What’s Different?

February 15, 2011 at 2:25 pm (Healthy...?) (, , , , , )

I stopped working out in November. I’d worked out consistently, at least 5 times a week, from July til then. I had muscles. Definition. A hint of a waist instead of straight down from my breasts to my hips. I liked the way I was looking. So did my girlfriend. So what happened? I got sick. Not working out became my evening habit instead of turning on the DVD and sweating for an hour. I also stopped writing down my calorie intake and when I didn’t immediately start gaining the weight back I thought it was all good. Fooled myself into believing I could still maintain my weight loss.

HAH! SO NOT! I gained 6 pounds from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. I tried to rationalize it but my scale doesn’t lie. It’s cruel and unyielding and tells me my body fat percentage has been creeping up in the past 6 weeks. Oh how I loathe stepping onto that thing in the morning. I even go so far as to think “skinny” thoughts and expel all my breath before allowing my feet to touch the offending and all-too-damaging-to-my-self-esteem piece of molded plastic. So while the actual weight gain hasn’t been horrendous, I’m losing muscle along with my turn back into a sloth.

And I’m thinking that my journey back to couch potato status has not gone unnoticed by my hormones. I barely had a period last month and this past week, when I should be experiencing things like huge boobs and weird cramps and general moodiness? Maybe some cramps. But not much else. So now I’m worried enough to start writing down my calorie intake and limiting the number of lemon bars making their way past my lips. I’ve been making an effort to eat healthier dinners (I worked last Thursday, Friday & Saturday so I know my diet sucked then. I also went out to dinner with friends Saturday night and didn’t eat well). New leaf, I tell you!

I’ve got to get back into the shape I was in 4 months ago. I bought new pants that I just got back from the tailor. I have nicer clothes than I’ve had in years waiting to be worn but I can’t seem to get my fatty arms into sleeves that fit not so long ago. And my shape was so…intriguing to my girlfriend. Yeah, definitely gotta make some changes around here.

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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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I’m a Grinch. There, I Said It.

December 25, 2010 at 6:09 am (TGF) (, , )

A little over a week ago my girlfriend found out that the friends she usually goes to visit for Christmas weren’t going to be home this year. Yes, they tend to be very last minute about things like this. Then again, so is my girlfriend. So she was trying to think of where to take her mother and brother for the holidays that was a drivable distance and had things for them to see and do. She decided to go to San Francisco on Christmas Eve day and stay through Monday. This was a good plan, except there are questions about where to eat for Christmas dinner, what to do during the day since most things are closed, etc. Her main goal was to make sure they were together for the holiday and hope that everything else fell into place.

I’m from the Bay Area, grew up about an hour south of San Francisco. Our family does a pretty traditional Christmas Eve with my extended family in Sacramento and then Christmas Day in the East Bay. And when I found out that my girlfriend and her family were going to be in the same area, I told her that I couldn’t spring them on my family with such short notice. I’m a horrible, horrible person. It’s not that I don’t want them to come to Christmas with my family. This Christmas just happens to be a very hard one, my cousin just had a lumpectomy and will be undergoing chemo soon. Her mother passed away over the summer. We usually go to my cousin’s house or one of her siblings’ houses for Christmas dinner. Imposing on their generosity felt wrong, given the stress they’re under. I know I could have asked, and I’m pretty sure they would have said yes. So why didn’t I? I kind of already feel like we’re invading their family time. To add 3 more people to the mix just didn’t seem fair.

Ugh. Guilt. Because I feel like I should have invited them regardless. They’re my family, too. I’m sorry they’re going to be alone on Christmas. In a strange city. That shouldn’t happen to anyone.

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A Hitch in the Plans

December 24, 2010 at 11:58 am (Healthy...?) (, , , , )

My partner found out 2 weeks ago  that her company has been acquired by a bigger company based in St. Louis. Great! More opportunities for advancement, better bonuses for travel, hopefully more ‘perks’. She was feeling rather stagnated in her present job so this had the potential to become something very positive.

Cut to last week, when I was online registering us for our new health insurance plan. I fill out most of the forms and read most of the fine print in this household because although my girlfriend is a wonderful, caring person, she can’t seem to pay attention long enough to follow the instructions on a soup can, so insurance forms or our cellular phone bill are way out of her comfort zone. Anyway, I came to the page to add a spouse or dependent. I entered my name and then realized I couldn’t change the gender of the spouse on the page. It was fixed to ‘male’. Uh, what? Emails were sent out post haste. The first was, “Dear HR Person in St. Louis, I can’t add my partner to my health plan because it defaults to male, since I’m female. Please advise.”  The answer?

Unfortunately our plan does not allow for Domestic Partners. At this point there is nothing I can do.

You, “HR Benefits Specialist”, can kiss my yellow ass. So then we wrote to the former owner of the company, who is now acting as head of the west coast operations. The gist of that email was that I, as a domestic partner, was covered under the old company’s policies, as well as the law in the state of California. Any changes to this, i.e., not offering me coverage now, was unacceptable given the law (AB 2208, the California Insurance Equality Act) and that I should be covered. The first response was “we’ll get back to you.” Last night, after close of business and going into a 4 day holiday weekend, another response:

Unfortunately with the new company’s plan being partially company funded and partially employee funded we are not able to offer benefits for domestic partners.

This is California, right? I didn’t fall asleep and wake up in Texas or somewhere in the south? Holy crap, I didn’t think this would be an issue for us, ever. When people say being domestic partners is equivalent to being married so why fight for gay marriage, this is what I want them to know:   my partner’s employers think they have the right not to offer health insurance benefits to me because I am a domestic partner, not a spouse. As it stands right now, my biological child may not be covered by her insurance, either, since she’s not related by blood.

So now we have some major decisions to make. We asked for an extension of our former benefits so that I would not have a lapse in coverage after the companies merge on January 1st. They said no. They suggested I look into COBRA coverage. Do we get a lawyer? Can they actually do this in California? We’re asking our friends for advice, and so far it’s not been pleasant. One of my partner’s friends said he has COBRA now because they took away DP benefits after the whole fiasco surrounding Prop. 8 (his partner’s company ended DP benefits while same sex marriage was legal and never reinstated it) and they couldn’t sue because his partner wasn’t out.

Are we going to fight? Where does this put us as far as planning for the kid? How much more expensive is COBRA if I have to go on it? Individual insurance is not necessarily an option for me, I’ve been told I’m basically uninsurable because I have asthma. Fuckers.

I sent an email to the Nat’l Center for Lesbian Rights, hopefully they get back to me about options soon. Wish I had more than a week to get this sorted out. That it’s the week between Christmas and New Year’s, when most people aren’t really working? Figures.

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Hormonally Yours

November 21, 2010 at 7:36 pm (Baby on the Brain, TGF) (, , , , , , , )

I think that’s the name of an album from way back when by Shakespeare’s Sister. Good album. But that’s not what this post is about.

Backstory: I was never one to have a regular period. It would show up, sometimes it didn’t. Made for a few scares back when I was still sleeping with men. But that’s a whole other story.

Fast forward to July, I lost weight, my period came back. I started tracking it for real and my cycle went 33 days, 31 days, and the past few have been 29 days. I’m hopeful it’ll be more regular now but who knows? Watch, when we actually try to inseminate, I won’t have a period that month. I’m nothing if not obstinate.

BUT, the reason for the title of this post (and for this post at all) is that the past three months have seen the days leading up to, during, and after ovulating (and I think I’m ovulating because my BBT was 97.4 yesterday morning, which is .8 higher than my ‘normal’ 96.63) come with massive cramps, a migraine, and swollen and oh-my-god-don’t-let-the-wind-blow-on-them-they’re-so-sensitive breasts. They hurt when I take of my bra. They hurt when the water touches them in the shower. They hurt if I bend over. It’s unreal. My body is doing some strange things as it rewires systems that have been haywire because of my health and weight.

Oh, and moody, much? Seriously, I’m buying myself the “zero to bitch in 2.5 seconds” shirt. Short tempered, downright nasty. Is this supposed to happen when I’m ovulating? I’m used to PMS being right around the start of my period, not 2 whole weeks before! I feel so bad for my girlfriend, who, of course, gets the brunt of my moodswings. I’m normally pretty grouchy but this has been horrible.

Maybe I should go back on my beta-blocker. It made me so much more mellow and the added benefit of less painful migraines was great. Yes, it did seem to kill some of my braincells so my girlfriend made me stop taking it, but I was much more pleasant on it. I guess I can’t afford to lose that many brain cells. And the short term memory loss sucked, too.

I suppose I’ll have to remain a hormonal mass of moodiness for the time being. The influx of additional hormones when I get pregnant might make my girlfriend homicidal, though. I may have to invest in lots of massage appointments for her.

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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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I Have a Big Mouth

November 10, 2010 at 12:07 am (Baby on the Brain, TGF) (, , , , )

I have a problem not telling people every single thing about me, my relationships, my friends, etc. I can’t keep a secret. I’m not a private person by nature. So if you ask me a question, I’ll usually answer it and give you more information than you ever wanted to know. People think I gossip. I don’t, really, I just don’t think what people tell me is ever private unless you tell me so specifically.

My girlfriend is quite the opposite. For all that she has a “public” persona whose face is all over numerous blogs and who serves on a board of directors for a prominent theater company in L.A., she doesn’t tell just anyone her business.

This creates conflicts in our relationship. More to the point, it pisses her off royally when I say stuff I’m not supposed to. I’m not discreet. At all.

Which is why, after telling 3 people in rehearsal tonight that we might try to have a baby, I had to then tell them, “Don’t say anything to anyone. My girlfriend’s gonna kill me if she finds out I told you.” Yes, I say that a lot. One would think I’d be better at keeping my mouth shut. But no, I’m an open book. I say what’s on my mind and rarely do I think before I say it.

This is my leading theory on why I’m not very employable, by the way.

But so far, I’ve not told anyone about this blog. I’m thinking that I want to keep it anonymous, even though my avatar looks eerily like me. I’ve not even told my girlfriend that I’m writing here. Maybe that’ll come up when we actively start trying to conceive. Maybe it won’t. Because I’m not really sure I want her to read what I’ve written so far, and I don’t want to start self-editing or leaving things out because I don’t want her to feel bad. Or worse, get mad at me.

So I suppose I need another sign. This one will say: KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT.

Incidentally, the whole baby conversation started because I wore something kind of tight to rehearsal, and got a few comments about my weight loss. I said I’d like to lose another 30 if we’re going to try to have a baby. Yep. Big. Mouth. Dumb. Me.

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I Can’t Wait for an Actual Baby in Our House

November 8, 2010 at 7:55 pm (TGF) (, , )

The one that’s here now? She’s going to be 34 in 2 weeks. Yes, I’m talking about my girlfriend. She woke up with a sore throat this morning and hasn’t stopped whining yet. Yes, she blames me completely because I had a sore throat last week, and (don’t tell her this) I’m pretty sure she’s right. Now, I’m not expecting that she’ll be her normal, sweet, caring self when she’s not feeling well, I know I’m no angel when I’m  not feeling well, but come on! “My throat hurts. It’s all your fault. I don’t feel good. I feel yucky.” Ten minutes later, the same 4 sentences. Repeat for 12 hours.

And don’t expect her to do anything–she started the dishwasher this morning but was apparently looking for some plastic container. An hour later she asked where the plastic container was. Um, in the recycle bin? “I’ve been looking for it for hours.” I suppose I should think about improving my mind reading skills. I also need a refresher course on patience and empathy. But when I asked for 3 hours, “Do you want me to go get you some dayquil?” and I got no response except for the occasional “I don’t feel good.” I wanted to scream.  I couldn’t even get mad at her for forgetting to flush the toilet. Really? You don’t feel well so you forget seemingly automatic things like flushing? Tearing my hair out seemed my only option. Instead, I made her the only food she’ll eat when she’s not feeling well: ramen with an egg.

So 2 hours ago, I asked again, “do you want dayquil?” She asked, “Will that make me feel better? Can you get me some sore throat-stopping stuff?”

Ugh. I love you, quit being such a baby.

I ventured to CVS, returned with her meds and cough drops, fed them to her (complete with, “Sit up, you can’t drink water lying down.”), emptied the dishwasher, did the other dishes, cleaned the toaster oven, made her tea. Now I’m letting her listen to This American Life and watch tv and I’m not even yelling at her to turn it down. Even though I can’t think. I think I’m going to bed early. After I’ve fed her more dayquil and tea.

What are we going to do when there’s a real live, screaming, crying BABY in our house? Do we both have to become adults? Can we take turns? I’m pretty sure that neither of us are going to be feeling 100% when the kid gets here. I think I’m going to make a sign: SUCK IT UP. Probably more than one. How about one for every room?

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