Posts Tagged 'money woes'

Adoptation

Week 22 update: Return of the Nausea, Now with Heartburn! Big and Getting Bigger! Thank G-d for the Snoogle!

Last week we went to our LGBT “family” lawyers office. I realized that it had been 2.5 years since we had our first appointment there—to set up our first known-donor contract. It put some perspective on the persistence we mustered to get where we are. The head honcho, whom we adore, was very happy to see the bump (yes, I realize I just said we adore a lawyer). But the reason for our visit kind of pisses me off every time I think about it. You see, even though we live in a lefty-liberal state where domestic partners are both automatically parents and on the birth certificate, K and I do not solely exist in this state. Sometimes we like to travel to visit family, or even drive 15 minutes across our northern border to see a movie. In these other states, K is not necessarily recognized as a parent. So, for the pittance of $1,350, we get to pay for K to adopt her own child! I mean, this state-by-state march toward our civil rights is really working! Can I get an “Amen”? (Please don’t get me started on how we have to file our taxes!)

I know I should be glad we live somewhere that gives the same rights and responsibilities to domestic partners as “married” couples. I should just shrug my shoulders and think: Well, we could live in one of those states where second-parent adoption isn’t even allowed for same-sex couples. Or in a state where we’d have to suffer humiliating home studies for our own friggin’ child. But as you can tell from my tone, I am not. I’m ticked. We don’t have money like that—especially after $IVF. And I don’t think that we should have to pay to be “safe” when at least our state’s laws are on our side. It all comes down to that unfortunate scene in which K travels with the baby, with or without me, and the baby needs to go to the hospital. She may not be allowed in!

We’re going to have to carry a copy of the adoption document with us wherever we go. Even here in our home state, we still need to carry it with us in the off chance that a hospital staff person who may have just moved here from another state is not familiar with our domestic partnership laws and gives us a hard time, slowing down the process of getting emergency care for our kid. It’s all fine and good to be able to say “Told you so!” after the crisis.

Most of the time, I walk around feeling all groovy and gay and pregnant and welcome and safe. I am so grateful for that, I swear. After moving out of the hood last year, K and I haven’t been gay bashed once! As I adapt to the situation of having to pay for extra legal protections all along the way (that the vast majority of people get free for loving someone of the opposite sex), is it okay if I still want better for me and our family?

 

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Color Me Poked

While pin cushion is the obvious metaphor for my belly the past few weeks, it would be more apt if the pin cushion swelled to unbuttonable-jeans size, felt like it’s been kicked over and over, bled on occasion, got terribly itchy hives, and bruised.

Nobody beats my blueberry muffin top

Tonight is the last shot in the gut. It’s the trigger shot, which tells the eggs, “We’re comin’ in after ya!” We’ve been going to the clinic every other day (often way too early in the morning) to check my blood and follicles. Getting blood drawn every other day would usually irritate me, but after three shots a day, I’ve learned not to care so much about needles to the arm. I’ve even gotten accustomed to the ultrasound dildo on an every Monday, Wednesday, Friday basis. But what I never expected was to feel my ovaries. I mean really feel them getting large…from the inside. Get uncomfortable; that’s the first step of pregnancy anyway, right?

So, as of this morning, I’ve got four nice looking follicles in the right ovary and one in the left. For now, we stop all meds except for the trigger shot, and I get to Fleets myself tomorrow evening, just to get in the mood.

Two weeks later: the biggies are fading, but little green ones have popped up all over!

Friday morning, they’ll sedate me, pump me with antibiotics, and go in with a needle through my vaginal wall, on either side, to suck out the eggs. I’ll start the daily injections of progesterone into my tuchas on Sunday. Woo-wee! I never thought reproduction could be so fun.

They’ll inject the eggs with our donor’s sperm and see if any fertilize. If there are some good looking ones, they’ll put ’em back in on Monday. If they look really good, they’ll let them grow a little bigger in the Petri dish, into blastocysts, and place them on Wednesday.

Then we wait. We wait and keep injecting my bum. I’ll probably cry a lot about how it’s not gonna work and how we’ve blown so much dough. Then, about two weeks later, we’ll go in for a blood test. THE blood test.

So, that’s the plan. Let’s not ever do this again.

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.

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?

$o $ucky

Holy hell.

My money sun must be setting in my moon’s arse house today, astrologically speaking. I know we all have money problems, especially now. I’m sorry for what I’m about to spew, and thanks for understanding…

Our pup, Lyra, is at the animal hospital getting over $800 worth of testing after another episode of upset belly/hunger strike. She’s been to the same vet for similar problems a half dozen times over the past two years. This time, supposedly, we’ll get to the bottom of it (I think they meant the bottom of our reserves).

Just now, I got a call from E2, who I am meeting tomorrow with a check for his new sperm analysis (to happen Monday). He said that he received a bill for $400 from the lab where he took the first test. WHAT!? We were told it was $84, which we paid for with our credit card over the phone. A friend told us that it cost her around $500 to get donors tested, and we just assumed our first lab was really cheap—especially since they effed it all up by not giving E2 the pretest instructions, thereby rendering the results (yes, the $400 results) useless.

I can’t think of a credit card that can handle all this. We have registration with the sperm banks to pay for and vials of frozen sperm to buy. I want to cry, but I’m in public. Hey, I can give up completely in public! I’m already slumped over my laptop; giving up probably looks like that but a little paler.


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

The Family

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