence is easy to let slip: out of sight, out of mind.

he made himself very known a couple weeks ago, after i did too much cleaning, too much standing around and lifting children, over jude’s birthday weekend. i started having contractions, every fifteen minutes, for two hours straight. they were the start-at-the-back-wrap-around-to-the-belly sort. ie: not just braxton hicks, don’t worry contractions. my midwife put me on two days of bed rest, and told me to slow the fuck down already.

and so i’ve slowed the fuck down already. i am making a concerted effort to be aware of my son with every move i make. you know, is this good for the company baby? conversations with jude about the baby have increased, especially as she asks me to pick her up, to run with her, to dance, and when she attempts to jump on my stomach.

we talk a lot about the baby coming out of my belly soon, very soon, and we paint pictures of breastfeeding, diaper changes, why her brother will cry and how to comfort him, etc.

even as we have these preparatory talks, though, it is so much easier for me to focus on endings than beginnings. these are the final weeks of jude being an only child, after all. i think some grief over that reality is appropriate. but it’s hard for me not to get overwhelmed by it, in a “what have i done to my poor child” sort of way. i’m heartened, however, by families like lagliv, one of his moms, and lesbian dad, whose kiddos have clearly flourished in their new role of Big Sibling.

and so i’m choosing to step back from the ledge of fear; instead, i rest my hands on my belly and consider the life inside me. my son will be joining his family soon. i imagine him having a bald head like his sister, and similar squinty eyes. i will spend the greater part of every day sniffing that head of his, and sighing, you smell like my baby. he will snuggle between h and me in our squishy bed, and he’ll nurse without ceasing. he’ll squawk and coo and fart like an old man. his sister will kiss him and hug him and pretend to eat him. eat. ziggy. mommy, she’ll say, as she puts her fingers in my mouth and giggles.

it’s gonna be so great.
i can’t wait.

i am reminded of a gorgeous song by lucy kaplansky, called “i had something”. i first heard it eight years ago, at a bar in belfast, where she was performing. with green ink, i scrawled these lyrics on a beer napkin: what i lost, returns with love and time.

they were prophetic words then, words that would soon carry me through the estrangement and stark darkness of coming out in christianland. and now? they are simply true. prophecy fulfilled. here we are. everything i’ve ever lost is in my arms and belly.

enjoy the song. drink the lyrics. amen.

I had something
It fell from me
Something strong
Like a pounding drum
Like ringing bells
When I was young
I had something
And it was gone

I had something
Made me walk all night
Made me run from home
Made me fight

I had something
Made me feel alone
Like an orphan
Waiting for a home

Every footstep that I take
Completes the circle my life makes
Every living thing has ties that bind
What I lost returns with love and time

I heard something
It called to me
And it told me
I was saved
Not by God
And not by words
Not by any living thing

It was the voice that I once knew
Of my daughter or my son
Not yet born
And not yet known
Another orphan waiting for a home

Every footstep that I take
Completes the circle my life makes
Every living thing has ties that bind
What I lost returns with love and time

Every living thing has ties that bind
What I lost returns with love and time

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