Update

A few weeks ago, after washing our car and admiring how clean and shiny it was a bird shat on it. It wasn’t a little speck it was runny white diarrhea shit. That’s how life is sometimes you know? You do your best and think things are perfect then … life.

It’s been a wild six months since we last updated you about our family plans. The last you read we were going through the adoption process – after many heart-to-hearts and realizing the commitment to care for a special needs child we realized we aren’t in that place in our lives just yet. Adoption is still near and dear to us and we do hope to adopt in the future.

Since adoption was our Plan A, when that fell through we moved to Plan B which was for Mariel to carry the child. After doing some bbt (basal body temp) charting and not seeing very reliable results we realized that pregnancy with her PCOS would likely throw us into financial ruin so we moved to Plan C (very hesitantly) which was for me (Viviana) to get pregnant with a known donor. That plan fell apart as quick as it came about so a lawyer and many tears later we moved onto Plan D which was for us to use a sperm donor.

We decided to use Fairfax Cryobank and narrowed it down to five great prospects. After mulling around about those five we finally narrowed it down to two and eventually down to “the one!”  We’re pretty excited about having chosen and purchased a vial of our donor sperm. Of course that’s not all there is to this ttc (trying to conceive) journey. I’ll list everything out that we’ve done/have yet to do!

  1. Start charting so you know when you’re fertile (you need at least 3 solid months recorded)
  2. Find a fertility doctor
  3. Both partners have a ton of blood tests taken
  4. See a psychologist (Texas required when using donor sperm)
  5. Find an attorney who can get your second-parent adoption paperwork started (for the non-bio parent)
  6. Choose the sperm donor
  7. Purchase the sperm and have it sent to your local cryobank
  8. Wait for your period to begin (Cycle day 1 is full flow not spotting) and schedule an *HSG test between cycle day 5-10. *The HSG test is optional.
  9. Cycle days 9-15 test every day with your Clear Blue Easy strips and when you get a big smiley face, call the doctors and they’ll schedule your IUI (intra-uterine insemination) for the very next day!

We aren’t ready to say where we are in this process but we can say we are very excited that our dreams are coming true. I’ve wanted a family for what feels like FOREVER. Oh and in other exciting news we bought a bassinet the other day! I found it on Craigslist for $50 in perfect condition. Score!!

Every one of the numbers on the checklist above is another huge conversation in itself so if you have any questions, please feel free to ask me. We’ve gone into this blind and are still learning our way through it all.

The lesbian family making process is not for the weary! There are many times we’ve felt so alone & stressed in this process. It’s tough and in our case has brought us closer together but has hurt so many times. Of course even when we have our baby in our arms, the process won’t be over. We’ll still have to pay tons of money to adopt our own child and I’ll appear to be a single mother on the birth certificate but we trust that its all worth it. Mariel and I do not give up on anything ever. I’m serious! We never stop going up to bat when we want something bad enough. If you’re going through this or know somebody who is, my only advice would be to have patience and take things slow. There is no rushing this baby thing – it takes time and that’s a good thing. Stress can jack up everything so the more zen you are about every step the better off you’ll be in the long run for you, your relationship and the baby.

Baby dust to all you wanna-be mama’s like me :)

Vivianarchy

THE BEST IS YET TO COME

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Happy New Year! This past week we’ve been finishing up some projects around the house, preparing for Día de los Reyes on January 6th (Three Wise Men Day) and unwinding from the holiday madness that just passed. Between work and our constant flow of out-of-town house guests we tend to stay pretty busy! We are happy and have so much to be thankful for. This past year we have worked hard for and been blessed with so much–a home, a marriage and promotions.

And although all around me there is abundance, my heart aches for a family of our own. To be honest with you, during our downtime I still feel a little empty. When you want something so bad, you want that desire to be fulfilled instantly even though [in our case] it can’t be. The thing is, I’ve always dreamed of being a mother and our little family of two is strong and full of love. We want to share that love.

If you’re like us, the baby conversation happens from the start. When I started dating Mariel nearly three years ago it was with intention; I knew she was the one. We’ve always dreamt of a family, but haven’t ever felt “right” about our baby-making options. The thing is, we just want to be parents. It doesn’t matter to us if our children are biologically ours or not. Sure it stings us a little to think of each other pregnant with a baby that isn’t from both of us but since that’s not scientifically possible, there’s no sense in getting hung up over it.

We’ve gone back and forth about charting, looking into the best basal thermometer to order and then the most interesting –where the heck do we get the sperm! Then the more elaborate conversations of who gets pregnant first? Should we get pregnant together? What if we carry each others egg? Will you love “my” baby like it’s your own? What about adoption?

For a year we’ve had the same conversations. And we’ve cried over it like nobodys business. Most times it’s such a sore subject that we try to ignore it and other times we dream about names together. Then there are the countless times that family members and friends have announced their pregnancies and we’ve watched their bellies grow, felt their tiny miracles kick and while all of that is a joy, we wonder when it’ll be our turn? When will we be mothers?

Yet through all these moments there’s only been one idea that we’ve come back to and felt excited about: adoption. My wife works for the state and deals heavily with cases of abused and neglected children so this topic has always been heavy on our hearts.

At different times over the last year, Mariel would bring it up, then a month or two later I would, but every time we’d drop it. Our initial concern was “there’s no way we can afford it” but after a lot of research we emailed a private adoption agency that we’ve heard good things about with a ton of questions and got answers to all of them that very same afternoon. To tell you that we were overjoyed would be an understatement.

Never let the odds keep you from doing what you know in your heart you were meant to do. – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

We found out that we can adopt in our state even though we are a lesbian couple and that the fees are nominal if we adopt through the state. After filling out a 54 page Adoption & Foster Family Application Package we are enrolled in our training classes that start next week and we couldn’t be more excited! It feels right to start our family this way — after all, love is what makes a family.

Even though we don’t have a baby growing in our bellies, we won’t have sonogram pictures to share with you , the sex of our child is a mystery and we don’t know the color of our perfect childs skin, we hope that you’ll join us in this journey. It’s scary territory for us and there’s a million steps before we reach the finish line but the call to adopt has been placed on our hearts so there is nothing we can do but be patient, prepare and take things as they come. We know that the right child will be placed with us when it’s the right time. Until then, we are going to keep doing our thing!

Much love,

Viviana + Mariel

Our Wedding

Our relationship leading up to the day Mariel proposed to me was “normal” in every way. But I’m sure you can imagine that once we started trying to plan a lesbian wedding in Texas, we came into some hurdles! Think about it — two brides. I don’t think I need to say any more than just those two words: Two brides!! 

Initially we thought about eloping to bypass all the imagined drama but then realized we could swing it and that we should. So we did!

The wedding was held on October 7th in Austin, TX and the morning after we flew to NYC for our honeymoon / legal wedding. As you can see from the photos, our theme was “simple & natural.”

As young professionals, we aren’t rollin in the dough so we made a budget and stuck to it! It was hard but we made payments, cut back in other areas and in the end it was worth it. Our centerpieces were used wine, beer and drink glass bottles that we saved up for months. The table runners we bought off Craigslist for a portion of the price it would have been to rent them and the bows on our chairs were re-used from my sisters wedding. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family for help and to donate their used stuff! Also, to help offset the honeymoon costs we created a really easy and free honeymoon registry. At the end of the day, most of the gifts we received were purchased through there!

decorflowers & cakevegan vanilla cake with DIY bunting bridal suite shot wedding march married!! signing our certificate sisters wedding party so mexican bridal snaps bridal snaps bridal snaps getting jiggy wit it toasting father daughter dance first bite! garter belt send off peace out! NY Wedding Certificate

Our family & friends traveled from all over the country to be with us even though we held it on a Monday. [having a wedding on a weekday is a big money saver] Our main goal of the wedding was to have our guests feel our love. Everybody who attended told us it was their first gay marriage. It was ours too! However, marriage is marriage — us being gay makes no difference. The commitment is all the same.

Thank you to everybody who was there for us and helped to make our day special. We had co-workers, family, friends and vendors who pitched in and gave us things on-the-house or volunteered in awesome ways. Many of the things you see were DIY that my wife and I spent countless hours laboring over. Other things like the flower arrangements, were arranged by many hands! For all of you who helped or showed up we are eternally grateful.

Our vendors: Venue: Mercury Hall | Photography: Austin Queer Weddings | Vivi’s Dress: Unbridaled | Linens: Premiere Party Central | Flowers: Sam’s Club | DJ: Capital City DJ | Cakes: Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop | Food: El Alma | Donuts: Round Rock Donuts

Much love,

Vivianarchy

Whirlwind Year!

Hello loves! I’ve totally neglected to share with you all year but I’m back. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you’ve been kept in the loop but if not, let’s get down to business! (and if you don’t follow me already you really should)

Today lets talk about OUR HOUSE! In August we signed a million papers and moved into our very 1st house in Northeast Austin, TX. We lovingly call it “The Love Shack”. Sometimes it feels unreal and I still catch myself saying “the apartment.” It’s such a hard thing to shake! I’m so use to apartment living but I am so in love with our home. When we first moved in, we quickly realized that all of the shabby chic furniture that looked nice in our apartment looks ugly in our home. But of course we are big cheap-o’s so piece by piece we are replacing things. Well Mariel is the one replacing everything by taking pictures and posting them on Craigslist. She’s a hustla baby. I just want you to know.

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Our new house didn’t have a kitchen island and came with very little storage so we’ve been hunting for one. We found this gem for $150 at Sams Club! It was the last one they had in stock and priced for quick sale. To keep sprucing things up, we wanted some live plants inside so we went to East Austin Succulents. After some debate we picked these two and love them! The one on the right has since gotten really big and the one on the left stays little. [that's how she grows.] The last two pics of Mariel and I are just us home-ownin like a boss.

Hugs,

Vivianarchy