Monthly Archives: October 2008

Feeling Charitable?

The No on 8 Campaign is having a fundraising drive over the next few days to raise money to keep more ads on television. A philanthrophist has pledged to match every dollar donated to the campaign before Sunday at midnight. If you can spare even five dollars, consider making a donation to protect same-sex marriage rights in California. You can find the fundraising page here: Contribute to No on 8!

Thank you.

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sweetness

Our neighbor’s baby is sleeping on a quilt on our living room floor. The cats are all standing at a distance staring at her. I am staring at her.

There is a quiet and a warmth to our house with this baby here. I have watched her once before, and it was the same. There is no denying it: our home feels better with a baby in it. It will feel better when our baby is in it, for sure, but this is very sweet for now.

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Filed under babies

unnecessary evils

Sometimes when one is fighting to get over a cold, when one has left one’s bed in the middle of the night to sleep on the sofa again because of one’s excessive coughing, and when one has inadvertantly slept on a pile of dry cat vomit on said sofa, one would like the luxury of taking a shower to rid oneself of feelings of utter ickiness. Should such an occasion arise, the luxury of hot water would be much appreciated. It would be a cruel, cruel joke should one turn on the shower to find nothing but cold water at only 7am.

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Filed under cats, disgusting things, sick

*cough*

Another bulleted post because I can’t think clearly enough to make any kind of coherent connection between the thoughts below:

  • This weekend I came down with the most awful cold, and it’s still going strong. I chose to sleep on the sofa last night because I kept waking up coughing, and I know it was waking J up. This was a good decision because I was up every couple of hours hacking away. The downside of sleeping on the sofa is that the cats think I’m up to feed and let them in and out at their whim. Grrr. Today I have been intolerably cranky. I don’t do sick well.
  • I had to cancel my classes today for the second time this semester due to The Cold, and because I can’t seem to open my mouth without coughing. Many of the students will be pleased with this. The older students will be annoyed. There simply isn’t anything I can do about that. Who doesn’t like a cancelled class, anyway (especially with advance warning)?
  • Last Friday, I was to go pick out the classes I wanted to teach in the spring. By the time my appointent time arrived, all of the classes were gone. It doesn’t look good for teaching next semester. In this economy, J and I are simply delighted to be looking for new careers. Thrilled, I tell you.
  • We went out of town this weekend to see my parents. We were to go golfing with them on Saturday; instead, I sent J with them, and stayed in bed.
  • I was also to see my niece, and I did, but I couldn’t get near her due to the damn super cold. She’s cute though, and she’s getting really big.
  • J is writing a number of letters to the editor regarding Proposition 8. On our trip this weekend, we saw far too many “Yes on 8” signs, and we even saw “No on 8” billboards knocked down. We’re so scared that this damn thing is going to get through. Please, if you haven’t already, make sure that your friends and relatives in California are voting no on this hateful amendment to our state’s constitution.
  • On a more positive note (because I’ve been Debbie Downer for this entire post), in one week, we will have a box on our doorstep that contains frozen biological material. Yes we will.

*cough* I’m going back to bed now. *coughsnifflecough*

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Filed under Ramblings, sick

intoxicating

I just placed our order for our first ever vial of frozen donor sperm. We’re only ordering one this time around for financial reasons, but it seemed to work out perfectly. Our first choice of donors had run out, and for our second choice, there was only one IUI vial left. We took it. Somehow, that seemed right. Maybe it’s the only one we’ll need (I can hope, right?), or maybe we’ll have to switch to a different donor next time. All I know is we’ve got the goods coming to our house in ten days. Ten days. That’s nothing compared to the six months we’ve been waiting to start this up again.

I haven’t had this feeling of giddy anticipation about this whole process in a very long time. It has been so difficult to imagine having hope or excitement, and yet I do again. We don’t know how long it will take, but we have a plan to keep going this way until we’re pregnant or we can’t afford to take this route anymore. It feels so good to have a clear plan, to know that we’re using a tried and true method, and to have some fucking control for a change.

Our neighbor friend has been sending me affirmations about hope. She did a tarot reading for me, and it’s all full of hope. She drew three cards, and here’s the summary she emailed me:

The first one:  You have money worries on your mind, and you have to let that go.  It said that you can’t give up hope too soon.  And to keep yourself healthy. 
 
The second one: Appreciation, and that someone will offer assistance and helpful advice.  I am thinking your midwife???  Could be…
 
The third and final: Your patience, honesty, kindness and loyalty are rewarded. 
I haven’t dipped into divination tools in a long time, but this was nice to see. I’m thinking it’s time to start lighting candles again, to put gemstones in my pockets, to pull out the runes and see what they have to say (I really am a witch at heart). If nothing else, they’ll help me pass the time and maybe even throw some extra hope my way. Our midwife is encouraging us to light candles for the insemination, to raise energy and make our intentions known. She really is good for me, for us. She is bringing back that side of me that wants to call on the goddess/universe/magic to make this happen. So we will be setting up our baby altar again and drawing our baby’s soul toward us in as many ways as we can.
I am still cautious. I am very realistic about the slim chances involved in this first cycle working, and J and I are prepared to deal with the letdown should it come, to take the steps toward the second cycle, and the third and fourth and…oh, I hope it doesn’t take that long. But you get the picture. I know what sort of ride we may have ahead of us. But today, I’m clinging to this excitement because it feels so damn good to be drunk on hope.

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Filed under midwife, sperm, ttc, witchiness

game on

I started spotting tonight.

Just after I noticed the spotting, I happened to check my email and heard from the cryobank. Our fear had been that we would have to pay a dewar deposit, which would have been bad news. Very bad news. We would have been out this cycle.

The news from the email: no deposit required.

We will order sperm on Friday. We will inseminate in approximately two weeks.

Reproducing Genius Phase II has officially begun, and tears are streaming down my face. Holy shit! This break is officially over!

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Filed under cryobank, good news, sperm, ttc

Two Peas in a Pod

Hi All, J here with a few thoughts. Most of you know that I don’t post much on this blog, though I do read it frequently. This is, afterall, T’s place to come and share her feelings with you wonderful women, and I don’t want to interfere with that. However, from time to time, I get a thought in my head that I want to share, and such is the case today.

We are just a few weeks away from phase II of our journey to have a baby. One could argue that this is really phase III, since our first attempt at finding a donor was to make an arrangement with a college friend of ours, which didn’t work out. Then there was Mr. G and the year-long trial of mailed sperm, which again, did not produce the results we were so hoping for. Now, on to what I hope will be a more precise method: IUI’s with spermcicles and a very cool midwife-crone’s assistance.

But our journey began long before any serious baby-making plans; it began very early in our relationship when we were still in college. Both of us knew we wanted children, but I have an admission. I never wanted to get pregnant myself. I was told long ago that due to some physical limitations, I would have a very hard time carrying a baby to term–it wasn’t impossible, mind you, but it would be dangerous–so I got it in my head that I would adopt someday. Well, T told me she wanted to have a baby of her own, and I thought how lucky am I? I mean, think about that. I had a girlfriend who wanted the same thing as me, to have a baby, and was willing to lend her body to the effort. Funny, but back then, it didn’t occur to us how difficult it would be to find sperm. Nevertheless, we had an agreement very early on in our relationship that someday we would conceive a child together, and T would be the birth mom. There was just no disagreement about that.

We did have some discussion of the timeline. I wanted a three-year goal, and this was back in 1999. She agreed to it, but the closer we got to the three years, she kept saying “okay, in three years.” This was in 2001,2002, etc. So, the three years got stretched out to 5, then 6, then 7 before we ever got serious. I was starting to get a bit frantic about it as I am older than T and didn’t want to be too old when we had a baby. She’s younger, so she had more time, which is totally understandable. Also, we were finishing our graduate degrees and still had this idealistic notion that we would get fabulous jobs and a home, etc., not realizing that the American Dream wasn’t going to go our way. We kept waiting for that perfect set of circumstances that would lead to our perfect little family life.

I actually had a bout of pretyy bad depression for a few years because absolutely nothing was turning out the way it should, and I was getting older and more frustrated about, well, everything. Poor T. She put up with a lot of shit in those days, but she never gave up on me or on our future. I may have even secretly thought none of our plans would materialize, even having a baby. Early in 2007, though, T took matters into her own hands. This was my bottom with depression, and I was not in any place to plan for the future. I was drinking too much, started gambling, and generally giving up. But she moved forward. She quit smoking, began losing weight, and found Mr. G, our former sperm donor. She inspired me, and showed me that we couldn’t wait for the perfect job opportunity or for one of our guy friends to come through for us. She knew what she wanted, and she showed me how we were going to make it happen. It was her determination that ultimately pulled me through those tough times and made me believe again.

I admit that I thought we would get pregnant right away. That’s me though, swinging that mood pendulum from utter desperation to gleeful optimism. We’ve been through a lot as a couple, and this process hasn’t been kind to us. We’re still trying, though, and more determined than ever to create our own family. At the end of the day, we’re two peas in a pod. We want the same things, and we’re willing to fight through the bullshit, the disappointments, the failures, and even willing to fight our own demons to make those humble dreams come true.

It’s not about the appearance of success: the house, the car, the full-time teaching job. We just want our family, and are willing to scratch out our existence and fight for it. That’s us, and that’s why I know that we’re going to have a baby. It’s not how much we want it, but what we’re willing to do to get it.  In just a few weeks, we get to start again, and I can’t wait.

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the meeting

We met our midwife yesterday. J and I are still floating a bit from the experience. It was wonderful. She was wonderful.

It took forever to get to her place. She lives about an hour from us in this beautiful rural location amidst rolling hills covered wtih vineyards, and her office is in a building on her property. When we turned into her driveway and got out of our car, she was walking out of her garden holding a handful of spearmint. She came up to both of us, reached out to shake my hand, and held it with both of her hands as she looked into my eyes telling me how lovely it was to meet me. She did the same with J, then introduced us to her apprentice, her client who was just leaving, and her client’s little girl.

As they left, her apprentice asked us to take off our shoes and invited us in. The “office” is a big living room with pillows and comfy chairs and sofas and pregnancy and birth art everywhere. We were surrounded in goddesses, casts of pregnant bellies, paintings of mother goddesses giving birth. It was cozy and beautiful and empowering. Her apprentice asked us to sit wherever we liked and offered us tea and spearmint water. We gladly accepted. C came in and snuggled up on one of the sofas and invited her apprentice over to sit and cuddle with her.

I should take a moment to describe the midwife: C. C is 62 but honestly looks about ten years younger. She has long silver wavy hair, which she ties back on the top. She is somewhat short, and thin, and she wears long skirts and flowing clothes.  When she smiles, her eyes twinkle, and when she looks at people, she seems to look beyond any guards they might have up; she looks straight at people’s beings.  She is a crone, and she looks like the crone archetype.

After everyone was settled, we sat in each other’s presence for a moment drinking our tea and making small talk. C would ask us questions about our lives, and then asked us if we had questions. I looked to J to ask the majority of the questions. I wanted her to feel more part of this than she did in the past. The whole coversation was easy, organic. J asked how the IUI would work, and C explained the process. At one point she asked if either of us had ever looked at our cervix. When we both replied that we hadn’t, she pulled out a speculum for each of us to take home so that we could cervix-gaze at our leisure. (J later told me that she has no interest in her cervix and does not intend to look at it. I told her that was fine as long as she had some interest in mine. She does, so all is well in cervix land.)

We knew before that C had only done one insemination in the past, but she has wanted for quite some time to be able to provide IUI for those who ask. She has for ages been involved in feminist and gay rights activism (she told us she and her husband only got married when it looked like marriage would be legalized for gay folk in California, and they toasted Gavin Newsome at their wedding), and she wanted to be able to help out women like us. C has a midwife friend who will be training her to do IUIs, so she talked about her for a bit and let us know that if we wanted to work with her instead we could. J said, “No, we want to work with you!”

A smile broadened across C’s face, and she said, “Good! Because I really want to do this for you! I’m so excited about this.” I think I teared up a little when this happened. I proceeded to tell C that when I found her website that I knew we had to work with her, that we needed to know her, and I told her I dreamt of meeting her. She smiled knowingly and said, “It’s so important to listen to your dreams. We can learn a lot from them.”

We discussed a few more details. C had finally researched what she would charge us, which was one of our hugest concerns (as you all know). The final answer: $150. If that’s not a bargain–a downright gift–I don’t know what is.

We continued meandering through conversation. C and J talked about their parents’ deaths. We discovered that she too was an English major in college (her poetry about birth is stunning), that she’s an ordained minister. We talked about our dreams to have children. C even asked if we had names picked out (we do) and asked if we would share them (we did), and it was utterly beautiful. C talked a little about her philosophies about pregnancy and birth too: she discourages unnecessary ultrasounds, promotes home birth, and, well, my foggy brain can’t remember the rest right now. We did tell her that should we get pregnant, we would like to talk with her about being our midwife, and again that beautiful soft smile crept across her face. “Of course,” she said. She’s a lovely woman.

An hour zipped by, and it was soon time to leave (I still had to teach my final class of the day), and she told us to take some apples (from her trees), and offered to get us some spearmint, which we unfortunately had to decline because we weren’t going home for a few hours. She gave us both a warm hug, told us again how excited she was to be working with us, and sent us on our way. J and I left full of hope and peace and eagerness to get all of this started. We were lifted up in a way we have never been through all of this.

J took me out for sushi after I taught my class, and we reflected on the appointment, how her home reminded us of Humboldt, how she reminded us of the best of that place, of home. We kept talking about it all when we came home, dreaming about our child, knowing that somehow this woman was going to help us bring him/her into the world.

We feel like this marks the beginning of the end of our break, the restoration of hope in a new and reassuring form, the beginning of Reproducing Genius Phase 2.

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Filed under insemination, J, midwife, new beginnings, The Long Break, ttc