Wednesday, December 28, 2011

it's the most wonderful time of the year

Alrighty. Hope this doesn't get long-winded. There is a lot of crap to cover.

The vacation we took the first week of December was good. We went to Memphis to visit my partner's family. It was so nice to get away and see different faces and catch up with her brother's two kids. They are so freakin cute.....a little girl who's 2 1/2 and a little boy who's 10 months. Everything was great, except perhaps the last day of our trip when our THREE-leg plane ride was delayed TWICE. Let's just say this: by the last day of the trip, we're always ready to get home. Not just for sake of being home, but to get some of our own personal time as well. The 12+ hour day in the airport(s) included some agitation and nagging and probably too much eating and drinking, and we were both glad when it was over.

December is that time of the year when everyone you know (and some people that you forgot you know) sends you a photo card of their family. Could be a picture of their dogs or their flock of children. But really, we're not resentful......the Christmas Spirit never came to our house this year. No tree, no decorations, no cards, no nothing. It all stayed in the basement. One of my co-workers asked me which I disliked more, Christmas, or full-on wedding season. I quickly said Christmas. I am so bah-humbug right now that I don't even want to leave my ground-level workspace to ascend the lobby and see the decorations. Flip side, I could make bridal bouquets all day (and do in August).

My partner did surprise me with a little Christmas Eve dinner. I got home from work and there she was, laying it all out, Christmas music on, candles lit. It was a wonderful surprise.

On Christmas Day we went to my parent's house, which has become a rather regular thing. She calls it 'groundhog day' due to the regularity of not just the trip itself, but the whole experience. Same people, same food, same inter-family business. Oh, and many of the same gifts as regularly given each year. My sister was supposed to come with her husband and baby, but they couldn't make it. She is in the early stages of being pregnant again and having horrid morning sickness (she just announced this a few days ago). Although I would have enjoyed seeing my nephew, I am sort of okay with them staying home. Neither of us are in the mood for a full day of 'oh, I'm so excited for you.' Again, I am not resentful......just maybe a little bit disappointed that she calls me all excited and happy and barely asks me how my process is going.

But for some reason, the overall vibe of Christmas this year was a little different. On the car ride home, my partner said that she really enjoyed herself. There was no complaining about how we should have left hours ago or that someone drove her nuts. Instead, we talked about the good things that happened and funny things discussed during the day. Well, of course we covered the funny-bad things that were discussed as well, but you get my point. Overall, it was a different experience than usual.

And finally, after much waiting and anticipation, yesterday we went for IUI #7 (clomid this cycle). Lucky number 7. Our fav OB nurse was out yesterday, and her replacement was not, how should I say this, gentle. Ouchies in my hoo-haa. After my probing, we went out to dinner.....sushi for the last time for a while, right!? I had my last sips of booze for a while as well....gross, luke-warm sake. Memorable, truly.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

We'll call this one 'The half-month wrap-up'

Well.....I hate this month. It's November and you ask, 'what's there to hate about November?' For starters, here in NH I'm shaking cold one minute and I'm sweating the next. My sinuses don't know what to expect. But what I hate most about November is Christmas. And again you say, 'But Christmas is in December.' Yes, yes it is. Welcome to my decorating nightmare. Since November 1st I've been Christmas decorating all over the resort. My deadline to finish is in two days....Turkey Day. I am still waist deep in boxes. This explains my lapse in blogging.

IUI #6 was once again negative. I can't say that I'm surprised given the crazy emotional roller coaster the past month has been. But, even in all the craziness, I ovulated and menstruated just like business as usual. So I guess in theory, I can't blame my bouts of anxiety.

We did go and see the other doctor. It was a bit like cheating, but it was a great experience. She is young, brilliant, and fresh out of school...and as we both decided, sort of hot which doesn't hurt. Well, our last doctor was an old dude, so....kidding....she was great. Her nurse, our new point-of-contact, is also great (*yes*). We are both so happy with this latest move. It's not that she brought to light new information that we'd yet to hear. Most of it was the same, but she had a way of talking with us and explaining things to us that felt personal.

I had to cancel my nutritionist appointment. But, the reason for that was because I scheduled a hysterosalpingogram (so happy to call this thing an HSG from this point forth) at the same time. This is a radiology test where they can see if there is any sort of blockage in your fallopian tubes or weirdness going on in your uterus.  Essentially, they shoot iodine into your uterus and it swirls around and hopefully exits out your fallopian tubes. As I was getting ready for the big day, many people had warned me of the cramps. Let's just say that they were right. Holy crap. And for days following. And bloating. I have never been so bloated. I was so bloated that I think I could have stuck a pin in my abdomen and popped it like a balloon. Oh and lovely spotting (I really hate the word spotting) for days too. Fun stuff.

The HSG was fascinating to watch on the screen; sort of like a piece of black and white watercolor art coming to life. When it was done, the OB said that everything looked great. I knew it would be that way, but I feel so much better now that it's confirmed. So now we wait. We're not doing an IUI this month (I would be ovulating this weekend) to compensate for the cost of the HSG last week (total cost for test $3000. Our out of pocket cost, only about $400 with Anthem). Plus we're going on a much needed and deserved vacation in a week, and well, vacations cost money too.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Diarrhea of the mouth

Since my last post, I've had a few outbursts of anxiety, but nothing that my partner and I couldn't work through in maybe 30 minutes max. I am starting to figure out that I can't go on keeping my feelings inside; I need to let them all out as they happen....which is startling to both myself and my partner....and my staff (those poor people who had no idea I had critiques stuck in my brain). I am a new, outspoken, positive AND negative woman with concerns and fears that are spewing out.

Let's see, what has happened lately that could remotely relate to making a baby.....

We went for our 6th IUI  a week ago on Friday....less than a week more to wait. It was our first time with fabulous donor #345 from Midwest. He is a late-30's Phd who's field of study is biology. Our visit to Dartmouth was great. The same lady did our IUI again, and we had a nice, long chat about our journey to this point. She still thinks that it's odd that I haven't gotten pregnant yet, and since she's the one who looks in my hoo haa every time, I believe her. She said that we might want to get another doctor's opinion about our experience and had a great recommendation for a young woman fresh out of school at their Concord location. We have an appointment with her on Tuesday this week. I am sort of excited to hear another doctor's opinion, but honestly, I think she's going to tell us the same thing....we have to be patient.

I had an appointment with my PCP about the anxiety. She sensed that I crave information about what's going on in my body, so she recommended that I go and see a nutritionist. The appointment is later this month. I am REALLY excited about this appointment. I have always been fascinated by what we eat and how it affects our bodies and I can't wait to ask her all sorts of questions about what I should be eating while trying to get pregnant and beyond. I am so fascinated by nutrition that it was going to be my focus for getting my masters degree...but then the flower thing came along and the rest is history. Oh, by the way, I just ate a huge piece of cake for breakfast. Thank God birthday week is almost over and that cake is almost gone. *sigh* at least I recognize my faults.

Friday, October 28, 2011

apparent anxiety

I feel like we've had a crazy week. First, the cat. I've had trouble eating and sleeping and coping with how the other critters are dealing with the loss. Then, it got worse. On Monday night, I had the shakes, I was cold, dizzy, nauseous, weak. By Tuesday, I couldn't eat at all. Wednesday I went to my doctor. I didn't think I had the flu or any other sickness and was concerned. I told him that I've felt this way before, and after giving him all of my symptoms, he said that I should track my symptoms and see what happens to me the next time I feel this way. He said that it could be connected to a glucose intolerance or even diabetes. Crazy.

Thursday I tried to go to work. Very shortly after I arrived, I got very light-headed and dizzy. I thought I might pass out. My whole head was tingling as if it fell asleep and was just waking up. I decided to get a ride to the hospital and have some blood work done. 

After an evaluation maybe 10 minutes in length, the ER doctor took my blood. When he came back, he said that I am in perfect health, but his first reaction to me was that I was very anxious. We talked about the baby primarily and he told me that it can be a very stressful time in anyone's life. I didn't tell him about anything else going on but it was enough for me to be weepy and he sensed my stress. Then he left, the nurse came back and I was bawling. She hugged me and told me that her daughter is having difficulty with stress as well. She said that last week, her daughter was so stressed that she had a nose bleed for three days. She looked right at me and told me my symptoms were real. 

I felt so much relief leaving the hospital with at least an answer and something to pin my feelings on. Nothing was wrong with me that I couldn't fix. Then, I started thinking about other situations in which I've felt the same way, like the concussion and some ridiculously busy weeks at work in the past several months. On Wednesday, my doctor was a bit baffled when I mentioned to him that I had symptoms for 3 or 4 months following the concussion. 'Did you get knocked out?' he asked. I didn't, and he then said that was a defining line between a severe concussion and a not-so-severe concussion. He seemed confused. My concussion symptoms were just like this whole past week. Everything past a few weeks of headaches, the panic attack; I think I brought all of this on myself. I prolonged it. What the fuck?

Apparently, this is something that I really need to focus on and pay attention to. I've always been an emotionally sensitive person with a very strong facade. I thought that I had a decent way to cope and deal with stress, but I obviously have to work on it. My partner says that I don't talk enough and I don't share my feelings enough with her, and when it comes right down to it, I am stressed out about getting pregnant, being pregnant, having a baby and being a parent and all the ways it's going to change my life. I really want to be able to do everything to my best ability, for myself, for my partner, including continuing to work, and it's a lot to think about. I had no idea that I could be capable of making myself feel the way I have this week. I had no idea that I could be that person. Absolutely crazy. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

The view from here

We're almost to a point where we can smile when we think about Jack. Our other cat, Boomer, has had a few random flash backs where you can tell he's re-living that night...sort of like kitty-deja vou. Our dog, Ali, hurt her back in a big scuff on the stairs that night. She's been gimping around ever since. Finally this morning, she's almost back to normal. Life is almost back to normal, but there will always be the memories.

Today is day 11 in my cycle and we are ready to move forward with our next IUI. We have purchased our new sperm from Midwest SB and he should be landing in Hanover tomorrow. This donor is also handsome and well-educated, just like the others. He has a PhD in molecular biology (wow, and I just play with flowers. And you could say that my partner just 'draws'. Crazy smart.) According to the receptionist I spoke with, he resembles Andre Agassi. Okay, not bad, but I suppose not amazing either, not that I'm very picky at this point! He stood out from the pack in the donor catalogue, but my partner had some doubts. As we read through his long profile (free people, it) we enjoyed all of his responses but noticed he left some blank. One that he left blank was regarding illegal drugs. They had a chart for you to check 'yes' or 'no' on all of the most popular drugs. He checked 'no' on everything except one. POT. I suppose we should be happy that he's not a crack or heroin addict. But my partner, being neurotic, says that since he left it blank, he must smoke pot and therefore has a reduced sperm count so he just wont do. I agree that he's probably a stoner, but according to the same receptionist, he had twins lately, so I'm fine with that. He's obviously relaxed. Bring it on.

My birthday is next week......happy baby to me?

I'm off to renew my driver's licence.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Perspective. Life is short; enjoy and embrace every minute you have with all your closest friends, family and pets.

Last night our cat Jack passed away. We knew something was very wrong. It didn't take long. It was maybe only five miniutes of calm panic and that was it. Our awesome cat, who easily could have lived for another 5-10 years was gone.

I say our cat, but he was really her cat. My partner moved here to the northeast about 11 years ago with nothing but a car full of her most important belongings, leaving behind a long-term relationship, challenges with recently comming out, and everything she ever knew to go to grad school and to do something great. Jack was a gift from her landlords/employers and new friends the first Christmas she was here. As a crazy 4-week-old kitten, Jack was just what she needed to get her mind off the past and move forward.

She still to this day says that he was the only thing that stuck by her and got her through the worst of it.

I met Jack when he was 4 years old. Protective and leary, he had no interest in becoming my friend. I've never met an animal who I couldn't win over in a matter of a few minutes. With Jack, it was easily 8 or 10 months of daily visits before he would even let me pet him. But slowly, he warmed up to me, giving me maybe as much attention and affection as he did my partner.

When we decided to move here to New Hampshire, we bought a house. It was a huge step for us. But it was also something she promised to do for him.

Last night happened very fast, and I know that she still hasn't really processed it. We cried, and then she paused and said something sort of profound: Out of all of this, maybe we will create life. I know Jack was just a cat, but he wasn't; Jack was her cheerleader. All of our pets are so wonderful, and I cannot believe the incredible, lasting impression they make on our lives.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Shopping our baby around

We are not cheap people. We are of the school that less is more and quality over quantity. Our home is very sparsely decorated with little to no clutter or knick knacks. Tag sales are something that we don't partake in. We don't do lawn ornaments and have no random collections displayed in china cabinets. The material items we do have are ones that we chose because of their lasting, classic style. We would rather save our money for a few additional months and get the nice, expensive item over the cheaper item; it will surely be worth it in the end.

By the way, we're cheaping out and changing sperm banks. California Cryobank is a rip-off.

After five months of attempts at pregnancy, we figure that we've invested around $5800.00, of which $1500.00 was unnecessarily spent. That is a huge percentage, no? The reason is that with California Cryobank, we've paid a premium for sperm. Now granted, the reason that we chose them in the first place was quality: their website was and definitely is by and far the best and most user-friendly. They offer many additional items for 'free' to help decide on a donor. However, after learning about how every sperm bank is governed by the same group and every specimen must pass the same testing nation-wide, we decided to venture onto other banks websites.

Midwest Sperm Bank's website is lame. The interface looks like it's from the 80's. There are no bells and whistles. They only have about 35 donors total to choose from. There are no donor-composed essays to read or celebrity photos to compare. There is barely enough information to get a basic idea of the person: ethnicity, hair color, eye color, height, weight, level of education, field of study. Done deal. They will offer you a medical history if you ask for one, but I'm thinking it isn't digitally available or it would most likely be on the website already.

The deciding factor? Every specimen is the same price, $350.00, a savings of $235.00 from what we're currently paying. There is no popularity contest amongst donors like on CC's website where supply and demand jack up prices on the super-amazing-perfect donors. And shipping? $125.00 for our location on the map; a savings of $60.00.

Total monthly savings: $295.00. All we're missing out on are cheesy donor descriptions and even cheesier Q&A's about why they wanted to become a donor and what their favorite color is.

Instead, we can take our savings and put it toward baby gear and mommy-to-be work clothes. Shopping never felt so good.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Our prescription: Patience.

There is something to be said about patience and my partner's lack there of. All good things come in due time. What goes around comes around. There's no use crying over spilled milk.

She prefers: The early bird gets the worm. You get what you pay for.

It is a challenging dynamic that we work together on daily in every aspect of our lives. I tend to be the more patient, laid-back half while she paces and strategizes about our next career/life moves. This is not always an easy combination of personalities. I will get angry and say that she is too neurotic and needs to calm down and appreciate the moment, while she will get bitter and say that I'm not proactive and I don't care enough.

I love grocery shopping, but not with her. I love walking down the aisles and picking up packages, reading the labels, thinking about what I could make and interesting flavor combinations. She, on the other hand, cannot stand the thought of being there in the chaos of Sunday afternoon and speed walks the length of the store, iPhone in hand with list. And then, when we're almost to the other end of the store, she'll say something like, 'I forgot the salsa. You take the cart and get in line and I'll meet you there,' as if beating the other people in the store who are just racing to the checkout was a matter of life or death.

This is not to say that I am perfect in my laxidasical approach to life. I would much rather relax in the morning on my days off, leaving any and all errands and tasks for the afternoon. Problem with that? I run out of time. By the time dinner rolls around, I'm still running about taking care of whatever it is that I should have finished already. My tasks run into the evening sometimes....all because I spent too much time drinking coffee, facebooking or blogging or talk-show watching. Why don't I do my errands and tasks first so I can be done with everything earlier?

Let's bring it back to baby-making. I try very hard to be optimistic and respect the fact that this is a process. She wants a baby now. We've done everything right. Why is it taking so long?

As we walked to our car following the doctor's appointment last week, I couldn't help feeling like a total moron. There I was with a crazy long list of questions and his response to many of them the same: be patient, it will take time. The false positive pregnancy test he said was nothing more than a faulty kit and it could've happened to anyone (why the hell our nurse contact couldn't tell us that, I don't know). Clomid has many side effects, some of which could actually be detrimental to baby-making (like reduced cervical mucus and a not-so-great uterine lining), so as a healthy woman who is ovulating regularly, it may not be helping (again, really? Contact couldn't tell us this?). The average heterosexual couple trying to get pregnant naturally has about a 25% chance of acheiving pregnancy in the average month. A couple using frozen sperm has about a 10% chance in an average month (and again, are you kidding me? Is our contact actually a registered nurse?). He gave us a better sense of the next stages of our journey: we'll do one more IUI without any drugs (for a total now of 6 attempts). If we don't get pregnant this time, we will do up to 4 more IUI's with either Clomid or Letrozole. If after that we're not pregnant, we'll consider IVF.

If nothing else, all of our somewhat simple questions were finally answered instead of skirted and avoided. Another tank of gas and a half day of work bites the dust. An email would have sufficed.

My period should start sometime in the next couple days. For the next two weeks, I am drinking coffee and relaxing for as much of that time as possible. Oh, and thinking proactively, for my partner's sake.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Longtime, Lovely, Live-in, Lady Lovers take it to the Doc.

My partner argues that it didn't start with the L Word, but where the hell else did it come from? The L Word always had that title bit that put big 'L' words up on the screen for the viewer to ponder. Maybe it came from the house-cleaning hilarity of the phrase 'domestic partner.' As in 'What is your marital state? Oh, we're domestic partners' (substitute sarcastic 'long-time, lovely, live-in, lady lovers'. Sounds better, no? But in our case, I'm determined that where ever it came from, it's inspired an on-going quest for us to create more 'L' words that we can pile into one phrase, accompanied with high kicks (the high kicks didn't come from the L Word. The persona is totally based after SNL and Mary Katherine Gallagher.)

Most of the time, it's just the five L's in the title of this post, but occasionally we throw in 'lustful' or 'luxorous' or whatever seems to fit at the moment. Today, I add 'list-making' to the lot. I think it sounds good after 'live-in', don't you think?

We have composed a short list really (as if that's possible) of questions to ask our doctor today at our 'long-awaited' appointment. Well, it's as short as we crazy lesbians could make it:

1). Why was the home pregnancy test positive? Does this mean that I was actually pregnant at one point?

2). Clomid:
a. Should I take the same dose again next time?
b. I had some weird symptoms like dizziness, tiredness, headaches and dehydration. Is this normal?
c. Letrozole vs. Clomid: should we switch it up?

3). For the last frickin time people, how the fuck much will any additional testing cost us? Can anyone tell us this?

4). Is there any significance in the fact that we are two women living together? Is my cycle being affected by the hormones during my partners cycle and potentially preventing my pregnancy/causing miscarriage? (Yes, this is a bit far-fetched, but we're going to ask it anyway. It does make sense. FYI our cycles are not synced. I did a little research on this and it is not unusual for cohabiting females cycle's to sync. However, specifically dealing with lesbian couples, once you've lived together for an extended period of time, your lives and stresses tend to grow more individual and your cycles return to normal).

5). How is progesterone affecting my cycle/ability to get pregnant?

6). Are you tired of us yet? We'll take your honest opinion here doc. All you have to do is get us pregnant and we'll leave you alone. :-)

Monday, September 26, 2011

A perfect day for sarcastic, lesbian humor

Another Monday morning of Internet surfing and GMA viewing. Now that Ellen is on at 4pm, my day-off TV mornings sort of suck. But today, I discovered a website that I've been on now for at least an hour. Please for the love of God, check out Autostraddle.

Apparently, I have been living under a giant lesbian rock since March of 2009 when this site was initiated (under 'About Us' it states that they have about 1.75 million hits each month...) Quirky, sarcastic, lesbian blogging has never been so funny. Topics include pop culture, politics, parenting and everything in between. A little bit of L Word meets Glee meets Nancy Pelosi. Best part: you just might pee in your pants a little.

In order to relate this site to my own purposes here on this blog, here are two posts on parenting:

How to live with Kids: Toys and Entertainment

How to live with Kids: Food and Cooking

And because I am a Gleek who is obsessed with the fantasy of an almost-entirely gay (or at the very least bi-curious) high school glee club, here is their recap on the season premiere:

The Purple Piano Project

I have no interest in summarizing these posts as I won't do the humor justice. You'll just need to read them for yourself.

And now that I've done my part to advertise for another blog, I should include a bit about my current hopefully preggo state. All day yesterday I had cramps. You know, those cramps that come around when you're mid-cycle and ovulating. A friendly reminder of the break we're taking from IUI's. Next Monday is our big meeting with the doctor. I can't wait. We are literally going to have 'lesbian pregnancy question diarrhea of the mouth.' Fun!

Have a great week everyone!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Marc Anthony Syndrome: it's more serious than you think

I've never met a lesbian who wasn't a little neurotic. Just even a little. Some more than others. We're so defiant as a whole, strong-headed, and we tend to take after the honey badger and just not give a shit. In our case, we also crave knowledge like the plague. We just need to know; my partner refers to this as 'Marc Anthony Syndrome', and then I typically get a little tidbit of the song sung to me in perfect pitch....he he. After my weekend of miscommunication, I've decided that I should give our Dartmouth contact a little break; after all, if she is the ring leader for a couple dozen lesbians, then she has her hands full and could potentially be completely consumed with hopefully preggo lesbos who need to know everything right now.

It is a small break, however. We sent her an email right away after our negative blood test with a whole new list of questions. As of today, we've come up with even more questions and situations to discuss. I had a long chat with her yesterday afternoon, and our conclusion is that we should come in and have a face-to-face with our doctor and get everything out at once. I love this idea. 

Both our contact and our doctor are baffled by the fact that we had a positive at-home test and then a negative blood test. Typically, she said, it happens the other way around where people have a negative home test but are in fact pregnant. That being said, they are very curious to do some further testing. They suggested that we take the current cycle to meet with the doctor and do some testing and not do an IUI. At first I thought that was a bad idea, but the more we both thought about it, we decided it is best. Why should we throw away more money if in fact something is not jiving down there? 

This break will give us a much-needed chance to catch our breath, calm down, save money, formulate a master list of questions for the doctor and chillax on the Marc Anthony Syndrome. *Sigh*, much better.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

not pregnant, pregnant, not pregnant

This is going to be a long post; my apologies now for being long-winded. I have a pumpkin beer helping me write, so I'm good. Go on, get yourself a cocktail.

Friday morning: Tinkle day. Both of us got up at 5am so that I could use my first tinkle of the day for the test. As I walked into the bathroom, I was thinking that something was up down there....period; a familiar spoogy sensation. I am literally half asleep, so I get the tinkle stick out anyway and pee on it. Less than a minute later, it says 'pregnant'. We are both a little dazed and confused (simply because it's 5am). My partner wears contacts and hasn't put them in yet. She has to put her face way up to the display screen to read the single word. It really says 'pregant,' not ' not pregnant.' We don't know what to think. I rationalize that maybe I'm just having a little light spotting. So we start our day as cautiously excited.

We go downstairs, make some coffee and write an email to our contact at Dartmouth. I go off to work.

By the time I get to the north country, I've got an email back from our contact. She wants us to tell her about the color of the blood and says that we should go in for a blood test. I write back.

It's Friday, and for those of you who get it, it's not the greatest day for me to have to leave work early. Or at all. But it never fails that we're going to have our IUI's and whatever else we need to do on Fridays. My body is playing sick games with me I think. It's not just ironic.

So I leave our contact a voicemail. Finally around noon she gets back to me. She asks me where I'd like to go to get my blood drawn and I say back somewhere near my house. We talk about the hospital which is minutes from my house. Fine, she'll set it up. 'Oh wait,' she says. 'Let's check your blood type. Oh, you're a negative blood type which means you'll need Rhogam.'

'What is Rhogam? Why do I need it?'

'Rhogam is a shot that women with negative blood types need when they first get pregnant, again at 28 weeks, and then again after birth only if the child has (a certain blood type that I can't recall).'

What I want to say is 'why the hell are you just now figuring this out when you've known my blood type since day one?' But, I digress. Same lack of communication, different day.

'Okay, so where can I get the shot?' We decide that she'll set it up for me to get my blood drawn at the local hospital and then if I'm in fact pregnant, go to my PCP for the shot. I am to wait until she gets back to me with more info.

She calls me back in a few minutes. Apparently my PCP takes an hour and a half for lunch, so she can't talk to them until 1:30pm. Are you serious? Who has that much time for lunch? Finally again, our contact calls back at 2pm. Still waiting to hear back from someone else regarding the blood work. We're in a holding pattern.

Finally, I just can't think clearly anymore at work. Must be around 3:00pm. I've got to get out of the north country or I'll never get back home before the end of business hours. I call our contact and tell her I'm headed down south. 'Any additional word?'

'No', she says. 'Still waiting'.

So I go home. Then I get a phone call at 4:45 from my PCP. They are wondering where I am. I am now just confused. I was waiting for more information, and never got it. My PCP asked if I'd had the blood work done yet. When I said no, she said I should get my butt to the hospital since their lab closes at 5pm. WHAT THE FUCK. No information. Huge communication breakdown on all parties.

I get to the lab at literally 4:55. They are trying to explain to me that I won't be able to get my lab results back today, which means that I'll have to wait until tomorrow to know if I need the Rhogam or not. But Saturday is not an option for a potential doctor's appointment that's 2 freakin hours from my job. Silly brides and their weddings.

The lab people have a private huddle and decide that they can stay late to do my test. Amazing, and so nice of them considering how long my day has been at this point. They said we should go home and they'll call me in an hour or two.

We go home. At this point, I'm fairly convinced that I'm not pregnant. My period is raging and the cramps are unbearable. When the phone rings, we put it on speaker and happily say 'hi'. The woman says 'Well, don't sound so excited. You're not pregnant.' It was a gentle let down, really. Not.

Shock. Tears. Confusion. Advil. In that order. Why was the at home test positive in the first place? Another email sent to our contact with a fresh list of questions.

I don't think Mother Nature likes me on Fridays. She is always screwing with them.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Dizzy oddly still....

And still optimistic :-) Last night, another screwed up dizzy-fest. I have drank so much water today, you might think I'd float away, but I still feel dehydrated. Oh, and I am headed to bed shortly, so tired (it's 8:04pm now.....I think I'll go to bed as soon as I finish here...)

I can't help but compare how I feel to a few months ago with the concussion. It is so similar. It is exactly the same. Am I just having a weird relapse of symptoms? This pregnancy stuff is a total mind fuck. How many symptoms can I come up with to analyze, truly. And my poor partner has to listen to it...heehee. That is love. 

I called my bestest bud tonight on my drive home (live free and/or die people). His kids are really little and it's fun to hear his tales of crazy, exausting parenthood. They're shopping for a mini-van....barf me sideways. With two kids and one on the way I suppose that is a necessity. Hopefully I can rock my Jetta/Cheap German Sportscar for a bit longer. 

Friday can't come soon enough. I gotta know. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Dizzy......Seriously, again?

Needless to say we can't wait until this Friday to take a pregnancy test (and yes, we both agree that we will test on Friday morning). The past several days of our unknown pregnancy state have been exciting. I feel as though I may have had some noticeable symptoms for the first time since IUI #1. They come and go, but I can't help but be a bit more optimistic than usual.

'Usual' is defined as follows:

Day of IUI: Smiles and happiness. Cup overflowing.
Day 3 or 4 after IUI: Optimism. This might be the one!
Day 8 or 9 after IUI: Neutral. No emotion one way or another. If it's meant to happen it will.
Day 12 or 13 after IUI: Pessimism. Cramps. PMS. Bloating. Mentally preparing an awesome martini.

As you can see, I am in day 8 to 9 post-IUI, but am still in the optimistic stage. Truly a rarity. Potentially a devastating one.

Dizziness. As I laid on our couch the other night trying to shake the spins, the first thought that came into my head was, 'what the hell did I hit my head on this time?' After I was able to negate that option, pregnancy was my second thought. Achy boobs, weird dizziness, nausea, ridiculous thirstiness, oh and strangest of all, a lack of interest in my favorite morning/afternoon/border-line all day food, coffee. Sort of tastes nasty these days.....but who's keeping track of these silly things anyway, right? Maybe I'm just dehydrated. Same symptoms..... !!!!!! Coo-coo crazy.

Regardless, we're thinking proactively about the potential of a sixth IUI. We're trying to decide if we would initiate intertility tests a little early (our provider has stated several times that they typically wait six full, unsuccesful cycles before any testing, but ever since we've decided to take charge of my health care, it seems as though they are willing to test early). We're also trying to decide if we would switch sperm banks. We literally are paying a premium for sperm with California Cryobank. And since I now know that all sperm is governed by the same entity and processed under the same guidelines, ALL SPERM IS actually EQUAL. Half the cost elsewhere, and apparantly high price hasn't produced high results as of yet.

IUI #5 is hopefully the one. This will be the first time that I am emotionally crushed if it isn't. Bracing for impact (with fingers and toes crossed)!!!!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Taking Charge of your Fertility

I have no idea what to think this morning. It is the third day after our IUI and I am just simply enjoying a very normal, average Sunday morning of CBS news programs with no sense of anything funny happening down there. We've decided that this fifth IUI is a very pivotal point in our quest as hopefully preggo lesbos. This is a mildly expensive process, and we're wondering how much more we can truly afford.

It has been recommended to me that we check out a book that specializes in fertility for both trying to get pregnant and trying to avoid pregnancy. Taking Charge of your Fertility, by Toni Weschler, MPH, is a guide to charting your cycle and understanding the individual points in each person's cycle that pregnancy can be both achieved and avoided. I've also discovered that the author has a website with forums and blogs and online charting options at The website seems to be basic, but has information about the book and a downloadable pdf chart that you can use if you'd like to manually chart. I had trouble getting to the part of the site where I can chart online and share my results with the world; wouldn't let me create an account. I may check back later since charting manually sounds horrid to me.

I'm not sure I want to buy the book because it seems as though I already have a stack of books about a man and a woman creating life and none have been inspirational. The sample charts on the website show a space to make note of the days in your cycle that you have sex with your partner. Some of the samples showed 5 or 6 days in a row of sex. THAT hasn't happened in my life in years!!! HA!!! I'll have to get on my partner about this. My challenge with charting is that we only have one chance each cycle, not 5 or 6, so it really is imperative that we get our timing right every month. After looking at the sample charts, I am wondering if we could really narrow our chances down further by charting. I do think that it is worth a shot. Instead of us being able to narrow it down to two days of ovulation with our digital tinkle test, we might be able to narrow it down to 12 or 24 hours of peak-ovulation. Definitely worth a try.

We decided to go on our second day of ovulation this cycle for the first time. Perhaps the second-day method will work! I plan on charting if we need to try again.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Say my name, what's my name?

You know you're in a normal, committed, lesbian relationship when you and your partner get into an argument about what you're going to be called as parents. But really, who gets to claim 'Mom' or 'Mommy'? How do you figure this out? Knock-down blow out, that's the healthy way.... hahahha.

Yesterday we went for our fifth IUI. We are very hopeful, as usual, but maybe a bit more this time since we introduced Clomid to my cycle. I am still ridiculously bloated, and after mentioning that to our fave IUI lady, she said that changes in my cycle would be totally normal. She said that it may even effect the length of my cycle, severity of cramps, etc. Information is so helpful. I could get used to this.

Later that night, as we watched TV and zoned out the days crazy events and discussed our treks all over the state of New Hampshire, we would occasionally pause and look into each other's eyes and hold hands and just think happy thoughts.

It was my mistake to say during one of these moment's of silence as I looked longingly into her eyes, 'What are we going to call you?'

She immediately responded, 'What do you mean, what are WE going to call YOU? What, are you and the baby going to come up with some name for me?'

'No, I mean what are you and I going to call each other?'

'I am not going to be called something stupid like 'Momma S' like 'Momma B' on the L Word. We are in this together 50/50.'

'That's not what I mean. Of course we're in this together.'

'So just because you're the one giving birth, you get to be called 'Mom'? The baby will come up with what it's going to call us.'

I was getting what I call 'bug eye' from her through our whole 'conversation'. Bug eye is this great expression she has that is totally glaring. I know when I get 'bug eye' that I am in trouble....It is challenging for both of us because this whole process is so sterile and clinical, but perhaps more so for her because she is not the one carrying. I think we resolved to let names and titles develop in due time. I just hope the kid comes up with something good. I don't want to be called 'MooMa' or 'DoDa' for the rest of my parenting life.....maybe for just the first few years.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Redemption for Dartmouth: the 'stay-cation' continues....

As you know, Dartmouth Hospital is a part of a world-renowned research center and ivy league college. We are of the opinion that you get what you pay for. After my rant of an email last week, our contact was very quick to call us back and defend their program while truly making us feel better about our healthcare.

I felt gulty after writing the email. I was harsh, and although I tried to not personally attack our contact, there were some parts that would have hurt me if it were my email to recieve. However, I didn't lie about or exaggerate any of our feelings at all. I kept reminding myself that I in fact do have to take charge of my own care to get what I need.

The call was long, about 30 minutes. I finally now know (after all this time) what sorts of tests that I could be up against both emotionally and financially and what the time frame is for all of them. I know more about who to direct other questions to that she couldn't answer. I know that although we feel sort of ignored in this process, this is all that we really need to be doing/concerned with at this point and that yes, we are being rigorously charted (for the info that they want right now...). I finally feel as though we have been informed about the process.

It is stressful being a hopefully preggo lesbo. The money that we saved to start this process is dissapearing. We joke that every month, we take a 'stay-cation' to Dartmouth. It's such a nice, scenic drive up I89 after all.... Humor is so great. We should get a camcorder so we can remember these fun, light-hearted moments we share during the car ride years from now when our kids move out and we're dealing with an empty nest. Hmmm. According to my partner, she ought to be about 90 by then. hehehe.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sperm: it works better with alcohol.

Today is day 8 in my's time to stop what we're doing and buy sperm.

Tonight when I got home, I found it important to pour a giant cocktail. Perhaps it's due to my crazy busy career choice at this point. Lots of gin, a little triple sec, a little lime juice and cranberry. Sort of a 'oh crap, we're out of vodka' cape codder. I asked my partner to remind me that we HAD to buy sperm today or we'd have to pay extra for speedier shipment. So I got home, poured my drink, and announced that 'I'd be half in the bag and buying sperm' shortly. 'Isn't that how it's supposed to work? Doesn't everyone do it this way?' It is so easy to catch a buzz lately. I hardly drink anything alcoholic at this point, sort of training myself for the next stage. So basically I smell a stiff drink and start giggling.

The clomid is going well so far. Today is the third day of my five-day stint. I had a headache on the first day, really bad. But since then, no complaints. Oh, and we've had a huge conversation with our point-of-contact at Dartmouth. More to come on that.

We're going with the same donor as last time.....we're debating naming our child after him.....LOL. Every kid wants a number for a name, right? Sort of unique and catchy, right? A little buzz every now and then is a really great thing. My stress is melting away with the ice cubes.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Here we go again!!! With drugs this time!!!

OMG....I am not a faithful blogger. At least not in full-out wedding season. Time is something that I just don't have. Although, perhaps this is a good thing; I am not spending all day thinking and worrying about the fact that yet again, I am not pregnant.

My partner and I literally got into a full on, blow out argument last week about taking a pregnancy test on Thursday, like planned. Her argument was that we should just let nature take it's course and wait and see if I started my period. My argument was that I wanted to know as soon as possible what the outcome of our waiting and money was. Thursday came and went with no pregnancy test taken. Friday she came around and said we should test. The first test was a lemon; something wrong with it. The second test was a big fat negative. And then, as nature would sarcastically have it, I started my period about 5 hours later. Thanks nature for that slap in the face.

I know in my last post I had mentioned that we were researching Clomid. I had emailed our contact at Dartmouth early in the week, but she didn't respond until a rather angry phone call from my girlfriend on Saturday that questioned her lack of attention. It's been easily a year and a half since we've been working with Dartmouth, and since March that we've been inseminating with them, and they haven't even as much asked how my cycle was let alone charted my progress or lack there of. I am not sure if the outcome is what Dartmouth would normally do as their SOP, but I am going to pick up my Clomid prescription this afternoon and start on it tomorrow. I am frustrated with the lack of 'managed care' we are receiving from Dartmouth. One would think that a world-renowned hospital and research center would give a little more attention and individualized care to their patients. Why are we paying a premium and driving two hours for average health care? I may look into a local hospital or clinic for the remainder of our stint as hopefully preggo lesbos. What a waste of time, energy, money and gasoline.

Yeah, so, Clomid tomorrow! I have done all the research on it myself. No one at Dartmouth has told me what to expect. At least they had the courtesy to tell me how and when to take it.

I'm not sure I really know what to expect either way.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Peach Orange Blitz

Today is my third Sunday in a row. I haven't been so relaxed in months. I do have to work tomorrow. *sigh*

My partner and I decided to take Friday, Saturday and Sunday off this week to simply stay at home and chill out and celebrate our 8-year anniversary. (Although I originally had hopes of an impromptu wedding this weekend, staying home was absolutely perfect. We will start to plan a more big to-do for next year, we promise). It has been a great few days; Rye beach on Friday, random chores, yard work and errands on Saturday, couch today.

Today being actually Sunday, I thought it appropriate to make a fab mock-tail to drink while watching re-runs of Oprah on OWN (I've never really watched Oprah religiously, but OWN is sort of addictive when she gets into the behind the scene crap). Today's flavor is the Peach Orange Blitz:

1 over-ripe peach
1/2 orange
lemon-lime seltzer
4 tsp. sugar in the raw

First, I started by melting the sugar in the raw in just a touch of water in my microwave for 30 seconds,  creating a simply syrup. Then, in my same, teeny, tiny, food processor, I pureed the one peach, skin and pit removed and the 1/2 orange, skin removed. In a pint glass, I added ice, then about 2 teaspoons of the simple syrup, about 3 tablespoons of the fruit puree and seltzer to the top. Stir with straw. Suck.

Naturally, being the lush I once was, what I really wanted to make was AMAZING Bellini's with my puree. As soon as I mentioned champagne, the bottle was open and I was mixing a Bellini for my partner. I won't lie, I did indulge a little. Perhaps this is a celebratory final drink.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Researching chlamydia.....I mean Clomid

My partner has a special language all her own that I've learned to translate into English over the years. She comes out with some crazy things, but my latest favorite is the chlamydia/Clomid thing. So funny. Our conversation yesterday morning started out with her asking, 'How do we learn more about chlamydia?' My immediate, sarcastic response was that 'I should start by having some very promiscuous sex with a prostitute'....followed by our ridiculous laughter. But I digress....LOL

CLOMID is a very popular drug for stimulating ovulation, the most popular according to a few websites I visited while researching. It is a pill that you would take for five days starting somewhere between the 5th and 10th day of your cycle depending on the recommendation of your doctor. It is the perfect drug for those who don't have any physically detrimental conditions that could lead to infertility such as blocked fallopian tubes, cysts or....hehe.....STDs. Clomid seems to be fairly safe with side effects that last for perhaps only the five days you're taking it and include nausea primarily....(ladies, if you have different experiences, please feel free to comment. I'd love to hear them.) One main side effect of clomid is multiples. One in ten births is twins with only 30% of those being identical....which mean multiple eggies being released at once!! There are chances for more than two, but they are more like 1 in 100 or greater.

Even though we've only been through four inseminations, and we don't know if were pregnant yet with this one, we're considering using Clomid for our next cycle....if we're not pregnant right now!! Our doctor has recommended that we wait until we've gone through six unsuccessful attempts before testing for infertility and taking further steps. After all, a healthy woman would have a 1 in 4 chance of pregnancy each month, meaning that I still am a normal woman here in my fourth attempt. However, it is Elizabeth, the nurse who's helped us with so many inseminations, that has encouraged us to ask to move forward with Clomid a bit earlier than originally discussed. I have sent out my emails questioning our next move to our point of contact at Dartmouth and are just now waiting to hear what the word is.

Pregnancy tinkle test on Thursday.... :-)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Life is so frickin' busy.

Well, if I were you, I'd be very upset with me. I've dedicated no time at all to sharing our latest day-to-day baby making journeys. Essentially, I've gotten up at O'Dark-Hundred, gone to work, worked my ass off, come home in the dark, eaten, maybe watched some stupid summer TV reality show (seriously bachelorette, give me a break) and gone to bed only to get up and do it again the next day. I suppose, they say you have to make hay in the sunshine, right? Well if that's the case, I think I have heat exhaustion.

So..... baby making...... right.

We went for our fourth IUI last Thursday, which was amazing timing for my crazy weekend schedule with weddings at the hotel. We've had only two different people do the procedure with us this whole time: Elizabeth, who has helped us with our first, second and fourth IUI, and Katy, who has been our main point of contact as well as helped us with our third IUI. Elizabeth is that quintessential nurse OB figure; middle-aged, a little overweight, shoulder-length wavy chestnut hair, very pleasant, and loves to chat about what's going on inside your hoo-haa. We did in fact decide to switch sperm donors for this go, which was a good idea, especially when Elizabeth comes in the room after looking at the sample under a microscope and announces that 'this one is a keeper. It looks like this sample could be fresh not frozen!!'

Ah yes, our new donor is still from California Cryobank. I feel as though I've cheated on our original donor simply because he couldn't get the job done. Very shallow of me. LOL. He is some sort of genius rocket scientist with a partner would have nothing less. I'm not sure he's as handsome as the first donor could have been, but I suppose we might just find out.

So our sperm sample was superlative and according to Elizabeth my hoo-haa was as well. Every time I say, 'Elizabeth, you tell that to everyone,' but she claims not to. So why hasn't it worked yet!!??

Monday, July 25, 2011

Not all sperm is created equal.

Today is day 3 of my cycle. We'll probably buy our sperm today. However, all weekend we've been thinking about switching our donor.

Somehow, I feel as though it shouldn't really make a big difference. We're getting our sperm from California Cryobank, which is not exactly an un-known sperm bank. Shouldn't all of their sperm be equally suitable for pregnancy? Back in the very beginning when we were talking with our doctor about when we should be getting concerned and start taking further steps to get pregnant, he said that we should get through 6 months of unsuccessful insemination's before freaking out. So far we've only been three, but for those of you who know my partner, that's long enough. LOL.

On my to-do list today is a phone call to our primary contact nurse at Dartmouth. She will have more info on this. I feel as though I've heard from somewhere that some sperm might not 'jive' with every egg. Is this true? Maybe I just need a different California surfer boy grad student. Back to the short list for inspiration.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Two weeks closer to our next insemination....

Yes, we are two weeks away from another trip to Dartmouth. Not pregnant.

My period is alive and well; cramps that almost had me doubled over today in meetings. The only good news tonight is the cape codder that is helping me write this. Vodka really is good.

I was so optimistic this time, for the first time ever. But my optimism faded as I started to get crampy and PMSy. Apparently I will just continue to 'go with the flow' and try try again.

Tonight's conversation is positive; about Jeopardy answers (don't call out house durring Jeopardy, we won't answer) and the possibility of marriage in August. I had a bride cancel (her whole wedding was canceled....uh oh).....freed up a whole weekend for me. Why not take advantage of that?! I think it was meant to be. Elope to the cape. Actually elope, not what these crazy people at the hotel call eloping (planning to elope definitely doesn't count. Or when you have more than 5 guests on a meal plan.) Where can we find a nice little free beach to enjoy for an afternoon?

For now, I will continue to enjoy my cape codder, get through my crazy work week and imagine a wedding on the cape. My partner just threw out yet another fabulous girl name option from some commercial. For now, tampons are on my shopping list.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

They should make fake coffee drinks....well they sort of do.

It is 4:15am. Tuesday morning, my Monday. I've been tossing and turning now for about an hour. Another busy week at work. Time to make the donuts.

However, I can take this ridiculously early opportunity to post about my first mocktail (we just won't mention the soccer game, okay??) The Watermelon Agua Fresca, as I'll call it, was so perfect; crisp, clean and refreshing with just enough sweetness. It's pretty easy to make (and I'm sure there are plenty of variations and additions on this to play with):

1/4 of a seedless watermelon
Juice from 2 limes
A huge amount of mint (in the end, I used about 1/3 of the bunch I bought)
Lime seltzer

I used my handy 2-cup food processor to blend the watermelon, lime and mint. Immediately following this step, I asked my partner for a blender and a Cuisinart for baby shower gifts. That thing is so small. How am I going to make all my own baby food with that tiny thing??? Dreams of spare time and energy....Anyway, then I filled half my glass with seltzer and the other half with watermelon yumminess. Insert straw and enjoy. So good!

I am trying to remain positive about this cycle even though I really don't 'feel' any different. It should work now that I'm truly 'ready', right? Yeah, right. Course, am I supposed to really 'feel' any different? So many opinions and experiences I've read about say nothing about feeling different right away, while some women say they 'just knew' the second they were pregnant. We test on Thursday. We'll know then.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

What do you do to pass the time? Drink.

Finally, after a several moments of tension and concern, my little eggies appeared and we went to Dartmouth. Today is Sunday and we will test for pregnancy on Thursday this week. It was my first visit to the hospital without my partner. She was so busy that day at work that there was no chance of her getting away for the afternoon. It was OK, especially because the nurse who performed the insemination was our main point-of-contact. We laughed about the craziness of the concussion, and it was just fine to be there alone.

Today is the FIFA finals and I will be watching my TV girlfriend Abby Wambach. I'm going to be preparing my first mocktail that sounds much more exciting than just juice with seltzer. It's fresh watermelon, lime juice and mint with seltzer as recommended by my friend and soon-to-be hopefully preggo lesbo. Sounds very refreshing...I will report back.

I will say this: I have a very good feeling about this one. The first insemination I wasn't really emotionally ready. The second insemination I wasn't really physically ready. But this time, I am both. Let's do this.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Cranberry and seltzer with lime

It's a good thing that I like cranberry juice or I would be screwed.

I can't drink my two favorite substances: coffee all day and gin. Not together, thankfully :-) But seriously, can you imagine if there was no fizzy, juicy, yummy mixer that appealed to me? Water; that would be my excitement.

I have decided to add an element to this blog; mock-tails. We all need a good drink every now and again. I will do some drinking research sans-booze. Something to pass the time, right? Until the next big preggo Thursday. No big symptoms to speak of yet, however,

I am thirsty.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Okay, so it was two months.

Yes, for those of you thinking that was a rediculously long 'one month', it has in fact been two months.

It has been just over three months since the concussion, and I am finally feeling like myself again. Only ocassionally do I have a small dizzy spell, and it usually goes away in a few minutes. I haven't taken any serious drugs for about three weeks now. So we are ready to make babies once more!

Summer is upon us and we are trying to take a few 'days off' to enjoy a 'vacation'. I say this lightly since we will both be working over the course of our 'days off', my partner much more so than myself. Yesterday, amongst phone calls and email interuptions, we went to the beach. It was a gorgeous day and the lesbians with babies were everywhere! Not to mention the old lesbos, baby dykes, and middle aged dyke-alikes as well. It was just a very gay day at the coast I guess. After we had our fill of sunshine, we went to our favorite hang out for a mocktail/cocktail. My partner made an interesting call and got into a not-so-interesting conversation with a guy at the bar about travel and islands to visit. She then made a very interesting call to compare Key West to Provincetown, and the conversation was only downhill from there. As he made some sort of comment about what 'they' do in Provincetown, we both paused, looked at each other, smiled, and remembered that people are generally naive or stupid, blind that two lesbians are in fact sitting in front of them. Perhaps mostly naive. Well, maybe stupid. And just wait until we have a baby, right? That'll confuse 'em.

Today is day 15 in my cycle and still no smiley face on the ovulation kit. The previous two times we've been, I've ovulated on day 14, so I am wondering why no eggies yet. Perhaps it has something to do with all the acupuncture? Since we started working on fertility (and not concussion) at the acupuncturist, I have been moody, emotional, crampy, crampy and generally crampy. My period was a bit more 'normal' I suppose, but not entirely. And since then basically I wake up daily with minor cramps and then they may or may not get worse through the day. I am going to see him today and will definately ask about the no ovulation.

Other than that, we are so excited to be back on track! My partner is crazy busy at work right now, and just waiting to see how/when we'll fit in our trip to Dartmouth. Hopefully it will be tomorrow.

Monday, May 9, 2011

We are going to wait for ONE month....

After much discussion, we've decided to hold off on the IUI this month and wait until next month to see how the concussion is progressing. I am on a couple of prescriptions now and the acupuncture is really helpful; I just need to see how I feel in a month's time.

Acupuncture: I urge you all to go for any and all reasons. Anything that hurts, aches, twinges, whatever, they can help. I've only been twice and going again today, but with each visit, I have felt almost imediate differences. As for the drugs, I have Celebrex for daily use and Tylenol with codine for use when I get headaches. Excelent. Most of the time, they work pretty well.

The neurologist says that I have a labrynth concussion, meaning that the injury is in my inner ear, which is why I am so dizzy and nausous. I'd say that there are good days and bad days with the dizzy/nausous. And I am so exhausted from working this past 'holiday' week, that I am only making it worse. I called my sister yesterday to wish her happy Mother's Day, and she agreed that I probably didn't want to feel twice as dizzy and nausous if I were to get pregnant.....I am totally on board with that. Plus I really don't want to confuse the symptoms; I want to know exactly why I feel a certain way.

Before I turn this blog into a concussion blog, I will sign off. Baby making will hopefully commense again in about one month. Until then..... :-(

Monday, May 2, 2011

Not concussive syndrome I DON'T LIKE YOU.

No, not pregnant. And having crazy period. Somehow though, I am OK with that. I have GOT to feel better soon with this head stuff. It is making me literally crazy. I approached a conversation last night with my partner about possibly holding off on baby making until we get this under control. I think we're still talking and thinking about it. Not that it's my first choice. I finally really want to have a baby and feel ready, but something has got to give.

The other day someone asked me if I had considered going to see a chiropractor. What a great idea! I asked my doctor what she though, and her immediate response was to not go to a chiropractor, but to instead go and have acupuncture. Again, amazing idea. It makes complete sense.

I am going today for my first treatment. The person I spoke to over the phone said that he has treated people with concussions before with much success. I am actually very excited to get poked with a million needles; I must be turning a new leaf.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

dizzy I why am so?

Today is the big day......tinkle day. I will unpack that fancy digital pregnancy test later today when my partner gets home from work. And I have been dying to now for at least four days.

Four days ago I had an insane dizzy spell coupled with the biggest migraine I've had in a decade, and essentially, I've been in a range of somewhat to ridiculously dizzy ever since. Part of me wants to blame it on the concussion. But that was almost a month ago now and I hope I am not so dizzy due to that! Another part of me wants to blame it on an Easter hangover. After all, if you all could have seen the amount of kielbasa I ate, you would be sick to your stomach too. And then, a big part of me wants to blame it on a baby in my belly!!!!! The issue is that the dizzy, nausea, ringing in my ears, etc. can totally be post concussive syndrome symptoms, but somehow, I think this is different than the way I felt earlier this month.

I don't have any crazy boob pain or other weird symptoms like last month. As a matter of fact, I didn't feel anything possibly relating to pregnancy until just four days ago. And, interestingly enough, I don't feel entirely premenstrual even though my period would start in a day or two.

Oh, I will be analyzing every little ache and pain today that's for sure. I seriously can't wait until she gets home. I hope she leaves early.....

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Down and dirty legal stuff: Get excited about spending more money on pregnancy.

So, the other day my partner and I decided to visit a lawyer and learn about what our potential pregnancy and child means legally to our relationship. Oh my, it was a lot to focus and concentrate on given my concussion!! Here's the deal; gay, straight, a-sexual, it doesn't matter; Everyone should know the implications of your legal rights as a family. Make an effort to figure it out for your particular family.

In the state of New Hampshire, I can legally marry my partner, of which we have yet to do. We own a home that has both of our names listed on it equally. We formally share everything legally with the exception of the '98 Wrangler....and I am sort of OK with that. It was her first love anyway, long before I came into the picture. Love the jeep on a nice day....don't need it to be willed to me. Sorry Grape Ape...

That being said, most couples, gay or straight, figure that they are all set as long as they're married in terms of the legality of their relationship with or without kids. The one thing I learned today that was most shocking is that even if you are married, your spouse has no legal right to make health or financial decisions for you if you are unable to make such a decision on your own (let's say you're in a comma for example. Even if your spouse is listed as your next of kin in your will, you technically still need more documentation that proves they are the one to make these potentially life-altering decisions). The reason most people don't understand this is because our society assumes that if you're married, you've made strides to give your spouse this legal right. But technically if you haven't filled these documents, you could be held liable in a court of law later down the road.

And then there's the gays. We gays really get ticked off when we find things in our world that put us at a sub-human level than that our straight peers. Like for example, even if we were married, our doctor could potentially decide to be an asshole that day and make us prove our dependence on each other with documentation before they let one of us make a decision for the other, or on a lesser level, make a joint decision for our child. I've never heard of a straight and married couple with this issue.

And what happens when we decide to move out of New Hampshire? (Sorry NH, we're not staying here forever...) If we move to a state where gay marriage isn't recognized, then what? Our lawyer recommended that we go ahead and have my partner adopt the child to guarantee 100% protection. You see, as long as we get married before the baby is born, both of our names can be on the birth certificate...which is huge! The tiny little bit that's vague and would be helped with an adoption is if A). we break up. Let's say in 5 years it's over. I could actually claim through paternity whose kid it is....and guess what people, it's not hers. or B). we move to any state that doesn't recognize gay marriage. The birth certificate is good, but because my partner and I have would have no legal relationship, it sort of nullifies the perfect, straight-forward birth certificate.

More money. Everything costs money doesn't it. The adoption will be about $2,000 and the rest of the paperwork (living will, all that personal health and financial decision-making stuff) another $2,000. There are a few other fees that the lawyer recommended we pay directly to the court or the town offices, giving us a grand total of about $4,500. Peace of mind combined with enough papers with signatures to sock it to anyone and everyone is priceless I guess.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

PSA #1: Watch out for metal pipes.

Today was IUI #2!! Very exciting. Back to stage one again and I'm feeling very good about it. But that is not to say it's been an uneventful two weeks since my last post. Definitely not...

On day one of my cycle, exactly two weeks ago, I found myself at work. It was a normal morning of doing my rounds and checking things. At about 8:45am I walked my head into a metal steam pipe while blindly turning around in a circle, one of many exposed pipes around the old hotel. At first, the only thing I felt was a be expected I guess after hitting your head, right? At noon I had a meeting. As I sat there, severe ringing in my head got louder and louder. But it seemed to pass. By 4:30 I started having really bad dizziness and nausea, and at one point I almost passed out. I was having a hard time forming a sentence; words just wouldn't come out easily. That is when I knew something worse had happened; I had got a concussion.

I drove home without going to the hospital right away. My initial thought was to wait a bit longer; I wasn't having the 'severe' concussion symptoms I had read about online. After much thought, I decided to wait until Monday (naturally these things happen on Friday's, right??) and go to see my PCP for a check-up.

I worked through the weekend which proved to be interesting. Confusion, difficulty focusing, nausea, dizziness, blah, blah, all of it. By the time Monday rolled around I asked the HR department how I go about this workers comp thing and they sent me to their preferred physician instead of my PCP. It was good to finally go to a doctor, but the woman made me very anxious about what was happening with lots of information I couldn't focus on and lots of situations that could happen in the upcoming days. It was so much that I experienced a huge panic attack while I was driving home and actually called 911 from the road. Never in my life have I ever had such uncontrollable fear. I spent a few hours in the hospital, where they finally did a CT scan and gave me something to control the nausea and anxiety. The test came back negative, providing me some relief. My poor partner drove all the way to the north country to get me and bring me home. I then stayed home for two days on the couch calming down and resting.

At my follow-up with the doctor, I expressed my concerns about how the concussion would effect our efforts towards pregnancy. She reassured me that physically it shouldn't make any difference. It wouldn't reduce the probability of pregnancy or effect the outcome of the health of the hopeful baby. However, I may still feel the effects of the concussion for weeks, perhaps months. She encouraged me to continue IUI's as long as I felt emotionally up to it. After all, stress will definitely effect the outcome and perhaps make it more difficult to conceive.

Last night I had a huge dizzy spell, one much bigger than any of the others of recent. As I layed in bed unable to close my eyes because of the bed spins, I thought that maybe tomorrow would be the day I got the smiley face on the ovulation kit. Was I ready to continue? In a month or two, will I be confusing symptoms of pregnancy with my concussion symptoms?

Today is a better day. Not so dizzy, not so nauseous. And maybe pregnant.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

No really, it's fine, we're going to try again.

I feel as though I've spent the past days since the test explaining how making babies works to very successful parents. Seriously people, chill out.

We took our pregnancy test on Wednesday. Even though the instructions say to wait 3 minutes for results, it only took that tiny digital screen about one minute to produce a 'not pregnant' reading. After the initial shock wore off, (it is shocking simply staring at a piece of plastic that you just pee'd on at a flashing hour glass symbol for an undisclosed amount of time and then BAM! a result appears,) we sat in the bathroom trying to pump ourselves up for next month. There were statements like 'Oh, I knew we wouldn't get pregnant on the first try,' and 'How could we have been so lucky as to only have to do this once?' But ultimately, our doctor and nurses told us that the majority of people in my category (under 30...) and my health (average body build, average excercize patterns...sometimes) usually get pregnant on the second or third try. We've been reminding ourselves of that for the past couple days now.

I know this sounds awful, but I had an amazing martini later that night. Well, as amazing as mid-grade gin, vermouth and olive juice shaken until frigid can possilby be. Stress, stress, stress.

Today is Sunday morning and the now third day of my new menstral cycle. I haven't drank since the martini on Wednesday, which is fine. I think that now I'm even more mentally prepared for this whole process. A little bad news really puts you in a different mind set. What a reality check. It's a reality check for my circle of close friends, family and others who are 'in the know' as well. It's as if they all think that this IUI thing is a scientific guarantee for baby. My mother for example has been preaching to me since day one that we'll only need one vial, one shot, one time. Apparantly she and my sister were both superbly fertile. I sort of didn't want to know that information. I've had to re-explain to many what we've been told about concieving. It's still a very simple yet complex reaction between sperm and egg, regardless of how they meet up. We will have to see if this month they share a little more chemistry down there. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Anticipation is keeping me waiting...

It has been twelve days since our IUI and the air is thick with anticipation. Our nurse told us to wait two weeks before taking a pregnancy test, as if we'd have no problem waiting fourteen long days before we knew the outcome of all our time, hard work and money. Are we going to get pregnant on the first try? Does anyone? What if we have to start all over again?

It certainly has given me plenty of time to read up on my hopefully impending pregnancy. We literally have two big stacks of books that have been given to us by other formerly preggo mommies-to-be. The books are all the same; sappy intro about the wonders of mommyhood, chapter about habits you'll have to change, chapter about symptoms, chapter about the weeks of development, chapter about honest and actual infertility, and all sorts of innuendos about you and your fantastic husband and what he should be doing to help support healthy pregnancies. My partner looked online for a book on the lesbian pregnancy experience, but she found only one or two, and neither of which pertained to our insanely, outrageously  normal situation. Apparently all hopefully preggo lesbos are either single or in an uprooted, unhappy, unstable relationship.

The weird symptoms I felt at first (you know, all the usual pregnancy symptoms....nausea, indigestion, heartburn, constipation, achy boobs....) were in full on preggo stage for the first 48 hours after the IUI, but then faded to nothing. I feel totally normal. Is that normal? The one thing that I still feel is ridiculous thirstiness. It's as if I've morphed into a camel and I'm heading into the desert for a 1,000 mile race and will be without water for weeks. I literally can't drink enough of it.

The rest of my drinking habits have changed as well. Coffee, my first true love, has become something I drink now only once a day, one cup of half regular, half decaf. If I'm feeling saucy, perhaps a cup of decaf in the afternoon. And liquor, my second true love, has become something of a distant memory. I am so missing my one cape coder or one gin and tonic after work that I practically have the shakes.

As for my third true love, she is getting rather mushy and gushy about the probability of baby on the first try. Not that there's anything wrong with positive thinking or hope, but my partner has literally gone from 'don't talk to me about it, I don't want to get my hopes up' to '***sigh***I think you're pregnant...' as she loving looks into my eyes, in a mater of 12 days.

We have two more days to wait, but then again my period wouldn't start again until 5 or 6 days from now, so maybe we have longer to wait. We bought a pregnancy test today......anticipation for a few more days. Keep your fingers crossed....

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Lesbians, meet your daddy.

Our sperm came from the west coast. Their website at California Cryobank was wonderful; lots of diverse specimens to select from. Not surprisingly, they were all very young, mostly college or graduate students, and all shared a love for the ocean. Ahh yes, they all surfed or scuba dived or sailed, no matter their eye or hair or skin color. A bunch of true California guys.

Our donor was, at the time of his deposit, in graduate school studying science and was a chiropractor professionally. Olive complexion with thick, brown hair, with a smaller stature at 5'9", and a fairly slim body type. A well rounded person, he had a love for travel, music and animals. We thought he was perfect.

The day I called to book his flight to Dartmouth I was reminded of the last several scenes in 'If these walls could talk' when Ellen's character is going to the sperm bank to get their vial. It was this huge canister with all these big red letter's all over it stating 'this side up' and 'hazardous materials'. Nitrogen to help keep the sperm cold. I remember laughing as she seat-belted it into the front seat of her car, as if it were a little person. It was so big and awkward. And that's why I didn't even flinch when the lady at the sperm bank calmly told me that it would be $175 to ship my vial to New Hampshire. Fine. A small price to pay, honestly.

And then the big day arrived; the day we met our donor for the first time. The actual vial, found somewhere lost in that giant canister, was about the size of an electrical fuse, maybe just a touch bigger. The numbers on the vial matched the donor number we had ordered. And so we were good to go.....

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Yes please, I'd like to make a withdrawal.

I don't know if I should be freaking out or what, but my partner and I just had our first IUI yesterday. I might be jinxing it, but I already feel nauseous and it hasn't even been 24 hours. Hmmm....I must just be anxious, or maybe I caught a bug from the hospital yesterday.....called pregnant???!!!

Intro-Uterine-Insemination, as they call it, is done as soon as your Leutanizing Hormone (LH) levels have risen, indicating ovulation. A catheter is inserted directly into your uterus to deliver the package. Insemination, as I call it, sounds like something you learn about while studying to be a dairy farmer. The word just sounds like something you do to a giant herd of heifers to me. But yes, that literally is what it is; inseminating... with sperm from an unknown donor from thousands of miles away.

After many long nights of my girlfriend searching through different sperm banks, we finally decided to use the California Cryobank. She was amazingly diligent in her search efforts for the right bank. The website had to be perfect; user friendly and full of lots of information about the donors. I have to admit, from that point, I sort of let her roll with the sperm selection. She would ask me to sit with her and plan and pick, but I couldn't get over the dart-throwing sensation I felt. How could I prodict the outcome? And it's so cold, the act of looking through all these donors like their super-valuable sperm is on the auction block. It's like a dating website for sperm, these websites. There was no sense of personability throughout this process, or at least wasn't for me. Literally, you sign on to the website, and the first thing you notice is a pop-up stating, 'Donor #12345 is back! Supplies are limited!'

And how do they determine cost for these pricely, little vials? Some sperm was much cheaper than others (and I'm talking from the same website!) There was probably a couple hundred dollars of variation. Can you imagine the poor guy who figures out which donor number he is, then proceeds to get on the website only to find that he has cheap sperm? HA! THAT must feel good. I think it's based on number of successful pregnancies. So basically, supply and demand ladies. Get in line. First come, first served.

Many months into our serch for the golden sperm, my partner created something of a short list that we then went through together. It was so much less overwhelming for me to have five or six 'girlfriend pre-approved' options, as opposed to hundreds to search through aimlessly. After much deliberation about saving on shipping costs and having more than one child, we finally decided to buy only one vial, one chance. Perhaps it's all we need right now.

Monday, March 14, 2011

I'm an Infertile Lesbian...thank you, Captain Obvious.

It's true. Neither my partner or I have sperm. There hasn't been an Immaculate Conception yet, and all of our efforts to reproduce have ended up with no results. Finally we decided to contact help.

We started our research about a year ago at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH. We had heard such good things about their program that we didn't even look into any options in Boston. That day I called them to make an appointment, I will admit, I was nervous. I dialed the main line to the hospital, knowing that I would get an opperator who would then connect me to the right person. The phone answered, 'Thank you for calling Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, how may I direct your call?' I said, 'Yes, my partner and I are looking for information on pregnancy.' At first, the lady didn't hear me correctly and asked me to repeat myself. So I refraised, 'My partner and I are trying to get pregnant and looking for information.' She then said, 'Oh, I'll connect you to the Infertility Department.' Infertility? Is that what this is considered? So our lack of sperm makes us infertle? As if I weren't already a little shaky on the phone, now the infertility person answered the phone. 'Infertility, this is so-and-so, how can I help you?' I repeated my reason for calling and her first question was, 'When was the date of your last period?'. I felt stupid and replied, 'I'm not sure.' She asked, 'What do you mean, aren't you pregnant?' Finally I realized that we were both confused, so I slowed down my nervous voice and explained that I am a big dyke who has never had sex with a man and is not planning on it anytime soon. HA! Not exactly, but I was a bit clearer, louder and slower this time. Sort of as if I were talking to a really old, hard-of-hearing nurse lady. Now that we were both on the same page, I calmed down and made an appointment for the following week to come up and meet the doctors and nurses who would help us gain some fertility.

What's funny is that durring our initial meeting they made us feel as if they had zillions of lesbian couples currently inseminating in this very department. I understand that there are people using this hospital's services who actual can be considered infertile, but perhaps a more PC department name would bode better for my ego. Something like 'Pregnancy Assistance'...yeah. That would make everyone feel better, not just us demented lesbians who are already ashamed of our lack of sperm.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

It's a big, straight world people

Dear average, intelligent, coupled lesbian,

My partner and I did not decide yesterday to get pregnant. As a matter of fact, we are well on our way to becoming preggo. Just this morning I tested my ovulation for the second time this cycle. We anxiously awaited the 2-3 minutes until the test was complete. But no, today is not the day. However, today is the day I decided to start this blog. I have noticed many aspects of our journey to baby that are so ridiculously and blatantly heterosexual that we literally look at each other and laugh out loud.

What really frosted my gay cake and inspired me to write was reading the directions to our ovulation kit. Like many gay couples, we bought a leading brand kit at a leading chain drug store. We were sure to buy the really expensive, digital one in hopes that it was the best choice. Here is a brief synopsis of the instructions in my words:

Step 1: Start your period and count that day as 'Day 1' of your cycle.
Step 2: Count each day until you get to day 11 or 12 of your cycle.
Step 3: Test your tinkle.
Step 4: If your test kit reads just a circle, throw it out and try again tomorrow. If your test kit reads a smiley face in the circle, congratulations! You're ovulating! Now go home quick and bang your husband.

I was so carefully reading each and every little instruction until I got to that last step and realized that this major, national brand kit literally thought that everyone reading their instructions was straight. How could that possibly be? In the heterosexual world, people just have sex and then have kids. It's so easy and straight-forward. If that were my case, we'd have 10 kids by now. Jeez.....

I mentioned to my best friend, who happens to be a nurse, that we had started 'tinkling on sticks'. He got really upset and said 'you're pregnant?!' thinking that I had left him out of this huge, important process of my life. I said, 'no, we're testing my ovulation.' Now, my best friend is a happily married, straight man with two kids. And he's a nurse professionally. He knows how the process of reproduction works. 'Oh, I must have slept through that class...' was his response, to which of course we both chuckled. My point is that no normal, healthy heterosexual couple uses these expensive ovulation kits unless necessary, and the really successfully re-productive may not even know they exist. But every single lesbian who wants to get pregnant does know and will continue to use them for all time. Why would this company assume I am going home to have intercourse to reproduce?

Let me reassure you all right now, I am not out to be a crazy, feminist, straight-folk hating dyke. I am out to share my joy, humor, challenges and confusions of pregnancy as a lesbian. After all, we must laugh in order to get anywhere in this world. And it's a big, straight world people.