Countdown to Baby T. Rex: Saying Goodbye to Our Childfree Days and Queer-Friendly Baby Books (39 Weeks)

My parental leave at my day job started last week. Waffle’s two weeks time off officially started this past weekend. Now we’re just waiting for Baby T. Rex and finishing up some household projects and doing chores and running errands and relaxing. The relaxing is the hard part.

Waffle finally installing a Nest smoke alarm we got for Christmas two years ago. #nesting #waitingforbabyt

Waffle finally installing a Nest smoke alarm we got for Christmas two years ago. #nesting #waitingforbabyt

My due date is this Saturday, August 20th. We’d love for Remi to come any time now. They’re pretty much fully cooked and we’re ready (or as close to ready as you can be). First time babies are more likely to come late than early, so we may have quite a while to wait, but then again, one-to-two weeks is…not that far in the future.

I’m feeling a bit wistful and nostalgic as I realize this is our last childfree time together as a couple. In the future, we may take grown-up only dates and vacations, but we’ll always be parents from here on out. Our family of two will be a family of three.

Every time we do something, it feels meaningful. Our last childfree grocery shopping trip. Our last childfree walk down by Ontario beach. Our last childfree 1:00 AM Taco Bell run. Our last childfree fill-up at the gas station. Our last childfree movie night. Our last childfree change of our bedsheets. The cat’s last nail trim. I’m snacking on hummus right now and it could be my last childfree hummus snack.

Every time I’ve spent time with my friends and family over the past month, it’s probably been the last time I’ll see them before we have Remi. I feel like I have to hug everyone and tell them I’ll see them on the other side.

It feels like that, like we’re standing behind a maroon velvet curtain on opening night and everything is about to begin as soon as the rope is pulled. Everything is building to this moment. The lights will go up and this new scene that we’ve practiced for but never performed live will begin.

image via Shutterstock

image via Shutterstock

We’ll walk on-stage, step into the light, and become different people. Just like that.

However, it doesn’t feel like our life before Remi was lacking or less-than or “backstage.” There’s also a feeling of sadness, of saying goodbye to our lovely life before parenthood. I’d always imagined myself being childfree forever. Waffle hadn’t thought about kids for quite a while, since he committed to being with me.

We’ve had a really rich 11 years, some excruciatingly awful times and some extraordinarily beautiful times. We’re only in our thirties, but it feels like we’ve grown through several life stages with each other already. We have. From messy (emotionally and physically) college undergraduates to gainfully employed grown-ups, from protesting George W. Bush’s second inauguration to rooting for Hillary Clinton, from my college dorm room to owning a four-bedroom house. We’ve had two cats, five rats, three guinea pigs, and two bunnies as housemates and companions.

We had the years of reckless and insatiable lust, the years of emotionally abusive fighting and breaking up and immaturity, the years of regrounding and redefining ourselves as individuals, the long stretch between then and now of deep friendship and affection and healthy communication and loving support. A decade isn’t that long, but between your 20’s and 30’s, it can feel like forever.

The last childfree photo collage: 2005 - 2016

The last childfree photo collage: 2005 – 2016

We’ve worked hard and we’ve been lucky and we’ve benefited from middle-class privilege that allowed us to get to where we are today. These last few years, especially, we’ve finally been able to rise slightly above living paycheck-to-paycheck. We’ve been able to have grown-up experiences together, like our shared obsession with immersive theater and the money and time spent on travel and tickets to see as much of it as we can afford. We aren’t rich and we’re still frugal, but we’re definitely not struggling.

We’ve been able to do a lot as a couple, had a lot of time to figure out who we are as individuals and as a two-person family, and the privilege of relative economic security to nurture all of that. I think because of that, we’re ready to nurture this new (and also expensive) thing called Baby T. Rex.

The biggest difference between being in a relationship and being a parent is that your first priority becomes someone else. In a relationship, ideally, you’re still prioritizing yourself. You may choose to care for and put the needs of your partner(s) or relationship over your own needs sometimes, but in a healthy relationship, you’re still your own #1, your own ride-or-die. When it comes down to it, you have to love yourself first so you can love your partner(s). And you can always leave. You can always walk out the door if your needs aren’t being met in your relationship anymore.

As a parent, you are committing to care for another person in a way that is, honestly, much more intense than a romantic partner. If things get tough (and they probably will), you’re still a part of your child’s life and family. You don’t get to leave. To me, that’s an unbreakable bond. I know that’s not always how it is. I know parents don’t always support their children or put their children’s needs first. I know a lot of children have to walk away from toxic parents. But I don’t want to be like that. I see this as a lifelong commitment, no matter what. I’ve never made a commitment like this to anyone before. As a commitment-phobe, it’s a little terrifying to think about.

Still, I think there’s a difference between putting your child’s needs first and putting yourself last. I don’t plan to put my whole life outside of parenthood on hold. I want to include and prioritize Remi in my life, not make them my whole life. I think that is part of being a parent, too, modeling a healthy sense of self-worth and making time for myself and for Waffle and me as a couple so that we’re the best parents we can be to Baby T.

Of course, the first few weeks and months are going to be fiercely overwhelming and Remi will be, to a large extent, the alpha and omega of my life. Between caring for them and trying to adjust to a post-baby life and squeezing in sleep, it’s going to be Baby T. Rex time all the time.

As they get older, I’m sure we’ll want to do more things that are family friendly and allocate our time and funds towards things that benefit Baby T. Squeezing in a date night or couple-only time will be less frequent. However, Waffle and I both want to still do things and have things in common as a couple so that our whole relationship doesn’t become solely about Remi. That would be a big burden to put on a kid and a great way to lose touch with each other as friends and partners.

For now, right now, everything kind of is about Baby T. Rex. Every day when we wake up, we think, “This could be our last childfree day.” We’re trying to enjoy it, but we can’t help but be anxious for Remi to get born already. We’re here. We’re waiting. We’re ready to welcome Remi into our arms and get this show started.


8 Random Baby-Making Things I’m Currently Over-Processing

1. Consensual Poking

One of my midwives suggested acupuncture as a way to get my body prepped and open for labor. I’d never received acupuncture before. I’m not particularly opposed to it, I just hadn’t had the need or made the time.

There’s a lovely little community acupuncture place near me that’s part of a national movement of acupuncture groups dedicated to providing affordable care in a group setting. There’s a sliding scale that allows almost anyone to enjoy care regardless of financial means.

It’s not as weird as it may sound. You receive treatment in a large, open, comfortable room where other people are also receiving treatment. Cell phones and talking is banned. Dim lights and peaceful music and soundscapes and large, comfy chairs make it a very peaceful and intimate environment, even though a stranger with needles in their arms and forehead is snoozing right next to you. The practitioner was very gentle and thoughtful about explaining everything she was doing since it was my first time.

Waiting to get poked with some strangers.

Waiting to get poked with some strangers.

Did it help open my oxytocin receptors? I don’t know. On a scale of 1-10, 1 being a total skeptic and 10 being a total believer, I’m about a 6 on natural medicine and health care. I can say it was enjoyable and I might go back again this week. It put me into a nice, deep sleep and I woke gently after about an hour, feeling refreshed. I don’t know that it helped augment my transition into labor, but it was a spectacular nap.


2. Hatching a Birth Plan

Our birth plan is finally on paper! It’s pretty straightforward stuff and only one page.

The largest section is dedicated to ensuring our birth team knows Waffle isn’t going to be called “mom” and trying to let them know that she/her and he/him pronouns are both appropriate without making a big deal out of it. Or inviting awkward questions we don’t want to deal with while I’m in labor.

Our doula read it over and assured us it wasn’t written in a rude way. The first draft was admittedly kind of bitchy. We just really don’t want people bugging Waffle with inappropriate questions while we’re focusing on delivering a human baby through my cervix and into the world!

We kept in the part that was like, “Please ask questions about how to refer to Waffle if you have them, but don’t ask questions about Waffle’s gender identity, transition status, health history, or anything not pertinent to our birth process.” KTHX.


3. Waffle’s Latest Obsessions: Board Books and Football Jerseys

Waffle has moved on to amassing cool board books and New York Giants baby gear. I’m totally on board with the board books. I’m a word nerd and all about a huge library for Remi and reading to them every damn day.

A small sample from Remi's badass baby library: Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems, Dino Block by Christopher Franceschelli, Love Monster by Rachel Bright, Found by Salina Yoon, How Do Dinosaurs Play With Their Friends by Jane Yolen, Moo Baa La La La by Sandra Boynton (my childhood favorite), The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: A BabyLit® Colors Primer by Jennifer Adams, My First Book of Girl Power by Julie Merberg, Edgar Gets Ready for Bed: A BabyLit® Board Book: Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" by Jennifer Adams, and Edgar and the Tattle-tale Heart: A BabyLit® Board Book: Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Jennifer Adams

A small sample from Remi’s badass baby library: Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems, Dino Block by Christopher Franceschelli, Love Monster by Rachel Bright, Found by Salina Yoon, How Do Dinosaurs Play With Their Friends by Jane Yolen, Moo Baa La La La by Sandra Boynton (my childhood favorite), The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: A BabyLit® Colors Primer by Jennifer Adams, My First Book of Girl Power by Julie Merberg, Edgar Gets Ready for Bed: A BabyLit® Board Book: Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” by Jennifer Adams, and Edgar and the Tattle-tale Heart: A BabyLit® Board Book: Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Jennifer Adams

I honestly could care less about the American football stuff, in general. Technically, I grew up in a Buffalo Bills family, but I transitioned to the Giants for Waffle because…because I just don’t care all that much.

Remi's ready for the season!

Remi’s ready for the season!

The Giants preseason just started and Waffle can’t wait to watch fall games with Remi. He’s hoping to indoctrinate them to be a Giants fan from Day One.

Matching Daddy Dino and Baby Dino official NFL jerseys (Eli Manning and Victor Cruz, respectively)

Matching Daddy Dino and Baby Dino official NFL jerseys (Eli Manning and Victor Cruz, respectively)


4. Searching for a Friendly Pediatrician

On the list of things to do since the last column was finding a pediatrician. We couldn’t find anyone who specifically advertised LGBTQ-inclusive pediatrics in our city, nor did any of our friends have recommendations specific to LGBTQ-inclusivity, so we just picked a place near us that was accepting new patients and crossed our fingers.

Waffle actually got called in to work the evening of our prenatal appointment, so I went by myself. After we went over the basics like hours, staffing, afterhours care, etc., I took a deep breath and asked the question. “Do you have experience with LGBTQ families?”

The doctor quickly replied that they do and that they have many LGBT patients and parents, as well as staff. I was relieved, but still unsure if “LGBT” really meant “lesbian and gay” or if they really did understand bi and trans health and families, too. Before I could ask, she brought up that their staff had all recently attended a training on transgender identity and healthcare issues. OK, good sign!

I brought up that Remi will call Waffle “dad” and Remi will know him by a different name than his legal name (though he’s also fine with using his legal name). I was trying to get through it as quickly as possible, as this part of the conversation is often confusing for people and I just want to get to the part where it’s like, “Here are the names and pronouns Waffle uses. Everything is cool.” It’s also awkward to have this convo when Waffle isn’t around to speak for himself, but this was something he wanted me to cover at the prenatal appointment and he couldn’t be there.

About two minutes into my cautious ramble, the doctor chimed in, “So he’s genderfluid?” and I was like, “Yes! Similar to that!” and it was a huge relief that she even knew the word genderfluid and was comfortable with the concept of non-binary people. She wrote in both of Waffle’s first names and pronouns at the top of our intake form. Then I asked if they treat trans youth and she said they do and are supportive of things like puberty blockers. It was set!

Hopefully, we like the practice once we start going there regularly, but I’m feeling optimistic. I left feeling like 2016 is a pretty great time to be a queer parent.


5. A Baby Book for Your Lil’ Queer Family

This baby book from BabyStepsBook that Waffle bought for Remi is pretty great at being inclusive. The cool thing about the designer who created and makes these books is that you can customize them for your family. You can get two mom pages or two dad pages or one page for a single parent. You can get pages for additional parents if you have more than two parents in your family. You can have the parent page customized to say “baba” or something gender neutral or whatever your kid will call you.

baby book

You can add pages for a donor or for adoption or IVF or a surrogate. You can order extra pages for pets and for human siblings. You can custom order pages for pretty much anything.

It’s not cheap because each book is handmade by the designer, but it’s great to find something that works for lots of different families and parents. Waffle is unofficially in charge of filling it out. We started putting pictures of us and the pets in this past weekend.


6. Things I’ve Googled in the Past Week:

  • too much amniotic fluid complications
  • what is normal amniotic fluid level
  • oxytocin acupuncture labor
  • natural breastfeeding
  • too much amniotic fluid natural birth
  • tea tree oil safe third trimester
  • nightshade free pasta sauce
  • nightshade free salsa

7. No (Night)Shade

So I, uh, have actually never written about this or even talked about it publicly before, but here goes! I have a skin/autoimmune (maybe? science is unclear) disease called hidradenitis suppurativa. I’ve had it since I was 12.

Basically, I’m very prone to boil-like abscesses and infections around apocrine sweat gland-bearing areas like my underarms and groin. Sometimes it’s extremely painful and it’s definitely embarrassing. I have a lot of scars from it and almost always have an active infection. Luckily, my partners over the years have been really understanding. It’s not contagious and it’s not a sexually transmitted infection. It’s just something that’s always made me feel really unsexy in my otherwise fairly positive relationship with my body. And it can be excruciatingly painful. At times, I have abscesses as large as a golf ball that make it difficult to walk or sit.

It’s not something I like to talk about and I mainly just deal with it on my own. Dermatologists don’t know a lot about it and there’s very little research on it. It’s chronic and uncurable. Doctors will typically just help you deal with the symptoms by prescribing antibiotics or surgery in serious cases. Neither of those things interest me. I’ve learned to manage it on my own, using natural remedies like tea tree oil, witch hazel, and drawing salve, as well as heat therapy, etc. Most people with HS deal with it on their own and share info with each other online.

Since I got knocked up, my inflammations have been out of control. It got so bad that I made a radical decision. I’d known for a few years that a good number of other people with HS have had success with elimination diets. One of the common triggers seemed to be nightshade vegetables: tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, and peppers. If you know anything about me, you know I LOVE HOT SAUCE and hot things, in general. I’m Korean, it’s in my blood! But I didn’t want to be in labor with a golf ball size lesion on my down-theres.

So I cut our nightshades and, well, I’ve never had a remission be so fast or last this long. I’m happy it worked, but SUPER SAD about peppers. I seem to be more sensitive to tomatoes than peppers, so once I’m fully healed post-partum, I’m going to experiment with adding peppers back in, but I think I’m off tomatoes forever. Sorry to the whole Italian side of my family!

:weeps:

:weeps:


8. Super Bonus Third Tri Ultrasound

We had a bit of a scare late last week when our midwife was concerned I had too much amniotic fluid around Baby T. I was sent for an ultrasound the next day. She assured us we shouldn’t worry until we knew more. Of course, we worried. I mean, we tried not to, but it’s hard to resist the temptation of Google and that was a very bad idea.

What if I have to be induced? What if I can’t labor at home? What if we have to have a c-section? None of those things are off the table, if necessary, but I started feeling anxious that this delivery might be more stressful than I’d hoped.

Luckily, everything was fine and we got a bonus sneak peek at Remi. I admittedly still think ultrasound pictures all look the same (Am I a horrible person?), but Waffle just about died from love and joy looking at little Remi and their little hands.

Come out, come out, Baby T. Rex!

Come out, come out, Baby T. Rex!

I apparently don’t have extra fluid and Remi is weighing in under seven pounds. Maybe I was just bloated that day? Sometimes I think maybe the midwives don’t realize I have a nice amount of belly fluff just from being me. I’ve always carried my belly out front, so my tummy was rounded before we even put a baby in me. Either way, we’re relieved everything is cool and proceeding as planned.

One week to go! Any time now, Baby T. Rex. Seriously, now would be good, even. ANY. TIME. We’re all waiting for you!

KaeLyn is a 35-year-old (femme)nist activist, word nerd, and queer mama. You can typically find her binge-watching TV, over-caffeinating herself, standing somewhere with a mic or a sign in her hand, eating carbs, or just generally doing too many things at once. She lives in Rochester, NY with her spouse, a baby T. rex, a xenophobic cat, and a rascally rabbit. You can buy her debut book, Girls Resist! A Guide to Activism, Leadership, and Starting a Revolution if you want to, if you feel like it, if that's a thing that interests you or whatever.

KaeLyn has written 204 articles for us.

69 Comments

  1. This was beautifully written, as always. I don’t know if it’s because I just started birth control (yay PCOS) or just having a change of heart, but I kind of want kids now. I used to want kids when I was younger (I loved babysitting and working with children), but then I decided that I’d rather hang out with other people’s kids and go home to my dog. Now I’m rethinking this. I don’t plan on having kids anytime soon, so I don’t think I have to make a definite decision now, but reading this made me think, “I could do that!”

    • It’s nice to think about having kids as a choice you can make that’s affirming to you and what you want to do with your life, whether that’s being childfree or a parent. Good luck, whatever you decide, when and if you do!

  2. KaeLyn, I love this column. I love reading about your experiences with and perspectives on babies, and gender stuff, and bodies, and relationships, and dinosaurs, and multiculturalism, and everything. GOOD LUCK WITH THE BIRTH! 😀

  3. KaeLyn, I love this column! I love reading your experiences with and perspectives on babies, and gender stuff, and being queer, and bodies, and relationships, and dinosaurs, and multiculturalism, and everything. GOOD LUCK WITH THE BIRTH! 😀

  4. You’re so close!! I have super enjoyed reading this series and am so looking forward to the official birth announcement in the coming weeks. 🙂

    BUT I have to admit, I was also semi excited (??) reading about your autoimmune-ish disease: hidradenitis suppurativa. I have suffered with these boil-like problems for over ten years–and have never told a single soul about them because I was confident that it was something super gross and was sure that everyone was going to judge me–even my doctor and even before I was doing anything remotely sexual with anyone other than myself. I never looked it up on the internet because I was afraid of what I would read (I know, I know) but my heart nearly stopped beating as I was reading what you wrote because finally–FINALLY–someone could describe to me what those were and understood how painful and embarrassing they could be.

    WOOF. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Obviously this post is so much more than that, but that part in particular was so relevant for me.

    • Oh gosh, Jordyn! I’m glad it was helpful. I don’t talk about it a lot because it’s…I don’t know…kind of embarrassing because of where the boils occur. I was diagnosed by a dermatologist at the age of 12, but they didn’t know much about it then. Even now, there’s very little research and info on HS. Some of my health practitioners still don’t know what it is and I have to explain it to them.

      There’s a lot of info and support online. I’m lucky in that I seem to have stalled out in Stage 2-ish. There are three stages. Stage 3 can be debilitating, resulting in necessary surgery and/or not being able to work, leave the house, etc.

      If you can, I’d suggest reading up on it on your own. Seeing a doctor or dermatologist can be helpful, but it’s one of those things where you may know more about it and how it affects you than your health providers will, unless you are lucky enough to live in a major city where there are folks with clinical expertise in HS. I recently saw that Humira was just approved as a treatment, which is the first prescription drug to be FDA approved for HS, so that’s a potential option. Personally, I am sticking to natural remedies for now. It seems like different things work for different people.

      Just know that it has absolutely nothing to do with personal hygiene, no matter what your doctor tells you. And you definitely aren’t gross or weird or alone. It’s not as rare as you may think and could affect as many as 1 in 100 people. It’s widely underreported unless it becomes severe.

      Good luck with it and I’m so glad it was helpful to you. <3

      • <3 <3 You are such a gem. I haven't had an outbreak in a few weeks, but I feel confident enough now to go ahead and make an appointment with my doctor to at least talk about it.

        Thank you so much again!!

        BRB, heading to google anything & everything I can find…

    • Hi Jordyn, from a Jordan with HS! It’s an odd (not bad!) feeling to “meet” you in a column about baby dinos, but hi! I see you. Sending positive vibes your way. Feel free to get in touch with any questions/feels/just wanting a buddy who GETS IT if you want! <3

      And KaeLyn, thank you for sharing. I wasn't aware of the nightshade thing, but will def be looking into that. All my favorite veggies, noooooo.

      Re: everything else, congrats and good luck! I'm looking forward to your posts about lil' T-Rex when they decide to hatch (that's how birthing works right???!!)

      • Thanks, @jords! We’re taking turns sitting on this damn egg, so I hope that’s how birthing works.

        I hope eliminating nightshades work for you, too, but also that it doesn’t because it’s sad to not be able to have delicious tomatoes and peppers!

  5. I’ve loved reading this column — congrats to both of you, and I’m sending positive vibes your way for the birth! Hurry up, baby t-rex — there’s a world out here who’s excited to meet you!

  6. It’s great that you found a doctor that gets it(or at least is working at it). I need to find a doctor like that(one that’s familiar with non-binary language and basic needs).

  7. You’re so close! I hope everything goes to plan during the birth (and even if it doesn’t, that you have a healthy happy baby)! Please post a birth announcement, we’ll want to hear the end of the story.

  8. 1. OMG Mo Willems is so much fun and you will likely end up with so many of his books.
    2. I recently saw this book at a relative’s house, and it made me think of you guys: https://www.amazon.com/What-Makes-Baby-Cory-Silverberg/dp/1609804856/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&tag=autowin-20 Not sure if you know about it already, but it talks about the mechanics of baby-making while being deliberately and awesomely inclusive of all sorts of experiences.

    I’m so excited for you guys!

  9. Thank you so much for this column, it’s one of my all-time favorites on AS.

    I’m sending you good vibes across the ocean. I live in France, and Rémi is a common name here, although not gender-neutral. I like it anyway, but I’m so glad it’s not only a boy’s name in English.

    <3

    • @lurkinglate, that is such a nice compliment! Really! I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed the series. I’ve enjoyed writing it and documenting this moment as it happens.

      I know Remi/Remy is a boy’s name in France, but it’s not as common in the US (yet). I read that the more common spelling in French is Remy. Is that true? Part of the reason we went with an “i” instead of a “y” is to differentiate from the common French spelling. Either way, I think it’s a cute name that can be gender-neutral!

      • You’re welcome!

        I think Rémi/Rémy are both common names here, actually. But don’t worry, your child will be named Remi a) regardless of their gender and b) without a “é”, and those are two huge differences with the French language.

        It is a cute name, and I love it. Totally random anecdote, hope you won’t mind: one of my best friends fell in love with a boy named Rémi a few months ago and they make the most adorable queer couple.

  10. I can’t believe it’s almost time already! (I’m sure it feels way longer for you, but I feel like your first column was just yesterday! haha)
    No idea where the time has gone, but I’m excited! Good luck and best wishes to all of you!! 😀

  11. I have loved this entire series so much! Thank you for sharing with us. I am at week 30 and have also been thinking seriously about the things I need to do while baby is still on the inside and how the arrival will change our lives. Best wishes to you and Waffle and Remi!

    • Thank you, Emma! Congrats to you and good luck in your final weeks. Everyone told me to enjoy them, so I guess…you know, if you can, enjoy them. Ha! We can’t wait for Remi to get here, but we’re also like…What are we even going to do with a baby once we bring it home?! Ahh!

  12. Have been looking for your 39th week entry. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us. Am, along with everyone else,awaiting the arrival of Remi. Sending love and prayer.(I have an autoimmune disease and avoid nightshades to keep down the inflammation that goes along with it. I really miss those tomatoes, especially with all the locally grown product this time of year).

  13. Kaelyn — Love your blog and following your story. I think your comments about how the ‘individual in a couple’ (my words) changes with a baby are so true. As you said, your first priority becomes someone else. And frankly, at least for me, the kind of love I felt was different too. I love my husband. No question. But suddenly I knew in my heart that I would step in front of a Mac Truck for this child. No question. That fierceness of love was unexpected. And something I’d never felt before or since (even for my wonderful husband who was only somewhat insulted as he felt the same). I realize that this may not be everyone’s experience, especially if postpartum depression or other factors arise, but for me, it was a new kind of love.

    • Thanks, Wendi! This is really helpful to know and think about. I imagine Waffle and I will both love Remi more and/or in a different, more intense way than we love each other. It’s such a different relationship. I’m only speculating, of course, because I don’t think I’ll be able to know until I am holding Remi in my arms, but I imagine I’ll feel the same as you do about your (awesome) kid!

  14. My eyes just bugged out of my head because I ALSO HAVE HS AND IT IS NICE TO READ ABOUT IT IN SUCH A NORMAL WAY. I’m so excited for you and Waffle! Remi is such a lucky baby. Is it weird to wish you a good birth?? I hope you have a good birth! Excuse me now while I go cut out night shades because I’ve been avoiding it but it seems to be worth a try.

    • <3 Maggie. You’re like the fifth person who has told me they have HS since this post went up. It’s ridiculous that we don’t talk about it more or that there isn’t more information about it available. Geez. Anyway, happy to connect with other folks who deal with this chronic, unpleasant disease.

      Good luck with the nightshades! For some people it’s gluten or eggs or something else. WHO KNOWS. It’d be cool if someone would do real medical research on it, but WHATEVER.

      Thanks for the good wishes!

  15. Thank you, again, for sharing your sweet journey with us. I hope everything goes as smoothly as it can in the next couple of weeks, as Remi comes to meet you guys! You’re about to embark on a whole other journey and I’m so happy for you! <3 (And thank you for introducing me to the term 'nightshades!')

  16. I am so excited for you and Waffle and Remi to begin your journey as a family!

    Also, might I recommend Frog and Toad books? They are written by Arnold Lobel, who was gay, and they are about the beautiful friendship between two male frogs with funny, clever stories. They were some of my favorites as a child and I just sent them to my friend who was due last Sunday (still waiting for baby!)

    I am really interested in what you wrote about hidradenitis suppurativa. It sounds exactly like what I have and I have been searching and searching and searching for a diagnosis. Any recommendations you have for information on the home remedies? Or just links where people with HS share information online? I didn’t know anything about this until reading this post. So thank you for writing about it! It can be tough to talk about health issues, especially ones that contribute to body struggles.

    By the way, I also grew up in a Bills family! I’m still a fan even though it’s tough-going.

    • Oh, I loved the Frog and Toad books as a kid. Good recommendation. I didn’t know the author was gay!

      Sorry about the Bills. It’s hard out there for a Bills fan. Yet another reason it wasn’t a big deal for me to switch to the Giants. Much easier to root for! LOL.

      I’m glad my disclosure about hidradenitis suppurativa was helpful! If you can, I’d suggest reading up on it on your own. Seeing a doctor or dermatologist can be helpful, but it’s one of those things where you may know more about it and how it affects you than your health providers will, unless you are lucky enough to live in a major city where there are folks with clinical expertise in HS. You need to be diagnosed by a physician to get any kinds of treatment covered by insurance. I honestly haven’t seen a physician for it since I was a teenager. I haven’t found them all that helpful. I personally use tea tree oil and witch hazel to help with the breakouts and black salve and hot compresses to draw the abscesses to a head. There’s lots of other treatment advice out there, from laser hair removal to elimination diets to a newly-approved prescription drug. Seriously just Google it and you’ll find lots of websites and forums where people are discussing it and sharing advice. It is most likely tied somehow to autoimmune disease and hormones, but again, there’s very little research.

      Just know that it has absolutely nothing to do with personal hygiene, no matter what your doctor tells you. And you definitely aren’t gross or weird or alone. It’s not as rare as you may think and could affect as many as 1 in 100 people. It’s widely underreported unless it becomes severe.

      Good luck with it and I’m so glad it was helpful to you. <3

  17. The way you’ve been writing about this whole process is just so real and open and funny and relate-able and awesome. I’m so excited for your little human even though I’m sad to say goodbye to the column!!!

  18. AHHHHHHH I’m excited for you!!

    Post young child stage vision board materials, from my parents to you:

    My parents have always, always had

    1. More friends than I
    2. A much more active social life than I
    3. Generally speaking, way more fun than I

    It’s very cool, having parents that have lives. I mean sometimes it’s depressing because, Jesus, I need to pick up the pace, but in general: it’s p chill and I’m into it

  19. Ahhh!!! So exciting! Today is your due date ?! I got behind on my usual AS reading this week, and then while catching up on everything this morning I suddenly, happily, remembered that there was a “Baby T Rex” post to read!!

    Totally echoing what others have already said, but it has been such a pleasure and an honor to be invited into your process (yours’ and Waffle’s) throughout this series. Thank you for being so open, honest, and vulnerable to share all of your experiences, thoughts, feelings, et al! <3 Hope everything is going smoothly and wonderfully today, if Remi decides to arrive- and if not yet, that you are comfy, relaxed, and enjoying a few more little bits of "child free" time 😉

    • Today is my due date! No labor yet. Just waiting for…something…anything to happen. I’ve been having practice contractions for about three weeks, but they don’t seem to be coming closer together. Hopefully it will be soon and we’ll have an update on Baby T to share by the end of next week! Thanks for reading!

    • I’m not going anywhere unless AS decides they don’t want me as a staff writer anymore. 🙂 I promise there will be an update once I’ve crossed the bridge from “parent-to-be” to “actual parent.” 🙂 Which I hope is soon!

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