Archive for July, 2010

Wet Noodle

Forgive me, blog reader, for it has been 10 days since my last post. I deserve 20 lashes (with a wet noodle).

The thing is, I think about you quite often. Every time I pee on a stick, for example, you’re with me. But some moments are private and sacred. I offer one up to you now as penance.

After a bumpy start to this cycle with what could have been an early ovulation, I managed to create one more bump (no, not the baby kind). When K and I had E2 in our clutches on that day 6 insemination, we 3 sat down and looked at a calendar. Only, I thought it was day 5. So we booked him (we thought) for days 8, 10, and 12. It was suggested that we switch things up by starting earlier than usual and going every other day. Well, that would’ve been great, except that it was actually days 9, 11, and 13 due to my mix-up. So when day 12 rolled around and my LH was surging, I panicked. Sure we had inseminated the day before, but based on our scheduling, we weren’t going to again until the next night. The problem? I would have already ovulated.

What did I do? The 3 things I always do: call Kristy on her cell in a panic, call E2 on his cell in a panic, and go online to research how we’d still be in the fertile window and all the ways that it would be too late to ever, ever, ever get pregnant. Most websites say that the egg will only live for 24 hours before it starts to disintegrate. They also say that sperm should be waiting in fallopian tubes to pounce on the egg as soon as she makes her entrance. Even though it would only have been 2.5 days since the previous insemination, and every website and professional agree that sperm can live a few days, I was desperate to get the last insemination done before I ovulated. Unfortunately, because we had done such fine scheduling, E2 was at the river without his cell on day 12. All my messages and panic were wasted.

The next morning, however, E2 called early to see what could be done. I don’t know how he did it, but he got off work early, so we were able to inseminate a few hours earlier than we would have. Unfortunately, based on my temps., I ovulated overnight, which means all that amazing hustle was probably for naught. Regardless, K and I did our best to get the sperm right up there to save them some travel time. And here, finally, for your voyeuristic pleasure, is the moment (warning: no imagery spared):

Without a head lamp (which we definitely need to buy), we had to pull off some serious Cirque du Soleil maneuvering. I was in a position such that the wall behind our bed was functioning as obstetrician stirrup support for my feet. In my left hand, I held a tube of Preseed (completely upright so as not to spill any). With my right hand, I held a speculum in place (nuff said) while K ran downstairs to get the jar of specimen. Upon her return, she took over the speculum and handed me the jar, which I held to my belly to keep the swimmers warm. (Mind you, this is all done with a sense of urgency since sperm don’t live too long outside the body.) With her other hand, K put the syringe in the jar, and with one hand each we pulled up the specimen into the syringe (I could see nothing of what was happening in the jar). Then K and I switched tube for syringe. She held the tube down into the speculum while I plunged. Then we traded again and did the same with the syringe. Did I mention the awkward red desk lamp? Somewhere in there, maybe balanced between a leg and a chin, was one of those bendy neck desk lamps, which K had to keep shining down on the front of the speculum and my cervix. I’m not sure how we pulled it off, but my guess is sheer will power or desperation and adrenaline.

That concludes our shared moment of ridiculousness; I hope I am forgiven my bloggy absence.

Stay tuned for crazed internet searches (for example: “how early is too early to do a pregnancy test?”) and other hormonal freak-outs.

Did I mention that we’re packing up our house and moving a week from today? Weeee!

Me? Two-Timing?

It’s not what you think.

In spite of a very popular recommendation from family members and friends to just have sex with a guy to make getting pregnant easier, I will never “do it” with anyone but my spouse. I’m actually referring to the highly questionable double ovulation (cue Twilight Zone muzak). I don’t mean the release of two eggs within one 24-hour period, I mean a full-on ovulation that exists several days apart from the obvious mid-cycle ovulation. A myth, you say? A fairytale made up by desperate lesbians trying to conceive? Well, whatever it is, my luteinizing hormone shouted out this morning…and it’s only day 5! What?!

As I’ve mentioned once or ten times on this blog, I have an intense, weird pain early in my cycle that occurs several days before my day 12/13 “ovulation.” Well, I got a twinge of it overnight last night and thought, “What the hell? I’m just going to pee on a stick in the morning even though I just stopped bleeding.” And to my surprise, a significant pink line presented itself on the ovulation predictor. Wow. Did that ever throw our morning into a tizzy! I had to meet a contractor at our new house (that’s right, it’s all ours!) but drop K off at work first. While I drove, K called E2 to see if he could make it over here tonight. I dropped her off and realized I had not brought the new house keys! I called the contractor and ran home, where I also grabbed some more pee sticks. I figured I’d test again the next time I had to pee. Well, like most women trying to conceive (especially on hot summer days), I drink tons of water. This means that my next pee was super diluted, unlike my first morning pee, which gave me the pink line. Distraught and confused, I called K at work and freaked on her a little bit. After some interweb research, we decided to go for it and inseminate now, however unlikely conception might be.

What kind of things did the Google machine of baby-making wonder tell us? Well, I found one (yes just 1) study by some Canadians that showed a handful of women ovulated two separate times out of a large test group. I also read some message boards (I know) in which some women told their stories of how they always thought they might be ovulating earlier too, but second-guessed themselves because of scientific “fact”: women ovulate once per cycle. They then tried inseminating (or having sex) in this first window of fertility and conceived! K found out that two of her co-workers conceived on the last day of their periods. And, to make me feel even better, I came across a whole section about double ovulation in The New Essential Guide to Lesbian Conception (etc.) Here’s a passage:
“According to the Western medical interpretation of female fertility, ovulation only happens once, mid-cycle. Although it’s recognized that some women ovulate twice in one month, it is only considered to be possible within twenty-four hours of a woman’s first ovulation. Our experience has proved otherwise. We, and many other practitioners around the world have come to realize that for some women, and for some cycles, ovulation occurs more than once a cycle, often seven to ten days apart.” As I told E2 tonight, women are strange beings; I’ve been one my whole life and I still don’t get it.

This Part Again, Part Two

Well, shit.

In some ways I’m getting used to the drill, and in other ways it’s getting harder each try.

I could tell form earlier signs that I wasn’t pregnant this month. But to screw with my head, my temperature stayed relatively high (until this morning) AND I got a highly questionable pee stick last night.

It’s a million degrees plus a million percent humidity with a million point mosquito index here. Last night, after we took some cold showers just to survive going to sleep, I looked over at the test I’d taken a couple hours earlier. While there was only one line when I looked at the thing after 3 minutes, there was a definite vertical line (though faint) when I looked again this time. We freaked. I immediately peed on a different kind of test, which said NO. So I rubbed the damn progesterone cream on one more time and tried to sleep.

Today, I scoured the interweb for information about fertility. And guess what? While trying to be all earth-friendly and chemical-free, I may have been pumping up my estrogen, making it harder to conceive! I was reading about herbs and conception when I saw that lavender oil should be avoided. Who knew? Not the person who puts homemade deodorant featuring lavender oil under her pits every freakin’ day!!!

Speaking of sad… I went to my first ever grief support group last night. It just gets more fun ’round these parts! Well, the group is just starting, so it was just me, a guy who just lost his partner of 27 years, and the group leader. The poor guy is only 49, and he was a teary wreck before we even got in the room. I did my share of tearing up—pretty much any time the facilitator asked me a direct question about my dad or whenever I had to say the words “my dad.” But talking with the grieving guy, I realized that, though traumatizing, I got such an amazing gift when K didn’t die in ’08 and that we still have opportunities ahead of us, like having a child. While every egg that bites the dust is like a slap in my old, wrinkly face, at least K and I are still both here to try.

Suck on that, grief.

No Shame

I blatantly took over the holding of a friend’s baby at a 4th of July party for my own selfish purposes. Sure, the baby is adorable and I would want to hold him anyway. But I was using that little guy for his weight in baby juju. I sniffed the head (and kissed it, too!), really concentrating on the yummy feel of him. It’s funny how the longer this process takes the more superstitious I’m becoming! If I’m not pregnant by the end of the summer, you’ll probably find me with a Ouija board or reading my tea leaves.

Actually, I’m feeling kind of down today, and not just because we’ve had cold cloudy days for the past I don’t know how many. My basal body temp has dropped 3 hundredths of a degree each day for the past three days. I know that is minuscule, but the downward trend is what has me funkin’.

I appreciate the reminder that each unsuccessful try is getting us closer to the successful one, but for right now I’m shamelessly singin’ the progesterone cream blues.

Raging Realist Seeks Backup From Beyond

From previous posts, you know that I am grieving my father and that this getting pregnant deal is bittersweet. I can’t wait to have/raise a child (sweet), but it tears me up that the kid won’t know its Saba/Grandpa (bitter). I know the grief will dissipate with time (it’s only been 7 months since he passed), but trying to conceive keeps it kind of fresh. I’m sure the mood swings of pregnancy and postpartum will salt away the wound as well (to mix my salt metaphors).

So here’s my thought: I’m not generally superstitious or into the occult or anything, but what if my dad has more luck helping me with this pregnancy thing from the other side? I noticed today that I got my period this cycle on June 16. Nine months to the day is my dad’s birthday. So I know that a “due date” is actually 40 weeks, not 9 months, from the first day of the last period. But maybe the shadow of coincidence could mean something in some dimension?

Many people believe that their loved ones become part-time guardian angel when they depart. Being my dad’s daughter (he was a psychologist), however, I know that the human brain will come up with all kinds of fantastical things to cope. So, now I’m left to wonder, can the magic still work if I don’t believe?

The truth, no matter what I or anyone believes, is that one of those millions of sperm has either gotten through my egg’s tough exterior or the lot of them have given up and exited the premises. Here’s to another fortnight of mystery!

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

The Family

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