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Dec. 12th, 2011



Labor Story

Finally had a chance to finish my blog post about my marathon labor.  I also recalculated the time: it was more like 68 hours, not 62 (never trust my spouse's math after not sleeping that much...)


To me, the funniest reactions to my story are "That is so cruel!  Why didn't they just give her a c-section?"
The point: I didn't want one!  I labored so long to avoid one!

Anyway, if you're currently pregnant or trying, you might not want to read this.  I could be read as a labor horror story and be really fear inducing.  However, if you're committed to a vaginal unmedicated birth, this might be empowering that it can be done, even with an uncooperative uterus.

Nov. 15th, 2011




Our maternity pics made Off Beat Mama!



Just had to share.  Hope everyone's weeks are going well.  

Sep. 28th, 2011

Spiral rainbow


(no subject)

Wednesday Discussion

Instead of a discussion question today, I thought it would be fun to network a little!

Friending Frenzy:

If you are looking for new friends, say a little bit about yourself. Mama and Mama-to-Be networking is a fantastic way of supporting each other and securing support for the future!

Do you read any blogs out there on the blog-o-sphere or do you have any LJ friends you think the community might like to get to know? Send them this way or send us their way!

Sep. 23rd, 2011

Spiral rainbow


(no subject)

Just a bit of an FYI:

A Documentary airing on STYLE 9/27: One Man. 74 Kids and Counting.

Press Release:
One Man. 74 Kids. And Counting…


The One-Hour Special Premieres Tuesday, September 27 at 9:00pm ET/PT

LOS ANGELES — September 7, 2011 – The Style Network takes a look at the fascinating, unchartered and unregulated world of sperm donors and their offspring in the new one-hour documentary “Sperm Donor,” premiering Tuesday, September 27 at 9:00pm ET/PT. In the documentary, one donor, Ben, learns that his donations have been used to produce 74 children – with more live births still occurring. An additional storyline features half-Sisters from different parts of the country who meet face-to-face for the very first time.

“Sperm Donor” follows two different donor families who connect through the Donor Sibling Registry (DSR). For Ben, who donated while in college more than 10 years ago, he is shocked to learn that he has more than 70 offspring – and now he must break the news to his fiancée. As she grapples with the information and how this will affect their future, Ben makes plans to meet a mother from Seattle and her two children – both born through Ben’s sperm donation and who have his DNA. The documentary also explores the relationship between half-Sisters who recently found each other through the DSR after discovering their mothers used the same sperm donor. While donor siblings, Adrienne and Karis, have only talked on the phone and video chatted on the computer, Adrienne surprises Karis with a visit to help her half-sister prepare for her senior prom.

“Sperm Donor” is a production of Off The Fence. Ellen Windemuth and Lauren Lazin Executive Produced and Directed, and Sarah Weidman is Executive Producer for Style.

Sep. 9th, 2011



Inducing Lactation

Hi everyone!
After much delay, I wanted to update you all about our trip (yesterday) to a lactation specialist who is also a pediatrician and maternal medicine doctor.  Basically her entire practice is breastfeeding and lots of the local adoption agencies refer adoptive moms to her for info on inducing lactation, so we're in pretty good hands!  She also does a fair number of two mom couples who both want to breastfeed, or where the birthing mom can't so the other one wants to, etc.

Basically, the ideal amount of time if inducing fresh (no previous pregnancies) is 3-4 months to prep the breasts.  Her standard regimine is 3-4 months of non-stop birth control, the kind that has both estrogen and progesterone (so typically the old fashioned pills, not the newer ones), plus high doses of fenugreek (we're talking like 2400 mgs 4times a day) and lots of mother's milk tea (if a person doesn't mind licorice).  If that kind of BC doesn't work, she goes for the progesterone only ones, but the ones that have estrogen work better.  When doing the progesterone only ones, she recommends an herbal supplement that contains estrogen-like chemicals.  Basically the non-stop BC mimicks the hormones of pregnancy (high estrogen to swell the breasts, high progesterone to prevent them from actually expressing milk) while the fenugreek and mother's milk stimulates prolactin production, which allows the breasts to make pre-milk (somehow only actually pregnant woman make colostrum - while pre-milk is still nutrative, it doesn't have the anti-bodies or enzymes of colostrum to prep the intestines of the newborn).  When starting the routine, many women experience very mild first trimester symptoms - morning sickness, swollen and tender boobs, gastrointestinal discomfort, etc.  But these aren't as bad as real pregnancy and they are usually very tolerable.  The woman inducing lacation should also massage her boobs a couple of times a day (I volunteered for this, obviously, such a chore!) and try pumping occasionally towards the end of the pregnancy.

When the kid is born, if both are bfing, the birthing mom feeds the kid exclusively for the first two weeks or so, to establish a milk supply and give the kid the colostrum.  However, the non-birthing mom should put the kid to her own breasts after about a day or two, so the kid can also establish a latch.  The non-birthing mom is still on the BC and fenugreek, so no milk will come out, but the kid won't get "nipple confusion" and learn how to work both sets of boobs (though this doctor said that nipple confusion was overblown and any kid could be taught how to do both bottle and nipple, or two sets of nipples, or even how to breastfeed after exclusive bottle feeding if under a certain age - and since that is exactly what she does for a living, I'm inclined to believe her).  It will also help prep the non-birthing mom's boobs for breastfeeding.  After about  a week, week and a half, the non-birthing mom stops the BC but not the fenugreek and may add raspberry leaf tea.  This simulates labor and delivery.  After a few days, she will also experience let-down and start producing real milk.  

The best way to do two sets of boobs without worrying about losing supply is to set a feeding schedule.  The boobs will get into a schedule, too, so the overall milk supply won't drop, it will vary in accordance with the feeding schedule set.  Of course, each mom might have to pump to keep up the supply, but it is very much a supply and demand system.  Extra milk can be put on hand in the freezer as back-up, or can be donated to the local milk bank.  She said she would work with us after the baby is born to establish a schedule that works with our schedules and our supplies and the needs of the baby.  

The inducing lactation process is easier if the non-birthing mom has previously breastfed, especially recently.  In many of those cases, a woman needs to just take some fenugreek and do the hand expression/massaging just before the birth of the baby in order to get her supply up to speed.

She said that she used to use domperidone, but that recently the FDA has been cracking down on compounding pharmacies filling prescriptions for breastfeeding purposes, as well as doctors who order prescriptions for it from Canada.  She thinks the entire thing is political and shows how anti-woman and pro-formula the FDA is, but that the actual effectiveness of just BC, fenugreek and stimulation is almost as good as the domperidone regime, so she's not even sure she'd add it back in even if it were approved (at least as a routine thing - she always tries to work with a particular patient's body, so if the routine didn't work, she would obviously try something else).  

Our particular doctor was Christina Smillie, but the practice website is http://www.breastfeedingresources.com/.  If you're in the Connecticut area, and considering inducing lactation, I think it is probably worth it to see if your insurance covers them.  They are feminist, gay friendly, and just super nice.  If not, they have a really sweet video about baby-led breastfeeding available on their website, among other resources.

Aug. 3rd, 2011



Baby Albums?

Somehow in our name discussions today, we got into the idea of taking baby naming books out of the library or purchasing them from amazon, and that somehow led us to baby keepsake books or albums.  And that led us into a conundrum probably common to the group, so I decided to share our frustrations with you all and hopefully get some recommendations or advice in return!

Our main frustration is that almost every. single. baby. album. has a page for "Mommy" and a page for "Daddy."  Mommy gets her family tree, Daddy gets his.  Mommy has her interests, Daddy has his.  This probably constrains straight couples who don't use Mom and Dad, but it especially constrains our families!  There were some exceptions, but none we found satisfying thus far, though admittedly we're only looking at the internet, basically, and I would really like personal feedback or to flip through some of the options in person before buying or adding to our registry.

Exception 1: And Then There Was Me  
Pros: Totally lesbian friendly, totally co-parenting friendly, single parent friendly, has pages for sperm donors, egg donors, surrogates, birth moms, adoptive proceedings, etc.  
Cons: Pricey for what amounts to a binder with some pre-printed pages.  Reviews suggest the quality is off.  

Exception 2: Baby Memory Book by Tessera Publishing 
Pros: You can order "two moms" pages, as well as all sorts of adoption pages, donor pages, surrogacy pages, single mom pages, and multiples pages.  You can also order specific religious pages, a bonus if you're like us and active in a religion that has a lot of baby-related ceremonies or special holidays (we're Jewish).  You can add month by month, pregnancy, and extra keepsake pages, too.
Cons: Every single one of those page add-ons costs extra money, and with a base price of $60, a book that fits our family and our desires adds up to over $100.  That is way more than we want to spend on something that is likely to be left half-blank and shoved in a corner of a closet.  Seriously.  We want something to periodically update, but we're both kind of awful at even updating our LJs, so we have low expectations.  The only thing that kept my mom filling out my baby book is that as a toddler, I was OBSESSED with mine, causing her to fill it out fully, though years later.  We don't want to drop, or have anyone drop for us, that kind of money.
Other: The site has other, similar, baby books, but at ever more higher prices.  I don't get why they charge extra for the gay parents, when we're just going to have to take out the straight parent pages... can't I just do an exchange?  

Exception 3: Our World Our Family (http://ourworldourfamily.com/babybook.htm - LJ wouldn't let me link directly for this one, I don't know why)
Pros: By lesbians, for lesbians.  
Cons: Just not that impressed with the sample pages, and the use of "Mommies" instead of more neutral language (which may work for many of you, but doesn't work for us).  They say their book is "in stock" but the page was last updated in 2006, which gives me obvious pause.  I'm sure I could email them to ask if they are still making the book, but... 
Of course, we always have the option of making one ourselves.  We've made a bunch of photobooks on things like Mixbook and MyPublisher, and could easily just record the important things and later make it into a book.  That way, all of the pictures would look nice and crisp, instead of printing then pasting them into a physical book.  What we'd lose is the prompts that are in the books, the kind of fun activity of filling them out, and the ability to do it in real time - you can't print out a photo book page by page with those services.  Another option would be to do just that, design a page, print it out at the local print shop or photo center, and then put it in a binder of our own design.  My fear, however, is that the more steps it takes to do this, the less likely we are to do it.  
So, fellow lesbian/queer moms, what did you all do for baby albums?  Did you bother with an album at all?  Did you find one that worked?  Did you modify a hetero one?  Did you DIY one?
Thanks :)


Jul. 31st, 2011




hola all!

this community was recommended to me by myiris and after having read through it from it's first post up until now :), i'm very excited!  i like the idea of hearing how everyone is doing in weekly updates and discussing interesting topics.  yay!

my name is kati (32), originally from cleveland, and i'm married to esther (37), originally from paraguay, and we moved to chicago last year from argentina after meeting in chile :).  actually, we're not officially married, but we had our own religious ceremony almost 5 years ago (anniversary in about a week!) in buenos aires, and then got civil unioned last month when such things became legal in illinois.  we are loving chicago (even though it's freaking hot here right now!).  esther is studying for her masters in divinity and i am a paralegal (no offense to all legal folk here, but it's not really my thing...i'm still trying to figure out what i want to do when i grow up :)

we just started officially TTCing yesterday (first IUI yesterday morning and 2nd this morning), although i've been charting for what seems like months.  we're using donor sperm from northwest cryo bank, so far everything has been very easy with them (except for paying an extra fee because our preferred donor was limited supply...buu!).  of course THIS cycle has totally thrown me off as far as temps not showing up exactly as i want them to, multiple +OPKs and on weird CDs, and the IUIs not quite making it to the uterus...so good times.  but i'm trying to have positive hopes for this 2ww :), as esther just quit her job last week and because of that, we may not be able to try again anytime soon.  so fingers crossed for this one (yes, i know it's not too likely to happen on the first try, but you can't blame a girl for hoping :)

can't wait to hear all your stories!

Jul. 11th, 2011

Spiral rainbow


(no subject)

Hello, 2_mommies!

Our first Monday topic:

Monday Update

What happened over the weekend? How is everyone doing?

TTC:  Any updates? Any questions?

Pregnant: How far along are you this week? Any new challenges? Any questions?

Mommies: Child updates? Funny stories?

Jul. 8th, 2011



I'm S (27) and married to L (32), we have been together since 2003 and married since 2006, we just celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary :)

We have India aged almost 4 and Matheo aged almost 14 months :) My wife L carried India and I carried Matheo. We both were inseminated at a fertility clinic and got pregnant the first time.

We also have a pug called Eddie :)

I work as a lab. technician (starting a new job in September at the hospital, so excited!), and my wife is studying to become a school teacher, she will finish next summer :) 

Our kids are biological siblings, we used the same donor for both of them. The donor is anonymous and we have more sperm saved if we in the future want more children.
I have adopted India and L has adopted Matheo so we are both legal parents to both children.

Oh yeah and the kids call me Mama and L Mum.

And we live in Denmark :)
Spiral rainbow


(no subject)

Hello, all!

Thank you for joining, for your introductions, and thoughts so far! I am loving watching this community interact! Please continue to spread the word so we can continue to grow and diversify!


How would we like to use this community? Thoughts/ideas? My Due Date Community had a post for each day of the week – Monday Update, Tuesday Confessions, Wednesday Rants, Thursday … what was Thursday? Friday Picture Day, etc.

I’m thinking maybe not every day of the week, but Friday picture day and Monday/Tuesday discussion topic day?

Or it doesn’t have to be structured at all. I’m completely open to ideas and thoughts.

Again – thank you all for your participation thus far, I am so excited to meet you all and get to know your families!

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