I know we have been absent from the blog for a minute, I apologize. The holidays took a lot out of the two of us. We keep our Instagram and Facebook page up to date, so if you haven’t already, be sure to follow our social media accounts for more frequent updates.
Small tiny human update:
Oliver and Mom are doing just perfect. We are at 23 weeks now. Our anatomy scans and blood work show that Oliver is growing just as he should without issues. Our little guy is already ahead of the game weighing in at just over a pound!
Before I sat down to write this post, I had a lot of internal debates about if I should or how much I should share. When we first decided to start this blog, we did so with the intent of sharing our story so that other can lean on and connect with us. This post is for all the “other mothers” out there.
When Anne and I decided she would carry we really didn’t have much of a conversation about it. I knew she grew up wanting to be a mom and I didn’t want to burden everyone with my inevitable and endless complaining, so the decision came easily. This is still the best decision we could have ever made. Anne is rocking this pregnancy like a pro and I couldn’t be prouder of her. What I didn’t know and expect was how I would sometimes feel left out.
It all started with the “What to Expect” book. It has these little gray “For Dad” boxes that are supposed to guide you through pregnancy with your partner. When I first stated the book there was a paragraph about these boxes and how you should just replace the word “Dad” with the word “Partner” in cases like ours. Let me just tell you that doesn’t work. The “Dad” boxes are clearly written from men who don’t know how to think. There is a section that talks about sex while pregnant that provided tips for “Dad” and references some dumb car analogy. “The road map of what feels good may have changed, so don’t rely on a possibly outdated GPS…”. Yeah- that is an actual line from the book. The more I read the more I see that the traditional family image is changing and yes, it may be hard to keep up, but really the authors of “What to expect” shouldn’t be relying on is an outdated GPS ;).
Passed the book, there are times when I randomly feel left out. It’s not because I’m actually being left out, Anne does an amazing job of making sure people know I’m a mother too. I just didn’t expect to have these emotions. I didn’t expect I would want to feel little kicks or the connection from growing a tiny human. I sometimes obsess thinking that he won’t have my quirks or traits. That he won’t bond or connect with him, that I won’t be able to soothe him. Logically, I know that he will pick up my habits and we will connect- but I still have the fear.
Over the holidays we ran into an issue where some family does not acknowledge me as a mother. You see when we announced pretty much everyone congratulated me. It was something that seemed so natural. So, when family came into town for the holidays and nothing was mentioned to me, I didn’t really think twice. I brought the issue up to Anne, thinking it was probably just overlooked. “Hey when we saw members of your family today, they made a big deal of you and Oliver, but no one told me congratulations and it kind of made me sad.”
I remember debating if I should bring it up to her… was I being too sensitive? Maybe I just didn’t hear them? But Anne is amazing and was upset in her own right. I won’t get into all the details, but we were truly shocked at their response. They simply didn’t see me as Oliver’s mom, it wasn’t that they forgot or that we got into Christmas things. They looked us in the eye and blatantly said that they “weren’t wrong” and they had “nothing to apologize for”. I am not a mother in their eyes, so no congratulations were in order. This is something that I still can’t shake.
Anne and I dreamt of Oliver, together. We saved, planned, worked hard and took all the necessary steps to make this tiny human, together. I was there holding Anne every step of the way. I was there the very moment he was conceived. How can they not see me as his mother?
This really took a toll on us as it was truly unexpected from these individuals. After a lot of thought, Anne and I have made a decision together to do what we need to, to protect our son and our family. We know that we cannot possibly stop him from experiencing whatever discrimination this ugly world will throw at him, but we can absolutely choose to only surround him with a positive and loving environment. This kind of treatment, from our family no-less, is the last thing that we should have to worry about. As a result, we have made a conscious decision to not let blood define “family” for our son, and these people will not be people he will ever know.
Thankfully, so far, this is the only negative reaction we have encountered regarding the family we have created. It’s important to us that we raise a good human and arm him with compassion, empathy and appreciation for all people. We want him to know that people’s uniqueness is to be celebrated, not shamed. We will provide a healthy environment for him to grow without feeling anything less than normal.
For now, we are focusing on getting our home and kids ready for little Oliver’s arrival. Thank you again for all your love and support.
May the force be with you,