Thursday, December 31, 2009

Miscount~DOH!

So we can be pretty retarded sometimes... we both are good with numbers but apparently can't count....

Since November only has 30 days, our count is short a day... grumble grumble....this is a bit of a bummer because I was getting a little stoked midday yesterday that no visitor had shown up.

So today is day 32, tomorrow I will be officially late according to the corrected count.

As I mentioned before, Im not sure when I would get my period this time around given my lil' follicles slow growth.... nothing like a lazy egg to throw a wrench into our schedule. So it is possible that I am not late tomorrow I could just have a longer cycle this time around.

I have noticed some pre-period symptons... my nether regions/abdomen feels a bit achy and my breasts are sore and swollen (this is also a symptom of pregnancy so we can throw this tell tale to the wayside for now) although I haven't been a complete bitch in the last couple days so this could be a promising token.... or my girl is lucking out this month with only having to deal with a mild case of my PMS.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Keeping the count

As you all know we have been tracking my cycle for sometime now... and my cycle seems to be normal give or take a day or two... We have found from keeping track my period typically occurs between the 29 and 32 days after the first day of my previous period. However this month my cycle stalled a bit so Im not quite sure what my count will be, Im assuming it will be around the 32 day mark.

It has been 10 days since the insemination and yesterday would have been 29 days since my previous period and Wednesday will be 32 days since my previous period... Making right now the longest part of the waiting limbo. We have decided to hold off on taking a pregnancy test until Friday which is the two week mark since the insemination.

We are hopeful but a little reserved.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Having a Cloud Baby

So Friday we went in for round number 3. I don't have a lot to do. I mean Melissa has to get on a scale, take her blood pressure, get half naked, have Doctors poke at her and make awkward compliments that I won't repeat. I have to sit. Sometimes I hold a coat or grab a Kleenex. It is a pretty easy job. Sometimes I find myself wanting the Dr. to give me an ultra sound too just cause I am curious like that.

So getting back to Friday, on insemination days I have what is really my only job ... I push the plunger. This way I feel like we are doing this whole baby thing together. If I wasn't there, the plunger wouldn't get pushed. I am like union labor.... no one else can do my job.

On Friday we had a new girl and the whole process was going well. MJ was nervous because last time was so painful. The Dr. was zipping right along and we started making chit chat like I usually do to help take MJ's mind off the poking and prodding. Well the Dr. and I were talking about a white elephant gift she received that she was thinking of hanging in the office. We were laughing and joking and all the sudden she said 'There we go all done"........

I was horrified. My heart sank because some stranger just did the one job that is mine. My one part of this beginning process. Some stranger just could have gotten my wife pregnant. I was about to well up into tears when all the sudden I looked onto the counter. And there it was like a fat clown in a tiny chair. A glaring oversight that was both unbelievable and a God send for my sad heart. On the counter sat our very expensive "sample" still full.

I quickly pointed out the oversight and the Dr. couldn't believe it. She had done the whole process with air. ha ha ... air! She apologized over and over while MJ and I wrapped our heads around what just happened. Poor MJ had to go through the process all over .. only this time I quickly told the Dr. that I wanted to do my job. And so it was.

As MJ laid on the table for the obligatory 10 minutes, we laughed at what had just transpired and the fact that she was inseminated with air.

Take aways
1. Tell the Doctor you want to push the plunger BEFORE she starts
2. Watch the Dr. and make sure she actually uses the sample
3. Keep a sense of humor about mistakes. They are bound to happen.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

In Business

That is where we are.... My girl is the sweetest and scheduled me in for an 80 minute hot stone massage on Sunday.... Which hit the spot and was exactly what I needed to relax and destress!

Monday's appointment was positive we found a growing follicle and put our money on it! Our Dr. thinks that Friday is the optimum day for insemination....So as of last night I had given myself my timing injection and am now waiting for 9 AM tomorrow morning to take the plunge....literally.

It would be great if this is the month but I think it may be best for my sanity to not focus too much on it... my body is going to do what it is going to do. The next couple weeks are crazy hectic at work for me so that can serve as a great distraction!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Stress Affect

Well another appointment down, another appointment made.

It seems my stress level is showing itself in my follicles stagnant growth thus far... We went in expecting to see bigger follicles and saw no growth... The topic of discussion at my appointment was my stress.

I have been very stressed the last couple of months and the fact that I am actually seeing its physical affects on the ultrasound screen really bothers me.

It is not much of a secret to those that know me that I am not a fan of my job... I do it for the paycheck and always hold hope that I will discover a career along the way that sparks my interest... It is also a known fact that my job is stressful, dealing with millions of dollars of other people's money day in and day out wears on your nerves. It doesn't help that this month marks our busiest most stressful time of year... for many December means holiday fun... for me it means pull my hair out and get through the piles of work that must be processed to the penny when moving amounts in the millions. So I guess I shouldn't be surprised my body is showing the toll it takes when Im stressing out... It's not just waking up with a sore jaw from gritting my teeth all night it's messing with my cycle.

My girl is very understanding and even thinks that I am putting an expectation for my body to perform which adds to the stress I am putting on myself, not to mention the stress from planning a move and the stress from living in small quarters...

She also thinks its ironic that my job is my biggest stresser but it is also my insurance that is making this affordable for us to even try... She is right it's my double edged sword.

So my perscription for the weekend is to have fun. We have another appointment set to do an ultrasound to check on my eggs Monday afternoon. Hopefully we will see some progress, if not we may be trying clomid next month to get my cycle on a schedule as it appears it may be veering off to irregularity thanks to stress.

In the words of my brother... I am a sad panda today, I can't help but feel responsible for not doing a better job at being stress free.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Consulted

The appointment went as anticipated... my follicles are slow to develop just like previous months thus another appointment has been scheduled to have a second ultrasound to determine when is the "optimum" time for our insemination for Friday morning.

I see this as a good thing... mostly because the days of December are flying by.... Our sperm order won't be in Denver until Friday and I still need to fill my prescription for Ovidrel... We all know I love to inject myself.

While at the Dr's office we were able to squeeze in a much needed consultation regarding our fertility plan... I say much needed because we both like to have a plan. I think it was a great conversation to have. The conversation confirmed that it is not that uncommon for this process to take up to 4-6 months. Our Dr. did agree that if we haven't had success this time or the next it would be beneficial to check my fallopian tubes for blockage... She said the process is uncomfortable because of "insert technical term here" (the cervical clamp) which if you read a previous blog may recall hurt and was a pain I felt throughout the day. She also mentioned that the fallopian tube procedure actually flushes out the tubes, and they have noticed a pattern of increased pregnancies the following insemination... So there is a little added hope should we have to go down that path.

Typically after this fallopian tube procedure has been done some couples choose to step it up a bit with a fertility aid. She covered the three options, clomid being the FDA approved least chance of mulitiples option. So if we decide to step it up that is probably the option we will go with. The other two options being (excuse the mispelling and possibly missnaming) Phemora and Gentropin. Phemora is not currently FDA approved, if I recall the chances of multiples is slightly increased but not as much as Clomid, it is currently under review by the NHIS (I think that is the name) as a previous poorly done study found it increased the chance of birth defects... Our Dr seemed to really think these results were unfounded... none the less we would rather stick with something FDA approved. The other option Gentropin (Im almost positive I have renamed it for the purposes of this blog) is a shot and it increases your chances of pregnancy by quite a bit.... however it also increases your chances of multiples by quite a bit... and not just twins... it increases triplets and quadrupelets as well... She didn't highly recommend this because this also increases the risk of the pregnancy significantly and even the chance that a reduction by selection may be necessary if the risk is too high. We would never want to have to make that choice so Clomid it is if we get to a point that we feel we need an aid.

My girl can probably discuss the technicalities better than I... I forget the technical names the second after they are said... sorry about that.

It's not too late for Thanksgiving is it?

I used to say if you expect $100 and get $10 you are unhappy, but if you expected $1 and got $10 you are happy. It is the same $10, but it looks so totally different based on what you wanted.

If we can learn to be thankful for what we have and not measure ourselves against what we think we should have, imagine how our lives might feel. So today I take a moment to be thankful that I have a place to live that is safe, and warm and filled with a woman who loves me and 3 dogs who think I magically make food appear. I am thankful for a supportive family and friends. And I am thankful for MJ who is willing to go through all this to have children with me.

It wasn't that long ago that children weren't even an option in my life. How quickly I forget where I came from. So today, as a venture to the Dr.'s to look at a screen hunting for little black orbs, I say "thank you God for the technology to do this and for the woman who is willing to get half naked on the table and go through all this for our family. She is amazing."

3 is a Prime Number

Admittedly so I like numbers... Perhaps it is because I was raised by a math teacher who home schooled me my kindergarten year. And in that year taught me to add and subtract in the 100s but didn't teach me the ABC s. Given this I can't help but smile at today... the start of our 3rd try is just littered with 3s.

Today the 9th day (3^2) of December that is the 12th month (3*4) at 3pm (1500 military time also 3*5) is my ultrasound appointment to check the size of my follicles. This appointment will be the beginning of determining my most fertile day of the month to get inseminated.

So in light of all these 3s let me join in the chorus of "3rd time's the charm" here's to feeling as positive as I can without setting myself up for heartache... A balance I think I am far from finding especially by stating my true feelings of being hopeful that this time there won't be any heartache to be had.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Keeping on the same course

So after a good discussion with my girl we have decided it really is too soon to deviate from our current course.

Realistically it takes most couples up to 6 months to get pregnant, why should we be any different. (In my head I finish that sentence with because we have to win silly!) My girl will also be the first to tell you that I am competitive about almost everything... I want to be better than everyone in the room in at least one thing... it's pathetic I know this. That being said our friend K managed to get knocked up by the second attempt, granted their method was different but still by unconventional means given she to is oh so gay... So part of my heartache this past month in it not working is we didn't even tie.... I have reminded myself this isn't something you can compete over this is our own journey. (In my head I want to say those are the words of a loser...see it's not healthy to be in my head).

Back to what I was attempting to write about, staying the course. My thought was that when you are working on a hypothesis you don't deviate or change up the formula until you have a good amount of data to draw conclusions from, at which point you recognize one variable change that one variable only, test it and gather more data... so scientifically two months of trying does not give us enough data to go changing the variables!

My girl researched our conundrum by contacting a friend of hers who did this process successfully a while back and found out that she didn't get pregnant until the 4th try... so competitively speaking I have one month to beat them.... or in a more socially acceptable manner this is proof that we will have success if we are patient.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Hulk Smash!

Ever see the Incredible Hulk show on TV from like the 80s? I have a picture of Lou Ferrigno on my desk that one of my employees made me. It has the all important tag line "Because you won't like me when I'm angry".

I feel like the Hulk some days .... not all burly and manly... but slow to anger. But when I do get angry, it's not pretty just like Lou Ferrigno in green make-up and a wig.

It was a trying weekend. My prediction was wrong and I knew MJ was frustrated at Thanksgiving and no matter what I couldn't make it better. So now we have to try again for a third month and all I want to do is break things in the Doctor's office because they represent the fact that I can't make things any better and I can't do anything to make this process better.

Just like the Hulk I want to recklessly smash through walls, break things and run through the city with no top on and ripped up jean shorts .... well maybe not the topless part. But instead I think I will take a walk, eat some lunch, and when I get home tonight, hug the dogs. I think I will also sit down and pray and remind myself that as long as I am learning, no effort is wasted.

Another Month...Another Try

With the holiday came my period...perhaps that could explain my foul mood. My mother always said I have the worst PMS. Even that feels like a poor excuse for my bad attitude!

So we are on square one to try again. Its leaving both of us grasping for a remedy.

My girl has a theory that the physician's probing is possibly causing more harm than good. She has thrown out the idea of no pre-insemination probing instead me using the "traditional" LH test... aka. pee on a stick ovulation kit. I am not a fan of the probing, and it does seem pretty invasive. I just recall one of those physicians saying the ultrasound is more accurate than the LH test. But I also agree with my girl in that the ultrasound is interpreted by the physician, what if they are interpreting my eggs all wrong.

Then there is a part of me that wants to go ahead and take Clomid this month. Which is a "fertility aid" if you will. It increases the chance of twins by 8%, which seems like a small margin.... but then again, the chances of me getting pregnant are 15%... Ironically the physicians say 15% is good odds, and 8% is minimal.... so I guess somewhere between 8 and 15 there is a line between good/minimal.... or their attempts at making the numbers look better are pretty visible.

Which way to go?? I feel very conflicted, sometimes I want to take Frank's advice on Friends and just get drunk it worked for a lot of girls in his highschool.

Either way, I have to send in paperwork so that we can have more sperm mailed to our physician's office. And I need to call the fertility clinic to report my period... When we started this I thought that was funny the whole calling someone to tell them I got my period, I felt like a young teen getting my first period and announcing to the world I'm a woman... now it's not so funny and I feel sadness and don't really want to call at all.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Humbugging is silly

If I could define my mood yesterday it would be cranky, unthankful and completely self centric. On a day that I was supposed to be thankful I did the opposite I took for granted those around me and was a moody hum bugger all day long.

I want to spew out a thousand excuses for my attitude but what good is an excuse. When I think about the origins of my mood, I think that my attempt to not get my hopes up this month took an ugly turn for vile pessimism.

I apologize that I lost my focus on what yesterday was, a day of Thanksgiving. Im mostly sorry for taking my frustration out on my girl, her every attempt to help out or make things easier I turned and twisted into "feeble attempts" that made things worse for me and let her know it in my words and mean glances.

I can't change yesterday but I can do what I should have done yesterday today.

Here is my list of what I am thankful for:

I am thankful for my family and most of all my girl, their very presence in my life is a blessing. All the support they give me day in and day out is a gift that many live without.

I am thankful for my friends and the difference their influence on me makes in my life.

I am thankful for my dogs, who show how easy loving unconditionally is.

I am thankful for all the material things I have that I take for granted.

I am thankful that there is a way for us to try and have a baby in an unconventional manner and we live in a society that has progressed enough to where we can take that avenue as a lesbian couple and not be denied that path.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

So I think about it everyday

I am a pretty patient person. I think that is what makes me amiable many days ...but I would be lying if I said I didn't think about MJ's possible pregnancy everyday. And I would be lying if I said I wasn't counting the days.

This month we have taken then approach of "Let's not get our hopes up." But come on - she lives with a dreamer. Everyday I have been imagining what it might be like to see those little pink lines. I see pregnant woman and I think "Oooo I can't wait". Then I see kids screaming in line at a movie and I think "Hum ... I guess they can't stay tiny forever but I still want one."

So we will see (that's code for I am not allowed to predict that on Thanksgiving we will see two pink lines)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A little Prayer and A Little Hope

I was given a prayer from someone I love very much who also is trying to start a family and I wanted to share it... Maybe those of you who read this can say this prayer for me and other women trying for the same hopes of being a mother.

"Lovely Lady of La Leche, most loving mother of the child Jesus and my mother, listen to my humble prayer. Your motherly heart knows my every wish, my every need. To you only his spotless virgin mother has your Divine Son given to understand the sentiments that fill my soul. Intercede with him now, my precious mother, that, in accordance with His will, I may become the mother of other children of our heavenly Father. This I ask, O Lady of La Leche, in the name of your Divine Son, my Lord and Redeemer.Amen"

This is a Catholic prayer and neither I nor the person who sent this to me are Catholic, but the prayer seems fitting for how we feel.

Pregnancy is a tricky thing for some of us and it is hard to watch others get pregnant with such ease or those who are stricken with it like an accidental disease while you have to take all these steps and go see all these doctors because it is not something you can become conventionally. It is a test of patience and also a test of forgiving those who did nothing wrong but hope themselves.

Now that we are again waiting to find out if this try takes, It leaves me hesitant to hope and all to willing to pray.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Funeral and the Future

So Saturday I had the opportunity to attend a funeral for a friend of MJ's who died way too young at 28. I didn't know him, but it was an honor to watch his friends and family mourn his loss. As his father tried to make it through his speech, he broke down ... not just into tears, but he had to be helped off the stage. As he was being helped off, he yelled "I love you son!". My heart just broke and I couldn't help think of my cousin who died one year earlier to the day and of my own future with potential children.

I remember when I was a kid - like 8 or something - I asked a crazy question (as kids do) to my mom "If you had to save me or dad who would you save?" She said "You". When I asked why she said "because that is what your father would want." This never made any sense to me, but as I get close to having kids of my own I am starting to get it.

You have this fantasy when you are starting to think of having kids that they will be perfect. You will have all these great Christmases together. You will get to see them grow up, learn, get married, have kids and be happy. You never think .. my kid might kill himself at 28, or my kid might die of AIDS at 41.

So today MJ and I went in for round two of "Let's make a baby". This time was more painful for her, and as I sat by her side, I wished I could help with her pain. I started reflecting on the funeral, the speeches, my cousin .... and I realized that life really is all about the little things.

And for the little things like today's Dr. visit, MJ's smile, my mom's emails, warm tea, dogs that finally poop when you ask them to, .... I say 'Thank you God for all the little things. May I cherish them all."

Too Many Metal Objects

This morning was my insemination... I fear it was a bit more painful this go round.

It seems my cervix was on the run so our Dr. had to use a clamp to grab it and hold it in place.... All I can say is F'n A that hurts! Its been a couple hours and it still hurts.

The good news is I have 13 million swimmers on the hunt, and I have very good looking mucus on my cervix. Never thought I would be happier to hear I have mucus! who knew mucus could be good looking!

The down side is the cramping I am feeling this time around because of the clamp. The clamp also caused some bleeding which they have assured us will have no affect on the insemination.

So it wasn't ideal but while laying on the table after the procedure, I looked at Seana and said.... that was probably nothing compared to labor... What am I getting myself into. She of course smiled and said that we could always adopt. All I could think is it may be too late to wimp out now! I really don't want to wimp out anyway.

I would prefer they use less metal objects when it comes to my nether regions.... I dont know what was worse the clamp or seeing the size of that thing before she inserted the sucker! YIKES!

Well here is to keeping our fingers crossed it takes! Maybe this is one procedure we wont have to do again for quite a while!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

On the Move

Life keeps moving and so are we! We used this weekend and this week to move out of our place and into temporary living. As most of you know we are planning to move to Indiana in a few months the timing of which is being determined by a short sale we have put an offer in on.

In an effort to remain fertily optomistic, we both are thankful that last month was not a successful month in terms of becoming pregnant. With all the stuff we are moving from one place to the other and the amount of heavy items I've personally picked up and moved it's best that I am not pregnant.

We also don't want to skip a month, so during this hectic move we have fit in a couple appointments to see our reproductive specialist. My cycle is a bit slower than they anticipated so we have determined that this coming Monday will be my next insemination!

So I will be administering myself with a shot on Saturday evening to trigger the release of the egg. Which by the way was quite painless last month so I'm not even worried about it this time!

Thankfully this works well with the timing of our move, almost all heavy objects are in their rightful place, and those that have not been will be by Monday.

Now back to the task of unpacking in our basement apartment!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Period is a poingant mark

Women hate their periods anyway. You're bloated, cranky and in pain for like three days. It is never fun. But today brings a whole new meaning to starting your period ... which MJ started today. It means another round of watching doctors poke my wife. Another 30 days waiting for happy baby news.

On the good side, it means sushi dinners - which MJ has been avoiding cause of the raw fish. It also means MJ can pack boxes without the worry of hurting a fetus ... maybe that is a negative cause who really wants to pack boxes.

What is amazing to me is getting pregnant seems so simple. You mix one and one together and you get two. Just goes to show that children really are in God's time. Science can't do what he does. I am thankful for that.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Our First Baby Purchase

We were wandering around Target getting a couple items we needed...and decided to peruse the baby section...

It's amazing what you can buy for a baby...let me rephrase it's amazing what you can spend on a baby. I'm sure the baby will have no idea if the stroller does not match the car seat...but everything is offered in a set... some with little cartoon animals others with more abstract designs but colorful. All playing in to America's consumer mentality... And you know it works because it is all so cute and in the back of your mind your thinking...I don't want MY baby to have to touch something "re-used"!

It's an interesting internal conflict, I continue to try and be more green about how I live my life, and I always seem to fall short when it comes to my "consumer" self. I always end up going for the new instead of the re-used. But I recycle, I steer clear of Styrofoam, and I even have a worm farm for composting.... I keep thinking I will make that step...but the question is when??

The stroll through Target didn't leave me demanding that I have to buy every item for our baby new and that it has to all compliment each other as a matching set... However, I did find the cutest onesie that is grey in color and has the recycle triangle with the words "green baby" under it.... I grabbed it off the rock and my girl chimed in with "we should get it...it's only $3.00".... so I smiled and giddily carried it off towards the check out counter. While walking with it in hand I couldn't help myself and I checked the label... for an article of clothing that boasts being green there was nothing green about how it was made... no organic cotton no mention of being made from post consumer recycled products.... just a ploy to get us to consume based of the newest trend of being green.

Oh well its cute, and it will cover our baby's g-diaper with style.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

One big plunge

So as you know - if you have read MJ's blogs - we have done the insemination process this month. What is amazing to me as a woman is you are told NOT to get pregnant. I still remember my mom talking to me when I was like 14 about safe sex. She told me something like "Being pregnant is not the end of your life, but AIDS is." She basically taught me that it isn't babies you are trying to avoid it is diseases. Made sense to me.  

As a lesbian, you don't really encounter sperm lol - so it was a strange feeling to be in a doctors office with a vial of the stuff ... that I none the less paid for. So after MJ got all prepped and propped up on the doctors table, came the moment of truth ... I got to push the plunger. As small a task as that is, it really made me feel like without both of us, we wouldn't be having kids. 

Then came a moment of "whoa". I just pushed a plunger and a could have just made a life long commitment. And then a huge smile came across my face because that is exactly what I want.  

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Waiting Game

We are on day 5 of the waiting, according to the Mayo guide if the egg were fertilized it is now a blastocyst and it has made its way into my uterus but has not attached itself yet.... 

I always thought the egg got fertilized in the uterus, but it actually gets fertilized in the fallopian tube and then travels down into the uterus... At least Im learning something.

Luckily we have been distracted during most of the time we are waiting...as most of you know we went to Indiana to house hunt!  We think we may have found an alternative to the short sale we put an offer on at the beginning of the month.  We have made an offer for the alternative and guess what are WAITING to hear what the sellers think of it. 

So I'm learning to be patient even when attempting to distract myself.

I think I am getting pretty good at it.

So 7 to 9 more days until we know if we are pregnant.






Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Seed Deed

This afternoon was the insemination!!

So I have about 15 million teeny tiny swimmers on the hunt in my uterus!  Oh boy!  

The experience was not the most pleasant, it actually hurt a little bit, like when they do a pap you feel that tinge of pain, it was like that but a little more constant.  It wasn't absolutely miserable we are both ecstatic at the thought that I could be pregnant!  

My girl is so wonderful, she has gone with me to every appointment, and today she actually helped.  The Dr. allowed her to push in the plunger on the syringe so that it was her getting me pregnant!  That to me makes the experience perfect!


So now the waiting game begins... two weeks until we will be able to tell.

Fingers crossed and fertile thoughts!


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I have to poke myself????

So the insemination is scheduled!!!

We are going in on Thursday which means...I have to get up at 3 AM and administer a shot of "Ovidrel" to trigger my ovulation exactly 36 hours before the "seed-deed" (I am clever...or dorky you are free to choose)...  

As you may have read previously I like the majority of society am not a fan of getting shots and now they expect me to give myself one.  I don't know how you guys with diabetes do it... hopefully I will be so groggy I won't realize what I'm doing to myself until it is done!

I am off to set my alarm and get some rest!  Good night and wish me luck!


Sunday, October 11, 2009

With October comes round two of Poking & Prodding!

Friday was my ultrasound for the month of October and it seems we were a few days early, my follicle (the largest of the bunch) on the left was 12mm and on the right were 13mm....so I was tasked with using LH tests this weekend to be aware if my body triggers ovulation, and have another ultrasound on Monday to see if they are closer to the very desireable 17mm to 18mm.

We both find it odd that they ask my height every time I come in...because women at age 30 are prone to growth spurts!!

And it is official every doctor at this clinic has gotten the turn to give me a check up....it is such a lovely experience having shown myself from the waistdown to the entire staff... Not sure why they dont have you see the same specialist everytime.... I had heard that you become less self conscious about your body during and after pregnancy, I think I am starting to really understand why.

Barnes & Noble Pulled me in!!!

I did some research on pregnancy books... and I was all set...

I was going to get two books:

The Mayo Clinic Guide to Pregnancy

Eating for Pregnancy: The Essential Nutrition Guide and Cookbook for Today's Mothers-to-Be

I found my way to the right section and before I knew it had picked out 5 books.... Most of which I know I do not need.

So I begrudgingly put two of them away.... okay fine I put one of them away....bahhh.

Leaving with 4 books only one being what I was going in for...the Mayo Clinic Guide...

I also got:

Feed the Belly
The Well Rounded Pregnancy Cookbook
I'm Pregnant! Now what do I eat?

All of which touch on what you should be putting into your body during the all important 9 months when you are eating for 2!!

Besides, I'm a sucker for cookbooks...

I am actually enjoying reading 'feed the belly'....aside from the use of the words "prego" or "preggers" these terms annoy me and the author seems to enjoy them immensely!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Bye, bye Beemer

So part of our journey of having kids together is getting to one income - that way MJ can stay home if needed or wanted. So today I sold my BMW. .... moment of silence .....

A while ago MJ and I looked at our overall budget and we noticed that combined we spent more on cars than on our home mortgage - not ok. So I decided that since my car was the least useful (you try to stuff a Golden Retriever into the back of a BMW coupe that only seats 4) I should get rid of mine first. - Did I mention I have only owned BMWs for the last 9 years? - Anyway

You may be asking "What will you buy instead" ... the answer ... drum roll ... nothing. Yup nothing. We are going to try to get through the winter with one car. Now that is an adventure. And it is not that we work near each other. We work on different ends of town. I think we can do it.

Having the extra money feels really nice. Having to share a car .... well ... we will see about that.


Take Aways
1. Kids are expensive - plan ahead

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

You want me to bend how????

During our visit with the psychologist, she threw out a morsel we hadn't thought of...

Handling stress, making sure we relax and make time for ourselves. 

She suggested carving out time to do things that we like to do for instance going to a movie and eating popcorn or nachos.  She also suggested yoga as a healthy way to exercise and de-stress.  She emphasized the importance of doing this especially after insemination during the waiting period to find out if it stuck.  Apparently some studies have shown that you are less likely to conceive if you are tense and stressed out.

Her suggestion has stuck with me and I am on week three of yoga once a week.  The first day was umm... confusing but it felt really good afterward.   It really does help you de-stress.  It's 45 minutes of stretching that starts with relaxing and clearing your mind and ends with relaxing and clearing your mind.  The 40 minutes not relaxing and clearing your mind are strenuous but not high impact or cardio.

I now know what down dog, crouching cougar and child's pose is...  and I still don't bend most ways but I can reach my toes without bending my knees when bending over in a standing position... I can not recall when I could do that before!

My gym offers two classes a week and so far, one a week conflicts with my schedule.  Hopefully next week I will bump it up to two times a week. Someday who knows maybe I can bend that way......rarrrrr.

Friday, September 18, 2009

7/10ths of an hour? Is that possible?

Today was my call with the lawyer. You know ... the one we put the baby plans on hold for.


The morning got off to a rough start. MJ hurt her neck and couldn't really move. It is a good thing she didn't get inseminated yesterday otherwise she couldn't have taken all those muscle relaxers today to help with her neck.


Because of MJ's ailment, I had a call with the lawyer instead of a face-to-face meeting, which was fine with me. He is a nice guy - he specializes in surrogacy, but helps people like us too and he taught me some very interesting things.


In Colorado law, there is a fundamental legal difference between assisted reproduction and adoption. If MJ and I create a contract before conception saying the baby wouldn't even exist unless we intended to have the child together, then I can file a prebirth parentage action. This action would allow me to be legally named the second parent BEFORE the child is born. Plus I wouldn't have to do a home study or background check and I would have rights to the child while still in womb. Now this all assumes the judge allows the action - which according to the lawyer, he/she should.



If we had conceived first and then written the contract, then my only choice would be adoption. BTW I should be thankful even for that because some states (namely Florida) do not allow gays to adopt at all. Bastards.



Apparently there is a law that may be passed in Colorado that would change the assisted reproduction law to more of an adoption type law where home studies and such would be required. Hopefully we can get pregnant before that happens. And my question really is why? Why make people undergoing assisted reproduction have to do a home study / background check? They don't make birth parents go through anything - and they shouldn't.



Anyway - so while talking to the lawyer I was feeling pretty good until we started talking money. He kept saying things like 'Your situation is much easier than surrogacy", "the contract will be pretty simple" etc. I was starting to think this whole thing would be reasonably priced.



$750 for the contract and it would be another $750 to $1000 for the court proceedings!!! Holy crap that is a lot. $2000! He did say "Since we didn't take the whole hour I will only charge you 7/10ths". I was thinking "if you go 45 minutes do they charge you 7/10ths or 8/1oths?" Who knows. All I know is that adoption is about $2500 as well. So no matter what we chose it will cost us $2000-2500 to adopt a baby that if we were married would just be ours. Frustrating.

So tally for baby - $2950 for sperm, $20 a doctor visit for MJ (luckily MJ's insurance covers the procedures otherwise we would have $500 a Dr visit), $350 for counselor. Yikes! Maybe we should have served pigs in a blanket at the wedding to save some money. :)

Truth is that any child would be awesome and worth every penny. I just like to complain. So as I write a check to the lawyer I say 'Thank you grandma for giving me the money to adopt a child." And then I smile knowing she would be happy about that.

Take Aways
1. If you and your partner want to have a child, check with a lawyer and have a contract drawn BEFORE conception. It may save you time and heartache later
2. Check your state laws, there may be a difference between assisted reproduction laws and adoption laws.
3. Save money before you decide to get pregnant. Cause it isn't the cheapest thing to do.
4. Move out of Florida - cause they don't like "the gays"

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Missed an item - go back two spaces

So today was supposed to be our first try. MJ has been through 4 doctors appointments to get to today. We have filled out forms, had things notarized, signed papers, paid $350 for an hour of counseling, rush ordered sperm (which wasn't cheep), had a self injected shot sent to the house, and MJ had an ultrasound. So what could be left???

It is funny to me how life works. When you are willing to be open about what is going on, you find people all around you who have been where you are at in some form or another. What has been on my mind lately ... adoption.

The counselor talked to me about the stress of adoption, the Dr. has told me I have no legal rights to the baby until AFTER it is born - which seems like no big deal. But imagine the tragedy if my wife dies in labor - guess who would get our baby .... yup her parents. Not me. So needless to say my legal rights have been on my mind.

I have both a brother and a best friend who are adopted. Even though I know a lot about it, I had NO IDEA the process of adoption and how stressful it is for the adopting parents.

It all really elevated about a week ago when MJ came home and told me that her friends (heterosexuals and married) had been turned down after months of working with an adoption agency because of the BMI. The what???? The BMI - the body mass index. They got turned down not because they didn't pass three background checks or because they didn't have the money or because their marriage was unstable - no, no they got turned down because they are over weight...WTF!!! Isn't that discrimination?!? Now I have seen them both and these are not people who are out of breath after climbing a bus. These are active people who don't seem that overweight. If they had known that was a factor, they would have tried losing weight before the home study. I couldn't believe it. I still can't.

Second thing that happened was my close lesbian friends R and K just had a baby. Now K carried the baby and R is the "other mom". I figured once their daughter was born - R would go down to the courts, fill out a form, K would sign it and they would be on their merry gay way. Nope R has had to go through background checks, finger printing, written a novel about herself, paid $800 bucks and now has to go through a home study. Their daughter is already almost two months old. How can this be? No one asked K to fill out a background check to keep her daughter. Why does R have to go through all this when they used donor sperm and there is no father?

So if you remember earlier I told you one of our action items was to get a lawyer. We have been emailing a woman up in Denver who is an expert in adoption law. Well MJ finally was like "isn't there someone closer who can help us?" Turns out there was. Tom Beltz is an adoption attorney in town and when I started talking to him and his office he told me "Don't do the insemination until papers are drawn". Apparently there are these agreements we can fill out along with our intended birthing plan. If we do it, I don't have to go through as many aadoption hoops. Like no home study. We just have to file some paper work when our child is born and the baby will be legally mine too. Plus it is supposed to protect my rights incase something tragic happens to my wife - that fact is very important to me.

So sadly MJ and I had to cancel our doctor's appointment for today. We have a meeting with the lawyer tomorrow. We both agree it is the right thing to do and God's timing will work out how it is supposed to be.

Take aways
1. Have paperwork drawn BEFORE insemination. It cuts down on legal issues later down the road and protects the non-birth parents rights.
2. If you are adopting, be aware that they may use your weight, and your savings account against you.
3. If you are adopted, your parents went through a LOT to get you. Sometimes years of waiting. You were wanted and planned. That really says something.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Finding a vial or 8 of Mr. Right!

How does one pick a sperm donor you ask??

With the ease of the internet of course! Take your time perusing donor profiles, hearing audio clips of their voice, reading over medical and family history, checking out a baby/child photo, sorting them by physical characteristics and/or blood type!

We found several cryobanks to choose from, and were pleased to find out the one we chose was one in good standing according to our physician's standards... You may want to note if doing a little sperm shopping yourself that the Colorado Cryobank did not meet their standards. Sperm is not something you can get "local" as it turns out, correction high quality sperm is not something you can get "local" from a sperm bank.

During all the poking and prodding it was discovered that I am RH- which essentially means...ummm...yeah. I don't know what it means but I know it narrows my options somewhat. If I go with a donor who has a negative blood type I can cut down on the number of shots that will be administered to me... If I go with a donor who is a positive blood type I have to take some kind of shot(more than once) that builds up antibodies or whatever....Wow I am so uneducated when it comes to this stuff!

So we picked our version of what we think is "Mr. Right Genes"! He is A(-) blood type, Caucasian, of Scottish Portuguese-Spanish Decent, 6', 150 lbs, with brown hair, and blue eyes...He has a bachelors degree in Business, likes reading and playing sports, and is in the Army. The staff think well of him and feel he has "movie" quality looks! His voice sounds smooth no hint of "nasal"-ish about it and he sounds intelligent. He has fair skin, not what I was hoping for being fair skinned myself, but I would rather opt for a baby who needs more sunscreen than deal with more shots and the small risk of the RH- thingy rearing its ugly head.

Mr. Right Genes has one more thing going for him, he is less expensive than our other two "likes", when you are looking at prices of $450+ a vial; seeing a price tag of $345 a vial felt like a steal! He also met our requirement for an open donor.

An open donor is a donor willing to be contacted by the child once they reach the age of 18. My girl read a lot of information including Donor Kid letters; of the letters she found none of the kids wanted to replace their parents, they have a dad or a second mom, they just wanted to see where some of their attributes came from. Our child is obviously going to know he/she didn't come into this world in a conventional manner and we have no desire to deny them the right to explore their roots.

Once we had decided on the donor for us, we had to fill out more forms! YAY!! We love forms, especially ones that require a notary! Not to worry our local postal annex notarizes, and they have handy birthday cards and cute flashlights so you can shop while you wait for your turn to sign! We overnighted the paperwork to the bank and the next day My girl placed an order for 8 vials of Mr. Right Genes and I got a cute flashlight for the mini cooper!

Why 8? Well our physician informed us that it may take a few tries so its best to order more than one at a time... How does " a few" end up as the random 8?? Well the bank will store your vials for free for 2 years if you order 8 or more. We figured if we got lucky early on we could store the remainder just in case we want to have a second child. Also, the bank will buy back unused vials that don't leave the facility at half price should we decide to never use them, which we thought 50% back is better than none and we don't have to shop anymore!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Poking and Prodding

It is official the month of September was invade MJ's personal space month...

As a woman we are all familiar with the uncomfortable nature of the annual check up...

Be forewarned....  Seeing a reproductive specialist is just that over and over again.

Sounds easy right....

Physical exam
Blood work
Ultrasound
Insemination

First of all, I don't really like needles, seriously, who does??!!  Secondly, we all hate the "uncomfortable nature" of the female exam!!  

The end goal is worth it all....it better be, my mother in law informed me the poking and prodding is just beginning and I better get used to it!

Hmmmm..Poking and prodding shall continue until birth...and perhaps a bit longer... oye.

Let me just say that I haven't had the insemination yet... and I have had my blood drawn twice, I've peed in a cup, I have had the initial physical exam of lady parts, and the ultra sound which I thought was going to be far less invasive than it was... 

Picture a wand a long white plastic wand with a round nub at the end...and on that wand a condom.  Now envision it being lubed and inserted and moved around inside yourself...  To make matters worse, realize that you really need to pee.  

Yes, it turns out you are supposed to pee before taking the stirrup position...a little tid bit of information the nurse failed to tell me...but she did ask me how tall I was... again for the 4th time.

End result, I am ovulating as we speak and could be inseminated on Thursday 09/17/2009...if only our legal documents were in order!




For that price you should at least talk dirty to me

Did I mention our sperm Doctor was based out of Denver? (that's an hour+ from where we are). Because of this fact, he recommended a counselor that was also based in Denver. (If you didn't read previously, we must see a counselor before we are allowed to use the sexy services of a reproductive doctor.)

So ... up we trek to Denver on a lovely Colorado afternoon. We discuss kids names we hate to help pass the time. As it turns out MJ does not like the name Hermes or Cryptor. She is so hard to please.

After hunting for convenient parking, we wander up to the third floor to a wonderful receptionist who kindly tells us to have a seat. Things are all butterflies and puppy dogs at this point. Then we get to check in .. did I mention we showed up early? Well thankfully we did.

The nice receptionist tells us our appointment will be a $250 deposit .... ???

"Did I hear you say deposit?" I ask
"Yes" She answers "We won't know the full amount until your session is done"
"I am confused" I calmly reply (or ask while totally freaked out but trying to act calm)
"We won't know the full cost so we charge you $250 deposit"
"So do you have a price range of how much our 1 hour counseling appointment will be?" I respond
"No - sorry. It's $250 deposit"

So needless to say I ask her to find out the total cost. I don't want to be billed $250 let alone $500 for talking to a person for an hour! What happens next is frightening ... the counselor comes out .... and she doesn't even know what they charge!! WTF!!! How can you justify $250 an hour? How can you not know what you charge total????

After 15 minutes of research, they discover the total will be $350 - ugh - we bite the bullet and pay it. After all we have to complete this step to have a baby the "fun and sexy way" at the doctors office.

After an hour, I feel pretty much the same but at least I got to spend time with my favorite girl talking about babies.

Take aways
1. Ask how much the counseling appointment will be BEFORE you go to the appointment
2. Consider Cryptor - it is a lovely name.

"See counselor" shouldn't be written on a prescription pad

The first doctor's visit was a humbling and over whelming experience.

I don't usually feel different. I am "out" at work, with all my friends ... heck I even had a 100+ gay wedding with dresses and photographers and a giant cake. Sitting at the Doctors office reminded me that I am in fact "different".

Lots of people get accidentally knocked up in the back seat of a car, while on summer break, or when they miss a pill. But not us... we have to use a sperm bank, doctor and a whole hell of a lot of forms.

So there I was - humbled by the fact that being in the doctors office meant I was in fact different. Then it occurred to me - how hard it must be for straight couple who have been trying for a year to sit in the office seats. How emasculating it must feel for a man to have to use another man's sperm. How stressful it must be for a woman to want a baby so bad and not be able to get pregnant.

The experience gave me a lot more compassion and understanding of things I had never thought of before ... and then ... out came the forms.

It was bad enough to just be there but then he started writing out a to do list.
1. Have blood work drawn for testing
2. Physical exam and pap smear
3. Select donor
4. Fax donor agreement
5. Sign storage agreement
6. Contact lawyer
7. Check for insurance coverage
8. Make counseling appointment

Hold up! What? Make a counseling appointment? That's right folks ... it is required by law to see a counselor at least once before they will allow you to be inseminated.

Needless to say I left feeling completely overwhelmed and drowning in paperwork.

Take aways
1. Be prepared to fill out lots of forms
2. You will be required to see a counselor
3. Give yourself enough time to complete all the required tasks

Getting on Track

If you read My Girl's post about known and unknown donors you probably have figured out we have chosen to go the route of artificial insemination with an anonymous donor. 

The next question that probably comes to mind is who get's the honor of getting knocked up?? Well that would be me!

So...

July we started tracking my ovulation cycle...  I never really paid much attention to the number of days in-between my period I just kinda had a general idea of when I needed to leave the house packin'.  So when August rolled around we had a count!  But what do you do with the count???

Do a search on the internet on how to know when you are ovulating and you will find a plethera of information out there. 

here is an article that we found useful:


For August we decided to use an ovulation calculator via the world wide web and an ovulation predictor kit.


By combining the two methods I only had to pee on a stick 3 times before discovering I was ovulating.

This was the start of our tracking.  

For September we used a much more high tech method of having an ultrasound done.  


The known makes for too many unknowns

If you haven't read MJ's intro, you may want to do so before you read all of my "how too" for the Colorasbians (That's Colorado Lesbians).

The first decision we weighed was known donor VS sperm bank. For those who don't know, a known donor is asking someone you know to donate sperm for you - like a friend or the handsome UPS delivery man. We initially thought this is what we wanted because 1. It was a lot cheaper, 2. We could answer questions about the biological father and 3. we would know what the donor looked like.

Let's all face a small fact right now - we want our children to be cute. If you are using a sperm donor of any kind, the big question you are secretly thinking about is appearance. You want tall, dark and handsome. Even lesbians want their boys to grow up handsome and their daughters to be striking beauties. No one wants to have a kid with Mr. "My hobbies are picking my nose and wiping it on my shirt"

So I initially thought it would be nice to have a known donor. MJ and I had conversations around who we would want to ask. We even had friends that just had a baby via known sperm donor. Then she took the plunge and asked a close .. but not too close friend.

After a few days of "logistics" research .. like "How would we capture his donation? Where would we store the stuff? How much does storage cost?" I came across some disturbing news - 1. Sperm storage was very expensive - like $700 a year. 2. to have our friend donate he would have to have two physicals at $500 a piece, he would have to donate and then we would have to wait 180 days before we could make a "withdrawal" and 3. known donor agreements have been over turned by some states. Colorado was a "gray" area.

I was like "whoa, whoa I am not going through all this to have my child taken away because I didn't give birth to it!" My main concern is my legal rights to the child. This is my kid too regardless of biological factors and I want to make sure I can adopt the child when he/she is born.

So the legal issue made it easier to decide that using a sperm bank was the right way to go for us.

Take away facts
1. To protect your legal rights, use a sperm bank
2. To protect your legal rights further, use a physician to administer the sperm ... not as fun as doing it at home - but the results are the same
3. Although sperm is free at many bars in town - Colorasbians have to pay for it.

Symptom: Baby Fever

My girl and I have decided to have a baby!!!  

We thought it best to document our journey via blog.  I am not much for grammar so be prepared for run on sentences that is my specialty, oh and I love commas, but will opt for a semi-colon if I get self conscious about the commas.

I guess a little back ground information would be a good start.  My girl and I have been together for 2 and 1/2 years and have been married for just over 2 months now.  We met on Myspace which turned into coffee which turned into love.   We both had been in previous relationships so going into this one with our past experiences helped.  We openly discussed our must haves and would likes; through that we learned that we both wanted to have kids someday.  That conversation came pretty early on so its not too surprising that right after the wedding I was chomping at the bit to get this baby train on the move.