Archive for April, 2010


I got rubbed the right way today by my extremely talented wife, Handsy McRubster (I’m not being dirty; she’s a licensed massage therapist).

Then I got rubbed the wrong way.

I was using this website,, which I learned about from a fellow blogger. It lets you enter all kinds of information so you can chart electronically, and then it is supposed to show you the best time to… well, this is where the rubbing began.

I noticed that in almost every bit of textual explanation and direction, the words “have intercourse” were used. I only found the word “inseminate” in one place. So, I thought I’d send them a friendly suggestion since many women might find their tool helpful, whether having intercourse to conceive or not. I guess I was wrong.

I wrote: I was really excited to learn about your website. However, I soon became very disheartened by the language used throughout. Many TTC women are not having intercourse to conceive. I suggest you add the word “inseminate” to your text for a more inclusive environment.

They responded: Oh I think you are misinterpreting the meaning of what we do. It is not about being inclusive or exclusive, it is about being accurate. We can advise people about intercourse timing because we have a large body of data and large amount of experience about it however we cannot let people believe that we will advise them about insemination timing. This is is [sic] in most case [sic] under strict medical control and the last thing we do here is interfere with members’ health care. As for the small minority of members who would perform at home insemination we do not have enough data about it to be extremely precise so using a too inclusive term would be actually misleading. Part of the tools we propose can be used by some people and part by others. It is not meant to exclude that I can assure you.

Best wishes,

First of all, don’t get me started about the snarky “Oh.” Second, WTF? The difference between intercourse and insemination of fresh sperm is exactly nil. If they just want to be safe, and don’t want to step on any medical toes, then they could either 1. make a disclaimer about that up front so no naive lesbian spends hours using their website only to find out it’s not for her or 2. stay out of the health care business. Third, women conceiving (or trying to) without intercourse includes lesbians as well as straight women, which is not such a “small minority.” How does your Members-Only jacket look on you now, bizatch?

I know, I know. Liability, liability, liability. But really, any disclaimer about the general effectiveness of their tool for pork-lovin’ women would suffice for us kosher ones as well. Why not just say, “You know what? We’re always looking for ways to get new users and make more money. Thanks for the suggestion.” and then ignore my ass? We established in an earlier post that I’m PMSing, but do I have a shred of a leg to stand on here?

Your thoughts…

Happy Crampiversary

In my imagination, our eight-year anniversary goes something like this: I hand K a wrapped gift, probably in one of those nice boxes for diamond bracelets, and inside is a pregnancy test with a plus on it. She screams and throws her arms around me, and then we go out to dinner.

Instead, K is popping pain pills for her cramps (sorry, hon, nobody’s menstrual cycle is private on my blog) and I am a depressed shell of a woman who has watched her basal body temperature drop the past two mornings. We’re still going out for dinner.

Don't even think about it!

K surprised me this morning with a delicious looking rose body butter, her first massage appointment tomorrow, and a beautiful card. In spite of my plummeting temps and mood, she continues to smile and be lovely and supportive. I hope by the time I pick her up for dinner, I will be in a better head space. She deserves a present wife (and a wife with a present) who can revel in the occasion.

The thing is, I’m used to working my butt off for something and then getting it. So this business of doing everything I’m supposed to and failing to conceive leaves me feeling like a right failure. I know people try to get pregnant for a much longer time and take much more drastic measures… I guess my depression is really less about these past few failures and more about fear of this exact thing—that I’ll have to try “for a much longer time and take much more drastic measures.”

The downward spiral is a tricky thing because once you step off the ledge, the centrifugal force starts pulling other things in (imagine flying cows in a tornado). Suddenly, I have no faith in the charting I’ve been doing over the past three years; I’m sure that my idea of when I ovulate is completely off, or, as I’ve mentioned before, I have super man-hating ova that fight off sperm with a jellyfish-like protective shield.

Could it be that I’m PMSing?

I regret spewing my mood all over the blog post, but it helps in some using-this-crazy-technology-to-virtually-connect-with-people-who-are-out-there-reading-and-supporting-me cathartic kind of way. I’ll get my act together by tonight, don’t worry. After all, it’s not every day I get to celebrate the eighth anniversary of the coming together with the love of my life. It’s all about the journey, right?

Throw Away the Key

This is my confession; I transgressed, and in a law office, to boot!

We went uuuuurly this morning with E2 to finally FINALLY sign our donor agreement. Like a trio of old pals, we joked about this and that as we made our way downtown to the fancy office with the fancier views. On the table, where we sat waiting for the notary, were three super fine Pilot pens. The pens probably came in a box of 12 for a dollar, but nonetheless I coveted. I told K and E2 that I would have one. When the notary came in with her own super fine Pilot pen, I knew I had it made because, when we left, there were still three pens sitting there on the table—just like when we arrived.

My one-way ticket to the clink

I could say that the kleptomania was inspired by a desire to have a memento of the occasion; you know, for the kid. But I know it’s not true. I just wanted it. So I tucked it into my overly long sleeve and tried to keep the coup to myself till we got to the elevator. I love our lawyer, and I don’t wish financial ruin upon her firm. Yet, I stole the pen.

After dropping E2 home, I noticed that we hadn’t mentioned the fact that we inseminated frozen sperm recently and that, if I turn out to be pregnant, the whole arrangement with him would be off. Raise your hand if you have no problem stealing a pen but avoid confrontation like it’s lice or Lindsay Lohan movies.

As far as all that getting pregnant stuff goes (as if pregnancy, and not petty theft admission, is why I blog), I don’t have any sense of a fertilized egg in my uterus. Nor do I sense a non-fertilized one. I have occasional cramps, but this could be explained by the slew of muscles around them parts that I fail to exercise or stretch.

My theory? I’ll be pregnant this time just because I don’t want to have to tell E2, after the absurdity of these past months, that he won’t have progeny through us after all.

I’ll keep you posted.

My Wart Is Back

My worry wart, that is.

I worry the first part of the month that I won’t get a chance to inseminate, and then I worry the second part that we did it at the wrong time or incorrectly, etc. But I got a good couple of days in there when I felt pretty great about life, myself, a future baby… I guess I just have to look forward to those two days of insemination for a break from the evil W?

Last Thursday, I had a delightful ultrasound, when person 1 for the day was up in my business. I thought I was only going to have an external rub over my ovary area (where it turns out there was a small cyst thing—nothing to be concerned about). Then the tech brought out a big wand-like implement and said, “If people knew that this part was going to happen, they wouldn’t come in.” Truer words were never spoken. For a look from the inside, she inserted what she said would feel like a tampon. Who knows? Maybe she uses fire hydrants as tampons, but not me. I have to admit, it was pretty cool to see my insides for the first time. It turns out that I have a retroverted uterus. When I asked what that was, K, who was in the room, piped in, “It means your uterus is from the ’70s.” She’s so darn funny at just the right times.

I spent the rest of the morning peeing on sticks every hour (overkill). K was person 2 to check things out up downstairs to see if my cervix was opening. After talking with the naturopath a half dozen times, we decided to inseminate the first vile that evening. It went pretty much like the photos in the previous post depict. The naturopath was person 3 to delve into my netherlands. She said the os was open and there was cervical fluid. K and I celebrated with a nice meal at our friends’ restaurant.

That night’s peestick showed a much lighter pink line. I assumed all the water and tea I drank at dinner had something to do with that. The next morning stick showed a darker line again. We raced over to the office for insemination dos. My os was already smaller, so the naturopath said we probably got in just in time. I was feeling good about things.

Then came 3 days of spotting. This can happen, apparently, but is still disconcerting for a gal who only bleeds when she’s supposed to. I continue to track my basal body temp., which spiked today as it always does on day 17. I made the grand mistake of looking in the Taking Charge of Your Fertility book (which tells me exactly when my husband and I should have sex, by the way), and it shows ovulation occurring the day before this spike in temp. What do I do? Panic! Call the naturopath! Decide I’m not pregnant and never will be!

The two weeks after insemination are a warty, no-fun time.

Basted in 7,000 Words

Because I’m too tired, crampy, busy, and happy to write a post today…

Potential half-baby's first car ride!

Just as God intended...

All good things come in small packages.

Shiny speculum can see into me!

I'm sorry; that's going WHERE???

A gift to our doctor from one of the banks (it begged for inclusion)

My chins and I relax after insemination while the swimmers swim.

Thanks to my lovely bride for the photographic journalism.

The Iceman Cometh

Sorry, but sometimes I can’t help myself with these post titles.

The Fed Ex guy just left. When I saw the truck pull up, I quickly rushed the pooch upstairs (her favorite treat after cat is Fed Ex leg). I opened the door to see him holding a flat envelope. “Why, that’s not sperm,” I thought to myself. I hesitated only a second before blurting: “That’s not what I was expecting! It was supposed to be a tank!” (Turned out the envelope was for K.)

Luckily, he went back to the truck and returned with the bestickered penis head pictured here (are all bio tanks shaped like this, or am I just lucky?). I hope our baby won’t be born with “Medical Specimen” or “Perishable” stuck on its body.

Welcome to the family!

If only life’s little hiccups were all as simple as a second trip to and from the Fed Ex truck…

Last night (all night), I experienced what could only be described as ovarian-cyst-popping pain that continued until the massive pain killer dosage kicked in this morning. Because we are so close to ovulation, we thought to call our PCP. She and our naturopath (who will be doing the insemination) both thought I should get an ultrasound to see if my ovary decided this would be a fun time to f@ck with me. I couldn’t get in for the ultrasound today, of course, so we’re going in early tomorrow morning (wonder who won’t be sleeping again tonight?).

Now my ovulation predictor is saying I’m very close to surging; mama universe wouldn’t want me to have an actual window of stress-free time in which to make a calm decision. If I have a cyst and things don’t look cozy in there, we’ll have to put off the insemination (yet again). The fun at that point will be figuring out what to do with the overpriced popsicle that just arrived.

I’m hoping it’s just middleschmertz (isn’t German great? it’s not as gross as it sounds), but wow, that was a lot o’ pain for just the ‘schmertz!

Best case scenario is that I pee on a stick tomorrow morning before we leave for the lab and see a big ol’ red line, and then we’ll have a zippy-quick ultrasound that will say everything’s a-okay, after which we’ll drive fast to the clinic and get this tundrafied sperm in me.

Worst case scenario is I don’t even want to talk about it.

I’m So Ironic!

There’s only one thing cuter than when a kid makes up a word, and that is when a kid uses a word completely incorrectly. I heard tell of my nephew playing wiffle ball and, after smacking it over the roof, doing a bit of a rooster strut, pointer finger in the air, saying: “I rock! I’m so ironic!” to the extreme amusement of my sister, brother-in-law and niece, who goaded him into saying it over and over.

Real irony, among other things, is an outcome of events contrary to what was, or might have been, expected. For example, K and I have worked (and spent) our butts off getting a local known donor ready for the past two months, so as to avoid having to use the entirely too expensive and poorer performing frozen sperm. And for the past two months, I have had zero access to sperm with which to inseminate and hopefully get pregnant. This month, I seem to have semen coming out the proverbial ying-yang!

The tanks arrive Wednesday; meanwhile, E2 is all set to go with us to our lawyer to sign the contract. I will ovulate at the end of the week.

Obsessive thoughts all weekend were as follows:

1. We should pay the cancellation fee for the frozen and save the money (too late now!)
2. But then, if for some reason we can’t get a hold of E2 to sign the contract or to come over for the inseminations, we get zero tries again this month.
3. We should inseminate with both the frozen and the fresh to increase our chances.
4. This will result in a horrible ’80s sitcom starring Paul Reiser.

While the goal is to get pregnant, it is not “at any cost.” We chose to go with a known donor (and, ironically, an identity-release unknown donor) because we want the kid to be able to look the guy up in 18 years. We realized that too many cooks in the kitchen would mean not knowing whose sperm “made it” should there be a pregnancy, and so we decided to keep the very important sub-goal in mind. We’ll sign the contract with E2, but just inseminate with the frozen this month.

The Chosen Frozen

Well, I just got off the phone with the sperm bank. It’s done. We have two .5cc vials of washed IUI-ready sperm being shipped in a nitrogen tank (sexy!).

I have so many conflicting feelings about this move, but it’s done, and I have too much to do today to think about it beyond this post (yeah, right!).

We decided late last night on our 5th choice donor. We had originally ordered the choices by family health history. But we realized that we weren’t excited about the top three guys at all. We reread #5’s answers, which were so full of personality and so sweet. The deal sealer was the description of him by the sperm bank staff: “adorable and charming,” “intelligent, humorous and charismatic,” “very cute and easy on the eyes” and, my favorite: “huggable.” So what’s a little cancer and heart disease when you’re attractive?

Come to Mama

The whole process of order placement, shipment, and delivery is an extremely odd form of foreplay. The staff ship the tank two days before our chosen arrival date. The tank keeps the goods frozen for 7 days, so I ordered it to arrive a couple days early just in case. Then I get to wait at home all day for FedEx to arrive, so there’s that.

I should probably mention that after listening to our harrowing phone messages, E2 called back last night. K talked to him; I was too fumy and crampy. I heard her apologize at one point and almost lost my sh!t. Apparently there was a miscommunication about when we wanted him to call us back. I recall asking him to please keep us informed about his ability to contact a lawyer, given our tight schedule. Regardless, K is still working on getting him in touch with our lawyer or someone she recommends so we can still get a contract signed with him. This is after two wasted cycles and $600. Let’s add $300 for a lawyer’s fee. Let’s get a clue! I know he’s young and kinda hippy, but we’ve explained and discussed the need for him to be calling us back pronto. He claims that since he works early in the morning till late at night, he can’t call us before or after work. Why not?!?! Leave a freakin’ message! I also don’t buy that he has no breaks all day long. Who, me? Frustrated?

Regardless of what we do with E2, we’ve got the cryogenic possibilities flying our way. So, I should try to look at the positive. I’ll let you know when that happens and how that goes.

This Isn’t Happening

We are 11 days away from my ovulation window, and we cannot get a hold of E2 again. This is freakin’ unbelievable!

I just called the sperm bank to find out exactly the last minute we can order the frozen sperm and get it here on time. That day is Wednesday, as in the day after tomorrow and the day we’ll be driving up to Seattle to see family.

I keep thinking, even if he calls back and we somehow manage to get everything squared away and signed tomorrow (when K and I both work and have appointments), can we really count on him to show up and fulfill his part of the deal when the days arrive?

K and I just both left weighty messages on his phone. I can’t believe that after everything we’ve been through to get this guy on track for us, we’re looking at no fresh sperm and $1,320 a month for just two vials. Oh, I almost forgot…we still haven’t picked a donor.

I’m pretty sure I’m still in bed and having one of those nightmares where I’m scrambling to get a phone number punched correctly on my cell phone in order to save my life, but I can’t get my fingers to work or I can’t see the numbers, and the murderous thing is hot on my trail.


(Disclaimer: No men were harmed in the making of this blog.)

The Family

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