Posts Tagged ‘fertility’

Ah, the game changes.

March 16, 2012

Just got off the phone from ‘our’ fertility clinic (please read entry I wrote about an hour ago for more details on my current TTC freak out!). I forgot how fucking nice IVF nurses are. We talked for a full half hour. And there’s been an interesting development.

Me: There’s no reason to think TMD won’t be fertile enough to share eggs, and my fertility might have changed, but is it a possible scenario for ME to donate half my eggs to an anonymous couple and the other half to TMD?

Nurse: Oh, yes. We do that all the time.

!

This changes the ballgame. There are huge advantages to that route, namely that it would be ME who had to have all the monitoring appointments and TMD wouldn’t need to miss work. I’m over my romantic views of pregnancy (for me, anyway, for TMD getting pregnant I would step up, folks!), and don’t feel any need to have TMD come along to any of the egg-making appointments.

Also, uh, passports. Last night TMD pointed out that a kid she had might be screwed for getting a passport from Country A. Now, the law HAS changed here. Babies conceived by IVF in a fertility clinic with two mums automatically get both mums listed on the original birth certificate. (This law changed four months after we conceived Snort and Coconut, thus TMD needing to adopt them. That is a whole different ongoing pain in my ass.) So if my name was on the birth certificate, would Country A give any kids TMD had an issuance of a foreign birth? And if so, they would get a passport.

Country A is not very gay friendly, but if it were MY eggs, perhaps there is some argument to be made in regards to TMD being a ‘surrogate’ carrier for ‘my’ child/children? This is where is sucks having an anonymous blog because I’d love to ask you all for info, but am aware some of you don’t know details. But let’s be honest. You can GUESS Country A, can’t you? Land of the free, home of the brave, hater of the gay, and all that?

So anyway. TMD has no idea when her last period was. (ARRRGH!! Ha. I am totally the boss of this motherfucking pregnancy, at least until she actually has a kid in there.) Our plan we are going forth with is immediately registering with a new doctor after we move and trying to get TMD an appointment next week, before she starts her new job. She needs an AMH blood test (costs 95, and results are given at the 295 appointment! Shite!) and if we can get it done free locally that is a huge bonus. This is the baseline test which checks her fertility – if it’s good enough to eggshare, we move forward. If it isn’t, I guess we get me tested.

My hormones are definitely changing. I’m back to being a crazy ass monster before my periods. This ended when I got pregnant and has been gone since giving birth. So hopefully the return of my I’m-going-to-fucking-KILL-you moods means my hormones are all geared up for babies. If needed.

I don’t know if we will go with TMD’s eggs or mine. All the advantages seem to be with going with me, fertility permitting, but we shall see. My new pal the nurse at the clinic is going to get in touch with the main branch (where we had Snort and Coconut created! miracle!) and see if there is sperm available from their donor. We’d like to use the same sperm donor.

But you know, if his swimmers weren’t available, I wouldn’t care.

I don’t care about what eggs are used. I don’t care about what sperm is used. Because none of that really matters. It’s hard to tell that to someone trying very hard to conceive their first child. They might be very invested in picking the ‘perfect’ donor. But I’ll tell you, these kids of ours? I love them.

I love them with blue eyes, I love them with brown eyes. I love them with curly light brown hair, I love them with wavy/straight white blonde hair. They are MY children, OUR children, and they would be our children even if they had been born to another woman on another continent.

Our children are our children, however they get to us.

And speaking of getting kids to us, I guess this whole fertility TTC thing will mean I am blogging endlessly about the subject again. So….either enjoy it, or I apologize, or something. Love you all.

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I’ve got my philosophy.

November 2, 2010

I am an oversharer. You think I overshare on this blog? You ain’t met me in person. I’ve got gestures, facial expressions, miming.

Nothing makes me happier than sharing a good story and making people laugh. Except being genuine about who I am, which often requires a good level of honesty about my life. I don’t mind. I like it.

So today I’m in line for playgroup with a friend and her baby. We’re talking about wanting more babies, and I am telling her about how I’ve been in contact with the clinic about eggsharing (I almost said ‘oversharing,’ how funny.), about donor sperm, etc. I’m not talking at the top of my lungs or anything, but I’m certainly not talking in hushed whispers about fertility treatment.

Surely this stuff needs to be normalized.

Anyway.

We go in, we play, etc etc. I broke out the slings and had Coco in a shorty rebozo carry (and I tied that slipknot like a professional, somehow) and this lady comes up to me. Of course I’m weeing in excitement because I think she’s going to ask me about babywearing.

Nope.

‘I overheard you talking about eggsharing and things…and I wanted to ask you a few questions. Unless this is too personal? I know this is a personal subject.’

I laughed, sat down, and patted the seat next to me.  ‘Nothing is too personal, ask away. I’m happy to answer any questions you have.’

Turns out she’s from a particular country in Africa with good healthcare, and she’s a bit fucking shocked at fertility treatments here in Country B. I told her we went to a ritzy titzy clinic because of The Gay, and we had a big ol’ chat. I found out she’d lost twins at 20 weeks (horrible), and her adorable son was the product of insemination.

I told her about how great our clinic was, about our treatment, etc. We went on to breastfeeding, ivf, being an ‘older mother’ and the fertility pressures associated with wanting children as you age. She asked for my number before I left.

See, this is why I live outloud.

You never know who you can connect with, who you may help, just by being unafraid to be authentically you.

 

How I got pregnant with Snort and Coconut.

October 30, 2010

Being a lesbian means you don’t get to have uninhibited sex and get knocked up. I know you know I had IVF, but do you know what I did to prepare – particularly when we thought we were going to opt for an insemination?

1. I lost all my weight…you know, except the weight that was healthy. Being very overweight may affect fertility, but losing weight definitely does. While you are losing weight your fertility can actually sharply drop. So after I lost all my weight, I maintained the loss for awhile. I can’t remember if 3 or 6 months is the recommended time frame (to allow things to stabilize – and fertility can increase if you enter a healthy weight range and stay put), but I kept it steady for at least a year.

2. I learned all about my fertility. I read books, websites, talked to doctors.

3. I did daily cervical checks (by touch) to learn about my most fertile times, and how my cervix awesomely kept me in the loop.

4. I temped daily with a basal body thermometre….for months. This taught me about when I ovulated every cycle, and how long my luteal phase is. If none of these terms are familiar to you and you’re getting knocked up at home? Learn them.

5. I monitored my cervical fluid daily and learned how it changed throughout the month.

6. I learned how items 3, 4, and 5 work together to clearly signal (usually!) when I am at my most fertile and about to ovulate. And how they confirm I have ovulated.

7.  I stopped drinking/eating all forms of caffeine six months before we started ttc. Yes, caffeine lowers your fertility.

8. I started a prenatal vitamin with folic acid six months before we started ttc.

9. I learned about the legal considerations and ramifications of protecting the rights of a two mom family.

These are just the most basic things I did. These are things I would recommend any woman or transman who wants to get pregnant should do.  Even if you aren’t trying to make a baby – or if you have a sperm making partner and want to avoid a baby, learning about your body is empowering. And useful.

Two books I think everyone should have on their shelves? The only two books you need?

The New Essential Guide to Lesbian Conception, Pregnancy and Birth by Stephanie Brill. AWESOME. I read dozens of books and this was hands down the best book for talking about how to increase your fertility. It talks about a lot of things that impact it – I recommend this book to all my friends, even the straight/male partnered ones.

Obviously there is a lot that is lesbian-centric (and most didn’t apply to us as we weren’t using a known donor, etc), but the chapters on fertility make this a must read.

Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler. (website here) This is the acknowledged handbook on all things fertility – well, monitoring it! You’ve got your cervix, the fluid coming out of it, your charts, your how to guide to charting and temping. It is glorious. For the life of me, I can’t understand why this book is not on the curriculum for young women. Buy it. Now.

It simply isn’t enough to think you ovulate 14 days after your period starts. No app on your phone or computer can tell you when you are likely to ovulate without as a MINIMUM charting your temp daily (and remember, you need a special theromometre – but it’s cheap. Don’t worry!). There are also fertility scopes (I never used one) and ovulation sticks, but by far the best way to understand fertility is to understand your unique rhythms.

Now, I don’t know what would have happened if I hadn’t taken steps to increase/maintain my fertility.  What I do know is that my fertility levels were excellent (tested by blood), I had a good crop of mature and healthy eggs, I got pregnant with twins my first go, and the woman I shared my eggs with got pregnant as well.

Me, 35 weeks pregnant.

It just makes sense to me to understand how your body works, when optimum times for trying to conceive are, and how you can help. I know too many lesbian couples who don’t temp/chart and have cycle after cycle of negative pregnancy tests. I don’t know if I could have coped with that – and charting your fertility is easy and free. You can do it on paper or online (fertility friend is a good site).

I only hope we get such good results the next time around, but I plan to stop caffeine, maintain weight loss (when I get there. Thirteen more pounds to go till I can eggshare, but I’d like to lose at least 28 more.), take prenatal vitamins, and all the other fertility stuff I need to refresh myself on by rereading Ms. Brill’s book.

Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have questions. I am happy to help.

Links of love.

February 16, 2009

I’ve just found out that it’s okay to drink moderate amounts of Diet Coke when pregnant (though I’d probably go for caffeine free)! I heart Diet Coke and have been craving it for weeks.

On two occasions TMD brought a bottle home and I just smelled and smelled it. I also took a sip on each occasion and just rolled it around in my mouth. It was simply orgasmic.

I am trying to restrain myself from running out the door to buy this heaven nectar as we speak. I have not had diet coke since about three months before we did IVF, because caffeine fucks up your fertility. This means it’s been SIX months since I have had my little friend, my silver space suit alien buddy, my tingling seducer of the night.

And thus, Monday ends.

November 3, 2008


6341 / 50000 words. 13% done!

That’s my Day 3 word count for NaNoWriMo. I don’t know if I’ll write any more this evening, but suspect that after doing the washing up (at TMD’s request, she’s out tonight), I could fancy a hot bath and a good read.

I know hot baths are a no-no where babies are concerned, but I’m not sure where that no-no begins.  I assume not now, as I am gulping down tiny little pills that are fucking me up. Man, do I feel nauseous. Hardcore. It’s always worse in the evening, I have no clue why. Perhaps because the tiny little nuisance has had time to worm its way into my system?

Who knows. (If you do, let me know.)

I felt like a hot bath awhile ago, actually, and then I just kept typing and typing. Not sure what I’m in the mood for now, except filling in dates… I bought a gorgeous 2009 planner/diary, much to TMD’s despair. She mocks me endlessly with such gems as, ‘Well, it’s only November.  I’m sure you will purchase another 3 or 4 diaries before the new year.’

And you know, she might be right – despite the fact that I’m currently using an 18 month diary which covers the entire year of 2009. Can I help it if I have a weakness for office supply stores, and in particular beautiful planners? This one has a (fake) leather cover, with a deep floral pattern pushed into it. It’s a day-to-view, and it just flops open so nicely.

I don’t know if a day-to-view can actually enter my world, as I do like to see the whole week at a glance. But I saw this diary and just knew – it was love at first sight. Part of me thinks it might be a nice way to record a progressing pregnancy….

I know that we’re going out with Mom after I start the shots – I am already wondering what this means in terms of the injection. We’ll be out of the house during the time I would normally take them. I’m crazy enough to wonder if I should move the shots to first thing in the morning.

I don’t know if you are ‘supposed’ to do them at a certain time of day. I just know that most people do them in the evenings.

I actually frozen in front of the fridge today, planning out how I could get the meds to the folk club if they had to be refrigerated. I wish the YMCA song could be sung to different letters – CRAZY, perhaps?

Ugh. I feel so fricking nauseous.

I’m in training all day tomorrow. No nanoing and no blogging. Still, by the time most of you are up and at ’em in the world, I’ll probably already be home. Ha.

No flair for this entry as I’m in Firefox. While it kicks Explorer’s ass in every other way, it falls deficient in terms of letting me copy and paste flair into entries. I think this might require a strongly worded letter. I just may be all typed out today, though.

Much love!

…Or is my body screwed up?

November 2, 2008

Anyone wanna help me out here?

I’m on Day 10 of my cycle – been on the birth control pill since Day 1. And while I wouldn’t say my period was still officially going strong, something is. Like very, very light brown spotting. It hasn’t stopped – and let me tell you, an ten day period is not something I have experience with.

Has anyone else had this happen as a result of hormone changes?

For reals.

October 27, 2008

Kee-ripes alive. So. My pal The Nurse With The Fucked Up Name called. She rescheduled the appointment from next Monday to next Friday. In what world does that rank as ‘earlier?’ Apparently she spoke to the woman I’m donating eggs to, so this is like period math squared.

This means next Friday I officially start the injections to downregulate my cycle. The nurse wanted me to come in so that I could give myself the first injection at the clinic and she could make sure I was doing it right. Gross!! But still good, as this is likely to cut down on my freaky injection worries (you know, accidentally putting it in the wrong place, injecting air into a vein, not being able to mix medications correctly).

And in other news, my pretty fertility necklace came today. It’s on my neck and there it will stay. (And it is SO MUCH PRETTIER than it was on the website. I am down with the dainty jewellery, man.)

Okay. One hour and fifty minutes left at work. I’d better go do some. When I get home it’s time for Driving Fun with TMD. God, I just want to get my license so I never have to drive again.

Good things come to those who are impatient.

October 25, 2008

Day 2 of taking the birth control pill. No  longer do I resent it as a postponement of babytummy. In fact, my copious reading has yielded some info – the pill is becoming a standard of treatment even when egg sharing isn’t happening. Women who take the pill first are likely to produce better quality eggs and LESS likely to form cysts on their ovaries. Hi ho, pill.

My appointment at the clinic is on Day 11. This is when we will run through my/our detailed protocol, and I imagine injections will be starting within a few days of the appointment. I hope my superstitious fertility necklace arrives next week.

You know what else I hope about next week? That I pass my fucking driving test!! Just had a two hour lesson – universe willing, the last one I will ever need. I asked my instructor if he thinks I’m going to pass (after complimenting him on his haircut, discussing tv, etc – we’re old friends now that we’ve hung out every goddamn weekend since the beginning of time itself) and he said he would be surprised if I didn’t. Let’s not prove him wrong, eh?

If you pray, chant, cast spells, send good vibes – send them to ME. My test is Wednesday at 11:21 am my time, which I will remain delightfully non-specific about. However, if you begin sending vibes now and then concentrate them on Tuesday, enough should be sticking to me on Wednesday that I pass.

If I don’t, this will have to be put off till at least after Christmas – when whatever the outcome of IVF, I will have a lot on my mind. Nice as my instructor is, I hope I never have to see him again after next week.

Inside my fingers.

October 22, 2008

Finished reading the IVF book – have to check something over for TMD right now, so may not post my blurb about it till tomorrow. The one thing it keeps repeating: do not take on new projects while you are doing IVF.

Nanowrimo is so close, and I have the novel thanks to The World’s Greatest Invention Which Will Remain Top Secret Lest You Steal It – I want to do it. Somehow silly me thinks that having something else to concentrate on might be a good thing?

Another part of me is remembering a great book I gobbled up on Monday night, sitting on the floor of what must be one of the world’s largest bookstores. It made me laugh and laugh and laugh.

The IVF book was so focused on straight people, and infertile people, that I sometimes found it off putting. I am not infertile (touch wood), after all. My only problem is the lack of sperm. And, actually, IVF makes a lot of sense to TMD and myself. We think it’s a great way to try for a baby.

Doom and gloom, information about how terrible it is to feel infertile….I don’t know that it did me any favours. Misery loves company, sure, and I recognised myself in a lot of the emotions explained as I am not the patient type.

But where is the real literature representing lesbians? The stuff that isn’t afraid to show the funny side along with the tearful one?

Note: Katie gives great flair.

Crazytown…Crazyville. Either way, it’s crazy.

October 20, 2008

Yes, I may be taking a roadtrip to Crazyville. I just kept going back to that website selling fertility necklaces and bracelets and bought the necklace.   You know, with all the money we have.

To make me feel less guilty, I abstained from buying Halloween H2O and the Blair Witch Project.

While I want this necklace to arrive, I am having crazy thoughts like, ‘If the IVF doesn’t work first go, I’m going to rip off that necklace, snap the chain, etc.’ …to, ‘I will wear that necklace continuously until I give birth to a healthy baby (babies), even if it goes black and gross.’

See? Crazytown.

The other good thing that is coming in the mail is Halloween. The original, and quite possibly my favourite movie. Plus, it’s October and almost the actual holiday itself. Which is, of course, my favourite holiday. God, I sound like some sort of goth, don’t I? I assure you my face is not deadly pale, although I am wearing a black top today.

(Was Michael Myers goth? Look at his fucking FACE, man!)