And so begins, possibly, a new era of the baby making saga.
Yesterday we went and saw a “full spectrum OB-GYN” Practice (ie: an OB/GYN who does some fertility work as well) who had been recommended to us by a lesbian couple who are also trying to conceive using a known donor. Due to a bunch of rescheduling mishaps, the appointment was with a different doctor than we had initially planned on seeing (that is, the specific doc recommended to us)
On Monday, during my lunch break, I looked around on the practice’s website and found the bio of the doctor we were scheduled to see. And I just about lost my shit. There, amongst his accolades and degrees earned was this:
“Raised in the mid-west from a strong Catholic family of twelve, Dr. Lennon has a sincere appreciation of traditional family values.”
Maybe this doesn’t phase you, but I’m going to go ahead and guess that many queers would have the same response I did. Which was to feel a deep and abiding fear strike deep into my heart.
Monday night, La, BFF and I made a plan of action for if the doctor ended up being a bigoted asshole. We decided to be calm, collected, professional and strong. We decided to not walk into the office with judgement based solely on this phrase, just as we wouldn’t want to be judged. But my heart still raced and I, admittedly, did try and choose a few incredibly brilliant come-backs for any potential shitty comments.
We showed up to the appointment – all three of us arriving at different times – and waited. I showed up a full half hour early, amped on a half caff americano spiked with sugar syrup. BFF showed up so late he had to be shown back to the room. La was, of course, perfectly on time.
The MA who took us back was great. She was prepared for there to be three of us (although there were only two at that moment, see above) and clearly knew who was who. She was kind, good humored, and funny. As soon as we sat down and told her BFF was on his way, La asked if the doctor was ok with us and how things were working. She smiled and said “OMG YES! This is the most liberal practice EVER!” And went on to report exactly how and why they were awesome. Cue giant sigh of relief.
Before she could finish taking my medical history, someone popped their head in and told us that the doctor had to go to a delivery and we could either wait for him or see one of the midwives. A little frustrated, we decided to see the midwife. Once the door was closed, the MA warned us that this midwife was the “most conservative” in the practice, but that we would be fine still and would get good information from her and then could continue seeing the original doctor. Cue sharp intake of breath. again.
The woman who walked in was a straight talking shoot from the hip middle aged woman in a breezy black blouse and white tennis shoes. “So, the three of you want to get pregnant, eh?” she asked immediately. Yes, we nodded. We do. “Well, tell me what you’ve already done and what you want to do next.” She was kind of scary, but in a super sweet way. Like a Texas ranger housewife.
I explained our 5 failed attempts at home insemination, detailing that BFF provides his sample in a sterile cup, brings it to us, we insert it with a needless syringe. That we do this somewhere between 2-6 times in my peak fertility period. That I know when to do so because I track my basal body temperature, my cervical fluid, my cervical position and use ovulation prediction kits.
“So, you’re ovulating?” She asked.
“Um. Yes? I mean. I think so? I mean, all of the evidence I have here suggests . . .” and then I pulled out the folder of my printed BBT charts and showed her. “This is what ovulation looks like, right?”
“Yep, looks like ovulation to me. Sounds like you work.”
I was confused at first. Did she mean that I was ‘working’ at understanding this? and if so, was that a judgement? Was she asking if I had a job? if so, that was a weird non-sequitor. Did she mean . . .it sounds like I am fertile?
“Um. Yeah. Yeah I guess I do.”
She then turned to BFF and asked if he had ever fathered a child. He mentioned the accidental pregnancy he caused when he was 15, and then mentioned that was a while ago. She asked him his age and did the math. “yeah, let’s get you a sperm analysis.”
“Once we do that, you all should do IUIs. You know what that is?”
Yes, we said. We did. But . . .
“Can you do that? I mean. Will you have to freeze and quarantine BFF’s sperm? Because everyone we’ve talked to has said . . .”
“What? Why do I care where you get your sperm?” The texas ranger asked.
“Well . . .its just . . .I mean . . .they’ve said some things about liability and . . .” At this point we launched into an abbreviated version of the sperm saga we have heard. That our GP didn’t care how we got pregnant but couldn’t help us with fertility. That the OB at the other practice didn’t care how we got pregnant but couldn’t help us with fertility. That the RE we got referred to could totally help us with fertility but could only do it with frozen anonymous sperm OR with the sperm of my *MALE SEXUAL PARTNER* and no it didn’t matter how many times this dudes sperm had been in me.
The Texas Ranger didn’t care. Nope. Not a bit. She explained that they could do IUI’s in the office with BFF’s sperm, which they could wash either there or at a nearby lab. No freezing. No quarantining. Sample that day. Bim bam boom.
And with that, the Texas ranger wrote a referral for BFF to get the semen analysis, told us she will call with result and, assuming at home try #6 doesn’t work and BFF’s team is ship-shape, we will do our first IUI cycle in August. It will likely be unmedicated and unmonitored, although the details weren’t discussed. If the IUI’s don’t work after two cycles, I will get an HSG and blood work done. And then we will go from there.
I got an increased dose of thyroid meds for my clinical sort of normal but TTC-high thyroid results as well. Score on that, since the GP wouldn’t up my dose since she only goes by the regular guidelines, not those established for women trying to conceive.
I feel more hopeful than I have in a while. I’m nervous about increased medical intervention, but also feel like it could shorten the waiting and take a lot of the load off of me. We still get to use the donor we adore, and while we will be paying more than free (or, actually, the cost of OPKs and bulk orders of syringes and cups) the cost is still quite low as these things go, and we have a benefactor who is willing to support some of the costs.
And, of course, there is still a chance it will all be unnecessary. That in approximately two weeks we will be pregnant and can return to the OB for a prenatal visit instead of an IUI.