Overachieving ovum and subpar spermatazoa

The results came back from BFFs repeat semen analysis: 4% normal morphology,  up from 2% in July.  This is,  add I anticipated,  a very marginal and pretty much inconsequential improvement.  Normal morphology is 14%. La and I were hoping for something like 8 or 10. 4% just feels.  . . Unfair.

So we will be going forward with the IUI using BFF this time and hopehopehope that one of those 4% of normal shaped sperm find one of my five follicles and make a baby.  It’s not impossible or even a total long shot.  This protocol is,  after all,  the recommendation for a woman with PRO and a man with poor morphology.  So hope isn’t lost.  But today is still sad.

We will be contacting our two other potential donors to talk about moving forward with one of them.

It can’t all be good,  I know,  and I am still grateful for the hope we have to hang on to,  but there is a fair amount of grief to contend with today as well.  Especially for La, who has held on to this idea for years,  the possibility for loss is just as present and palpable as the hope.

Bust.

Its been a helluva week.

Today is cycle day 22, still no positive OPK. After the almost-the-same test on Tuesday morning, I got almost no line at all on Tuesday evening. Wednesday morning I got another dark-but-not-positive and then . . .of course, no line Wednesday night. My cervical fluid has followed a similar, although opposite, pattern – with creamy fluid in the morning and stretchier, clearer fluid in the evening. My temperatures have stayed solidly in the pre-ovulatory range. This morning’s pee stick ritual yielded another dark but not positive. In other words, nothing to speak of.

I sent an e-mail to the Texas Ranger on Tuesday asking for an ultrasound to see what was going on, and mentioning that I would also like to talk more in depth about fertility medications. She responded telling me to come in for a blood draw to check progesterone and to schedule an appointment to talk about further interventions.

I’m a little perturbed about the progesterone check instead of an ultrasound. The progesterone test will show that I have not ovulated. Which I know, because I track my temperatures.  I’m not sure why I had to drive half way across the metro area and get stuck in the hand to prove what I already know. But I did.

The next available appointment for The Texas Ranger wasn’t until Oct 1st. Aside from this feeling like a lifetime away, I was also concerned with how it might work in terms of timing for the next cycle (assuming I ovulate in the next, you know, few weeks) and I was not willing to be patient to talk about something that I’d wanted to talk about a month ago. So, I am going to see a doctor at the same practice this coming Monday.

After a week of grief, anxiety, busy-ness and just general too-much-ness, La and I made the decision to cancel this cycle. Between the havoc that’s been wrecked on our lives with friends leaving and lives exploding in work and ovulation not coming, and the fact that we were advised an IUI wouldn’t be recommended with ovulation any later than day 24 (at this rate, we are almost past that cut-off as is), it seems like the best, most reasonable plan to forgo the IUI, take some time to breathe, figure out our next steps, and then move forward in September/October.

I’m terribly sad and also decidedly relieved. I have been exhausted by this process, wrung out with waiting, and blame filled (from myself, always only myself) when the OPK shows up negative. again. and again. And while there is loss – not getting to try is a particular kind of heartache I think – it feels quieter and more peace-filled.

The one sticking point from our conversation last night was whether to have BFF’s sperm analysis repeated before or after the IUI. Following the previously decided upon ‘plan’ would mean getting it done prior to the Sept/Oct IUI. La doesn’t want to do this. She wants to go forward and have the SA repeated after the IUI.

I have a lot of complex feelings about this. First and foremost, if we are upping our game so significantly, I’m not sure why we wouldn’t test the semen. Its been more than 8 weeks since BFF started acupuncture and supplements, and that was time time frame we were given to see some improvement. I think La’s desire to try is more about sticking her head in the sand and hoping for the best – a tactic I have often gone with when the emotional stakes are high. After all, no news is good news, right?

But it feels hard that in this instance, The Plan is being put aside in the service of BFF/La’s desire to use BFF as our donor. The Plan has been the primary sticking point whenever I wanted to bump the timeline up. Whenever I wanted to make an appointment or ask questions about interventions or see a naturopath or or or . . .The Plan has been the reason I didn’t do any of that. When I’d come home worried or wanting to try something, La would say, but we have The Plan. We have to stick with The Plan. and The Plan says we don’t try that until _____ (after 6 tries, August, if we get a bad test result.)

So I’m a little resentful. And I feel shitty that I feel resentful, but I do. We tabled the conversation and made an agreement to revisit after doing some more thinking and talking and uncovering. I certainly don’t want to make a decision based on my resentful feelings; I also want to give ourselves the best possible chance, because this shit is fucking hard.

 

Almost as Good, and sometimes better

My nephew is here!

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Liam Greer came busting onto the scene on Friday night at 8:20pm, MST. He came in at a whopping 8lbs 15oz, 21in long and a 14 in head. I really, really hope the giant head runs in my sister-in-law’s family and not mine. Dear lord.

He’s pretty fabulous already. We haven’t hung out much, because he’s kind of a big deal and I really hate being *that* family member who doesn’t respect boundaries (because there are plenty of them already) We have a dinner date tomorrow. His mom and dad are coming too.

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I know I’m biased but he is a REALLY beautiful baby, amiright?

In other news . . .

Both BFF and I had appointments with the fertility acupuncturist on Saturday. She seems to see some evidence of PCOS in my chart, and explained that while I do ovulate on my own that I may not be ovulating well or producing very good eggs. She noted that having many days of positive OPKs could indicate ‘weak’ ovulation and eggs trying to be released in the midst of lots of cysts impeding them. Still nothing confirmatory, but I think I might push for some blood tests when I go in to see the Texas Ranger tomorrow.

I’m now taking myo-inositol (which, BTW, seems to have a LOT of clinical evidence of helping PCOS symptoms without side effects), fish oil and vitamin D3 to support ovarian function and increase blood flow. And, of course, it is now officially time to stop eating refined sugar, wheat and dairy again. Which I have always known I would have to do but have ignored for a while now. You guys, donuts are my kryptonite. This is no fun.

I’m feeling much more at peace with the path we are on right now. We are definitely taking this month off, and will likely not proceed to the IUI in the Aug/Sept cycle either, although we may try at home again (possibly using The Conception Kit – another recommendation from the Acupuncturist) BFF will get a repeat sperm analysis after 8 weeks of acupuncture/herbs/supplements.

There is a lot of waiting ahead of me, and I know it is being mitigated somewhat right now by the appointments I have. I’m working hard to put some other things into place that will help me get through the next (maybe two) month(s) of not trying. And, still, I know there will be times when it feels so so so far away.

But today, things are good. Today, I have a tiny (or not so tiny!) nephew who is precious beyond measure. Today I have a few more answers and a few more techniques to try. And tomorrow I see the Texas Ranger for more information.

The day after that, well, I will get there when I get there.

The Swim Meet

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When La and I had our Big Gay Love Extravaganza Event (GLEE) in April 2012, we knew that we wanted our best friends there playing some significant roles, and we knew that we wanted our best friends in costume. Because that is how we roll. BFF and my best buddy served as our “Men of Honor” and were tasked with determining their outfits, with some guidance about style (20’s and 30’s vintage theater.)

BFF initially decided he wanted to wear an old fashioned bathing suit (ie: the jumpsuit shorty kind, often seen with stripes) and a boater hat. I was very excited for this possible costume, since it was both a perfect fit with the theme AND hilarious! Unfortunately, because of cost prohibitations and the inability to rent said suit, BFF went with a different, but still highly fashionable, choice.

I mention this because I think it is oddly appropriate.

This morning, the Texas Ranger called with the results of BFF’s semen analysis. The results? Aside from what appeared to be an ‘incomplete sample’ (although it wasn’t specified if that was because of a screw up or something else) – normal count and normal motility (ie: the quantity of sperm and their ability to swim forward at a normal speed) but a poor morphology.

Morphology is, for those of you not in the know, the shape of the sperm. Here are some possible shapes of human spermatozoa:

ImageThere seems to be a lot of disagreement about what constitutes a “normal” number or quantity of “normal” shaped sperm, varying from 14% to just 4%. BFF’s semen has just 2% of the sperms that are normally shaped.

So . . .if we were to compare sperms to swim teams (because, obviously): Joe’s team is well stocked with swimmer’s that can totally get from one end of the pool to the other, they are just mostly wearing crazy swimsuits and outlandish hats.

The suck of it is that swimmer’s with wonky bathing costumes on can’t get the job done when it comes to fertilizing the egg. They are just not well equipped.

So. What now?

We don’t know.

It continues to be very important to us to use BFF as our donor, as long as that is reasonable and possible. Its not about the sperm being free or easy to access (it never was, although that definitely helped.) Its about our relationship with BFF, and even more so, La’s relationship with him. In the current scenario, having BFF donate feels like the closest thing to having La contribute the genetic material for our kid. It doesn’t make sense in a rational way, but our hearts both know it to be true.

So, on the one hand, we want to explore avenues for making this happen with BFF’s sperm. Because our hearts want that deeply. On the other, there is the reality that the poorer the quality of the sperm, the less likely we are to get pregnant no matter the method. And the longer it takes, the more money we spend and the more heartache we incur.

On the upside, poor morphology with good counts and good motility is the best of the bad situations. From what I’ve been able to read, there is a reasonable chance of success using IUI with this method.

But questions remain . . . .

  • We had initially planned to wait on some of the diagnostic testing for me until after a few IUI attempts. Do we bump that up to make sure we aren’t playing with an even bigger handicap than we think?
  • How many IUI’s do we do with BFF’s sperm before we decided to use an anonymous donor from a bank?
  • Do we investigate using other fertility measures (like drugs) even though it appears that I am ovulating normally?

I realize no one can tell us what to do, but I would appreciate your input, darlings. I realize that many of you didn’t have to think about these things – you got your sperm in vials with counts, motility and morphology all guaranteed to be super-awesome. But maybe you can imagine? For those of you who are using or have used a known donor, or have a male partner – what do you think?

As if to add insult to injury, today I got a spot of pink when I wiped. I realize it may not count me out just yet, but it certainly feels like some salt in the wound. I’m 12 DPO today and have had similar spotting right around this time the last few cycles. My insistence on not tracking symptoms too closely means I don’t have a lot else to cling to, hope wise. I’d been planning to wait to take a test but will probably go ahead and pee on one tonight or tomorrow morning. It would be a lovely surprise, wouldn’t it?

We might be underwater, but I’m not holding my breath.

Doctor’s Orders

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.

Blogging for LGBT Families: Always Enough

This morning, I read a lot of these “Blogging for LGBT Families” Posts and thought about whether I qualified or not. I know maybe that’s silly, but its true. “Family” often implicitly means “children” in our culture, and so its hard to feel like you count when you are sans babies, you know?

But then I started to think about how much family we have already. Like a lot of queers, our friendships have filled a space that family does for a lot of other people. Even when your family of origin is pretty cool with the gay stuff (mine is) you can feel not quite a part, just this side of fitting in.

Then I thought about last night. How La and I attended a wedding for a couple we don’t know well, but already feel super connected to. About how, after that, we sat with BFF on the couch and created the most absurd list of baby names ever and laughed and laughed. I thought about how the three of us ARE a family and we are making our family bigger and that a lot of people won’t understand the nuances and complexities of that.

I thought about picking the Bug and the Bee up from daycare, how the teachers asked if we were their Aunties and I didn’t hesitate to say “yes” because we ARE their aunties.

I thought about all the beautiful people with whom we have forged a family. This isn’t sentimental, its real. This is not “love ya like a sis” or “brother from another mother” passe hallmark shit, you know? Its serious business, making a family out of the pieces and parts that you are handed. Its a skill a lot of people don’t have, because they have never needed it. Its a skill people reject because they think its second best.

One of the best things about being queer is the creativity you are forced to embrace. I have long held that – regardless of whether this is a choice or not (a debate I won’t have now) – I WOULD choose this. I would choose it because it has offered me remarkable opportunities to think about gender and culture and society. I would choose it because it has afforded me the chance to make my family and re-think what that means.

So, today I am blogging for and about my family:

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This babe that I married, who is my very favorite.

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This man (and his badass partner) who are helping us fill in the biological cracks.

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This bestie, who is full of kindness and tender hearted beauty.

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This group of incredible people who care for me, call me out on my bullshit, make me laugh at myself, make me see myself, and see me.

 

This ex-girlfriend who  spends so much time making the world a better place while simultaneously having the clearest grip on reality of anyone I know.

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These furry buddies, who make my heart sing.

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These babies, and their mom and dad, who show up in incredible ways.

And more. There are more. Today, my tribute is to the knot of roots that connects us, to the families that protect one another when nothing else can, to the bonds we built without legal representation because sometimes the state can’t give us what we need. Today my tribute is to Queer Families built from heart love blood sweat tears and fists raised high in the air.

 

 

 

 

 

Not the post I wanted to write

Ugh. I have really been wanting to post my experience from last Tuesday/Wednesday, when La and I went and got civil union #42 in the state of Colorado. It was magical and kind of overwhelming, and I really want to do it justice. I write the Spirituality and Religion feature for our local GLBT rag and will be putting my thoughts down for that in any case, and the blog seems like a good place to sort my thoughts. But I just can’t do it right now, y’all.

I am including some pictures (some which you could have also spied on NPR or the Denver Post (?!) because there was so much media. This is kind of fucking with my self esteem. But that’s another post, too. They follow the post!

My baby making anxiety is often quelled by writing about the experience, and reading about all of yours. So, in the interest of staying sane, I’m writing a brief TTC update instead of the lavish and lovely experience of finally having my relationship legally recognized in the state where I live and love. It’s a’comin!

  • Its CD19 and looking likely to also be 2DPO. We did inseminations on CD11, CD13, CD15, CD16, CD17. All this according to the Sperm Meets Egg plan. That seems like we ought to have fully covered our bases, so let’s up the mightiest swimmers have intercepted the most beautiful egg and are happily dividing in my fallopian tube right now.
  • The Advanced ClearBlue Easy Ovulation Prediction Kit SUCKS. I will be writing a more eloquent and comprehensive review on amazon.com, but for my readers who might feel inspired to go drop the $$ on one – don’t do it. Its confusing and doesn’t appear to line up with other fertility signs, including the regular CBE OPK.
  • We upped our game on the acupuncture, and I went in for three days in a row during inseminations. This is only possible because of community acupuncture clinics, so I wanna give a shout out to Meeting Point and all the other community acupuncture places that put this kind of treatment in the reach of those of us who don’t have a lot of money.
  • I’m on the post ovulation herbs and they are WAY more pungent than the pre O. It might be time to invest in some juice to chase that, because my hippie-woo ends when the herbs become nasty not just herby.
  • We had dinner with La’s sister-in-law last night, who was in town briefly. Over Xmas, when we talked about making babies, she was weirdly quiet – not at all typical for her. We brought it up a few times last night and she was still quiet and unengaging, only saying ‘all in due time’ over and over again. La’s family is way more conservative than mine. She has two brothers – one who is a big dude on campus at a super duper conservative mega church in Indiana – and another who is awesome. This sister-in-law is the awesome brother’s wife. She has always been kind to me, and we can laugh and joke. Her kids are amazing and they recognize me fully as their aunt. I hit the mother-in-law jackpot with La’s mom, and even her 87 year old granpa is good to me. But there are some real assholes in the mix, too. I mention all of this because its really breaking my heart and making me angry that K (the sister in law) is being weird and cold about this, when she has otherwise been great. It feels confusing. It feels like she is ok with us being gay but not with involving a child, or that she is changing her mind, or something. I’d like to think she’s just squicked out about the actual baby making but she isn’t even response to benign things. I was shaking with anger last night, so its clearly under my skin.
  • I head to Oakland next week for a training and I’m nervous about spending the second half of the wait alone. I’ll be busy and engaged, but I’ll also have some unstructured time without my usual support system around.

And now, some pictures! (with the new haircut, too – La’s in the bowtie)

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The Sweet Spot

Well, it’s CD12, try #4. Hope has bloomed again because how can it not? Another precipice of waiting – this is where the sweet spot is.

There are good things, here in this moment:

  • I got a really new, fabulous haircut. I have been rocking a modification of the same cut for a while now and feeling more like a soccer mom than I ever want to. I switched hairdressers (I have a lot of guilt about this) to La’s crazy alcoholic-but-super-creative hairdresser and got the femmpadour (femme + pompadour) that I have been longing for. Now its time to banish the glitter and get some color. Why is this so awesome? Because feeling like a stylish, hip, urban queer makes me feel like myself, and anything that pulls me out of the mustmakebabynow vacuum is a good thing.
  • I had the most awesome acupuncture appointment last Thursday! My coworker is in school for a degree in TCM and she recommended I go to the school clinic, which is inexpensive. Although I love the acupuncture clinic where I go, its a community space and they only do points in hands, feet and head and don’t do other treatments. At the school, I had  a crew of 4 students who spent a long time asking me questions, then did acupuncture points in my hands, feet, head and abdomen, and did a moxabustion treatment which is crazy and so great! The gist is that they use a mugwort herbal mix and light it on fire on acupoints! But it doesn’t hurt and it increases warmth and flow of chi. This was also on my belly. Finally, I got two big paper envelopes of herbs to make tea with. I have been drinking the pre-ovulation tea since then and I would swear my BBT temps have upticked just a little (which is good since mine are usually on the lower end throughout my cycle) So.excited.to.go.back!
  • I talked with my friend/pastor (she was my friend and classmate before we started a church together, or, I early adopted her church rather) and got some good spiritual perspective. Which OMFG I needed really badly.
  • We have decided to do a variation of the “Sperm Meets Egg” plan which we are lucky enough to be able to try because BFF is fucking amazing. I’ve adapted it because it assumes ovulation on day 14, and I usually O later than that (on day 17-20) So instead of started every other day inseminations on day 8, we started on day 11. This means last night was our first insem of this cycle. Crazy!
  • I am using the advanced CBE OPK which I am a little wary of (its super new and has very few reviews, but those that I’ve read say it flashes ‘high’ fertility for DAYS and then doesn’t register the ‘peak’ at all) and we got a flashing smiley face today (‘high’ but not ‘peak’ fertility) – so that’s a nice reinforcement of the plan. I am, of course, triple checking because peeing on things is just what I do now.
  • Tomorrow night (and into wednesday in the wee hours) La and I will, along with some friends, be among the first folks in Colorado to get a civil union! We are doing an insemination before we head out to wait in line, and I really like the idea that if this cycle works, it could very well be on that day. That’s the nice thing about so many chances and not knowing which one, exactly, will take.
  • Spring is here (at least until Tuesday night when we will get another  snow storm) and La and I spent all day in the yard, cleaning out the shed, planting trees, and getting things ready for chicken coops and garden beds. I have the influx of freckles and pinkish sunburn to prove it!

One more wave of hope . . .

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The things that are keeping me hopeful right now:

  • A  totally unremarkable perfectly uneventful cycle last month. Downside of uneventful= not pregnant; upside of uneventful = a 32 day cycle, ovulation clearly happening on day 17, a 14 day luteal phase. In short, typical and healthy and not at all confounding.
  • Bleeding again, because it means the waiting to wait has started and who doesn’t feel hopeful at the beginning?
  • BFF will have insurance through his employer beginning on May 15, which should be right about the time we find out if try #4 worked. If it doesn’t, we will be able to get the swim team tested for speed and agility without paying out the crapper for it.
  • I started knitting a blanket for my nephew-to-be. I haven’t knitted anything for over a year but decided this is definitely a good reason to start again. I got some nice babysoft yarn and a pattern that is complex enough to keep me engaged but within my skill set enough to be able to interact while knitting. I forget how medicinal knitting can be for my anxiety.

BFF took La and I out for dinner on Monday, and it was exactly what I needed. That dude is so good at cheering me up. Its also comforting to know that it bums him out too, that he is invested in and cares about the outcome and its impact on us. I drank a big glass of a much fancier than usual (for me) wine and tried to put my bad attitude behind me.

Although we all understand that tries 1-3 could have been ‘unsuccessful’ for about a million reasons that are out of our control, we have decided to switch a few things up this time. Namely, we are going to do inseminations in the morning and evening, although we still need to figure out timing so we don’t over tax the team. I’m also upping my OPK game (which is substantial already):I stopped in walmart yesterday (not a place I’m accustomed to shopping but as they are the *only* pharmacy in the area that carries the specific kind of insulin we have to give our dog, I do have to stop by a few times a year to get his prescription) to pick up insulin and syringes for Ed and took a spin around the pharmacy. I actually was considering looking for one of the First Response fertility kits (which I have mixed feelings about, but thought might be interesting anyway) and ended up finding these CBE “advanced” ovulation kits, which supposedly identify 4 days of fertility – 2 high and 2 peak. Because of my inherent distrust of anything I don’t know, I will plan to continue testing with my usual wondfos as well, but I feel like I owe these a shot, and since they are so new that there aren’t any reviews yet, I feel like I’m doing my part for the great TTC experiment. You can never pee on too many sticks, right? right.

1DPO. I guess.

I’m not willing to make proclamations on anything related to my junk anymore, but signs are pointing to ovulation yesterday (a + OPK on Monday, eggwhite cervical fluid M-W and a temp rise today) so I’m gonna go ahead and call it.

Its been a helluva week and honestly, making babies has been the last thing on my mind (ok, not the LAST but much further down on the list than usual)

After quite a bit of back and forth, it was determined that my agency would take on writing a rather huge and pretty competitive government grant on behalf of the local department of education. This is great in a lot of ways, because we would be contracted to do a lot of the work and the bulk are things we already do well. I also don’t really trust the person who would otherwise be writing the grant, and I am a firm believer in the adage ‘if you want it done right, do it yourself.’

So, I’m doing it myself.

I am not a grant writer, although I have written them before and the task frequently falls to me because of how small our organization is and because I enjoy writing and do it well. But this one is some serious shiz. And maybe if I didn’t have a bunch of other stuff to do, an emotionally melted down graduate student in my office crying about her research project, and a bunch of colleagues from other places constantly sending me their opinions, I would feel awesome about it. Because this is the package deal I’ve been handed, I am feeling decidedly stressed the fuck out. This morning my computer crashed and I thought I was going to lose my shit. But I didn’t.

Its gonna be ok. And, in some ways, I’m grateful for the distraction. It would be nice if it were a little more calm a distraction though.

In 10 days, La and I will have been gay married* for a whole year! Because she is producing a show the night before, and I have a concert to perform the day of, we won’t be doing anything too fancy – we did get a smokin’ deal on a fancy hotel room and have a gift card for the restaurant in the place where we had our big gay love extravaganza event. Assuming my math is correct, we could also conceivably take a home pregnancy test that day, but I don’t know if something that loaded would be the best way to celebrate.

So, on to lucky wait number three we go!