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  #11  
Old 07-09-2014, 06:51 PM
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gorgeouskitten, I hope you and your soon-to-be-ex (?) can find a comfortable intimacy in co-parenting. Just like friends don't always cuddle, exes don't always do battle. Don't let divorcing define you. Be what you want to be to each other.
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  #12  
Old 07-12-2014, 04:06 PM
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Talking Clamming up

Preparing for my first pre-natal appointment, I talked to Mitch about transparency with my medical professionals. I've never hidden from a provider that I have two sexual partners, and that we're all free to have more, but we mostly don't.

But. I'm about to start seeing a new set of providers, and they are smack-dab in the middle of the community Mitch works in. He has always been concerned that someone who disagreed with our way of life would find out and make it hard for him to keep his job. Now that I'm not married (which sometimes isn't a thing you can lie about - think birth certificates and presumptive paternity) we pass pretty well as unmarried partners.

So I've been trying to figure out if there's any reason the providers that will be seeing me during pregnancy and childbirth need to know about Woof. Sure, they may see his name alongside Mitch's on my medical power of attorney paperwork. But do I need to tell them I have two sexual partners? I'm not seeing them about a sexual health problem, and any activity restrictions along the way will simply apply to both partners. If something came up that made their knowing about Woof essential, of course I'd tell. But I just don't see that in the base case.

I'm feeling like there's no good reason to push Mitch's comfort ("I fear I could lose my livelihood") by divulging everything, nor to choose a much less convenient practice that's nowhere near his worry radius, but where I can be totally transparent about being poly.

"Oh, hello, closet! I've had just one foot in you so long, I forgot you were right there at my back. Make a space for me to tuck back in there a bit..."
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  #13  
Old 07-12-2014, 04:58 PM
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So how does Woof think about having another infant in the house? Will he help coparent the new baby?
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  #14  
Old 07-12-2014, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inyourendo View Post
So how does Woof think about having another infant in the house? Will he help coparent the new baby?
Woof is pretty excited. He celebrates every complaint of nausea from me, as a good sign. He loves babies, and he's happy for Mitch that he will get to experience parenthood. Woof and the kids will definitely help me out when the baby and I are there. He has also expressed that it will be nice to be more of an uncle this time, and to be able to get a break from the infant-care grind.
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  #15  
Old 07-12-2014, 05:52 PM
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Woof is pretty excited. He celebrates every complaint of nausea from me, as a good sign. He loves babies, and he's happy for Mitch that he will get to experience parenthood. Woof and the kids will definitely help me out when the baby and I are there. He has also expressed that it will be nice to be more of an uncle this time, and to be able to get a break from the infant-care grind.
That's really awesome!
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  #16  
Old 07-14-2014, 05:35 PM
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That's a tough call on what to divulge. I would say the laws surrounding medical confidentiality are pretty strict though. You would almost certainly have a case if a medical professional leaked anything that in any way caused harm to your life.
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  #17  
Old 07-14-2014, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by MusicalRose View Post
That's a tough call on what to divulge. I would say the laws surrounding medical confidentiality are pretty strict though. You would almost certainly have a case if a medical professional leaked anything that in any way caused harm to your life.
I agree, and that has been enough for me, especially when Mitch was long distance. But Mitch is far more concerned about the effect of outing than I ever was for myself and Woof, and he has good reason. It only takes one zealot, or even one petty gossip, to drop enough hints in the right bucket... And then no matter how firmly we're on the right side of the law, the repercussions can come, and fighting for reparations won't necessarily mend the damaged career.

It's my least favorite part of our relationship, but it's always been a known element of the package that is Mitch. He's never been actively or outwardly poly because of his vulnerability and the sense that he's living in a fishbowl. More's the pity, because he's rational and a good communicator, he understands the importance of good partner selection, and he doesn't have jealousy or comparison issues. If he went seeking other partners, he would handle it well. Maybe someday...
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  #18  
Old 07-22-2014, 02:40 PM
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Default "I'm still pregnant!"

"I'm still pregnant!" It's funny how that sentiment pops into my head now and then, revealing the lack of confidence I have in some aspects of my older body. In my 20s, I never doubted a pregnancy. Now just into my 40s, I've miscarried, and I know the stats.

I had an amazing new blood test that quantifies fetal DNA in the mother's blood, to verify that the chromosomal proportions are normal. My impatience this week is for those results. I always have some impatience brewing. Just because I've learned to be Slow doesn't mean I have totally conquered the nervous vibe of impatience.
_____

I met someone in Mitch's life, somewhat by accident. It was a little awkward, but the world didn't end. It was a brief interaction, and the person is a colleague, not a friend. Suddenly Mitch is known to have a (probable) girlfriend. I joked that money probably changed hands the next day as the office pool paid out on whether or not he's gay.

I am just gonna assume that someone meeting me for the first time wouldn't notice the visible signs of the pregnancy. My belly is a little thicker and I'm up a couple of cup sizes. Lots of women my age have a little extra curviness here and there, right?

Soon, the pregnancy will be out there for everyone to see. This, I'm not impatient for.
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  #19  
Old 07-27-2014, 12:50 AM
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Default Telling more people; getting more real

Because of my age I was offered Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing, using cell-free fetal DNA in my blood to verify the baby's status for the most common trisomies (including Down Syndrome). It's amazing what science can do -- I was expecting to need an invasive procedure (CVS or amnio) to rule out Down Syndrome. The results came back low risk (<1/10,000), and suddenly I realize this pregnancy is really going to proceed, and Mitch and I are very likely to have a child early next year.

Woof cried when I told him the news. He loves babies. I finally felt ready to tell the children I'm pregnant. The teen had concerns and mixed feelings. I was so glad he shared those instead of just shutting me out. We talked a while, and will talk more, but he said he felt better even by the end of our conversation. The younger two are happy and very excited. I didn't say that Mitch was the dad, figuring they either assumed, or would ask. Youngest asked if the baby would be a step-sibling. I said they would simply be siblings, even if the new baby had a different daddy. Everyone seemed content with that answer.

Mitch seems to be switching from "wait and see if this works" mode to "accept the inevitable and possible consequences" mode. He is processing his worries about workplace effects, and sounds more and more like he doesn't think privacy will hold. [I checked in with Woof about my concern that letting people in Mitch's world assume that Woof and I are "properly divorced" does a disservice to our love. Woof says he is comfortable. His happiness is not about being acknowledged as my partner. So I suggested to Mitch a perfectly acceptable front for him to use: I "birds'-nest" co-parent with Woof, and the rest of the time live with Mitch. The baby stays with me. Simple, simple. But Mitch figures there will be a breach at some point, no matter how simple I make it sound.]

I'm going to keep following Mitch's lead on this. I don't want him constantly stressed about being outed. But I hope he's coming around to the conclusion that having a partner and co-parent who happens to have another partner and co-parent doesn't really mark him as a target for the morality police. Or at least not enough to justify it stressing him out in the day-to-day of things. It would be nicer to have it out in the open with his closest colleagues, just for the ability to relax the constant vigilance.

I've told the dear relative (chosen family) whose reaction I was most apprehensive about. She was shocked and worried, but says she's happy if I'm happy. We talked some about her own experience with (unwed, single) motherhood and how my situation is so structurally different, that her knee-jerk negative feelings needn't apply. Then she asked about yarn colors for knitting me a baby blanket.

My parents and siblings, even some of Woof's siblings, the kids, my closest friends -- so many people are now expressing acceptance and support.

Mitch will tell his family in a week or two, when the arbitrary, invisible milestone of the end of the first trimester is behind us. At this point I feel like I can take whatever comes on that front. I don't know how much he will tell them about my attachments, or whether he will even answer all of their questions. I'm curious, but it's truly up to him.

And now on to shopping for a slightly bigger home, with a guest space. I am going to want one of the kids to stay with me, and sometimes a friend or relative. Maybe even Mitch's mom, if telling her reaps the same acceptance and willingness to be involved that telling everyone else has.
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  #20  
Old 07-30-2014, 03:13 PM
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Twelve weeks pregnant. The belly is pooching out, especially when I'm tired. I'm definitely in the phase to prompt "is she, or isn't she?" musings.

I just learned that one of Woof's sisters is also twelve weeks pregnant. I told her first (via text) and she (blown away) said "Well, your little one is going to have a cousin-twin!" This is not one of the sisters who knows about our situation - we haven't bothered to be out with the conservative half of his family. She doesn't know we're poly, and she doesn't know we're legally divorced. She doesn't know to wonder if Woof is (biologically) or will be (in the ways that matter) the dad.

It's clear that this baby will be a sibling to my children. "Half sibling" is an accurate genetic term, but won't be used casually in our homes. But will she be a cousin to Woof's nieces and nephews? Will we ever draw the lines? Why bother?

I didn't correct her -- that would have been too much 'splaining for two pregnant ladies, too late at night. When I told Woof about it, he wondered if it wouldn't be easier to let the assumption ride forever. I don't think it'll last. The kids are too confident in their management of information to let it last. And the new kid, when she's old enough, won't have ambiguity about which is her dad and which is her brothers' dad. I can't imagine a five-year-old not correcting someone who has it wrong.

But for now, I'm not gonna rock the boat with Woof's family of origin. It'll come out eventually, and by then it will be still more obvious that the way we live works for all of us. They will be opposed, for religious reasons. They will be concerned for the children and for our souls. But they will have to work that out for themselves. Ultimately they will have to choose to accept us if they want to have contact, because we won't brook proselytizing.

I am so glad my parents are embracing my happiness, and even my most conservative siblings say I'm weird but they love me, and love babies, so they're happy for us.
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