2 women trying to make a baby

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Bitter Infertile

That's me! Today I am a bitter infertile in the land of the happy, oblivious fertiles. I struggle to find and maintain my happy place and to find the lessons that this journey has to offer, but today I am feeling bitter and broken.

My sister and mother openly talk about how easy getting pregnant was. And every cycle I attempt, they tell me how fertile our family is so "of course you'll get pregnant." (They also told me that our family does not have a history of miscarriage so I should be fine ---clearly that did not work our so well for me.) I cannot seem to get my family to understand how very hard TTC has been for HJ and I.

And I have these massive mixed emotions about HJ getting pregnant. Every month that our insemination attempts do not work is a disappointment for me (and for her). But at the same time, I still have a lingering concern that I might feel jealous watching her have a pregnancy when I really really want one... yet at the same time, I hope she is fertile because I want a child. This whole thought process makes my head hurt.

Lastly HJ and I have this recurrent semi-argument because she worries that my mother (and family) might not treat a child she carries as well as they will treat a child I carry. The whole topic puts me in a crazy tight spot. 1) I love everyone involved and want to make peace 2) I wonder the same thing but just cannot know the answer until we live it 3) I don't even know if I can carry a baby to term so the whole idea may be a mute point. Every time we have this conversation, I generally shut down as I simply do not know what else to say at this point. stress, stress, stress

Tomorrow I will decorate for Christmas, bake cookies and wrap presents (and likely drink some more wine we got from the Bilt.more winery). Hopefully I will be able to post as a festive infertile at the end of the day.

Oh yeah, HJ took a hpt today and we got a single pink line.... probably just as well since her day 21 progesterone was only 10 (and an 11.5 is needed for a healthy pg). Next month we are doing an IUI with our known donor (Big Daddy) at Dr. Pal's office. We will give this a few months then will likely begin using an RE for HJ also. RE's attention to detail is much better than that of regular OBGYNs.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving thanks

Today HJ and I spent the entire day with my extended family--- many of whom are happy, pregnant fertiles. That part of the day was tough so I will list some things I am thankful for and I will NOT dwell on what we do not have.

In no particular order, I am thankful for:
1) The very good white wine I drank tonight
2) the usual lack of terrorist activity in the US
3) that I have found my soul mate and that she loves me as much as I love her
4) my family accepts HJ and I
5) my family in general
6) my sperm donor and his wife
7) that HJ and I can try to get pg
8) my dogs
9) good books
10) the blogging community that helps keep me sane
11) my job
12) good health
13) Grace
14) my garden
15) sushi
16) Chai tea

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

And WE aren't fit to be parents!?

Caution: I am feeling very irritated so the following post will reflect that sentiment!!

Tonight HJ and I had the unfortunate experience of going to a "big box" store with a snackbar-- where we decided to share a pretzel and an iced tea. As we sat in a booth, we noticed a large variety of poor parenting. One dirty young man, who I will fondly call TSOS (the spawn of satan), was of particular interest to us. He ran to the soda dispenser and wasted several quarts of cola as his father sat and silently watched him. HJ and I stared openly at Spawn and his father until the brain trust father finally got uncomfortable and told his spawn to stop. HJ and I were hooked on the show: it was like a train wreck we could not look away from! Then the boy ate some pizza with a messiness I did not know was even possible. And the grand finale was when the boy began spitting on the floor!! Again HJ and I gaped with disdain! Now the brain trust father did tell his spawn to stop and even cleaned up the floor. It appears that the father was now using his very best parenting skills!! As the family got up to leave, the boy again ran to the soda machine to waste more liquid. The father did yell at the boy and the boy decided to stop after about an minute but he was in no hurry as he know that there would be no consequences from his sloth-like father. Did I mention that the boy was at least 8 years old?

We witnessed a wealth of other poor parenting examples in addition to coatless pregnant teens in flip flops. But truly the spawn and his sloth-like brain-trust father were our favorites. We left in a huff, talking about the general decision-making skills of the higher power that decides who does and does not get to become parents. I know that this is a bad path to explore and I try to avoid it....but here I am again.

Perhaps tomorrow I will post about something I am thankful for.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

superstitious much?

Today I went to the local grocery/everything store. I bought a tons of things to get HJ and I through the holiday at my parents house. I was walking through the feminine goods aisle before I left. I bought some tampons (yes, unbleached cotton) and I also planned to pick up a hpt. Then I froze and could not put the FRER into my cart. My mind went into overdrive thinking that if I bought the test, I would want HJ to take it and this 2ww would be over. So I decided that if I did not buy the hpt but I did buy the tampons then murphey's law would make her NOT start a period and NEED a hpt. So I left the area feeling satisfied with my cleverness.

Now as I am home and putting the groceries away, I realize that I may have come slightly unhinged!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Update on this cycle

It occurred to me that I have not actually mentioned anything about HJ's 2ww since we tried the inseminations. Well, there really is not alot to say.

She is not on progesterone so she has not one single pregnancy sign: zip, zilch, nada, nothing. Of course we are not surprised. It sort of hit me out of the blue today that we can test in less than 1 week....maybe we will and maybe we will just see if she starts her period. This whole cycle has been uber low key... no stress but also no high hopes. Truly I am not pessimistic-- just realistic.

Okay, my secret day dream for this 2ww: I replay the look HJ will have on her face when day 15 arrives and AF does not. I imagine us driving to the drug store and buying a FRER test, and we giggle and hold hands all the way home. Then she takes the test and we watch as 2 pink lines practically jump from the little window. We squeal, hug and jump around.... then HJ begins to look dazed. We cannot contain ourselves so we call Big Daddy (our known donor) and tell him the news. He and HJ laugh heartily at how virile he is (getting 2 women preggers on the 1st attempt). Of course, I come blog about the BFP immediately as HJ calls to cancel the IUI we have scheduled in December.

It's a silly dream but it makes me smile every time!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

What would you do....

What would you do (what would I do) if you knew you could not fail?

I have been thinking about this idea for a few days. When I take on a new task, I generally feel that I will either succeed by my own cleverness and perseverance or I will succeed by finding the correct mentor ship. Since I feel this way, I usually DO succeed. I work my way into management wherever I work. I make friends out of the people I find appealing. I take on new projects with wild abandon and laugh my way through. My attitude is that I will have fun and I will either end with a good outcome or I will end with a good story. (Of course when I do not succeed at something, I tell myself that the thing simply was not on the path I should travel.) I realize that this way of thinking is very self-serving but it gives me great peace.

TTC has been very different for me. HJ and I initially began assuming that I would reproduce without trouble--- just get me near a testicle swim team and my eggs would find a way! We even set aside $7000 of our savings thinking that we would have money to reproduce and put the rest back into the account... LOL ... Then the RE had bad news for me and said that IVF would be my only option with any real chance of success. My heart dropped and I felt as though I had been punched in the stomach. But HJ and I persevered! We read up on the procedure and just knew that I would get pregnant on the 1st go... which I did..... then I miscarried. Then IVF #2 was a bust. My foundation has been rocked.

In retrospect, I have been to this foundationless place before. I was so totally broken when my 1st long term partner left me. I feared I would never love again so I filled my life with an amazing support system. The 2 years before I met HJ were filled with amazing joy and unanticipated growth. I did fear that I would just find a string of less than satisfying people to date but I found ways to fill the hole left by my 1st partner. I think the difference is that friends, family, career and such are not adequate replacements of being a mother and all the wonders that go with having a child.

Who am I if I cannot succeed? Who will I be if I cannot be a mother? I think that I have always seen myself as motherly. I take care of people. I adore Martha Stewart. I plan all year what I will bake at Christmas time. For pete's sake, I even provide counseling to children! When I read the Awakening, I enjoyed Edna Pontellier's independence but I more closely identified with Adele Ratignolle's love of family. I have always considered myself, a "mother-woman." (Which in my opinion does not also preclude being a feminist and an activist!)

So how would I feel about TTC if I KNEW without a doubt that I would succeed in having a child? No worries: no questions: just a quiet confidence in the knowledge that I will be a mother: that either HJ or I will produce a child to fill our home with that last missing element. If I knew these things, I would be free from such fear. I would not have that gnawing feeling that my life may proceed without my deepest desire. I think I would feel lighter and might feel less like I do right now--- as though HJ and I are endlessly in a holding pattern.

Don't misunderstand, I am happy. I feel blessed to be with the love of my life. I am fulfilled by my job and HJ and I are financially okay. I see the good parts of my life and I celebrate them. But how much happier could we all be if we knew that we could finish the TTC journey as parents rather than as wanna-be's? Who knows? Maybe I will end feeling about the past year + the way I feel about the 2 years I was single as an adult--- as I time I learned and grew for the better.

Quote: Just when the caterpillar thought its world was over, it became a butterfly.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

2ww II plus updates

So HJ and I are in the 2ww again and I am having really mixed emotions about that.... not about having a baby--- never a 2nd thought about that! My 2nd thoughts are about how we are living our lives now, in 2 week increments. (Period, waiting for ovulation, then insemination followed by the 2ww) This whole home insemination thing along with IUI's means that we can cycle back to back to our hearts content. I know HJ and she is now a woman with a mission: my fear is that she will feel compelled to cycle again and again until we succeed. Good outcome: crazy way to live. At least when I do IVF cycles I have time between to feel normal again and re-group emotionally. But who knows, maybe this time will work and we will not ever have to cycle again--- dare to dream!

Ok, happier note....

We did our last insemination for the month last night. In a matter of days, Known Donor, Wifey, HJ and I have become super nonchalant about this whole odd process. HJ and I took take-out so that we could all have dinner together since KD and Wifey had an appointment with their OBGYN last night. We looked at the couple's wedding photos. Donor excused himself and returned with "the cup" really quickly. HJ and he passed one another in the hallway and did an NBA-style High 5. HJ and I went to the bedroom for our portion of the entertainment. We emerge after 45 minutes of insemination + pelvis tilting time. Then all of us watch part of Mr and Mrs Smith. We talk about next month's cycle timing and decide that we will go to a professional football game together this weekend. HJ and I then come home..... truly surreal.

Oh and my brother is wimping out! He's getting all shy and wiggy about the process of donating. He is older than me and has never been married so I suppose that I should not be surprised that he has commitment issues. I am a bit angry but I am also not surprised. I am sooooo thankful for Known Donor and Wifey! (Yes, I will be thinking of better pseudonyms by next month.)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Turkey baster-- not just for Thanksgiving anymore!

Okay, so we didn't actually use a turkey baster but the approach was only slightly more high tech.

Tonight our known donor invited us to his home between his his day and evening engagements. We were all way more relaxed tonight and the whole event came off without a hitch!

Here's the short play by play:
1) Known donor comes home and we meet him at his house
2) KD changes into a t-shirt that says Big Daddy and we all laugh.
3) He briefly disappears into the guest bedroom while HJ, wifey and I watch Everybody Loves Raymond (which I don't like).
4) KD emerges looking proud!
5) HJ and I use the bedroom to do our part while KD and wifey watch Everybody Loves Raymond. (BTW: "the donation" is just a gross as I recall from college days!)
6) We emerge giggling after 30 minutes.
7) Wifey makes a note that we should return tomorrow for another insemination to "optimize the ovulation."
8) We all give hugs and say "Good-bye."

Really I cannot say enough nice things about Known Donor and wifey. They are earning such good karma.

As we are driving home, I look at HJ and say, "So do you FEEL pregnant yet?"
She says dryly, "That's not even funny and I'm not taking a pregnancy test until 14 days this time."

So there you have it. The totally odd has now become mundane. Hopefully letting go of expectations will result in less emotional stress... fingers crossed.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


I have not posted much in the past few days as life has been pretty normal... good but generally uneventful. Let me just say that today has been different from every day that came before it.

HJ and I slept in until 9:00 then we met some friends at a local restaurant for lunch... lovely relaxed morning. The friends we met happened to be a married couple in their 20's who are expecting a child. Not long ago they offered to donate to our les-baby-making efforts. At that point we were not sure about their seriousness and really thought we had everything covered. However as times passes and the bank account wanes, we find ourselves open to less high-tech efforts.

Now that wifey is pregnant, she feels that she could share the wealth of swimmers from their house to ours. Husband is also very laid back and has offered for some time to donate, pending wifey's permission.... which I can totally understand. HJ and husband have been close palas for some time and wifey and I have certainly grown on one another.

So back to the present... today as we ate our very large lunches, the topic of donation came up again. Oh, and did I forget to mention that HJ got the egg symbol on the fertility monitor today?? So after lunch, we do some shopping then we all head back to our house to watch a football game on tv. I make some soup for dinner and we have a nice afternoon. Then we all have a serious talk about "donation" and we all come to the place where we say-- "let's just give it a whirl!" So at the end of the evening, hubby goes into our bedroom and watched our *ahem* adult entertainment for inspiration then he leaves a 'donation' in a cup by the sink.

Friends leave quickly and I perform a home insemination with HJ!! Seriously, we did this thing. HJ's butt propped up on pillows, legs in the air: me between her legs with a syringe full of 'donated material'. Then I wash the "collection cup" and throw away the needle-less syringe. I can't believe that my life and this day has taken the turn it has. From about mid-afternoon on, I have been hearing "WTF, WTF, WTF" as the repeating refrain in my head.

Tomorrow we will be going over to his house in the afternoon for a second "donation." We were not even planning to try this month but when HJ got her EWCM and the eggs, she started wishing. For Pete's sake, we have had the plans to meet with our friends for 2 weeks! How could the timing have worked out this way? And how could we have ended up with hubby and wifey donating and us doing a home insem??? This is so weird for me.

So if this month works... great. And if not then we will use my brother for HJ--- assuming that all his tests are fine. If my brother's tests show less than adequate swimmers--- then I suppose we will continue to use our married friend. Holy Sh*t!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It's official

My brother and I had a very intense discussion via email today about him being the donor for HJ's IUIs. I wanted to 'talk' with him that way to allow him the ability to voice concerns and back out without feeling pressured. He was totally wonderful and expressed that he didn't want us to feel pressured to use him. I feel very peaceful about this idea. Here are my reasons:
1-My brother has no children and is not married so I like the idea that he would be connected to a child.
2- I love the idea that HJ will be able to have a baby that shares some of my genetic make-up.
3- Let's face it. Brother is cheaper than sperm bank. :)

So now we have brother's swimmers tested and we wait for December's cycle.

Oh, another set of friends just told us that they are expecting.... the breeders are everywhere. I wanna join in!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I don't want to leave the house

Today is cold and rainy-- same as the past 2 days--- and I am having some difficulty making myself face the "real world."

I am sitting on my couch, completely dressed and made up for work. But I lack the motivation to leave. I am so warm and cozy. My house is clean and the feeling here is all comfy. I know that when I go to work, my office will be cold. My employees will need my help and input with their cases. I will have my own supervisors to deal with, and basically, I will have responsibilities.

I think the real issue is that I had a lovely dream last night. I dreamed that I was holding a newborn baby girl and she was mine!!! I felt so content and joyful and I woke up in the best mood. Even now, I have access to some of the feelings and images from my dream, and these memories are like a hug from someone I really love. I know that when I leave the house, the dream will fade. My real life will crowd in and I won't be able to visualize the face from my dream or feel her warm, alive little body in my arms.

So opinions.... do you think dreams are a way of accessing someone/something greater than ourselves to give us hope or glimpses of the future? Or are dreams simply our way of letting our own subconscious's run wild?

Okay, it is now 9 AM and I really cannot avoid my life any longer... sigh.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I'm disturbed

The above are pics and a link from a story about how to cook lasagna in the dishwasher. I am so very distubed right now. WHY would someone even consider doing this? How much bacteria would the dishwasher contribute to the meal? YUCK YUCK YUCK!!!!


This has been a lovely weekend-- so much so that I have not blogged every day and will miss that mark for the month. HJ and I had friends over for dinner Friday night. Then we went football tail-gaiting on Saturday followed by having a different set of freinds over that night. Jules and Ashton brought movies with them-- 2 of which were beyond awful!! However the last movie was a total chick flick... PS I Love You was the movie. I cried throughout the whole thing as it was about a young woman whose husband died and sent love letters for her to find the year following his death. The film sounds like an utter downer but it was strangely uplifting. I ended the movie feeling blessed to have found my soul-mate and to be allowed to share my life with her.

I am working on changing my attitude. I want to feel complete in my life so that a baby will simply be icing on the cake..... still working on that one. :)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A down day

I am having one of those days when I am railing at the suckiness of having trouble having a child. HJ looked at me last night night and said, "I am so ready to have a child. I am just ready for all this to be over and have a baby in our house! I don't care which of us has it either." I agree.

I am tired of avoiding the room that will be our nursery. When I was pregnant and hopeful, I bought blue, green and cream paints to decorate with. I have many Classic Pooh items to decorate with. And HJ bought furniture---- which is still in the boxes!

I am tired of putting vacations on hold indefinitely because we are afraid of spending 'the baby money.'

I am tired of watching every little thing I put in and on my body and worrying that I am causing my IF by taking a hot bath, accidentally injesting toxins or glutens or alien radiation or whatever theory is happening this week.

I am tired of waiting for the next cycle of my IVF and HJ's IUI.

But mostly I am tired of the nagging worry that I will never be a mother. I try to be positive and get rid of that thought then I obsess that I am actually causing my own IF by having the thought.... but the truth is that no matter what positive meditations, prayers and self-talk I use, I worry.

I did come across some lovely prayers for use before different procedures. They made me cry and made me feel a bit more hopeful. So I will share:

1- Into the hands of others, I commend my body,
into the minds of others, I deliver my trust.
I remember my love and my desire.
May they consider my being,
may we all bring life.

2- I turn to You God, and ask that You be with me now,
as I seek answer to my quest for a child.

When the doctor proceeds with the exam,
poking and prodding every corner of my body,
filling me with cold instruments,
I ask that you warm my soul.

Remind me of the warmth of my partner's touch.
Remind me of your love for me.
Restore to me my dignity;
remove from me my shame.

As you revealed the answers to Avimelekh
reveal the answers to me, my partner, and my doctor,
so that we may work together with your help,
to bring forth a child.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My child

This is my fur baby, Indy. I have had him since he was 6 weeks old and he thinks that I am wonderful. He sleeps by my legs every night and when I turn over, he wriggles to get closer to my new position. He excitedly wiggles himself in half every afternoon when I come home from work, and he climbs onto my chest to say good morning every day. Also he is utterly neurotic. His current fascination is my closet. We had a mouse for a day (then the exterminator came over and got him) but Indy is still convinced that there is a mouse in my closet!! Up to now, I have been unsuccessful in my attempts to convince him that there is nothing of interest in there--- unless he likes Earth shoes. So now I have closed the closet door and he is sitting staring at the closet door.

I have to admit that I feel the same pull to hpts when I am cycling. Like mother, like furry son!

Sorry for the randomness of the post. November is the month when bloggers are supposed to post every day.... I am giving this a shot so we will see what oddities bubble up. :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

woo hoo

We did it!! President Obama!!!! Good-bye Republicans.

I'm all teary.

I also read up on his stance on gays and he supports domestic partnerships--- good enough for me. He also wants to increase employment discrimination and to increase hate crimes protection.

I am proud of the US tonight because we actually chose a good man!!!

So I voted today....

I went to the old creaky gymnasium at the end of my block to cast my vote. They opened the polls at 9 AM and we had to wait in line for a while. Most of the people around me were talking about McPalin and feeling very smug. They said things like "Everyone I know is gonna vote for them." My thought "No kidding--- you really surround yourself only with like-minded a-holes?! What a surprise!" So then I searched the crowd for other interlopers-- secret Democrats in the land of the red. I think I found a few but I'll never know. The whole thing was pretty uneventful and I was feeling encouraged.

Then I left..... as I was leaving the gym, some Republican zealots had set up shop just beyond the 100 feet mark. They had signs that said "Vote against abortion, Vote McCain!" and my favorite, "Vote against same sex marriage, vote McCain!"

What!? Really... I was super-tempted to point out that yesterday Obama said that he also does not support same-sex marriage (but that he also sees no need for a federal amendment against it). Then I realized that I would have to talk to this strange woman in the sequinned red white and blue bonnet (think Little House on the Prairie meets Bobby Trendy) so I held my tongue. Then the crazy woman ran up to me and shook the sign in my face.

My response? "You're a little too late since I just LEFT the poll."

Her response, "Oh."

The south is a funny place!

Speaking of red states: AF came to visit HJ today.... oh well.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The real cost of this cycle

Warning this is a sad story!

HJ and I were having a lovely day yesterday. We had been working for a few hours and she went to the store to pick up a small item. When she returned, my heart skipped a beat as she looked up at me and smiled with her hair all wind-blown and sunglasses on-- it was one of those "I'm so lucky" moments. Then she hugged me and said, "I'm so sorry." Clearly our brains had gone in different directions so I said "About what?"
HJ: "That I didn't get pregnant."
My heart sank. Of course I was not upset at her about that (yes, we still don't know for sure but it is unlikely) and I reassured her about that. But the reality is that she now truly understands the magnitude of feeling failed by your body.... failing as a woman. I wish I could have spared her that feeling. I talked with her about the fact that few people get pg on the 1st attempt even "naturally" and all those other sorts of things. But now she has experienced the yuckiness that is IF-- hopefully it will only be this time for her. But I wish she never had to know-- wish I had not miscarried, wish we had a beautiful2 week old little girl right now--- wish wish wish.

Okay all that being said, I am still okay emotionally and am trying to think that maybe we will be able to use my brother as our donor in the future. I know that my parents would really love that. So I am still grounded and still happy. But I do know what this IUI actually cost my soul-mate and I wish I could remove that self-doubt from her.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

political musings

This morning, HJ and I went to the farm supply store to get shavings for the doghouse--- makes them warm and smell like gerbils! In any case I had to drive to the side of the building for a helpful older man to load the bags into my SUV-- which is proudly emblazened with an Obama 08 bumper sticker. He felt the need to tell me that I am voting for the wrong person. Now I don't know the guy so I did not really engage in a debate with him but I made some bland comment about choice. But he was getting wound up to set me straight (sorry fella others have tried and failed before you!) so he launches into how he believes that Obama will bring about the end of America. WTF! I smile and tell him that I think he's wrong then I thank him and drive away.

But my questions are 1) Is Obama so threatening because he is a person of color? 2) Is Obama so threatening because people perceive that he is Muslim? (Which he is NOT but would it matter if her were?) 3) Why does everyone decide that he is a socialist-- again which he is not??

I am struck by the differences in climate of yesterday and today. In Nashville, tons of people had Obama bumper stickers and people howled at a George Bush joke at the play. Yesterday, no one gave HJ and I a second glance as we shopped together (clearly a couple) at the natural foods store. People joined in with our fun at dinner-- 2 lesbians and 3 effeminate gay men. But back in the small town where I actually live, some random man feels free to engage in conservative advice-giving I clearly was not open to taking. Grrr.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

It kinda sucks to be me

HJ tested again this morning and the results were another BFN. Grrrrr. I am to the point that holding out hope for this cycle feels a bit silly.

So HJ and I went to a large nearby city for a lovely day. We went shopping at a natural foods store. We went to see Avenue Q then we had dinner with friends. I drank 2 pommegranate martinis-- which will likely prove to be a bad plan tomorrow. The play (Avenue Q) was sooooo funny. The South is pretty conservative but everyone responded super-positive to the show. I guess those of us who are not conservative have to get together at times! If you haven't seen the show, go ASAP! Soooo funny. My apologies if a am a bit loopy right now. :-)