Gay Dad Listens As Doctor Doles Out Some Advice
For the first time this entire pregnancy, Alen – Papa of Baby Boy #3 – was able to attend a doctor’s appointment, albeit in his doctor’s scrubs. It’s a crucial time, so I was happy about it. Happily we have not had any spotting or bleeding lately, but just one day before the appointment, our friend/surrogate felt the baby squirming and pushing and stretching, but not nearly as vigorously as usual. On top of that she was having some unusual back pain. Since we already had an appointment set for the next day, we decided that the baby would be fine for 24 hours. Bad decision! It’s important to get in to the doctor as soon as you notice a reduction in movement – things can go downhill extremely fast if there is something wrong. The doctor insisted that for the rest of the pregnancy, we should call for an appointment ASAP if we notice any change in movement or intense back pain. Here I was thinking that our youngest son was just having an off day!
So after being urgently transferred from his office to Labor & Delivery for a non-stress test (a misnomer since I for one definitely felt stress), we found out that all was well. The baby’s heart rate was strong and steady, he had plenty of fluid to swim around in, and the ultrasound showed a healthy happy boy. He even waved at us, and Alen remarked that he thought our son had my nose (which arguably is not my best feature). The appearance of “my” nose may or may not be true, but the fact is that, just as with our son Dylan, we will probably never know whose nose it really is since we allowed randomness of natural selection to pick our sons’ paternal DNA – as natural as it could be considering the petri dish.
After the stress test we were given the okay to go back to the doctor’s office so that we could have further consultation with him. Our two boys, Papa, our very pregnant friend/surrogate, and I all squeezed into the exam room with a Kaiser doctor that has seen (most) of us only once before. Since we were 33 weeks pregnant, he advised “Mom” to take it easy so as not to break her water prematurely. (Her water broke at 35 weeks while carrying Dylan.) She was cleared to continue working her day job, and she should continue her ½ hour per day of walking. However, and this he was adamant about as illustrated by the fact that he repeated this three times, there should be NO SEX. The doctor’s eyes darted quickly from me to my friend and back to me and then to Papa as he said this, completely unsure of who in the exam room was having sex with whom, and therefore making him unsure as to whom to direct his statement. I give him a butch “Awww, shucks!” while my friend meekly says “Okay” and Alen says “We got the message”, further adding to his confusion.
Our son is now over the four-pound mark, about the size of a pineapple. I briefly considered naming him Dole to go along with our other “D” sons Devin and Dylan, but just as quickly scrapped the idea. More than likely he’ll end up with a “D” name that ends in the letter “n” (since the rest of the family members’ names end in “n”), and we will do whatever we can possibly do to make his birthday October 22nd (which is the 36 week mark) or November 22nd (which is 6 days past due) since all of his family members’ birthdays fall on the 22nd. To outsiders these things might appear frivolous and downright silly to care about, but for a family like ours it is just another way to help us feel connected as a family in a world that tries to constantly disconnect us.
So now we wait two more weeks for the next appointment, barring any warning signs. I continue my “mesting”, a name I use to describe my male nesting. Everything’s getting washed in Dreft to reduce the irritants in our new sons’ clothes. All previously used paraphernalia is getting pulled out of the storage shed and the garage, hosed off and evaluated for worthiness. I was surprised at all the national treasures I have found: stroller, double stroller, snap-n-go, double snap-n-go, swing, mini-bathtub, bassinette, pack-n-play, highchair, vibrating baby recliner, Boppy, and more toys than any single child could ever play with. After counting the said toys I calculated that if our D son plays with a different toy each and every day, we’ve got him stimulated until he is approximately 12 ½ years old.
It’s an extremely exciting and nerve-wracking time for all of us, but I can’t wait to see how it all turns out. For the best, please. For the best.