Monthly Archives: June 2007

Bounty

We went to Farmer’s Market today. It’s our Saturday ritual in the summertime, and it’s just starting to get good! Here’s what we got today:

Bounty

 We’re loving all of the fresh, local, organic produce because we have had so much more time to cook these days. We’re trying to eat as though I’m pregnant, just in case this TWW turns out to be fruitful. How can one go wrong with all of those lovely veggies?! 

For those who have been keeping up with my hair saga, you’ll be happy to know that today was also the big day. We went to the salon where this new hairstylist works, and got down to business. Yes, I went to a salon. I have had the pleasure of shaving much of my head before, and it feels good, but I wanted something that would grow out nicely this time, so a stylist it was. Now, for those thinking I was going to go down to the scalp, you’ll be a bit disappointed because it’s actually about 3/4 of an inch long (2cm or so for those not in the U.S.). It’s still super short, super easy, and really fun. J thinks I pull it off well, and while I’m definitely still getting used to it, I think I like it. I certainly like touching it!

Here’s a before picture on one of my least attractive hair days of late:

Before

And here’s me now:

After!

And a bonus of me and my cat Cleo, who apparently likes the new look too:

Cleo and T

It’s exciting to do this, and it does help pass the time during this wretchedly long TWW. Even if I don’t happen to be pregnant this month, at least I’m ready for it!

 T

 

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Photo Friday

GerberaThis is my first Photo Friday contribution. This week’s theme was red, and because I adore red, I had to participate. Besides, this gives me a break from my two week wait-induced hypochondria.

The first is a new photo specifically for today’s post:

RedHot

The second is a bit older. It’s a Gerber Daisy from our garden:     

  Gerbera                                                

 Enjoy!

T

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When I’m Feeling Blue

J here, and I just wanted to post a link that I think all of you will enjoy.  In fact, you may have already seen it if, like me, you love YouTube.  This little video makes me happy every single time I watch it, but I will never tell how many times that may have been.  Check it out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_enYxIftwE

 Make sure you turn up your sound, for it is the sound that is key here.

Also, if you have links to similar heart-warming images/videos, please share.

 J

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Community

I am learning more and more as we get deeper into this process how important it is to be surrounded by our tribe. We live in an area that is really progressive, and there are lots of queer folks around, but the community isn’t in any way organized, so we don’t really know where to find one another. For example, we usually have a little Pride celebration in June during Pride week. It’s been pretty sparce for a number of years, but it’s been reliable at least. This year, there was no acknowledgement of pride, and we kept looking for announcements. Well, it turns out the local organization couldn’t get its act together, so they decided to have Pride in September! Geesh!

When J and I were in grad school, we had a few lesbian friends, but they soon left for greener pastures, and we have since become the lone lesbians in a sea of married or otherwise coupled straight friends, some of whom are great, but most of whom are not at all interested in what we’re doing. One such couple has even been known to call us their “token lesbians,” a label we’re not too fond of. Now the same couple doesn’t know what to talk to us about. They don’t want kids, don’t particularly like kids, and have informed us in no uncertain terms that they will never babysit for us. That’s fine. We don’t want such energy around our kid.

But this only makes us long for our people more. We need people for whom we don’t have to justify every detail related to our conception process or people for whom this at least makes some sort of sense. We need to talk to other people who have gone through this, who have the same sorts of hopes and fears for their offspring. This is one of the reasons we’ll be moving in the coming year to a slightly larger city with a really vibrant queer community.

 For now, we’re doing a couple of things to remedy this craving for community. We’re both loving our inroduction to the online lesbian mom (and wannabe mom) community. It’s full of wise and wonderful women, and we’re excited to be joining this little corner of the web.

We’ve also gone back to our local Unitarian Universalist fellowship–a group of mostly older (60s and above) Pagans, Buddhists, recovering Christians, etc. who are really quite lovely and welcoming and eager to share in our hopes and joys. Last Sunday, we lit a candle to bring some good conception energy our way, and they were so excited for us, so interested in our journey. We got lots of lovely blessings, and because it was the Solstice Celebration, we got an extra special blessing from a lovely lesbian crone. That day was the first we had felt community in a long time, and it lifted us both in this beautiful way. We need so much more of it, but for now, it will certainly do.

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Inseminations, Hairstyles, and Other Miscellany

We had our second insemination yesterday. The timing this time around was much better, as it looks like I’m ovulating today. What wasn’t so great is that Mr. Goodman was on a business trip in the midwest meaning his overnight shipment took longer and had to go through many more severe temperature changes. In short, the poor swimmers went through a lot to get here. When it arrived, it was room temperature. We used it immediately, and we’re hoping that the strong ones still had enough  energy to make it to the egg. Despite this minor glitch, I think we have much better chances this time around.

We are hopeful that this may very well happen this month,  so now I’ve got to figure out something to do with my hair. Hair? you might ask. Yes. Hair. You see, I’ve been dying  my hair since I was something like thirteen, and I haven’t stopped since. It’s been platinum, black, all shades of red and blonde, and a few less natural colors as well. Right now, it’s bright blonde and fairly short, but it’s growing out. I’ve got about an inch of brown roots (I know, gross), but the thing is, if I’m pregnant, I don’t want to dye my hair. And, if I happen to get pregnant this month, I don’t want to be stuck looking like some sort of inverse skunk–or worse. To top it all off, my stylist of seven years had the nerve to move away, and I’ve been utterly stuck. 

 So today, J tried to convince me to shave my head. After I cried for a moment at the prospect of looking like a boy, I decided I could do it gracfully. We came very close to going to buy some clippers and doing it ourselves, but I’m very finicky about my hair, and I didn’t want some grown-out caveman style in a few weeks. Finally, we decided to go to this hip male stylist we met at a coffee shop to see if he’d help me out. He convinced me to wait a week for a little more outgrowth, but I’ve made an appointment with him, and we’ll see what happens!

We also went to farmer’s market today. We’ve been really enjoying lots of fresh, local, organic veggies lately, so we had to stock up for the first part of the week. The main farmer’s market of the week is on the town plaza. There’s always great live music, and all the local flavor comes out. It’s always a great family-friendly atmosphere, and the kids come out in full force. In fact, all those fresh veggies are really just a cover: in truth, we love to baby watch. There’s a huge grassy area in the center of the plaza, so we love to just sit and watch the little ones and the not-so-little ones enjoying the sun and the music and the atmosphere of our small town come to life.  We always leave wanting a baby even more though, so today it’s nice to know we may be on our way.

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The Semantics of AI and a word about the title

T and I love words, and we love to name things.  When we first moved in together, we had this poster of a frog in our kitchen–we named it Consuela.  We’ve named the tatoo on my shoulder (Bernice), all of our cars (Brutus, Sophie, Redcloud) , and yes, even some of our plants (poor Zenevivia).  Weird, right? But we have fun with it, and we’ve had a baby name book for years.  Writers often use these as a resource to name their characters, and in fact, this is how we came up with our first cat’s name, Pierre.  So, yes, I often think about words, names, titles, and their meanings.  Sometimes I feel there are too many words or the words at my disposal aren’t adequate or need additional explanation to describe this unusual process of creating a baby.

Take the term “artificial insemination” for instance.  This is a very clinical term and doesn’t quite fit what we’re doing, at least meaning-wise.  Creating a baby isn’t just a physical process as the term “insemination” implies.  For us, it is an intensely spiritual process as well, taking all that we have come to know and love about the world and each other and working to create another human being, to pass along our love and wisdom (for whatever it is worth).  It is also a personal growth process because it really has forced us to revise our priorities and try to eliminate certain habits, behaviors, etc.

Then there’s “artificial” to contend with.  It’s synonmys are “fake” and “not real.”  Well, it is true that I am not impregnating my wife with sperm that comes from my own body, but it is one of the most real and important tasks I’ve ever been trusted with, so I can’t embrace the “artificial” part of the term.  I haven’t come up with an alternative, though T’s stepdad likes “basting” as a reference to turkey basters.  Humorous, but not quite right either.

Next up, “sperm.”  Okay, that’s the formal, medical term for what we need to create our baby, but we tend to refer to it as “the shipment” as our donor ships through UPS, or sometimes it is “the donation,” which we like because it sounds altruistic, and we are absolutely aware that without this amazing, yet anonymous, donor (maybe I’ll call him our benefactor from now on) we’d be where we were a year ago, hoping against hope that some acceptable guy would come along and offer his DNA.  (On a side note, this actually did occur with a friend of ours from college, but he must have later changed his mind becasue we never heard from him again.)

Sometimes it feels as though we’re talking in some kind of weird code, and it sounds funny coming out of my mouth, especially when talking to my heterosexual friends, who understandably don’t need to talk this way.  In fact, most straight couples trying to conceive don’t tell their friends the next day “Well, we inseminated last night.”  They just have sex a lot and wait for the results.  For some reason, we always find ourselves explaining, sometimes awkwardly, how the “donation” arrived on our doorstep, how we won’t know whether the “insemination” will take for a few weeks, etc.  I, for one, am somemwhat weary of explaining it and of feeling awkward about the semantics of AI.  I try to make it funny and light for those who are interested, but I’m getting the feeling not everyone is interested in the process.  Something about how sausage is made comes to mind, but that metaphor feels all wrong too.  Sigh.

Oh, and about the blog name “reproducing genius.”  In hindsight, I can see how the title might seem a little self-absorbed, or conceited, like we’re two geniuses trying to populate the world with enlightened beings that only we can create.  Bullocks!  I’m no genius, though I did take the national IQ test that Fox aired some years ago on TV.  Drunk, I got the score of “average intelligence” and T was “above average.”  T is highly intelligent, but I don’t know how she would do if she tested sober.  All of this is meaningless anyway as the only legitimate genius in the equation is the donor, our benefactor, Mr. Goodman.  We didn’t go looking for one, but one found us anyway.  Anyway, I thought there would be some fun word play with the word “genius,” as in “reproducing genus.”  Get it?  Genus?  Terrible, I know, but we’re stuck with the name, and I’m going to feel bad if the kid eventually feels pressured by the early label.  Maybe we won’t tell.

 Anyway, semantics aside, what a weird, wonderful, process this is.  The next shipment comes in two days, and we’ll baste, inseminate, or whatever again then.  I think I’ll calm down on the verbiage once T is pregnant.  Or is that “expecting”?  maybe “with child”. . . aaaaaarrrrrgh! My head!

 J 

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Summer Insemination Ramblings

Time is slipping by so quickly! During the school year, I always think of summer as this long, luxurious span of time during which I will complete countless projects, read stacks of books, create new curriculum for my classes in the fall, and nap endlessly. Then summer arrives, stays for a moment, and it’s gone. Such is life this summer as well. Granted, we don’t hit summer officially until the end of this week, but for me summer begins in mid-May when I grade the last paper and submit my final grades.

 The reason I know time is slipping by quickly is that we are already closing in on insemination #2 at the end of the week. I like the idea of inseminating around the summer solstice, not to mention during the waxing moon. The timing should be really lovely and hopefully quite lucky. J and I have been building up our baby altar weekly. Last week it gained a giant egg-shaped moonstone and a bouquet of lavendar from farmer’s market. We’ll add to it again this week to celebrate the solstice and insem. #2.

But I have to say, I don’t feel anymore prepared this time around. I hate not knowing what my body will decide to do any given month. Will I ovulate on the 14th day of my cycle? The 16th day? Or will my ovaries really throw me for a loop and pop one out on the 18th? It’s seriously frustrating, especially with the shipping matter. You see, we can’t receive overnight shipments on Sundays or Mondays; therefore, if ovulation happens on Monday, it’ll be difficult to conceive. Oh, the madness!

I’m beginning to learn that the week leading up to insem time is even more crazy-making than the TWW. I am, after all, a control freak.

I do hope this takes this time. Mr. Goodman will be leaving the country for a couple of months beginning July, so we will have to wait for future shipments until September. If it doesn’t happen this cycle, the break would be good, for it would allow me more time to work on my health, but J and I are eager to get this going.

In some ways, this whole trying to conceive process feels like one of those games in the midway at a county fair or carnival where there are a bunch of fishbowls on a rotating table, and you have to throw a ping-pong ball in to get a prize–maybe a Bon Jovi poster or a huge stuffed zebra, or the very best: a goldfish. The game seems simple, and it really is. Just throw the ball, and land it in a bowl. Anyone playing this game knows that if you throw enough ping-pong balls at the fishbowls, that eventually you’ll get one in, but the whole damn table keeps moving, and it really is up to chance when your ball will land in a bowl. One of these days–hopefully sooner than later–we’ll get to bring home our prize goldfish.

T

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