We’re 5 Days In…

January 5, 2011 at 11:01 pm (Baby on the Brain, TGF, Weekend Update) (, , , , , )

2011 so far has been full of changes. But to recap the last week we must go back…to 2010!

I submitted all my paperwork for my new health insurance, that was a pain in the ass. Did I mention that not only does my mother still have a fax machine but she has a scanner, too? Amazing. So after 2 attempts at faxing my application to my insurance person (the faxes weren’t coming out because the font they use for the application is like 8pt. Totally ridiculous) I had to scan the application pages to pdf and send them over via email. Which also took 2 attempts, because scanning them at 300 dpi made the file HUGE. Sigh. Live and learn. I’m learning nothing that takes place in my mother’s house happens quickly, nor does it happen as you wish it would. Every time we attempted to leave the house we were no less than 20 minutes late. We overslept. We had to feed the nephew. We had to wait for someone. We forgot to pack something. Just getting out of the house was a miracle.

December 30th I went to the airport to pick up my partner from the airport. After getting lost, twice, in the stupid airport parking lot (they’ve been remodeling for years and finally finished. And then they moved Southwest out of Terminal A to Terminal B. Or something like that. So I was very confused when I was directed into the “wrong” parking lot) I actually went into the terminal to wait for her plane to arrive. I’ve never been so happy to see somebody! And then I begged her to agree to getting a hotel room for New Year’s Eve because there’s only so much family I can take and I was over my limit. Luckily, she agreed and we got a fabulous little hotel room a few miles from my parents’ house.

New Year’s day was never ending food. I think I was shoveling food into my mouth from 2pm til around 10pm. My waistline increased dramatically the week I was home. I have no willpower, and my mother has a full pantry.

We decided to come home a day early so that we would have a day to relax before returning to the grind of everyday living. My brother told us that the grapevine (that part of I5 that goes through the mountains that separate Los Angeles from the Central Valley) was closed due to snow and we’d better take Highway 101. That drive is at least an hour longer than I5. Oh well. My girlfriend and I talked most of the way home about things we need to get done in the next few months, my lack of insurance and how that affects our baby timeline, and we finally had some serious discussion about babymaking. So far, I’ve done most of the research into the various sperm banks and their donor lists (still only have 1 or 2 choices if we’re really going for someone who’s Taiwanese or Japanese), as well as what steps need to be taken before I even come in contact with those little swimmers. First and foremost, I’m back on my diet. Then there’s finding another OB/GYN because my old one will be out of network if I do get accepted by Blue Cross. There’s much paperwork to be filled out and we will have to legally become domestic partners. With a pre-nup. We have to start the adoption process or at least find out how and where to start so that the baby can be on her insurance.

Oh, and then there’s the baby’s last name. I want our child to have both our last names. But do we hyphenate? I’ve got a rather long last name (9 letters) and her’s is shorter (4 letters). A 13 letter last name seems cruel if our child has a first name that’s more than 1 syllable and a Japanese middle name. So do we somehow shorten our names into one name? We came up with some seriously awful ones that made us laugh. Then we decided that our child, while he or she will be a source of amusement, joy, and laughter, doing something like naming him or her purely for our own entertainment is just not right. Ok, back to the drawing board. I’m sure we’ll have much more discussion about names in the future.

It is here that I must point out that in our less than 6 hour drive, my girlfriend had to pee 3 times. 30 minutes into our drive she was asking to find a place to stop for a potty break. Overactive kidneys she has, I’m sure of it. Nobody should have to pee every 20 minutes. I fully expect to eat these words when I have a baby’s knee in my bladder…

We made it home safe and sound with Christmas presents that we were not expecting now sitting on a bookshelf, waiting to be used and/or put away. There are chores to be done, my house was not clean and tidy when the new year came around and I’m convinced that I’ve cursed myself into this chaos for the rest of the year. My girlfriend offered to hire someone to come in and help clean, but I’m not sure I want anyone in my house, seeing the utter destruction that is our living room.  Again, I will probably rethink what I just said when I’m 7 months pregnant, can’t see my feet, and I’m trying to clean the toilet.

I wonder if it’s bad juju to talk about being pregnant? I mean I’ve not even started the whole process. Maybe I’m jinxing myself? Maybe I should just end this here and get some sleep. I’ve another post to write, though I expect I won’t get to that til later this week.

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Second Class Citizen

December 28, 2010 at 12:35 am (Baby on the Brain, TGF) (, , , , , , )

There’s nothing like a little discrimination to make you feel, well, downright shitty. I’ve spent the last few days in a funk, trying to figure out how I’ve lived this long and never really had anyone make me feel like this. I’ve been an out lesbian for over 15 years. I’ve been in a committed relationship for 10 of those years. I’m open and very vocal about who I am and what I am. So here I sit, utterly powerless, all because my partner’s company won’t extend benefits to me as her domestic partner. And according to my insurance agent and her legal counsel, it’s all legal, even in the state of California.

Because although we have a law that says companies must extend equal benefits to domestic partners as they do spouses, it doesn’t apply when the employees are partially funding their coverage. Fucking loopholes. This, my friends, is discrimination. And why I give a big “fuck you” to those asshats who say that domestic partnership is the same as marriage. If I’d gotten married when it was legal in California, would I be having this problem now? I don’t know. I’d probably be having a different problem, since my partner’s company is based in another state and they wouldn’t recognize our marriage anyway.

I’ve been lucky in that this has never been an issue before. But I think in a way it hurts more now. We have a plan, dammit! This was supposed to be the year we started making babies. Like, soon. And now if I switch to individual insurance, not only is it going to be ridiculously expensive (try anywhere from $280/month to $610/month) for me, it’s nearly impossible to cover prenatal care if I get pregnant within 6 months of my enrollment date. I can’t get pregnant until June BECAUSE MY INSURANCE COMPANY SAYS SO. It’s so unfair. And nobody offers any sort of coverage for infertility. We already knew that was going to be expensive.

To top that all off, my girlfriend and I are 400 miles apart this week. I’m staying with my parents through the new year and she’s back at home, working. Phone calls are not as comforting as hugs. Feeling all alone because I haven’t even told my parents we want to have a baby is dumb, but I don’t want to get their hopes up. So yay, I get to be all clandestine when I’m reading the insurance information, scrolling through the pregnancy/maternity/post birth coverage stuff.

And now my partner feels really bad because her company sucks ass. I feel guilty because she has to pay for all of this. Could this suck any more right now? Oh wait, I could have PMS, too. Well, as luck would have it, I do. So I’m crying on the phone, I slept 16 hours last night, I’m eating everything in sight. FUUUUUCK. I know it’ll work out. In my head, I know this will work out. But for now, I’m going to feel sorry for myself and tuck my lonely, fat body into a cold, lonely bed.

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Another Reason I Love My Girlfriend

November 14, 2010 at 11:03 pm (Randomness) (, )

Not only is she beautiful, intelligent, and absolutely wonderful, my girlfriend is fabulous with my parents. All of my family, really. But I can leave her alone with my parents while I go off and do things like prep for my concert and head out for an early call time and be confident that they all get along and actually manage to have a pleasant time together. My parents are nothing if not polite, amicable people, but I think all manner of spouses are intimidated by their in-laws. They definitely have their faults, and my father, especially, is hard to take in big doses (he really needs a hearing aid), and yet my girlfriend seems to handle it with ease.

Let me say here that I do not handle her mother with any sort of ease. She scares me, probably because her English isn’t the best.

There is no way I’d survive my parents without my girlfriend. Really and truly.

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Nature vs Nurture

November 5, 2010 at 6:00 pm (Navel Gazing, Randomness) (, , , , )

Well, not precisely. But I was thinking today of a conversation I had with a friend I’ve known for over 30 years. Who hits me every time I mention just how long we’ve known each other. Who says she never thought I was a lesbian, really, but what did we know growing up? I dated boys, dressed like everyone else–pegged jeans, sloppy sweatshirts, keds, the occasional dress–it was the late 80’s-early 90’s. Fashion was weird. Anyway, back to the conversation I had with KG. I mentioned that I never thought it was odd that I found girls attractive. I also didn’t think it was odd that I had no interest in boys, although I guess I must have thought it odd enough that I pretended to have a crush on some guy in 7th grade. KG laughed at me. Really, she did. She said that she, as a completely straight girl, could objectively find another girl pretty but would not be attracted to her. She and I are on completely different ends of the Kinsey scale. It was interesting to talk to someone who’s never in her life thought about another woman the way she thinks about her boyfriends. I, after much dawdling in my teens, now find it utterly insane to think of having any sort of intimate, sexual relationship with a guy.

It’s nice to know that someone I’ve known most of my life is totally ok with me being me. No, I’m not the same person who left our hometown almost 20 years ago, but we share a history and an upbringing that negates any differences that we might have now. We’ve both pointed out that we had an idyllic environment in which to grow up. We attended a very small, private elementary school where we were encouraged to be individuals. We were blissfully unaware of the horrors of life outside of our “golden ghetto”, as one of my English teachers described it in high school, our biggest concerns were academics, school dances, and whether or not our parents would let us have cars when we turned 16. She was a cheerleader, I was a choir geek. There was no valedictorian at graduation because 1/2 the graduating class had over a 4.0 gpa. Nobody brought weapons to school. Yes, there were bullies. Yes, some people were singled out because of their perceived sexuality. But you’d have to ask them about their experiences, because I can’t speak for them. I was an ignorant, happy teenager during those years.

I do remember getting a phone call one afternoon–a girl who said, “I’ve heard you were bi and looking for a girlfriend?” I said that I was neither and she hung up. Did it weird me out? Not really. Did it unlock any doors in my psyche? No, not really. I didn’t know I was queer til after I left high school. But I think I’ve always been ok with it. I didn’t tell anyone for a while, but I never thought it was horribly wrong of me, nor did I ever feel I was somehow unworthy of my family’s love, or the love of my friends. I think I’m pretty lucky in that respect. Hell, I think my family knew before I did!

Somewhere in my mind, I’ve got this idea that I want our children to have the security and safety of the world in which I grew up. I’m not sure how we can give that to them, other than raise them with the same love and guidance that we received from our parents (minus the guilt and passive/aggressive tendencies, thankyouverymuch). I worry about the same things over and over, things that are not in my control, when I’ve always been the type to stay in the moment. My girlfriend’s probably rubbing off on me. She plans 5 years ahead. I can’t think of what I’m doing tomorrow. Or what’s for dinner tonight. But how much control do you really have over what your child learns when you’re not around? I’m seriously going to want to keep our kids with us until they turn 30.

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everyone in my family is having babies

October 16, 2010 at 5:58 pm (Baby on the Brain) (, , , )

My cousin’s in labor right now. with twins. She had a dr’s appointment yesterday and her blood pressure was elevated and there was protein in her urine so they decided to induce her last night/early this morning. As far as I know, she’s still in labor and things are progressing smoothly. Here’s to a safe delivery and healthy baby girls.

My cousin is 2 months older than me. Her sister had a baby earlier this year. My brother & his wife had a baby a year ago. So yeah, I think I’m about the only cousin around my age who hasn’t yet popped out a kid. I have a huge family that just keeps getting bigger and bigger. We’re onto the 5th generation of Japanese-Americans in the US.

Every time I see that side of the family, the questions start. “When are you getting married?” “When are you going to have a baby?” Yes, they know I’m a lesbian. I never had to tell them. I’m extremely lucky they’re so accepting. I’ve been with my girlfriend for almost 10 years. We thought about getting married in 2008 when it was legal in California, but we didn’t feel the time was right, nor did we want to get married on someone else’s timetable.  And while it’s important that we get married, someday, it’s more important that my family recognizes our relationship and treats it and my girlfriend the same as everyone else’s. Besides, my girlfriend’s not out to her family. Her story to tell.

But I can’t see us having a baby until my girlfriend’s out. I mean, how does that work? “Uh, Mom, my room mate’s pregnant. No, she’s not getting married. Yes, we’re going to raise the baby together.” Awkward.

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