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.

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.

A little something

I am so very glad to be back in Denver, where things run my speed and things are only occasionally visually overwhelming, where my dogs cuddle on my feet, where there is more quiet than not, where the best things are not for sale, where my home and life and beautiful partner all reside.

Which is not to say that Las Vegas was all bad. I saw a good show (Cirque’s Zumanity), I drank a very large frozen mudslide in a souvenir cup (something I haven’t done ever before but which you should probably do before you have a kid, right?), I won $500 playing a few different penny slots (my big wins were on Deal or NO Deal and Ghostbusters), I ate some really amazing food, I got to spend some good time with one of my besties. I also didn’t think about having a baby (well, much) for three whole days.

But its cycle day 10 and time to start peeing on sticks, time to be a little worried about the amount I second hand smoked in those damned casinos and the drinks I first hand drank all over Las Vegas, time to start planning when BFF will be here and how we will survive the wait.

Today we bought a grill with my winnings and made bread in the breadmaker and sat in the gorgeous yard we have created. Today I thought about having a baby, but it felt possible instead of hopeless.

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

229662_517388878320123_587064642_n 905233_10151373471245952_829840543_o 936849_517380678320943_1395493627_n 943678_517387968320214_1610100427_n 945607_517388188320192_1917319519_n 198317_517387891653555_620589666_n

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 . . .

Lemonade

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.

Transmissions from the Field

Fertility Friend and I agree that today I am 6DPO. Other than a horrific stomach-something-or-other that made yesterday a comedy of painful errors and the beginning of a cold passed along to me by my dear wife, I am feeling very good. I mean, of course I am. Even supposing a little cluster of constantly expanding cells IS somewhere in my fallopian tube/urterus, it hasn’t implanted or started causing chaos yet.

My good friend had her baby on Saturday – another big gayby welcome to Marlow! The pictures that have already showed up prove what I always thought, that my friends are going to be totally smitten, absolutely brilliant parents. And the wave of babies keeps crashing in! (Another welcome to Baby E over at The Falco Project who looks like a chubby little doll!)

So Marlow is here, and I just got a dropbox file of photos of my BFFs baby, and despite the spring snowstorm that Colorado sprung on us, it is decidedly the time of the year when things start springing to life.

And here I am sad and sobby. Not jealous this time, just weepy over what I hope will be but am terrified will not. This wait has been harder than the last few, just emotionally draining. I am not nearly as obsessed with tracking every gas bubble and tummy rumble, but I am acutely aware of the deep feeling of longing. Of the heart-soreness of wanting something and simply not having the control to make it happen. Desire is such a difficult part of being human. Hope is not always roses and sunshine; sometimes you only feel the edges where it starts to bleed into grief, where desire meets despair and makes you one hell of a volatile cocktail.

I am grateful for this space, for the people who read this and maybe understand and maybe even say something kind. There aren’t so many people who know what we are doing, and those who do are tired of hearing about the details. I don’t begrudge them that; we’ve been talking about it so long. Besides, anonymous public feelings are the most satisfying, right?

Its so hard to feel like this isn’t fair. Its not fair! This has been my rallying cry for as long as I can remember – to my parents, to the world. Its not fair. And its not. This isn’t, and so many other things aren’t either. I’m really good at coming up with strategies to make the world more fair. But there isn’t a damn thing to make this one more fair. It just is. Some people get pregnant right away, without trying. Sometimes people we judge as not ‘good parents’ get pregnant easily. Sometimes people who are so good are never able to have a baby. And sometimes the good people have babies and the bad ones don’t. Its far more complicated than we would like to admit, but its never, ever just ‘fair.’ No matter who you are this, like so much in life, just really isn’t fair.

Thank you all for letting me feel my feelings . . .and for reading about them, too. One week down, one more to go.

 

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!

An update to the great doctor saga – or, the day I talked to every department in the hospital that does anything with vaginas

Since our last episode . . .

1. Got a call on Friday from the maternal-fetal health dept (what?) telling me that they had received a referral for me to see Dr. B in their department. When I expressed confusion about who DR. B was and why I should be seeing her INSTEAD of Dr. C (‘the best we have’ doctor) the scheduling lady said “I don’t understand the clinical stuff but DR. B is the specialist, the super specialist, and you’re supposed to see her.” So, I cancelled with DR. C and made an appointment with Dr. B

2. Feeling confused and wanting to forgo any additional weirdness, I send an e-mail to my awesome GP (who is also on the advocacy committee for one of the LGBT orgs in town) and asked her to do a little informing to ensure the same shit didn’t happen. She said DR. B was great and of course she would send a head-up.

3. Today I get a call from maternal-fetal health telling me that, actually, Dr. B is not who I should see, that I should see a reproductive endocrinologist in advanced reproductive medicine because Dr. B only sees pregnant diabetic patients (what?!) so they can transfer me to ARM. Um. Ok. I guess.

4. Get transferred to ARM where I have to explain to the receptionist that I have done inseminations at home, approximately 10 times, before it was clear. (“Who did you IUI?” “No one. I did it at home.” “I’m sorry, WHO did you say did the IUI?” “NO ONE. My friend came over and jerked off in a cup and I put it in a syringe and put it in my vagina.” “Oh . . .”) I was finally allowed to make an appointment although the receptionist sounded confused.

5. Call the patient advocate people to complain. While I’m on the phone with them, ARM calls back and leaves a message saying that, actually, I shouldn’t see them, I should just go back to SA, the nurse practitioner who started this whole charade.

6. Call ARM back and explain that OB-GYN sent me to DR. B who sent me to ARM so can someone just fucking tell me who to talk to? Get a nurse on the line and she explains that absolutely! They can see me! They are totally the right department to see! But they don’t approve of known donor at home inseminations! Ok!? So then I spend a half an hour asking if they can still figure out what’s going on in the case of the missing menstrual period (or, really, the case of the delayed Ovulation, as its becoming clear is actually the case) and get treatment for that even though the way I am getting sperm into my uterus is not the way they want me to. Never get a very clear answer but determine that I am not likely to GET answers on the phone that day and decide to go see the ARM doc anyway. Where I will probably have to be very clear that I know the risks and that I just want them to determine if there is something going on with my lady parts that needs to be addressed in order for me to get knocked up.

The juxtaposition of this experience with the first half of my day is absurd, and disheartening. I continue to be unclear why in the world my BFF’s sperm needs to be quarantined when I have a more trusting and loving relationship with him than I did with many of the dudes I slept with during my wilder days (which is, apparently, the magic key to not having to go through the bullshit in ARM) unless its because some either a doctor or the government has to attach me to a man to legitimize my pregnancy. But more than that, I just want someone at the damn outpatient pavillion to listen to me long enough to know that I actually don’t even want their help getting pregnant right now – I just want to know why I went from having 30 day cycles all my life to suddenly not ovulating for 45 days.

The eternal wait

I’m not really sure what’s happening, but I feel like some sort of explanation is needed. For myself, more than anything . . .and because all of you have been so kind and I have maybe been a drama queen and I don’t want to take advantage of that kindness.

So here’s the latest:

After a hellish week at work (I LOVE my job, FYI, but I don’t like doing anything for 60 hours a week, into the wee hours of the night) and exhaustion from waiting and waiting and trying to get information, I had a particularly pitiful call with a nurse from my doctor’s office on Friday afternoon.

I’m lucky that I live in a pretty queer friendly world. My job, my family, and even my old timey neighborhood are all safe places for me to be out, and I am mostly met with a pretty high level of analysis and understanding about LGBTQ issues. And while my OB/GYN are certainly OK with queer stuff, they are also not very culturally informed – or, at least, not my doc and her nurses. Thus, my phone calls are usually infused with not only having to come out (over and over, everytime a new nurse calls) but also explain exactly what that means insofar as trying to get knocked up goes. I suppose the fact that we are going about this in a less than usual ‘artifical insemination’ fashion also makes things complicated.

So, while I am generally grateful that we have the ability to do this thing in a not-so-medicalized way, I am also longing to have a professional medical place that is somewhat cognizant of how our journey to conceive is unique from so many others. And I am especially tired of both explaining in depth everything I can and being patently ignored.

Reaching out for support from the medical profession has proved decidedly unfruitful. So I just keep tracking and temperature taking and peeing on sticks, hoping some sort of pattern will eventually emerge. As done as I have felt with looking at my cervical fluid (because it may very well mean nothing, and its hard to care when there is no discernable goal lurking ahead) I have kept doing it.

On Saturday morning,  stuck my fingers on up there and pulled out strands of clear slippery stuff. And I thought, “huh.” I looked at it so long that La half yelled “quit playing with your cervical fluid, I have to pee.” It was unusual, but nothing about the last few weeks has been usual.

Saturday afternoon, I came home from some errands and did my daily pee stick ritual. I have taken to peeing on both the ClearBlue easy smiley face digital OPKs and the cheap internet wondfo’s because the cost of amazon.com procured OPKs is worth having some sort of peace of mind. Even after the eggwhite cervical fluid, I wasn’t expecting anything. I happened to look down in the middle of cleaning my contact lenses and saw that big stupid grinning smiley face. And I thought, WTF? The wondfo was dark, not my usual positive, but dark enough to be considered a positive by internet OPK standards.

Apparently, my LH was surging.

I sent a text to both La and BFF and said, in effect, “um, sorry I have had no f’ing idea what is happening with my body but I think I’m ovulating? So maybe you can bring the swim team over tonight?” La called and was all like “um, what?!” and BFF sent back “Of course! I love you both!” And so, on Saturday night, we did our 6th insemination total, our first for this . . .uh . . .whatever it is.

Yesterday, even more eggwhite showed up, along with another smiley face (this is likely only because I had opened a new box of them) and an incredibly dark wondfo. Cue insemination #2.

And now, we wait. I wait to see if I get some sort of temperature rise (again?) to see what happens with my cervical fluid and the OPKs, to see if my period shows up . . .ever again, if a pregnancy test comes back positive. I’m not even sure what I am waiting for anymore. And that is oddly comforting.

I’m trying to retrace my data, look back at my chart, and figure out what’s going on. The first temperature shift was less significant than usual – although it was still there *and* corresponded to other fertility signs. The OPKs were never as clearly positive in February. All that cramping. All the nausea. The fact that this fertile patch is coming 28 days after the first . . .eerily ‘on time’ if I had gotten a period.

My best guess is that a cyst impeded ovulation, and this is my body’s second go at it. I certainly hope its an anomaly, anyway. Otherwise, I am currently on day 45, with ovulation likely to happen today – and that is a mighty long cycle, and probably not a good sign.

So . . .so. I wait. Like always. But now with no clear end in sight. A blessing and a curse.