Pregnancy Announcements

We’re closing in pretty quickly on the time when husby will officially announce that we’re pregnant.  Yeah, I know. I’ve been talking about it on this blog for months.  But most of my friends and family don’t know about this blog yet.

So, now we’re trying to come up with creative ideas for making the official announcement.

I think we’re probably going to end up with one that involves shoes.

How Parenting Books Reveal Cracks in Your Marriage

I love my husband. He balances me out in a lot of ways. He’s also such a planner that he makes me feel like I’m a wild-haired rebel as I carefully organize my closet by cut and color.

He’s been buying parenting books lately and we’re both looking forward to learning how to actually take care of a baby. But while he is ordering big, thick books about what to expect in the first year and whatnot, this is what I ordered this morning:

heh heh heh… I’m sure he’ll be impressed with my contribution to our project here.

Strawberry

This morning, our baby apps told us that our little one is the size of a strawberry. Another said a date.  Another said a walnut.  Strawberry is obviously the best, but the walnut app also said baby weighs the same as a hummingbird.

This appointment was also the last of the monitoring appointments ordered by the fertility clinic and our surrogate is now falling under the care of the OB.

So far, everything is right on pace!  Progesterone levels are good.  Baby’s heart is beating well and is a good size.

And husby and I are finally getting around to seriously thinking about how we want to announce that we’re expecting.

I wanted to actually make nice little cards and send them out, but he vetoed that idea. But we still want to do a clever picture or something. You know, for Facebook.

The challenge with this, though, is that as I google for these things once you see something kind of cool and clever, you will instantly see that lots of people have done their own version of the same thing. And if you searched for “pregnancy announcements with dogs” you’ll see twice as many.

Anyway, that’s where we’re at!

OMG. GUYYYYSSSS!!! OMG.

So, last week, I played hookie from work a little bit and went with Husby to an ultrasound appointment with our surrogate.  AND WE HEARD THE HEARTBEAT!!!

Baby even wiggled a little and flapped her nubs at us! The doctor said it’s just an inch long and kind of flat.

It was SO exciting for us and even though it’s still too early to be confident, baby is going strong and growing just as she should. Our surrogate feels great and says everything is going well on her side, too.

WEEEE!!!!

Writer’s Block

This post is procrastination.

Since husby and I started down this path, we’ve been really open with our friends and family about the process.  More open than a lot of people recommend, frankly.  But we feel like it would be beneficial to lots of people if we shared our experience and perspective on things.  And in so doing, lots of people have said, “You should write a book!”

I’ve considered it. I have ideas.  But writing a book is hard!

Where should I start? What should the tone be? I like being silly, but I have some serious points that I’d like to make.  How do I balance my limited patience with actual research and fact-finding with my abject laziness?  Where do I find the time?

Anyway, I sat down to take a stab at writing a little something that could maybe be the beginning of a book and it’s not going anywhere fast.  It’s almost like writing is work. Perish the thought!

So, I’ve been tinkering with my blog here to put it off.  *yawn*  I’m sure a nap would help me put more ink to paper… right?

It’s FINALLY Happening!

Our Embryo!
Our embryo after thawing

On Monday, husby and I went down to Newport Beach for the embryo transfer to our surrogate!

They said it thawed out just fine and still looked very strong.  And the transfer went off without a hitch!

It was actually a really smooth process and we even got to watch it happen via the sonogram, which they printed out and gave to us.  You can’t really see the embryo on the sonogram because it’s so tiny, but when they transfer the embryo it is in a tube with a bubble on either side. The bubbles show up on the sonogram as bright white spots so they know the embryo is between them somewhere.

There’s still a big journey ahead of us. We’re at a point in the pregnancy where most women who conceived the “old fashioned way” don’t even know they’re pregnant and a lot can go wrong still.

10 days after the transfer, our Gestational Carrier (GC. This seems to be the preferred term instead of “surrogate” actually, but it sounds very sterile and people look at you funny when you say it.) will take a pregnancy test.  And a week after that, they’ll do a sonogram just to make sure a sack has started to form.  A week after that — near the end of March — we may be able to detect a heartbeat.

But the doctor says that we need to keep our fingers crossed until we’re through the first trimester.  That is, of course, why we’re not making any grand announcements yet.

It’s Not about Legitimacy; It’s About Parents

Proposed bill deems children born through artificial insemination illegitimate children

Representative Terry Lynn Weaver (R-Lancaster) proposed HB 1406, which is intended to repeal the current statute regarding children born through artificial insemination.

“A child born to a married woman as a result of artificial insemination, with consent of the married woman’s husband, is deemed to be the legitimate child of the husband and wife.” (TCA 68-3-306)

A lot of my friends who’ve seen this story have questions why “legitimacy” is even a thing here in the year 2017.  I’ll tell you why: parents.

NOTE: I am not a lawyer. This is not legal advice. This is just my personal read on this law and why it is relevant in the lives of people in Tennessee and elsewhere.

In family law, the question of who the parents of a child are is of paramount importance in determining things like custody and visitation.

In most places, it’s my understanding that if a woman gives birth to a child and she is married, then the husband is assumed, by the state, to be the father and he’s role as parent is assumed as a matter of course.  This means that he can visit the child and if the couple sues for divorce, he could argue for custody.  Because he’s recognized by the state to be a parent.

If a child is born to a woman out of wedlock — that is to say, the child is “illegitimate” — then in many jurisdictions, her partner has to file to be recognized as a parent to the child for the same purposes.

This is why the “consenting husband” part is in there.  He’s married to her, so he would be recognized as a parent, too.  If he’s not consenting, I think that would be a whole separate can of worms on a lot of levels.

In California, there is a lot of law and legal precedence in place that protects the rights of people like me and my husband.  Thanks to that and our contract with our surrogate, when our children are born, our lawyer will immediately file to establish our parentage.  Once we are officially the parents of our children, then we are recognized (thanks to equal protection) in all 50 states as the parents of our children.

But in Tennessee, this law would, I believe, supersede any contracts on the matter.  If we did what we are doing there in Tennessee, then our surrogate and her husband would be declared the parents of our children.  If we tried to take the baby home with us, we could be charged with kidnapping.

The obvious work around is that we would have to immediately file for adoption of any babies.

The way this is written, I assume this would apply to all children born to parents in this manner.  So, if their parents didn’t adopt their children, parentage would default back to the surrogate.  The result would be chaos.

Looking ahead, my suggestion to would-be parents in Tennessee who are considering artificial insemination would be that they try to carry out their plans in a state with better protections for their parental rights.  I know not everyone can just come to California, but maybe see what they’re doing in Georgia or Illinois.

Now, I think it’s pretty clear that this is intended to hamper and aggravate LGBT parents since they would be disproportionately impacted by this law.  Representative Weaver’s involvement in a divorce case last year in which she and others argued that the daughter of a lesbian couple was not the “legitimate” child of the woman who did not give birth to the child seems to give further weight to that hypothesis.

I doubt this law will pass.  Lawmakers in Tennessee seem to do a lot of pandering to their base by introducing ridiculous anti-gay laws.  They only rarely pass.  This particular bill doesn’t seem to have any real value to the state and would cause a lot of problems for gay and straight couples across the state.

Nevertheless, it’s infuriating that they would do things like this.

So, you see, it’s not about being allowed to call a few more people “bastards” without sacrificing any accuracy for the term.  It’s about who the state sees as the parents of these children.

Finally, Some Good News

We learned yesterday that we have SIX euploidic embryos to work with.  The genetic testing isn’t complete, but this fact does clear the way for us to start planning the transfer, which should happen about three weeks after our surrogate starts her cycle.

This is so incredible that I almost expect to get an email any minute saying that there is some heretofore unknown required step that takes a month to complete that we have to do.

I’m Not Actually Emotionally Prepared for This… Nor Mature Enough

Husby is very anxious about our kids trying to cut their own hair.  Intellectually, my attitude is that it’s just hair. And kids will almost inevitably cut their own hair at some point and it will be fine. It will grow back.

But also, it is hilarious.  Also, it is crazy.

And here are a bunch of examples of the crazy in action.

I’m not sure how I will react because I’m not sure if I will laugh, cry, or take pictures or…