Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Endorsements: memory foam and LEDs

Heather is finishing up the DVR'd America's Next Top Model while I get ready for bed and then begin to set up our cervical-monitoring station.

At the juncture between this chair and its ottoman are two Costco memory-foam pillows, draped with a large blue towel.  On the dresser top, next to my Valentine's gift, a beautiful silver jewelry stand, is an assemblage of tools-- a speculum, two washcloths, a bottle of lube, and a head lamp.  Completely different and universally embarrassing.

Like the Zoloft egg

I cannot see sweet little egg shapes without thinking of the old Zoloft ad where the little one hops around with a cloud over his head until the pharmaceutical industry takes it away.  Fortunately, sweet little egg shapes don't present themselves very often, but for the next few months, I guess they will.

We totally f-ed up the fertility monitor. 

Sunday, April 25, 2010

"No, I don't want anything in there!"

Sundays I go to my parents' house for dinner.  Dad's a great cook and Mom loves my leftover beauty/gossip magazines.  Heather stays home because there's only so much time a woman wants to spend with her... parents-in-law.  Also I think she just likes having the house to herself.
It puts a strain on our Sundays, though, because I like to sleep in, and later in the day I like to have a nap, and then I leave around 6:30, so we have to find a way to have together time, and to get some stuff done.  This is why we never have clean clothes.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Literally, just looking

It has been 11 days since I last posted and that is absurd.  It's not like this is work.  It's that I go to work, then I go home with Heather and we talk about work, and I can only direct my laptop energies toward browsing Etsy or, to a limited degree, Facebook.  (I am not going to link Facebook because I know if you're reading a blog-- especially my blog-- you already know about and probably are trying to wean yourself off of it.  Posting a link is like handing out Percocet.)  I'm even terrible at e-mailing my best friend Sarah-- a woman whose recent Tweet that she would share her tax refund with John Cusack to save him from bad movies will remain saved in my phone until, fingers crossed, I have a child who throws it into the toilet-- and there is not much I like better than getting e-mail from her.  Writing just seems like too much.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My sperm boyfriend, Christopher Atkins?

The Celebrity-Look-a-Likes business is awful.  You feel good about someone, and it turns out they look like Tom Sizemore.  I don't care that Tom Sizemore might once have been good looking: now he is the worn-out meth-head who yells at other meth-heads on TV.  Christopher Atkins-- whom I had to look up on IMDb-- was probably in Tiger Beat, but he's a has-been now and, really, I don't want Brooke Shield's leftovers, even if he built his own vacuum-bagged skateboards.  What the fuck is a vacuum-bagged skateboard?  Is that what I want for my kid?  Is that something I can tell my kid?

"Gabriel, did you know your dad built his own vacuum-bagged skateboard?"

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Reservations: How "nice smile" might be the sperm-donor "nice personality"

I'm new to this lesbian business.  I met my previous partner, David, online, after some whimsical exploration of eHarmony.  (Seriously, if you ever want to kill some time and either be or pretend to be straight, filling out the profile is solid entertainment.  If you have even more time, browsing your "matches" is even more fun.  Some of those dudes work in the lumber industry, and how else are you going to read about lumberjacks?)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Donor fantasia

  • "I have an advanced degree in poetry writing."
  • Someone that I really like answered the question "What are you most proud of and why?" with "I stopped valuing comfort at a young age and I use this to guide most decisions I make."
What is your favorite color?
  • "I'm not sure I have a favorite color.  Deep purple maybe."
What are your favorite foods?
  • "Pears." 
Describe your relationship with your family.
  • "I have an optimal relationship with my family."
What makes you unique?
  • "I would not say with any honesty that I was a unique person."
Do you like animals?  If so, what is your favorite?
  • "Yes, I love all creatures."
  • "Squirrel."

Why do you want to be a donor? 
  • "I feel that my characteristics and traits should be passed on to future generations."
  • "Because I feel any parents willing to go through such an extensive and SEEMINGLY UNNATURAL process will love their children whole-heartedly."
  • "Being a donor has been a great opportunity to both supplement my income and take part in something unusual and possibly historically relevant."
If you could pass on a message to the recipients or their children, what would that message be?
  • "If I've been selected, then I'm flattered.  As mentioned before, I see myself as possessing numerous positive qualities that I think should be passed on to others."
  • "Learn a musical instrument.  Don't waste time with football.  You will probably have to get braces."

Friday, April 9, 2010

Accidental action-plan hilarity

Tonight is the deadline for the sperm-donor selection phase of our motherfucking action plan, and we're swimming-- Get it?  Swimming?  Like sperm?-- through donor profiles and Celebrity Look-Alikes.
We learned from Mamie and Whitney in our dinner meeting a week ago that they used a vial of ICI (intracervical insemination) sperm at home when the fertility monitor first hinted at ovulation.  After a day or two, as the ovulation period was coming to an end, they met with Nurse Nina and used a vial of IUI (intrauterine insemination) sperm, which she inserted through the cervix.

Despite Heather's disinclination towards research, their advice in that area was a huge surprise and a huge help.  They explained that some women had struggles with insemination, only to find that the particular method they used wasn't working for them.  Using both methods skated around the problem, and it also followed the baby bible's suggestion that we inseminate twice a cycle so we don't chronically inseminate too early in ovulation or too late.  It makes each month doubly expensive, but the authors suggest, if it's too much, you can inseminate twice every other month.  It took Mamie and Whitney three cycles, which is terrifying if each month is more than $1,000.

The long and short of it: we need to pick a donor who has both IUI and ICI samples available.  And, you know what?  That shrinks the pool a lot.  Some options:

Donor 3581, from the Staff Impression: "He is average looking."

Donor 11461, from the Short Profile, reports both that he "tend[s] to have exceptional bocce skills;" and that he loves dogs and "fat and lazy cats."
I want to be charmed, as my friend Sarah was when she brought Mr. 11461 to my attention.  She admired his bocce skills, but admitted that his propensity to name-drop authors was pretentious, and I'm going to say right now that I bring enough pretension and literary name-dropping to the table that we don't need any more genes that'll prompt our child to be universally despised.  If you have to tell strangers that you love Philip Roth and Milan Kundera, you are an asshole.

Donor 3581: "I like traveling in Europe.  The food is good and you don't have to travel by donkey."  Love.  Watch, just watch: he's going to have a family history of herpes.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Time for a fucking action plan!

So yesterday, my beloved turned to me and said: "It's time for a fucking action plan."  Apparently, we have to take some fucking action and make some motherfucking decisions, the implication, I guess, being that we've spent enough time on this reading and learning bullshit-- yes, she said bullshit-- so we've got to set it aside and get crackin'.

I cried, because I always do, and got angry, which I don't always do.  I felt like I was being told that the researching part that has changed everything about what kind of fucking action plan we make-- that it was over, and boring, and things could only get better once the object of my devoted efforts was put aside.  That's the part I'm good at, and that's the part Heather has no patience with.
I'm realizing that this kind of argument is going to be ever-present in the baby-making process.  My abilities and interests are nothing like Heather's.  That makes us fabulous partners and, I hope, fabulous parents, but not on the same page when it comes to projects.

But this project is, as she would put it, a big fucking deal, and we have to be fucking teammates because we can't fucking do it without each other, so I'm ready to put the baby bible down and follow the fucking action plan.
Guess what the action plan is?  We have one day to pick our sperm donor.  Fuck, yeah!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Here we go again on our own

Last Thursday we met with Whitney and Mamie.  Neither Heather nor I are drinkers, but the prospect of meeting two brave women who had done what we hope fervently to do, and asking them our ignorant, wide-eyed questions, inspired three and a half beers on my end and one and a half on Heather's.  We prayed they would be late so we could calm our nerves before they arrived.

We were wrong to be scared.  Whitney and Mamie were so gracious and warm that we looked at them 50% of the time even in little William's presence.  Or I did, anyhow.  Heather is magnetized by babies and I don't know how much of the conversation she paid attention to.  I worry that her sole memory of the evening was chubby baby cheeks.  (They were, in fairness, about the best baby cheeks I have seen.)

And it's amazing, honestly, that I can spend one post bitching about how trying for a baby drags us into a community we're not familiar with, where other people make claims on us, only to realize one dinner later that we're lucky to have access to a generous, warm community where we can get advice and support.  Nobody is making claims on us, but they allow us to make claims on their time and knowledge.

More on that later.  I'll save it for after I do some sperm-shopping.