Monthly Archives: August 2013

Wedding Bells and Accountants

It’s been a week of great news and celebrations.

We decided to give it a go this cycle, as long as I ovulate before Jamie heads out of town for work. Grow eggies grow! Also the fertility center we aren’t really using said we could store the vial there if we don’t end up inseminating this cycle. Great news all around. Seriously, that was really nice of them. I should practice what I learned in grad school and send them a thank you card.

A lesbian couple we recently met and became friends with gave birth to their baby. She said giving birth was one of the easiest things she’s done. It’s amazing how different women experience labor and birth. I can only hope that I feel the same way about it.Their daughter is adorable and we are so excited to have some friends close to our age, with kids that will hopefully be close in age to ours. I imagine them being friends, having someone to talk to about having two moms, and just having an awesome time growing up together.

And then…finally the news we’d been waiting months to hear. Same sex couples can file joint tax returns, even if the state they live in doesn’t recognize their marriage. I’ll be honest, even though I am an eternal optimist I wasn’t expecting this to happen. Since DOMA was ruled unconstitutional, Jamie has said many times that she wants to get legally married somewhere. I, on the other hand thought we should wait and see what benefits, if any, we would get if we were legally married. We just bought a house, went on a vacation, and are trying to have a baby. I didn’t think we should pay for a wedding too if it didn’t financially make sense.

See, we already got married. We had a ceremony on the beach in California. It was after Prop 8 had passed so it wasn’t legal at the time, but we didn’t care. We just wanted to be married and to celebrate our decision to spend our lives together. It was beautiful and the best day of my life. I think part of me was resistant to the idea of another wedding initially because the first one was so special and I didn’t want a different wedding. I do want to be legally married to my wife though. So very much. So, I guess it’s time to start planning a wedding, a very small wedding in Seattle. Wifey says no courthouse wedding, so we’ll have to explore some other free options. A great friend from grad school is going to officiate. It’s going to be great and just as wonderful as the first wedding. My sister lives up there so I’m excited to see her and have her be our wedding planner, maid of honor and flower girl. A couple of other good friends also live in Seattle, so we won’t be short on love and celebration. A November wedding in Seattle might wpuld be pretty spectacular, or maybe December? October might be a strech, but also a super great birthday gift to ourselves. So many decisions.

Two important things to consider:

1. New vows or the same vows?

2. Fitting into my wedding dress. Time to hit the gym even more.

I guess it might be worth talking to an accountant to see if we would have to pay more or less taxes as a married couple first. I’ve always done my own taxes, but now that we own a house, are buying loads of sprem, and possibly married, I think we need the help of someone who actually understands our ridiculous tax policies and enjoys math. I’m just excited though and since we are both in the nonprofit sector and not making loads of cash, I would guess filing jointly will be better for us. For now I’m just excited that we are one step further to being recognized as married and as a family.

 

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Mmmbop

Unfortunately there is no one hit wonder here.

My period started today, just as fertility friend predicted. She’s such a good friend isn’t she. I have a feeling that if this journey takes too long I won’t think of her as much of a friend anymore.

I’m disappointed but not devastated. I knew the chance of a one hit wonder was about 6-10% or so. Which is also the estimated percentages of gay people in the world, how fun.

Wifey has to go out of town next month, and of course it’s scheduled for the week I am supposed to ovulate. What a buzkill. I don’t know her fight info so it’s possible that we’ll be able to squeeze in a try right before she leaves.

The good news is that I tracked all of my crazy symptoms and learned about “ectopic knee pregnancy” Which basically means that if you obsessed over every symptom in your knee, you’d be convinced you had a baby growing in there too. So, next go round I will hopefully be less obsessive and realize what is normal and what maybe isn’t.

The other good news is that I get to enjoy a tasty beverage tomorrow night at my BFF’s birthday party. We’re also going to a hilarious play with her and her hubby tonight so that’s two nights of adult beverages. It’s the little things. I might even go buy a wort chiller so that we can start brewing again, as a consolation prize.

And the journey continues.

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Menstrual or Pregnancy Migraine?

I’m losing hope. After our insemination, two weeks ago tomorrow, I was certain that it didn’t work. I always imagined it would take at least 6-12 months to knock me up. Then, as the days went on and I felt more and more “different” and obsessively started tracking my “pregnancy symptoms” I thought maybe we did luck out and we got knocked up the first time.

I’ve tested everyday since Saturday (10 DPO) and all BFN’s. Then I did some searching and found that most women don’t get a positive that early and started to feel hopeful again. My sister said she didn’t get a positive with her last baby until AF was a week late. There is hope, it’s small but it is there.

Then, this morning I woke up with a migraine. I have had chronic migraines since my tweenhood days. It wasn’t until we started tracking my cycles in preparation for baby making did I notice that I often get them right before my period. Often, not always. I also get them all throughout my cycle so who really knows if they are ever hormone related or not. I am worried that this one is though and I’m getting bummed before my period even gets here. AF is due tomorrow or Thursday.

So, now I sit here and wonder if this migraine is a reaction to dropping levels of progesterone, or if it’s due to the stress of the TWW, or lack of sleep as I have been exhausted lately, or just a random migraine (like 90% of them).

I’m now a pee stick addict so I will probably test again tomorrow, unless of course AF arrives before then.

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A week too late

Yesterday  my boss, who will be called Anxious Yogi from now on, told me not to get pregnant.  She was 100% serious.  She followed it up by saying that she knew she legally couldn’t tell me that, but that she needed me to not be on maternity leave when the feds come for a monitoring visit in the spring….so I really shouldn’t get pregnant.

I just laughed, probably too hard. I’m pretty sure that my face turned beet red and then I awkwardly changed the subject and left her office as quickly as possible so that I wouldn’t accidentally tell her that I could already be pregnant.

Ugh.

She knows we want kids. She doesn’t know I want to be pregnant and certainly not that we are trying. She may or may not have seen an OPK in the garbage or sitting on my desk that one day.

I really like my job. I really like the people I work with (almost everyone here is queer). I really hope that by getting pregnant Anxious Yogi won’t think I am not interested sticking around for a long time. It makes me really frustrated that as a woman I even have to worry about this. I might not even need to worry. I know that Anxious Yogi is very glad that I am here and thinks I am a great asset for our organization. Having the “guess what I’m pregnant” conversation is going to be kind of scary. Too bad I won’t be able to have a couple of beers first ha ha

In other news, it’s 9 DPO. I took a test last night for fun. It was negative, which wasn’t a big surprise, but for some reason it made me feel less impatient and anxious. We’ll test again at either 11 or 12 DPO. I haven’t had very many “symptoms” backache, a bit of nausea and cramping and waking up to pee every night. I never imagined that two weeks could go by so slowly, and we’ve been doing so much to keep us busy. Maybe a two week coma would be a better option? Anyone have a patent for that?

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6 DPO and Distractions

Well, we’ve made it almost halfway through the two week wait. Thankfully we’ve had quite a few distractions, and people, to keep us busy and to help somewhat keep our minds off of testing and symptoms. Let’s be real honest, nothing is keeping my mind off possible pregnancy symptoms.  We have had a lot going on though which makes me vacillate between thinking I am pregnant and thinking that I am an introvert that has been way too social for my poor little introverted self.  Our many distractions:

1 DPO: I had the day off work for Ramadan. I worked on finishing painting our living room wall Never stencil a whole wall ever, it’s a terrible idea that sucks you into the deep dark hole of stenciling and perfectionism and you will start to lose sight of the light at the end of the tunnel. That night we went to the Erykah Badu concert. She is amazing! I also realized that I am getting too old for concerts with young hipsters and thugs. I thought we were going to get shot in the crossfire of a gang fight for about 2 minutes. Luckily the only guns that were drawn were of the pointer finger variety. I’ll be skipping Ludacris next week.

2 DPO: I had the day off work for Ramadan again. I had planned on getting a lot of things done around the house, but J’s friend from out of town was visiting so I spent the day with  her checking out some local shops and then tried and failed to get the car registered. Later that night we went to my sister’s house and got to hang out with our 3 month and 8 year old nieces. The 3 month old is starting to get chubby little thighs, super adorable.

3 DPO: J’s friend was still staying with us, so the three of us headed to the farmers market, a local tea shop, and then I took a nap. I was exhausted all day and felt nauseous a good part of the day. We met up with a pregnant lesbian couple, who are due in a couple of weeks, saw Fruitvale and stayed up way too late. It was a really depressing movie, but so important, you should see it.

4 DPO:  We woke up super late, like past noon late. Yikes. We went on a hike that was almost straight up the mountain. My legs are still sore, it was so beautiful though and great. We need to go on more hikes. I didn’t feel tired or weird at all really.

DSCN3638

5 DPO: Back to work. I was so exhausted all day and felt like my brain wasn’t really working properly. I felt some weird pinch/twinge feelings in my lower abdomen, nothing I recall ever feeling before. I’ve also never analyzed my body this much before. After work, I picked up my sister who is visiting from Seattle (well she isn’t really visiting she is here to give a deposition in the case against the woman who hit her boyfriend on his bike-causing memory loss, what a jerk!) and went to visit my dad and step-mom. She has renal cell carcinoma and is one tough cookie, it was good/hard to see her, she’s not doing very well.

6 DPO: That brings us to today. I still feel like my brain is on vacation, but not as bad as yesterday. I noticed egg white cervical fluid…what’s that about?

The big question, when to test? I am debating between Friday (9 DPO) and Saturday (10 DPO) and then the crazy person inside of me says what the hell just start testing on Thursday ( 8 DPO). I need help. Must resist the urge to test.

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Mittelschmerz Saves the Day

This timing insemination business is serious business.

I’ve been tracking my cycles using the fancy schmancy fertility monitor since January. Wifey thought it would be good  to help us pinpoint my wacky ovulation. It’s supposed to “learn” your individual cycles the more that you use it. To be honest, I kind of feel like the opposite is happening. The first month that I used it, I got two peak days. One month I accidentally ran out of sticks, and the last two months have never shown a peak. There might be some user error going on (I’m slightly technologically behind, I just barely got a smart phone), but really this thing is driving me nuts.

Going into our first real live insemination cycle I knew I needed a back up plan. You wouldn’t go into the playoffs without a good backup point guard would ya? I am also terrible at deciphering the darkness of OPK’s. I decided to go with the fancy schmancy smiley face OPK’s, much to Jamie’s disappointment in their price tag. I have driven myself mad starting at the nondigital OPK’s, trying to determine if the line was dark enough or if today was was darker than the yesterday. I needed the definitive yes or no. So, the plan was to use the monitor in the morning, as instructed, and then use the OPK’s in the afternoon once the monitor starting reading high.

On Tuesday, I finally got a high and set off to work with a smiley. I tested that afternoon and it was a negative. Trying to sneak that gigantic thing to the bathroom and back in my skinny jeans, while grabbing the key to the bathroom hanging right in front of my boss’s window was tricky. Then, I had it sitting on my desk when my boss (I should come up with a clever name for her) came in to introduce me to her new girlfriend. That was anxiety provoking. I didn’t wear skinny jeans the next day.

Wednesday, the sprem arrived at Jamie’s workplace.sprem They made a special exception so that we could have it shipped there. Her boss is super excited about our baby making plans. Her and Jamie spent quite a while creating some awesome timing charts.

chart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes I feel like my body is ruled by OPKs. They tell me when I can go to the bathroom and how much I can drink. I have an extremely small bladder. I have also been drinking water like I have been lost in the desert for weeks to increase my cervical fluid. Not a good combination. I went to the bathroom  in the late morning and knew I had to wait about 3-4 hours before I could pee again to do the OPK in the afternoon. I had to pee in 45 minutes. So. Very. Bad. I sat at my desk putting my hours of kegel practice to work and thinking about anything other that how bad I had to pee. I gave up at 1 hour and 15 minutes. It was negative. I should have just waited to do the OPK later, but I only brought one to work and had meetings the rest of the day. Later, during our staff meeting I started feeling mittelschmerz. In all my previous cycles, my temperature has gone up the day after ovulation pains. After the meeting I had to pee like a racehorse. (Where does this saying come from anyway? Why would a racehorse have to pee worse than dog that lives in an apartment?) I called Jamie in a panic, explaining my mittelchmerz (it just never gets old) and my urgent need to pee and asked if she thought I should hurry and go home and do another OPK or not. She said yes. I hoped on the bike and raced home faster than a racehorse (this makes much more sense yeah?) It was a smiley 🙂

Jamie pulled up with the sprem a few minutes later and we spent the next three hours deciding on our insemination plan. We decided to go with late that night since my temps have spiked the morning after ovulation pain and positive OPK’s before. We did the insemination. It was beautiful. I was a nervous wreak.

My temp didn’t spike, but has gone up slowly since Thursday morning.  Wifey swears I’m pregnant. I’ve been nauseous, super sleepy, and having weird cramps, but I’ve also read that 3 DPO is waaaay to early to feel anything. Maybe it was too early, maybe it was perfect. We’ll find out fore sure in less than two weeks. Let the waiting begin.

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How Many Lesbians Does it Take?

Timing is everything, at least when it comes to baby making with frozen sprem (as we call it)

Wifey and I have been attempting to solve a word problem. You know, those ones you hated in 5th and 6th grade. You’d start reading it and by the time you got to the end you realized that you were paying more attention to what would happen to the passengers on the train, and where they were going, than the numbers you were supposed to be paying attention to. If any of you were elementary school math whizzes or have children that are here goes:

If the egg lives for about 6-10 hours after it is released, also know as ovulation. (The egg travels very very slowly down the fallopian tube. You might now even call it traveling, it’s more like meandering and being pushed along by the tiny silica.)

And the sprem can live for about 24 hours in fertile cervical fluid. And it takes the sprem an average of 10 hours to travel through the cervix, uterus and then finally meeting the egg in the fallopian tube. When they travel approximately 1/10 of an inch a minute,  after being turned into sprem jigglers for 20 minutes.  (not 100% certain that this happens with the frozen sprem, but we’ll err on the side of caution and say they do). 

And I am 86.5% sure that I ovulate between 18-24 hours after an LH surge. 

What time should we inseminate after the LH surge? 

We are thinking 12 hours.

Remember to show your work. We all know the smart kids that say they do their math in their head are just lying cheaters.*

Thanks and good luck, your future and our future gayby’s life depends on this.

*I might be harboring a little resentment over my elementary education here. I hated showing my work because it made my paper look messy and thus had to re-do my homework all the time.

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On Choosing a Donor

I imagined that picking a donor would take weeks, if not months. It would consist of numerous long profiles and photos spread out all over the walls throwing darts to pick the lucky winner, analyzing upon analyzing upon analyzing like only lesbians can do, long conversations on the front porch imagining how my DNA would mix with the donor’s and what our kiddos would like. Have you ever seen those programs where you put upload pictures of two people and see what their kid would look like? Basically everyone is having alien children according to them. It’s not cute, EVER. They look like babies with adult features. Just. Plain. Creepy. Needless to say, we didn’t try that in our quest for the perfect donor. Okay now I am somewhat tempted, just for a good chuckle and a creepy photo for the babybook.

Image

Well it’s certainly not as creepy as the one’s, J and I played around with when we first started talking about having a baby, but I didn’t upload the creepy ones.

My assumptions about picking a donor:

  1. It would take a while to pick a bank or a few banks from which we would find our donor
  2. It would take 500 times as long to pick a donor
  3. We would spend countless hours analyzing donor profiles, pictures, audio/video clips, cutting down our list by one or two a day for weeks on end.

One day we were driving in the car and talking about picking a donor. J said something to me like “Let’s not over analyze this. We both have the potential to become really neurotic about this decision” So true.

Here is how it really went down:

We started with a list of lesbian friendly banks from It’s Conceivable (such a lovely resource for us queer folk). We went through each and every bank, with a spreadsheet to identify costs and available services and features of course. J cut out quite a few right off the bat because their websites were outdated and had little or no search functions, priorities people. And then there were 8. With prices and services nearly identical, we went with our social justice roots: non-profit, lesbian owned and/or smaller family limits. The non-profit had a big fat ZERO donors whose physical characteristics matched what we were looking for but didn’t have a history of migraines in their immediate family. This might seem like a strange requirement, but I have had chronic migraines since I was 14, which is over half my life now. What a terrible realization. Needless to say, I would give up my right big toe to never have a migraine again and will also give up my #1 bank choice to have less of a chance of passing them onto our child. And then there was 1. Phew that choice was taken care of.

Before we actually started the search we talked quite a bit about what we wanted in a donor. Channing Tatum, er I mean smart, athletic, creative, interesting, a good person, hazel or green eyes, blonde or light brown hair, tan skin. I believe there is a good balance between nature and nurture. I wish I could say it was all nurture, but I can’t. Nature has a lot to do with who we are. I am my father’s daughter, not just inthat I like to do the things I did with him growing up or value the things he taught me to value, but in our mannerisms, sense of humor, social awkwardness, emotional responses and expressiveness, and the list goes on. These aren’t things I learned from him, they are just in my DNA.

Originally our plan was for me to carry the first baby and we would use a donor that resembled J physically. Then, J would carry the second baby and we’d use a donor that resembled me. We’ve recently changed our thinking on this, but that’s a whole different post. Because I will be carrying the baby and using my eggs, I wanted J to “pick” the donor. Of course we would do it together, but I felt that she should be able to say what she wanted to pinch hit for her to make our baby. We came up with a list and started the search. It really is such an odd experience. It’s like online dating, but with the emotional weight of choosing your baby’s DNA. That’s the best description I’ve got for now. I’ll work on something more eloquent as it processes.

We really wanted at least a baby or child aged photo of the donor. Going from planning on using a known donor to a willing to be known donor and putting all of our trust into the bank and the donor was really hard for me. I wanted something else to help me feel less anxiety about using a bank and a donor we’ve never met. While we were both at work J sent me a bunch of profiles of donors she thought sounded most like her. How can employers expect people to work when they have such big decisions looming? I looked at them and felt extremely overwhelmed, but found one we both liked. J wanted to buy the picture right then (I’m realizing what an impulsive decision maker she is) but I talked her into waiting until we got home from work to do it together, cause I’m a romantic like that. We, okay I, decided that we should go through ALL the donors that had adult photos or videos available. J came along kicking and screaming about what a waste of time it was. It was a short list folks, promise. We made a list of the ones we liked and started buying photos. It’s just so easy when it’s done with the click of a button…and then before you know it you’ve spent over $100. The second picture was Socrates. J was sold.  We bought the long profile. He was good looking, seemed interesting, smart, artistic, athletic and honest. One of the things I really appreciated was that on the section about toxins he included riding his bike in the city and 1 breath of pesticides in 2003. I like honesty and figured if he was going to include that stuff we didn’t need to worry about the accuracy of other things like medical history.

J said he was the one, but being the noncommittal person that I am, wanted to look at all their pictures. Silly, silly decision. Lesson learned: trust your wife when she says what she wants. I’ve got to tell you I’m glad we went with donors with adult photos. I don’t want to come across as shallow because I am certainly not, but I think my wife and I are good looking women. I wanted a good looking donor too, and all but one and a half of those donors were just not attractive, at all. Maybe it doesn’t help that I’m not attracted to men, but I was honestly a little surprised. Maybe the bank that does celebrity look-a-likes made my brain think that all donors are gorgeous, celebrity look-a-like men. Haha, don’t believe it kids. There are some interesting looking donors out there.

After we looked at all these guys and gave them names like long beard weird eyes, I followed J’s lead and we went ahead with Socrates. I asked her about 100 times if she was sure this was the donor she wanted and she was, more sure than I’ve seen her be about most things. So there you have it. I hope Socrates works out because I don’t want to do that again and I’ve grown quite attached to him.

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