Monthly Archives: July 2013

Murphy’s law

When we decided to try earlier than planned it made sense. We had planned to try in September but then decided to get a credit card where we earn miles (so someday we can take this baby to visit it’s grandparents) and decided if we were going to put it on the credit card let’s just start in August. Afterall, by the time the bill comes it would be September and that would be our September savings. So we checked my ovulation and I ovulate twice in August. We figured what the hell and decided to try both times.

We needed to place the order soon to get it in time and were waiting for the new magic credit card to show up. It didn’t. We had to order and moved things around financially to make it happen. This was a stressful process as it wasn’t yet pay day and having bought a house 2 months ago our credit card balances were a bit higher than normal and our savings a bit lower than normal. Normally I can make a quick payment on one card using a bank account I have but I got a new debit card during the move that I never activated and possibly lost. After much stress I downloaded the bank’s app, wrote myself a check, processed it via the app, and paid the few bucks we were short in order to make the order with that card. Settled.

The next question was when to ship. Pot is currently working three days a week. While we would have prefered to get the package on Wednesday, it is one of her work days. A friend could receive it for us but that seemed complicated so we thought we would be safe to get it on Thursday. (I should ovulate on Saturday.) Okay, settled, ordered. EXCEPT I PUT IN THE WRONG DATE. I got confused and put Thursday as the shipping date. After several calls and emails to the sperm bank they reassured me that this happens all the time and switched the date. On track for a Thursday delivery.

Smooth sailing we thought – until this morning. I’ve been taking the ovulation prediction tests that basically means I pee in a cup and put a strip in to tell me if I am ovulating. [You can pee on a stick too but this method was cheaper and I figure if I want to have a baby I shouldn’t be too grossed out by this. (I totally spilled pee all over the bathroom this morning.)] This morning the test came back positive meaning that I would ovulate in the next 24 hours. UPS would be here tomorrow around 5. This means that we would miss the chance to inseminate 24 hours after a positive test and be cutting it close to inseminate at 36. (Those are the advised times). Panicked, I went to the sperm bank’s forum and asked people’s thoughts. After getting some reassurance, I called UPS and changed the delivery so we can pick it up at 8 am tomorrow. We will come home, thaw, and inseminate.

Part of me feels like this chaos is a good sign. We are the people who looked at houses on a whim and bought the second one we looked at. We make decisions fast and ride the waves that come with impulsiveness. But if it isn’t meant to be this time at least maybe we are learning how to be better prepared next time.

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Order

Well, we ordered the first round of sperm. There is a small (15%ish) chance that this will be the only round of sperm and at $779 we can sure hope so. Each vile of sperm is $300 and you want to do double inseminations (2 viles at two different times) if possible as that increases your chances. SO $600 for sperm and $169 for shipping. We could also order supplies (basically a syringe) from them for $10 so for the ease of having it all together we did that. We hope that I get pregnant within six months.

I am not overly optimistic about round one but it sure would be great it if happened right away. I guess at this point it is okay to be a little optimistic but I am worried about being let down every time it doesn’t work. This is all part of the process and I know it can take a while but I secretly have my fingers crossed that we can get pregnant the first time. The box comes Thursday and I should ovulate around Saturday so we’ll be prepared. I’m pretty sure I am going to have a hard time focusing on anything this week so for the sake of my job hope this doesn’t last six months!

I’ll post pictures on Thursday of the box so that I have back up when our child ask where babies come from (Spokane). In the meantime, I leave you with this video:

Donor

We picked our top three donors yesterday. We had sat down with friends a week ago and looked at them all and choose 12 which we then whittled down to three. This was a very easy process for us and explaining that has already become complicated.

Ultimately it ones down to this: We don’t care. This to us is a necessary evil. We looked over basic information and picked based on a few factors: 1) We only wanted an anonymous donor. You can choose to have open contact meaning you (or your child at 18) can contact them. We don’t want that. This man is not a parent to our child and our child does not need to have any contact with them. 2) We picked someone who was CMV negative. This has something to do with a strand of herpes. Honestly, I don’t quite get it and am not too concerned but because we don’t know if I am a carrier we decided to continue living our lives herpes free. 3) We picked based on good family health history. All of our top three choices met these qualifications but the top choice didn’t wear glasses. I’ve worn glasses since I was four so we thought we’d give our child a chance at good eyesight.

And that’s it. There is other information and at some point I should print it and file it but it honestly didn’t matter to us. Yes, that DNA will be a part of our child but that man will never be a part of our lives. Our friends think we have strange issues about biological parent vs. non biological because of how nonchalant we are about this but I don’t think that’s true – I don’t think it is a bad thing to agonize over this more or to want to feel a connection but it’s just not something we need.

Talking about the donor is one of my biggest concerns. I worry it will be something people ask about and those will be questions I don’t care to answer. This child will be mine and Pot’s and that is what matters. We have friends who conceived with a donor and get asked about him a lot. They tell people this man gave them an incredible gift. I can’t help but feel that romanticizes a man jerking off for money. Am I grateful we can do this? Yes. But when asked questions about the donor I am more likely to redirect those questions to my family. And when my child asks about the where they came from I’ll be prepared with age appropriate answers that will likely start with, “Your mom and I love each other very much…”

Anxieties

Yesterday I panicked. It all centered around tracking ovulation and quickly spun out of intros. I have been tracking monthly and was supposed to get positive results last week when peeing on an ovulation testing sick. When nothing showed up I got worried and when I started my period yesterday, what I thought was a week early, I understood why. I began to get worried about when to order sperm as it only lasts for seven days when it gets here. If my ovulation tracking is off when do I order?

So I took this question to a forum set up by our sperm bank. I got some good answers and more overwhelmed. This led to pot finding me laying in bed sobbing. I felt we were so behind on things we needed to do and were not at all prepared. She called friends who have been through this and after their kiddos went to bed we went to their house to talk it out.

We immediately figured out that nothing was off track. I got a new phone earlier this month and when I reload ladytimer it went to default settings and said I had a 33 day cycle instead of a 26. Problem solved; we’re on track.

So the big news is this: we’ll order sperm this month! I’ll ovulate twice in August so in a month we’ll be old pros at this. It’s overwhelming – this thing we’ve been wanting for so long is finally here. I’m worried about the money, I’m worries that we’re going to screw something up, I’m worried about how our lives are going to change. But we’re here. We ARE ready. And in 11 days we’ll get a package delivered, squeeze each other’s nervous hands, and say, “Let’s do this.”

Year seven

Today is our anniversary. We have been together for seven years and are prepared to fully embrace year eight. I tell you this because it is the back story of all the planning. We did not decide at the end of February to have a baby. This was decided long ago, at a time we don’t even know. For us, it is something we have known for so long.

In my mind, this will be the most planned baby to exist. I ache to be a parent. More than that I ache to be a parent with Pot. I am so excited about this journey and think that we will do great and have an amazing time doing it. I have been patient about this journey and have anxiously waited until we were ready.

We had things we wanted to complete first. Four years ago we moved across the country. That was step one. Pot entered and completed grad school. That was step two. I got a job that is very stable with great benefits. Step three. In there we bought a house – a step we planned to take after pregnancy but we looked at two on a whim and bought one. Not quite step four but accomplished nonetheless.

I knew we wanted to complete these things but it has been a struggle to wait. I’ve watched friends who haven’t been together a long as we have start having kids. I have watched heterosexual friends accidently get pregnant – some excited and some not. I’ve watched my nieces and nephews grow into existence and then grow from babies to toddlers to kids. All this time I have wondered, “When is it our turn?”

I’ve tried to be patient but more often than not I’ve been filled with jealousy. The “When is it our turn?” question has been angry and sad and the frustration has been unflattering to say the least. Pot is much calmer, about this and everything. Honestly, she deserves some sort of medal for making it through every day with me. But when the new year started I made a goal: Enjoy the present and don’t rush for the future. I feel that I have done a good job with that – at least better than in the past. Enjoy this time where the two of us ride bikes and nap midday and live in our little house on our little street and enjoy that this is my life. I love my life. I love Pot more than I could ever begin to explain. And I love that we are here and ready to move forward, together and prepared.

Preparing

When we first decided to start getting serious about pregnancy I checked out every book about lesbian pregnancy our local library had (3). I opened them, quickly flipped through them, and returned them. They all talked about the decisions you need to make: who will carry the child, known donor or anonymous, home insemination vs. office. I wanted to know more from people. I wanted to know how people did this and hear about their experiences. I have found some of that on the internet from various blogs and have had friends who have gone before me and done this so that has been my basis of knowledge. From those sources, I learned that I needed to prepare.

It’s a strange concept for me: Preparing to get pregnant. See, I am a social service provider. I used to work with teenage parents. I am very aware that most people do not PREPARE to get pregnant so I wondered. “Why should I?”. Tips include: getting enough sleep (I do), eating healthy (I eat fairly healthy), avoiding caffeine (I don’t drink coffee and only have an occassional soda so think I am good there). Okay, I think I am confident on these things. Folks also suggest not having alcohol for a while before trying and while trying. While trying, sure, I get but was wondering at what point I stop drinking beforehand. This past Saturday I went out with Pot and our friends and maybe drank too much. I woke up with mysterious bruises all over my hand. From what we can figure out this came from arm wrestling. I got drunk and arm wrestled my friends. This is especially sad because I have no arm stregnth and lose every single time. It was Sunday morning that I figured out I might as well stop drinking now as it is too late to stop while I am ahead. The other preparation I have been proactive about is taking vitamins. I have had them in the cabinet for months but for the past two weeks have taken them almost every day. I have a lot of multi vitamins so am not currently using a prenatal. I get most of what I need from the multi vitamin. I supplement that with a folic acid tablet. When I saw my doctor the one thing she wanted to be sure of is that I was taking folic acid and enough of it (800 to 1000 mg a day).

So I got some of the nutrition stuff mastered, or at least as mastered as I will get it. The other project is to track your ovulation. There are many ways to do this, all of which are found online, but the easiest is to get ovulation testers and track it. We got a pack of 20 at Target a few months ago half off on clearance and went to work. The first month we used a lot to figure out when it was but since then I have mainly been tracking using a smartphone app, Ladytimer (that is honestly the name). I test my ovulation around when it says I am ovulating and things look pretty right on. Which bring us to our last and by far grossest step.

Once you know when you are ovulating, you should check your cervix to lookfor cervical mucus. Ideally, you should do this when ovulating and not so you can tell the difference. This is something that can be done by feel or if you have a loving partner, like I do, with sight. We’re a bit behind on this so checked last night as I am currently fertile. You should note, before doing this, that this might be the least sexy thing you ever do. Especially when you google search “cervical mucus” to make sure you are seeing the right thing. So we checked it on and now we keep checking and comparing. This is our our last big prepping step. Shits about to get real.

Doctors

We have had decisions to make about how we want to try to get pregnant. After sending all of our documents to the specialist and them checking our insurance they confirmed what I feared: Our insurance won’t over the visits. That left us with two options: Going through the specialist and paying the $568 for the consultation and the fee for other doctors visits on top of the cost of sperm or ordering sperm directly and doing things at home. We evaluated our finances and decided if we want to start trying to get pregnant this fall than doing it at home was the best option and we would move forward with that plan.

The biggest concern with that is ordering sperm. Some sperm banks will only ship to doctor’s offices and most require that you have a signature from a doctor that they will be supervising the procedure. After some panic we found one (NWcryobank) that seems like the right fit. It is a relief to have found that and solidified those details. The next step was seeing my doctor. Today was my annual exam and I talked to my doctor about our plans to get pregnant. She asked if I am taking vitamins and tracking my ovulation (I am.) and asked what our plans are. We discussed the problems with finding a sperm bank and she reported that there were no concerns for us inseminating on our own. The whole experience was kind of surreal. I have other friends who are going through this process and are getting blood drawn to check hormone levels and have long meetings with the doctor. I knew that we would not do that because we are doing home insemination but there was a lack of pizazz about the whole appointment. Pot and I talk often about how easily some women get pregnant with little to no intervention and we have no reason to believe it would be any different for us. So we go forward with a wish of good luck from our doctor and a list of donors to review.