Sunday, December 31, 2006

Break? Check. (almost)

I am almost done with this break cycle. Yay! It's kind of nice that it is falling over the new year. It's like the ultimate fresh start or something. I'm feeling ready and anxious to get back in the game. In the midst of all the wine, massages, and other forbidden fruits, I've managed to do some more research and I'm going to switch up our protocol a little bit. Here's hoping it'll do the trick quickly.

Only a few more days until my period and then off we go. I'll keep you all posted.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

a quickie

I guess you all probably figured that no news was not - in this case - good news. I am now on day 5 of a shiny new cycle. Yay.

I would have posted sooner but I was out of town for the latter part of last week (where it was negative one degree, literally) at a pointless workgroup meeting, and this weekend I've spent upward of 16 hours on a xmas gift for our parents. More importantly, I needed to shake my major bad mood before posting. It was a different type of disappointment this time around. More on that later, perhaps. Or perhaps not. I'm trying to focus on the positive as much as I can.

So, we're now "on break." December is crazy enough with Christmas travel, but I'm also ovulating right around KD's wedding anniversary. There is something way too wrong about asking someone to abstain from anniversary sex with his wife in an attempt to knock up his sister-in-law. Nope, not gonna do it. So far, I've already celebrated my break with more wine than I've had in the last 3 months and a couple nights of "forgetting" to take my prenatal vitamin. I may even get a massage. More than anything, I'm going to enjoy living my life in increments greater than 2 weeks. Granted, it's only a month until I'm back on the TTC track (I hope!), but I plan to enjoy this downtime while it lasts.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I'm pretty sure I'm not pregnant. I haven't tested yet or anything, I'm just not feeling it. I'm worried about our timing and the amount of stress I've had the past couple of weeks. My temps were all over the place the week I ovulated, which is probably due to travel, time changes, and my sinus infection, but it is still making me have no confidence in my ovulation whatsoever. Here are the stats, for those who enjoy those type of details: According to my OPKs and monitor, I ovulated on 11/20 or 21, probably the 21st. According to the O pain I think I felt, I ovulated on the afternoon of 11/21, but I had lots of twinges over the next couple of days, so it's hard to rely on this much. According to my temps, I didn't ovulate until 11/23, but I already mentioned the validity problems there. Our last insem was 11/20 and the last insem I have confidence in (it's TMI - you do not want to know) was on 11/19.

Initially I thought I wouldn't test at all this cycle because I'm feeling so doubtful and I didn't want to see the negative test(s). Now that these two weeks are dragging along so slowly, I'm thinking that I will test because I'm ready for some kind of closure. Each day that I don't have a final answer is one more day I can be seduced by the "well, maybe..." and "it's not over until it's over" thoughts. It's taking a lot of effort on my part to maintain my pessimism! ;-) Granted, a negative test isn't 100%, but if I wait long enough to take it, it'll be reliable enough for me to move on mentally, I think. I dunno. We'll see what M and I feel like I doing one day at a time, I guess.

In the meantime, a thesis I have been working on...

Why K is/is not pregnant, according to the influential legal tenets of Mr. Murphy:

IS pregnant
- August in our part of the world is a very bad time/place to be 40 weeks pregnant.
- I have gained 10 lbs. since our wedding (~8 since Labor Day weekend - yeowch!) and it would be good to get back down to a more reasonable weight before I start adding baby and/or food craving pounds.
- I have a gut feeling that this cycle didn't work.
- I've been pretty lax about the PG rules (i.e. no wine, soft cheeses, etc.) - nothing over the top, but still more than I did in my last 2ww.
- I'm feeling generally disorganized and stressed out. It would be nice to have the opportunity to catch my breath and re-center myself.
- It would be a major hardship for my mom to come out for a delivery during the first two weeks of August (due date would be around 8/14).
- More time to build up savings is good. 'Nuff said. Ditto for paid leave at work.
- It would be pretty amazing if this cycle resulted in a pregnancy after the defective monitors, unclear O date, iffy insem, etc.
- Work is a zoo right now. Stress = bad.
- I have had nothing resembling a symptom at all, not even psychosomatic ones. Yes, it's super early, but still.

IS NOT pregnant
- It would be really, really, really cool to be able to announce a pregnancy to our parents at Christmas.
- The next 3 months look horrendous as far as business meeting opportunities. We'll be lucky if we can squeeze any in at all.
- This is the last cycle we could start a pregnancy that would likely deliver before M has to go back to school/internship in the fall.
- I don't want a fall baby. Aside from our own b-days, M and I already have about a thousand friends and relatives with b-days between 10/12 and 12/24. (This one might not count b/c M DOES want a fall baby, so I think we cancel each other out.)
- It would make my day to toss out the early AM temping and kiss my fertility monitor goodbye.

So, based on a preliminary analysis, the "IS pregnant" side has it. Interesting! In phase 2 of my study, I will attempt to weight the importance of the different variables. I have a feeling that may shift things significantly...

Monday, November 20, 2006


Well, we're cruising along here at KD's. I'm going to leave tomorrow and then there will be nothing to do but cross fingers for two weeks. I seem to have returned to my "this isn't going to work" attitude of a week or two ago, which sounds kind of depressing, but I think it's okay. Better to feel that way and be pleasantly surprised than the other way around. I should qualify that: It's not that I just think it's NOT going to work, but I feel very connected to the reality that we have a 20% chance of it working. Last time, I thought I had my head wrapped around that, but the negative tests showed me just how much I was blissfully - and inappropriately - optimistic.

I think our timing is good, despite several pitfalls in the biological surveillance I've been conducting. Due to being sick and traveling between time zones, my AM temps are less than useless so my charting is no help. I learned last time around to supplement my fertility monitor with ovulation predictor kits (OPKs) and I had not one, but TWO defective tests in the past 24 hours: one OPK and one monitor test strip. (You can tell they are defective when no control line shows up.) TMI factoid: You don't get a second chance to pee on a stick; not in the same time window. By the time you've realized a test stick isn't working, it's, well, too late to do one again. All you can do is start drinking water and wait a few hours. So... first defective OPK was yesterday evening, then defective monitor stick this morning at 6ish. I was positive I'd get a peak reading this morning, but since my monitor had no input, it just held me at high. (I realize this is probably Greek to most of you - stop reading when your eyes start blurring.) The good news is I did an OPK at 9am and it showed a major surge. Surges mean you should ovulate within the next 12-36 hours. *Sigh of relief* This means (A) the insems we've done so far have a decent chance of working on their own, and (B) tonight's "business meeting" will be especially well timed. Had I been able to see the whole picture up front, I would have skipped the meeting last night to give KD a night off and let him... well... generate additional power point slide animation (our new analogy for this trip), but oh well. The hardest part of all this is that the picture only becomes clear in the rear view mirror. If the OPK last night had showed I wasn't surging yet, we could have waited, but I didn't have that to go on at the time.

This time has been a lot easier for me emotionally. It's been a non-event, really. I had a split-second of "OMG!" during the first meeting of the trip, but it vanished as quickly as it came. As always, I'm totally in awe of KD and his wife and how wonderful they are about all of this. I am not your typical house guest by any stretch of the imagination.

Soooo, there's the scoop. Here's hoping the holiday season makes the next two weeks go faster than my last waiting period!

Friday, November 17, 2006


And the question is: "How is K feeling right now?"

Yup, I'm headed to KD's in T minus 16 hours and I have a raging sinus infection. That's very high on the list of "things not to fly with" these days, just ahead of bottled water and over 3 oz. of shampoo. The last thing I needed today was a reason to take more time off work, seeing as I'm taking next week off, but I knew I had to get some antibiotics in my system, so I caved and went to my primary care doctor this morning. I am now 1 dose into a Zpac and still feeling sinus-infection-yucky, but now I have antibiotic-side-effect-yucky icing on my cake. Super!

I AM glad that it is a sinus infection and not a recurrence of my dental infection. I was starting to have hyperchondriac fears of antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria setting up camp in my system. Just to make sure this was not the problem, I went to my dentist last night and had him x-ray the infection site. No infection there, so that is good. He did, however, find my unrelated sinus infection, and he also suggested I go to a chiropractor due to a misalignment of my neck which he thinks is causing the mega-headaches I've been having the past couple of weeks. (Yes, he's a very holistic dentist.) I had a mini-panic last night as all of this unfolded and I asked M if she thought I should cancel my trip. I was doubting that a pregnancy could take in a body as broken as mine. M reminded me that crack addicts get pregnant all the time, so I was probably okay. She's got a decent point. That girl has some good perspective.

So: Antibiotics for sinus infection... check. Chiro appointment for neck fixing... going in one hour. After this little tune up, I should be running well. If this doesn't bode well for conception, I don't know what does. Damn, I was trying not to get optimistic about this one. ;-)

In related and good news, my monitor showed a high reading this morning, meaning I *should* ovulate within the next couple of days. Hopefully not tomorrow (please!!), but Sunday or Monday would be perfect. I could come home a day early and go back to work next week. It would be nice not to have to use as much vacation, and get a little work done while I'm at it. The end of this month is going to be upon me very, very quickly.

I'll be sure to keep you all posted on baby-making, round 2!

Friday, November 3, 2006

I suppose it's time for an update

Unfortunately, I have 93% bad news to share. The reason my news is 93% bad is that is the efficacy of the pregnancy test I took yesterday which told me I am not pregnant. Couple this with the hardcore period cramps I'm having (the witch is due tomorrow) and it adds up to all kinds of disappointing.

That being said, I'm doing okay. I can't say I'm thrilled at the prospect of starting over from square one and dragging KD, his wife, and M through this whole circus again, but this is what we are faced with, apparently. The four of us will have to talk to determine when we even *can* try this all again, what with the holidays around the corner and all.

I was super bummed yesterday, but today I'm doing a much better job of remembering that most people don't get pregnant on the first shot, there's nothing wrong with me, etc., etc., etc. M is helping a lot, of course. It's funny, when we were teenagers they filled us with cautionary tales about how it only takes one time and it's so easy to get pregnant and all that jazz. Then, we try to get pregnant as 20-somethings and it turns out it's not quite as easy as the propaganda promised!

I can totally understand how this process can be hard on relationships. When I got that test result, the first thing that popped into my head - irrationally of course, but still - was "what is wrong with me?" I felt like we timed everything right, and KD had a thousand and one tests run so I know there's nothing wrong with him, so the only explanation is that my body is flawed somehow. I instantly started wondering which supplements I should be taking that I'm not, or whether I played too hard with the dog during the past week, or if I should see a doctor for more blood work. Intellectually, I know that it takes the average, healthy couple 4-6 months to get pregnant, but staring at that negative test, I realized how much I expected to be the exception to the rule. I suppose everyone does. I was so sure some kind of beginner's luck was going to sail me straight through. Anyway, I could see how easily an anxious partner could turn my question into "what is wrong with you?" and this whole business could get ugly quickly in a couple struggling with infertility. Sooo, having got all that crazy self-blame BS over with yesterday, I'm doing a lot better today.

My boss is convinced I'm giving up too early, and I know M is holding out a little bit of hope as well. Frankly, I love them for keeping up the faith. I just don't have the energy for it myself right now. The last 13 days have been so challenging, I'm just ready for an answer either way, and I feel confident enough that we have a final answer to move forward emotionally. Besides, if I'm wrong, what an unbelievably wonderful surprise, right? It's a win-win. I should admit in their defense, I do have some inexplicable symptoms that seem like something other than regular ol' PMS, but you didn't hear me say that. ;-)

Monday, October 23, 2006

More on the last few days

OK, this is dicey territory and possibly includes too much processing, but hey, that's what blogs are for, right? I initially decided this stuff was too personal to document, but it's the important stuff, and probably the most real, so here it is.

I posted a couple of days ago about the logistics of my recent endeavor, but I couldn't bring myself to do more than hint at the emotional work involved. What a bizarre, challenging, draining, exciting and affirming few days.

First of all, I was welcomed with open arms into the home of my brother and sister-in-law. Having such an extended stay with them without M around was sort of a strange experience unto itself, and to be honest, one I was nervous about. Don't get me wrong, I am crazy about both of them and feel they are Good People to the Nth degree. It's just that usually, when one visits in-laws, the spouse or partner is there to act as a buffer, conversation starter, and/or whatever other lubricating influence is needed. Anyway, any anxiety I had going in was quickly obliterated. Despite my rather unconventional and potentially-awkward-making reason for visiting, KD and his wife were as warm and welcoming as ever and we had hour upon hour of easy conversation and fun outings, all squeezed in around KD's hellish work and hobby schedule. Had my schedule allowed, I would have been content to stay a month. Not saying THEY would have enjoyed that, but I would have. ;-)

My reasons for explaining all of the above are two-fold: (1) To impress upon you how amazing KD and his wife are so you will understand just how lucky M and I are to be taking this process on with them in our corner, and (2) To illustrate the conflict of emotions I experienced off and on throughout the week, and acutely on my first night there. On one hand, I was having this wonderfully enjoyable and restful vacation, and on the other, I was embarking upon the scariest single action I have ever taken in my entire life. Possible TMI alert here... So on the first night, we had the first of several "business meetings". We selected an appropriate container, I gave KD the oral medicine syringe I bought for this purpose, and he went to... well, prepare the materials for the meeting. Once finished, he delivered a loaded syringe to me, at which point I had to hold it in my hand and step across a threshold of inexplicable gravity. I was in no way prepared for how challenging or frightening this would be. At the same time that I was dealing with all these crazy, unexpected emotions, I was beating myself up for having them. This is what I want, isn't it? Isn't this the reason I took a week off work and flew halfway across the country and asked KD and his wife to bend over backward to accomodate me? More than that, this is the thing M and I have been talking about for years, and the reason we asked KD almost a year ago to do this for us, and why since then I have been furiously planning, temping, charting, researching... right? To have it all come down to that single moment where I had to insert a syringe and PUSH THE PLUNGER myself - to have everything reduced to that single, irreversible action - and then for me to find myself... well, scared, was beyond overwhelming. The "point of no return" feeling was intense. (In hindsight, I ovulated so late that really, the chances of that insemination producing anything close to a "point of no return" are slim to none. I can only say that looking back on it, though.) It turned out that I did not ovulate the next day, or the next, or the next, which means that insemination was not properly timed and, in one way, this makes it a waste. In another way, I think it was one of the best things that happened while I was there because it gave both KD and I the opportunity to get through the unexpected emotions of the first time in a space where the consequences didn't really matter. I'll try to limit the TMI factor here by just saying that due to inexperience and nerves on my part, I have a feeling that first insemination would not have worked, even if the timing had been perfect. I didn't know what I was doing, I was shaky and anxious, and it certainly showed. Fortunately, by the time we got into the right place in my cycle, we were pros, if I do say so myself.

I think part of what scared me so much was how consciously I had to take that step toward parenthood. Part of me feels I should have seen that coming as I have been aware every step of the way how much more conscious our process has been than the average heterosexual couple. But see, with me having to so actively create my pregnancy, I feel it will be harder to escape blame if, god forbid, things don't go well. If my pregnancy is very difficult or even dangerous, I can't fall back on the subconscious feeling that my becoming pregnant was ultimately natural and/or unavoidable. Does that make even an ounce of sense? I tried to explain it to M and I'm not sure I did a good job then, either. I guess my thinking on this is that if M and I were a heterosexual couple that could get pregnant simply by having sex - a totally normal behavior that we do in our relationship anyway - then I would be able to look at our pregnancy as ultimately inevitable (even if it was planned), because c'mon, it was bound to happen eventually, right? Further, the pregnancy would be the product of a totally normal, everyday activity. (Intellectually, I know this is totally BS. There is no real requirement, or even expectation, that heterosexual couples must reproduce, and pregnancy is largely preventable if you are careful, so referring to any pregnancy as inevitable, even in straight relationships, is inaccurate - BUT, I'm just talking about the human ability to rationalize, and I think we all know this need not be based in reality, only available excuses.) There is no way to look back upon my road to pregnancy and use words like "inevitable", "natural", or "bound to happen eventually". No, we took conscious, tangible, out-of-the-ordinary steps to become pregnant, and if there are negative consequences to come from that, somehow I feel we will be more liable for bringing them upon ourselves than the average heterosexual couple. Hmm, I'm still not sure I'm making sense here, but that's the best I can do for now.

OK, so fast forward to Friday... After several days of very disappointing ovulation predictor readings, I FINALLY caught a hormone surge indicating I would ovulate in the next 24 to 36 hours. Woo hoo! By then, we had two inseminations under our belt and I was significantly calmer and more sure-handed (no pun intended). I felt really good about that one, and the one we did the next night. By the last night I was there, our business meetings were easy and casual, to the point where the three of us sat around a chatted for a few minutes with a loaded syringe sitting conspicuously on the dresser waiting to be put to use. It was pretty cool. Again, are M and I not the luckiest people in the world to have KD and his wife involved in this with us? :-)

I am so consumed by all of this and I'm finding it really difficult not to talk to people about it. I have a couple of close friends who know, but we really are trying to keep all of this under wraps as much as possible. Not talking to my mom is possibly the hardest part, but looking forward to the day I'll be able to surprise her with unexpected good news is keeping my resolve up. KD has discussed all of this with a few of his close friends, and I'm glad about this, especially now that I have met more of them. They are great people and I'm glad he has them to joke with, because the stress of it all will kill you if you don't have someone close by to laugh with. I went to lunch with one of his friends while visiting, and she is very familiar with what I am going through, having just planned and acheived her own pregnancy within the past couple of years. She described a feeling of sitting at work, shortly after learning she was pregnant but before she and her husband had announced anything, looking around her and being stunned at the ignorance of her co-workers. She said she constantly felt like yelling, "Hey, this totally amazing thing is happening to me and you don't even know about it! How can you not know? How can you not be aware of this huge, incredible thing that is going on in my life?" I feel that way now. This process has been so intensive so far, with all the talking and planning and traveling, and it feels so strange and unbelievable that people are looking at me every day and have no idea. I feel like I *must* look different somehow, even though I know that is impossible. There is an intense dissonance there, between how I am thinking about myself and my life right now, and how everyone else around me is. They want me to come to work and open my mail and fill up my gas tank and play with my dog as if I'm not in the middle of a hugely emotional and possibly life-altering event. And to them, I'm not. It's very strange and I know it will only get worse once I get a positive pregnancy test. I don't think we'll be able to keep it a secret for as long as we might like.

Lying in bed immediately after our first insemination, I started to worry that I might be scared up until I took my pregnancy test, and after if I had a positive result. But over the course of the week and three more inseminations, each one more positive and affirming than the one before, I am back in a place of feeling ready and oh so anxious. I really, really hope I'm pregnant. This is not to say that I won't get scared again. I will, I'm sure. How can I not? I'm just... ready. I'm expecting to find out either way sometime around 11/4, possibly earlier if it is positive. In the meantime, I'm looking for opportunities to fill my time and keep me from counting down the minutes until I can find out what our immediate (and long term) future holds.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

the state of things

I am at KD's, as I think you all know. I arrived on Tuesday and will be leaving tomorrow. KD and his wife have graciously let me impose upon them for nearly a week now, but I'm really, really, really hopeful that I won't need to come again.

This has been no where near the cake walk (to use an analogy from a talk KD and I had the other night) I expected. There have been feelings I wasn't prepared for, of course, but I'm not even going to try to go into those here and now. I'm talking pure logistics. I ovulated abnormally early last month, causing me to panic and take nearly a week off work to come out here way early in fear of missing the window, so of course this month, I ovulated late. Should've seen that one coming. So, I had to change my flight and my rental car to stay an extra day. However, I did finally get a positive ovulation predictor yesterday afternoon at 2pm which means that we have managed to catch the critical time frame, praise the deity of your choice. Due to certain TMI factors that I will spare you, I'm fairly certain that the insemination we did last night could not have been timed better. We've got one more shot tonight, which makes me feel even more confident, but I think even without that I'd be feeling pretty good. Of course, you can time everything 110% perfectly and still not get pregnant, so I have no idea how this will all turn out, but after last night and the decision to stay one more day, I can safely say I think we're giving it the best shot possible. I am cautiously optimistic. :-)

By the way, we have been searching for the appropriate idiom to refer to this whole little process. Our friend A has suggested "basting" and/or "getting basted", drawing from the urban legend of the lesbian turkey-baster. A friend of KD's suggested that I am on a "business trip" and the exchanges between KD and I are "business meetings." We've been trying that one out quite a bit. So far, so good.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

T minus 48 hours

I've had anxiety dreams the last three nights about what M and I are about to undertake. I think this is a good thing - it's like my subconscious is working through every worst case scenario (none of which are even remotely likely to occur) and getting very grounded and comfortable. I had these same type of dreams leading up to our wedding. I really don't think they are bad nerves, just nerves. Excitement nerves, I guess.

M had an anxiety dream of her own the other night - very different than the ones I've been having though. We appear to have anxiety about different parts of the process. That's good, I think. It leads me to believe that at least one of us is comfortable with each stage, if that makes any sense.

We talked a lot today about labor and medical interventions and our own expectations. I'm really, really glad I have her on my team. We can totally do this.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

on your mark

I'm off to KD's on Tuesday. Yup, that was "I'm", not "we're". Thanks to my cycle going crazy last month, I will now ovulate sometime between Wednesday and Friday of next week making it humanly impossible for M to be there. I'm more bummed for her than me. Interestingly, my parents will be in the same smallish town where KD lives the weekend before I get there. Weird. Good thing they aren't staying 48 hours longer or there'd be a halfway decent chance I'd run into them somewhere and THAT would be hard to explain! (We're trying not to tell the 'rents anything until we can say we're officially PG.)

The timing thing sucks, for sure, and it has me fairly stressed out. Each day I have to take off work to accomodate these mid-week trips is one less vacation day I'll have for maternity leave. Beside that, work is insane right now and there's no way I can get all my stuff done before I leave. Fortunately I got the okay from my boss for some telecommuting time while I'm out. That will help. The really annoying part is my future cycles are messed up too, so if this try doesn't work, the next few tries fall on bad days of the week as well. Before things got out of whack, my ovulation fell mostly on weekends for the next 3-4 months, or immediately after weekends which means weekend travel would be sufficient. Timing inseminations is kind of like bidding on the Price is Right - you want to get as close to ovulation time without going over. So, you can inseminate successfully up to 5 days before ovulation, but only up to 12 or 24 hours after. The way things are situated now, the weekend before is too early and the weekend after is too late. I'm just venting and probably not even making any sense here so I should just leave it with "the timing sucks."

Speaking of sucky timing, I got a call yesterday from a Nurse Practitioner who we were hoping would sign off on us inseminating at home but due to all the mixed messages out there, I cancelled my appointment (for tomorrow) because I decided she couldn't help us. Then, of course, I second-guessed myself and snuck her a letter through a professional network (long story), and lo and behold, she called yesterday and she CAN help. Of course she can. I'm fairly sure it's too late to bring her on board this cycle, so I guess we'll make an appointment with her if this try doesn't work. It's kind of funny though, every time we think we have our shit figured out, something changes. I guess it's good practice for parenting!

So, I'm kinda stressed, which is no good, but I'm doing everything I can think of to combat it. I went to a yoga class on Monday night with a new instructor and she kicked. my. ass. I'm still so sore I can hardly move. Hmmm, not exactly what I had in mind. LOL!

Thursday, September 21, 2006


I'm ovulating.

This is a problem.

My cycle, which has been like a frigging metronome for months, has just decided to mix things up a bit. Of course.

Hmm, y'all probably need some back story.

I've tried to stay fairly cryptic about our plans until now, because we hadn't discussed disclosure with our donor. However, we've hashed that out (along with about a hundred other details) and we now know that none of us are too worried about keeping our identities confidential. So... it's M's brother, KD. Some of you may have suspected this, as I know M and I have been open in the past about our desire to use one of her brothers as a donor someday. I've learned over the past few months that translating our "someday" dreams into present day action involves more research, soul-searching, dialoguing, and humility than I ever imagined. Asking KD to be our donor was difficult, but I am SO glad we did it. He and his wife have been nothing but open and wonderful so far, and they are making this process as easy and empowering to us as humanly possible.

So, we were thinking of starting this month, but September has been a complete roller-coaster thus far, so we put it off until October. Good thing, too, because in addition to my dental fiasco of the week, I am also now ovulating 2 days early. This means that, had we scheduled travel to KD on this cycle, we would have missed the window of opportunity altogether. I guess avoiding this pitfall is the silver lining for waiting a month, cause flights are not cheap.

The problem is that me ovulating early has introduced the first shadow of doubt into what I thought was going to be the easiest part of the process - the timing. I am not kidding when I say you could set a clock by my cycles. I must have jinxed myself by counting on that. It is VERY weird that things are off by as large a margin as 2 days. Here I am cruising along thinking we are safe to book flights for our trip in October whenever we see good fares. Now, it looks like we need to wait until the last minute to see where I'm at. Also, if this messes up my whole cycle (so that my period comes 2 days early now), that throws our dates for October - which are presently conveniently situated Fri-Mon - into the middle of a week, making it difficult, if not impossible, for M to go out with me for the inseminations. Blah. I'm hoping the stress of the last week or so has just gotten things off kilter and my body will right itself before the end of this cycle. I wonder how many yoga classes I can squeeze in this weekend... ;-)

I shouldn't end on a down note, even if it's just venting, because overall, I am SO FREAKING EXCITED about where we are in this process. I can't believe we're finally ready to take action after planning for so long. I know that in the end, things will work out as they are meant to. It's fun to see M getting excited about it. Of course we're both freaked out, too - parenting is the greatest challenge we'll ever embark upon mentally, emotionally, physically, and financially - but we're mostly excited, and it's a really fun thing to be excited about together.

So, I'll keep y'all posted. Cross your fingers that everything stays on track and we have good news to share before the holidays!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Bitter, party of one.

M and I are knee-deep in the baby-making game, and trying desperately to get in deeper, but the damn hurdles just keep piling up. I have had fairly intense baby fever for about a year now, and through talking and planning and charting and researching and all that jazz, we've decided we should be able to start actively trying this September, barring any further obstacles. For most couples, this is the point where they get to sit back and wait to have lots of unprotected sex. Not us. No, we're making appointments with lawyers to discuss donor agreements, the politics of birth certificate completion as related to second parent adoptions, and the extra special challenges posed by living in a red state. We can't take any steps toward the adoption itself until after the baby is born, but we have to chart the whole course now because it literally dictates how we go about getting pregnant in the first place. No point doing something now that will only complicate our lives down the road. One of my favorite parts is that everyone you talk to gives you a different "fact" about the process. There is an enormous deficit of public information about second parent adoption in our state because everyone is afraid that if the opponents find out what few rights we do have, they'll start chipping away at those. So, the best I've been able to find out - all off the record, of course - is that if you get plugged in to the "right" attorney, who knows how to get you on the "right" judge's docket on the "right" day, your adoption will "probably" be approved... but then you have to join the secret society and share the information with no one under penalty of... lord knows what.

So once we figure out how we're going to handle the adoption, that will point us in a direction for the getting pregnant part, and let me tell you, there is no more information available on that, at least not on insemination in the way we hope to do it. The whole "hush-hush" part of this is driving me nuts. I've done all I can to get ready for this, or at least I will have by September - I have a couple more doctors appointments between now and then. I've charted my cycles for the last six months, I bought a fertility monitor for extra help, I've researched my benefits through work, picked an OB, and worked on accruing paid leave. M and I are both doing a good job on our grand checklist of all things we want to accomplish personally before launching into this. We're good to go. The problem is that there are so many factors that are beyond our control, and it's so hard to plan for them when the only way to even get information is to pay an attorney to whisper the details to us.

Here's another big source of my bitterness: Let's say I get pregnant, and the conception occured in a way that should work fine with a future 2nd parent adoption. The next thing we have to do is file a bunch of papers with the court so that M can be "granted custody". LOL. You know, of the baby she's been feeding, diapering, and caring for since the day it was born? Once she is granted custody, we can arrange for a home study. What first time parents feel ready for a home study immediately after bringing a new baby home?! I'll be surprised if we're able to stay showered and dressed for the first few weeks, let alone keep up with the dishes and the dusting. Can you imagine if heterosexual parents had to go through this? That law would be overturned so fast, and in the meantime, they'd be yanking babies out right and left. OK, (that particular) vent over. Let's say we're super proactive and get the home study done and filed within the first couple of months. We still have to wait until M has had custody for a minimum of six months before the adoption case can even be heard. Keep in mind that throughout this whole time, M hasn't been able to take a single day of maternity leave, since technically, she does not have a new baby at home, and I've had to keep the baby on my non-profit's crappy health insurance, even though we consider ourselves to be married and M's health insurance kicks @ss and has way better dependent coverage. (M's insurance doesn't have domestic partnership coverage, so I'll never be able to get on it.) Once the adoption is final, M will THEN become eligible for maternity leave, but by that time, our baby will have to been in day care for months and it won't make any sense for her to take it. It's not like this everywhere. If we lived in California, any child born into our domestic partnership - no matter how it was conceived - would be OUR child from the day it was born.

I know that once this is all over, it will be worth it. Our "labor pains" will just be a little more complicated and extended than most people's, but forgotten about just as easily. I am *surrounded* by pregnant women right now, which just isn't helping me. Out of my 10 closest coworkers, two are currently pregnant, one more is actively trying, and another returned from maternity leave this week. Needless to say, we haven't talked about much but babies and pregnancy in a loooong time. None of them have given a second thought to the questions M and I have to answer or the hoops we need to jump through. I just wish we could have a little "oops", and nine months later, a baby that is OURS where both our names go on the birth certificate on day one. I wish we could take that baby home from the hospital and that would be it. I wish the only professional intervention needed to make our family was a doctor to deliver the baby, instead of also needing a lawyer, a judge, and a social worker. ::sigh::

OK, I'm hoping that getting that out of my system will free something up. Bitterness isn't an emotion I want to hold onto for long, and it certainly is not productive, which means I don't have time for it right now. M and I have a family to build, and that is going to take a significant amount of energy for a while. :-)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

where it all started

(written October 31, 2009)

I began this blog as a way of sharing our ttc journey with a select group of friends who are spread out across the country. Originally, it was on another site, under lock and password. In November of 2007, I moved to blogger in order to plug myself into the infertility blogosphere. I recently finished copying all of my old posts over so now my entire journey is recorded in one place.

I have a couple of reasons for explaining this:

First, I don't want you to feel I am insulting your intelligence. Until November 2007, the only people who read my blog were friends that had no experience with TTC and all that comes along with that. So, I've over-explained things and defined a lot of terms and processes I wouldn't have if I'd been posting in this space all along.

Second, I don't want you to feel bad for me because it appears that I posted for over a year without a single comment. :-) My friends were awesome and offered wonderful support throughout our journey. I just didn't copy all of their comments over here.

So with that, the welcome mat is out. Feel free to put your feed up and stay awhile!