Reproductive choice means ALL choices (aka: F**K you, SCOTUS)

I am so, so, so angry right now. 

If you’re not sure why, you may not have heard that this morning, the Supreme Court of the United States, ruled that private corporations (in this case, Ho.bby Lobby, a craft-and-hokey-religious-paraphernalia store) has the right to withhold birth control coverage from employees enrolled in their company insurance policy due to ‘deeply held religious beliefs.’ 

I’m furious. For a few reasons:

1) When are we, as a culture, going to get that birth control = fewer unplanned pregnancies = fewer abortions and fewer children in shitty homes/foster care? If you care about children and families, you should be PRO birth control. Because NO BIRTH CONTROL METHOD is an abortion. Nope, not even Plan B. None of it. If you want to stop spending enormous amounts of money on socialized care of children and mothers, support birth control – in 2010 alone, publicly funded clinics saved 10.5 BILLION dollars by investing in contraceptive services (mostly long acting reversible contraceptives, like the IUD or implanon.) It makes sense to pay for birth control now rather than other services later.

2) Corporations aren’t people. The right to free and open expression of religious beliefs is an important one, and I hold it dear. But, as noted in this brilliant article

“One way to look at it is this: The whole point of establishing a corporation is to create an entity separate from oneself to limit legal liability,” he writes. “Therefore, Hobby Lobby is asking for special protections/liability limits that only a corporation can get on the one hand, and special protections that only individuals, churches and religious organizations get, on the other. It seems awfully dangerous to allow corporations to have it both ways.“

3) This shit seems to only apply to women’s bodies, not things like . . .oh, vasectomies or penis pumps or viagra – all of which are frequently covered by insurance and have not seen mass lawsuits contesting their coverage.

IF this wasn’t enough, SCOTUS also handed down a ruling about home health care workers and unions, which effectively makes it easier to exploit these workers who are frequently low income women of color. Check it here for more information!

And, of course, the Buffer Zone decision was another blow to access to reproductive health, eliminating a safe zone that was implemented to protect clinic workers and patients from the very real violence faced by ‘street counselors’ looking to limit access to abortion. 

I’m so mad, and I’m sharing this here because I think the chasm between infertility conversations and conversations about access to ‘reproductive health care’ is stupid and its hurting all of us. I want choices about creating my family, and I want those choices for everyone, and it shouldn’t be ‘better’ or less controversial or somehow purer to want babies than to not want them. I don’t want to lose sight of why I believe so deeply that we all should have autonomy over our own bodies – no matter our age, gender, sex, sexuality, race, class, socioeconomic status, where or for whom we work. 

Its a sad day to be a woman-person (instead of a corporation-person) in the US of A. 😦 

BCPs are done, man!

Hopefully, for forever/a good long many years.

I kind of think these ticker things are absurd . . .but also I love countdowns! So, I made this countdown ticket for our FET. I used the stork because I think it is one of the more ridiculous/hilarious conception myths we provide to people. So, hooray – three weeks left!

<a href=”http://lilypie.com/”><img src=”http://lacf.lilypie.com/Skzzm6.png&#8221; width=”400″ height=”80″ border=”0″ alt=”Lilypie Assisted Conception tickers” /></a>

Denver Pride was this past weekend . . .I have some serious trauma about the festival, since I worked for our LGBT Center and have some pretty serious criticisms of the organization + for four years worked 14 hour days for the weekend and the week leading up + I hate that pride has become a consumer event that doesn’t pay homage to the political riot of trans and queer people of color it started as. So, basically its kind of not a big deal for me and also I have some resentment. But, we went. I had to table for work for a few hours, and we walked around for another little bit. Mostly I talked shit. We skipped the parade the next day which I now feel sort of sad about because even if stupid coors is sponsoring it, the PFLAG ladies make me cry every time.

In other mainstreamy gay news, the 10th circuit court of appeals ruled Utah’s ban on same sex marriage unconstitutional, which could be good news for the Colorado homosexuals as well, since we are covered by the 10th circuit and currently have a case in state court contesting our ban. So, that could be awesome. And Indiana, where my boo is from, just overruled their ban too so . . .hopefully we’ll get this same sex marriage thing taken care of so we can deal with things like this: justice4nate.com (aka arresting QPoC who defend themselves) or trans people being murdered or police brutality or the prison industrial complex which impacts LGBTQ people waaaay more than their straight counterparts. But, I digress . . . .

Just biding my time until I can start doing something more than sticking an insulin needle in my belly!

 

 

This Time Last Year

Every so often (especially when I’m the only one in the office on a slow and sleepy Friday afternoon) I like to look back on my blog archives and see precisely where we were at a year (or so) ago. Of course, I remember the general shape of this journey, from hopeful deep mid-winter to struggling spring to the longest, hottest and saddest summer, and then the downward slide into fertility treatments that has been the fall-winter-spring-almost summer again. (BTW, I know that the length and shape of my journey is so much shorter than so many others, so I am not trying to bemoan our experience. And I do really dislike the misery competition, anyway.) But I am so glad that I began this blog (Nov 2012) so that I could more firmly capture the things I thought and felt during this process. Especially when they are even farther away. 

And, of course, I do enjoy when there is some parity between the now and the then. There is a little, my recent forays back in time showed. 

A year ago this week I got my period following our 5th attempt at DIY home insemination. La and I were getting ready to take a very belated honeymoon to Cancun. And I was beginning to feel not just disappointed but devastated when the tests stayed so solidly, heartlessly lineless. But still I said,

I still believe that a year from now, I will have a baby. I am letting this co-exist with the many other layers that seem in contridiction.

Of course, I do not have a baby, a year on. In fact, in many ways, I am no closer to having one than I was a year ago, although that is both technically and metaphorically untrue, as we have 5 frozen embryos, possibly the first time my eggs and BFF’s sperm have successfully met, hung out, and started a little thing together. But I don’t feel stupid or sad at year-ago-me. I feel grateful for my hope. 

Other parallels? On July 2nd last year, we saw the OB and started down the path of fertility treatments – on July 2nd of this year, we will officially begin our FET cycle. On July 17th of last year, I got my period, ending our 6th and final DIY try – the try to prove the numbers wrong. We knew BFF’s morphology was shit, but I still didn’t have an official PCOS diagnosis. On July 17th of this year, we will – please, please – be putting one chromosomally normal day 5 embryo into my uterus. Are those actually as poetically linked as I want them to be? I don’t know, but everything is made significant by our particular lens anyway. . . and its good enough for me to imagine it means something.

Yesterday was lupr.on day 1 – nothing terribly exciting, except it means we are on our way towards the FET. I’ll finish up what I sincerely hope to be my last package of BCP’s ever on Monday night. Its still a lot of waiting but . . .at least there are a few things interspersed to look forward to . . .I mean, if a shot in the belly is something to look forward to – oh, who am I kidding? when you’re in IVF land, a shot in the belly is absolutely something to look forward to!

So much to say

I thought about/started about 3 different blogs since last I updated you about cleaning up feces. There’s been a lot to think about, and, though lots of it is only tangentially related to the getting pregnant process, I think it bears recording here. But then I get overwhelmed at the thought of trying to blog it all appropriately and stop. But it stays, swirling around in my head.

So, I’m writing it down . . .knowing that many (all?) of you may not care to read about any or all of this. But, I will do some bullet points and bolding to help you sort the somewhat overblown interpersonal drama from the stuff I think is more broadly relevant to a TTC/IF audience. . .

  • Shared Parenting and Body Autonomy: Last Saturday, La and I went to brunch with two friends, one of whom is our badass lawyer friend who does a lot of birth work advocacy and is a huge home birth advocate. We were talking out the FET and my desire for our pregnancy and birth to be far less medicalized than our conception process has been. RadLaw suggested a home birth, which La and I have talked about and pretty much agreed isn’t the best choice for us. I mentioned our concerns about homebirth, some of which RadLaw was able to assuage, which mostly made me go “hmmm” (and not jump on board with a home birth. PS I’m not even pregnant remember?) Later that night, La told me she felt like we’d all ‘ganged up’ on her about homebirth and she ‘really needed me to be on her side.’ And then I freaked out (which should be at least 1/3 attributed to BCPs) because yes, this will be La’s baby – they are her little frozen embryos – but its still my body. And I’m struggling with how to make that work. I mean, practically and in application, I’m not worried about it. I feel 100% confident La will support me and I will do what I need to, but in the discussion and the debating what/how to do things, its murkier. Obviously, this is hugely connected to a much bigger issue, which is that La feels pretty left out of the process. Some of that is just the breaks around the type of queer baby making we are doing (vs. reciprocal IVF) and some of it is because we made the (now regrettable) decision to not quarantine BFF’s sperm and thus present, in some respects, as though BFF and I are a hetero couple, which means that although La comes to the important appointments that a partner would (and will continue to) she isn’t seen for who/what she is. This is hard on both of us, but more so on her. If we could go back and do it again, we’d both be more honest and up front about the situation. But, we can’t go back. And that’s hard. I’m encouraging her to seek out other non gestational parents (particularly those who do want to carry at some point) to talk through some of this. I’m trying to be as open and involve her as much as possible, but there is the reality of biology in this circumstance, and it complicates things. And its hard on every side, but its a different hard for each of us. And that makes this difficult.
  • Everyone should be in therapy. I mean, obviously, its not that I am going to try and get some mandate and of course, this would be qualified with high quality and appropriate but . . .seriously, if you are queer and trying to have a baby or if you are infertile or if you are, you know, human you should probably be in therapy. I feel really grateful that long before La and I ever made our first attempt, we agreed to start seeing a couple’s counselor about the process. La and I are, as I have often said, about as perfect for each other as two flawed human beings can get. We communicate well, rarely disagree, have so much fun, and basically never ‘fight.’ But we wanted to make sure things stayed awesome through the process of trying and then having a baby (we didn’t realize we’d get stuck so long and experience so much difficulty on the trying part.) So, armed with a referral, we went to see the Priestess, our fabulous counselor. And while I am reasonably sure that La and I would still be together without her, I’m even more sure that she has made this process one that is meaningful and livable and not just plain shitty. I’m shocked I haven’t mentioned before all of the times that she has turned something hard into something wonderful in this process. I’m reminded of this, and mentioning it in this post, because last week she did it again, worked her magic. The most amazing thing is that The Priestess hasn’t necessarily taught me and La how to agree (there are things we still don’t see eye to eye on, or things we continue to feel differently about) but she’s taught us how to love and exist and move forward even when we don’t. Because you can’t always agree, you can’t always even compromise. I am so very grateful for her warmth and wisdom and also for how open and thoughtful she is, how open to all of the various possibilities of being and loving that there are in the world. That’s all.
  • When Your Best Friend is being Dumb. So, you may recall a while ago when I mentioned my bestie, Hero, and her recent relationship woes.  This is an update to that, which then kind of disintegrates into one of the hardest interpersonal things I’ve had to deal with in years. And I am totally asking for advice if you have it. Keep that in mind as we move forward.

So . . .Hero and Smokey broke up and Hero came and spent two days with me and La and she was sad and crying and hurt but she seemed ok. Smokey had been a real d-bag and Hero dodged a bullet, it seemed we could all agree. On the second day of Hero’s stay, she started complaining of serious joint pain, and ended up deciding to go home because she was feeling so physically crappy. I kept checking in with her, and she kept reporting that the pain was increasing, horrible, and debilitating. We were all terrified that it was lupus or lyme disease or something even scarier. Because she was feeling so crummy, we didn’t make plans, but I kept checking in with her daily, asking how she was.

Two weeks post break up and joint pain onset, I was flying home from my work trip to DC, and Hero called. She filled me in on the tests that had been run, her doctor’s guesses (there weren’t many) and how she was feeling. And then she said, “I want to tell you something, and I’m not sure how you’ll react.” Of course, she and Smokey were seeing each other again. In fact, Hero had been staying at Smokey’s house for almost a week at that point. I was, without question, peeved. I didn’t mention the details, but Smokey definitely pulled some red flag shit on my friend AND had the audacity to say something shitty about La and I after we’d been nothing but fun and sweet and awesome to her. I even ate her awful charbroiled steak. Eww. I said as much to Hero, but also was in the process of boarding a plane, so we didn’t get into it.

I got home and talked to La about it and concluded that I was more than peeved, I was angry. And hurt. I was hurt that the person who calls me her best friend hadn’t mentioned that she’d gotten back together with someone for two weeks which kinda feels like lying since I’d been talking to her every day during that time. But also, Hero had gone back to someone who had done manipulative and borderline abusive things to her. (I am not being hyperbolic and have my own unfortunate abusive relationship experience to draw on here. Bummer.) Which would suck enough if she hadn’t done it before. So, so many times.

Since Hero and I became friends, during my junior year of college, I have seen her through a lot of pretty intense break-ups. Not long after we met, her first GF dumped her and she went through depression so intense she wrecked her car, dropped out for a semester, and basically stopped eating. But the last major relationship, which ended about three years ago, took the cake. The woman was Hero’s boss when they started dating (trouble), an active alcoholic who cheated on Hero repeatedly with a man, including having two abortions from pregnancies resulting from the affair, and gave Hero an STD, also courtesy of the gem of a dude she was fooling around with. She also lied to Hero about all of this, even when Hero felt reasonably sure she was getting screwed around. But Hero went back again, and again, and again. Of course, the only thing that worked to end the relationship was when the woman finally ended it. Otherwise, I feel fairly certain Hero would still be in the thick of it. Throughout all of this, I was the recipient of tearful calls, I talked her down off many theoretical ledges, I bore the brunt of support. I shouldn’t have, but I did. I have my own co-dependent shit to work on, obviously.

Which is what I’m trying to do. After Hero told me she was back with Smokey, we had a conversation where I basically said I can’t watch you get back into another relationship with someone who treats you like shit, I don’t want to see or be around or really even hear about Smokey, and also I feel really weird about all of this. She listened, cried, and told me she needed to process. Then I basically didn’t hear from her for two weeks. We talked again on Tuesday, and it was predictably awkward and awful.

I don’t know what to do . . .I don’t want to hear about this woman, who I point blank don’t trust AND I don’t feel legit about telling my friend she can’t talk about something happening in her life. So what do I do? How do I hold my ground and protect myself from having to watch my friend enter another fucked up relationship while also conceding that its her life and I have no control over what (or who) she does?

So . . .That’s the haps. Oh yeah, I start lupron tonight. Big whoop.

Friendship advice officially solicited. Thanks y’all.

Someone Else’s Sh*t. (Literally)

Image

 

Good morning and happy Friday!

In case you are wondering, yes . . .the picture and the title of this post DO have something in common, insofar as the title describe the picture, which is of my front porch last night at approximately 1am MST. 

About 15 minutes before this picture was taken, the dogs woke us up barking like mad. We shushed them and tried to get everyone back to bed, certain the barking had been inspired by a bird or a car on the road. A few minutes later, there was a knock on the door (or, what sounded like a knock on the door, anyway.) La and I got up, went to the front door, and peeked out the window. That’s when i saw this:Image

 

Which isn’t a HUGE deal  . . . I mean, toilet papering houses is a long standing American adolescent tradition and while it isn’t fun to clean up (especially if you have giant trees that get papered, like my parents did when I was a kid) its pretty innocuous. 

We opened the door, and that’s when I found the poop. Its sort of surprising that I was so confident it was human poop, but I had no doubt in my mind. Of course, the crumpled bit of TP that had clearly been used for butt wiping might have given it away. The puddle of piss is a good clue too.

Last night I was scared-angry. La was just angry. She took the toughest of the dogs with her to search the neighborhood while I called the non-emergency police line. She didn’t find anyone. neither did the patrol cop who was sent out to cruise by our house and through our neighborhood. We filed a report and were added to the extra patrol list – a privilege of whiteness and middle-classness I feel uneasy and conflicted about. 

Probably, it was a prank. Maybe it was a student of La’s, or the sort of rowdy neighbors a few streets down, or just some stupid, douchey kids from somewhere. But when you’re gay, you always wonder. Your first thought is how out you are and who might care enough to do something crappy. Is it the rainbow flag hung in our shed, visible from the street? Have we been ‘too’ out or incurred someone’s wrath?

Because TP is whatever, but the audacity to drop trou on someone’s front porch, take a giant dump, then knock on the door . . .well, it sounds personal. It FEELS personal. Because there is something truly humiliating about cleaning up another human’s shit when you are not A)related to that human and B)aren’t getting paid to do so as your job. 

This morning, I feel more angry and less shaken. We’ll get a motion sensor light for the porch. It was probably an isolated incident. I don’t face violence and harassment for being queer on a daily basis, like many others do. I’m ok. 

And I kind of can’t get the smell of someone else’s shit out of nose completely. 

The Pills Made Me Do It

Hi friends. Its been a while, hasn’t it? I’ve been keeping up with everyone’s blogs via the wordpress app, but verbosity + fat fingers makes for difficult phone commenting, so I mostly just keep my thoughts to myself unless they can be captured by a hearty ‘congratulations’ or ‘fuck that!’ 

There’s been a lot going on, but most of it has kept me away from regular contact with my computer and/or time I can spend on a blog post. And most of what’s going on has little or nothing to do with baby making (or, with me making a baby, since technically, a lot of what I do is at least tangentially related to some people making babies or trying to keep them from making babies unintentionally.) Really, the only thing of baby-making note is that I started birth control pills last week. 

Which is actually a big deal because BCPs kind of make me want to die, and I’m actually not being hyperbolic about that, ok?

Which is what I want to talk about right now. 

You may remember this post about how birth control makes me a bad person, and you may also recall that for this reason, I requested to be put on another form of hormonal birth control (ie: the ring!) for the subsequent phases of IVF that require it (in my case, a lot, due to cancelled cycles and lazy ovaries) I made the request again for the FET cycle but was told by the FET nurse that BCPs (specifically, lo ogestero.l, my very favorite of all of them!) were my only option. This may or may not be factually true but given the fuss I put up about timing and my suspicion that Nurse Incommunicado was punishing me for my squeaky wheelness, I decided I wouldn’t push it and just took the damn prescription.

I started the pills last Tuesday while I was away in D.C. for work. Because I was out of my normal context (maybe) and because the pills hadn’t had time to build up in my system (more likely) I was lulled into a sense of false security. Maybe this time I won’t actually hate everyone and want to sob for no good reason! Maybe I will be a normal birth control pill taking person!

No luck. On Saturday, La and I were laying in bed watching “Big Love” (I am working on catching up on years of good TV I missed while not owning a TV or other such accoutrements) with which I have become recently obsessed. I was filling her in on some back story, since she hasn’t been watching since the first season, and she said, “I don’t want this to offend you, but the relationships are pretty simple. I get it.”

Would I have been offended if she hasn’t told me she didn’t want to offend me? We will never know. But I was. Well, not offended so much as hurt. My feelings were deeply hurt, although now I can’t really tell you why. After we had a small spat (I’m pretty good at recognizing when the BCPs are informing my feelings) I just wept for a good 10 minutes into her shirt. 

Last night in the car I started crying after she asked me if I was ok. To my knowledge, I had been ‘ok’ (for all intents and purposes) up until the moment she asked if I was ok, at which point I started crying. So, its not even like I’m maybe ‘more sensitive’ about little things. No, I am apparently able to have deep and intense emotions that are actually totally disconnected from . . .well . . .anything.

And I’m making light of it, right, because it is ridiculous. Truly, it is. And, it doesn’t really matter how funny, in retrospect, any of this is. Because when you are in the middle of feeling awful, it just feels awful. And while I know, rationally, that what I am feeling is being caused by birth control pills, I am still feeling it. And that’s the point, right?

last time around, the lo ogester.ol made me ragey. This time, it is making me deeply sad. Like, problematically sad. Sad enough that if I didn’t already know that asking for something else would totally fuck our timeline (which would also make me problematically sad), I would be on the horn with the nurse immediately demanding something different. But I can’t really fathom another setback right now, and I’m already a week down. Although two more weeks of this feels really, really unimaginable.

But I need to figure something out, because I can’t keep feeling the way I have been. Right now, I’m ok. But its so volatile and it feels so distinctly NOT ME. That’s the hardest part, i think . . .feeling like I have lost my sense of humor, my ability to banter, my thick skin and sharp wit. Sure, I’ve been known to be a bit of a cry baby, but I tend to feel very clear on why I am crying and it is always with purpose. I want myself back. I want to be the wife, friend, colleague, daughter and person that I have been before. Two more weeks. 

How do straight women who don’t want babies DO this? Thank God for IUDs and patches and rings, amiright? The separtist in me thinks this might be some horrible male conspiracy.