Monday, November 14, 2016

The Next Conversation: Embryo Donation

Leslie and I spoke on the phone a couple of days ago. She met with a lawyer a few days ago, out on the west coast where she lives. The lawyer said I have to get a lawyer as well. Which I get, intellectually, but emotionally it feels distasteful. I feel like once the embryos are handed over, she's the mom and should have all decision making rights. But I guess we have to spell out the terms of how many of the embryos (I have four but prefer not to hand them all over in one fell swoop).

Tomorrow I meet with the same psychologist I met with before using donor sperm to conceive Calliope. I journeyed out into Long Island by train to meet with her last time, no small feat after a full day of work, only to discover that she is a parent of one of my patients... and she dropped her son off to school every day!

This time we are meeting for tea at the Chocolate Room and she is charging me the price of a cup of tea. When we meet with Leslie, too, and she has to fill out a bunch of forms certifiying our mutual psychological well being before the transfer of embryos takes placed, she is charging me with bringing her a bag of bulbs to plant at the public school across the street from her home.

I love my village!

Anyway, the more the the idea of donating my embryos to Leslie percolates, the more excited I get. I'm suddenly remembering how physically miserable I was in my mid-pregnancy with Amelie -- the reflux was so awful and I was so nauseated and had to sleep sitting up so often. I will never miss that! And while I do adore infants, it's so lovely to put my children to bed at 6:30 pm and be pretty much assured that I have the rest of the night to myself. I love sleeping all night, every night. Well, almost every night.

And I very hesitantly told Leslie that I loved the idea of donating an embryo to her as a way to grow my family. The thing I didn't realize when I decided to become an SMC is that not only would my child only have one parent, she would also be missing an entire set of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. And now they have no grandparents, and all their first cousins (currently four of them but a fifth is expected this winter, hooray!) are at least four hours away. Too far to see on a weekend.

So having a donor sibling (is that even the right term?) possibly in upstate New York would be wonderful! Calliope has a "milk sister" -- a little girl who received donated milk from me when I was nursing Calliope -- and this little girl is now in our school. And both girls are fascinated by each other. I imagine she would love the idea of even more family. I mentioned the idea of calling the kids "Super Cousins" and Leslie loved the idea. It's complicated because they are not "diblings" -- donor half siblings -- they are full siblings. Yet calling this other child a brother or sister feels like a disservice, to me, to the beloved relationship between Calliope and Amelie. This child won't share a room with my girls. He'll belong to his own family.

Why V*ginas Are More Relaxing

We are riding quietly in the car when suddenly,

Calliope: Vaginas are more relaxing.

Me: Ah. Um. Well. What makes you say that?

Calliope: Because with a vagina you get to pee sitting down. If you have a penis you have to pee standing up. That's more tiring.

Me: Ah, I see.

Calliope: That's why vaginas are more fun.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Nineteen Months

A rare moment with just Amelie and me. Super delicious! Like her apple.
Things are actually getting slowly, slightly, easier!

Amelie has discovered a newfound interest in cooking. Every morning, I sneakily try to prepare my smoothie very, very quietly... to no avail. Amelie comes prancing into the question, "Mommy? Mommy? Mommy?" until I pick her up. She sits on the counter and helps dump the ingredients into the bowl, generally sticking her finger into the bowl between each dumping to taste each items. Then she helps hold the immersion blender with me.

It's a nice little morning ritual together before we spend many hours apart. Even if it does slow me down.

Helping me tear the kale for dinner. There's a wooden spoon because naturally (?) she
wanted to stir it.

She's also discovered counting. And counts everything. "Why, do, fee" (her version of "one, two, three.")

And singing. She loves Twinkle Twinkle and the ABC's. And gets in about every tenth word.

She had her first episode of wheezing, naturally as I was rushing to get her out the door to go meet Calliope for Trick or Treating. Being a second child, I just gave her a couple puffs of Calliope's inhaler and resolved to see the doctor the next day. And since she was mostly better, I decided to just call the doctor the following day. She's fine now but I suspect she'll start wheezing with the next cold, again, just like Calliope did. Calliope, happily, has not had a wheezing episode in a year though she was on inhaled steroids all winter and spring last year to prevent them. But now she's been steroid free for a number of months without any symptoms. Fingers crossed she's outgrown it! And that Calliope has too. But since it happens to me occasionally, too, they may not.

Having a blast eating apples at the Farmer's Market with our beloved friends Eleanor and Leo.


Halloween 2016

When you're less than two and a half feet tall, a six inch doorstep is a might fine seat. 
Amelie and Leo.

Amelie is already enjoying the fine art of candy sorting. Even if she doesn't know what most of it is.

Group shot. From right to left: scarecrow, owl, grumpy princess, giraffe. And a Mommy in a cowboy hat.

Lollipop face
Halloween sisters

Kitty cat jack o'lantern. Calliope and Eleanor actually helped. A little.