Friday, August 26, 2011

who will we be?

one of the questions we get asked a lot as same-sex parents is "what will the baby call you?"
it hasn't been an easy question to answer. in fact, we're getting close to half way through the pregnancy, and we've only recently come to a decision about it.

it's important to me that the baby knows both of us by some variation of 'mother'. i don't want my kid to call s or i by our names (unless they choose to as an older child - but even if they do, i won't like it!), because it feels distancing to me. we've been through a lot to become parents, and i kind of feel like the title of 'mother' is a kind of honorific, a denotation that our relationship with this person is special.

it is particularly important to me that s has this title. as the non-bearing parent, i want to be absolutely certain that her status as parent never be diminished, minimized, or overlooked. she is as much this kid's mother as i am, and she deserves to be recognised as such.

but how do you choose the words?
i don't want to appropriate other languages' words for mother. that doesn't sit well with me.
i don't want to use silly, made-up words.
i do want us to have names that are differentiated from each other, so that the child can confidently call on whichever one of us they want to. we're not interchangeable, and there will be times when they need me, and times when they need s.

some people (s included) suggested we not try to decide on it at all, and just let the baby call us what they want to, but i didn't feel good about that either. i want both s and i to have time to get used to this new aspect of our identities, and for me, knowing what my kid will call me is a big part of settling into that identity.

s and i have talked about it on a number of occasions, and each gone away to think about how we feel about different handles for varying lengths of time. the other night we were discussing it again, and s said that she didn't really identify with anything other than "mum" or "mummy". i, on the other hand, am perfectly happy with "mama" or "ma" - they have the same meaning to me.

so we settled it. that's who we'll be.

now to live up to those titles...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

week 18: capsicum/bell pepper

this week the baby should measure roughly 5.5 inches from head to bum, which according to the infallible internets, is about the size of a capsicum.

it's been another uneventful week in pregnancy terms. i'm getting over my cold, so my energy levels are still pretty low, but i've been going for a few walks, making it to classes, and attempting to get some general housey things done too.

i think my uterus has finally grown enough that it's moved right up out of my pelvis because this week i haven't had to get up for the bathroom in the night anywhere near as much. in fact i've even had one or two nights of sleeping right through!

the flutter!kicks are still happening from time to time - they're still not proper whacks, but they're gradually getting stronger. it should only be a couple more weeks before they can be felt from the outside.

the best thing that happened this week was that the child who is likely to be one of fruiby's best friends got a 5 month head start on life. our dear friends r & s welcomed a perfect baby boy:
meeting him has made me even more excited about welcoming our little person in january. he is just so tiny and smishy, and he smells so great. i've only held him once, but it was a completely blissed out experience... i can hardly imagine how much more wonderful that feeling must be when the baby is your own.


i debated with myself quite a lot about whether or not to create a baby registry. registries can seem a little mercenary, and i would never want any of our friends or family to feel like we were demanding gifts, or that we wouldn't be grateful for anything they selected (or made!) for us with love. but in the end i did make one, and here's why:

1. it takes the pressure off
i sounded a bunch of friends and family members out on how they felt about registries in general, and a lot of them said they really like them because they don't have to worry about getting people things they don't need, don't like, or can't use. i feel the same way, to be honest. i like getting people gifts that i know they really want, and am always pleased when a wedding or party invitation comes with a link to a registry.
i think this is particularly relevant when there's a baby on the way - people want to be helpful and get you things you need, but are not always sure what those things might be.

2. it gives an idea of our tastes
we're not pink-for-a-girl or blue-for-a-boy people. we like bright colours, nerdy themes, and bold prints. we're not mad about plastic toys and teddy bears, but we love wooden objects, interactive toys, and interesting animals. our registry gives a really good idea of the kind of stuff we like, so that even if people don't want to choose an item from the list, they can get a feel or what we're into.

3. it works like a bookmarking system for our own shopping
there are some clothes and books that fruiby isn't going to need immediately, but that i would really like them to have. adding these things to the registry means that someone can buy them if they want, and if they don't i can come back to them later.
there are way more things on there than we would ever expect to receive, because there are things there that we are totally happy to go back and buy for ourselves.

4. it will stop people getting carried away
we really wanted to make sure that we kept the items on the list reasonably priced. we don't want people spending a fortune on baby-stuff, so there are no items on our list that cost more than $100. and we've made sure to include things that are way cheaper, but still really useful/cute/awesome.

if you're curious, here's our list. we'll probably keep adding to it as we find things we like, but i think it's looking pretty good so far!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

app review: "foods to avoid when pregnant"

i bought this app because i wanted to have a portable and reliable list of the kinds of foods i should be careful of. there are so many, and it's nice to be able to check while you're out and about.

i don't hate the app but i'm not thrilled with it either.
it does what it says on the tin - it gives you lists of what not to eat. these lists are organised into categories such as "cheese and dairy" and "vegetables" etc, but there is no search function for looking up specific items, which i think is a pretty big oversight.

it does have information on why particular foods are considered unsafe which i like for two reasons - firstly, it doesn't assume that pregnant women are not interested in learning and understanding new information; and secondly, it allows you to take that information and make your own risk assessment.

all in all, i don't think it was a waste of my money, but i wouldn't say this one's a must-buy.

Friday, August 19, 2011

week 17: turnip

another relatively uneventful week - hooray!

my belly is growing and changing every day, and it's becoming more noticeable. fun!

i have had a bit of a cold this week, which has been unfun, but could have been worse. i fluids-and-vitamin-c bombed myself, which i think shortened the duration, though there were a few times in there where i would have really liked to take some proper pain killers and some cough mix.

i booked us in for a first aid course specifically designed for parents. it's not til november, but i feel good about having locked that in, because i want to know how to unbreak fruiby in case of emergency.

and i think that's all i have to report for now...

Sunday, August 14, 2011

over-the-shouler boulder-holders

today i went shopping for a maternity bra. it was comparatively painless. i went with a friend who has real trouble finding maternity bras in her size (12E), so i felt a little guilty about how plentiful my own size was (16D).

week 17 feels way too soon to be buying such things, but my old ones were getting very uncomfortable. i really have gone up a whole cup size in the last three months.

to be on the safe side, i went cheap (just basic k-mart brands), and only bought a couple, given that i'm not sure how much bigger i'll get as i go along. but in case they stay roughly the size they are now, i made sure the ones i got had the appropriate hardware:

i consider this a job well done.

in case you're wondering about the title of this post, the video below should explain:
it's not possible for me to do any kind bra shopping without getting this song in my head. it must have been at least ten years since i've seen beaches, but i still know all the words.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

week 16: avocado

this has been a delightfully uneventful week. no dramas, no worries, i'm just sitting back and letting fruiby grow.

i know s/he's growing because i can feel my uterus stretching from time to time. i know s/he's getting stronger because i can feel more and more flutters which i expect will turn into proper kicks in the next few weeks.

i'm still pretty tired most of the time, but i'm cheerful enough so that's ok.

i got a call from the coordinator of my local branch of the australian breastfeeding association welcoming me to the group and letting me know about the resources available, so i'm looking forward to making use of those, and hopefully meeting some like-minded parents at meetings a little way down the track.

what a boring update! but i can't say i'm sorry - no news is good news.

app review: "what to expect"

i'm not ashamed to say that i am completely reliant on my iphone. i love that there's an app for everything, and that that includes pregnancy. actually, there are hundreds of pregnancy apps - a genuinely dizzying array. i'm still looking for the best one(s), but i thought that while i searched i'd review them so you guys can get something out of my addiction very thorough research.

the first app i downloaded when i discovered i was pregnant was what to expect: pregnancy, from the what to expect when you're expecting lot. it's one of the most well known pregnancy books, so i figured the app would be a mine of useful information and practical advice.

how wrong i was.

while the 'tracker' tab offers a useful enough reminder of exactly where you're up to in your pregnancy, and the ubiquitous fruit-to-baby comparison that i admittedly make use of on this blog, it doesn't have any unique features that can't be found elsewhere.

and it's all downhill form there.

the 'weekly' information tab offers general information about where mother and baby are up to - milestones and suchlike. while some of this information is interesting, most of it is extremely generic, and presented in such a patronizing tone that it's enough to make me shudder. there is a huge amount of fat-phobia, and gender stereotyping worked in as well, which is pretty offensive.

then we come to the daily updates, which i have come to call my "advent calendar of fail".

each day, in the 'daily' tab you get a little one-page piece of advice or information. this sounds like a great idea, but unfortunately, the writers of the app didn't bother to come up with enough content to make each day's offering unique. you only have to read every day for a week to notice that much of the information is rehashed and recycled from previous days, and the whole thing starts to get samey very quickly.

the information given makes gross gender stereotypes, assuming that women are interested in nothing but food (or more specifically, how not to eat too much of it), fat, going to the gym, and our appearance. the occasional "for dad" pages, are even more offensive than the rest. first they make the assumption that all pregnant women are partnered with a man, and they go on to talk to that generic 'man' as though he is a moron with no empathy, insight, or genuine interest in what his partner is experiencing. i've put two classics below, just to show you that i'm really not exaggerating:
"she doesn't let her job, other kids, or leisure pursuits to occupy her mind! all she thinks about is her body, and how horrible it is to be fat. so you'd better stop calling her 'lardy-mcporkarse' or she'll never stop crying."

"look, guys, i know seeking consent is boring, but you're going to have to suck it up while she's pregnant, ok? try to contain your manly urges even if those giant norks are making you think she's asking for it."

the 'photos' tab is just for storing your own photos of your belly or your ultrasounds, which i tend to do elsewhere anyway (i.e. here!), and the 'forums' tab is a self-promoting link to their own website's forums.

i wouldn't recommend this app to anyone, unless they enjoy laughing bitterly at ignorance and idiocy.

Monday, August 8, 2011

more gay babies!

finance minister penny wong, and her partner sophie allouache are expecting their first child in december.

i am very pleased for them, and glad to see another high-profile queer couple doing the kid-thing in australia.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

week 15: apple

i feel like the fruit choice was pretty arbitrary again this week, but who am i to question the undoubtedly rigorous scientific processes that go into selecting the baby/fruit/week correlations?

it's been a pretty good week, especially since the ob/gyn visit. i've been able to relax, and feel like things are going as they should. and there have been no more bleeds to shake my equilibrium.

i attempted shopping for maternity clothes this week. HAH! what a joke! there was almost nothing in my size, and the few items i found were both uncomfortable and frumpy. i think clothing manufacturers assume that plus-size women don't get pregnant, because after all, who'd want to sleep with a big porker anyway? i wanted a couple of tops, and a pair of pants, but i think i'm going to have to stick to empire line dresses and leggings.

my tum has gotten noticeably rounder in the last few days. i want to post a picture, because i think i'll regret it later if i don't document this, but i'm doing so with a sense of trepidation, because i don't feel super comfortable showing my body off... here goes...

i had a bit of a tum before i was pregnant, due to being a but of a fatty (AU18), but it has definitely gotten bigger and changed shape lately. people who know i'm pregnant have started noticing and commenting, which is nice (at least, it's nice for now - i might be over it in 6 months!).

to go along with the growing tum, i've had some odd stretchy/crampy feelings. they're a little like period pain, but different, which i guess makes sense, because the muscles that are normally contracting are actually stretching and expanding. i was a bit worried about them at first, but they make sense to me now. fruiby needs more space, my body has to accommodate this, and that's not going to be a sensation-free process.

the only other thing that's changed this week is that i have become even more exhausted than usual. i'd heard that the tiredness of the first trimester abates somewhat in the second, but so far it's only intensified. it's making it hard for me to get things done, but i'm trying my best to just go with it. it doesn't help that i can't sleep through the night - i have to get up between 2 and 4 times to pee. i suppose i should look at that as practice for when the baby's here and we're waking up every couple of hours for feeds, but frankly, i want to be getting the most out of my sleeping time while i can! ho hum...

Monday, August 1, 2011

checking up on fruiby

i had another (much smaller) bleed last week, and called my ob/gyn to let her know. she scheduled a scan just to check that everything was fine, and organised an appointment for directly after the scan. we were going to have an appointment this week anyway, so we just brought it forward.

today we had the scan, and it confirmed that everything is totally fine. fruiby's measurements are exactly on track (14wks, 3 days), the heartbeat was strong, and there was a lot of wriggling and kicking going on in there. the sonographer looked for anything that might have caused the bleeding and couldn't see anything obvious. she said it was probably just leftover from implantation bleeding. no news, in this case, is good news.

it was interesting to have had a scan so soon after the last one, because it meant we could see just how much changes in so little time. last time fruiby was kind of floating around in a relatively roomy uterus. this time, they were pretty much touching the sides in all directions, and it was looking a lot more crowded in there. that would explain why i am now feeling some movement flutters, and why things are feeling a little stretched to me.

another interesting thing that came out of the scan was that we discovered that the placenta is at the front. this is not a bad thing, but it does mean that kicks and movement are harder to feel from the outside. i'm a little disappointed by this, because it means it will be longer before s gets to feel the baby move, but hey - as long as everything in there is working i'm happy.

the visit with the ob/gyn was very shot and uneventful. she was holding a tiny baby the whole time (looking after it for another patient who was being seen by one of the other doctors), which had an element of 'here's one i prepared earlier' to it, which i found amusing. my blood pressure is a little high, but not high enough to actually worry about, and i was given the all clear to take panadine for my headaches, which is great because they can be quite bad, and panadol does nothing.

the long and the short of it is, fruiby is doing fine, and hopefully we can now jut cruise for a few weeks before our next routine appointment. phew.