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. :-)