Tuesday, April 28, 2015


Today marks the start of another monumental moment in history for the LGBTQIA community in the US. The case for nationwide marriage equality will be made before the nation's highest court. It's hard for me to understand how this is still a question in our country - but I think there are still so many hearts and minds who simply don't understand how deeply this affects our day to day lives.

When I wrote the post below 2 years ago, I think the country was still coming around. They were still learning (believe it or not) that LGBT people are just like them. They didn't quite understand that we weren't asking for special rights but rather the same rights that were afforded to them regularly (and sometimes multiple times over...)

When I wrote the post below 2 years ago I was honestly scared that marriage equality would not pass in my state...again. That SP and I, on the cusp of trying for babies, would be forced to work within an oppressive, hateful system once again.

Today I'm lucky to live in a relatively liberal place where I feel safe with my family. I'm lucky to live in a state where I was automatically listed on my daughter's birth certificate. I'm lucky to live in a state where mine and SP's marriage is legally recognized. We are able to take advantage of the others' health benefits, and tax benefits, and all the other benefits afforded to couples in legal marriage. 

We're lucky to be just like everybody else.

The problem is my friends in other states aren't so lucky. Many of them have no legal right to their spouses and their children. Many of them are unable to take advantage of their spouses health insurance and benefits. Many of them are not recognized as family in any way. And that, my friends, breaks my heart. There are more cases than we would all like to admit of children being taken away from their rightful parents when their birth parent passes away or leaves. There are more cases than we would all like to admit of spouses being unable to see their partners in the hospital, to help them make important and life changing decisions. There are tons of cases of partners who had no access to their spouse when they passed away. Who remain un-named on all legal documentation.

This invisibility means something to the invisible. 

I'm lucky to stand on the shoulders of the amazingly strong women and men who fought to get my family here today - in a state of relative security. It is only right that we leave this place better than when we found it - and so today I hope you too will stand on the right side of history. 

Because love simply can't wait.

All my love,
Sarah (and Family!)


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Why Tonight (Or The End Of June...) Will Be Momentous For Me.

Prior to getting illegally married to SP, I always did my own taxes.  Turbo tax was pretty self explanatory and I don't make enough money or own enough property or valuable things to make it complicated.  Fill in the blanks.  Get tax return.  (or pay that one HORRIBLE year when all my paperwork was messed up)  This year SP and I took one look at the laws regarding filing taxes as Registered Domestic Partners (RDP) - the gay version of marriage in CA right now - and knew there was no way that we could file our taxes accurately.  And yet, we still don't make a lot of money, we don't own a house, or have children.  So, in reality, we should be able to file together no problem.  And still.  No.  Dice.  So we paid (some really nice people) a decent chunk of our tax return to file our taxes for us.  So that we wouldn't do it wrong.  So that we wouldn't be audited and have it cost us even more of our hard earned money. 

As many of you know SP and I want babies.  The other day I was thinking about what would happen if something happened to either one of us during labor/delivery.  What if there was an emergency?  Would we have a legal right to one another?  Would our families allow us to visit?  Who would get the baby should something terrible happen (premature I know but these thoughts, they come)  What if one of us becomes disabled?  Or hurt?  Or god forbid - Killed.  What if we win the lottery or lose all of our money.  Will we have any legal obligation to one another?

If you've met us, if you've seen us together - you know we love each other.  I can see the love in SP's eyes every day.  I know that we will fight for our illegal marriage no matter what the government or mean spirited people say about us.  We already fought to get here.  We've been tested.  Being Married, legally, it means something.  It holds weight with others.  Because no matter how deep our commitment to one another, no matter how hard we love one another - some people they need a piece of paper to give us what we know we have already earned.  Just by being us and in love.  But on top of the fact that it means something socially.  It means something legally.  And those what if's and tax issues above, those are things that plague SP and I on a regular basis.  And that sort of thing...legalese and hoop jumping...that shouldn't color your marriage.  Because let's be honest, marriage is plenty hard on its own. 

Today many people are wearing red or changing their facebook photos to the red human rights equal sign to show their support for marriage equality in this country.  The solidarity has been surprisingly touching.  I truly hope that future generations will walk through this world with very different lenses - ones that aren't shaded by sexual orientation and gender norms, and discrimination.  And I am reminded that I'm lucky to be alive in history and to stand on what I believe to be the right side of history.   

Remember when separate wasn't equal before?  Just sayin. 

Fingers Crossed. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Dear Baby Girl - Vol. 1

Dear Baby Girl,

You are 2months old now. Can you believe it?!  I can't. I feel like its been a blink of an eye and simultaneously like I've known you forever.

The other day I was holding you and feeding you and looking into your eyes and it was right then that I realized that you were actually the baby of my dreams. The fuzzy dream features were yours. And in my dreams you always were a daughter...even if I knew in my rational brain that the chances of your mom and I having a girl were slim. It's kind of shocking to hold your dream come true in your arms. 

Baby girl, I just want you to know how loved you are. I'm pretty sure you know it already though, (you are pretty advanced for 2months...) by the amount of kisses I smother you in and the frequency of times I cry with joy as I hold you. Baby girl, your mom and I, we knew you before you were even born. We loved you and we dreamed about you and having you here now with us is just the greatest gift ever.

We're doing our best baby girl.  I hope you know that too.  Because we know babies can't live on squished cheeks alone. Mom is working hard to fill you full of good food. We're learning how to "talk" to you. We agonize over silly decisions and we worry about you constantly - in a good way. I'm embarrassed to tell you how many times I've checked to make sure you were still breathing (Eleventy-billion in case you were wondering) Luckily(?) you're a noisy girl so we get to be serenaded by your grunts and coos a lot.  In fact you were so noisy that you moved into your own room at just 5 weeks.  Mom and I were so scared - but let me tell you what, listening to our motherly intuition on that one was the best decisions ever! Because 4 hour chunks of sleep are so much better than 1 hour chunks of sleep. You really are a good sleeper but that's about all I can say about that for fear of "the curse."

Recently you've started smiling at me. This has been second only to the experience of falling in love with your mom in the "best things ever" category.  You're also getting really great at tummy time and holding your head up. I've never been so proud of basic bodily movement! And in the TMI category - can we just talk about how you are already the valedictorian of farting my friend. One of our friends used the descriptor Rocket Butt and there couldn't be a more accurate characterization. Don't let all of this go to your head though - because you are still an exhausting adventure my friend - but a wonderful & rewarding adventure nonetheless.

Oh baby girl, I could gush on and on, I just adore you so much. I just can't wait to see how your beautiful life plays out - I promise to try my best not to mess it all up too much! Be Brave!


Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Birth of a Mother

Our sweet baby girl has been with us for almost 2 months now and I think it's high time that I get our birth story written down somewhere. Because I know, that even though it is emblazoned into my mind now, that inevitably it will one day become hazy and far away.  So snuggle in because this is a long one...


So here is the story of the day I was re-born into my greatest role yet: Mother.

Dippitydot was due on Feb 4th. And we had been hoping and waiting and hoping that she (or he...we didn't know at that point) would come on or very near her due date. But SP's sister's babies came on time or late and SP's mom's babies all came late as well...

On Feb 4th we went in for SP's 40wk appointment. She hadn't been having ANY braxton hicks and hadn't dialted at all. So when the OB (whom we LOVE) told SP that the baby looked great and her fluid levels looked great and there was no reason not to wait another week - we weren't surprised...but I'm not going to lie, SP, was pretty down about it. She was feeling huge and uncomfortable and just. plain. tired.

So we were sent off with another appointment and a non-stress test set for Friday the 13th (41wks2days) and reassurance that sometimes it just takes some time (let me tell you what - telling an overdue pregnant woman to just wait...I'm glad she didn't jump our sweet tiny ob right there in the room)

We went to lunch. SP Cried. And finally we just came to terms with the fact that dippity just wasn't ready to meet us yet. 

The rest of the week was uneventful. We puttered around waiting. I went to work and tied up just a few more loose ends. 

I came home from work on Monday 2/9, walked in the door and SP said to me "I think you better pack your suitcase tonight" And then SP told me she'd been feeling "weird" all day. As the evening progressed she was having tightening and pain and seeing as neither of us have been in labor before she wasn't even sure they were contractions. But I casually started timing them. And as they hit regular intervals I knew she was in labor. And as it became more and more painful and frequent... she also knew. The evening progressed and SP's contractions became pretty regular and pretty painful. She was having intense back labor and was having a really hard time sleeping.

She labored hard all night long and then around 4am just couldn't take it anymore - contractions were coming pretty hard and relatively fast. 

So we packed up the car and went to the hospital. Where they asked a lot of questions, and checked her and sadly told us SP was only at a 1 1/2 or a 2. Luckily the lovely staff gave SP some morphine and sent us on our way. Luckily we don't live TOO far from the hospital. By the time we got home the drugs had kicked in a bit and took the edge off enough to let us get some sleep. They wore off somewhere around mid morning and then SP soldiered on. She-in no uncertain terms - did not want to go to the hospital and be sent home again. So she waited until her back labor was seriously painful.

Side note: Can we just talk about how intensely painful it is to watch the person you love more than anything in the world be in that kind of excruciating pain. I cried for her more than once. That helpless feeling is it's own kind of horrible.

We headed for the hospital smack dab in the middle of rush hour traffic. Awesome. I coached as well as I could from the driver seat and prayed to everything holy that they wouldn't send us home again.

We checked in again and the nurses were awesome. Talking SP through the incredible back labor and working to get her checked quickly between contractions - because at this point laying down was unbearable. The only "comfortable" position was standing. Which was quickly becoming exhausting and painful (SP's ankles were tree trunks and we've basically been awake for 24hrs at this point)

The amazing midwife told us that while SP was only at a 4-4 1/2 ish that they would admit us. Because SP's back labor was really intense and her contractions were still coming prettyyyy fast (like every 2 mins and lasting a good min or two...so basically constant excruciating pain). 

We got all checked out and got SP to the laboring suite (which was amazingly huge). The fantastic nurses got us all settled in - everybody was extra excited becasue we were having a surprise baby - they don't get a lot of surprise babies anymore - and finally it hit me - it was really real. A baby, OUR baby, my dream baby...was coming!

At that point we talked to the midwife some more about pain management options etc. She recommended SP try  to get in the shower and labor for awhile longer. So that's what we did for a few more hours at which point SP just couldn't stand anymore and she definitely couldn't lay down. She decided it was time for the juice.  The lovely anesthesia man came in and placed the epidural in between contractions (the fact that they can do that in 2mins is amazing) and it was like the heavens themselves opened because the immediate relief was insane. SP fell asleep immediately and the nurses put me onto the tiny couch and we got about 3 glorious hours of sleep.

At that point SP wasn't making enough progress (common when you get an epidural) so they decided to give her pitocin...which I'm not going to lie may made me nervous..because you hear a lot of labor horror stories including pitocin (ie horrible pain, emergency c-sections etc etc) But luckily it worked like a charm. The baby however was still sunny side up so SP had to roll from side to side every once in awhile to try to get the baby to turn. After awhile she was starting to feel things where she shouldn't so the new anesthisa dr came and gave her a top off.  And that helped a lot. A few hours later SP needed another top off and this one wasn't great. And then a little while later she needed another top off. And this one didn't work at all.  

This is when the friendly staff told SP that the only option would be to replace the epidural at this point - but first - lets check your progress. It was at this point we were informed that there would be no replacing the epidural because it was time to get this kid out. 

Poor champ of a wife :(
She breathed, we counted and held legs. She pushed and breathed and we counted and encouraged and held legs. SP asked how much longer and the nurse said you can push anywhere between 20mins and 3hours. And then the stubborn SP I knew came out. There was no way in HELL she would be pushing for 3 hours thank you very much.

In the end, my champion of a wife, who never planned on a natural birth - pushed for only 1hr, essentially drug free. And when our 8lb 12oz 22inches long bundle came sliding into this world I was sobbing. I had the extra special pleasure of announcing that she was in fact a she (which by the way, I double checked with the midwife before announcing because I honestly couldn't believe it) and then cutting her cord.

It's a GIRL!
And just like that - the months and months of laboring to bring her here, the 9 months of incubating her, the stress and worry and hoping - all of it was over.  And just like that it was all beginning...

And then there were 3