By: Tanya Dodd-Hise
So…we’re pregnant. Now what? Oh my God we’re pregnant. Now what???
When we found out that the blood test was positive, it was two weeks post-insemination; but when they calculate due dates, they go from the last period, thus saying that Erikka was FOUR weeks pregnant. I was confused already. She was already experiencing some of the early symptoms of pregnancy, which to me was a very good sign (despite how she felt). Everything had gone so well so far, so naturally I had no reason to suspect or fear that anything would go wrong with any portion of the pregnancy – and I declared it my job to make sure that Erikka stayed just as confident as well. This was going to be great, I told her, because I was going to be experiencing the best of both worlds. I had already had children, so I knew what to expect, what she will likely feel physically and emotionally, what to do and not do, and ways to take care of her that a guy might not know. I also was going to experience part of what a dad goes through by NOT being pregnant, and some of the feelings that THEY experience when their wife, girlfriend, or friend is pregnant. I will be the baby-daddy, so to speak; but I will also be the other mommy. This is going to be great!
We scheduled the first appointment with an OB/GYN nearby whose practice had come highly recommended by both straight and lesbian moms that I know. They got her in, and I wasn’t nervous about going to this new doctor, knowing that they had previous clients who were just like us. On the very first visit, I asked the doctor (who has privileges at three hospitals) where we should deliver and where I would be treated as the spouse that I am. I had read stories about partners/spouses who were kept from their significant mother because of a doctor or nurse’s prejudice or homophobia, as well as kept from their own baby! It was bad enough, living in this very red state of Texas, that I was going to have to adopt my own baby; but just try to keep me from my wife OR baby in the hospital at the time of the birth! I did not want to have to go nuts and lose my mind in the middle of some hospital corridor after some fundamentalist nurse had just prohibited me from being with my wife and newborn baby (not that I overreact ever, in the least, over anything)! But the doctor took my questions in stride, gave me a direct answer without hesitation, and proceeded with the visit. There were tests to schedule, sonograms to have, and we couldn’t wait for any of it!
The hardest part, at that time, was keeping the pregnancy a secret. We had three friends that knew, and Erikka waited until she was a little further along before telling her parents. But other than that, we had decided to wait until we were out of the “danger zone” –12 weeks. That…was…hard. But for those first months, it was exciting to have this secret, knowing that our family was growing long before Erikka’s belly would. Every time I looked at her, my love for her grew stronger, and all I wanted to do was protect her and make sure that she and my tiny little baby were safe. We were going to wait until the 12-week mark to tell Noah as well, just in case there was a remote chance that something might happen; he had not taken it well when I had lost my last baby. It was hard not to tell him – I wanted to see the excitement that I hoped he would have, and for him to share in our perfect little family. Spring was around the corner, and everything was perfect. Nauseatingly perfect.