Monthly Archives: October 2007

Happy Halloween!

Halloween has long been my favorite holiday. If I associate myself with any religion, it’s pagan, and for a number of years in my twenties considered myself Wiccan. So it’s natural, then, that I would appreciate this day–Samhain–for its spiritual significance. I have to admit, though, I’m a lapsed Wiccan, and I really enjoy Halloween these days for the pumpkin-carving and seeing kids in costumes. Who can resist a little one-year-old in a lion suit–or a five-year-old girl dressed up like a witch? We love the handing out of candy, and we put out spooky decorations for the kids. I carve a few pumpkins. It’s great. In recent years, though, J and I find that Halloween makes our babyaches unbearably strong (what doesn’t though, really?).

 So how appropriate that today, on Halloween, our sperm (well, technically Mr. G’s sperm) will be placed in a box and sent on its way toward us. And how ironic that the good little pagans will be inseminating tomorrow on All Saints Day. Ha! Anyone know the patron saint of artificial insemination? Of lesbians getting pregnant? No?

Of course, all of this hinges on Mr. G checking his messages in a timely manner, but I do believe that after last month’s shipping fiascos and his resulting guilt he will follow through this time.

6 Comments

Filed under insemination, ovulation, sperm, ttc

Early Morning Blather

After a good weekend full of Halloween-related activities (including a trip to the pumpkin patch and a wild ladies’ poker night!), J and I are ready for this week’s insemination. In fact, I originally thought today would be the day, but now it looks like I won’t ovulate until Thursday or Friday. This is good in some ways because it’s a stressful week of conferencing with students and grading every bit of their work that I have in my possession (read: a lot). But it will pose some interesting problems with timing if we have to do it Friday since we’ll be at a department meeting half the day. (Excuse us, colleagues, we’re just going to slip into the bathroom–together–whilst you all discuss our new remediation policies. That styrofoam cooler? Uh, that’s my lunch.

The problem is that this has been stressing me out. I keep wondering where the EWCM is, why I’m not feeling especially fertile, why I don’t have my faint line on my OPKs. Ultimately, it’s just because my body decided to throw me for another loop and start ovulating later again, but on Monday, I had myself convinced that the pain killers I had to take for the burn had stopped any eggs I had in their tracks and that I was going to have an anovulatory cycle (NO!). Now that a teensy bit of EWCM has shown itself, I’m just convinced that my ovaries have slowed down with the cold weather or laziness or as a cruel joke to keep me on my toes. Either way, so long as I pop an egg out, and there’s viable sperm in there to meet up with it, I’ll be happy.

6 Comments

Filed under insemination, ovulation, Ramblings, school, sperm, ttc

Photo Friday: Lovable, Furry Old Grover

In honor of Calliope and her recent struggles, our Photo Friday theme this week is Grover. My contribution is the cover of my favorite book as a child: the classic The Monster at the End of This Book:

Grover

 With everything Calliope is going through right now, I hope a little old school Grover will make her smile should she happen upon my little blog.

This book has always been a special one to me. It’s one of just a couple of little things I have left over from my childhood. Even as a kid, I was a book collector. I so loved having my mom read me this book when I was little. Somehow, I had this book when my parents’ home burnt to the ground in a wildfire ten years ago. I’m grateful to have the few things I do. The current fires in Southern California have me reminiscing quite a bit on that time for my family. It’s hard to believe it’s been ten years. It’s horrid to think the same thing is happening right now for so many other families.

On a happier note (since I have been pretty focused on the negative lately), I start my ovulation tests tomorrow, and I will probably ovulate Tuesday. This will be our first go with the new and improved shipping method. I’m excited and nervous, and feeling like we’re starting all over again. Wow.

5 Comments

Filed under Photo Friday

Mish-mash

First of all, if you haven’t already and you can, go do what you can to contribute to Calliope’s IVF fund. This woman deserves to have some good deeds coming her way.

 =========================================

In completely unrelated news, my hand is healing–enough for me to type with it! This is thanks, in no part, to the “doctor” I saw yesterday. As a person who has sporadic health insurance, I don’t have a regular general practitioner. I have a great OB/GYN, a decent ear/nose/throat guy, and even a physical therapist, but for the other stuff, I just press my luck and go to a local community clinic. This way, for the six months of the year when I don’t have insurance, I can visit the doctor for a sliding fee. Usually this works out. Well, I have insurance now, and I made the painful mistake of visiting this clinic yesterday and seeing a new doctor. He was dreadful!

I was told by the ER to have the my doc remove the bandages and cream and reapply them after examining the burns. This idiot doctor I saw yesterday decided it was better to just leave the half-inch thick cream caked on and said, “Well, I suppose it looks as good as can be expected.” Now, keep in mind that the cream was so thick, I couldn’t even determine where the burn was, but he must have x-ray vision or something because he downplayed the whole thing and instead talked to me about his fucking screenplay about competitive birdwatching. Holy fucking hell.

So then he proceeded to send this assistant in to dress my hand. Not only did she not remove the old cream, but she didn’t even cover it completely! The woman covered part of my fingers and palm with some crappy gauze, barely attached some tape and accused me of pouring boiling water on my hand on purpose. At this point, I was trying to control the tears streaming down my face and trying to decipher the ten different sets of directions they had given me for the care of my hand, when she asked me, “So how did you do it, anyway?” I told her I was sterilizing a gallon jar for me and J’s apple cordials (she gave me quite the pinched face when she realized this was alcohol) when the seal on the lid broke and poured boiling water all over my hand. Her response (after again asking, “Are you sure you didn’t do this intentionally?”) was, “Well, you should have put the jar in the oven. That’s what I do, and it’s a lot better than boiling water.” Oh. my. god. Even if that were a better solution and wouldn’t result in a giant jar the temperature of an OVEN, what business does a medical professional have basically saying, “I told you so!”?

At that point, I needed to leave. I couldn’t take it anymore. She sent me out some weird back door so I didn’t even get to pay my copay. Instead, I was suddenly on the sidewalk, cars whizzing by, crying, with this bandage that a two-year-old could have improved upon.

When J picked me up, she knew immediately that something was wrong, and she promptly took me home, cleaned off the goopy cream, and helped me look at my burn. We needed to know what was going on with it, and honestly, parts of it are much worse than I expected, and some of these bad parts, the medical assistant DIDN’T EVEN COVER WITH THE BANDAGE! In fact, they told me I should probably just use a band-aid. This burn is far bigger than any band-aid I’ve ever seen, but whatever. Maybe at their medical school, they place super-sticky latex on burns. Or maybe they just have their heads up their asses. Anyway, my sweet wife redressed my hand, made me a pretty little bandage, stopped my tears, and even bought me chocolate. I really am a lucky woman.

2 Comments

Filed under burn, hand, health care

Ow!

hand

 I had a stupid accident today and poured boiling water over my hand. We spent the afternoon in urgent care so that I could get bandages and cream and narcotics. Can you tell from the photo I’m not used to codeine? My blogging–and everything–else will be pretty limited for a week or so. I can’t even drive! J is taking good care of me, but damn this hurts!

3 Comments

Filed under burn, hand

Yes, I am still alive.

I’ve been such a neglectful blogger lately! Part of this is because we are in midsemester hell at school. Part of this is because I was out of town for the weekend. And part of this is because I’ve been battling the blood. I also couldn’t stand to push my wife’s sweet, sweet post down on the page. She’s so wonderful. 🙂

For about twelve hours at the beginning of this week, I thought I could potentially be pregnant. My temperature dipped and then spiked again, which was pretty weird. As it turns out, it was probably because the heater was left on all night because that very day, the blood came.

It’s been a rough week all around. Going out of town this time of year does that, though. Fortunately, things have started to look up. I had a good exchange with Mr. Goodman about some changes we would like him to make. He will be using a more effective, mainstream shipping procedure (and still paying for it himself despite our many offers to help!), and I will be giving him a three-day window during which he should check his email twice a day. He was very agreeable and more than happy to make this process smoother. We’ll see when the time comes, but I certainly feel more positive than I did a couple of weeks ago when I knew I was ovulating and the sperm was still twenty-four hours away.

J and I still have to figure out whether or not we want to invest in some spermsicles this month too, and we have to make that decision by tomorrow. Maybe using two donors would be the magic key–and maybe it would be money thrown down the drain. It never fails to infuriate me that these banks are charging an arm and a leg for what teenage boys spew into a sock on a daily basis. Ew. No, I’d rather not think about that now.

3 Comments

Filed under Ramblings, school, sperm, ttc

I Love This Blog

Well, T is out of town visiting her folks for the weekend, so I’m left to my own devices.  Funny how I really don’t know what to do with myself when she’s away.  I mean, there’s a lot to do, I’m sure of it, but damned if I know what it is.  I miss T so much when she goes; that’s why I came here to this blog–because it so encapsulates who she is, and it makes me feel closer to her just reading her words.

 When we first began this blog, we imagined it as a dual-project, but clearly it is her “baby.”  No pun intended.  Her wit and intelligence grace every post, and she has reached out to others in the TTC community, creating something that even I cannot seem to offer. 

 We talk about our future baby, about insemination plans, about all this important stuff, but when it comes to blogging, she infuses a part of herself into this project that doesn’t come out any other way. 

Here, she shares the initimate details of her body and what it is up to, and she does so with wit and candor.

Here, she nurtures her art by posting incredible photos, revealing yet another side of herself, her creativity.

Here, she plays with language to make even mundane stories feel like one act plays.

Here, she shares virtual drinks and commiserates with equally obsessed moms-to-be.

Here, she is doing something for herself rather than everyone else, and she desperately needs that.

Here, she tells you everything, and then says to me “did you read my post”? And when I do, I always smile.

I’m glad she has you, all of you wonderful women in blogtopia, to share her hopes and dreams, her observations and visions for our future.  Thank you for being here for her.

J

5 Comments

Filed under J

Turning Corners

I’ve been really obsessed with the sky lately. I think I have mentioned before that because we’re on the coast, we get great sunrises, sunsets, storms, etc., and lately with fall settling in and the rainy season fast approaching, we’re having great skies.

Tuesday morning, I walked out of the house to go to work, and the sky was filled with these heavy, sagging clouds, and I thought they were amazing. Then, I rounded the corner of our house to go start the car, and I came upon this:

Sunrise

I never grow tired of sunrises, and a good sunrise never fails to pull me out of a funk. While Tuesday was probably the worst day of my depression over the whole recent donor issues, it was also my turnaround day thanks to the sunrise and the following storm. I’m ready to move forward. I am so melodramatic sometimes, it’s ridiculous.

Just a few more weeks, and we can try this whole thing again. I think we will be investing in some frozen sperm, and I’m putting in an email to Mr. G regarding his shipping procedures. In the meantime, I’m off to spend a weekend with my folks while J enjoys a weekend to herself. We’re really into nurturing our souls right now, and considering the mess last week, it’s doing a lot of good.

5 Comments

Filed under sunrises, ttc

Dismal

J and I have had a rough weekend. It’s confirmed that I ovulated on Thursday and that any insemination Friday evening was likely pointless, especially with sperm that was probably not any good. We’ve decided not to even look at this as a two week wait. Instead, we’re going to do everything we can to make next time really count. So you won’t be hearing about any psychosomatic symptoms. No phantom nausea, no weird aches and pains. I know I’m not pregnant. 

The problem that we’ve been agonizing over all weekend is that our donor is simply unreliable. He seems to have the greatest of intentions, but he also has trouble carrying them out. So, for example, we’ll give him an ovulation window, and he’ll forget to check his email on the one day during that window when the shipment needs to be sent. Or, we’ll give him a window, and he’ll be out of town on business, and he won’t have all of his necessary shipper supplies with him. He has insisted on his own version of a BioTr@nz shipper. At first it was really thorough and might have worked since it kept the sample cool, but his newer versions are these haphazard packages that don’t keep the shipments cool, and, in fact, they hardly protect them at all. We seriously doubt that any of the sperm we’ve gotten in the last two shipments is even remotely good, yet we’ve used it anyway and gotten our hopes up.  It’s all so frustrating.

So we’re struggling with how we address this with our donor, how we get him to realize that he needs to jump on board with the premade shippers even though he insists on paying for everything–or at least to make his DIY shippers better and more like the premade ones. We plan to send him a detailed email, addressing these issues, but naturally I’m worried this will mean he’ll back out completely.

Enter donor #2. We got an email from someone inquiring about our ad that we had placed nearly a year ago, and we’ve started talking. When we move, he’ll be about an hour away, and he’s said that he would be willing to step in as an alternate then. Oddly enough, his first email came as we were contacting Mr. Goodman about our ovulation window, and he also wrote us on the day I ovulated as I was waiting to hear back from Mr. Goodman. My superstitious side wants to say this is a sign–that there are other options out there. I don’t know. Hopefully we won’t have to resort to using another donor, but we might.

We’re also considering some frozen sperm. We were planning a trip to meet up with Mr. G at the end of this month, but we can’t do that because I’m probably ovulating mid-week. This frees up the money we would have spent on that trip, which makes me think maybe we should spend it on a vial of the frozen stuff. That way, if Mr. Goodman falls through, we’ve got backup. I don’t know. I’m really frustrated with all of this.

I was hoping to be all giddy with excitement and hope this time around, and now I’m just ready to move on. I’m pissed off that we waited all those months for our donor to come back only to have this happen. And I’m sad that there really isn’t any hope for a pregnancy this month.

3 Comments

Filed under insemination, sperm, The Break, ttc, TWW

Bartender, pour me another.

Well, our insemination is complete. Honestly, it’s one I’d rather not remember. Yesterday was a rough day all around.

All day yesterday, we waited for our damn shipment. I mentioned that I had a slight temperature rise yesterday, and I was okay with that as long as we inseminated at a reasonable time for my egg to still be viable. Well, the sperm didn’t arrive until 5pm. And it was no longer chilled. And there was a lot of it. Maybe not the baggies full that I had dreamt about, but a lot for a lesbian who doesn’t see a lot of sperm these days.

Becuase we had been waiting all day for it, I soon realized that it wasn’t going to come until the end of the day, so we went out for half an hour, and I finally did have a scotch knowing that in order to be in any sort of baby-making mood, I was going to need to destress. When we got back, the sperm was here, and we both proceeded to bitch about Mr. Goodman’s lack of attention to detail these days, knowing full well that we needed to get to the bedroom and get down to business. That was difficult.

We finally did manage to put all that aside and sperm me up, and we did use both vials. I figured there had to be some swimmers hanging out in the middle that were still viable. There had to be. They hadn’t had any contact with air, which is the thing that really kills them, so why not use it all at once, right? It was simply too much though. I won’t go into the gory details, but I felt like a hooker. Ick. Ew. Blech.

Because I couldn’t stand the flood, and because I wanted to urge any viable sperm up instead of down, I did the whole Instead Cup thing, showered (wow, I needed a shower), and we went out to dinner where we enjoyed a bottle of wine–yes, a whole bottle (I’m not going to abstain until it’s around the time for implantation)–and good food and conversation and us time.  

When we got home, we bickered, argued, and finally went to bed. It was a shitty day, but I do hope that something really really good comes of it. Today my temperature spiked higher, and I’m still somewhat fine with the timing of it all, but this is not an insemination I will look back on fondly. This is why it will probably be the one that works.

7 Comments

Filed under drinking, insemination, sperm