Monthly Archives: May 2008

when it rains

J and I are both feeling so utterly blah. She’s being swallowed up by PMS and a lot of bad luck. It just sucks. Compounding this is some serious car trouble and potential legal trouble to boot.

Warning: I’m going to rant and complain and bitch and whine now about something completely non-TTC. You are excused from reading should this be of no interest to you. No note from home necessary.

Over a month ago, we were on our way to see my brother graduate from his firefighter officer’s academy when J’s car broke down. We were pulling into a gas station, and everything just died. After a couple of days, the guys at the service station where we broke down concluded that they couldn’t fix it; it was a serious electrical issue. So, we had to do something scary and choose a mechanic out of the phone book. We don’t know anyone here, so it truly was a crap shoot. The one we chose took several days to even look at the car only to find that the computer was blown.

The good news at that time was that it was the fault of the mechanic who conducted the tune up J got before we moved, so they can be held responsible for the repairs. The new mechanic even said he’d help J with it. Fast forward a month (it took nearly three weeks for the guy to fix the problem), and the guy is charging J over a thousand dollars for repairs to a car that is thirteen years old. The mechanic told her he’d help her contact the garage responsible for the problem and that he’d work with his lawyer to recover the charges from that garage. Yesterday in the mail, J received a letter from said attorney who has claimed that his loyalty is to the mechanic, and she needs to pay up now and pursue the matter with the mechanic on her own (or with her own attorney).

This is par for the course with us. We have bad luck with legal matters (don’t get me started on her parents’ probate case, which, after seven years, is still not settled), so the last thing we want to do is tangle with this, This just fucking sucks. Ultimately, we need a new car, but that’s not happening until we have some new jobs.

Oh, and on that front, J was offered a job with a for-profit learning center. When she applied, she applied for a full-time position. They want to offer her a part-time summer job. As though she were a student on break. We’re thinking she’s going to have to turn it down and keep searching. Meanwhile, our bank account is more and more anemic.

I’m so ready for something to go right. No pity, please; I’m just annoyed.

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Filed under car, crappy days, J, job hunting, legal matters

A Year of TTC: What I’ve Learned

It has been a year this week since our first insemination. Don’t worry. This is isn’t going to be some bitter rant on how long this journey has taken us, although I’m certain I could write that post too. No, this is a list of what I have learned through a year of this journey.

  1. I don’t aim well when I pee. I have peed for a full thirty seconds without managing to splash a drop of urine onto an OPK. I have tried while watching to get the stick in the stream, but all to no avail. I have learned that I’m a dipper.
  2. In my TWW I have super-human senses. In fact, I’m convinced that if I’m not quiet about my powers, I may be forced to join some special ops sector of the military where they’ll put my super-senses to work on rooting out terrorists–or at leasts the terrorists wives’ pregnancy symptoms. Since I started TTC, I’ve had sensations I never imagined I could have and probably won’t even have once I’m pregnant beause they’re so utterly bizarre.
  3. Visualizaton cannot make a late insemination work. I’ve seen sperm surrounding my egg on so many occasions. I’ve seen that one strong sperm make its way through. And yes, I’ve believed several times that I would be one of those rare women who got pregnant from an insemination that took place a day or two after ovulation. Still no luck.
  4. No matter how poorly timed an insemiation may be, the TWW still brings mad hope. It doesn’t matter whether I’ve inseminated too early, too late, or with probably dead sperm, the hope is always there because if my body came into contact with sperm, there’s got to be a chance that I’m pregnant, especially if my boobs hurt so bad!
  5. I will eat anything if someone tells me it will increase my fertility. If it’s soy, I’ll drink soy milk and eat tofu and trade in my Camembert for bad soy cheese. If it’s yams, I’ll turn orange from the things. Whole milk? Ice cream? I’m on it. Of course, I’ll gain fifty pounds, but so long as I’m ovulating healthily.
  6. Urine held longer than three hours is more precious than gold. This applies to testing of all kinds: OPKs, HPTs, and more. And holding one’s urine for three hours while also trying to consume the requisite two liters of water per day is more than a little challenging.
  7. The BBT comes before all else, a.k.a., life may not begin until 7am. I can’t count the number of mornings I’ve had to convince myself that I’m not thirsty at 6am when I am set to take my temp at 7am. Or how often I’ve waited to pee or withstood screeching cats, all for the sacred basal body temp. And if my temperature time is 6am or 5am, I must endure the same temptations.
  8. No one really wants to know how lesbians make babies. No one in the real world anyway. I mean, they say they want to know, and they ask for the details, and then they don’t want to know. Not even a little. They get creeped out by words like needle-less syringe and insemination. I therefore make a point of sharing these details as much as possible. Then there are the straight folk who hear something about EWCM or some other fertility sign on the news, and they think they’ve got the secret–and that I couldn’t possibly know as a lesbian.
  9. The internet will not tell me whether or not I’m pregnant. Short of typing the question, “Am I pregnant?” I believe I have searched the internet for any sign that I could be pregnant. I’ve googled everything from “sore boobs on 4dpo” to “cracked skin on my left pinky toe and positive pregnancy tests.” On one site, I will decide that I am, without a doubt, with child, while on another, I’ll decide that I couldn’t possibly be. Dr. Google never does give a straight answer.
  10. All life’s secrets are best told to strangers. I don’t think I’ve ever shared as much as I have about my body and its intimate workings as I have on this blog with my invisible friends. And these invisible friends are the best most sympathetic listeners in the world.

I’m sure I’ve learned more than this. I mean, there are all the facts about fertility, the anatomy of the female reproductive system, the methods of effectively shipping fresh sperm, and so much more. On more than one occasion, I’ve found myself waist-deep in some study on the effects of test-yolk buffer on the human male gamete only to find myself scratching my head and hoping I’m remembering freshman biology well enough to understand what I’m reading. But that is what this process does to us. It makes us more informed. It makes us good researchers. And it makes us crazy women. And one day, if we’re really, really lucky, it makes us mothers.

What amazing lessons have you learned since you started TTC?

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Filed under lessons, ttc

walking it off

As I sat around feeling sorry for myself yesterday morning, J didn’t quite know what to do with me. I was a bigger mess than I’ve been in awhile, and I was determined to stay that way. Eventually, she looked at me and said, “I think we need to go for a hike. What do you think?” My immediate reaction was to say no. I wanted to sit in my own misery all day. Then quickly, my rational side rescued me, and I remembered the mantra of gym teachers everywhere: when in pain, walk it off. So we packed some sandwiches and some water, and we headed out to walk off the pain of this cycle ending.

We went to this nearby state park that we had not yet explored. It consists of many different trails, some of which go straight up the small mountains in the park. We decided to follow a trail that went about halfway up one mountain and soon discovered that it linked with the main mountain trail, so we climbed and climbed and climbed until we could see the entire valley where we live:

 

We think it was probably about five miles total, but much of it (okay, half) was straight uphill. We’re still just intermediate hikers, and this was a bit more brutal than either of us had expected, but along the path, we both became lighter and happier. By the time we were back down the mountain, we were ready to move forward again, ready to leave the tears behind so that we can try again. It was beautiful.

 

HIking has unintentionally become our way of dealing with the loss of possibility. It seems that every time a cycle ends, we lace up our hiking shoes, pack a lunch, and head out on a new trail. It’s far healthier than drinking our way through it, and it give us the chance to leave some of the pain behind.

I’m better today, thanks to my wife. I’m going to try not to pin all of my hopes on this next cycle, but at the same time, I know that if it doesn’t result in pregnancy, we’ll figure it out. We always do.

 

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Filed under coping, hiking, J, us

she’s here

I started spotting late last night and it’s come on full force today. So we’re on to the last cycle with Mr. G and potentially our last cycle for many months. Perhaps we’ll find that with a new approach and a new donor, this will work out much more quickly, or perhaps we’ll find that we don’t have to think about any of that because I’ll be pregnant from this last upcoming attempt. In my state right now, I doubt that, but I can’t be sure, and I can’t let my bad mood taint my future.

So J and I are moving on I suppose. Tonight we’ll go to a play about people detained unlawfully at Guantanamo Bay. I’m sure it will be about as uplifting as a basket of kittens, but perhaps it will be helpful to focus on pain that is bigger than mine for awhile.

Thank you all for being there for us over the last few days–as always. It’s so good to have this community especially when we’re feeling so isolated in our everyday lives. Thank you, you sweet, sweet women. xo

8 Comments

Filed under IVP, Period, ttc

no, no, and no

I tested again this morning, and it was so very negative. There may as well have been a neon-flashing, “Not this time, sucker!” I don’t think it could have been more negative. I stared at the test for the longest time just waiting and waiting. But nothing. I still don’t have my period, but I think I know why: I believe I ovulated a couple of days later than FF is suggesting, which means I’m most likely 12dpo and should be starting to spot today. This would account for why I wasn’t getting positive OPKs and would also mean that our inseminations were way too early. My still low temperature, erratic emotions, vice-grip headache, and crampiness today would indicate that my theory is correct. I expect Auntie F to be knocking on my door with her overstuffed suitcases any moment.

Naturally, I’ve not been doing my best today, and I pity my poor wife. I made some poached eggs this morning and upon asking her how they were, she replied innocently and honestly that they were fresh and good, but maybe a little dry (and they were). I lost it and started crying, but clearly not because the eggs were dry. Hell, I know J likes my cooking, that this was unusual, that I hadn’t been paying attention to how long I was cooking them, and that, frankly, she wasn’t saying anything negative about me, but rather stating a simple fact–about eggs, no less. And still, I cried. This was not one of my finer moments, but my reaction was clearly not about eggs, and she called me on it. So, like the wonderful wife that she is, she called me over next to her, and wrapped her arms around me while I proceeded to curl into a ball and sob. She smoothed my hair, and we mourned the loss of hope once again, and she made me breathe.

However, my sobfest took place at an unfortunate time, for we had been watching something on one of the cable news stations while eating breakfast. When the program ended, I was still crying, and J was still comforting me, so neither of us knew what was going to come on next. Suddenly, we both saw and heard this young woman talking about having her baby and insisting that her baby live on the streets with her. She was a whore, living on the streets, and she had a brand new baby, and this just set me off even more. I felt very sorry for myself as I thought about this completely irresponsible girl who was saturated in this drug culture and was determined to expose her child to it. Why must the universe throw these things in my face nearly every time we face the end of an unsuccessful cycle? How is this fair? The answer, of course, is that it’s not fair, but damn, what unfortunate timing!

Since this morning’s breakdown, I have finally found a slightly more comfortable headspace. I won’t call it zen, but I’m not sobbing into J’s shoulder nor pounding my fists into pillows (that’s always pretty). Now, I’m eager for my period to begin so that we can just move on with this last cycle with Mr. G. It’s raining here, which makes for a perfect day to sit inside with my sweetheart watching movies and eating popcorn. I’m glad it’s raining, glad we’ll soon have another fresh start, and while my baser self wants to wallow in self-pity, I’m determined to pick back up and move forward.

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Filed under J, negatives, ovulation, testing, TWW

Is no news really good news?

I still have nothing to report. We spent the evening last night and all day today with our girlfriends from our old hometown. It was fun to see them, but I couldn’t keep my mind off of this damn cycle.

My temperature dipped today, but I didn’t sleep well last night, so I don’t know if I really trust the temperature. I still haven’t seen any sign of spotting. My guess is tomorrow will be the day and I’ll have my period, but if it hasn’t shown up by morning, I’ll certainly test again. I just have no clue at this point what’s going on. Ugh.

This weekend should be a nice one. We’re going to see a play tomorrow night and plan to go to UU on Sunday morning. Otherwise, we plan to relax, sun ourselves, and take in whatever news tomorrow brings.

Have a good weekend everyone!

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Filed under BBT, friends, testing, ttc

nothing to see here, folks

The test was negative. I hate to write that, both because negative HPTs suck and because I hate to let my readers down.

But before you send me too many condolences, you should know that I’m not completely defeated yet. My temps went up again today, and I have no signs of blood. Usually by now, my temperature has started to dip, so I haven’t lost all hope. I’m just waiting–and waiting, and waiting, and waiting.

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Filed under negatives, testing

giving in

We may very well test tomorrow, which would be Thursday for those of you playing at home. I’m so anxious, but I need to do this for my nerves. The sore boobs continue to pulsate. In fact, I’ll be wearing a bra to bed they’re so bad. We have three girlfriends from our poker group visiting tomorrow night, so I’ll either be drinking with them or playing sick.

In other (far more exciting) news, I found the cutest pair of shoes today. I’ve been searching for the perfect pair of cute brown leather sandals for a couple of years, and they appeared today on a rack at R.OSS. Oh how I love sexy, strappy, heeled sandals at affordable prices.

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Filed under shoes, testing

the waiting game

We’re still holding out over here. I’m on CD26 at 11dpo. Temps went up today. Still have aching, painful breasts. I want to test, but I’m forcing myself to wait. Friday will be the day. But the waiting, oh, the waiting!

I find that every time I’ve not peed for awhile, I am so very tempted to test, so I’ve been making myself empty my bladder each time that box of HPTs starts to seduce me. If I have an empty bladder, there’s nothing left to splash onto a stick and, therefore, no chance that I’ll be let down by the big white strip.

I’m just ready for the wait to be over. Whether it ends with a second pink line or streak of red, I’m ready.

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Filed under BBT, testing, TWW

appearance and identity for a 30-something queer girl

I’ve not disappeared entirely, and I’ve not sunken into a pit of despair. I suppose I just don’t have much to write about in the last few days.

We’re trying to wait until Friday to test. It’s 10dpo today. My period is due to arrive in a couple of days, so I’m just waiting it out without any expectations.

J and I have been doing our part to stimulate the economy by purchasing some summer clothes. Having lived in a climate with temperatures that never were above 75 for so many years, neither of us had  proper clothing to face the heat wave we had last week. Therefore, we’ve been finding a few gems here and there. I still won’t wear shorts, so this leaves me to skirts. Skirts make me feel more feminine, which I’ve needed lately. I rather like them. I’m even growing my hair out a bit to compound the girliness.

It’s not that I’ve ever been masculine or butch or even much of a tomboy. I have had short, cropped hair for awhile, but even that I always tried to maintain in a somewhat femmish style. Lately, though, when I’ve seen photos of myself, I haven’t liked how I looked. In fact, on more than one occasion, I did find myself looking more masculine than I’m used to, and perhaps this has sparked my interest in growing the hair and wearing the skirts. Who knows? I’ve never really been into the butch/femme labels because I’ve got a little bit of both in me. In fact, J and I both do, although crass straight folks still ask if I’m “the girl.” Whatever. We’re both the girls. There are no men in our relationship. That’s the way we like it.

So I suppose I’m playing a little with my outward expression of my identity again, and that’s fun. As I do this, I’m struggling also to avoid that gravitational pull toward the soccer mom look. You know, the high-wasted, pleated jeans and white sneakers and all the rest of the comfortable ugliness. J will tell you that I have an irrational fear of the soccer mom image. I think I just don’t want to look matronly. As someone who used to love nothing more than challenging the fashion status quo (oh how I loved my sequins, my safety pins, and my knee-high docs), the idea of taking on that oh-so-boring image frightens me. And yet, I know I’ve succumbed to it on many occasions. In fact, I’ve noticed lately that I dress a lot like my mom (not that my mom looks bad because she’s really lovely, but she’s also in her fifties, and I’m, well, not). Perhaps this is what happened when I started teaching and felt I needed to look more conservative. Perhaps it was a result of my body type and having to wear ugly plus-sized clothes for so many years. I don’t know, but sometime in the last ten years, I became a little dowdy, realizing some of my worst fashion phobias.

In the past few years, I’ve lost some weight, and with that has come multiple stages of image redefinition. Through all of this, I keep trying to look more my age–because I was starting to look much older than I am, and that’s no good. I still wish that I could get back a little of that edge I had in my early twenties, but I’m beginning to wonder if that will happen or if now that I’m in my thirties I’m just doomed to look like I should be piloting a minivan. Perhaps it’s just time for a new, highly visible tattoo.

People are always remarking that I never look the same from one year to the next. I used to have professors who, while I had taken their classes regularly, didn’t recognize me when classes started up again in August. I’ve always reveled in that a bit, and maybe my problem is that I just need to shed my skin of the last few years and grow a new one. Who knows–it might even be a little pink–but it certainly won’t involve white sneakers.

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Filed under diversions, Hair, Ramblings, TWW