So we’d like to introduce the newest member of our family, Rabbit River! We’ve been debating in utero names for the baby, but we hadn’t been able to decide on one until this week. R came upon Rabbit River (an actual river, about half-an-hour’s drive from our town) during the first cycle that we were trying to get me pregnant. The name has stuck around through a host of other options. I like it because it’s complex in its entirety, but it still offers many sweet derivatives (little rabbit, bunny, or The Hare, if one is feeling serious). Today our little city held its massive summer Art Fair, and R found us the most beautiful print for the nursery. I think it will be an excellent addition to the new color scheme that we’ve been cooking up. I had already painted the nursery for Emmett, and we don’t want to change the wall colors, but we decided that it would be nice to come up with a new color palate for this new baby.
In other seven-week news, the Sick has kicked in with a vengeance. To this point, I haven’t thrown up yet, so I understand that it could be a lot worse. However, I do feel like throwing up pretty much around the clock now. For the last couple of days, I haven’t gotten even a few solid stretches of feeling decent. I’m exhausted, nauseated, and overly emotional. It’s hard to not feel like I’m “bad” at being pregnant. I think the baby is doing well, though, and that s/he is making and taking all of the hormones, nutrients, vitamins, blood, water, etc. that s/he needs to thrive. I’m just having to make some serious accommodations for the whole process. While I knew intellectually what this would be like (it’s only been a matter of six/seven months since R was dog-sick through her first trimester), it’s a whole different experience to be feeling this way day in and day out. I am so eternally grateful to be able to carry this next child for our family. And I do know how blessed I am to have gotten pregnant so quickly and with no intervention, but I hope that I have the personal reserve to carry us through the next five weeks until we can (God-willing) break on through to the (God-willing) “golden” second-trimester. I’ll keep you posted.
The one reason that I’ve been able to maintain the sanity and dignity that I have is my wife. R is my total hero right now. This whole process is complex, thrilling, and sometimes very painful. I think that being pregnant again after a loss is a challenging prospect for any woman, but for it to be only 4.5 months after a second-trimester loss, and for the new pregnancy to be taking place outside of R’s body, is especially challenging. I think that it takes a tremendous amount of courage, trust, and love for R to feel safe as we go forward. In the face of all of this, though, she is being amazing. She is consummately there for me, comforting me through sickness, offering me words of wisdom and reassurance, and, overall, making my days bearable and my life more beautiful. Thanks, love, for all you do.
This past week we also had our first appointment with our new Midwives practice at the Catholic Hospital. So far, so good. The initial appointment had us meeting with an intake nurse (who was incredibly kind and sympathetic – also, she has six children all born at this hospital). At our previous hospital, which has a formal non-discrimination policy in place that includes sexual orientation, we had to fend off several annoyingly heteronormative questions during our intake with Emmett. For example, the intake nurse kept referring to our sperm donor as “the father” even after we explained that wasn’t the language we were using. Also, the lab tech asked if R was married and when she said yes the lab tech asked for her husband’s name even though I was standing right there. I think that we anticipated having some of these same issues with the Catholic hospital, but (much to our relief) everyone we interacted with used very inclusive language and worked hard to treat us both with respect and equality. We reviewed all of my family and medical history, talked about the experience of being pregnant with and losing Emmett, had my blood pressure checked (92 over 58 – no wonder I’m dizzy), gave urine and blood for labwork, and, finally, made our first real appointment with a midwife (scheduled for 6/16 – we’ll be 8 weeks and 5 days). We were hopeful that we would also be able to schedule an early ultrasound, but the midwife says that since she has no medical reason to order one, she’ll need to meet with us first to make a determination. I’m very hopeful that she’ll be compassionate with our anxieties and push one through for us. We’ll keep you updated…