Posts Tagged 'frozen sperm'

Isn’t She Lovely

Just when we thought we were having a boy… she’s a girl! K and I both thought that the increased likelihood of a male child due to frozen sperm usage was a no-brainer. But as soon as the ultrasound technician got the fetus on screen, she announced, “That’s definitely a girl.” I still don’t get how three tiny dots = vagina when I couldn’t even tell we were looking at that part of the body. But I guess that’s why I’m not running machines.

I had no idea, too, that we’d be seeing her in 3D! What a treat. I mean, she really didn’t seem to care for the ultrasound (she was squirming like crazy), but I feel a lot better seeing all her parts. No signs of Down’s, a completely covered spine, no cleft, etc. The only “issues” the doctor brought up were a very slight placenta previa and marginal placenta cord insertion. In English, that means the placenta is partially covering my cervix and the umbilical cord comes out of the placenta closer to the bottom than the middle. Lucky for me, K is extremely knowledgeable about this stuff, and she told me right away not to worry. So I won’t. For now.

It’s so very weird to have a photo of this half-baked creature inside me. Already I think I can see features that I recognize from my face, my dad’s face, and specific nephew and niece’s faces. With another 20 weeks to go, she will most likely look quote different the next time we see her.

Because I don’t get to glide in happyland for very long at any given point in time, I recently started to notice a pinkish tinge in my urine. We called the nurse midwife on call yesterday and she told us to come down and pee in a cup. K explained that UTIs are more common in pregnancy because the urethra, like a lot of other parts, is looser and more likely to pick up bacteria. Well, I’ve got zero burning, so I wonder about it being a UTI. The pee tech said they’d have results within 24 hours, and that was 23 hours ago! Don’t they know I’m a crazy pregnant woman who needs answers?! If it is a UTI, it’s important to treat right away because kidney infection is a bad, bad idea right now. I’m not worried about that diagnosis, though, because I can take the antibiotics and be fine. My fear is when they tell me it’s not a UTI but we’ll have to run more invasive and scary tests to find out why there’s blood. That I’m not up for. Oy.

Since we found out the sex, we’ve been fielding lots of questions about what we’ll name her. It seems kinda silly so early in the game. We know we’ll name her after my dad, but we’re both hesitant to really get into it with people. I’m not sure why. Also since the ultrasound on Thursday, I’ve been feeling slightly better. I’m able to drive more without having to spend the rest of the day in bed, and I seem to have an increased appetite! I still have weird aversions and more nausea than I’d like, but getting food in is not such a horror anymore. K was so happy to hear me say, “Mmm, this is so good” about something I was eating the other day. I hope to be saying that a lot more often now.


Such Sweet Sorrow

One of the most unexpected (and tender) experiences of my life was saying goodbye to our sperm donor Friday morning. Unlike college, dating, marriage, death, etc., it’s just not one of the things you expect to do when you grow up. We’ve known for months that E2 is leaving to travel Europe and who knows what afterward. It was still really sad, but also sweet, embracing him one last time.

K took him to make his final deposit at the clinic. We want to be sure we have enough of “him” to fertilize K’s eggs if mine don’t cut it. The two of them decided to mark the last hurrah with a ride on the tram that goes from the clinic at sea level up to the fancy university hospital on the hill. A lover of the earth and not moving, I opt out of said joyride at every opportunity because heights are also not my thing.

Up, up, and AWAY

So after he donated, they went up and then enjoyed the view from the top. They’ve bonded on many other occasions as well, usually while I was upstairs with my hips in the air. I love that they had these special times together. In the end, it may be their genetics that, through my body, thrive and take on the future.

They picked me up, and we hung out for a bit before taking E2 home. When we got to his house, I sat frozen in the driver’s seat. K had to make the chin sign that says, “Honey, get out of the car and say a proper good-bye.” We met this wonderful dude about a year ago. I went through all kinds of crazy trust issues at the beginning. I’ve come to love him, and he is the guy I want to be the biological other half of our future child/ren. All of this was swimming in my brain when I got out of the car and bum-rushed the poor bastard. When K hugged him, she said, “We want to have your baby!” to which he replied, “I hope I never hear that again!” It was good to end on a big laugh. I really hope that in a couple months he is somewhere in Spain, at an internet cafe, reading an email about his life-making sperm.

In the meantime, I’m finally getting my period. I was beginning to fret because I usually get it on day 24 or 25. But now that the lady hath announced her arrival, look out! I’ve already had one cry this morning, and that’s on my own, self-produced hormones. I’m drinking of the raspberry leaf like there’s no tomorrow, hoping to delay the need for painkillers. As I said to K out of my pathetic wet face, “Here we go.”

Leggo My Eggo

I wish people would stop telling me to relax, that women in their 50s have babies, that I’m so young, and that I will get pregnant and have a baby. They have nothing to lose with their optimism. I have it all. So when I’m spewing negativity, I want people to say, “You know, you’re right. Your situation sucks, and you may not be able to get pregnant. If that happens, I’m really sorry.” Is that so hard?

Last weekend we celebrated K’s birthday. I let myself relax and really enjoy being unpregnant. For example, we went to a chocolate tasting, and I consumed a significant amount of caffeine, which I would not have done if I was waiting to find out if I was pregnant. We also went to a hot spring and sat in a hot tub that was way too hot for health. Again, I would’ve missed out on that preplanned excursion. I felt good. I felt like I was doing exactly what I should be to prepare for the next go ’round.

I felt even better this week after talking to a fertility specialist. We formulated a plan of how to proceed. And since I was there and hadn’t had my FSH levels checked in a while, we went ahead and did that too.

This morning I learned that my FSH, which had been tested on a couple of other occasions, is fine. It’s my day 3 estradiol level that is too high. This means I was right: my eggs are old and tired. Beyond my years. I always say I’m old and people poo poo me. Well, according to my blood, my egg quality/number is decreased—especially for someone so young. So, if you’re a friend, please do not take my age for granted when I express my worries in the future. I will probably hit you.

What now? Well, we had E2 bank his stuff this morning so we have “him” here even after he leaves for Europe. (He told meĀ  this morning that he bought his ticket last night; it took everything in me to bop excitedly with him and not start crying.) The expense of every little step in this new world of fertility clinic makes me realize what a gift we had in a local known donor this whole time. I’m going to have a look at my follicles next week. If there’s any big enough, I’ll get a shot that’ll ovulate me early, since it’ll only be day 9. Then we’ll do a quickie home insemination hours before K and I get on a plane to the Midwest. If the ultrasound shows what my estradiol level suggests, few poor eggs, then we’ll wait until January and bring out the big guns.

Isn’t it interesting how you think you’re going to the next level of a process, just sticking your toes in to test the water, and the next thing you know you’re being dangled from the high-jump diving platform over the deep end?

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.

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

The Family

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