This year, she’s getting a sibling for her birthday. Or for Christmas.
Despite the craziness at our donor’s house in April (his wife was writing her final, final exams for her extremely demanding professional program, and they were all just barely getting over strep throat, and he had to work), I showed up on their doorstep with Maren in tow. It was just supposed to be the first try. One of a few. Maybe one of many. We were just getting started, so that, down the road, it would work.
It was all not quite perfect, and yet, somehow, it worked. The first go, I managed to be completely in the dark about the fact the donor had already disappeared to do his thing. I was playing with the kids and waiting for him to produce the goods. He kept puttering around. I kept wondering if we were going to actually do this. Communication 101 for me – ASK!! Anyway, the sperm had been sitting there for about an hour by the time I clued in. Things start to deteriorate at about 30 minutes, max, so I wasn’t feeling hopeful about that one.
The second go was only slightly better. I had the plunger of the syringe half depressed when I heard Maren wailing from downstairs, where I had just gotten her to bed. My first thought was, “What on earth are we doing?!”. So, donor’s wife rocked the screaming child while I lay down for only about half of the recommended time before rushing down to soothe Maren.
It was nice to spend a little time with our donor and his family. We didn’t talk about donor issues too terribly much, but everyone was keen to see if we could spot similarities between the donor’s children and Maren. There’s the tiniest bit of a resemblance between Maren and their son, but their daughter, who is only six weeks younger than Maren is totally different. Both girls seem to favour their mothers, although I do see the donor in both of them in different ways.
The donor seems to easygoing about the whole thing. He said it didn’t seem odd, really, to be with Maren. He’s really, really sweet with her, but I’ve never really seen him interact with children not related to him. It isn’t a stretch at all to think that he treats all children so well. But, I’m going to hang on to the fact that he’s so gentle with Maren as something a little bit special. He’s not her Papa, but he’s still important and unique in her life.
The donor’s wife says things just seem pretty normal. She was curious to see how the girls would be together, but overall, I think that Maren is just Maren for them. There’s a little something special underpinning everything, but mostly she’s just special because she’s the daughter of good friends. I think. And, I also think that things might be a little different as the kids grow and have questions and expressed opinions about everything. We’ll see.
Maren got the stomach flu and spent our last night with the donor and his family vomiting. All night. All over. In the morning, she seemed fine though, so I optimistically loaded her up and we got on the first of two planes to get home. On the first flight, she made it nearly to the end before tossing her lunch. It was a disaster. All over both of us, and it stank, and I hadn’t thought to bring extra clothes. Awful. I wandered the Toronto airport with my sick child dressed in only an undershirt and a diaper, a not so vague scent of vomit clinging to my damp jeans. Shockingly, you cannot buy clothing to fit a one year old in the Toronto airport. Although I had severely limited intake, the vomiting began on the second plane before we even took off. More awful.
We arrived home, to rain, dark and 2C weather and Maren was, at that point, dressed in nothing but a diaper. A lovely little grandmother lent me her scarf to wrap my smelly, sick child in for the dash across the tarmac to the airport. I felt like the world’s worst mother. Poor kiddo. The sickness hung on for three days, during which time I managed to get a wicked cold, my visiting sister’s 6 month old got Maren’s illness, and then, just as things were sort of clearing up, I spent an evening communing with the stomach flu friends. Ugh.
I had no pregnancy symptoms, and waffled between “Of course it worked!”, and “There’s no way it worked”. For some reason, four days before I should have gotten my period, I caved and peed on a stick in the middle of the afternoon. It was positive before the control line even showed up. I danced around like a fool with a huge smile plastered on my face. I tried to get Maren to pose for a photo with the positive test. There’s one photo of her looking at it, and then I had to stop because she had pulled the cap off and was attempting to eat the peed on part. Oh, things are a bit different from when I was pregnant with her!
Things are still pretty mellow, sypmtom-wise. Nursing Maren hurts, at least initially. I’m tired, but unable to pin that completely on pregnancy. I have a kid who nurses multiple times through the night and is up around 6h30 every day. Who wouldn’t be tired? I hate to think about making supper every night. Food is just, bla, not appealing. But, no real nausea. I do have a belly though. Whoa. I was this big at 15 weeks last time!
So, Christmas Eve is slated to be a big day for us. Or, you know, one of the days two weeks on either side of Christmas Eve.