Tuesday, June 19, 2012

On telling the family and other stories

Life seems to be going so fast right now with all that we have to get done, but at the same time, the second week of July can't come fast enough. Second week of July = 12-week "safe" mark and fully moved into our new home. And the thing I couldn't tell you about until now: With the work event over last week, I had a full two days to focus on Devon's surprise 40th birthday party!

It was on Friday. I'd been planning it for months, but didn't really have a chance to do anything about it until the day of (other than invite 40+ people). I took the day off work (didn't tell her that... I dropped her off at her work and she just thought it was a regular work day for me) and got everything done in a couple of hours. Picked her up at 7:15 and by 7:30, we were walking into my brother's house for the big surprise. She was shocked and didn't talk for about 10 minutes, which if you knew her, you'd know how hard that would be to do! She loved it and had a lot of fun. I was exhausted the next day and pretty much couch-ridden, but it was worth every second. Her real birthday is tomorrow, and though I don't have a lot planned, I'm sure it'll be a lovely day.

On Friday, between running errands and deflecting questions about my work day, Devon and I had a follow up appointment to go over the ultrasound results from May 31st. The doc said the report was "squeaky clean" and that I'd officially graduated from the program. I didn't realize that the report had actually put me at 6 weeks, 6 days (when I was 7 weeks, 2 days) and although the RE says there is nothing to worry about, the babe is measuring small. He basically said it's probably a girl (kinda kidding, but kinda serious).

I imagined I'd feel a lot better about this pregnancy after hearing the doc say there is nothing wrong, but my anxiety levels just got worse afterwards. I'm not sure why. We decided not to do genetic testing and I can't believe that we're going to tell the world we're pregnant when we don't get to see what's going on until the 18-20th week, at the next ultrasound. I think I would honestly feel better just seeing my baby on a screen, even without any information about its health - just to see that it's still there and alive. It sounds stupid, but I don't know how to get over not having that option. Devon is having a hard time with my anxiety levels and we're trying to work on how I can still be honest with my feelings but try to rein in the anxiousness. I still don't know where to start. I'm not sure how to make this less debilitating. I know anxiety in pregnancy is normal, but I know my levels are a little too off the charts to fit in the "normal" category. I need that reproductive psychiatrist to damn well call me for an appointment.

We told the family about the pregnancy on Sunday at the piano concert. I slipped my niece the extra cue card to read that said, "Auntie Devon and Auntie Lex are having a baby. The baby is due on [her 5-year-old brother's] birthday." Though my sister-in-laws were distracted by their busy babies, we got a pretty good reaction and it feels good to have it out there. The nieces and nephews were SO happy (though the girls will apparently only be happy if it's a girl) and haven't really asked any questions about the hows and wheres. I did ask my 7-year-old niece if she was happy that a baby was growing in my tummy, just to make it clear that it was me who was pregnant (not that it really matters, but I thought it might help) and she just beamed and said "YES!". Love this new generation of kids.

The thing I didn't really like was that after the announcement was over, the first thing one of my sister-in-laws wanted to know was about the donor. I guess I expect these types of questions often, but seriously? Is that the most important part? What about Devon's role? How do you think it makes her feel that that's what you're concerned about? I don't know... I thought it was a little tactless. All I said was, "His colouring is the same as Devon's. That's all we really cared about." That said, she was extremely happy for us and has sent us some encouraging text since Sunday. On the most part, the family's reaction was wonderful and I feel it went well.

My grandmother is another story, which I've yet to figure out. She lives in England, though at the tender age of 94, still makes the trip every summer to Canada. She'll be here in August. Although she is quite liberal and has absolutely no issues with Devon and I being together - she did after all come out for our wedding five years ago - she told my dad last year that she has issues with "lesbians having babies." I asked my dad if it would be easier for him to pass on the message, but he suggested I write her a letter - which gives me time to think about how I want to say it, and gives her some time to react without showing anyone her reaction. Anyone have any advice or want to share their experiences with sharing such news with a much older generation?

At the RE appointment, we got some bad news about the clinic. They had to close suddenly for renovations a few months ago and because we got pregnant at another clinic while they were closed, we never really needed an update. Turns out the hospital won't fund the equipment they need to upgrade their labs, so the clinic is closing down for good. It is the only not-for-profit place of it's kind in the province and it made me really sad. They need about $750,000 to get things up and running, but the president of the hospital doesn't see the investment. Eight doctors, about six nurses, fifteen administrators and about ten lab technicians are losing their jobs. Our RE is in his 60s, so he'll probably just retire, but I feel for everyone else. If I had the money, I would give it to the program in a heartbeat. They have all become like family. And although I did technically get pregnant using another clinic, I feel as though they did all of the necessary legwork.


  1. So glad all went well and continues to go well. Anxiety is normal but having a doctor who you can call and see will make it better. Need to call that psychiatrist and demand a call back. Or sit outside his office to get his attention. Also, I hope you are searching for a doctor so they can help you deal with anxiety if it gets worse.
    As for you grandma send her to The Next Family Site so she can see families and how beautiful they are and how well their kids adjust. Just be honest and encourage her praise for this new baby to be.

  2. Glad it all with you're family and I agree with Madgew, the anxiety is normal. So many of my friends are having kids and they are all freaking out at some level. My levels of anxiety go off the charts just thinking about the whole process of having a baby. I admire your bravery! I'm almost about to start the process...just waiting on test results! The family thing is also a big thing. I can't decide to tell them before I get pregnant or wait until it actually happens! I'm thinking that I should just wait until it happens, like you've done! Most of the nieces and nephews in our families are very liberal and accepting, but we also have some who are very religious and are still waiting for us to get married... To men!! Not sure how they will cope! Go you! Is all I can say!

  3. Happy birthday to Devon! That was a wonderful thing you did for her :)

    When I told my mid 80's grandmother that we were pregnant, she really had nothing but happiness for us. When I told my grandfather, he was confused and asked "How'd THAT happen?", at which point I told him a nutshell version, and he said congratulations. It's always harder telling them than introducing them to the baby, because once the baby is in the picture, they're all just going to love him or her to pieces.

  4. Glad to hear that your pregnancy news was well-received by your family! Hopefully your grandmother comes around in her thoughts --maybe she'll see things differently since it's you and Devon.

    Best of luck waiting for the 18 week ultrasound! I'm sure everything between now and then will be fine. No reason to think otherwise.

  5. Wow - what an exciting telling! I can't believe you're here already. Even though I didn't have to tell any grandparents, I agree with Strawberry, that the baby will make it better. The letter sounds like a great idea so she can take it all in and then by the time she's bouncing her great grandchild, I'm sure her comment will be forgotten.

  6. Sounds like the surprise party was well-received! And what a great way of telling your family. So sweet!

    I chose writing a letter to my grandmother and to my step-grandparents. It actually went very well (even with the very conservative step-grandmother), and they got really into the baby-welcoming festivities. They have been nothing but puddles of great-grandma goo since my son has been born, although there is occasionally a little less acknowledgement of my wife as mom. She's pretty understanding, given their advanced ages, but that's the one thing that can come up from time to time simply because they aren't accustomed to seeing a second woman as mom.

    Still, the letter writing is really great, and it does give a chance for her to have a reaction before she responds. I found it was good for my anxiety too. Good luck! Can't wait to hear how it goes. :)

  7. Oh...the donor questions, when my wife got pregnant we got that a lot, all sort of questions, if we knew him, did we see a picture, where was he from, they are all very interested! Get used to it they don't mean to be rude but they still ask us all the time and our daughter is 19 months!