Wednesday, June 22, 2011

When people get too touchy-feely about baby-making

Yes, I ask about Heather's tampon, give her a second opinion on any variance in the perceived weight of her breasts, and I grimace when her cervical mucus seems to lotion-y, but that is the kind of a-little-too-close-ness that I accept and endorse.  This, found in the comments of a Cryobank Facebook post about home IUI, is not:
"I did mine at home with 5 girlfriends...we had candles going, we meditated together, after the IUI while I laid there they all made me a fertility necklace and told stories as they put the beads on. When it was being done I was lying on my bed and they all sat with me holding my hands was awesome!!!!"

The whole universe was in a hot, dense state

Skipping this cycle has put us in a twilight zone wherein there is no need for anxious observation of breasts and diet.  Nobody's watching the clock.  I kind of hate it.

I can't remember what's next: Are we waiting for Heather's period?  Ovulation?  Where are we?  And I can't get my bearings when it comes to what I should be doing in the meanwhile.  Is it still quiet time or are we supposed to be looking for a new donor?  I'm disoriented by the lack of structure.  I've never struggled for occupation during days off-- when it doubt, take a nap-- but I feel the way workaholics say they do.  As Mary Stuart Masterson says in the unrelentingly hokey Bed of Roses, "I haven't contributed to the GDP today."  Well, I haven't contributed to our baby-making in weeks, and I feel like something's missing.

Heather has indeed decided to change donors, saying that our current, madly-attractive guy hasn't come through (Come?  Get it?) in the past two cycles and we've got to find someone else with previous pregnancies on record.  My suspicion is that it's not sperm that's causing problems, but more likely insemination timing or Heather's indifference to tapping the obscene statue's crotch.  Sperm banks are ridiculous with their tests and it seems unlikely that these guys are shooting blanks.  Of course, I found via the Cryolab's shameful Twitter feed that they're looking for healthy men between 18 and 39, and I can't help thinking requirements should be a wee bit more stringent.  But I said a while back that I didn't care who the donor was, right?

Heather and I gave our first, much-beloved donor four tries, and she's granted the sexy one two tries.  We've never been as invested in a donor as we were in the Persian guy, so I suppose changing up isn't traumatic, but if we're not going to feel connected, I'd rather feel ambivalent about somebody really good-looking than smart.  Still, bribing someone to take the SAT for your kid is probably more dangerous than ponying up for plastic surgery.  Hard to choose.  Mostly I think Heather is being ridiculous.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The American Family

The New York Times offers a headline today: "Baby Makes Four, and Complications."  The article is blurbed as "A woman, her son, her sperm donor and his lover are bridging two households in Brooklyn and redefining the definition of the American family."

I don't want to read it.  I'm just not ready to look at it.  I know it's all relevant and whatnot, but honestly I'm sick of reading about what kind of family we are or should be and what that means.  I'm sick of the politics and what petitions to sign, sick of seeing "LGBT."  I want to have a baby and make a family, and I don't need it to fit into a demographic, socially significant or not.  The articles become repetitive and have always been condescending in some form or another, like we're lucky the Times or whomever else is acknowledging us almost as though we were real families.  It's exhausting to be a subset.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Sperm bank social media: how Fairfax Cryobank and the Cryolab need to step their motherf-ing game up

I'm failing to subdue my latent hostility for the sperm banks that are not the California Cryobank, and I have little other than contempt for their social media efforts.

For instance, both Fairfax Cryobank and Cryogenic Laboratories are on Twitter.  Both of them totally suck on Twitter.  They're on Facebook, and they totally suck on Facebook.  They're already all but impossible to distinguish from one another-- not that they'll let you share information between them, wenches-- and I certainly can't distinguish between their respective levels of social-media suckiness.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

"Is it weird to ask if I can see your tampon?"

I don't have my period.  I wasn't paying attention to my last cycle, but I think I'm late.

Heather isn't.  She started spotting Wednesday night, two days before our planned pregnancy test, and we waffled through Thursday, trying to interpret her uterine auspices.  When she didn't bleed enough to require a tampon-- yes, I did look at it-- I asked how the pad looked.  Was her underwear staining?  Was she cramping?  I don't have any shame in asking anymore.

But the cramps came, and the tampons came necessary, and we tried to sort ourselves out.  I think we had both bought in this time, delighting in Heather's few physical symptoms, congratulating ourselves on a very tidy insemination.  Secretly, we liked the poetry of getting pregnant right on deadline-- going Over the Top like Stallone, making that crucial, final surge.  Sweeter than a positive test on Mother's Day.

The deadline is unclear now.  After a couple days of moderate grief, Heather's disappointment peaked, and she started talking not about drugs but IVF.  "I'd rather spend $10,00 once for a 50% shot than spend $1,000 a month, ten times."  My instinct was to go slow on fertility treatments, but it's her money and her body.  She knows what her grief feels like and whether she can handle it.  I said as much, hoping she'd rethink it in a few days, and this weekend we agreed to do at least one more cycle of ICI while researching ART.  Heather says 7 is her other lucky number, anyhow.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

One more...

Heather just called on her way to Phat Girls from work.  She was in a terrible mood-- which is not unusual after a day at work, nor, especially today, unmerited-- and said that her legs ached.  "All the way to my calves!"

Again, I'm sorry for her, but also super-excited that it could mean something.

It ain't over till the fat lady bleeds

I called Heather just before the end of the work day to ask what her plans were for Girls' Night Out.  (Phat Girls, if we're going to take the whole honest/accurate approach.)  She said she didn't know anything yet, but "Don't you want to know how I'm feeling?"

No.  No, I sure don't.

In the past few cycles-- or, rather, in every single one of the five previous goddamn cycles-- Heather has gotten caught up in how she feels and what it could possibly mean.  The first time, when Heather was totally certain she was pregnant, she thought her cervix was turning blue within five days of insemination and that the veins in her breasts were more prominent.  (Nurse Nina told us to play cards and stop obsessing.)  The rest of the cycles bleed together, so to speak, in a mix of breast aches, breast heaviness, cramps, grumpiness, sleepiness...  And each time we got a negative, Heather would swear that, next time, she was going to ignore everything her body told her because it was so untrustworthy.  Later, she decided that it would mean something when she didn't feel anything at all.

Magically, Heather's been very low-key this cycle.  Her breasts got achy, but she didn't get caught up in it.  She was surprised, especially after that flashing m, that she wasn't cramping yet if her period was so close.  I let myself believe.

But I told Heather this afternoon that, while I didn't want to know, I could guess and she might as well tell me.

"My stomach hurts, in kind of a crampy way, and I have a terrible headache."

I didn't-- I don't-- have the spirit to argue.  Maybe it's gas and caffeine withdrawal, but there's no reason to drag this out.  She feels what she feels, and we'll just wait to see how it plays out.  There's nothing else to do right now.

M is for Maybe

We got a flashing m on the fertility monitor Tuesday.  It means that Heather's period is due in the next few days, based on her cycle history, and our countdown might not make it till Friday.

Unless it does make it till Friday, which might mean Heather's pregnant.