Saturday, December 20, 2014


This year has wizzed by and I find myself yet again apologizing for the lack of posts. I really thought I'd be better at this! Oh well, it seems that I am that girlfriend that leaves you high and dry when a new flame comes around and then pops back into your life when it fizzles. (or in my case just takes a really long nap). 

There are so many things I wanted to share if only I could remember. I cannot emphasize enough how vital the sticky pad has become to our survival. I went to the store no less than four times this week with the intentions of buying trash bags and guess what? We still have no trash bags. I have the attention span on a gnat. No joke.  Anyways, I guess I will hit the highlights. Our state has legalized same sex marriage! It's official, we are officially married. No more filing double taxes, we can be on each other's insurance, we can be on the birth certificates together. I will admit that while I am ecstatic, I am also annoyed that we just shelled out over five grand in legal fees to do our second parent adoption and $500 for our legal name change. I want to sue the state for that money wasted on fighting for something that should've been ours in the first place! It is what it is and I am glad that we have those protections in place, although I still don't feel entirely safe it's a start.

In the past year I have realized that my life, my house, and my body will never be the same but I can make them all look decent in about an hour. For real though, I am 30 minutes late to everything, my house is exploding at the seams with toys and laundry and I have three different sized pants because my weight has fluctuated so much. Leggings are my new best friend. I dress like I am going to the gym in hopes of one day actually getting there. I sacrifice looks for an extra few minutes of sleep and my hair is in a permabun. I wouldn't trade it for the world though.

And in other news..the boys are ONE!!! I cannot believe it! What an amazing year it has been with these two. They have just grown leaps and bounds. I really am in awe of them as people and the strides they have made. They both started walking around Thanksgiving, are babbling up a storm, blowing kisses and breaking hearts all around the world. Really, they are pretty stinking cute.  They reach up to hold our hands when they walk and it melts me every time. I am so smitten with these little men. I just watched them in disbelief as they waddled in between everyone playing and laughing. Part of me loves that I can play with them more now and really talk to them and the other part of me wants them to stop growing. I totally get why people want another kid shortly after the first turns one. Unfortunately, that may not be in the cards for us for a while. We want one more, but these boys deserve our time and I want to be able to give them 100% of it. It's really hard to do what I need to do now (see trash bag story above), let alone with a third in the mix. So for now we will remain a party of four. I'll leave you with some pics of our party. I hope everyone is doing well and I will continue to cyber stalk each and everyone of ya'll! I look forward to hearing some special delivery news from a few of you soon <3.



Our first time going to Pride as a family! (October, 2014) I know, I know, I'm really behind!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Just a piece of paper

When I met R, I had never been with a woman, I was previously married, and swore I would never remarry again. When we became serious, I told her I wanted children but still didn't want to be married. After having been divorced, I felt that a marriage license wouldn't protect anything and it was "just a piece of paper." I will admit, looking back, I was still feeling burnt from my previous relationships. We did finally decide to get married and going to D.C. to get our license was one of the most exciting days of my life. That "piece of paper" meant more to me than anything- maybe because so many people told us we couldn't have it or maybe because this time I knew it was for keeps. We celebrated our anniversary this year without any fuss and we still haven't opened our love box and read our letters but I pulled out our license and looked at it for a while-and my heart smiled. It is certainly more than a piece of paper to me.
When we decided to have children, we knew we would have to take some action in order to protect our family. We didn't have a clue how much that would entail. We just happened to be at a rally and met a family lawyer that specialized in ART cases. We worked with her over the past year and finally as of August 19th we are both legally recognized as the parents of our own children. We got co-maternity agreements stating our intent to have children before we conceived.  Now, this sounds ridiculous of course but here's the thing: since we did reciprocal IVF and the state does not recognize our marriage, we were considered an egg donor and surrogate. Which technically means that if god forbid something happened to me, R might not get custody because up until the "adoption" she was not on the birth certificate, and if something were to happen to R, even though I am on the birth certificate, I am not biologically their mom so if her family wanted them, they could get custody over me. Now I know that many of you are thinking that going through all this for hypothetical situations is silly, but as a nurse and a military dependent I can tell you that parental death is very real and it doesn't make an announcement before visiting. It was important to us to be prepared. And even though our families are cool with our situation right now, death, divorce, or whatever, can change people in an instant. It can make people turn on their loved ones no matter how strong the bond was. Also, if by chance I lost my job, the boys would lose their insurance and R wouldn't be able to put them on hers. All of these possibilities left us with a sense of urgency to get our affairs in order. Along with filing for the adoption, we did living wills and health care power of attorneys for each other.
We also had to terminate our sperm donor's pseudo relationship. The case was actually us vs. John Doe because we used an anonymous donor. I'm not sure if they did this because it's protocol, or because from the outside it just looks like a couple doing a closed adoption versus two lesbians adopting their own children. We had visits with a social worker and a guardian ad litem. The visit with the social worker was short and sweet although I felt that she really could've cared less due to the fact that we actually had to pay her a lot of cash for the visit. She was eccentric and talked like Paula Dean ya'll. She walked through our house and made comments about how the boys had nicely shaped heads-and that all african american babies have nicely shaped heads so our babies must be mixed. She then proceeded to talk about her high profile custody case that had been in the national news. We were familiar with it and I was shocked she was a key player in this situation as she was just so, err, um, eccentric. She also shared that she had done IVF and was a foster parent and we had nothing to worry about. With that she flitted out of our lives never to be seen again. Her placement report was clearly from a template and she had left the previous couple's info in it because according to her we were a "lovely Caucasian couple raising their children and practicing Judaism." That couple does sound lovely, but it wasn't us, so we had to wait while our lawyer fixed all our paperwork and filed our court date. The guardian ad litem was also very nice and much more down to earth. Although she was named after a legume....Anyways the court date came and we were informed that we had to have a plan b in case the judge gave off a bad vibe. Plan b was to politely ask for a continuance and hope pray beg for a better judge. So the lawyers went in and talked to them before we came in to get a feel for her. Even through the home visits and all the paperwork and background checks I hadn't been nervous or even mad-until now. Here we were, nine months in with our sweet little boys, and after all we had been through to have them, it struck me that there may be people out there that still don't view us as a family. It also struck me that we could be denied and everything was in vain. That scared me and made me furious at the same time.  I couldn't imagine not being these little boys' mama.  It still chokes me up to think about  it.  Well those fears were quickly put to rest when they came out and said it was a go! We had to both testify about our family and how we conceived. It was indeed awkward. However, the judge was awesome and she thought our family was lovely. (We dressed them up in hopes that their cuteness would distract the judge ha!) It was bittersweet. I was happy we were finally going to be protected by this piece of paper but mad that we even needed it. We haven't gotten the new birth certificates yet but we were already warned that the R's name will be listed under "father". Our legal system has unfortunately not caught up with the times. It will be nice to have their new birth certificates with both our names even if they are just pieces of paper.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Mattress Dancing

Before the boys were born, I was adamant that we would not let the babies in the bed. We bought them cribs and I wanted to use them. I wanted one space in the house that was just for me and the wifey. Well, 9 months in and I can tell you that I failed at this pretty quickly. We are officially a co sleeping family. I have the boys 4 nights out of the week by myself while R works. I also have to get up and go to work myself after these long restless nights. The boys still do not sleep through the night-we get about 6-8 hours but they ultimately end up in the bed. R loves it and if I am not here I am sure she just bypasses the cribs altogether. It's not that I don't love their cuddles and their sweet little hands on my face, I just miss holding my wife too. We barely have time for each other as it is and the last thing on my mind is doin a little mattress dancin' with two babies in the mix. Aaagghhh but I digress.

Since we have two extra bodies in the bed we needed a bigger one. Granted, they are little, but they turn into olympic gymnasts at night. I often wake up to foot in the face. Our bed was on its last thread and we decided to upgrade to a king. Mattress shopping made me incredibly nervous. I was dreading it. Mainly because I knew two women shopping for a mattress would elicit questions like "where are your husbands?" or "that's nice of your friend to help you shop". I shit you not, we have encountered comments like these while ring shopping and car shopping. Soooo needless to say I was not super enthusiastic to yet again have to explain why we, two women, were looking for a mattress together. We went to several stores and finally settled on one.The saleswoman was odd but pleasant and didn't bat a lash at us as a couple. Honestly, I think she was more grossed out by our kids. She kept looking at them like Angelica Houston in the movie "Witches". (remember that movie?!)   Anyways, we found a mattress and were on our way. 

Fast forward to 3 months later, we dislike, hate, loathe our new bed. It is too soft and after laying in it, our bodies leave dents that cause the babies to roll into us. R's back is killing her and I have a chronic crick in my neck. Luckily, the store offers a money back guarantee and we went back. Well, the odd saleswoman was replaced by another woman who didn't have her shoes on and was walking around in her socks. That shoulda been our first clue...
We told her we bought a mattress and we hated it. She went to the computer and asked for a phone number. We both took turns talking to her and finally she said "whose mattress is this?'' We both said "ours". She looked up at us and then at our babies and you could tell it did not click. She then asked "how old are your babies?" I said 9 months and then she said "both of them?" ( We get the whole "are they twins?" thing a lot) I said yes and then she said oh which one is yours? I think R could see me getting annoyed and she quickly piped in "They are our twins and we are married to each other!" That shoulda been enough but sadly it just opened the flood gates: "Oh! so you adopted them?" "I carried them and we used her eggs". Apparently my eye rolls and dramatic jaw drop didn't phase her.   She was amazed, "that's so cool!" but her ignorant thirst was not quenched and she pressed on: "Do you know who the dad is? They look really dark." O. M. effing. G. are you kidding lady??? I wanted so badly to pick up the shoe she wasn't wearing and slap her in the face.

Part of me wanted to educate her and share our story and the other part of me wanted to storm out. My family is not "cool" or "neat". If we had been a man and woman she wouldn't have asked any of those questions. Not because she already knew where their babies came from but because it's personal and inappropriate. I felt like she honestly thought we HAD to share our story with her. We somehow owe it to her and society to explain ourselves and our existence. If we didn't, then we were just more angry lesbians jaded by the world. Needless to say, the rest of the visit did not go well because I was stewing on the inside and we left without getting a new mattress.
What would you have said? Would you have smiled and answered politely or would you have jumped on a mattress and shown her how babies are made?

Saturday, August 30, 2014


So I have had a few people ask about induced lactation and seen a few posts about soon to be mommas wanting to try it. We consider ourselves a success story with this and this is our experience. We are by no means doctors, lactation consultants, or even certified in anything other than crazy so please remember to consult your doc and read the fine print (insert legal jargon here).
There are various methods of induced lactation and depending on how much time you have before baby arrives, might help you choose which one is best for you. This website is amazing and lays it all out for you. I highly recommend talking to you gyn, or finding a lactation consultant that is familiar with induced lactation and supports it. We saw 6 ob's in our practice and only one was familiar with and supported induced lactation. She chose the accelerated Newman-Goldfarb protocol for R and it worked really well. So she took Yasmin for two months straight minus the placebo pills. I'm not gonna lie, the yasmin tore her up-she felt awful and was glad to be done with them when the time came. The bc pills help simulate the hormone production of pregnancy. The first month was just bc pills then the second month was domperidone and bc pills. She took 20 mg four times a day. Domperidone is a gastric motility medication.  Milk production is a side effect of the drug not the actual reason people take it. It can even effect men and make them lactate as well! It had no other side effects and R didn't feel any different. There are some things circulating on the interwebs about cardiac issues and that's why it's not used for breastfeeding anymore but that is not true- the cardiac issues can be caused by I.V. Domperidone not the pill. The pill does need to be made by a compounding pharmacy and we had to have ours shipped from a pharmacy out of town-they cost about 100$ for a month supply.
 We did notice breast changes, they were much fuller and tender. About 6 weeks out from our delivery date she started pumping on a 3 hour schedule. She worked night shift so this worked well for her. She was diligent and that is key folks. She gradually worked her way up to pumping 15 minutes each time and also did compressions and massage to help. At first it was just painful pumping with no milk to show for it and then one day BAM! Milk! Now here's the disclaimer: it's wasn't jugs and jugs of milk. Her cup did not runneth over. It was a drop...yup a drop!  But hey, we were in business! She was so proud of this little pearl and so was I. It took about a week after that to get her up to 1-2 ounces each session. She would keep one bag in the fridge and then freeze it when it got full. We were later able to use this milk in the hospital when I wasn't making any.

 Once the boys were born she and I both used the industrial  medela symphony from the hospital and both got tubing kits from them. If your hospital does not have rentals you can try Babies R' Us or a medical supply store. R had to take the domperidone the entire time she breastfed and pumped. For some, just breastfeeding is enough to trigger production and you can stop taking the meds.  We did notice that her milk looked more watery and less fatty but it did eventually accumulate fat. And eventually it tasted the same as mine too (yep we tasted it!). Would you feed your child something you wouldn't drink/eat yourself?!  The boys had a terrible latch and we were not as diligent and to be honest, probably relied too much on pumping to get our supplies going instead of putting them to the breast. For R, breast feeding was not as magical as she hoped and that's ok. Breast feeding is hard ya'll! She also used fenugreek and mother's milk tea to try and boost her supply before she quit but she never made more than 2 ounces each session and quit. For a singleton this would've been a lot but with two, we burned through it-even with my contributions. She pumped and breast fed for about four months after the boys were here and that was super helpful. She is my super hero. I have read that moms that have breast fed before can just use pumping to get their supply going before baby comes. I believe this to be true considering how many moms leak even years after stopping milk production.

As for me, I am still pumping- quit breast feeding shortly after R, not by choice but one day the boys stop taking the boob. At first I didn't care, but then I got sad and frantically tried to get them back-they would take it at night when they were sleepy but then that eventually stopped too. I wish I had stuck with breast feeding but pumping gets the job done just as well. R had leftover meds so I am taking those to help boost my supply and I make lactation granola bars every so often. At my peek I was pumping out about anywhere from 35-50 oz. a day ( as close to a cow as one could get) but I am down to about 20 oz. now.
We were fortunate to have an ob that gave us this opportunity. Not many people know about induced lactation and people are always so shocked when we tell them about it. At first, we were scared to talk about it because we didn't want people to think we were weird. But then we became so proud that R was able to not only bond with but also nourish our babies that we started telling everyone. Of course, I don't think that she's a better person or parent or that the boys are better off for having been breastfed. I am just glad we had a chance to try it.  If it's something you are interested in, it is possible just do your research and find what best suits your lifestyle. Our parents were very supportive even though I don't think at first they believed we would do it. And I honestly think they respect R more now for having done it. I hope this post helps answer some questions and if you still have some you can always email me @ justbeayoutiful at gmail dot com.

I have added some new blogs to the roll call and am following along on new journeys into momhood. Keeping fingers crossed and hoping for good news for everyone!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

8 minutes

That's how long it takes for us to get home from the hospital that the wife and I work at. It's also the hospital I gave birth at. Now that the fog has lifted and I can remember past 5 min ago, I can share some of the feelings I had bringing these babies home.
We had taken a class on child birth and had our bags packed but nothing and I do mean nothing prepares you for this life changing event. We had been scheduled to be induced but the boys had other plans. If I had known that the last nap at 12 am was the last nap I was ever going to have I woulda really made it count with an eye mask, some lavender oil and some Enya playing. Anyways, the reason I bring this up is because in retrospect we had really sh!tty postpartum care. I can say that now. Yes I am a nurse and my wife is a sonographer, but we do hearts not babies. I know something nothing about birthin babies. I woke up from anesthesia and had no clue what happened, where my babies were, what end they came out of and why I was in a separate room. My best friend surprised us with her gift of photography and captured everything. If not for these pics, I wouldn't remember much. After being wheeled into my room I was attempting to breast feed. No nurses came in to check on me, I was so hopped up on a morphine drip that I could barely hold my babies and my face had swollen so badly that I could barely see out of two slits that were my eyes. I had balls of fluid on top of my feet that jiggled when I moved. I had a vaginal delivery and a cesarean section. I had no clue if I had stitches or not and I couldn't bend down to see. (It wasn't until the next day that I found out that I did not). I remember the next day asking about a pump because I was not making any milk and the boys were not nursing well. Luckily they were getting some nutrition from R from induced lactation but their blood sugars kept dropping and were going to have to potentially get bottles and stay longer which we were trying to avoid. Even though we filled out a packet saying yes we wanted to strictly breastfeed, no one asked us how we were doing or if we needed help. Finally we called a lactation consultant and she helped both of us get milk going and our babies latching. God bless this woman. She was so kind and didn't bat an eyelash when we said we were both nursing and was excited to hear about induced lactation. It was the first time we didn't feel like a freak show. She said I should've started pumping after 6 hours post delivery but we were already well into the next day-oh well.   I didn't eat until the second day and I think we had three meals total in the three days we were there. Why? Because I was delirious and I literally forgot to eat and so did R. Oh and don't expect your partner to have a clue either. She was just as dazed and confused as I was. Family, friends, doctors, lactation consultants, techs, lab techs, housekeeping, hell even the hospital photographer stayed for an's a revolving door. And don't expect your framily (thank you Sprint) to feed you or know what you need either. As far as they're concerned you can fend for yourself-there are babies to ogle and you're just in the way. Also, our hospital does rooming in which means there is NO NURSERY! The babies don't get whisked away for naptime..they are with you 24/7. Don't get me wrong- I loved having them there but we were beyond lunacy from sleep deprivation and really could have used some help guidance food sleep. So the point of all this bitching is this: DON'T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP. Ask your nurses questions and use family and friends if you choose to let them come visit. Put them to work and take as many naps as you can. In hind sight, we should've declined visitors but we felt so bad turning people away because they just wanted to celebrate our boys arrival.
It took forever to get discharged and the boys had to have a car seat test before they could go home. We went through all the supplies they pawned on us and returned the things that were unopened so we didn't get charged. Fact: if you open it you buy it. Nothing in the hospital is free-from the Tylenol to the hospital water jug. It ALL cost something.  I did take all the chuck pads though and we still use them in between layered crib sheets for the boys. When we finally left, I was relieved just to get home to our own little nest. The drive home was surreal. We played the Dave Matthews lullaby cd we had bought before they were born. I kept looking back at the car seats and couldn't believe that they were finally carrying passengers. The babies screamed the entire 8 minutes and I sobbed uncontrollably.  Not really sure why, I was just so overcome with emotions that we had done it-finally made a family, then overcome with fear that we had no clue what the hell we were doing and it was too late to turn back. Sounds shitty I know, but the fear of the unknown for a control-freak type A like myself can be downright crippling.  My mom followed us home and helped us get settled in and then promptly left with a smug grin on her face as she waved "toodaloo". R and I looked at each other wide eyed like two deer in head lights and waited for the instructions to come over the intercom and the flight attendant to kindly show us the emergency exits. They never came- we are still waiting.
I don't have any other major advice to give because like I said nothing will prepare you for the mind blowing experience that is child birth. Just like your conception stories-your birth stories will be just as individualized and only you can write it.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

We're baaaaaaaaackkkkkk!

(Cue Eminem) Guess who's back? back again....So I promised myself that I wouldn't be that mom that has kids and lets go of their identity, mind, body, but I did turn into that mom and momentarily let go of all of those things. I have tried to come back several times, but honestly I am so in love with my babes that everything else is a far second. But I am back-renewed and ready to spill my guts. I can't wait to rekindle our love and reunite-that is if you'll still have me?
So last time we chatted I had just given birth-literally. The boys are eight-yes count 'em eight months now! I wish I could play a fancy smancy music montage with clever music-"When I grow Up" by the Beach boys comes to mind to catch you up to speed on our lives but I can't. So I will just touch the highlights for now and then come back and retropost when I can. We had 12 weeks of maternity leave, the best time of our lives although we didn't know it at the time. R went back first and then me. I cried like a well- you know what the first day and it was such a double edged sword being there. Part of me was glad to be functioning and I missed the familiarity of work oriented tasks and part of me was sad I had a bra on. Ya feel me? I rubbed myself in their lavender burts bees baby lotion and sniffed myself when I got sad. I only work three 12 hour shifts a week, but it is still hard to be away from them.
We try to get out as much as possible but with two it is HARD.  There is so much crap to tote, and when they both melt down or poop their pants (and on my shirt) at the same time you can fuhgeddaboutit! Since me and R are on opposite schedules for babysitting purposes, it's usually only one of us with the boys. R and I are two ships passing in the night.  It works for now, but we are hoping to get a better system going soon.  Besides work and babies, I was also in school-oh yeah folks. I was certifiably cookoocachoo this year. Let me paint you a pic: me pumping and typing a paper and rocking a baby with my foot at the same time. Tired is the understatement of the century. R was even sleep walking one time and I woke her from swaddling an imaginary baby with her bath robe. Ah good times friends. But we did it! I graduated last week and am so glad it's over with and under my belt.
O has terrible reflux and we have been on a roller coaster of meds and homeopathic remedies to help him. He is smaller than his counterpart but he is still hitting all of his milestones none the less and is crawling and babbling up a storm. P is a chunk and eats his food and his brother's leftovers lol. He is much quieter but you can see his wheels turning and taking the room in. He is content to sit and play rather than explore. He grabs food with his dimpled hands and chews it with his two little nubby teeth. They surprise us with new sounds and movements and every day is adventurous with them.
Our families have fallen in love with them and it is amazing to see them interact. I never thought in a million years this would be my life.
I know this post was cray and all over the place but my mind is not nearly as sharp as is used to be. Prego brain has turned into postpartum brain and I'm lucky I have spell check on this thing...
I definitely plan on blogging more often and still have lots to share so I hope you'll keep checking back and I will continue to check in and keep my fingers crossed for my blogland friends waiting for good news! I missed you all so much and am glad to be back.