Raising a Blended Family

Happy Thanksgiving, friends

I’m up at 5am and the house is quiet, quiet, quiet. The silence lends itself to reflection and reflection makes me realize how truly thankful I am for all in my life.

I am so lucky to have my amazing wife. She loves me, treats me right, laughs with me and supports me in all ways. I couldn’t imagine life without her.

I’m so lucky to have my kids. I’m thankful they are healthy and happy. They make me smile daily, both in their relationship and the ways they play together, and separately in their own small achievements each day. I love them so much and aside from my wife, they are my whole world.

I’m so thankful that Shorty got the job she did back in February. After years of mulling a possible application to this job, finally springing for it last August, and waiting/jumping through application hoops August-February, it seemed like the job had fallen through our fingers when out of the blue, a phone call. THE phone call. Life has gotten so much better since she took this job and most importantly, she’s so much happier. For that I will always be thankful.

I’m also thankful (and lucky) that, when we realized her new job meant a probable move to a new city (town, actually…. small, small town), I was able to scramble and literally last minute get together everything I needed to apply for the nursing program at the university in the new town. I got my application materials in last minute, haphazardly enrolled in my last two prerequisites for the school (and thanked my lucky stars they allowed for concurrent enrollment), dotted my i’s and crossed my t’s, and took a leap of faith when we moved to the small town anyways, before we had heard back from my school, figuring I could always commute back to the big university in our old town if I had to. Thank everything I didn’t have to and I’m so glad that fate forced me to consider this school over the one I was going to- this school has the same accelerated program but at a public-school tuition rate, rather than the private school sky-high tuition we were preparing to pay!

Finally, I am completely, totally, utterly over-the-moon thankful at our recent TTC success. My lovely wife is undeniably pregnant (lots of symptoms we can chat about later), and every time I look at her I just want to burst with happiness. It’s so hard to believe that our long-dreamed-of Link baby is on his/her way to us. It’s unreal that Link took the first go-round, and that the Stars seemingly aligned to give us the perfect timing with this baby. I can’t wait to tell our families on Christmas morning (more on this later, as well) and, after that, the whole world! I can’t wait for Link to be here. I have visions of three children playing together on Christmas mornings future, of Pax and Link waiting for the school bus together and running roly-poly pell-mell through the house, of loudness and chaos and the exponentially messy daily lives and love that will come with being a family of five instead of a family of four. I am so excited and so, so thankful that this baby chose now to come to us. Grow Link, grow… You are already loved.

Happy thanksgiving, friends. I hope you all have as much or more to be thankful for than I do.










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Thanks for all of your congratulations! It definitely does not feel real.

The first order of business this morning was to confirm that Shorty is, in fact, pregnant. Annnnnnnd is she ever:

Top is yesterday, bottom is today:IMG_0173.JPG

And also, this. There’s something about seeing the word spelled out:IMG_0174.JPG

Holy crap! We really did this. We made a baby… Or at least, we made a tiny ball of cells that will hopefully become our baby.

Little by little, slowly but surely, what this all means is coming back to us. It’s been two years since we had a newborn: things like cribs, swaddles, new baby smells and teeny tiny clothes have long been replaced by train tables, sneakers, and puzzles galore. A punkin seat is a thing of the past, and though we still get woken up at least once a night, it is easy to snuggle a toddler and go back to sleep; midnight diaper changes and feedings are also things of the past.

At least they were. In nine short months, if all goes well, they won’t be anymore. We’ve got a baby on the way. 🙂


Introducing my wife, Fertility Goddess.

I convinced my wife to test early today, after she woke up from a long nap. I’m so glad she did because check. it. out.




Second month tracking, first month trying, two inseminations on CD 15 and CD16, and one nerve-wracking TWW later… We are pregnant. And my wife is a fertility goddess, apparently.

Cross your fingers/send prayers/love/light/energy/everything for a sticky baby please! It is still so early (12 DPO today!) but on this, the week of Thanksgiving, we have so much to be thankful for. Our Link baby is on the way! BFP!


It’s early days, but…

…on the basis of Shorty’s symptoms today, we decided to test.

And got a BFN.

Ah, well. It’s early days for testing, right? (10dpo). We’ve still got a lot of strong symptoms- the latest being a strong bout of nausea last night and this morning.

I’m still hopeful this worked. It helps to have the history that we do of testing when I was pregnant with Pax: a completely negative test all the way up to the night of 12DPO, and then we got our BFP the next morning at 13DPO. It goes to show that babies don’t show themselves until they are READY, and you truly aren’t out until AF shows up.

There. That’s my pep talk for this morning. Happy Saturday, everyone.


7dpo and hello, symptoms!

So here I sit, 7 days into my experience of being the nongestational partner from the get go (hereafter abbreviated NGPFGG*). I have already found that one of the most frustrating things about being in the side-saddle this go round is that I do not get first hand experience in what is going on in Shorty’s uterus. I like to obsess, symptom-spot, and drive myself generally crazy during a TWW… And none of that (well, hardly any of it- I’m definitely still going crazy) is generally possible when it’s someone else’s uterus you’re symptom-spotting (except the driving-yourself-crazy part. That is definitely possible). Shorty is my complete opposite and would prefer to sit, ponder, play Xbox, read, and generally completely forget that she could possibly be UH, hello, pregnant. If it were up to her she would let the two weeks pass without remark and probably not even test until like, 10,000 days past missed period. I am SOOOO not that patient.

Luckily for me she took pity on me, both in agreeing to start testing at 12DPO instead of waiting for her missed period, and also in finally admitting that she has been feeling symptoms!!! She admits to purposefully hiding them from me because she knew I would react the way I am, with excited and obsessive abandon (it’s like she knows me or something). They’re not “symptoms,” she insists, “just a weird feeling plus some other stuff.” Further inquiries reveal sore boobs (normal for her, pre-period), sore nipples (not normal), excessive moisture (“I keep feeling like my period has started but it’s not blood!”, not normal), gas (oh holy moly, definitely not normal. I mean, uh… I love you, honey) and cramps (“Like period cramps?” I ask. “Yes,” says she. [Also not a normal symptom for her, I’m the cramper in this relationship]). She’s also said multiple times that it just feels “weird” down there, while putting her hand right over the approximate location of her uterus.

I am left to obsess over ponder the meaning of all of these “symptoms” alone while Shorty serenely goes back to forgetting we are in the TWW. I’m the optimistic one in the relationship: I think she’s sounding more pregnant than not! She goes through times where she tells me with confidence that it didn’t work, she doesn’t feel pregnant and that we’ll have to try again. During such moments I remind her of all the times I said the exact same thing when pregnant with Pax, especially during early days. She also goes through “maybe it worked” moments- that’s generally the most optimistic I can get her. I totally get it: there’s definitely a chance it didn’t work and maybe we will have to try again- that would suck and be a bit of a sting. But there’s also a chance it did work, and I like to (try) to live in the positive. So, as of this moment, halfway through our two week wait, I think there’s nothing that says we’re “out” and a whole lot to be optimistic about; so the only thing I have left to say is: grow baby grow!

*NGPFGG= my attempt to distinguish this experience of creating a baby in someone else’s womb from scratch from that of being Thing One’s mom, a role which is also a nongestational parenthood but which was not from the get go because it began when she was four. I am already an NGP, but this is the first time I have been/will be an NGPFGG. Hopefully that makes sense.


TWW day 1

Well- we did the (lesbian) deed. Swimmers were obtained, insemination was performed, and we are now in the TWW for the first time in about a year!

The donor was gracious as always and met us two times for two insems about 12 hours apart. We feel pretty good about timing. We’re pretty sure we got a positive OPK, but of course that test was defective and the lines only went halfway up the test window! Gah. But, the lines were dark and the same color, and Shorty has egg white CM and cramping ovulation-type pain on one side… So we’re feeling pretty confident about our timing, or as confident as you can be with these things I suppose.

It is blowing both of our minds that she could possibly be pregnant, that there could be a teeny ball of cells in there trying to become our next baby, that this could possibly work. Also, I forgot how long two weeks seems when you’re staring down the beginning of a TWW. I hope that it goes quickly!


Nerves on CD14

*evening update (because y’all need a play-by-play… Humor me). Shorty POAS and it was much darker than it’s been and almost, almost positive. Eek! Tomorrow is looking good!

Tomorrow would be just another day if this wasn’t the month, the month, where every day matters because hello, egg timing!

We are on CD14 and so far, so good… At least I think it is. It’s kind of hard to tell with these events, but the OPKs have been negative so far. We’re expecting tomorrow’s OPK to be positive, but I’m on pins and needles about it. You can’t control these things but tomorrow is perfect timing because then Shorty and I can drive to meet the donor together. Tomorrow night is the only night this week that timing works out for me to be able to go, so fingers crossed that it actually happens tomorrow.

Shorty is much more certain than I that all is on track, and I am getting my first taste of how life is from this side of the (gyno) stirrups. I wasn’t around when Thing One was conceived so this is the first time I’ve been in this position, where it’s not my body and I can only sit to the sidelines and ask “how are you feeling?” It isn’t too bad so far but we’ve got a long way to go and I’ve got a lot of adjusting to do. So far, so good!

Anyways, fingers crossed that tomorrow works. And fingers REALLY crossed that this whole cycle works and we have something else to be thankful for right around thanksgiving! I want this to work so badly, you guys.


Oh, f*ck!

I should be studying, but why study when you can reminisce about your toddler’s potty mouth instead?

Yes, sadly you read that correctly. My son has acquired Mommy’s history of using a certain four-letter word whenever something unexpectedly bad happens. I didn’t think he was listening, or watching, or acquiring… But apparently he was because boy, did he let one fly the other day.

We were at daycare (that’s just so great, isn’t it?). I had just arrived to pick him up and in typical him-fashion, he excitedly ran to greet me at the gate, then ran pell-mell in the opposite direction (Why? Ask him. I have no clue but he does it every day. At least he acts excited to see me first.). As he was running (and also in typical him-fashion: my kid, the klutz) he tripped over a root and down he went. And, at that exact same time, one of those strange silences happened on the playground…. The ones where all of a sudden, just for a second, the swings stop screeching, the birds stop chirping, there isn’t any nearby traffic, conversation stops and everybody takes a collective breath in at the exact same time, resulting in a silence so profound you could hear a pin drop or an ant sneeze…. Or, in this case, you could hear my two-year-old exclaim, clear as day, “oh, FUCK” as his derrier hit the ground after he tripped.

And I, his mother, just stood completely speechless, mouth hanging open, eyes wide, without a corrective word of wisdom or parental redirection to bestow whatsoever. Completely speechless. (Although, I wanted to let loose with an oh, fuck myself but I was pretty sure that wouldn’t have been appropriate).

His daycare lady turned and looked at me with the same shocked, deer-in-the-headlights face, and tentatively asked, “Did he just say…?”

I told her no, surely not, couldn’t have been, he must have been mumbling under his breath about TRUCKS or DUCKS or something. She didn’t seem convinced but we didn’t stick around to argue about it. I grabbed my little cursing potty-mouth and whisked him out of there as fast as I could manage, all the while thinking to myself oh fuck oh fuck oh FUCK.

Fuck, indeed. I taught my son to curse! Guess it’s time for a swear jar around here!


One of THOSE people

As I’m sitting here writing this, I’m humming a Christmas carol under my breath and beginning to think about exactly where to place decorations for maximum Christmas effect, yet minimum toddler accessibility. Gift lists have been made (and begun to be shopped for), the-previous-holiday-decor has already been taken down and stowed away, and we’ve already had our first freakin’ snowfall so it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas already! Or something. Yes, I’m one of Those People… Always have loved Christmas (the spirit of it, not necessarily the religious connotations) and always will and I think 25 days is entirely too short of a time to celebrate. But, luckily for everyone else who is more “rational” (as my wife calls it), my wife is here to keep me in check and Christmas decor probably won’t be put up until the normal weekend-after-Thanksgiving time frame. Sigh.

Happy belated Halloween, by the way. Here are my two gremlins: (a vampire and Elmo, actually… And yes, we ARE going through an elmo phase, how did you know?!)


They had so much fun (despite the Halloween snowfall we got) and Pax has discovered a sweet tooth, to my dismay. I have a huge sweet tooth and I was hoping he would skip that particular inheritance- but no. Last year he was too little to know what candy was, but this year he quickly figured it out and is alllll over it. He fully believes that if he walks up to you and says “tick teat” (his version of trick or treat), you will produce the magical substance known as candy for him to consume. He also doesn’t understand time and so to him, a 3am wake up post-Halloween is a perfect time to demand “tick teat!” and then throw a fit when candy does not appear. Sigh.

Life around here is going well- it’s always hard but the hard has been manageable lately, and there’s been light at the end of the tunnel for me in knowing that soon I will have a week long break from my studies (thank you, pilgrims and Native Americans!) and two weeks after that I will be finished with my semester and halfway through nursing school! The end will be only 6 short months away (ish)!

Which brings me to my next announcement. We have always said (maybe not out loud in public, or on this blog) that we wanted to time our next baby so that it was due soon after I got done with school. The question of “how soon” and “when do we start” has been hanging in the air while we mulled and plotted, and January was tossed around there for awhile, then discarded, then tossed around some more. However, after much deliberation we threw out the January start date in favor of now! This month! In approximately ten days! The last piece of the puzzle, confirmation of the donor’s availability (we had a possible out-of-town scare that was resolved with careful planning and good cycle timing) is now in place and all signs are pointing to go. Shorty’s cycle has been very predictable the last few months and that has thus far continued with this cycle (she was able to call the exact date that Aunt Flo would be visiting!) and so we are hopeful that timing will be good and maybe, just maybe we might have ourselves a christmas pregnancy announcement. We’ll see.

With Shorty’s cycles the way they are, if we conceive this cycle her due date will be mid-August, which is perfect for my program as I will be done and out of school by then, but likely still in the waiting period of red tape and paperwork shuffling so that I can take my test and look for jobs. Which means I’ll just be sitting around doing nothing (we were previously contemplating a vacation during this time), but maternity leave and new-baby cuddling sounds like a much better way to pass the time!

I’m not going to lie, I’m nervous. There are some what-ifs involved, enough that it took awhile for Shorty to pry me away from January and into a November start date. I won’t be able to take my test (to get my nursing license) until the first or second week of September at the earliest, and that means there will be a newborn in the house when I take them. Which is stressful. But, it isn’t impossible. Not by a long shot. The other scary thing is timing. She might have the baby super early or have complications. They’re unlikely but you never know. However, as Shorty said, that will always be a risk no matter when we get pregnant next- so we might as well dive on in now.

So here I am, nervous but hopeful. If this works the timing will be beautiful: having the baby before I start my full time new job as a brand new nurse will mean getting to spend home-time with the baby that I otherwise wouldn’t get due to not being eligible to take time off yet. It will mean Pax and the baby are less than three years apart (just barely, but yes)- something. I always wanted for my kids. And, it would be fun to announce it at Christmas to our families! But, we will see. All we can do is try. We’ll keep you in the loop!