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.

 

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.

 

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.

Return from Paradise

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We are back.

If only everyone could spend a week in Cancun every time they have to wait to try again to make a baby. It really is an excellent way to stop thinking about the minutiae of getting pregnant and just really exist in the moment. I vote free beach vacays for all people TTC – every cycle you don’t get knocked up, you get to go away. Who’s with me?

Unfortunately, you can only suspend reality for so long before it comes crashing back down on your head. My usual M.O. is to have a mild-moderate panic attack on the flight home when I begin subconciously making the list of crap in my head. I staved it off until we were in customs this time.

But I have also managed to hold on to a teeny tiny bit of paradise. By this I don’t mean the white sand or water so blue you don’t remember its salt or a mojito whenever I ask for it. I mean bobbing in waves unaware of time, I mean moments without narrative or checklists or somethinganythingijustneedtothink, I mean seeing – actually seeing – all of the things around me, I mean looking at my girl’s face and feeling all of the big beautiful feelings bubble up.

So I’m going to try and float with these feelings, even in the midst of re-writing my work plan for the funder who it seems like I can never please, in the middle of managing money when an unforeseen expense or 30 pops up, and yes, right here smack dab in the center of trying to make a baby.

And we are smack dab in the middle of it, again. We arrived home on CD12 and I commenced peeing on things. I’m expecting to ovulate between now and Thursday and we did our first insemination last night.

BFF is currently living with us while he and BFFBF look for a new place to live. BFF got a new puppy (the biggest floppiest most adorable grand pyrenees named Yankee!) and the puppy is also living with us. Our house is kind of like Three’s Company on a farm right now, and yes its as ridiculous as it sounds. On the upside, we can do inseminations any old time we feel like it . . .which will probably be every other day until the positive OPK pops up, and then a few more tries.

ImageA few other notes . . .

On DOMA . . .Our Cancun resort didn’t have free wifi and pat of my vacation plan was to be as unplugged as possible. So, we didn’t find out about the Supreme Court decisions until we got home. And what a fuckin’ mixed bag, eh? I’m super psyched that DOMA was struck down and that same sex marriage will be federally recognized on some level. I’m also glad the shenanigans in California got addressed. I know that the DOMA ruling doesn’t entirely take care of the issues (I do happen to live in a state where a similar amendment has been enshrined in the state constitution) but I also think this is a sign that the BS is on its way out. Supreme Court precedent is a big f’ing deal, you know?

But OMG can we talk about the Voting Rights Act for a minute? That is BAD BAD BAD. The irony that this decision came at the same time as the Paula Deen scandal is just too much Americanism for me. Why are people not outraged about the VRA being dismantled in the same way they are ourtraged at Paula Deen saying the “N” word? For serious?!

And also . . .I really really really hope that now the marriage stuff is beginning to happen that the LGBTQ ‘community’ can start paying attention to the other million issues that really deeply impact queer folks. Like immigration reform, and health care, and homelessness. And I hope we care as much about those things as we do about the right to get married. I hope we give just as many shits about the way people of color just got totally disenfranchised as we do about the ability to file federal taxes jointly. Now that our relationships aren’t wedge issues, please let us keep standing on the right side of justice.

On Doctors  . . .

Tomorrow the triumverate goes to visit the OB/GYN. This appointment has been a long time coming. It was initially scheduled for three weeks ago, but has been rescheduled a million times (by both us and the doc) and it felt like it was never coming. Now that it is, I’m terrified. I’m scared of the possible homophobia (even though we have a referral from another queer couple using a known donor); I’m terrified of fatphobia (kind like this) and having to defend my body and my life; I’m terrified of finding things out that I don’t want to know about maybe why we aren’t pregnant yet.

But, I’m also hopeful. We have the opportunity to find out that everything is OK, or to fix things that might be getting in the way. We have a chance to ask a lot of questions. We have access to things that might support knowing, understanding, or making this happen.

One Down

Yesterday I was sitting in a meeting and my breasts were throbbing. As much as I have tried to stop paying attention to the minutia of my body, I couldn’t help from noticing the throbbing. And I got excited. Because that’s what we do, right? Look for throbbing breasts or extreme fatigue or maybe a touch of dizzy nausea and pray they will become worse or couple up with something else. Anything to tell me what I want to know without having to ask the question.

I came home and told La. She said, “isn’t it early?” Because my breasts always ache, but maybe this time they ached before they usually ache, or worse than they usually ache. But no. It was cycle day 24 and, if my prior record keeping is to be trusted, they always start hurting on cycle day 24. But maybe it was worse? More intense? Different?!

The truth is, I don’t know. The barometer of human feelings – never a very reliable instrument – has become increasingly fallible over the last 6 months. I’m not saying the throbbing *isn’t* different, I’m just not saying it is either. Because I honestly don’t know. I remember thinking, in the airport, at the tail end of the last wait, that my boobs hurt more than usual. But the thought is the only thing concrete. I can’t conjure up the feeling now. I can’t say with any accuracy that they actually hurt worse than the month before because the month before I was willing them to hurt too.

The reality that you just can’t know until you know just keeps crashing down on my head.

I said to La last night, when we were discussing when to take a test, that I just wanted *something* clear to happen this weekend so I would know without knowing. Don’t ask questions you don’t want answers to – right? Its the same feeling that drives me to wait to the very last minute to take a pregnancy test. The same feeling that kept me from asking an ex girlfriend if she was cheating on me. Sometimes the world we make up is better than the one we know exists.

This wait has not been anxious. I’ve had a lot of feelings, sure. Just not anxiety. A few days after ovulation, I had a crystal clear dream of having a girl baby and naming her Dorothy. And that dream’s sweetness bouyed me with a feeling of just KNOWING this time worked, even though I also knew that was impossible to know. That lasted a few days before I resumed my general see-sawing and symptom spotting. One week down, one to go. Sometimes my calm is one of resignation. Sometimes it is one of serenity. Sometimes it is one of impossible knowing.

In the hope column for today: I almost fainted in the copy room an hour ago – had to catch myself on the table and squat down till my knees regained form and the dots dissipated. Since then I’ve felt near-nauseous. Not quite sick, just not quite well either.

Then again, it could just be allergies.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Holding out

I was planning not to post until after a full 14+ days had elapsed since ovulation. Why? Well, because there is nothing more obnoxious than listening to me try and spot symptoms when you and I both know that there are hardly ever symptoms to spot before an HPT is accurate. And now that I am becoming a somewhat old hat at this two week wait business, I’m so over telling anyone what’s going on with my ladybits in hope that they can magically predict what will become decidedly apparent in a few short (loooooong) days.

So, back up.
This past Monday I left Denver for Oakland, to participate in a training of trainers on a bad ass sexual health program called FLASH. As I may have mentioned, this made me nervous. Although maybe it shouldn’t. As it turns out, my bag never made it on the flight to Oakland, so I spent the first day wandering around Jack London square feeling sorry for myself and deciding if it was worth the BART ride out to target to get clean underwear or if I should just hold out for my bag. I are some BBQ and I enjoyed the magically Luke warm Bay Area weather and then I bought a toothbrush and went to bed. The next few days went quickly – full days of great training and dinner with colleagues and then with some friends who have moved to the bay.
Today was another day of training but this time it dragged. And now I’ve been sitting at the airport waiting for a flight ( my first was so delayed that I would have missed my connecting flight, so I was transferred to a later direct flight) and basically freaking out.

Today is 12DPO. For the last three tries, we have tested on this day, as the earliest day to get a pretty reliable result. This go around I decided I wanted to wait until the day my period was supposed to start, which is Sunday. I am quickly losing my resolve.

I have felt shockingly calm during this wait. I’ve also felt hopeful. I’m sure this is because we did new and different things and god knows how badly I want to be responsible for accomplishing this thing, even though I can’t be. Regardless, I’ve been hopeful. And it’s been really nice.

Today, I stuck my finger in my vag to check my cervical fluid and pulled out creamy type stuff tinged pink. To be clear, I rarely spot, although it has been known to happen. It’s usually really brown when it does, and it’s rare, like I said. So initially, I thought “maybe this is good news!”

However, subsequent trips to the loo have found me anxiously checking my fluid over and over and losing a little hope each time. And now, of course, I am feeling things that don’t feel hopeful – maybe some cramps, maybe some constipation, maybe feeling like I want to sob in the middle of terminal 1 because I’m so sad at how many babies there are everywhere and I have no ability to filter my feelings.

So now I don’t know if I can hold out. On the one hand, if I’m grasping at straws and this is “implantation bleeding” or some such nonsense, then tomorrow probably isn’t early enough to get a positive, right? On the other, omg I kind of need to have something substantial to hold on to right now and I don’t know if I can hold out. I figure I will have some clue tomorrow morning based on my temperature, which has always dropped the day before I bleed, in the year I have been tracking. If it doesn’t drop, I’m doing it. I’m peeing on a fucking stick.

I will happily take whatever advice, posi woo or general words of wisdom you have to impart. Sill hoping the fourth will be with us.

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)

glee

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