The Classic 30-Something Lesbian Dilemma-What Comes First; The Baby or the Wedding?

the new jewish wedding bookA few weeks ago I put some money down on an engagement ring for Leah. It’s not a big surprise, I’m not going to be getting down on one knee or anything.

We went to my favorite little NYC vintage jeweler and tried on a few rings. I was sure that she wouldn’t want a diamond, or even a gemstone, because she’s a more subtle lady. I, on the other hand, have had my eye on some lovely 1920s and 1930s rings and knew just what I wanted. We agreed that we’d stay around $500 for a ring, $750 max and luckily, there were three rings that fit the bill. We tried them on, the shop person was patient and we walked out talking about what a proposal or engagement would look like.

Should I call your Dad or something, she asked me as we walked in lower Manhattan.

No, I said with a smile taking her hand. Should I call yours?

No, she said with a squeeze.

So how would we do this?

I told her that we just would and then proceeded to leave her lots of hints and reminders to get the ring.

I picked out two rings I love equally, but the prices are so good I didn’t want to lose them. Not wanting to lose hers, an amazing vintage 1921 stunner, I went to the store and plopped down a down payment.

I dunno why, but all of a sudden the thought of having rings on our fingers sent me hurling into an early twenty-year-old woman frenzy so out of control I actually emailed some, okay, maybe something like 15 venues and caterers and photographers. We’re saving for the sperm so getting married probably isn’t the best financial decision to make, not to mention that I want to be as calm and relaxed through the TTC process and pregnancy and planning for a wedding won’t help in either department. But, I’m obsessed. And the thing is, the baby will come first. And just like preparing for a baby, I’ve already gotten a lot of unsolicited advice. Some say that we’ll never have time to do the wedding if we have a baby first, others show off lovely pictures of brides with their first child, one bride angry because she can’t have champagne on her wedding, but grateful to be swollen with the growing babe in her tummy, other who say that we should just march down to the courthouse and get it done.

Which I suppose we could do, but what’s the fun in that? Jewish weddings are so beautiful and so full of ritual I wouldn’t want to miss out on any of it. And, truthfully, I don’t really mind the idea of having our child or children at our wedding. So the truth is that the wedding will have to wait. We’ll head to the courthouse for the sake of the babes (which was our original plan) and hold off on a Jewish wedding in a few years. That doesn’t mean I can’t start planning now.

What about you Immas out there? Did you have a baby before a wedding? The wedding before the baby? or stick your middle fingers in the air at it all?

 

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Going All In

all inA few weeks ago Leah and I went to the clinic-ordered shrink to talk about our questions, concerns and feelings about using an anonymous sperm donor. After an hour in her office we walked away with more knowledge and insight into what all of the lingo means and a better understanding of what’s right for us as we create our family.

I continue to be incredibly thankful for the community of women around us, both here in Brooklyn and through old friends I’m reconnecting and bonding with all in the sake of motherhood.

One friend, a sorority sister from college, recently revealed to me that she’s expecting twins. She was diagnosed with MS about five years ago and her first son was considered to be a miracle. Advised to stay on her medication and forgo dreams of a large family she got pregnant again a few years later. Today, after a few rounds of IUI she and her husband are expecting TWINS!

Two friends from high school are also expecting, the women whose baby shower we attended last week and our friends who will be TTC in October all make up this intricate and complex web of friends, straight and lesbian. We’re all on the same mission and on this mission, I’ve found that the boundaries of sexual orientation seem to dissipate, if only slightly.  The conversation is less about how two women are TTC and more about sharing battle stories, how many cycles, how many appointments, which drugs, the costs, frustrations and mood swings that TTC brings.

After much discussion Leah and I have decided to throw all of our chips in.

In addition to the regular prenatal vitamins and supplements I’m drinking womb tea recommended by the lady-owned apothecary and tea shop in our neighborhood we’ve decided to use fertility-boosting drugs for our first cycle in November. We’re leaning toward Clomid, but any suggestions you Mamas out there have is also great! Send me your Mama wisdom!

As much as I’ve tried to get a handle on my ovulation cycle, it’s still all over the place. Ultrasound shows that I’ve got the eggs, (B”H), but trying to pinpoint exactly when I’m ovulating has been difficult, to say the least. Apps like Fertility Friend and MyCycle are great-when your cycle is 28 days long, but when your cycle is 28 days, then 31 days, then 25 days followed by a 21 day cycle the numbers on the app don’t matter. So I’ve tuned in to my body, paying close attention to dreams that are more sexual and midpain and feelings of irritation or moodiness to try to figure out what’s what.

I’ve also been spending a lot of time praying, meditating and reciting affirmations:

My body is strong and healthy and will be a welcoming environment for a baby.

My body can carry a healthy pregnancy

I will become a mother

I will become pregnant

Every night before I go to bed, along with the regular Jewish prayers I recite in preparation for reciting them with our children, I add extra prayers to Gd.

So I’ve got Gd, science, herbs and apps…all we have to do now is wait.

WTBK Donors vs. Anonymous Donors

donorsLast weekend, as recommended (required) by our fertility clinic, Leah and I rode our bikes over to the home/office/wildlife sanctuary of our clinic’s psychologist. While I’m feeling ready for launch and 100% confident that going the frozen sperm donor route is the best option for us, Leah still has reservations. Her concerns are mainly about our children and whether they would feel a sense of loss, not having access to the donor-which is why we decided to go with a donor who was WTBK (Willing to be Known).

You know what we learned? WTBK means absolutely nothing.

Zilch

Nada (well except extra money)

Our shrink, a mother with twin girls from a donor, told us that the communication with WTBK is limited to one contact-one email, one letter, maybe one phone call, but that’s it. Nothing more. No The Kids Are All Right situation (I’ve never actually seen that movie, she said that). It’s not like adoption, there is no birth mother who our child could possible form a relationship with a donor is just that-a donor and they have no obligation, other than the one contact, to the “off spring” of their donation.

She also reminded us that having a child with an anonymous doesn’t necessarily come with the same feeling of loss or abandonment that some adoptees feel because there’s no “giving up” or a baby, the process started by two people who made the choice to select a donor to start the family.

After an hour in the office we decided to open up our donor pool to anonymous donors and came up with a few gems. We’re both feeling confident in this choice and excited about November.

My Diva Cup, My Self

shofar 1I got my period yesterday and realized, or at least I hope, that in a few months I won’t have to say that.

As silly as it sounds I’ve been using my period and the mind-numbing cramps that accompany it as sort of labor light. I practice affirmations and visualizations: “My cramps are allowing my uterus to practice for the rushes I will feel in labor.” Which, I will admit, feels very silly.

There are a lot of other things that go along with my period that all of a sudden make sense, with my fibroid diagnosis. In my last exam with the clinic we’ll be doing our insemination the doctor thought there were four, not three fibroids. One of which, the largest I might add, sits on my bladder. This explains why I always, always have to go. A sip of water sends me running to the loo after about five minutes, a pint of beer-forgetaboutit. I’ve resolved myself to wearing Depends when I’m pregnant and am okay with that.

I’ve also been more aware of just how much I bleed now. About ten years ago I would say I had an average cycle; five years ago it started fluctuating from month-to-month going from an average of 28 days long to 21 then 31 then 28. I bleed more heavily (emptying my Diva Cup at least 6 times a day which equals 3 oz of blood daily) and for longer periods of time. Two cycles I bled for 12 days straight.

These things, and more, I’m very happy to give up for 9+ months of pregnancy.

Today also marks the first day of the month of Elul. In the Jewish tradition, the month of Elul is a time of repentance in preparation for the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The word “Elul” is similar to the root of the verb “search” in Aramaic. The Talmud writes that the Hebrew word “Elul” can be expanded as an acronym for “Ani L’dodi V’dodi Li” – “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine” (Song of Solomon 6:3). Elul is seen as a time to search one’s heart and draw close to God in preparation for the coming Day of Judgement, Rosh Hashanah, and Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur.

A friend of mine said that Elul is a time to let ourselves come undone, this analogy stirs something within me. It is a time to come undone, a time to come apart, a time to come apart in order to come together. It’s also a time for introspection and searching of our soul, and reviewing the things we’ve done in the year before to start the new year fresh.

I’m doing a lot of thinking during this time-feeling grateful for what I have and hopeful for things that I want.

Oh, I think I get it now-The Liebster Awards!

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Copy & Paste This Whole Post and Replace All Your Information — who awarded you, for example.

The rules:

  1. Thank the Liebster Blog presenter who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  2. Post 11 facts about yourself, answering the 11 questions you were asked and create 11 questions for your nominees.
  3. Nominate 11 blogs who you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been chosen.
  4. Display the Liebster Award logo.
  5. No tag backs meaning you can’t just re nominate the person who nominated you.

As Solo the First put it “The real purpose behind these nominations are not only as an accolade from a fellow blogger and let’s face it, nothing gently strokes our little writer hearts more than someone telling you they appreciate your work. In addition to the back patting we need to receive from time to time, it also allows us to get a little more personal as we get to know our increasing blogging community. It also helps drive traffic to your site as we reference one another.”

Here are 11 questions from Just Add Water, who nominated me.:

  1. What is the best book you’ve read recently?-I’ve just been reading books on fertility and pregnancy…does that count?
  2. Name a pet peeve.-Fake people
  3. If you could travel any place and money was not a factor, where would you go?-Gosh this is hard-there are so many places…I suppose I would go to Africa
  4. If you could go to any concert, whether they are dead or alive, broken up or together, who would it be?-I’m a 90s girl, it will always be Dave Matthews Band
  5. Red wine, white wine, beer, or water?-Red wine, please
  6. Do you have a celebrity look-a-like? If so, who?I don’t think so
  7. What are three blogs you read most often?-Is it bad that I don’t read blogs?
  8. What is your guilty pleasure?-Gluten everything-pasta, cupcakes, brownies, you name it I want to eat it.
  9. What is one skill or hobby you’re interested in learning?-I’d like to be fluent in Hebrew and Arabic
  10. What are five words that best describe you?-Honest, sincere, caring, compassionate, driven.
  11. Beach or mountains?-The mountains near the beach like on the Oregon Coast

Here’s the questions I was given from my second nomination from Two Moms2Be:
1. Describe your fondest childhood memory. I think it would have to be being nominated as class president my freshman year of high school.
2. Sweet or Spicy? Definitely sweet. I have a Midwestern palate 
3. If you could change your name would you and why? If yes, what would your new name be? I think this is funny because my “name” on this blog isn’t really my name. I also have a Hebrew name that’s different than my “American” name so I think I’m set in the name category!
4. What is one quality you would change about yourself? I would like the ability to let things roll of my back.
5. You win the lottery. What do you do next? Love this question-Pay off debt, buy a house, buy a car, save/invest.
6. Glass half empty or half full? Half Full!
7. What is your biggest pet peeve? Still fake people.
8. I’ve got a time machine… Where are we goin? Oh gosh, I think Victorian England or the 1920s
9. What is your secret guilty pleasure? nail polish
10. Stolen:: But, If you could trade places with anyone, who would it be? Oprah
11. Is there ever a time when a law should be broken? Explain! Yes, especially when laws infringe on basic human rights.

11 Blogs that I’d like to nominate are:

A Gayby Journey

Butch and Pregnant

Two Bad Moms

Kavanah Doula

Counting Chickens

Two Hot Mamas

The Haus Wife

Expectant Hope

PCOS And the Mommy In Me

2 Aussie Mamas

The Mamafesto

11 Questions

  1. What is the favorite thing about YOU?
  2. If you could continue to learn and cost was no option what would you study?
  3. What did you want to be when you grew up (your childhood dreams)?
  4. What do you want to be when you grow up (as an adult)?
  5. What are your favorite 3 baby names?
  6. If you were a superhero what would your super power be?
  7. Did you read the Harry Potter series?
  8. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
  9. Who is your favorite First Lady and why?
  10. If you could live in a country besides the one you currently live where would it be and why?
  11. I Dream of Jeanie or Bewitched?