Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Does Having A Gayby Make You An Instant Poster Child?

I was reading this blog entry by N over at Lesbian Family and it got me thinking.

I've done my fair share of glbt activism -- mainly for marriage equality here in the Ocean State.  I've attended rallies and brainstorming session and the like.  However, in my day-to-day life, I don't really talk much about being gay.  I mean, I don't go out of my way to mention or not mention it either way.  If people make assumptions, I just go with it.  When the women in the office talk about their boyfriends and such (and sometimes to a level where I **really** wish they would stop sharing so openly with each other!), I just say nothing.  I don't talk about women I've dated.  I certainly would never talk about my sex life the way that these women do.  (Even in my "previously straight" life, I never would have!) Occasionally, I'll mention that I was married previously.  Generally, I just steer clear of these kinds of conversations.

I always find it a little bit startling when people ask, "Do you have a boyfriend?".  I find it to be forward.  Perhaps this is due to the fact that I am relatively private about my personal life and rarely do I mix my personal and professional lives.  We'll ignore for the moment that H & I are both employed by the same company.  I'd like to think of us as quietly out.  We've never come right out and said it, but we request time off together and are honest with management if we need to accompany the other to a doctor's appointment or what have you.  Everyone knows that we live together.

I often wonder what would happen if H &  I shared stories, openly, the way that these other women do about their dating lives.  I suspect it would wind us up in HR and I find that double standard to be appalling.  I wonder how they would handle being subjected to some of the things that my poor ears have heard and how they would opt to handle it. ( I can never un-hear that.)  I'm getting side-tracked.

It all makes me think back to a post that a friend of mine wrote several years ago.  I'll try to get the text to share with you all, but her blog is currently un-published for privacy concerns.  In this post, she spoke about her family's experience with strangers while visiting their local y's swimming pool.  There was an older couple who seemed confused by her little family and asked a lot of questions while trying to figure out what exactly was going on.  She talked about how she should have/wished she had handled it differently, etc.

How do you live your life honestly and teach your children to stand up for themselves and their families, and not take things like this head on?  Do you have to? Can you just live quietly and not constantly re-assert your family's place in society?  I don't think I would be inclined to correct people based on how I've handled my queer status up til now.  However, I've also wondered if I wasn't the gestational parent whether I would feel differently being the "other mother" and feel more strongly about asserting my role as mommy, and how our family fits together.

What do you think?  Do gay parents have an obligation to be gay ambassadors?  Do you think that sends the wrong message to our kids if we don't constantly correct others?

What sorts of situations have come up for your family and what did you say?  Or what do you wish you would have done differently?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Who's Got the Pop?

Popcorn in my uterus
So, physically, I feel pretty damn dreadful.

This discomfort in my uterus/pelvis/back/ovaries?, I honestly can't tell where it's originating from, but it's constant.

I feel like my uterus doesn't fit in my body.  Like, it feels as if it is just sitting on where my lap should be -- as if I should be taller and have a longer torso in order to fit it all in there.  I have a constant dull achy feeling.  I feel "full" in the lower abdomen.  It hurts to stand, walk, pee, cough, sneeze and do anything other than just lay on the couch with a heating pad.  Even that doesn't really help, but I at least feel like I'm DOING SOMETHING to make it better.

Emotionally, I feel fine.  I'm much less crazed, so far, this time around.  I tested yesterday 5 days post trigger to ensure that the trigger was gone, and it is indeed undetectable with an internet strip test. I seem to pretty reliably flush the Ovidrel trigger shot out of my system (hcg) consistently by day 5 post trigger (or 6 days including the day it is administered.)

Yesterday, I was pretty much starving all day and ate like a pig (mostly decent choices except for 1 handful of salt and vinegar chips and 1 cup cake).  I don't recall having this happen previously, but let's say that the hormones definitely affect my appetite.  I, sadly, gained back all of the weight that I lost last year, after the 3 cycles that I did.  And then some... ah well, you gain some, you some lose some, and you gain it back again...

Of course, I have the usual constant urination problem, so that's nothing new to report.  I just feel like my body is appreciating all of this much less than usual.  I feel yucky.

Oh, and if you're wondering what the deal is with the popcorn --  it feels like there is popcorn popping in my uterus.  Pop! Poke! Poke! Pop!  I'm assuming it's probably gas, or uterine twitches or whatever from all of this crap floating around in my body.  It would be inconceivable for to be anything of any consequence considering I am only 4dpo.

God this is a pretty damn whiny post and I didn't even have the decency to be funny about it.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Swim Report IUI# 4 Volume .5cc

Annnnd... they're off!
Total count 144 million - 70 million motile (per 1ml) with 35million available for this IUI (.5ml).  Pretty good, I'd say.

The previous donor's counts were:

IUI #1 15mil available motile (disappointing)

IUI#2  33 mil available motile
How is it even possible that this could make a baby? Magic!

IUI#3 32 mil available motile

I'm very fortunate that IUI's are very easy for me.  My cervix is super cooperative and only mildly curved, so an IUI can't really get any simpler.  They were sort of in awe of my unremarkable (perfect?) anatomy.

I cramped like a motherf"*#r today.  We had the best nurse ever.  She was so super sweet and helpful.  Gave me tylenol and a heat pack and the little pull cord for emergencies.  All three worked great.  Particularly the pull cord.  I forgot it was on my lap and when I got up I triggered the, "I've fallen and I can't get up alarm!"  They run fast... and I felt... sheepish. Especially, considering I was still bare ass.  So, I ducked behind the curtain and let Holly deal with my error. 

"Pay no attention to the bare assed woman behind the curtain!"

The nurse didn't do the IUI, but a resident Dr. Kristen Taylor did it.  Perhaps she will be my good luck charm!

I have internet cheapies on the way to help defray the costs of my pee stick obsession.  I like to test the trigger out of my system and then I can watch for  REAL positive (or more usually, negative) result.

And thus begins the longest two weeks of my life.  Pregnant until proven otherwise.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Are You a Good Chicken or a Bad Chicken?

A decidedly BAD chicken.
 Yes. You are reading this report correctly.  I have two soon to be totally mature follicles and one MAYBE will be mature in time 3rd follicle.

Trigger to take place in about 5 minutes.  IUI on Thursday!
I'm a good chicken and I keep my eggs warm. I've been using heat on my belly to increase blood flow.  Compare the numbers from yesterday.  The growth was pretty impressive over the last 3 days.

* Final Report *

REI Ultrasound Form Entered On:  02/19/2013 9:22  
 Performed On:  02/19/2013 9:21  
REI Ultrasound Information Form 
LMP REI :   02/05/2013  
Left Ovarian Length :   40mm 
Left Ovarian Height :   28mm 
Right Ovarian Length :   38mm 
Right Ovarian Height :   25mm 
IVF Endometrium REI :   7.5 
Trilam :   Yes 

REI Left Ovarian Follicle Measurements 
Left Ovary 1 :   11mm 
Left Ovary 1A :   14mm 
Left Ovary 1 Mean :   12.5 
Left Ovary 2 :   18mm 
Left Ovary 2A :   19mm 
Left Ovary 2 Mean :   18.5 
Ultrasound L REI :   18.5, 12.5, m<12 div="" nbsp="">
Left Total Follicles >or= 15 :   1# 
Left Total Follicles >or= 12 :   2# 

REI Right Ovarian Follicle Measurements 
Right Ovary 1 :   17mm 
Right Ovary 1A :   13mm 
Right Ovary Mean 1 :   15.0 
Ultrasound R REI :   15, m<12 div="" nbsp="">
Right Total Follicles >or= 15 :   1# 
Right Total Follicles >or= 12 :   1# 

REI Total Follicles 
Left and Right TTL Follicles >=15mm :   2 
Left and Right TTL Follicles >=12mm :   3 

Result Type: REI Diagnostic Procedure Note
Result Date: 19 February 2013 09:21 
Result Status: Auth (Verified)
Result Title: REI Ultrasound Form

Monday, February 18, 2013

A Race to the Finish

Somebody needs to brush their teefs...
My ultrasound report from today reads like a transcript from a horse race where the underdog (underhorse?) takes the finish line.

I had one follicle on the right side that went from 6mm to 12mm (!! incredible!) and the lead follicle on the left went from 13 to 15.5mm (normal growth!).  So, now it's a race to the finish to see which one matures first -- and whether or not they will both mature at the same time!

Estradiol is up from 339 to 421.

So, back to the office tomorrow for some more yoni wanding and blood work.

Monday's Follie Report

* Final Report *
REI Ultrasound Form Entered On:  02/18/2013 9:26  

REI Ultrasound Information Form
LMP REI :   02/05/2013
Left Ovarian Length :   33mm
Left Ovarian Height :   24mm
Right Ovarian Length :   34mm
Right Ovarian Height :   24mm
IVF Endometrium REI :   6.7
Trilam :   Yes

REI Left Ovarian Follicle Measurements
Left Ovary 1 :   16mm
Left Ovary 1A :   15mm
Left Ovary 1 Mean :   15.5
Ultrasound L REI :   15.5,(m<12 nbsp="" p="">Left Total Follicles >or= 15 :   1#
Left Total Follicles >or= 12 :   1#

REI Right Ovarian Follicle Measurements
Right Ovary 1 :   13mm
Right Ovary 1A :   11mm
Right Ovary Mean 1 :   12.0
Ultrasound R REI :   12,(m<12 nbsp="" p="">Right Total Follicles >or= 15 :   0#
Right Total Follicles >or= 12 :   1#

REI Total Follicles
Left and Right TTL Follicles >=15mm :   1
Left and Right TTL Follicles >=12mm :   2

Saturday's Follie Report:

* Final Report *
REI Ultrasound Form Entered On:  02/16/2013 9:23  

REI Ultrasound Information Form
LMP REI :   02/05/2013
Left Ovarian Length :   30mm
Left Ovarian Height :   24mm
Right Ovarian Length :   34mm
Right Ovarian Height :   24mm
IVF Endometrium REI :   6.1
Trilam :   No

REI Left Ovarian Follicle Measurements
Left Ovary 1 :   14mm
Left Ovary 1A :   12mm
Left Ovary 1 Mean :   13.0
Ultrasound L REI :   13, 4<12 nbsp="" p="">Left Total Follicles >or= 15 :   0#
Left Total Follicles >or= 12 :   1#
Left Total Follicles <12 4="" :="" nbsp="" p="">

REI Right Ovarian Follicle Measurements
Right Ovary 1 :   6mm
Ultrasound R REI :   M<12 nbsp="" p="">Right Total Follicles >or= 15 :   0#
Right Total Follicles >or= 12 :   0#

REI Total Follicles
Left and Right TTL Follicles >=15mm :   0
Left and Right TTL Follicles >=12mm :   1

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Holding Pattern

Well, the little follies are still little follies.  So, we will repeat the blood work and u/s in two days.
 Hopefully by then we'll have a mighty follie or TWO and will proceed with the trigger shot business.

Originally, the doctor wanted to re-evaluate this plan of treatment, but I insisted that I stay with the current plan of 50mg clomid and ovidrel trigger.  I didn't want to over-treat because I was already ovulating on my own.  We were just looking to gain a little more control over my cycle (due to the incredible cost of swimcicles -- I swear I will never complain about the cost of gas again!), but I wanted to do so as gently as possible.  I'm beginning to rethink.

My lining looks fine at 6.1, so I'm not having issues with that typical thinning that many people have.   However, it seems that the follies are taking longer to mature each time.  Not that this is a huge amount of time, I had one at 14mm and 1 at 12mm on the left side.   However, the last two times, I have had to go in for recheck... and then there are the post ovulation cysts.  I've had two of those and they kinda suck.  I guess they are fairly common with clomid.  Of course, I wonder if my taking a dose of the clomid 12 hours late could have delayed the maturity a bit.

Unbelievably, we are expecting another snow storm here.  I can only imagine what another 4-8 inches will do for the people that built the 12 Foot Snow Penis after the blizzard last week.  I rather enjoy all 4 of the seasons here in New England, so I'm a little giddy for more snow.  With 40 degree temps all week and rain showers, we've watched the snow disappear.  Much of it is nearly gone...

Oh! Check this out!  My friend Jamie Glowacki, Potty Training Extraordinaire at Oh Crap! Potty Training! , and her son sculpted a GIANT NEMO clown fish out of snow and colored it with melted candy!  Brilliant!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Public Service Announcement - commenting and iPads

BionicMamas, has brought to my attention an issue that bloggers may be experiencing fewer comments than usual.

With the increase in iPad traffic, you will likely see a decrease in commenting as there seems to be a glitch which prevents commenting from the iPad platform.

My blog is affected by this and people with iPads have reported that they were unable to leave feedback.

If you are able to comment, please do so, I'm kind of a feedback whore.  In return, I promise to be better with commenting.

If you would like to reach me for any reason, you can always email me.


So, the swimcicles are en route and should arrive at the clinic later today.

Tomorrow, I go in for a visit with the dildocam and some blood work to check to see how the little follies are doing.  I'm a little concerned because I forgot to take the clomid one night and ended up taking it in the middle of the next day, about 12 hours late!  Hopefully, it won't make too much of a difference.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

I'm a bad bloggah mama! (That's how we say it in Rhode Islandese)

I just realized that I have been sporadically blogging for 4 years.  On February 12, a milestone was reached!

Four years ago, it was difficult to imagine that I would EVER be HERE. Acutally trying. **Acutally** ovulating! At that time, I couldn't imagine ever living without kids.  Now, as I've gotten a bit older and a bit set in my ways, I'm thinking, "okay, if this doesn't work after these next 3 rounds, it might not be the end of the world." I think I had a little bit of this feeling during the last go 'round.

I guess you could say that this is the way more expensive, lesbian, version of, "Let's just see what happens."

I feel a little strange, while I do have a pee stick compulsion, I have never cried at a negative.  Even when I had what I think was a chemical pregnancy, I was still fine.  Granted, it was nice for those hours to imagine welcoming a baby into the world and thinking about all of the amazing things to come.

I was disappointed, but not crushed.  I feel like I should want it more.  Should I want it more?  I, clearly want a child on some level, based on the bullshit I've put myself through and the thousands of dollars that I've spent so far.  I don't know if I'm just so focused on/worried about all of the wasted money, that I can't even muster the emotional currency to spend on it.  I don't know.

I find that I am a bit in the minority on this.  Most of the people on my message board are just so crushed/disappointed, I wonder if maybe I want this at all?  It seems like my emotions are out of line with everyone else that is in the same boat.


This sort of sounds like a sad post, but I'm not at all sad...

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Happy New Year!

It is the year of the snake, and dudes, the year of the snake is MY YEAR.  I've so got this in the bag. Right? RIGHT!?!? Right.

The thing that I've most been dreading is done. I HAVE PICKED A DONOR.

I opted for the only not-for-profit bank in the country. I know of several people that have had wonderful experiences with this bank.

They have one of the SMALLEST family limits that I could find -- at 10 families.  There can be more than 10 children, but not more than 10 families with children from the same donor.  If you've been reading along, you know that I've been totally freaked out by the possibility of tons and tons and tons of half sibs out there.  So, this seemed like a good compromise.

I know that they handled an issue with a donor with a potential problem with a very high level of ethics and caring.  So, the post conception support that they tout is actually true!

They have a high number of Identity Release donors available.  Unfortunately, I didn't fall in love with an ID release donor.  In fact, of the 3 of 63 donors that I whittled it down to, they all ended up being anonymous donors.  There seems that there may be some flexibility with the donor I chose and he may change his mind in the future.

I do plan to join the bank's family message board so that we can keep in touch with half siblings.  Currently, this donor has had no pregnancies yet, since he is fairly new. So, we may be hanging out there waiting for half siblings for awhile.

I'm a bit disappointed about not having a known donor, but logistically speaking it just seemed like an awful lot to navigate.  In this state, there are no guarantees that a donor contract would protect us from having a donor possibly seek custody, because you cannot sever paternal rights until there is a child born.

I'm not ruling it out for the future, but for right now, this feels easier and manageable.

So, for $1,655.00 (including the 200.00 shipping fee), I am now the proud owner of 3 vials of highly potent, magical swimmers.

Oh! I forgot to say that this bank also will tell you the post thaw counts for each donor BEFORE YOU BUY.  They also automatically release the vials with the highest counts FIRST.   So, my donor's post thaw count is 65mil motile sperm.  This is MUCH higher than the last donor I used.  One of his samples was 10 mil motile (Fairfax cryo), which is pretty much the lowest cut off when using frozen samples.  The bank I chose this time around requires at least 20 mil motile post thaw.

I have enjoyed the last few months off and being free from the crazy that is attempted baby making.  However, I am refreshed, and once again a bit terrified, to be starting again.

I think the money part of this is the most difficult part for me.  Every time it doesn't work, I just count up all of the money that I've wasted.  And the first 3 cycles, I had free sperm!  However, when money is already tight, add this into the mix and it's just, phew!

I'm looking into some options.  I have many midwife friends that can likely do my IUI this time around, for way less money (possibly free). So, I'm having the samples shipped to my doctor's cryobank, but then I'm going to pull a little switcheroo on them and only do the monitoring there.  I think.  The monitoring is certainly the most lucrative part for them anyway.

See, every time you have a shipment of samples sent, it's 200.00, whether it's one vial or 10.  So, I am having all of it shipped at once.  My doctor's office doesn't even charge for storage, they do it as a courtesy.  However, the office charges 176.00 for the IUI procedure, which takes under 30 minutes. HIGHWAY ROBBERY!  The catheter system is 30.00 AT COST.  Ridiculous.

I think that for this cycle I will likely have the IUI at the office because I need to make an appointment with the office that my friend works at.  She's a midwife in training, so she needs her preceptor there, and they are only both in the office on Wednesdays. Today is already Wednesday... and I'm probably going to be IUI'ing on Monday...

Also, if I have the IUI on Monday, and I get pregnant this time... my due date will be 11-12-13. Which, by the way, makes me ridiculously happy.  I love funky dates like that.  :)

  66.67   (1/3 shipping fee for vial)
485.00   (1 vial, .5cc, washed, IUI ready)
176.00   (IUI office visit)
119.00   (Clomid 50mg, 1 ovidrel trigger)
846.67   PER TRY !!!!

This does not include whatever the cost will be for the sperm prep/thaw.  Last time, it cost 330.00 for sperm prep, but I have no idea what sort of samples they were processing.  This time, they shouldn't need to do anything, but thaw.

Can someone please throw me a conception costs shower?  Whatever I don't need, I'll put toward the home birth fund...