Thursday, March 31, 2011

Rollercoaster Ride

Day three blood work tomorrow, then my HSG on Wednesday. If everything ok and they don't find anything wrong in any of the tests, then I need to buy me some sperm! This process is crazy - a ton of waiting, then a bunchofstuffhappensrealfast, then w a i t i n g some more, then hopefully - YAY BFP! Talk about a rollercoaster.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Telling People

Now that I've graduated from "thinking" to "trying," I've decided to enlarge the little circle of people that know about my BMP (baby-makin plan). Initially I just told my mom, sister, and two closest friends, but I started thinking about how I would feel if, after all this soul-searching and trying to change my life in this major way, what if it didn't work? I know I will be very distraught, and the idea of some of the people in my life that I love so much not knowing what I was going through seemed very lonely and sad. I am so lucky to have not just an amazing, supportive, loving immediate family, but an extended family as well. I know they could help me deal with something like that. More importantly, I know they would want to.

So it started with my cousin yesterday. She has a 3 year old and a one year old, and she lives about 7 blocks away from me. We've been close since we were babies, and I know she will be a MAJOR source of wisdom and support for me, so I told her at lunch with my sister. She was so excited for me. It was just wonderful to talk to her about it and hear how much she thinks this is right for me, it just helped reinforce all the things I was already feeling. And at the end of lunch when she was telling me how happy she is for me, I told her that this is something I could not even begin to consider if it wasn't for the people like her in my life, and that in a big way, they are making this possible for me. We both got a little choked up.

I invited my dad over for dinner tomorrow night and I am going to tell him then while my mom is at work. I've resisted telling him so far because he is literally the worst secret-keeper in the history of the world, but the truth is, he and I are close, and he is a friend as well as a parent. I can't imagine anyone else knowing before him. I know he will be thrilled, when I say that he and my mom's lives pretty much revolve around their grandkids, I am not kidding.

I've realized in the last few days since my visit to the RE when I made this BMP official, that I my feelings about this whole idea have begun to change. Whereas before I was wary of people knowing about this until I knew it was going to work, and I was not comfortable with people even knowing I was going this route to get pregnant, now I am feeling much more open about it. I am not sure what changed, maybe just making the transition from thinking about it to really trying it has reinforced the idea that not only am I ok with this, but I suspect it is the best decision I've ever made in my life.

I know there will be difficult times ahead, I know there are so many women who struggle for months if not years with this, and I may yet find out I am one of those women. But right now, I am so full of the excitement of the possibilities and the potential of life, I honestly think I am happier now than I have ever been in my adult life - and I've had some dark times, so this is an accomplishment. I am just going to live in the moment and enjoy the positive light around me, and channel it into good baby energy.

Trust the universe.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wait…That's It?

Well so that was a lot easier then I thought it would be. When I called to make the appointment, they said I would have an exam and would be there about an hour. In the end, I didn't have an exam and I was there almost 2 hours. Which was fine, I'd rather do that than be rushed out the door. I think maybe because I had had an exam with my regular doctor about 2 weeks ago, it wasn't necessary today.

I'm right in the middle of my cycle right now, so here's what I have to do: On the first day of my cycle I call to make an appointment for my 3rd day blood work where they do all the tests to make sure my hormones are good, etc (lots of acronyms I don't understand yet), and also make an appointment for an HSG (X-ray of my tubes with dye to make sure everything is open and ready, to be done on my 5-12th day. They told me a couple of times it will not be "comfortable" so that one should be fun). I also in the meantime have to pick my donor and have them (that's how I think of the sperm, as "them") shipped to the office. So it's conceivable that I could have an IUI in the middle of next month! Holy. crap. I don't know if I am ready for it to happen QUITE that quick. I'm going out of town the third week of April for a business seminar, I don't think I want to take a PG test in an anonymous hotel room in D.C. We'll see - I'm just going to go with the flow and see how this all plays out. I want to get all the tests first, just to make sure I'm ready to go - I don't want to go right to IUI and then find out months (and $$$) later that there was something wrong all along.

I did think of something I forgot to ask - I take cymbalta, and I didn't ask how that would affect….everything. I hate to go off it, but I certainly will if necessary. It was in my chart, but they never mentioned it. I will have to call back and ask.

One thing I was wondering about and would like opinions about, if any of you want to comment - my doctor asked if I wasted to do 1 or 2 inseminations per cycle. She said they don't show a difference in the success rate, it's essentially the same likelihood if you do 2 in one cycle, or 1 in each of 2 cycles. I'm leaning towards ordering 2-3 vials, having them all shipped to my doctor and then doing 1 in the first cycle. And using the rest as necessary. And if it works and I have some left, having them store it for me in case I want to have another baby later (it's cheaper to store it at my doctor than at the sperm bank).

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Good Vibes

So tomorrow is my first appointment with an RE. To be honest, I'm assuming she's an RE because that's the internet acronym for these kind of doctor's but I'm not sure that's exactly the type of doctor she is. In any case, she's the fertility doc I'm seeing at the reproductive department of my local hospital. Oh and I was warned it's a teaching hospital, so I might have a bunch of student docs standing around looking at my h**ch, which no thanks. But it's an excellent hospital so I know I am in good hands.

And I'm nervous. I'm nervous she's going to tell me that everything looks great and we can start the baby makin right now. I'm nervous she's going to tell me that everything's not great, and she's sorry, but it's not going to work at all. And at the same time, I don't even know how to feel, because I don't want to get my hopes up, and yet I don't want to put negative vibes out in the universe either.

It's good to be positive. Everything will go fine.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lucky Baby Quilt

Lucky baby quilt
I sew. Sometimes obsessively, specifically quilts. I sew them all by hand, and I do it until my eyes get squinty and my fingers ache. It's one of the few things I obsess about actually. I especially love projects that allow me to cut up random pieces of fabric, and put them together in unstructured, unplanned patterns. I love fabric, and I love the unexpected juxtaposition of color and pattern that you can get when you pull random pieces of fabric out of a bag and sew them together. But I especially love seeing long, straight lines of running stitches coming off my needle. I love the idea that I am making quilts the same way women have made quilts for thousands of years, with just fabric, a needle, and thread. It's so therapeutic after a stressful day at work.

ANYWAY, I found this beautiful pattern in a book I bought, an enlarged hexagon pattern. Around this same time I found an amazing painting which I bought that has a gorgeous color scheme of greens, yellows reds, and black and white. I already had a bunch of fabric that coordinated with it, so I decided to make a quilt with them that will match the painting. If, someday, my art studio needs to be converted into a baby's room, well then how perfect, I already have a quilt for it!

I've decided to make this a lucky baby quilt because every time I add a new piece, I say a little meditation to positively reinforce the BMP. One way or another, whether this quilt ends up being for my baby or someone else's, they will be wrapped in good intentions and love every time they are covered by this quilt!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Crisis of Conscience

Maybe it's because AF is crashing at my place and spreading her bad vibes everywhere, but some of the issues I thought I had resolved for myself have been rearing their ugly heads again.

When I started thinking seriously about my BMP, by far the biggest thing I had to reconcile was the selfishness I was feeling at intentionally bringing a child into the world in what I personally feel is a less than ideal family. It took a lot of soul searching to arrive at a place where I feel I can be ok with the idea. In reality, adults decide all the time to have children simply because they want them - it's biology, and it's no different than what I am doing right now. I also think good parents are, by definition, unselfish. I know without a doubt that I will be able to provide a safe, stable and very loving home for a child, and I know that with the help of my family and friends I'll be able to also give them a loving and supportive community to grow up in. There are countless married couples who can not say the same thing. I know all of that in my soul.

But what started gnawing at me yesterday was the issue of being different. I had favorited some donors that were latino, both because they looked like great donors and because I've always been attracted to that culture. But then I started thinking (and that's always when it gets dangerous) - my niece and nephew are both blond, fair and blue eyed. Most of the people in my immediate family are. If they start out life right from the beginning looking different, will that be worse for them? Will it just add to their feeling of otherness because of the way they were conceived? And yet, in my extended family, there are kids with black hair, there are biracial kids, there are kids raised by lesbians and other less than traditional families, will that make them feel a little better?

And what about siblings? How will it be when they find out they might have 20+  half brothers and sisters? Will it make them feel less alone, or will it make them feel less special? And the father? What if they are the 20th kid to contact him and by then he's just all done with meeting kid after kid after kid after kid…

And yet, after ALL THAT OVERTHINKING… what if they just don't care? What if everything I and my family can give them is enough, more than enough? Maybe they will have general curiosity about where they came from, but (God-willing) will have an identity secure enough that they don't need to look at anyone else to know who they are?

In the end, what it comes down to is a leap of faith. It's believing that after all is said and done, what I can give them will be enough. If not to answer all their questions, then to give them the foundation and the support to find out what they need, but know at the end of the day, they always have a place to come home to where someone loves them more than anything else in the universe. Wings to fly and a place to land.

And THAT - I can do.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Maternity Leave Included

I made my appointment today with the fertility center at my local hospital: March 16. It's sooner than I thought! These are such little milestones, but then what I think they could be leading up to, suddenly they don't seem so little...

Yesterday someone asked me what made me decide to do this, and when I first thought about it. And I had all the reasons ready: wanting to be be a mother, wanting to carry a child, concerned about getting older, etc, etc, probably talked about it ad nauseam until they were sorry they asked. But until this morning I couldn't remember that one thing that tipped the whole thing off.

It was one of those meetings you have at work at the beginning of every year where they tell you how much your health insurance is going up, have you sign up for the 401k if you aren't already, all that stuff that gets renewed. And one of the things they talked about was short term disability insurance, and how my state only pays 60% of your weekly pay up to a certain amount. If you make more than X number of dollars, 60% of your pay is more than the allotment the state will pay. Which sucks for me, because I fall into that category (but really doesn't suck for me because it means I have a good, stable job and make a comfortable living, which I am VERY thankful for). This STDI is good for those people to enroll in so you're covered if anything happens.

I wasn't thinking it was something I needed... until I looked down at the handout and right on the cover it said "maternity leave included." I don't know why, but something clicked, and immediately thought "I better look into this."

Honestly, I had not been thinking of getting pregnant. I'm not a woman who's obsessed with my biological clock. And I'm so far from being in a relationship with baby possibilities, it's not even funny (nope, not funny at all.) But there it was in black and white, and in this room full of work people, most of whom I didn't even know (I was on vacation when they had the meeting the first time, so I got stuck with all the people who slacked off on going to the real one) - and I was thinking "I better get this shit worked out cuz I might get knocked up!! By myself!!"

And that was the beautiful beginning of my journey. I will probably not tell that story to my baby someday. Although, my mom would probably tell me that if it were the way I became a twinkle in her eye, so who knows. If I get to have the kind of relationship with my hopefully future baby that I have with my mom, then I will be a very, very lucky woman.