autism, lesbian family, supportive, Uncategorized

Making Autism Look Good

April is Autism Awareness Month and I have to take a minute to talk about our sweet boy and his journey.

Three years ago I knew very little about autism. We didn’t know that 1 in 68 children are diagnosed with autism, boys are 4 times as likely to have it and early intervention is key. I had all the typical assumptions that autism was a disorder where the child made no eye contact, had melt downs, non social, not affectionate, and a child locked inside themselves. The truth is that autism can present itself differently in every child diagnosed. We have learned Noah is all about eye contact, has very few melt downs, is very social, extremely affectionate, and is not locked inside himself at all. But we did learn that he had many of the classic early signs of autism.

Noah was a happy and healthy baby. He was developmentally on track and met all of the milestones that each baby achieves in the first year. When it came time for his first words we waited patiently but they never came. He babbled a lot but still no words. This was our first sign that something was wrong but just assumed that he would just start talking in his own time. Our next sign was that he did not answer to his name.We thought that he was just ignoring us and being stubborn. At one point we even thought that he might have a hearing deficit. Then our next sign was when we noticed he wasn’t playing with toys like other kids his age he was fixated on lining them up and organizing them by color or size. He wouldn’t point to anything he wanted. He wouldn’t mimic our sounds or facial expressions. He couldn’t understand simple directions and it would always upset him when he couldn’t do what we were asking of him. Large crowds and loud environments seem to overwhelm him. He loved to dump everything he could get his hands on: cups of water, baskets of clothes, boxes of toys, etc. He would him or sing the tune over and over again to songs he had heard on movies.


 
 At his 2 year check up my heart sank as we answered no over and over again to the questions that they asked about what he was able to do and say. Realizing just how far behind he was developmentally. I remember crying as we left his appointment thinking this was something that I could have prevented or done more as a mom to help him. But the truth is that there is nothing I could have done. We were referred to our states early intervention program. They came to our home to evaluate him and  determined that he had significant development and speech delays.  He also had sensory processing problems. We began speech, occupational, and developmental therapy. We slowly started seeing progress. Two months before his 3rd birthday we finally received his official diagnosis of autism.

 They strongly encouraged us to put him in blended pre-K class at our local elementary school. As hard as that was we did it and he has just bloomed since then. He is talking more and more. He knows his colors, shapes, letters, and numbers. He can identify body parts and animals. He still struggles with expressive and receptive language but we are making progress. He can tell us when he wants to eat or wants a drink now but has trouble telling us other things that he wants or needs. If he has injured himself somehow he cannot tell you what hurts or where he is hurting. He is getting better at understanding directions and things that we are asking of him but that is still a daily struggle.
Being a parent of a child with special needs is something I never imagined I would experience but here we are. It’s our new normal. We celebrate all of his progress and all of his successes no matter how small they may be. We don’t take for granted that he is such a loving and sweet soul. We adore him and would never change him.

We are beyond thrilled with his progress and know the reason he is doing so well is because of early intervention! I can’t say enough to parents about seeking answers when you see red flags. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for our little guy! We know he’s going to do great things and continue to teach us about the beauties of autism!
***He still sings all the time. He loves singing his ABC’s, Head Shoulders Knees and Toes, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and many other nursery rhymes. I’ve added a few short videos of him singing and talking.

 

 

 


~ M

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equality, gay family, gay rights, lesbian, lesbian moms, lesbians, lesbians ttc, LGBT, rainbow family\, supportive, Uncategorized

Throwing Stones at Our Own

I came across a post on the Curve Magazine Facebook page of a young couple holding a fundraiser to help them pay for their baby making process. This is a young couple that lives in Denver, CO and from what I gathered they are photographers. They are offering “perks” for donations and are trying to raise $6,500. I smiled when I saw this thinking to myself…”This is pretty clever. We should have thought of a fundraiser!” Then I started slowly scrolling through the comments and was shocked and saddened by what I read… “If they want a baby shouldn’t they be able to afford one on their own? Just my opinion”, “Wait till you have to pay childcare, ladies. If you can’t afford a baby now, the cost of raising one is really going to shock you.”, “If you can’t afford to make it you probably can’t afford to support it.”, “I find this to be an odd way to have a child….children are expensive if you can’t afford to produce one how can you afford to raise one?”, “even though I already commented I just had to come back to say that NO ONE should give money to this..stop the madness!!!”… Now, I remind you that these are all other lesbians. So just because this couple decided to seek help in raising the money for their attempts we should assume that they can’t afford to raise a child or deserve one?!? Wow! What is wrong with our community AND When did we become so hateful to each other? Is it just me or do you not feel that we as lesbians need to be supportive of each other in our efforts to start families. Now of course I don’t expect everyone to donate money to their cause but at least support the fact that a loving couple is excited to start their own family and wish them well. These people with the negative comments are acting like because they are holding this fundraiser that they are saying they can’t afford a child. They’re NOT asking for help in raising their child, they’re simply creating a fundraiser to help with their attempts to get pregnant. I’ve known more than one straight couple that has held a fundraiser to help with the expenses of adoption and no one throws stones at them. No one assumes that they don’t have the money to pay for the child once its theirs. Why are we throwing stones at our own?

Raising a baby is not ALL about money. Yes, children cost money (I know. I have two of them.) but they aren’t as crazy expensive as everyone’s comments are making them out to be. You can find ways to save money and afford the essentials. Most of all a baby needs love, attention, stability and I’m sure this couple can handle that.

We have a whole new generation of LGBT who see that we deserve to have families just like straight couples! Twenty years ago most gay and lesbian couples never even thought of trying to have children…now its 2013 and we live in a whole new world of access and availability to try to start families. Straight couples can get pregnant without a penny spent. They have an unlimited supply of sperm and can try whenever they want to. And I would dare say that many of them aren’t financially prepared. I would like to see how many capable straight couples would be getting pregnant if they had to come up with $1000 a month to try!

I am so disappointed in the reactions that these girls received. Most of you know how costly it is to make a baby in our world. Most of you saved up for months and maybe years to do so. I know Les and I had to stop trying at one point because we ran out of money. What is so wrong with this couple just asking for help?!? If a stranger wants and can afford to donate to their cause then good for them! Some may think it’s odd or weird but who cares! Don’t give if you don’t want to give. Scroll past if you don’t support them but why send out these nasty messages to them. What ever happened to…”If you can’t say something nice then don’t say anything at all.” ?

We live in a world with so much hate directed at the LGBT community. We are battling daily for equality. We long for the day that our marriages are recognized and we are seen as equal. We want to put a stop to the hate that we face but yet we are turning on our own people!

“You must BE the change that you want to see in the World!”- Gandhi

Here is a link to Jennie and Heather’s Fundraiser if you’d like to take a peek… http://igg.me/at/babycrate/x/2660086

lesbian moms, lesbians, moving, pregnancy, supportive, Uncategorized

Overwhelmed

We finally got the news that we have been waiting for…Les was accepted into Med School! I can’t say enough how proud I am of her and all of her hard work. When she didn’t get in last year we were super disappointed but the wait was well worth it. She will start school August 2013! We have about 10 months get our house sold, me find a job, decide where to live, find Nathan a school, and pack up and move to southern Alabama. Of course moving further into the Bible Belt was not my first choice but we decided a long time ago that we would be willing to go wherever she was accepted.

I will admit that leaving all of our friends and leaving my family makes me sad. We have a great support system here and I know that we will be starting from scratch once we move. I am super close with my family. I see and talk to my family on a daily basis. My sister and her family live 10 mins away. My grandparents and parents both live just 2 streets away from us. From day one I have always had the help of my parents when its come to raising Nate and they pretty much think of him as the 4th child they never had. This move is going to be really hard on them…well honestly its going to be really hard on all of us. I know moving over 6 hours away, with 2 boys and a wife that will be beyond busy with school, is going to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Hoping by then that I will have adjusted to being the mom of 2 instead of 1. I’m scared and excited all at the same time.

Right now I’m trying to take it one day at a time and not get overwhelmed. We’re going to focus on getting Noah here safely in the next 6 to 7 weeks before we start looking in to renting the U-Hauls for our big move.

~M

baby, gender reveal party, home insemination, lesbian moms, lesbians, pregnant, supportive, Uncategorized

The Big Reveal!!!

Halfway!!! I can’t believe that we are Halfway through this pregnancy! We had our 20 week visit and the big ultrasound this week. We went into the ultrasound knowing that we did not want to know the sex of the baby right then. So we told the Ultrasound Tech not to tell us the sex but to write it down and put it in an envelope for us because we had planned a reveal party for that night with my family and a few friends. The ultrasound was amazing! The baby kept turning, flipping and kicking while we were trying to look at it. She was able to visualize all the major organs and everything looked great! It was such a relief to see a healthy growing baby on the screen. At the end she handed us the envelope and believe it or not I wasn’t even tempted to peek at it. We went straight to the bakery where we dropped off the envelope. We already discussed the reveal cake with the bakery. The inside of  the cake would be pink if it was a girl and blue if it were a boy. The outside was white with the words ” He or She? Open to See!” written on the cake.

The day seemed to drag by and I think if I hadn’t taken a nap that it would have felt even longer. We picked the cake up at 6:30pm and made the long drive across town to meet everyone at the restuarant. The anticipation was building and everyone couldn’t believe that Les and I didn’t even know what would be in the cake. It wasn’t easy not finding out but we wanted everyone there with us to help celebrate the moment. And what a moment it was…you can see a video clip of the Big Reveal thanks to my brother-in-law! Enjoy!

The Big Reveal

http://youtu.be/5eZTHFTBCzI

Wow…such a flood of emotions and so happy! Hope you enjoyed! Looks like we’ll be having a little Noah!!! AHHHH!!!! Its a BOY!!! Still in shock!!!

artificial insemination, baby, home insemination, ICI, insemination, intracervical insemination, intrauterine insemination, IUI, lesbian, lesbian moms, lesbians, lesbians ttc, LGBT, pregnancy, sperm donors, supportive, trying to conceive, TTC, Uncategorized

It’s Official

Well its official the Doc says I’m 100% pregnant. Not that I didn’t already know it but hearing it from him makes us feel better! Bright and early this morning we went to my appointment. While in the waiting room our doctor’s nurse came to get another patient and spotted us. She gave us a big grin and said, “Hey Ladies! So happy to see you guys! Can’t wait to hear how this came about!”. We were called back  a few mins later and of course she wants to know how this all happened. So I give her the quick run down about how we had decided we couldn’t wait the 6 months for the clinic. Ordered everything online that we needed for the home insemination. Picked up the fresh swimmers from our donor 2 days in a row. Then did the inseminations ourselves. She just kept saying, “He is just going to die when he hears this news! This is amazing! I’m so excited!” Ha! It was so sweet. So our 3rd Wheel pokes his head around the corner while I was still sitting at the nurses desk answering questions and he has this big smile on his face. She says to him, “You’ll never believe what they did! They ordered stuff online and did the insemination at home and now they’re pregnant!” He leaned in and gave us both a High-Five, says Congrats and tells us we’ll have to give him all the details once he sees us in the exam room. So a few mins later we’re back in a room and he comes into talk to us. He got a little confused on the details with our insemination and thought that we had done an IUI by ourselves at home! Ha! No Way! It was much easier for him to let everything make sense when we told him that we did ICI at home. We did a quick run down of possible due date and right now he’s saying Nov 15th!!! We were too early to do an ultrasound but have one scheduled in 2 weeks. We discussed all the do’s & don’ts. In that discussion I received the best news ever! I can drink coffee!!!! I mean he said not to go overboard but 1 or 2 cups a day is fine. Sweet Lord… 1 cup is all I need!!! I was so excited I wanted to jump off the exam table and give him a hug! So we left there feeling so lucky and happy to have a doctor and nursing staff that is so supportive of us.

Now on to my other latest business. Last night I decided to tell my little man the big news while he and I were having a Momma & Son dessert date on the couch. Originally Les and I planned to tell him together but last night I couldn’t wait any longer.  She was at work and I just really wanted to tell him. So I said, “Well I’ve got a big surprise for you. You’re……going…..to be…………(Long pause where he and I both kept laughing bc he said I was smiling funny)……a Big Brother!” It was the best reaction ever! You could see it all over his face! He was so excited! He gave me a big hug and said, “I want a brother please. I’m already outnumbered in the house I need another boy to balance things out.” Ha! So cute! I just adore that boy! He wants to tell everyone now. He wanted to be the ones to tell my parents which was like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders! Ha! I said sure thing buddy of course you can be the one to tell them. My parents invited us over for dinner so it was the perfect time to go ahead and do it. Les had to work so it was just us two over there and he couldn’t even wait until we sat down to eat. He told them kinda like I told him. He said, “So, Nana and Big Daddy, I’ve got some big news for you. I’m…(pause)….going to be………(pause)….. a Big Brother!” To my amazement they we actually happy, smiling and excited to hear the news! Score! What an awesome feeling?!? They asked a few questions about how far along I was and other little stuff but both kept saying that they we happy and excited for us. Such a relief!

Wow…I am just overwhelmed with all of the love and support that we’re getting right now. I can’t even begin to explain how great it feels to have people happy and excited for me that I’m pregnant. My first pregnancy was not like this at all. I know that it was because of how young I was and because it was very unplanned but there was no celebration when I told the news. I felt ashamed most of the time that I was pregnant and its so great to feel like this is something to be proud of now. Wow….just feels like a dream. So happy that I feel like I could burst!

~M

artificial insemination, blog award, ICI, intracervical insemination, intrauterine insemination, IUI, lesbian moms, lesbians, lesbians ttc, LGBT, Liebster Blog Award, supportive, trying to conceive, TTC, Uncategorized

Liebster Blog Award

Wow! I was honored to receive a Liebster Blog Award by one awesome fellow blogger who is also TTC. Red Nelly, I want to say thank you so much for the recognition. It is much appreciated. I never knew when I started this blog that people would read it, much less enjoy reading it. I love adding humor to our story because this process is stressful and emotional. Lighten the mood with the funny stuff and laughing about all the crazy experiences helps get us through it. Thanks again for honoring me with this award. You can find Red Nelly’s blog at http://nhsbaby.wordpress.com/ . She has a great blog totally worth checking out.

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The Liebster Blog Award is a bit like a really lovely chain letter.  It works like this:

  1. Say thanks to the blogger who nominated you, and link back to them.
  2. List 5 fab blogs with fewer than 200 followers that you feel deserve the Liebster Award and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
  3. Copy and paste the award to your blog.
  4. Hope that the 5 people you’ve picked are tickled enough to pass the award onto their 5 Favorites!

With all of that said… I’d like to pass on Liebsters to 5 blogs that I love and a few that I’ve recently found.

1. Bangkok Baby Project: This is a lovely couple living in Bangkok and they are TTC…I’ve been following their story for a while and feel like I know them. Their story helps my wife and I not feel alone. http://lesroxxbangkok.wordpress.com/

2. The “B” Project: A sweet military couple who recently conceived. Love their story because it gives me hope that it will work for us too! http://babycravings.wordpress.com/

3. Olivia’s View: This women does an amazing job of addressing anything and everything one could want to know about Donor conception. Her blog has a wealth of information for anyone using a donor to conceive. http://oliviasview.wordpress.com/

4. 2012 a Conception Odyssey: Just found this sweet couples story. They are in the very beginning of their journey to conceive and already jumping hurdles. I’m excited to get the chance to start following their journey. Check their story out at  http://2012aconceptionodyssey.wordpress.com/

5. Beautiful Photographs: This is an amazing photography blog that I absolutely love. Mary Meghan Mabus is the talented photographer out of Tupelo, MS and I have been dear friends with her since I was 12 years old. She shot our wedding in P-town and will one day shoot pictures of future babies! Her blog is a must see! http://mwptupelo.com/

artificial insemination, baby, clomid, fertility, lesbian, LGBT, supportive

Meant to Be

I’m sorry that I have been absent and neglected to write for a while. I guess you could say that it was a tough weekend. I started not feeling well last Thursday and had to suffer through a 12 hour shift at work that night. While I was at work Les and I had a conversation on the phone she began to google all of my “symptoms” asking me dozens of questions about how I was feeling and if I had experienced this or that. By the end of it she had herself and pretty much me too that it was looking really good and I just had to be pregnant.

So she stops that morning on her way home from work and excitedly buys, one of the over priced tell you 6 days before your period, Preggers Tests. I open the test, dip the stick and then wait the whole 5 mins until its says it should be ready. I tried not to even look at the stick until it was time because if it was positive I wanted to be surprised. Well Times Up…and No…not Positive. Not even a hint of 2 lines. An absolute negative. I have to admit I was sad but I also thought that I may still have a chance because I hadn’t started my period yet and tests have been known to be wrong…. so I lay down to sleep that morning trying not to give up all hope.

When I woke up later in the day there it was…no more hope. I, the one who swore my hopes would not be up, sat in the bathroom with tears streaming down my face. I felt hopeless, heartbroken and totally deflated. I felt like I was letting Les down. Then I started to doubt myself and doubt my body, my fertility.

I knew that I had to tell Les and I knew that she would be sad too which didn’t make me feel any better considering she was so hopeful. I believe that this is just as much her process as it is mine and if she wants to be hopeful and excited she can be. And when I told her she was disappointed but she was sweet and felt bad that she had gotten my hopes up. (So take note: Don’t Google Everything) I just want to know what are we doing wrong? What could we do differently? We changed the timing up and took the clomid? It is just crazy how EVERYTHING has to line up just right in order for it to happen and regardless of how OCD I am not in control of all the ducks in the line. Frustrated and worried that it may not happen. We have one more try left and then we have to wait for a while. We’ll wait at least three months because if not and we ended up preggers then that would put us having a baby right in the middle of us moving next year. Another reason we have to wait is because we will need to save up more $money$ in order to start trying again. So another long wait if it doesn’t work with our 3rd and final try. No worries. No more pity party. I know if it is meant to be it will happen and if it doesn’t happen now it will eventually.

~M