Author: Molly

Expect the Unexpected

I became a mom one month ago. Hard to believe it has been that long. I’m definitely not used to the title of parent or mother yet. At the same time, it feels like our baby has always been a part of our family and daily life. Nora arrived 25 days early, right in the middle of construction on her home-to-be. The hospital bag wasn’t packed, we hadn’t met with our doula, the maternity shoot was scheduled for a few days later. I didn’t believe it was real labor even after it had finished. It just couldn’t be! They kept telling me the baby was coming and I seriously thought they were lying even as she was crowning. As a first pregnancy I expected to go late like my sister-in-law and friends. But hey, I should have known to expect the unexpected. I thought a newborn would be awful. The screaming in the middle of the night – I didn’t know if I was cut out for it. The baby I got is already sleeping 5-hour stretches through the night and hardly ever cries except to call me in for a feeding when she wakes up. She is calm and happy and healthy. So I guess I should have expected the unexpected. I wanted to nest for weeks without visitors or work. I was back on email within 24...

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There Is No Way to Prepare

OK, there are ways to prepare. I have had the car seat installed by a professional. We’ve interview pediatricians and chosen one and registered with them. By next week the apartment will finally be done with the construction and we’ll have been able to set up the crib and everything else that’s been waiting to be moved in to the new baby’s room. We’ve read some books, had some conversations… But when I think about it there is nothing to really prepare us for what we’re about to go through. I don’t know when I’ll go into labor. I don’t know how my labor will go. I don’t know if breastfeeding will come easily to us. I don’t know if she’ll be colicky or a sleeper. I don’t know if I’ll feel depressed. I don’t know how treatment will go if I am. I don’t know if I’ll want to be in a cocoon with just my new tiny family or if I will want family stopping by to help. And I really don’t know what the years to come will bring. Such is the adventure! I have no idea when kind of person this baby will grow into. That’s scary and exciting, but there is really not a lot I can do to prepare. I am just being aware that anything can happen and trying — really trying,...

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I Can Barely Handle Pregnancy

Just when I thought my physical exhaustion was overwhelming, I realized my mental exhaustion was worse. I am so, so lucky and privileged. My work at this time is done from home and only takes a few hours a day, sometimes less. I am all set up for my work-at-home mom life and I haven’t needed to commute or anything during this whole pregnancy. (It was a lot more than a few hours a day in my first trimester but now I have a break between projects.) I’ve been able to nap whenever I want 7 days a week. I have no other children to take care of. I have a supportive partner and family. I have enough money for everything I need. My apartment is being expanded to make a bedroom for the baby and get a dishwasher, bathtub, and AC. And yet I feel like everything sucks. The renovations have already taken more than twice as long as they were supposed to with no end in sight. Of course they’re costing more than the estimate too. My mood swings are on the verge of making me non-functioning. I have nausea, heartburn, aches and pains, and all that regular pregnancy stuff. I’m not having sex. I am living with my aunt and uncle and their 3 pets while staying in their guest bedroom with our 3 pets. I...

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“How’s Mom?” Which One?

Ugh. So it finally happened. We’ve both gotten comments since I’ve been pregnant that we expected but weren’t looking forward to. I’ve heard “Will your husband be joining you?” Dory has gotten “So did the guy have sex with your wife?” and all the “it isn’t really your child, though, right?” I was hoping society was kind of past these in our area of New England but it is confirmed we are in for a lifetime of this. It has pretty much rolled off our backs so far. We’ve laughed them off and rolled our eyes in sympathy for each other. I feel protective over Dory’s status as a mom and she interacts with dozens of patients every day so she definitely hears more of it than I do. Being a non-pregnant mother-to-be is a whole struggle I’ve never been through (yet). My safe haven has been my midwives and ultrasound techs at Yale-New Haven. I trusted they would be inclusive and they are. Most places aren’t going to be super-homophobic and throw you out, but a lot of places will get their language inadvertently wrong or make it awkward by over-talking-up how fine they are with the gays because their aunt’s friend has a girlfriend. At Yale-New Haven they were just normal. Normal, normal, normal about it and I loved it. They effortlessly said donor instead of dad every...

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“Family Only”

Last night my wife Dory and I went to visit our good friends, Luna and Dan, and their brand new baby. She is so precious! I have been craving baby and this fix hit the spot. Four more months til ours is on the outside! The new mom and dad were inviting “family only” to the hospital and we were honored to get the invitation. We’re Auntie Molly and Auntie Dory even though there’s no blood relation. But the thing is, there will be soon. Dan is our sperm donor. Our baby and their baby will be biological half-siblings. Since our friends will go by Aunt Luna and Uncle Dan for our kid too, we’re calling the babies “cousins.” When Dory and I first started about starting a family (seven years ago!), we hated the idea of a sperm donor but it was a necessary evil. We looked at adoption and foster care very seriously, but in the end it came down to what we could afford (and which process we were prepared to put ourselves through). An anonymous donor seemed like the best way to go though we were uncomfortable with some stranger having such a big impact on our child’s biology and identity. Would she want to meet him? Would she see him as her father? The idea was very threatening. We wanted our baby to have two parents: us....

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