A few months before we started trying to conceive, a (now former) colleague (also a queer woman who, at that point, was pregnant with her first child after a long haul of trying to get pregnant) recommended I check out the GLBT board on bab*center (I am altering the full name because I don’t want weird adds or whatever might come with even casually affiliating myself with the giant baby machine that is bab*center) – so I did.
I found a very helpful group of mostly fellow lesbian or queer identified ladies. There were enough folks there to get lots of information, but it was slow enough moving and small enough in population that people got an opportunity to actually get to know one another and have an investment in these stranger’s lives. Indeed, I have a few fellow bloggers and ‘friends’ here who came to me by way of the bab*center GLBT board. The IVF thread, in particular, is full of folks who have a deep level of care for one another. One woman even donated her embryos to another who was looking into donor egg IVF but couldn’t afford it. It’s like seriously tear jerking stuff, y’all.
After a few months of trying to get pregnant, I stepped outside of my GLBT board comfort zone and started occasionally posting and reading the thyroid board and the male factor board (since our donor has low morphology) and while I didn’t find good community there in the same way, I did get my questions answered by lots of thoughtful and smart folks who had more experience than me. So that was cool.
In the last few weeks, I made the decision to take a look at my “birth board” on bab*center. These are individual message boards set up for each month, and the idea is that you can form lasting relationships with the folks in the group based on a shared due date. It sounded like an ok idea – after all, I had some questions about pregnancy that I didn’t want to pose to my friends still trying to conceive on the GLBT board.
I went for that reason. I have stayed because of my (sometimes sick) sociological fascination with human interaction. And because a lot of the posts affirm why my job (as an advocate for comprehensive sexual health education in schools) is still relevant and necessary.
Here are some of my observations and thoughts about the mainstream bab*center board:
1. Those bitches are MEAN. I dunno if y’all have noticed, but I do my share of snarking. That said, I usually give people a small amount of grace or at least limit my condescending comments to my head. But the women on this board have 0 qualms about just sayin’ whatever shitty thing comes to mind. Sometimes the shitty things don’t even really make sense, that’s how carelessly flung about they are.
2. There is a sizable portion of the BBC posting population who don’t have any sort of grasp on reproductive biology. I’m going to admit that, prior to getting into my career and even then, before embarking on project make-a-human, my solid knowledge of reproduction was a little hazy. For example: following an ill-advised one night stand where the condom came off, I immediately stopped at the grocery store and bought a home pregnancy test, and was relieved when it came up negative. No matter than conception could have very well been happening at that very moment, I was sure I was in the clear. Thank God I actually was in that case. I got shit-all for sex ed (one of the reasons I feel strongly about people getting it now) and despite my general smarts, I wasn’t very well versed in how to get (or not get) pregnant. However, I did have the basics down about where babies come from, something some women using BBC don’t seem to have. This is not laughable, it’s depressing.
3. EVERYONE is terrified of miscarrying. For some reason, I thought the all-consuming fear of miscarriage was more limited to those of us who are infertile or have had repeat losses. Not so. Just about every other post is someone asking if X or Y means they are having a miscarriage.
4. Google is totally the devil. Google + limited reproductive knowledge is dangerous. I’m not saying I haven’t done it, I’m just saying it’s really, really bad news. The more data our doctors give us, the more we compare it to google searches. The more we come up with the least likely scenario ever.
5. Many, many people do not realize that the most effective way to find out if you are pregnant is to take a pregnancy test.
I hope to continue updating as my experiment continues. because, y’all, I cannot stay away.
In other news, just four days before her scheduled spay, Hilda the Baby Bulldog went into her first heat. Let me tell you, I find it difficult enough to manage my own vagina, I did not want to have to manage my dog’s vagina. But, a dog can’t be spayed while in heat, so La and I will be finding ways to manage the dog period for the next 15-18 days – as that’s how long these things usually last. We have enlisted our neutered boy dogs to protect their little sister’s innocence, but OMG this is so stressful.
Upside? We bought her the cutest puppy panties!
Tomorrow is 8 weeks, and our first visit to the midwife, where we can be regular ol’ pregnant lesbians, instead of awkward fertility patients. Of course, the RE saga is not over. One more ultrasound there on Monday afternoon, then weaning off the meds. Can’t say I’ll miss the daily needle to the ass, or the rings of sticky on my belly from the patches. I still mostly feel like puking all the time. Also I had the absolute most intense constipation cramps of my life on Tuesday and I maybe had a moment where I thought I would die. Is this swollen uterus related? Because as a life long constipation sufferer, I really thought I would have a handle on this particular side effect. I need to get back on my pooping regimen, because this cannot continue, and I know the traffic jam is only gonna get worse from here on out.