Posts Tagged 'lesbian conception'

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.

Advertisements

Yes I Am

Magic Seahorse - 6 Wks

…nauseated, …tired, …girthy, …repulsed by food, …spacey, …hypersensitive to odor, …busty, …tired, …living on rice crackers

and…pregnant!

We did it! We found out two weeks ago today, but we wanted to see it for ourselves in order to believe it and then tell others. We thought for that whole time it might be twins (a very high HcG count on day 14 and a friend’s premonition of a boy and a girl), but today we saw and heard one beautiful, perfect heartbeat.

I never thought I could feel like puking so many hours of the day. I never thought my boobs could get so big. And the tiredness…it’s not like sleepiness or exhaustion. It’s an entirely different animal. But I’m so friggin’ happy (and in shock).

We’re still not “out of the woods”—I guess we have another 6 weeks before the all-clear whistle blows. In the meantime, a strong heartbeat is a great sign, and we’ve graduated from the fertility clinic! I know there are a ton of things I need to write about, but I’m trying to keep the eggs I finally got in me down. Distraction can be a lifesaver, but unconsciousness is best.

Thanks for y’all’s good wishes and prayers and stuff. I really believe this finally worked because of it.

Body Shots

I’m not talking about regrettable Facebook photos. Nor am I speaking of the illustrious sucking of alcohol from another person’s body (why did I have to learn about this one from a boy in high school?!). When I refer to shots of any kind, ever again, it’ll be in reference to the Follistim, Menopur, Ganirelix Acetate, HCG, and Progesterone-in-Oil. It’ll be in reference to my stomach and my hips, which after the next few weeks (months if it works) will be pin cushions.

K and I had the pleasure of learning how to poke me (again, not Facebook related) today. The first shot we were shown was kind of fun; we got to assemble the syringe pen, set the dosage dial, draw out the drug, redo it to get rid of the bubble, and then stab it into a disc of boob-like foam (or rubber?). But after the next one, which was more complex, I began to feel a little overwhelmed. And then there was another. The last one we were shown how to do was the progesterone, which goes into the hip muscle instead of my belly flub. “Be sure not to hit the sciatic nerve!” was warning #1, followed by “You’ll need to draw up on the syringe a little each time to see if you’ve hit a blood vessel.” It was early in the morning of the first spring-forward weekday. I was tired, cranky, and now queasy.

I take my last birth control pill tomorrow night (yes, birth control pills are used to get infertile women pregnant—go figure), and then I get to have a period of sorts. We will shoot me up daily with all these shots for weeks. I’ll be going in to check on how things are progressing down there (ultrasounds and blood tests) every few days. I had to sign my life away by acknowledging all the bad things that can happen, including hyperstimulation of the ovaries, which is not a good thing. So, I’m glad I’ll be face-to-facing a doctor regularly, and they can tell me if I’m being hyperstimulated or just hyper.

In addition to the shot lessons, we got treated to some fine heterosexist paperwork. K pointed out to the needle nurse that now might be a good time to update their paperwork to reflect and not totally alienate their clientele. Something as simple as taking the word “male” out of the phrase “male partner’s signature” is what we were thinking. She told us she completely agreed with us, but proceeded to give us the excuses: well, we have to keep it this way for legal reasons; it’s because the male partner’s sperm is used so that’s why he signs everything too; it’s your eggs (pointing to me) and will be your baby so that’s why we just need your signature; and, finally, my favorite, things happen, and you two might split up (as if straight couples never split up). We explained that her first vague excuse (even though she totally agrees with us) is invalid because we’re registered domestic partners, which, in Oregon, means we have the same rights and responsibilities as married straight people. Her second excuse was bogus because the paperwork said zero about sperm, and, as K pointed out to her, we (as a couple) own E2’s sperm anyway. We explained to the nurse (who I would generally say doesn’t need to know everything about Oregon law, but if you’re gonna only make eye contact with me and then tell me and my wife whose baby we’re having, then know what the eff you’re talking about or shut the eff up) that we will both be legal parents in Oregon—printed right on the birth certificate at the hospital. By the last excuse (the typical gays don’t stay together condescension that no one ever gives to straight couples), K’s eyes were in lock down and her frozen smile in hungry tiger mode. I did what I do best in tense situations and made a funny. I turned to K and said, “Honey, why do you always gotta be cheating on me when I’m having your baby?”

Of course, while all of this uncomfortableness played out, the only thought in my woozy head was, “Seriously?! An enema!” Because all those shots and the “orange” size ovaries and the nausea and pain and uncertainty isn’t enough…I have to do a fuckin’ enema 12 hours before the surgery (i.e., egg retrieval)—you know, to help avoid bowel perforation. ‘Cause that‘s now something I need to worry about!

I wonder why I have to keep reminding myself that no one is making me do this and that I’m purposefully taking it all on (yes, including the risk of ovarian cancer). Why would I feel the urge to scream when I also remind myself of the many many thousands of dollars we’re purposefully paying? I’m saying this now…I will not be doing this twice. If I don’t get pregnant, it’s K’s turn; if I get pregnant and miscarry, find me a pretty padded cell.

World Gone Wild

While it’s easy for me to get so very wrapped up in my own story, I’d like to take a moment to note that the world is going crazy. Egypt, Bahrain, Wisconsin (ooh, did I just put those in the same list?)… Usually, crazy carries a negative connotation, and for sure the violence people are facing (have been facing) in certain Middle Eastern countries is negative to the tenth. But I’m a little prickly from the positive crazy that all the recent action brings too.

I’m in the middle of the down cycle before we start IVF. That means I’m on my own natural hormones, I’m not waking up to an early alarm to take my temperature every morning, and, barring the one kinda painful fibroid check and practice transfer I endured last week, my insides are closed for business. During this downtime, I am reading the news, caring about issues outside of my ovaries, rarely crying, seeing friends, and remembering what it’s like to be me and favor life. I’ve remarked to K on this and the one or two other occasions we’ve had to skip a cycle how very long these months seem. I mean, February’s the shortest month and it’s going on forever! I love it.

But even as I distract myself with passive participation in world events, I maintain a chest tightening that is a constant reminder of the March madness to come. Soon after I get my period, I start taking birth control to suppress ovulation and encourage the follicles to grow at a similar rate to a similar size. Then I get to have a few days of withdrawal bleeding. Then I start with the self-administered twice-daily shots of ovulation stimulation. Through all of this, from what I understand (which changes all the time), I will be going to the clinic for blood tests and inside scopes to follow the progress of the follicles. At the magical time, we’ll go in, I’ll go slightly under (I get an anesthesia and antibiotics!), they’ll stick my ovaries with a needle from the inside and suck out the eggs (hopefully lots of ripe ones). The eggs will be injected with our donor’s sperm and left to do their thing in a petri dish for a few days. The eggs will then take to the catwalk while the fertility technician judges vote on their strut, curves, and talents. The best two will be put back in me, I begin taking my ol’ frenemy progesterone (injections this time), and, once again, fingers (holding much less money) will be crossed. And all with a 10% of success!!!

Wow, impressive list of travails, right? “Try demonstrating for democracy in the face of whip-wielding, horse-riding maniacs!” says the inner voice addicted to Huffington Post.

Well Trained, But No Bone

One of the weirdest parts of this whole process is seeing signs in everything. Not faces in toast, but “see, because of that, I must be pregnant.” It’s constant during the two waiting weeks of each cycle. This time the sign was brought to us by our dog… in her mouth.

Last weekend, we had an unusual weather day in the Northwest and decided to walk to our nearest dog park to let the pooch run and for us to enjoy the strange, warmth-giving orb in the sky. The park was filled, and our anti-social girl takes off to the tree-shaded area where she likes to hunt but never catch squirrels. We usually follow a pace or two behind to keep an eye so she doesn’t decide to run out of the park altogether. This one time, we were so D deprived that we decided as long as we could see her tail, we could stay way on the opposite hill and enjoy the sun. Well, after a minute or two, we see her tail making strange spazzy movements. K said it looked like she was doing the crouch-n’-pounce with a small dog; this seemed likely because, if she’s gonna deign to play with any dog, she’ll do so with small dogs. But then we decided to start walking toward her and see what was what. At the same time, she starts trotting toward us, in sight of all the dogs and people and god, lifting her legs like a show pony, proudly displaying the fattest squirrel I’ve ever seen hanging limply in her mouth. We were horrified (I have a strong aversion to rodents bordering on a phobia). We got her to drop it, and I grabbed a big stick to keep her away from it while we panicked about what to do. A very unhelpful male human informed us that we’d better get rid of the very fresh kill before other dogs start messing with it. Well, we only had the plastic newspaper sleeve we brought along for Killer’s poop, and I sure as hell wasn’t going to use my hand to lift that thing and try to shove it through the 6-inch diameter hole of the trash can. I asked a stranger to use her cell and called the Park dept., but of course they were closed. We had no choice but to suck it up, put the leash on, and take that park-length walk of shame in front of all the judging eyes — leaving the carcass right where it was. After getting home and calling around, we realized no one was going to clean that thing up but us. So we drove back this time, with a shovel, garbage bag, and no dog. Having to do a disgusting thing, having been horrified and humiliated by the action of our dog, I was sure that we passed some huge universe parenting test. I saw the big, furry, glassy-eyed sign that I had to be pregnant this time.

Alas.

A couple days ago, the PMS signs started rolling in. And as much as everyone tells me they are the same symptoms as pregnancy, I say that I have come to this point in so many cycles, in my own body, thank you very much, that I know what these signs were saying. I won’t go into them here, but once my temperature dropped, I knew. The negative pregnancy tests were just the verification I needed to stop taking the twice-a-day progesterone pills that have been fueling this latest loop of my hormone roller coaster.

With all my crying, poor K had to ask my mom, who was here a couple weeks ago, to come back and take care of her baby. I feel 12, but I have to say I am really looking forward to some more sympathy cuddles. In the meantime, I’ve decided that I’m emotionally and mentally nearing my limit. I want to move directly to IVF. If that doesn’t work, then I feel we’re done. I’m only 35 for fuck’s sake. And I’ll be done trying to have a baby?!

Is this really my life?

I’ve been seeing and hearing physicist Brian Greene making the NPR and Colbert Report rounds this week about his new book on parallel universes. I totally buy it, even if it’s just based on math at this point. Because somewhere along the way, my life switched with another “my life” that I am less familiar with. In that other life I’ve been leading, we are all at the park: me, K, our kid, and both my parents, and we are enjoying the sun while our dog chases squirrels from tree to tree — and, as always, failing to catch any.

One Way or Another

I’m sitting in my teashop, hoping none of the other patrons can read the agony on my face—aglow in MacBook sheen. Another period and another day o’ pain. Really bad pain. Is it wrong to want to get pregnant just to take a 9 month break from the cramps? I’m here because I am taking baby steps to Walgreen’s. I have my first prescription of Clomid waiting to be picked up at the pharmacy, and I just can’t get myself there yet. The teashop isn’t technically on the way, but it’s out of the house, which I haven’t been since our return from the Christmas, er, I mean, the Midwest.

Probably on the plane to Chicago, I inhaled a happy virus floating on the Southwest flight’s recycled, cabin-pressurized air. I hacked my way through four nights at a suburban hotel; literally all coughs and no ZZZs. The heaters in every room, plane, and car helped to further dry my irritated throat. Please add to this unpleasantness nonstop Christmas music and my personal discomfort with all things crossy and christy. Ooh, and don’t forget the food allergies!

I’ve set up quite an ugly scene, but the truth is that everything went pretty darn well on our trip to family land. I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of Catholics when we arrived at K’s grandparents house in Indiana. But all were very decent (no horn checks!). Some folks spoke with us a bit, but mostly it was an opportunity for me to put faces to names and support my lovely K, who definitely needed to be there. It was the last Christmas Eve celebration that her grandmother and grandfather would be hosting as they will be moving into a small, more manageable place this year. I can only imagine how overwhelming it was for her to see full-grown humans where she last saw babies, and full-fledged parents where she last saw younger cousins.

We spent Christmas day with the other side of her family, who have known me for almost 9 years and who, as it turns out, may struggle more with my un-Christianness than with my being another lady. But, with the genuine affection I’ve developed for them over the years, I gave it my all (Well, not sign-of-the-cross-before-dinner all, but I did see The Chronicles of Narnia in 3D. Funniest thing about this is that I had to inform K that it’s a big ol’ Christian allegory—why do American Jews know these things?!).

Is that Aslan or me on Clomid?

Anyway, I brought my virus home with me, tried to give it to K, and only recently, finally, started taking the Western meds. I love me some Chinese herbs and such, but ‘nough’s enough. On the health front, I’m happy to report, unsurprised, that I am STD free! I am all set to proceed with the fertility treatment as planned.

So I’ll finish this post and run right over to… the pet store across the street to get our pup some treats. Then I’ll go to… the library to pick up a CD on hold. But right after that, I’m heading to… the grocery store. Shit. Walgreen’s shares a parking lot with the grocery store. I will have put it off to the final errand.

Why the trepidation? If you’ve read any other posts in this blog you’ll know the general answer to that question. But the specific one is that I fear the monster inside me and what hormone play will do to my otherwise carefree demeanor. And I fear a gotcha universe that will mess with my life, as follows: you want to be pregnant? here, have multiples! how did that Clomid treat ya?

BUT, I will do whatever it takes. I will have me a baby to love and teach and be in awe of and nibble. It’s been suggested to me that, in the face of infertility and the poor odds, it’s good to have (or at least discuss) a plan B. Adoption? Really? Do people really let lesbians adopt? What countries would we need to exploit? What funds beyond funds would we need to procure? Finally, are we up for the challenges of raising a kid that will not only have two mommies but have two very white mommies? I read this article last night that looks at the growing prevalence of non-white Jewbies. Of course, the article discusses the phenomenon in terms of heterosexuals, but I took the message to heart: I waited too long. I got an education. My infertility… is all my fault. Check it out here. What do you think?

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?


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

The Family

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 41 other followers

Advertisements