Posted by: mommytoo | March 28, 2008

that pregnancy ticker on the right is cracking me up!

just thought i’d post a little update… we’re doing pretty great, though of course very tired!

we’ve had two nights at home.  the first was a little hairy, which i think is the norm.  last night was ten times better, especially because the feeding is going better.  nate, d and i have been working so hard.  the house feels like a disaster, but gradually we’ll get used to having ten times more things on our plate than we’re used to.  i was commenting today that our life was already full and busy, and now there’s a whole new life’s worth of things to do.

here’s a pic i love:

tongue

that isn’t really what he looks like most of the time, but it’s really cute.  here’s documentation of his first trip to the pediatrician:

first peds visit

but of course that one doesn’t show is amazing hair.  you can, however, appreciate his nose, right?  what kind of baby nose is that?  it’s irresistible.  there are more pics in my flickr account, but i can’t really post them all here i guess.

the first day or two, i started feeling really confused about my role.  what he needs more than anything is to eat, and it’s hard that only d can give him that.  i know people adopt all the time, but it’s really weird when someone else is breast feeding.  i was just feeling so… extra.  why am i here?  i called a friend whose partner recently gave birth, just to vent and ask if she had felt similarly.  she absolutely did, and sometimes still does.  it doesn’t bother me that she still struggles with it at times — we all keep evolving, and her struggle changes, and mine will too.  so will everyone’s.  she gave me a great pep talk about how ground-breaking this is, how we have each other to look to for support, but not that many people really get it.  in more practical terms, she told me that i cannot allow nate to know any of my fears.  she told me to take off my shirt and get some skin to skin time.  i tried that, i told her, but he got confused and wanted to nurse.  she told me so what, he’ll figure it out, and so will youhe has two mothers, and he needs to know it.  so that second night, when it was my turn to sit up, i sat in the glider with my shirt off and he fell asleep.  woke up a few hours later in bed, with him sleeping on my chest.  i have no idea how or when i got into bed!  but it was the best i’d seen him sleep.  my heart felt so full when i saw that, and i felt so proud.

i feel really comfortable with babies, and that’s in my favor right now — i’m not insecure about taking care of a newborn.  i didn’t expect to be thrown for such a loop.  it isn’t just that we’re two moms; i think a lot of the challenge is the fact that we are both primary caregivers.  there’s no default go-to person, which isn’t really common.  we were both raised by two parents who were/are totally involved in our lives, but we haven’t seen this co-parenting thing done.  my parents each parented individually (at least as far back as i can remember), and d’s mom was always definitely primary.  co-parenting is totally new to us, and we don’t know yet how the division of labor will look.

we’re definitely making it up as we go along, as all new parents do.  i feel like we have an extra challenge because we have so few role models.  none in the public sphere, really.  but what else is new?  i turn on the tv, open a magazine, go online.  i have to search REALLY hard to find inspiration and modeling of what i want.  lesbian moms, you know what i mean.  there isn’t much looking outward (don’t get me wrong — there’s some), more looking inward.  at what we really believe, what our strengths truly are.  no gender roles to fall back on, no prescribed tasks.  exciting.  but it means we have to dig deep and find out what we want our life to look like.

can do.

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Responses

  1. I am so proud of you. You will be great moms. Nate is very lucky.

  2. I am so happy to hear that things are going so well. And I know that Nate is so very lucky to have two mommies – which brings me to a question: I assume you are planning to be called mommy what is d what to be called? I am so happy that we will be able to call you guys some day when we have all of these questions. xo L.

  3. When my daughter was tiny I wore her skin to skin in a carrier whenever she wasn’t nursing…so like a quarter of the time ;) It really helped to develop a non-nursing soothing tool. If you two are serious about truly co-parenting, you might check out http://www.equallysharedparenting.com. It is mostly for straight parents, but we’ve found our best parenting peers in straight families that are conscientious in how they divide labor. My wife and I wrote an essay about how we have arranged things located here: http://www.equallysharedparenting.com/RealLifeStories.htm

    One thing that also helped early on was to remember that *both* of us were in uncharted territory, not just me as non-bio-mom. Don’t assume that you have to fit your “role” in around D. It doesn’t sound like you necessarily are, but it helped me to remember we were in this together and it wasn’t just me that had to figure it out. Also helpful was time completely alone with the baby as soon as possible (i.e. once pumping/bottle was OK). I also did comfort nurse from about 3-9 months, and would be happy to share details in e-mail. Can you read my email from the comment?

    CONGRATULATIONS and hang in there!!

  4. Sorry, the essay link should have gone here:

    http://www.equallysharedparenting.com/GailandLyn.htm

  5. thank you for sharing the question marks and victories. you get to become a role model as you search for one :)

  6. What a beautiful little guy you two have! Welcome to motherhood and the most satisfying ride of your lives!

  7. When Lily was born, Tom went through much of what you’ve just described. He had a prescribed gender-role, just not one that he wanted to follow! He and Lily had lots of skin-to-skin time and he took on more of the other “nurturing” jobs like bathtime, diaper changes, the bedtime routine, and feeding her solids when weaning rolled around. I think we’ve both been pretty happy so far, but it’s constantly evolving as she grows! I think it’s fabulous that you two are negotiating this so conscienciously and am completely confident you’ll find your groove.

  8. while i definitely can’t offer you advice, i can offer you this one observation from seeing the three of you together: you are an amazing family. so while you sort out your role, try to remember that it’s a role within your amazing *family*, and it’s a family that can’t exist right now with YOU. i stand in awe.


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