Green Eyed

I don’t get jealous.

Ok, that’s bullshit. Everyone gets jealous sometimes, but I really feel like its not one of my usual ‘go to’ emotions. I was in a very long term non-monogamous relationship and it really didn’t phase me when my girlfriend hung out with her boyfriend or the other girl she was sleeping with – it just wasn’t that big a deal to me. In the world beyond love and sex, I also don’t often feel ‘jealous.’ I have a lot of awesome in my life and I generally think everyone deserves awesome and its not a big deal when the awesome gets spread thick and with much diversity.

But today I’m feeling a little jealous.

My very best best friend, the dude who has been consistently amazing since we were 14 and became buddies, who was my Man of Honor and has seen me through more bullshit than I’d care to acknowledge, is a papa now. His daughter, Eleanor, was born yesterday. I am ecstatic. He is going to be an amazing father and even though he is far away, I am sure I will still get some quality time with this gorgeous baby.

Another very close friend is, today, full term. Her baby is due on our first wedding anniversary, just about three weeks off.

My sister-in-law is entering her third trimester and is starting to really show. My nephew will be here any minute. My cousin is due the same day.

I am very excited to have all of these wonderful babies showing up in my life, because I generally believe the more babies the better. And . . .and I am also sad that I am not pregnant. And while I know those two things can and do co-exist without having to mean anything to each other, right now I’m having a hell of a time piecing that out. Today I am just sad for myself, and the joy for everyone else is a little bit harder to see.

In my rational brain, I know that we’ve only tried twice . . .and both of those tries were probably somewhat doomed because of the way the Great Cycle of January-March 2013 played out, and that it can take quite a while for this whole magical thing to happen even in the best of circumstances. I *know* that. I also feel fairly certain that once we do get pregnant, this time will barely register on the great timeline of life. Soon there will be babies all over and mine will be one of them.

But today I’m disappointed. Today I am sad. Today it is hard to be excited for everyone else because I only want to be excited for myself.

I hate that I feel jealous, and I hate that I feel sorry for myself. I abhor selfishness and this is the very worst kind. But I’m also trying to follow the sage advice I’ve been getting about all of this, which is to let myself feel however I’m going to feel. To acknowledge it and then move past it. So, here I am . . .feeling all of these damned feelings.

 

Balancing Eggs on the Equinox

And on the 60th day, I bled.

And even though it wasn’t ideal, I saw that it was very good. Amen.

And thus, the never-ending cycle of January-March comes to a close. Having the privilege of hindsight, I can now say with some degree of certainty that I didn’t ovulate until day 46. Aside from that bizarre anomaly, the rest of my cycle went just swimmingly, and I started my period as expected 15 days after ovulation following a negative home pregnancy test on day 13. 

Its a bummer to not be pregnant, but I am hugely relieved to be done with the damn cycle. I am also hopeful that this was a one-off weirdness and we can move along this month without so much stress. Accordingly, I have cancelled all doctors appointments and, barring another 40 day wait between now and ovulation, I won’t be rescheduling them until I am good and knocked up.

ImageIn MUCH more exciting news! We got CHICKENS! Well, chicks that will grow into CHICKENS!

I have been trying to convince La that we needed chickens since we moved to The Estate in September. Since we now live on a quarter acre of ‘land’ in a neighborhood that is zoned for agricultural and livestock uses as well as residences, we had NO excuse. Plus, I harbor some serious urban homesteading fantasies, and chickens are the least labor and cost intensive method to realize them! But La has been pretty iffy on the subject, telling me that she was ok if I got chickens but that she would have NO part in their care, other than consuming their delicious eggs. Chickens aren’t THAT hard to care for, but generally speaking, I think its best when partners agree to do things together that impact the running of a house. In other words, I didn’t want chickens enough to forgo my partner’s participation.

On Monday, la had coffee with a friend of ours who has chickens and somehow, R convinced La to get chickens. When I picked her up from the coffee date, La was so excited about it that she said she wanted to go right then. So, off to Wardle’s Feed and Grain we went!

We are now the proud parents of 4 chicks – 1 Gold Star, 1 Black star, 1 Brown Leghorn and 1 Silver Laced Wyandotte. We have named them Blanche, Rose, Sofia and Dorothy. Because if the Golden Girls are important enough to make it into our wedding vows, you can be assured they are important enough to name our chickens after!

The chicks are a pleasant distraction from baby research and planning, and a reminder of how close spring is! There is a coop and run to build, raised beds to get in place, and a whole lot of land to love into productivity and fecundity. I am ready to dig my hands in the earth and make life in my yard!

Of course, I wouldn’t mind in the least if the fertility transferred to my uterus as well . . .

Oh! Here’s Cletus the Bulldog meeting Dorothy:

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BUllets!

Bullets!

  • 10 DPO, nipples are on fire (in a really not sexy way)and feel like they are loaded with ammo and shooting lasers! on and off cramps which I now think are just endemic to my life! SO HUNGRY want to eat BREAD and COOKIES ALL DAY! = something is coming, blood or baby I have no idea.
  • Got a pretty good up tick on the ol’ BBT today from 97.6 to 98.0 even, but it came back down to 97.7 today. Not the maybe triphasic tendency I was hoping for but could still be good? fuckifiknow. 
  • Had two more extensive conversations with medical professionals yesterday. Both were really awesome, which almost made up for the 5 extensive and very shitty conversations I had the day prior. 
  • I am now scheduled to see a regular old OB GYN in April, one who has experience with fertility stuff but is NOT an RE and is way down with the DIY artificial insemination stuff.
  • Made a new nurse friend, Elaine, who gave me her direct line and told me to call her whenever I needed to. She also informed me that my HcG at that beta I had drawn a while back was actually 3, which could mean it was a chemical pregnancy. I’m not sure I agree, since I never got a positive HPT and it seems very clear that I ovulated on day 46 whereas the original ovulation date of day 16 is seeming more like a no-go. Whatever. It gave me some hope and that was nice.
  • Found out my brother and sister-in-law are having a little boy! I cannot wait for my nephew to get here! My brother was a very cute baby, so I have very high expectations.

An update to the great doctor saga – or, the day I talked to every department in the hospital that does anything with vaginas

Since our last episode . . .

1. Got a call on Friday from the maternal-fetal health dept (what?) telling me that they had received a referral for me to see Dr. B in their department. When I expressed confusion about who DR. B was and why I should be seeing her INSTEAD of Dr. C (‘the best we have’ doctor) the scheduling lady said “I don’t understand the clinical stuff but DR. B is the specialist, the super specialist, and you’re supposed to see her.” So, I cancelled with DR. C and made an appointment with Dr. B

2. Feeling confused and wanting to forgo any additional weirdness, I send an e-mail to my awesome GP (who is also on the advocacy committee for one of the LGBT orgs in town) and asked her to do a little informing to ensure the same shit didn’t happen. She said DR. B was great and of course she would send a head-up.

3. Today I get a call from maternal-fetal health telling me that, actually, Dr. B is not who I should see, that I should see a reproductive endocrinologist in advanced reproductive medicine because Dr. B only sees pregnant diabetic patients (what?!) so they can transfer me to ARM. Um. Ok. I guess.

4. Get transferred to ARM where I have to explain to the receptionist that I have done inseminations at home, approximately 10 times, before it was clear. (“Who did you IUI?” “No one. I did it at home.” “I’m sorry, WHO did you say did the IUI?” “NO ONE. My friend came over and jerked off in a cup and I put it in a syringe and put it in my vagina.” “Oh . . .”) I was finally allowed to make an appointment although the receptionist sounded confused.

5. Call the patient advocate people to complain. While I’m on the phone with them, ARM calls back and leaves a message saying that, actually, I shouldn’t see them, I should just go back to SA, the nurse practitioner who started this whole charade.

6. Call ARM back and explain that OB-GYN sent me to DR. B who sent me to ARM so can someone just fucking tell me who to talk to? Get a nurse on the line and she explains that absolutely! They can see me! They are totally the right department to see! But they don’t approve of known donor at home inseminations! Ok!? So then I spend a half an hour asking if they can still figure out what’s going on in the case of the missing menstrual period (or, really, the case of the delayed Ovulation, as its becoming clear is actually the case) and get treatment for that even though the way I am getting sperm into my uterus is not the way they want me to. Never get a very clear answer but determine that I am not likely to GET answers on the phone that day and decide to go see the ARM doc anyway. Where I will probably have to be very clear that I know the risks and that I just want them to determine if there is something going on with my lady parts that needs to be addressed in order for me to get knocked up.

The juxtaposition of this experience with the first half of my day is absurd, and disheartening. I continue to be unclear why in the world my BFF’s sperm needs to be quarantined when I have a more trusting and loving relationship with him than I did with many of the dudes I slept with during my wilder days (which is, apparently, the magic key to not having to go through the bullshit in ARM) unless its because some either a doctor or the government has to attach me to a man to legitimize my pregnancy. But more than that, I just want someone at the damn outpatient pavillion to listen to me long enough to know that I actually don’t even want their help getting pregnant right now – I just want to know why I went from having 30 day cycles all my life to suddenly not ovulating for 45 days.

March 12, 2013 – A tiny bit of history to savor

This morning, at 10:53am MST, the Colorado General Assembly voted to pass the Colorado Civil Unions Act. The bill, which had bipartisan support and passed on a 39-26 vote, will now make its way to Gov. Hickenlooper’s desk, where he has promised to sign it in to law. Colorado will begin issuing civil union paperwork on May 1, 2013. The Colorado voters passed a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between ‘one man and one woman’ in 2006, so Civil Unions – which carry all of the rights and privileges as marriage within the state – are the solution to relationship recognition.

La and I ditched work (well, with supervisory consent, so . . .) to see the final vote, which was all but a done deal. And while it was ultimately somewhat anti-climatic – being shushed by the (gay) speaker as a matter of decorum and moving swiftly along to the next bill – it was really, really amazing. 

Whenever we have a baby, that baby will have both of us named on their birth certificate – from the get-go. We will have access to end-pf-life decisions, be able to write a will jointly, and protect our family with much less cost and struggle. I am so so grateful to the law makers in Colorado who made this happen. 

This is fantastic news for 8DPO – and I am hopeful that in a few more, we will have even more fantastic news too! 

Happy Civil Union Day!

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After a third smiley face OPK, a little more eggwhite cervical fluid, and what appears to be another temperature jump, I am hoping that I am now 3 days past ovulation. I am hopeful – not even necessarily that we are pregnant, but just that an end to this confusing cycle might finally be in sight. La is still very hopeful, and I am grateful for that. I feel weirdly calm during the beginning of this two week wait. I suppose I’ve gotten used to waiting, and at least there is a marker to count time by right now.

Even with this change of events, I was still feeling more than a little peeved that I still had not heard back from my doctor about my questions. I called yesterday and when none of the nurses I’d spoken with were available, the pent up frustration and confusion and exhaustion of the situation all got let loose on the poor receptionist. I hate doing that – this poor woman had 0 control over anything, but she was incredibly kind and very helpful. She made an appointment with a new doctor for me and sent a message to the doctor I had been seeing.

Lo and behold, 20 minutes later I got a call back from that doc. Her immediate suggestion (before she’d even managed to clarify what was going on or what my questions were) was to make a referral to the Advanced Reproductive Medicine department and have them give me clomid, injectibles, follicle monitoring and IUIs. Never mind that my concerns were not about not having gotten pregnant, but about having a 48+ day cycle after 16 years of 31 day cycles, my missing period, my possibly incredibly late ovulation . . .basically, nothing about not getting knocked up. When I explained that 1) we don’t have any intention of doing those things at this point and 2) we couldn’t afford them right now anyway and 3) that was not what I was asking about, anyway.

I clarified that my questions were primarily if she could increase my synthroid dose and when it would be appropriate to look into additional diagnostic tests if my period continues to be AWOL. It still took a lot of coaxing to get answers to those questions, but I do have them. If my period still isn’t here in another two weeks or so I can call her and she will prescribe provera to bring on a period and reset my cycle. And she will retest my TSH at that point as well. I have an appointment with the new doc (“the best we have!” the receptionist promised) on April 4th, where I can discuss this and whatever else might happen between now and then.

So, I have a plan, and I like having a plan. I’m glad I’m clear on the ineptness of the doc I had been seeing and have made arrangements to see someone else. I’m hoping this doctor might also have a smidgen more LGBTQ competency, as I have no doubt that the suggestion about IUIs and clomid came in response to my queerness – I sincerely doubt that the same suggestion would have been made to a nervous heterosexual woman one month into trying to conceive.

I wanted this post to be more than just a  litany of what’s happened. But the situation with doctors has exhausted me, and I suppose that exhaustion carries over here too. I’m impressed with those of you who put up with these kind of shenanigans throughout the entire process. I cannot imagine having these experiences AND having those people as gatekeepers between me and getting pregnant.

I’m excited by how many of my blog friends are knocked up! Yee haw!

The eternal wait

I’m not really sure what’s happening, but I feel like some sort of explanation is needed. For myself, more than anything . . .and because all of you have been so kind and I have maybe been a drama queen and I don’t want to take advantage of that kindness.

So here’s the latest:

After a hellish week at work (I LOVE my job, FYI, but I don’t like doing anything for 60 hours a week, into the wee hours of the night) and exhaustion from waiting and waiting and trying to get information, I had a particularly pitiful call with a nurse from my doctor’s office on Friday afternoon.

I’m lucky that I live in a pretty queer friendly world. My job, my family, and even my old timey neighborhood are all safe places for me to be out, and I am mostly met with a pretty high level of analysis and understanding about LGBTQ issues. And while my OB/GYN are certainly OK with queer stuff, they are also not very culturally informed – or, at least, not my doc and her nurses. Thus, my phone calls are usually infused with not only having to come out (over and over, everytime a new nurse calls) but also explain exactly what that means insofar as trying to get knocked up goes. I suppose the fact that we are going about this in a less than usual ‘artifical insemination’ fashion also makes things complicated.

So, while I am generally grateful that we have the ability to do this thing in a not-so-medicalized way, I am also longing to have a professional medical place that is somewhat cognizant of how our journey to conceive is unique from so many others. And I am especially tired of both explaining in depth everything I can and being patently ignored.

Reaching out for support from the medical profession has proved decidedly unfruitful. So I just keep tracking and temperature taking and peeing on sticks, hoping some sort of pattern will eventually emerge. As done as I have felt with looking at my cervical fluid (because it may very well mean nothing, and its hard to care when there is no discernable goal lurking ahead) I have kept doing it.

On Saturday morning,  stuck my fingers on up there and pulled out strands of clear slippery stuff. And I thought, “huh.” I looked at it so long that La half yelled “quit playing with your cervical fluid, I have to pee.” It was unusual, but nothing about the last few weeks has been usual.

Saturday afternoon, I came home from some errands and did my daily pee stick ritual. I have taken to peeing on both the ClearBlue easy smiley face digital OPKs and the cheap internet wondfo’s because the cost of amazon.com procured OPKs is worth having some sort of peace of mind. Even after the eggwhite cervical fluid, I wasn’t expecting anything. I happened to look down in the middle of cleaning my contact lenses and saw that big stupid grinning smiley face. And I thought, WTF? The wondfo was dark, not my usual positive, but dark enough to be considered a positive by internet OPK standards.

Apparently, my LH was surging.

I sent a text to both La and BFF and said, in effect, “um, sorry I have had no f’ing idea what is happening with my body but I think I’m ovulating? So maybe you can bring the swim team over tonight?” La called and was all like “um, what?!” and BFF sent back “Of course! I love you both!” And so, on Saturday night, we did our 6th insemination total, our first for this . . .uh . . .whatever it is.

Yesterday, even more eggwhite showed up, along with another smiley face (this is likely only because I had opened a new box of them) and an incredibly dark wondfo. Cue insemination #2.

And now, we wait. I wait to see if I get some sort of temperature rise (again?) to see what happens with my cervical fluid and the OPKs, to see if my period shows up . . .ever again, if a pregnancy test comes back positive. I’m not even sure what I am waiting for anymore. And that is oddly comforting.

I’m trying to retrace my data, look back at my chart, and figure out what’s going on. The first temperature shift was less significant than usual – although it was still there *and* corresponded to other fertility signs. The OPKs were never as clearly positive in February. All that cramping. All the nausea. The fact that this fertile patch is coming 28 days after the first . . .eerily ‘on time’ if I had gotten a period.

My best guess is that a cyst impeded ovulation, and this is my body’s second go at it. I certainly hope its an anomaly, anyway. Otherwise, I am currently on day 45, with ovulation likely to happen today – and that is a mighty long cycle, and probably not a good sign.

So . . .so. I wait. Like always. But now with no clear end in sight. A blessing and a curse.