Family Pictures

For those of you who I’m not FB friends with! And a few different ones for those I am friends with!

Those baby blues slay me!

Family photos

These two have my whole squishy heart!

Family photos

Family photos

This one fills me with so much joy! Ansel and his cousin Liam sharing a baby joke!

Family photos

Also love that my dad and Liam are sharing a special moment here!

Family photos

“So, then I seyz to her, ‘I’ve never met anyone as cute as me either!'”

Family photos

Family photos

Family photos

Family photos


So, in order for this entry to make sense, I want to revisit the early days of our conception journey that newer followers might not know, and those of you who’ve been around for might have forgotten.

Just about three years ago, La and I started getting ready to make a baby. After talking through what that might look like, we had decided we would be going the ‘turkey baster’ route. La’s BFF (who I refer to as, shockingly, BFF) was our pick for donor for a number of reasons: he’s handsome (imagine Ken but a little older and more affable), fun and smart; he doesn’t want to parent children but loves us (and now, Ansel); he was willing to make himself super available for us now and in the future. We felt pretty strongly about having a known donor, so we would have chosen that route in most circumstances regardless of the fact that we had a perfect candidate right in front of us.

In January of 2013, we started actually trying to make a baby. BFF would come over during my ‘fertile’ time and do his duty in a cup, La would then inject it via needless syringe into my vag, and we’d hope for the best. We tried January, February, March, April, May and June with no luck. Round about May, I started feeling panicky and went to an OB-GYN at my GPs practice (which is a huge hospital outpatient clinic) and asked for tests. They ran a few things, although nothing very significant, and told me if I was worried, to go see the Reproductive Endocrinologist at the hospital. They ended up calling me and, when I explained the situation, told me they couldn’t help me because our donor wasn’t my partner.

By June, when we still had no results, a couple of friends who were also using a known donor mentioned to us that they had been seeing an OB-GYN who was willing to work with them on fertility stuff in spite of the known donor stuff, so we made an appointment with them for early July. La, BFF and I all went to that appointment, where the Nurse Midwife seemed 100% non-plussed by our situation and indeed said to me, “why should we care where you get your sperm?” They drew some blood from me to check a few things out, and they sent BFF to the Big Fertility Clinic to get a semen analysis because they didn’t have that capability.

This is an important turning point in our story. So BFF was sent to the clinic under MY name, because that’s how heterosexist assumptions work. Because of this tiny, unintentional act by this midwife, BFF and I were listed as husband/wife/partners in the clinic’s system.

The SA came back, and it wasn’t awesome but it wasn’t terrible. My bloodwork came back and it wasn’t awesome but it wasn’t terrible. The midwife recommended an IUI (unmedicated) and we went for it. It didn’t work. So, we went to clomid and tried again. It also didn’t work. Both of these IUIs were at the OB’s office, where they could spin the fresh semen into the sperm-only substance needed for an IUI. We did more clomid. This time, the date of the IUI ended up on a Saturday, and so we were sent to the Big Fertility Clinic as the OB wasn’t open. They performed the IUI on behalf of the OB, but again, we were in their system as linked. Again, no dice.

By this time, it’s November 2013, and we’ve been trying for almost a year with no luck. We take a few months to decide what direction we want to go. Find a new known donor? Consider using a sperm bank? Try with La’s uterus? Go for IVF? It was a rough few weeks where we didn’t agree on much. But we finally came to a decision, mostly because my parent’s very generously offered to help us pay for IVF, which made it a more realistic option than it had been previously.

So, I scheduled an appointment with the big clinic and when I did, they said, “Will your Husband BFF be there?” And I remembered the first RE who wouldn’t work with us because of the known donor, and the unintentional form that had eliminated this issue for us now. If we were willing to continue the untruth.

We looked into having BFF be a directed donor, but found that the cost would be significantly more than just buying sperm and would delay us another 6 months. We talked about it, and decided we were willing to not correct the assumption. I am a terrible liar and have a lot of feelings about it, but decided WE actually hadn’t lied, we just had gone along with the assumption. And I decided I was willing to keep doing this.

Up until a month ago, I had never referred to BFF as my partner or husband. I had simply not told the whole truth about who my partner WAS. La came to the retrieval and transfer, BFF did not. If y’all haven’t seen us, rest assured we look REALLY gay. But no one ever said a word about any of it.

Ultimately, there were consequences to this decision. While we didn’t lie, we also couldn’t be open in the way we might have normally been. (it should be noted, however, that La and I were on the front page of the Denver Post and the Boulder Daily Camera weeks before our transfer getting married ‘illegally’ at the Boulder County Clerk’s office so, we really didn’t hide anything!) La felt unseen more than she already would have. It was weird to know I was colluding in a mistruth.

But, in the end, we made a bunch of embryos with BFF’s sperm and my eggs, and we transferred one of them and it became Ansel. And it was all worth it because of that.

So, why am I telling you all of this now?

Well. As I mentioned before, we offered to donate two of our embryos to friends in Oregon  who have been struggling to conceive for a while. We made the offer some time ago, and they have been going through their own process about next steps. They contacted us earlier this summer to say they wanted to pursue the embryo adoption, and so things got set into motion. We started sending off releases of information and getting things ready to go. I met with the RE and she told me how to roll things out. We were all set. They were planning on a November or December transfer.

And then I got a call from my doctor last week. “I’m so sorry, Andie. We can’t move forward with the embryo donation. I’m so sorry I didn’t remember when we met last month, but BFF tested positive for a hepatitis B antibody, which is no big deal because you are a couple, but it makes the embryos ineligible for donation. I’m so sorry.”

I knew this, too. I knew because it did come up at some point in a conversation long, long ago. But it didn’t matter. It kind of DOESN’T matter, ultimately. Because BFF doesn’t HAVE hep B, he just has an antibody. He never had an active infection, to his knowledge, and he certainly didn’t transmit anything to me or Ansel or his partner. But, the government has rules about these things. And that rule says any evidence of a communicable disease makes you ineligible to donate anything.

So that night I sent the most horrible message to our friends. We wanted to give them the news over the phone, but understandably when they saw that we had news that would impact the transfer, they asked us to just spill. So, spill we did. The knot in my gut hasn’t eased since then.

We couldn’t have foreseen any of this when we made the decision to use BFF, to forgo complete honesty. But I still feel like those decisions caused harm now that I wish they hadn’t. It’s awful to be held hostage to mistakes you never even knew you were making.

No blogging cred

You guys. YOU GUYS, why am I such a terrible blogger now? I sort of can’t even handle how disappointed in myself I am. It happens so easily, though. You get busy and miss a week or two, and then so much has happened and the time has passed and you finally have the time to update but it’s going to take too long to update so you don’t, and then it all snowballs until you eventually come back, head hung, and start an entry like this. Ugh. I’m so done with it.

Here’s a baby to make up for it.


But I value this space, both the record of my life and the friendships it’s created. So I can’t just leave it altogether. And this isn’t the first, and won’t be the last, self effacing prologue I write. So, apologies all around.

I feel like I have finally emerged from the turbulent ocean I’ve been treading water in for the last few months. La finished her show this past weekend, and so the semi-solo parenting stint I was doing has come to a glorious end. Only a few days in, and the relief is so great.

Also this past weekend, I turned 34. I don’t feel 34, mostly because 34 sounds like something I can’t relate to, I guess. Like, someone who is 34 should probably have a more practical haircut and a more substantial savings account. But, the fact remains, I am in fact 34. Other than the gray patch taking over at my temples, I’d like to think you mostly can’t tell. We celebrated by having brunch with friends and then went to my extended family’s ‘agrimusment’ park/pumpkin patch/petting zoo/corn maze. It was a little too hot to really feel like fall, but we got some truly exceptionally adorable pictures of Ansel sitting with some pumpkins.

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For my birthday, La showered me with gifts every day for a week (she’s totally a keeper, eh?) including a tinsel pig , new jammies, a pedicure gift card, a coffee gift card, and adult coloring books and colored pencils! With my birthday money, I got a pair of red cowgirl boots that fill me with deep joy, and a blue coach briefcase (Coach outlet, I love you so!) that makes me almost feel my age. And the coziest cardigan and the most amazingly soft jeggings because yes, I am totally a fucking mom now.

Ansel hit 7 months (pictures forthcoming!) on Saturday! He is sosososo close to crawling, but hasn’t quite coordinated everything yet. He can get on his knees and rock back and forth and scoot backwards and launch himself forward, basically all the pre-requisites, but he isn’t yet actually crawling. I imagine it will be very soon, especially given how much he rolls forward into crawl position from sitting these days. He’s eating more and more food, getting much better at feeding himself accurately and with difficult foods. He loves dance parties and peek a boo and when you laugh at him. He hates having his face wiped off, laying on his changing table, and getting into the carseat.


I mentioned a few posts back that we are donating two of our embryos to some friends, something I always felt was just a given – after all, what else would we do with them? We are lucky enough to have more than we could ever use. We are in the final stages of getting things set for them to be sent off and transferred to my friend in either November or December. It’s sort of strange to be on this side of things, involved and so excited, but not in the ‘hot seat’ so to speak. La and I were talking about it the other day, and I think right now, I think I’m holding off on how to feel, if that makes sense. I think I will have a different set of feelings depending on the outcome, and so, in my typical fashion, I’m reserving my feelings until I know a bit more what they will be. In the meantime, I’m trying to lend my experience of being in the anxious IVF process to my friends, and do whatever I can to smooth the bumps from this end of things.

That’s all the update I’ve got in me for now, that and a promise to try to keep up, although I know it’s a promise I might not be able to keep. I keep up with all of you, and try to comment. I find your lives much more interesting to read about than mine is to write about, anyway.


Fat Babies and Baby Fat

This morning on my way to work from the babysitter’s house, I drove past the strip club on the main thoroughfare, en route to the highway, and the sign out front said, “Come on in! We fired the ugly one!” I felt my stomach drop out my butt and and felt hot angry tears well up in my eyes because what the actual fuck? For whatever reason, that sign was the thing that narrowed all the sexism in the world to a sharp painful point on my heart.

But really, that’s not true. It was just the metaphorical straw, I the metaphorical camel. Because last night in a facebook mom’s group, someone posted about her friend and the friend’s 3 month old, about how that friend was pumping to feed the baby but not making enough and so relying on donor milk, and how the mom was skimming the fat from the donor milk because she didn’t want her three month old baby to end up “a porker” like the donor mom’s infant. 

I felt sick about this. I still do. And I think it was the context of this horrible, horrible idea that a mother would restrict the food of her baby while also body shaming another person’s baby, that I felt the incendiary rage of a sexist joke tip the scales. Because it feels fucking hopeless to try and change that fucked up joke when people are literally putting their babies on diets.

I thought about my mom’s comments, now multiple, about how it’s “ok” for boy babies to be big and chubby, but ‘luckily’ the girl babies she knows are all petite. She says this in front of me, maybe forgetting that I am just shy of 6 feet tall and over 200 lbs, maybe trying to make a point indirectly about my size. It makes me scared for the girl babies we have, who may very well grow up to be large in stature or girth, as easily as they wouldn’t. Will my mother shame them? Fill them with the kind of guilt she wrestles with herself and handed down to me, such a particularly feminine legacy?

I mean, here’s the reality: We, as a culture, are so terrified by the spectre of obesity that we are willing to sacrifice our babies. We are willing to skim off the fat that actually has almost nothing to do with body size but does provide crucial brain development, based on this fear. And while, sure, this is an extreme and (please God) not a common practice, a quick google search finds food restriction for toddlers and young children to not be quite so beyond the pale. 

I already spend way too much time wondering what people think of me as a fat parent, and being grateful that at least for now, Ansel is exempt from having to hate himself as a pre-requisite of living in this culture. But maybe we don’t have so much time afterall.