Category Archives: Pregnancy

Change is Growth; Growth is Good – Reflections of 2011

So 2011 is rapidly coming to a close, and it always brings me to a place of reflection on all that has taken place in my life over the course of a year.  Sure, this past year has brought us the death of Osama bin Laden, the murder trial of Michael Jackson’s doctor, and Charlie Sheen doing a lot of “winning.”  But 2011 also brought a lot of huge changes for me and my family.

We started out this year with plans for Erikka to have surgery in mid-January.  Little did we know that a short month later we would be making our first attempt at insemination and pregnancy.  It was a long five weeks before we would find out that our one, and only, attempt was positive and that a new little life was on its way.  Noah turned eleven and won the spelling bee for his elementary school for the second year in a row.  I couldn’t believe that he would soon be going into middle school, and Nicholas would be turning 20 in August, and that we would have a newborn baby not too long after that.  I was going to have three only children, practically….wow.  We also had been planning for a trip to Disneyworld, just Erikka and I, in May so that we could use some airline vouchers and Disney dollars that were about to expire.  I wondered how that would work once we found out that Erikka was pregnant, but she did great and we had a wonderful time getting away – knowing it was probably one of our last getaway trips for a long time.  We managed to getaway one more time in July for our anniversary, where we went to our favorite bed & breakfast in Little Rock for a weekend, promising when we left to come back with the kids next time.

I think that by June, it had been discovered that Erikka had developed gestational diabetes, so we went on a drastic diet change to accommodate all of the many doctors and their demands of her.  The days got hotter and her belly got bigger, and we shopped and planned and dreamed about this baby that we still couldn’t believe was going to be here by the first of November.  Once we found out that we were having a girl, the excitement got even more strong because Erikka had always wanted a girl, and I had only experienced life with two boys.  I turned 41 in August, and started to panic about having a new baby – I felt OLD.  We soon got into high gear and launched into a season of baby showers, nursery painting parties, and furniture-putting-together gatherings.  The room that had, for the year that we have lived here, been the middle, guest bedroom was slowly turning into a beautiful Dr. Seuss nursery for the little baby girl who would have everything.

By the time that October arrived, we were battling with blood pressure issues along with blood sugar issues.  Doctors were on the case and we were going every week to one doctor or another.  Erikka was registered at the hospital, and her c-section was set for November 1st…only this baby and Erikka’s body had other plans.  She was put into the hospital on fulltime bedrest around the 18th of October, and late on the evening of October 24th we welcomed our beautiful baby girl – Harrison Sinclair Jayne-Anne – into the world (during the 5th game of the World Series where our Rangers were playing!).  The world as we knew it previously was changed forever.  We had some complications for the first few weeks, with Erikka and her body getting used to all of the drastic changes, but then by Thanksgiving were sharing our new addition with the world.  Nicholas enlisted in the Navy shortly after Harrison was born, and married the love of HIS life on October 31st.  It took all of us by surprise, but because we love him (and her, too), then we support them as best as we can.  I anxiously awaited for Christmas and spending time with family – both Erikka’s and mine.

And now here we are, looking at the tail-end of 2011 over our back shoulder; looking forward to 2012 and all of the adventures and experiences it will bring to us and our family.  I pray that 2012 will bring to us new legislation that will write equality into existence where it was not before.  Every year should bring change, for without change there is no growth.  It may be small change over a long period of time, or it may be big, life-altering change that happens in a blink.  Either way, change is growth, and growth is good.

Back to the Hospital

As seen this week on TheNextFamily.com (11/30/2011):

By the time that Harrison was four days old, the doctor was saying that Erikka was doing well enough to go home.  She was a bit pensive about this decision, and told me and the doctor that she didn’t feel like she was ready, didn’t feel quite right; nevertheless, we loaded up everybody and brought our brand new bundle home on a Friday.  When we arrived, I took her and we did a walk-through of the house, where I showed her everything, including her cool Dr. Seuss nursery.  We got settled in fairly quickly, and Erikka planted herself on the couch to rest, while we passed our sweet baby girl back and forth between us.  Soon, we had our first visitor at home, with more on the way over the weekend.  Erikka’s parents came to visit, while sorority sisters came to meet baby Harrison and brought meals for us to put in the freezer for the following week.  Over the course of the weekend, Erikka still didn’t feel very well and her blood pressure was steadily going back up.  It got to the point that whenever she tried to lie down she couldn’t breathe, which we totally did not understand.  Needless to say, she didn’t get much sleep in the first three days that she was home from the hospital, unless she was in a sitting position.

Monday came and Erikka was still feeling lousy.  It was Halloween, and we had been looking forward to handing out treats at the door while Noah went Trick-or-Treating with my sorority sisters.  But by the time he was getting into his costume, Erikka had taken one too many very high blood pressure readings, so I was ready to take her to the hospital.  She still was having a hard time breathing, and would get winded just going from our room in the front of the house to the den in the back.  So when Noah got picked up, I told my friend that I was taking her back to the hospital, and that I may need her to keep him overnight again if we were really late.  Off they went, and I went back into the house and told Erikka that we were going to the emergency room – which is what her doctor had recommended if she still had trouble breathing.  We loaded up, and they got her back fairly quickly, considering they had a pretty packed waiting room.  I waited there with the baby while she went through triage, and managed to call Holly, who was headed over to our house that night anyway.  I also called her parents, who I think went into panic mode and quickly dropped everything to come back to the hospital (they live just under two hours away).  Soon Erikka came and got me to come back with her, saying that they were going to put her into a room for monitoring – her blood pressure was high and her EKG showed some kind of abnormal reading, although she was unsure exactly what it was.  Once she was in an ER room, they started running tests, scheduling CAT scans of her heart and lungs, and waiting on the ER doctor to see her.  Once she did, she said that she heard fluid in her lungs and ordered lasiks.  While we waited, Holly arrived first, and later Erikka’s parents.  I was trying not to be freaked out, but I was scared and worried that something was really wrong.  After a while and many tests, the ER doc came back and said that she was admitting Erikka for the night so that they could try to get the fluid off of her heart and lungs – but thankfully there was no blood clot in her lungs like we had feared.  Oh dear.  They were admitting her.  Fluid on the lungs and heart.  What the hell was happening?

At around midnight, Erikka was in her room in the cardiac care unit, and Harrison and I were heading home…alone.  Thank God Holly was coming back to the house with me – I was freaking out!  I had a one-week-old baby, after not having ANY kind of baby for over eleven years now, and I was having to take her home and take care of her – MYSELF!!  I also had a big photo shoot scheduled for the next day and was going to have to leave the baby for the first time.  How blessed were we that Holly was available to come and stay with her, and we totally trusted her!

Holly ended up staying for three nights with me and Harrison, while Erikka remained in the hospital.  She made food and filled our freezer, helped me with the baby, and watched her while giving me precious time to shower – she was a lifesaver indeed.  Every day we would go to the hospital to visit Erikka, and every day I worried a little bit more because they were trying to get her blood pressure down, get fluids off of her heart and lungs, and try to figure out what caused this to happen in the first place.  On day five of this stay – her second stay – she wanted to come home so badly.  We thought that she was going to get sprung, and then late in the afternoon the doctor came back in and said that she wasn’t comfortable sending her home again until Erikka saw a cardiologist.  Well THAT didn’t go over well.  I finally decided that I would go home and get clothes and supplies, and Harrison and I would stay the night with her at the hospital so she wouldn’t be sad.  On my way back up there, as I drove I finally broke down from all the worry that I had carried all week.  I cried and cried – I was so scared that something was happening to my wife that the doctors weren’t able to correct.  I was so scared that I would lose her and have to do this alone.  I was terrified that Harrison wouldn’t know the wonderful mommy who had risked her health to carry and deliver her.

The next day, Saturday, a cardiologist came to see Erikka, having already gone over her tests and such.  He didn’t seem to be as nearly concerned about whatever was going on with her heart and blood pressure as our doctor had been.  He said he wanted to change her meds and see her in his office in two weeks, where he would monitor her condition.  Then he gave us the words that we had been waiting for days to hear:  You can go home.  Within about an hour, for the second time in seven days, I was driving Erikka home from the hospital.  Hopefully this time it would be the last time for a while.

She’s Absolutely Perfect!

As seen this week on TheNextFamily.com (11/16/2011):

The first few hours after Harrison was born went by in a blur.  She arrived at 10 PM, on the hour, and by 11 PM  we were back in our room and introducing her to friends and family who had arrived and been in the waiting room.  I was running on adrenaline, to and fro between the room and the waiting room.  We had quite a crowd, but by midnight we were finally starting to say our good-nights and hoping for some rest.  Erikka was resting after her surgery, and they were pumping her full of medications to bring her blood pressures back down to normal while I got to spend a lot of time with our new bundle of beautiful joy.  I was having to give her formula in a bottle because Erikka obviously didn’t have any milk yet, and the baby was pretty sleepy after being born to even attempt to latch on and nurse.  I remember finally lying down to sleep at about 6 AM, in complete and total exhaustion and bliss; we all slept about two hours before we were awakened by nurses coming in to check both Erikka and the baby.

A couple of days later, as we’re hanging out in our hospital room – a regular room, no longer one of the giant labor & delivery rooms where we had spent the first twenty-four hours – I was sitting on the couch, hanging out with Harrison.  She had eaten, I had changed her and swaddled her, and she was lying on a pillow near the window, wide-eyed and looking around (even though I know she couldn’t see very far still).  I sat there, as I had been doing most of the time since her birth, staring at her in amazement, with so many thoughts crossing my mind.  At that moment, days after entering the world, she was completely perfect.  Think about it.

Right now, Harrison has no idea of what hate is.  She has been surrounded by nothing but love, admiration, and lots of kisses on her tiny little face (and feet, too).  She doesn’t have any comprehension of what it is like to be angry, well, unless she is wet, dirty, or hungry.  But it isn’t real, genuine anger.  She trusts every single one of us who she was entrusted to, and is secure with her very limited knowledge that we will indeed take care of her.  She has never been hurt, or had her heart broken or her feelings trampled on.  She doesn’t know sadness, nor does she have any inkling of what it is like to feel guilt or disappointment.  Right now, she is absolutely perfect.

How can we protect that?  How can we keep her there, in that perfectness bubble where she lives right now?  I look at this tiny, beautiful baby girl and know that I can’t do it.  One day she will be sad – and it will break my heart.  One day she will get mad, at one of US, and I will have to talk her down from the rafters.  One day, some little snot-nosed girl on the playground will say something snarky and hurt her feelings, and she will come home crying – and I won’t be able to do a thing about it.  We’re not allowed to go scream at other people’s kids when they hurt our own.

I look at her and all I want is to protect her, from all of these things.  I pray that the trust that she instinctively has for us right now is a trust that she always has in us.  While I may not be able to keep bad, sad, or uncomfortable things from happening in her life, I can make sure that I shield her from it as much as humanly possible.  I was worried, briefly, that I wouldn’t fall in love with her as madly as I had the two babies who had come from me, but it couldn’t be farther from the truth.  I feed her, I hold her, I change her, I drive her around in the middle of the night if I need to, I bathe her, and I love her so completely.  No one would ever be able to say that this child is not mine – and if they do and it hurts her feelings, then they’d better look out!

For a Moment, Time Stood Still

As seen this week on TheNextFamily.com (11/8/2011):

So the last time I wrote it was Monday, October 24th, and time had stood still while we waited for four or five days thus far.  Needless to say, I wrote it and put it out there, and sure as hell, things started moving and shaking within hours of my authoring that blog.

As you may remember, Erikka had gotten thrown in the hospital on complete bedrest because of high blood pressure, so that’s where we sat.  Monday.  Game 5 of the World Series.  We had finished dinner already and Noah was with a friend for the evening – I just had had a feeling that I needed to stay with her that evening, at least until the end of the game.  Erikka had been feeling particularly lousy that day, with blood pressure readings bouncing around, and another day of a lingering headache.  Every time she reported the headaches, she got a barrage of questions:  Are you seeing spots?  Any visual disturbances?  Seeing double?  To these she always answered “no”.  Well, Monday night during the game, she tells me that she is seeing little white spots, so I, consequently, pass this nugget of information on to the nurse.  That seemed to have triggered something, because her response was, “Hmmm.  I’m going to have to page your doctor and let her know about this.”  Um, okay.  We go back to watching the game, and about ten minutes later the phone rings in the hospital room (which had only happened one other time).  I answer it and was greeted by our OB/GYN who said, “Is this Tanya?  This is Dr. P…we’re going to have a baby tonight!”  I paused and said, “Um, excuse me?”  She continued, “Well, there are too many factors that have been going on for too long, and now she is seeing spots so we’re just going to do this tonight.  I’m heading up there now, so we will see you shortly!”  I answered, “Um, okay!  Bye!”  I then looked at Erikka, who had a very puzzled look on her face, and told her what the doctor said – and then I proceeded to go into crazy, panicked “dad” mode!  I gave her a phone and said to call her parents, and I went out into the waiting room to call those on the list to be there, not even realizing that it was already almost nine o’clock at night!

Pretty soon we were whisked down the hall and taken to a labor and delivery room, where they started working to get her ready for her c-section.  I had changed into the pink scrubs that I had bought for the birth, and then they gave me booties and a jumpsuit to put on top of them.  We were still watching the Texas Rangers game while we got ready to go into the O.R., and the score was tied as we prepped for it.  I had on my lucky red hat that I wore for every game, and I got permission from the doctor to wear it in the O.R.!  Soon we were on our way, across the hall, where I was positioned on a stool next to Erikka’s head, camera in hand and cell phone in pocket.  This was about to happen.  I was about to meet my daughter for the first time.  I was freaking out a bit, and the adrenaline rush was making me re-think the wisdom in having had McDonald’s for dinner.  So I sat, took some deep breaths, kissed my wife, and told her she was doing great.

Soon our doctor and one of her partners walked through the operating room doors and proceeded on their way.  I stood up once, early on, to look over the curtain and see what was going on – not a good idea at the moment I chose.  I sat back down, and didn’t look again until they told me that it was time and they were pulling her out.  When I stood back up, camera on and ready, I held my breath as they delivered my baby girl’s head first, and then slowly the rest of her body, while she looked pissed off for the intrusion into her bubbled world.

For a moment, time stood still.  I heard the comments of how big she was, and they held her up for me to see and photograph.  I didn’t know if I should smile, cry, laugh, or all of it.  She was here, and she was okay.  She was only 37 weeks along, but she was perfect.  The time was ten o’clock, on the hour; an hour earlier I was watching baseball, and now I had a brand new baby girl.  It’s amazing how quickly your life can change.  While I had given birth to two babies, one naturally and one via c-section, I was now in an entirely different position and getting to experience it from a whole other perspective.  I watched her come into the world, and I held the hand of my wife while the anesthesiologist took my camera and took our first photos as a family together.  The baby weighed in at eight pounds, six ounces, and measured 20.5 inches long.  She has big chubby cheeks, just like we saw in the sonograms – it was amazing!

While they finished up with Erikka, stitching her up and such, they took the baby and me back across the hall to our original labor & delivery room.  I held her in my arms, and we had about ten minutes just to ourselves, she and I.  We walked around the room together, while I just stared at her, completely and totally in love with her already.  I stopped at the television, and realized that the baseball game was still on, just as we had left it when we went into the operating room.  I paused to look just in time to see the last ball played, and the Rangers win game five over the St. Louis Cardinals, and cheered quietly, telling the baby that she brought our guys good luck that night!  Soon they brought Erikka in, and she was awake and alert, doing fabulously and ready to meet and hold our beautiful baby girl.

We named her Harrison, after her grandpa.  Harrison Sinclair Jayne-Anne.  And she’s perfect.

When Man Plans, God Laughs

As seen previously on TheNextFamily.com (around 10/24/2011):

We’re getting closer – even closer than we had originally planned.  As you may remember, our sweet baby girl is scheduled to arrive on 11/1/11 via a planned C-section.  Well, we now know that this isn’t going to happen. But that’s about all we DO know at this point.  I’ve always heard people say that “when man plans, God laughs”, and am finding that it seems to be true.  My mother-in-law said that life is what happens when we’re busy making plans; that is NO LIE.

Last Wednesday we went for our weekly appointment at the doctor’s office, hoping for an uneventful visit and possibly a short afternoon trip to the state fair before it closed (to get some of the weird, fried fair food).  Yeah, THAT didn’t happen.  We went in, had our sonogram, did the vitals, and got put into a room to watch their short C-section DVD.  Soon, the nurse came in and informed us that Erikka’s blood pressure was a little too high for another week, so the doctor wanted us to go over to the hospital and be monitored for a few hours.  Well great.  Alrighty then.  So much for our fun little afternoon trip to the fair.  We left the doctor’s office, with instructions from our awesome OB/GYN that Erikka’s working days are over for a little while because she was now to be on bedrest.  She had already planned to stop working at the end of the week, so it came only two days earlier.  We went over to the hospital and spent a few hours being monitored before they sent us home, with strict orders of bedrest from here on out.

Thursday seemed pretty low-key at our house.  Noah was off at school, Erikka worked from her laptop in the recliner all day, only getting up for bathroom breaks.  My future daughter-in-law (a whole OTHER story) came over and spent the afternoon helping me clean our messy house, while I finished putting things away in the nursery.  I was working with the knowledge from the doctor that we were unlikely to make our delivery date of 11/1/11, so I needed to get everything in order at the house so that we’re ready when our little darling DOES arrive.  At about six o’clock that evening, I’m preparing dinner for all of us when I asked Erikka how her blood pressures had been throughout the day.  She hesitantly gives me the last reading – which was high.  So I then make her tell me what they have been all day. All high.  REALLY high.  I write them all down and decide that it’s time to call the doctor’s answering service.  She wanted me to wait until the next morning, when we had to go to their office anyway, but I was concerned and decided it would be best to call right then.  I had pre-eclampsia when I was pregnant with Noah, and my blood pressure readings were like hers have been running; so I had a feeling that she was heading down the same path.  I’m glad I called – the doctor had me take her to the hospital right then, at 8 o’clock last Thursday night.

And there is where we still sit today…Monday.

Over the weekend the doctor came by each day, saying that she is rescheduling the C-section for this Saturday, 10/29.  Does she think that we will really make it to THAT date?  No, she does not.  So now, after all of our planning and knowing exactly how everything was going to go, we are here, in limbo at the hospital.  Blood pressures are somewhat controlled, and contractions come and go.  We haven’t got a clue when this will happen – but we’re here and we’re ready…and we at least know it will be SOON!

Being the Baby Daddy

As seen this week on TheNextFamily.com (10/19/2011):

I decided yesterday that I need to send my boys’ father a thank-you card.  No, seriously.  As I was fighting with the stroller construction, and attaching carseat bases into our vehicles, kicking and cussing them all, it struck me that this was a pain in the ass!  I stepped back, after practically throwing the stroller across the driveway, sweating and frustrated, and realized that, while I had all of this same equipment when Noah was a baby, I NEVER once had to put any of it together.  I took off my sweaty Texas Rangers baseball hat and scratched my head, and thought about all of the baby crap that I had previously owned.  We had a decent crib that magically appeared in our bedroom at the time, and brought the baby home to it.  We had a car seat with base installed in my SUV, and all I had to do was click the infant seat into it and go.  We had strollers – yes, multiple (we wore about three out), and I never once had to put one together; didn’t they just come that way??  We had a high chair that matched our whole set of baby gear, and it also magically appeared in our kitchen when the time came to start giving him food.  I DID, back then, learn how to (often) put together and tear down our Pack n’ Plays. We had FOUR of those – one for home, one for the nanny, one at my mother’s, and one in the car.  Yeah, it was a little overkill, but we had one that matched our set and the rest that I found cheap at consignment stores.  But I digress.  My point is that we had all of the baby gear that we needed, and I never had to put any of it together.

This time around?  Oh dear God the baby stuff.  The carseat base in MY Jeep was pretty straightforward and easy.  When I got into Erikka’s SUV to install, however, that was another story.  Hers is much newer than mine, and the seatbelt system is much more complicated.  The stroller was easy, to be quite honest.  I was just hot and thought it would be easier than it actually was – I just don’t have a lot of patience.  I am looking at a baby swing that is in the box, knowing that I will have to put it together, and soon.  When we took the crib and dresser out of their boxes to put them together, my eyes just about popped out of my head, and I very happily handed over the screw gun to the friends who came over to help.  There were a LOT of pieces, to say the least.  I was perfectly content to supervise, hand pieces or screwdrivers to the assemblers, and then swoop in at the end for a picture next to the finished product (and claim the credit for the beautiful construction).

Preparing for a baby

So yeah, I want to send a thank-you card to the guy who did all of that for me before.  I am once again seeing a glimpse into an involved father’s life, or perhaps that of other non-biological moms-to-be.  I really, really appreciate the fact that there are those out there who not only don’t mind putting all of the crap together, but actually enjoy doing it, too.  I am most definitely NOT handy, but my girly wife is!  But at this stage in the game, it is becoming more and more difficult for her to get around comfortably, much less sit (or stand) and spend loads of time putting more stuff together.  At least if our baby girl decides to come early – she is supposed to come on 11/1/11 – then I know that we can go to the hospital in MY vehicle, and we’ll be good to go for bringing the baby home in a properly installed carseat.  Next step?  Getting that d*&% base installed into Erikka’s SUV and getting the swing put together.  Maybe tomorrow…

Who Our Family Really Is…

So today I went to my mother’s to pickup Noah, since he had stayed there last night and gone to church with her this morning.  We were sitting and chatting, and I try to keep her updated on all of the baby news whenever I talk to her, just so she knows that it REALLY IS going to happen and that it isn’t going away.  Since the moment that I told her that we were pregnant, she has given several mixed messages to us in regards to the birth of our baby.  From the beginning, my mother has made it very clear that, in HER eyes, this is NOT my baby, but rather Erikka’s.  The first time we had a conversation about it went like this:

Me:  “Oh mom, don’t be all weird about it.  This could be my girl!  I could finally get a baby girl!”

Mom:  “But it won’t be YOUR girl.  It will be Erikka’s.”  <lips purse up – no more talking about it>

Me:  “Oh no, we are NOT going to play this game mother.  This is MY baby, just as much as it is Erikka’s baby.  I will be doing a second parent adoption, so yes, she will legally be mine as well.  But we’re NOT going to do THIS.”

And that was the end of that conversation.

So as the pregnancy has progressed, my mother has seemingly come around a bit, and it has actually given me some hope that maybe the tide is turning and things are finally changing for the better between me and a tiny fraction of my family.  She and her sister attended one of our baby showers, which just about made me fall out in shock and awe!  I was thrilled to have her there, even though it was a little tense knowing that she felt awkward being there as well.  She has handmade baby blankets for our baby girl, and presented us with one of them at this shower, along with so many adorable little outfits for her -a gift that seemed to show that she cared and was slightly excited.  And the fact that she has taken the time to make these blankets, spending hours at a time working on them, would say to most people that she MUST care, right?  It’s like she wants to be excited about a new baby granddaughter, but refuses to let herself be for fear that it might contradict the rigid religious doctrine that she clings to so fiercely – one that doesn’t seem to include acceptance.

Today I asked her if she was going to be at the hospital for the birth, which is now fifteen days away.  She replied, quite matter-of-factly, “I haven’t planned on it.  I have to work.”  And that was that.  End of conversation.  It hit me when I got home later that I felt REALLY stupid for allowing myself to feel hopeful when it came to her acceptance of my wife & I, and now our daughter who will soon join us.  Now I look at it and have to tell myself that it may never happen.  I will continue to try and not let it bother me.  But this day, the birth of my only daughter (probably), will come and go without any of my family there….just like my wedding day did.  Most of the time I don’t let it get to me; but it’s on special and important days like those that it’s hard to feel like an orphan.

Fortunately, we have a very large and loving support system of friends, Erikka’s family, and the family that we have created for ourselves.  I know that this is more than enough for me, and I am blessed beyond measure to have each person in my life who loves and supports me and my family without condition or condemnation.  These will be the people who will be with us to welcome our daughter into the world.  These will be the people who will celebrate with us, cry with us, and love her as they have us.  And our children will know, always and forever, who their “family” really is.

What if Your Child Turns Out GAY??

As seen this week on TheNextFamily.com (10/12/11):

What if your child turns out gay?                                 

For some reason, this is one of those questions that I have been asked multiple times. I’m not sure why, except for no other reason than the fact that I turned out gay?  I have thought it to myself many times over the years, ever since Nicholas was young and then again after Noah came along.  So now that Erikka and I have our own little gaybie on the way, the question has come up again.

Really?  People have to actually think about this, putting hard thought and emotion into their answer?  My reaction is usually, “So what if they do?  I guess I’ll march in a parade with them!”  I mean, this is really a ridiculous question, but I guess for many it is a game changer.  There are a lot of anti-gay conservatives who have produced a lot of gay children over many, many years, and I think that for them, their child’s sexuality somehow reflects back to them.  What’s THAT about?

I used to worry that if one of my boys grew up and announced that they liked other boys, or that they knew all along that they were gay, then somehow I will be blamed for it.  It’s irrational and totally unrealistic thinking, but in the world that I sometimes collide with, it could totally happen.  But oh my God, what IF??  Um, nothing.

People have again asked me what I will think or do if this baby girl grows up and “decides” that she is a lesbian.  Really?  I won’t think anything different – nothing different than how much I love her and how proud I will always be that she is my daughter.  And what will I do?  I will continue to love and support her as always!  How can any parent think or do anything besides that?  I mean, I KNOW it is a reality that not all parents would react like we would, if it were the case.  My own family is a prime example of how a parent can lose sight of their unconditional love for their own child, and get caught up with religion over relationship.

There have been times over the years that I have watched my boys and wondered if they would grow up and be gay.  My oldest didn’t seem interested in girls as a young boy, wasn’t into sports very much (except when I made him), and really enjoyed taking dance classes when he was about ten.  But those things do not decide or define how his future with a woman (or man) will go.  When he hit high school, he became more social and most definitely was clearly a boy who liked girls.  And the youngest has had very similar traits as his brother, but there is no way of knowing – he isn’t even a fully formed person yet!  So I’m not going to stress and worry, when there is just no need.  If our daughter grows up and tells us that she likes women, it won’t phase us one bit.  We can’t “teach” any of our children to be gay – and let’s think about it, don’t a good majority of us, gay/lesbian people, come from heterosexual parents?  They apparently didn’t “teach” us to be straight, no more than our children learn how not to be.

We anxiously await her arrival – only three weeks now.  She is developing perfectly, and is fully formed and very healthy.  No matter what her future sexuality grows into – a LONG time into the future – the fact will never change that she has two mommies and a sea of friends, family, and aunties who will love her for HER, no matter who she loves!

The Non-Bio Mom Nesting Crazy

As seen last week on TheNextFamily.com (9/28/11):

Do dads and/or non-biological moms get the nesting hormones that many pregnant women get right before they get ready to deliver?  What about adoptive parents who await the birth of their child from a surrogate or birth mother?  I don’t know about scientific evidence that can answer these questions, but I do believe that the answer is YES (at least for THIS non-biological adoptive mom).

We are now five weeks out, if she makes it that long.  Over the past two days, I went into overwhelmed panic mode, out of the blue.  I looked around our house and freaked out, deciding that all of the laundry must get done and put away.  Now granted, I have let the dirty towels and sheets pile up, but simply because that is the laundry that I hate doing the most.  So I spent a day doing just clothes, then started a second day of clothes laundry while I loaded up my Jeep with sheets and towels and took them to a laundromat to do all at once.  One would think that it would have helped my anxiety to get so much accomplished in such a short time, but no.  Once I came home, I took another look around and started thinking of all that needed to be done:  dishes, grocery shopping, cooking, putting TONS of baby things away yet again (because we had another shower this past weekend), sweeping, mopping, vacuuming.  My chest started getting tighter and I thought I was going to have a panic attack.  By the time Erikka got home, I had a killer headache and was still trying to figure out how to get more done.  She made me sit and told me to breathe.  My response?  “There’s not much time left!  And we can’t bring a BABY home to a nasty house!”  I seriously needed to take a moment.   

But it got me to wondering if dads or other non-bio moms get like this.  I don’t recall my boys’ dads getting too uptight about much of anything just before the babies’ arrivals.  They always seemed so laid back about everything, and up until yesterday I thought that I was pretty much the same way.  But I find myself worrying about the state of cleanliness at our house all the time now – and trust me, I HATE cleaning.  I worry about every pain that my wife gets.  She has gotten a few small contractions here and there, and I worry about those, too (given that she is not supposed to have any labor whatsoever).  I know for sure that I am this baby girl’s mama, because I already worry about her all the time!

Oh the Places We Will Go!

As seen this week on TheNextFamily.com (9/21/2011):

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

We are getting closer and closer to the day that we will meet our baby girl, and the baby crap –er, stuff –just keeps piling up!  Onesies and jammies and diapers, oh my!  We spent a couple of hours in the nursery yesterday putting things away (it is shaping up to be an awesome Dr. Seuss room), unwrapping towels and blankies, and wondering where in the world is all of this stuff going to go?!  This past weekend was our third baby shower, and the fourth (and final) is this upcoming weekend.  I think that we now have enough adorable, ruffly little pink outfits to clothe all of the Gosslyn babies, along with some of Octomom’s as well!  Seriously, I don’t think that our child will ever wear the same outfit twice – in fact, I’m thinking that we’re going to need to change her clothes two or three times per day to get them all in once!  Don’t get me wrong, I am by no means complaining – we have been so incredibly blessed, and I am overwhelmed daily by the outpouring of love, support, and gifts from our friends and family.  The closer that we get – six weeks out now – the more anxious that I am to meet this wondrous little creature who has been doing somersaults inside of my wife for all of these months.  Today we went to the specialist and got some new ultrasound pics, and it just amazes me how we can actually get a glimpse inside of her little private world of the womb.  We could see hair on her head, and little fat rolls on her back, and very chubby cheeks on either side of her tiny, little pouty lips!  She will soon be here, and everything in our lives will change forever…but in a wonderful, stupendous way!

We will also meet this week with some friends who had their baby last December, just before Christmas.  They are a year ahead of us, and have pointed us in the direction of doctors and such, and have now completed the second-parent adoption process in Texas.  This is the portion of the story that I have been looking forward to the least – having to adopt my own child in a state that refuses to recognize not only my marriage, but my relationship.  We had heard that we would have to travel to San Antonio in order to assure that an adoption will be granted, with rumors of Dallas area judges being hit-or-miss on whether or not they will allow gay men or women to adopt this way.  It was a thrill and pleasant surprise to hear that our friends opted to forge ahead with their adoption in Dallas, and it was granted without an issue; so I look forward to meeting with them, as well as my BFF and attorney, to find out and get started on the process.  I still get angry that I will have to adopt this child, my daughter, of whom I have been a mommy to since the moment she was conceived; but I will do what I must in order to secure things legally to make sure that she is mine.

And when things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew. Just go right along. You’ll start happening too.  

Oh! The Places You’ll Go!

You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.

There is so much to do, and so little time left.  I will soon stop working at my part-time job, and be back home in order to concentrate on my photography and other ventures, while we wait anxiously for the baby to arrive.  The caesarean is booked and scheduled for November 1st, barring any unforeseen complications.  We went today and got our stroller and play yard, and will order the high chair online – those things that we don’t necessarily need right away, but HAD to get once we realized that they were being clearanced out at the baby stores.  Ohhhh here we go…life with a new baby.  It’s about to get even MORE interesting than before!

You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.