Sub Par

So much for my overachieving ovaries of July. It figures that they would show up with a big, beautiful follicle on day 12 of the cycle when doing really any kind of insemination was nigh on impossible. I also think getting a chance at the camera had something to do with it. All about appearances, aren’t we?

Its cycle day 16 and still no positive OPK. I also have a disturbing lack of fertile cervical fluid, which has usually shown up by now even when I have ovulated later. My OPKs are also sadly lacking color. I’m not feeling super hopeful right now and I know that the lack of hope (and accompanying anxiety) is not doing much to help my ovaries.

My acupuncturist has encouraged me to push for ultrasound monitoring and even an HCG trigger, even before this. I sent an e-mail to the Texas Ranger asking about this and she flatly denied me, saying I didn’t need a trigger and that my follicle had looked so good in July I didn’t need monitoring either. La felt like we should give the all natural route a fair shot, so I dropped it. But I’ve spent most of this cycle wishing I hadn’t. It was reassuring to see that big fat follicle last month, sure, but it came of the heels of a PCOS diagnosis; the combination really just made me feel like the monitoring was clearly the *best* route. Apparently, not everyone agrees.

I had a little freakout on wednesday when I still hadn’t gotten a positive. It was premature, I admit. This issue – where I want to up the game and La wants to stick with the plan – has come up a lot in the last few months. It makes us both feel crazy. I want La to understand the insanity of trying to figure out my body, and she wants me to calm down and follow the path we laid out when things weren’t so loaded. I think we both have good arguments, and we get pretty caught up in them. I’m grateful that we communicate well with one another and know how to talk about our feelings and process. The agreement we reached was that if a positive OPK doesn’t show by Sunday (Day 18) we will call the Texas Ranger and request an ultrasound. And then, I guess, we will see what she says.

I think I’m getting clearer on what I need to advocate for, though, and I’m nervous how that will play out depending on what happens with BFF’s sperm analysis and this cycle. On the one hand, I don’t want to have to dive into the murky waters of finding another donor; on the other, if we do have to use a frozen sample, we could see an RE and be a bit more demanding about using additional interventions, getting additional testing done and having monitoring. It will be hard for that to happen if we keep using BFF and going to the TR; but it is pretty much impossible for us to use BFF at a fertility clinic. Its feeling hard to win right now. Its also feeling hard to not know.

I’m hoping a positive OPK shows up soon. It wouldn’t be so bad to do an IUI on the weekend – certainly less stress to figure out schedules. And we have a plan. Maybe once my ovaries know they’re getting another photo shoot, they’ll pony up the egg.

Fence Sitter

Its CD13. No positive OPK yet. I’m not worried, but it would have been nice to ovulate on day 14 again, for a lot of reasons. The biggest being that BFF is taking tomorrow off to move and would have had the day open to run around leaving his sperm sample at wheverthehell he will have to leave it. And I have always been an achiever and ovulating on day 14 just seems so . . .successful. Still, in all the cycles before this past one, I ovulated between day 16-18, so no cause for concern.

La and I had a good conversation this past weekend about my general down-in-the-dumpiness. I am used to having some issues with mood – but my go-to is anxiety, a bursting overwhelm flooding my head. And the last few weeks I have been stagnant. Sad, I guess, although it doesn’t seem to manifest that way. Just reclusive and low energy and cynical. Flat. I don’t know entirely why, although if I were betting, I’d put some money on all this baby stuff. Still, that doesn’t seem like the whole story. There’s more to it, but I’m not sure where to go to figure that out. Its making it hard to find hope. Not that I feel hopeless, exactly, just that the excitement isn’t palpable in the same way it usually is.  I guess I just don’t feel the energy to get excited. I feel weird and guilty and kind of ashamed for still being kind of morose; after all, we’ve hardly even begun down the long and winding path of fertility. And I’m not altogether sure that’s all, or even the central component, of my funk anyway.

At the end of this week, we will lose three adult and two baby friends from Denver. The Bug and the Bee and their parents are headed to NC to pursue new job opps; another friend is going to Chicago for graduate school. All of these friendships have been pivotal for me in some respect or another, and I’m heartsore at the prospect of not having these people in my day-to-day life. I’m not the best long distance friend, and I don’t often have the social spoons to make new friends.

And I’m ready for it to be fall already! I’m ready for cool nights and scarves and tights and that particular edge the light gets in the autumn. And birthdays! I’ll be 32 in less than 2 months; La will be 33 in just under 3. Although getting older is starting to feel a little less awesome, I love birthdays and I love celebrating my boo. I am, for sure, at my social (and fashionable!) best in the fall too, so I’m hoping my excitement about falling leaves and pumpkins and cardigans will translate into some new and/or renewed connections there too.

I guess I’m waiting for a tide to turn, for a page to pass, to get over a hump. I feel stuck and sweaty and lethargic. This cycle feels like waiting for waiting’s sake too, knowing that on the other side of this try is either the ultimate outcome (pregnancy!) or, maybe, the beginning of a very different plan. I’m anxious to see if the supplements and acupuncture have paid off and made any difference in BFF’s morphology. And I’m scared that it hasn’t. I’m less scared that I will struggle with that, and more nervous that I will not and La will and that will be a problem.

So, I’m fence sitting, edge watching, waiting.

Bits ‘n’ Pieces

Ugh. You guys, I’m really sorry that I have been such a moody mary lately. I don’t like being a crankisaurus rex, I really don’t. I’m glad I’ve let myself feel all the feelings but I can only imagine that you all are getting bored with my tedious melancholy. So, sorry.

There isn’t a whole lot to update on the getting knocked up front. It’s cycle day 9, which means its time to start peeing on things, now that ovulation has been bumped up a bit. I like peeing on things (well, ovulation prediction tests, mostly. Although in my early 20’s I kind of got into peeing in semi-public when I was intoxicated. But that’s another blog post.) Peeing on things feels proactive. And that’s fun.

Our first IUI should be next week sometime. I’m a little nervous about the logistics, since it may or may not involve BFF going to a different location to leave his sample, us going with him/picking up that sample once its been washed, and then getting both La and I to the Texas Ranger’s office for the IUI. All while balancing La’s teaching schedule and my training schedule. Yikes. I might also propose doing an insemination or two at home, just to up the odds. BFF is moving next week though, so that throws another special wrench into the game.

Our nephew, Liam, is starting to turn into a real live baby instead of just a sleeping-shitting-crying-doll newborn. Liam is the first baby who I’ve been around frequently enough to actually observe his milestones (vs. friends babies who I only see on occasion or the other nieces who we see even less frequently.) He’s starting to make faces and move his arms and legs and watch things. I love him so so so so much.


My job is starting to pick back up, and its been a nice reminder that I enjoy and am good at something. Because, you know, I don’t feel very good at making a baby right now. But I am hella good at my job. This week marks two years here, and my colleagues got me a huge bunch of pink gladiolas and the kindest card. I met with my team in the big school district I work with and we are on track to do some more badass work. I finished analyzing the student level data from our evaluations last year and saw some pretty remarkable (and statistically significant!) outcomes. I had an opportunity to apply for another job (that maybe pays a little more and is more ‘prestigious’ and decided not to because I *really* like my job. I feel super lucky to say that. And to say that while also making a decent income. And loving my coworkers. And getting to make my own hours. 

The garden is abundant – pumpkins popping up everywhere, new zucchini to eat everyday, the first real red red tomatoes. Two of four chickens are laying. Its still f’ing hot but its starting to maybe feel like fall is coming.

For all of this, I am grateful. And for all of you, this wide network of people who don’t really know me (but also know me in a way no one else does) who continue to post kind and thoughtful responses, even when I’m being a shitty baby. I am grateful to all of you as well.

Finally, I leave you with this awesome article from jezebel: “Stop Acting Like Bouncing Back from labor is Even Possible” Having seen the struggle my sister in law is facing trying to learn how to care for her baby without a whole lot of support but a lot of bullshit expectations, it was a good read.

Also, if you haven’t seen Michelle Tea’s NEW project MUTHA, you should.

Thanks for being awesome, blogland. 



All of the Feelings.

Welp. Its CD5 of the first IUI cycle. I’m having a lot of feelings.

I think I’m excited, because I think this is ultimately a better shot than we have had before. I think I’m hopeful because the acupuncture + supplements + diet changes have made clear positive changes for my cycle and that *must* mean that BFF’s swim team is shaping up too, right? I’m nervous about trying to fit an IUI in during a very complex three day training (because, of course, that is when I am due to ovulate) and having to possibly ask my colleagues to step in for me at the last minute. I’m scared this is a waste of money without any evidence that BFF’s sperm has improved.

My therapist, herself the mother of twins conceived via IVF and donor sperm, seems to be pretty pessimistic about BFF’s sperm working. While she understands that we have reasons for wanting to keep trying with BFF, she ultimately believes we won’t be successful until we switch to another donor. I’d prefer she at least not tell me this as I genuinely want this to work but have so much fear we are throwing money away and prolonging the awful roller coaster we are on. Its hard not to want to dive into whatever has the best success rates. And IUI’s with less-than-awesome-sperm aren’t it. Balancing the things I know rationally and the ones I know emotionally is, like always, fucking hard.

So I’m doing everything I can on my end to make my uterus the most fabulous place in the world. A friend bought us a BlendTek blender which is, I guess, a really fancy blender. Since we didn’t even own one before, I’m not clear on the details. What I do know is that I have been making fabulous green smoothies every morning for a week and its been delightful. I’m keeping up with the supplements, the less sugar less wheat diet plan, and consuming a truly remarkable amount of produce, god bless the summer harvest.

I’m trying not to be so damned down about the whole thing, but its feeling hard these days. In the grand scheme of things, we are still so new on this path of fertility. It feels so impossibly sad to think that there could be so many more months of this. And yet, I can’t imagine stopping here.  Some friends of ours will hit 2 years of trying with a known donor in the next few months. They have done some tests but are not going to do IUIs, use any fertility medications, or go to any further lengths. They are giving themselves until december and then calling it quits. That feels so foreign and impossible to me. Sometimes I’m embarrassed to admit to myself that I will absolutely advocate for us to do whatever we reasonably can to get pregnant. And, frankly, for me to be pregnant.

I think that fear is deep down inside of me. That while we will have children that I will never be pregnant. It feels like a grief I don’t want to admit to. Because I know and believe that children, however they come, will be mine. And still . . .still I want so so deeply to be pregnant and give birth and maybe that just isn’t in the cards.

Its too early to say that. But sometimes, when I try to unbury just how and why I am so morose, I come to that. And it stings because it means something about me that I don’t want to be true.


Thank you all for holding so fiercely onto the hope I can’t handle. You can put it down, for now, for me. I tested negative on a home test today and started bleeding. This period has come gently, and for that I am grateful. Long shot or not, the grief of another cycle gone takes its toll, and its nice not to be in pain.

Back to waiting.

Probably Not.

I have opened a wordpress window to write something four or five times now over the course of the last week and a half. I feel compelled to say something . . .to connect . . .but I don’t know what to say.  

Today is cycle day 26, 12 days past ovulation. I am spotting. I am almost sure I am not pregnant. I am not having cramps or the miserable wretched brattiness that usually hits me about this time of my cycle. I am grateful for these changes in the way my body handles its hormones, because its probably a good sign overall. I’m still morose that we didn’t get the hail mary pregnancy I was hoping for. I love an underdog story and it would have been such a good one. 

I’m grasping at the good things that are here: a shorter cycle means fewer days until we try again, less pain throughout my cycle, improved moods, more chances to get back to running. Ultimately it doesn’t matter whether you thought it would happen or not, taking a chance and not having it work out sucks. It just sucks. 

Its funny, though, the way my mind works now. Even though this morning when I checked my cervical fluid there was definitely a lot (not a little) blood and my temperature went down quite a bit and I just don’t think being pregnant is at all likely, there is still this little voice inside of me that says, “maybe.” Maybe the blood is from implantation and maybe the temperature is only low because the cold I have is keeping my mouth open when I sleep and maybe maybe maybe . . .Crazy scenarios happen in these moments. But they aren’t grandiose. They are the mindless musings I have while I eat my yogurt. 

I don’t feel hopelessness drop anchor in my stomach now when I see the blood or feel the cramps or anything else. I observe it and check it off on the long list of maybe/maybe not and I continue to toy with the insanity that is now part and parcel of who I am. I live in the simultaneous disbelief in ever being pregnant and the mundane irrational hope that I am pregnant in spite of clear evidence that I am not.



All that we let in

Today I am unbearably cranky, bitter, anxious, sad. I both have no good reason and very good reasons to feel this way. In any case, I don’t like that I feel this way. I do have a sneaking suspicion  very clear idea that my malaise is being amplified by having forgot my celexa at home while I was in South Carolina and therefore being a few days short of having the proper amount floating around in my system. 

The thing that should be keeping me afloat is this:


(in case you don’t know, that’s me standing between Emily Saliers and Amy Ray (!!!!!) of The Indigo Girls.)

I get that not every dyke loves The Indigo Girls and that I am totally admitting what a cliche I am but you guys, I am *touching Amy Ray* in this photo. I’ve had a crush on her since before I even knew I was gay. When I listen to her voice funny things happen to my stomach. And I got to awkwardly introduce myself to her and she said I had beautiful tattoos!!!!

When I look at that picture I definitely feel less cranky. 

But I still feel hella cranky.

Last night, right before the show, La’s shitty brother (ShitBro) called and was, not surprisingly, shitty. La also has an awesome brother (Awebro) who’s wife was a little weird a while back, but they should not be confused. Shitbro has twin kiddos, age 7, who have met me and generally seem clueless about why I show up at their family’s Christmas celebration every year. Shitbro and his wife came to our wedding celebration, although they did not bring their kids. They actually weren’t planning to come, but made the decision last minute to do so. Shitbro and I have exchanged approximately 5 minutes of conversation over the last 4 and a half years. He’s a conservative Christian asswipe and I happen to know that if we had any more than surface level conversation I would be forced to theologically spar (and wipe the floor) with him. But I digress . . .

A while ago, the twins were over at La’s mom’s house and saw the shutterfly photo book of our wedding. They saw pictures of their aunts and uncles and cousins, all having a fantastic time. And they were pissed that they weren’t there. They asked their Oma what it was, and she explained that Auntie Lala and Andie were married, and that was their wedding. When they asked why they weren’t there, she said they were in Kentucky with their gran. All of which was, you know, the truth.

Apparently, more recently, one of the twins asked her dad (aka Shitbro) is Auntie Lala and Andie were married, because that’s what Oma said and why didn’t they get to go to the party and dance and wear new clothes? Because Shitbro is shitty, he made it a much bigger deal than it needed to be, danced around the question, and probably left his daughter really confused.

He called last night to tell this all to La and to let her know that because of all of this, they were going to be ‘too busy’ to see her this week while she is in Indy to visit. I presume they will likely be ‘too busy’ to see us for the rest of their kid’s childhood because they don’t want to have to explain that they are bigots. 

La is, of course, heartbroken. So is her amazing mom. Because I don’t have a lifetime of trying to love this douchebag, I’m mostly pissed. Hurt that he has totally ignored my humanity? Sure. That too. But I’m definitely feeling more like I want to punch this dude in the kidneys, not cry.

It remains to be seen what will happen. For sure this is not the end of this crappy situation, unfortunately. It is only a small comfort that its Shitbro who will end up looking stupid in the long run. Right now, my girl isn’t allowed to see her niece and nephew. Right now, homophobia is taking away a little bit of her humanity. And while I count us likely to have so few run ins with this kind of treatment, it still smarts.

Of course, I’m also bummed that we missed the IUI. What felt totally cool no big deal a few days ago now feels shitty. I know there are many silver linings to this cloud but damn it, it still sucks to have to forgo your best shot at something. I ovulated on day 14 and got an at home insemination in on day 12, which is not the worst possible thing to happen, but the floating hope of a week ago has sunk sunk sunk. 

But. Amy Ray did have her arm around me less than 24 hours ago. That’s still pretty awesome. 

Probably Maybe

Hello from Greenville, South Carolina. For a girl born and raised in the semi-arid climes of Colorado, I feel absolutely soaked in sweat and humidity down here. From what I understand, it is “not humid” here. Relativity. Whoa.

Its looking like there will NOT be an IUI this month. I’m (maybe surprisingly) not that bummed about it. Of course, it would have been fabulous to get a real solid shot this month, but it also could have been a very stressful undertaking. And I am doing my damndest to get rid of stress, not add anymore.

We decided to do an at-home insemination on Tuesday night before I left the next morning. It was more ‘why the hell not’ than anything else. I was a little shocked that La supported it since she had initially been firm about wanting all of us to take a break from all kinds of baby making. I think the Texas Ranger’s excitement about my junk really inspired her!

I got a smiley face on the good ol’ CBE OPK yesterday at Denver International Airport – day 13, a full 5 days earlier than I have gotten a positive in the 9 months I’ve been peeing on sticks. I feel confused but also not at all surprised. Not surprised because OF COURSE when I needed to ovulate on my usual day, it comes early. But also, I’m hopeful that the supplements and food changes (although, just for confessional purposes, I just ate a giant plate of pasta because it was free and delicious and I was hungry!) and acupuncture are making a positive difference.

So, there is always a chance that one of the non-funny-hatted dudes has found his way to my early appearing egg and we will never even have to trouble ourselves with the IUI. Do I *think* it will happen? No. Not really. But I hope it will. That’s the name of this game, right?