Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I know a lot of you are wondering what has happened since I haven't written in a while. I am currently "on a break." I did try in Nov and was hugely disappointed again. I think I needed to not think about it for a while. I can't even begin to describe the emotional toll this has taken, and for those of you who have followed this blog, you are aware that I'm not good at being vulnerable. I tend to avoid! So, that's what I am doing....avoiding. My current plan is to start trying again after the holidays, and I am working on being more "raw" in my writing.

Happy Holidays to everyone and thank you all for the warm wishes and support!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Well, I am not pregnant. I attempted to construct a blog the day I found out, but couldn't bring myself to form the words. I can't begin to describe the level of disappointment I am feeling. I couldn't even form tears this time. I was numb. I think I still am to a degree, because I need to choose a new donor and haven't been able to bring myself to even review the options. I am at a standstill. I may take this month off to regroup.

My mother is still in town, and she, my sister, and I are headed out of town on Fri for a long weekend. I'm hoping this will help to rejuvinate me. The next try will be another assisted IUI, so I need to decide soon, but I've decided not to pressure myself.

I want to thank everyone for the continued support! I can't tell you how appreciated it is.

I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Pins and needles

I know all of you are shocked that I am behind in posting again!!! Wait until I also have a baby to take care of. I’ll never be on time for anything again.

Here’s the scoop. This round, I did an assisted IUI, meaning they trigged my ovulation in order to control the timing. On the 12th day of my cycle I went in for a vaginal ultrasound. Now I have to stop here, and point out that there can’t possibly be that many blogs with the word vaginal in them, so savor this moment please. Anyway, for those of you who’ve never had one, it’s an interesting experience. It’s not painful or uncomfortable, just odd. It’s basically a big plastic probe with an ultrasound “camera” on the end. They look for mature follicles and if they find one big enough, you get a shot of ovadril to trigger the egg to be released.

What amazes me about all of these medical procedures is how secretive the doctors are about all of this. I am naked (vaginal and naked in the same blog post, I need to point out!) from the waist down and lying on the table with my feet in the stirrups. Imagine that! And the have the camera completely turned away so you can’t see what’s going on and are talking in hushed tones like I’m not in the room. What is that about?? We are inside my body. I think I have the right to see it. And it’s not like it’s surgery. I can’t even tell what the picture is of. Because, of course, I looked at the screen when I was able to get up, and I didn’t do it subtly!

I am learning so many of the hilarities of the medical profession! Anyway, then the reproduction nurse takes me into the regular exam room and teaches me how to administer this shot of ovadril to myself. Oh yes, you read that right. I had to give myself a shot!!! Now, before you go getting all proud of me….I totally chickened out and had my friend Mike come over and give me the shot. Sorry, I’m disappointed in myself as well. Would have made for better copy if I had this dramatic story about giving this shot to myself. As it turns out, the shot isn’t that bad, and I probably could have done it. But who knew!

He gives me the shot in my stomach, and the needle is pretty tiny, so I don’t even really feel a prick. I admit, I’m a baby. In general, shots don’t bother me that much, but the thought of giving it to myself did make me weak in the knees! I think this is where I will blame my sister because I didn’t get that worked up about it until I talked to her and she was freaked out about it and offered to drive over to do it. (Note: I still love you D!)

That Sat, I go in for the insemination, which was pretty routine, although I did have that horrible cramping like I did the first round, so I spent the day in bed. Now, I am waiting. I will know in a few days, but for some reason I don’t think it worked. I’m not really sure why I’m feeling that way other than my body feels like it does pre-menstrual. Many of the “symptoms” of pregnancy are the same, so I could be wrong, but I’m not getting my hopes up. This may be a bit self-protective as well, because the let down has been getting harder each time! I am not sure what day to expect my period, as I didn’t even count days this round. I could easily figure it out, but I am trying to not focus on it as much.

I promise I will post when I know! Everyone think baby thoughts!!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Betrayed by my body

Seems I am taking this month off. I’m not sure what happened exactly. I suspect, or maybe hope, that it’s related to the HSG. I did not get a smiley face on the Ovulation Predictor Kit this month. It doesn’t necessarily mean that I didn’t ovulate. I will find that out next week when I have the blood test for progesterone levels again, but it does mean that my LH did not reach a high enough level to trigger the positive result on the test strip.

I have no idea how common this is or if I should be concerned. I choose to wait and see. I am a bit disappointed because I had read about women getting pregnant the cycle that they had the HSG. Anything will do when you need to hang your hopes on something! I am choosing to keep a positive attitude and just “go with the flow” like everyone has been telling me to do.

I was planning to take a month off anyway. This wasn’t the way I had intended on doing it, but oh well! As I am painfully aware, sometimes life takes you on a different path than the one you planned on taking.

Deep down I am terrified, but I can’t really bring it into awareness for too long because I am not yet ready to deal with the possibility of this path being a dead end.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Passed: Is that good or bad?

I had the HSG test yesterday. It was mildly painful during the procedure and then I experienced some cramping later in the evening. The cramps were nothing close to those experienced during that first round of insemination! The whole process was rather humorous. There was a male lab intern (not sure of the specifics), but he seemed mortified the whole time! The nurse was just chatting away as she is getting my body situated, because it's an high contrast x-ray. In her chattiness, ignored any and all attempt at modesty. Now, for those of you who know me in real life, you know this wasn't a problem for me! But that poor lab intern. He couldn't find a place to look that was far enough away. I think I actually chuckled out loud!

The whole procedure took about 10 mins, including quite a bit of flashing! They took a picture of my uterus and the Dr declared that it was perfect! I'm not sure how I feel about that. Having a problem would at least offer an explanation that I could hold on to, but being completely healthy means I still have hope for this to work!

I will be inseminated again in less than a week. In the meantime, I am distracted by my 20 year high school reunion this weekend! Where did 20 years go? It's making me a little philosophical. Maybe I'll do a sidebar philosophy post this week! We'll see!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Well for those of you holding your breath, or set egg timers (that was adorable by the way!!), waiting to find out if I’m pregnant (because I have no doubt you are all that concerned with my life!), I am not pregnant! I knew this about 36 hours ago, but have not been able to really deal with the overwhelming emotions until now! I had convinced myself that I was pregnant. It was odd, and even though I knew in my head that I couldn’t really know, my mind someone found the signs. So much for the knowing!!! For the last several days, I have been feeling waves of nausea, albeit slight, I focused on it! I also didn’t get the typical PMS symptoms. I’m not sure how my body manifested this one, but the mind is a powerful organ!

My mind has also gotten me through the last 36 hours! Although I did a lot of crying (and I mean a lot!!!), I have been able to not shut down. I’ve also been pretty good at compartmentalizing my emotions, but this has surprised even me! Even though there is a heaviness that I feel physically, I am in a pretty good mood today, and the crying has decreased significantly. Both are blessings since I’ve forced myself to come to work.

The next step is to have an HSG, which stands for hysterosalpingogram. I’m really glad I can just type that because I have absolutely no idea how to pronounce it!!! Basically, they will inject a dye into my uterus, which will flow into the fallopian tubes if they aren’t blocked (which is what it’s checking for) and allow then to be seen with x-ray. It will also reveal any abnormalities of the uterus.

To be honest, I think they are doing this because they feel like I need something done! I did read on the internet, however (gotta love Google!!!), that often just the process of having the dye forced through the fallopian tubes can dislodge any blockage and allow for easier pregnancy. We’ll see. The side effects can be infection or severe cramping, neither of which I’m looking forward to, but I’ll let you know how it goes.

I’m still considering the acupuncture, but it’s so expensive!

Feeling for the day, probably continuing through the week: Numb!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Human Spirit

I really can’t explain why, but I have a sense of peace for the last week. There are moments of anxiety about what the results will be, but I have not been completely focused on it. I decided to just go on about my life. Some of you may disagree with this, but I went out to dinner with a friend the day after the insemination and decided to have a glass of wine. Had I been getting pregnant the traditional way, that probably would have occurred so I went with it. I won’t drink this week because the fetus will be implanting at this point. I think that one decision made it easier!

I did have the progesterone level blood test on Monday and my level was fine. I guess that’s good news, although I’m not really sure what it means. I will have to get some details then next time I speak to one of the nurses.

My current mood is surprisingly optimistic!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Still in the game!

Yesterday was my fourth insemination. The feelings are a bit different and it surprises me. I think it’s self-protection. I am an expert at compartmentalizing!! Not always a good thing, but in this case, I’m grateful for the skill. The procedure itself was pretty standard. I had a new nurse, which felt a little strange. It’s weird the relationship you develop with these people. They are the ones present for this would be miracle. I imagine it’s similar to what people who go through a crisis together feel. You are somehow fighting the same cause. They may not feel the same way, but those are my emotional experiences. And, again, it’ s my blog, so it’s all about me!!

As you can see, my mood is on the upswing. The last two weeks were really difficult. The anger ebbed and flowed, and I struggled with putting myself through this again. But in the end, the plan was to go forward. I chose to abide by the plan and not my current emotional state. I have one more round of sperm that I’ve already purchased and then will need to choose a new donor. I think at that point I will take a break for a month or two. It’s unbelievably difficult to live with the uncertainty from week to week.

The adoption issue. I considered adoption, and have not ruled it out it. When I decided to do this single parenting thing, I weighed all my options and the pros and cons of each. Very carefully, in fact. It took me about 2 years to make the actual decision to move forward with artificial insemination. Here is my thought process. I would love to adopt, but decided that adopting a child younger than my nieces was important. They are almost 4 and almost 2. I felt this was important because having worked with the child welfare system for many many years, I am painfully aware of the problems that can arise with these children. I don’t want to put my nieces in a position to be victimized. At this point, I’m left with the option of adopting an infant. This is next to impossible as a single person, unless you go with international adoption. After looking into international adoption, which can cost up to $50,000 or more, I decided that artificial insemination was a much better first step. I will attempt this for a year. If it doesn’t happen, I will pursue adoption, either internationally adopting an infant or waiting until my nieces are older and adopting an older child domestically.

I’m going to try posting more frequently throughout the two week waiting period with shorter updates on my emotions for the day. We’ll see how that goes. Today I am fluctuating between being hopeful, searching for that “you just know” feeling that women talk about, and pushing it out of mind as an avoidance of possible disappointment. I am constantly being told, “just put it out of your mind and it will happen.” I have no earthly idea how to put it out of my mind, but I’m trying!!!

Any comments/questions are welcomed and appreciated.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


I am struggling as a write this, but hoping it will act as a catharsis as much as a kept promise to keep up! I am not pregnant, again. This was definitely the hardest one thus far. I had convinced myself that I was pregnant. I’m not sure that’s the right thing to do, but it’s impossible to lock the thoughts out of my mind. It’s the hope that gets to you. It’s the proverbial double-edged sword. On one hand, I truly believe that a positive attitude can work miracles, but I also am a realist and know that I can’t make it happen. Building up the hope makes the fall even harder. Wow. I’m full of clichés today!!

For the last two days (I got confirmation of my non-pregnant status on Tues evening), I have decided that being angry is easier than crying all day. So I’m angry at the world! At the injustice and the unfairness, and at those who judge my choices, and at those who take for granted their ability to have children!

On top of that, there are only 2 vials of my chosen donor’s sperm left! The donor selection process is not something I am looking forward to doing again!

However, the anger is already lessening. I’m not an angry person, so it’s difficult for me to maintain that level of intensity. I have already begun to look forward, planning for the next round. They will be monitoring my hormone levels this round following insemination to ensure that my uterus becomes implantable.

I am also looking into acupuncture. Although there is no reason at this point to suspect infertility, there has been a great deal of research about the benefits of acupuncture for infertility. It can’t hurt, right?

I will try to write more when I come to terms with my own emotions.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Is this a test?

I am officially bad at following directions! I’m not sure what this implies for my future mothering skills, but I’m pretty sure it declares my age. I used to be overly organized. But I have yet to get this fertility testing/insemination process correct. In my defense, I did actually follow the directions on the back of the ovulation monitoring kit, but those directions are for “direct deposit.” Since I’m taking a less traditional route, the timing is a bit different.

Basically, around the 13th day of my cycle (which just means 13 days after the start of my period), I begin testing for ovulation. You do this by peeing on a stick, which measures the level of LH (luteinizing hormone), triggering release of an egg. The digital monitor, purchased at the drug store, indicates this with a smiley face. The kit instructs you to test in the morning, so that you have a 24-36 hour timeframe in which to fertilize the egg. The nurse explained that this is b/c most people will test in the morning in order to plan their evening activities when trying to conceive. I, however, am supposed to test in the evening because I get inseminated during the day. I didn’t realize this flip flopped time schedule during the first 2 tries, although when I called in for to schedule the 2nd try, they got me in that day b/c she didn’t want me to wait until the next day.

So for this round, I was to begin testing last night. I worked late and then went to a program with a friend after work. As an aside, it was a really cool program. It’s called Science Café, and was about cryptography last night. It’s held at the Great Lakes Brewery and is sponsored by the Case (Case Western Reserve University) chapter of Sigma Xi. Since it was held at the brewery, I was almost required to have a beer, right? Well anyway, I did, which meant by the end of the program I really had to pee. I arrived home at about 8pm and remember that I was scheduled to pee on the stick, so I went upstairs to do this. Being the hyper vigilant direction follower that I thought I was, I once again read the package. Well, I need to have not peed for 4 hours before taking the “test.” So, I wait, not really expecting a smiley face anyway, so what’s the harm.

At about 11pm when I decide to head off to bed, I first pee on the stick, with sort of an obligatory feeling. It’s too early, but I’m supposed to start now, so I will. I do the bedtime routine stuff, brush my teeth, blah, blah, blah, and go back into the bathroom to glance at the stick. There is a smiley face staring back at me. My first thought is….I did it wrong! Then….it’s affected by beer! I did have that beer at the Science Café thing. I read the directions again, and then panic. I’ve screwed this up again. It’s too late to call the lab to let them know I’m coming in the morning. What if I’ve missed my window of opportunity? I knew I was in for a rough night! I decide to test again in the morning and then just call first thing (I have to be at work early anyway) to see if I can get in. It takes me about 2 hours to fall asleep!

I wake up in the morning with a preemptive feeling of disappointment. I have convinced myself in my sleep that I’ve missed my ovulation period. You know the morning routine, so I won’t go into that, but when I look at the stick, to my surprise there is a smiley face brightening my morning! I can’t begin to tell you the feeling of possibility that silly smiley face brings.

The actual insemination process is getting easier. Much like the feeling I got walking into my dad’s hospital room, the familiarity come easily. It’s an odd familiarity, though. One that you don’t want, yet it offers comfort and creates a calmness that I have trouble creating on the drive over. The procedure itself is very simple, which is such a bizarre juxtaposition to its monumental meaning, but the nurses are incredibly skilled at creating a caring environment. Today, she almost feels like a friend.

I’m trying to relax and go about my normal daily routine, but the possible disappointment looms heavy.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Ahhh life!

Here I am….behind again! There are several reasons (i.e. excuses!) for this, which I will spare you. But I’m here to give the recap and get back on track! A promise to myself as much as to you readers.

I am not pregnant….again. It was much more disappointing this time, and I am having a hard time staying positive. I know I’ve only tried twice, but reality is now a little too real! If that makes any sense. It’s difficult to continue with life because there is so much unknown about this baby thing. Should I sell my house and move? Should I plan a vacation? Should I date? Should I be saving my time off and my money? I feel like I’m on hold! And I really hate that feeling! I used to live that way. Like I was waiting for my life to begin….and now I’m back there. Just waiting.

My life is now lived in 2 week segments, with peeing on a stick as the culmination of each segment. Ironically, the fertility testing, which started out as the disappointing “test,” has now become the one that doesn’t let me down. I can’t begin to describe the feelings that I have experienced in the 3 minutes it takes to complete a pregnancy test. The absence of a line dictating the course of my life. There is so much emotion wrapped up into that little act. My mom was here for the most recent disappointment. Maybe that made it more disappointing! She would have loved being there for the “knowing!” Of course, I will call her after each time, but being present would have been special for her, and for me.

I joined this online support group for “Single Moms by Choice.” That’s the catch phrase for women who do what I’m doing. It also includes women who adopt alone, but I don’t see as many of those postings. I’m not sure it’s helping. People tend to seek out a support group when things are difficult, not when they are fabulous, so the majority of the postings just serve to scare me more. I want someone to tell me that it’s going to be ok. That I will get pregnant!

I begin fertility testing again on Monday (June 9th), and will try to make blogging more of a priority!

Monday, May 5, 2008


Obviously, I am behind in posting. I was hoping to post as things happened, but life sometimes gets in the way! So, I will recap the last 2 weeks since the insemination.

It’s a bizarre feeling to know what could be happening in your body. I bounced from hoping, to wondering, to willing it to happen. I don’t think that I ever fully stopped thinking about it. I couldn’t help but wonder if this is what it feels like to be a teenager and have to wait to find out if your life will be forever altered.

As I write this I struggle with what tense to use. Should I write it as if it’s occurring, walking you through the process…..but then that’s impossible because I am at the point that I know the outcome, so it feels artificial to portray the anticipation.

I can’t begin to put words to the emotions that I have experienced over the last couple of weeks. My mind would not allow me to wonder too far from focus on my uterus. I consider every move I make, questioning if it will have an effect or if I will attribute a failed attempt to it. It’s difficult not to talk about it, let alone to not think about it. I do make a concerted effort to live my life as normally as possible. I realize how someone can become obsessed with getting pregnant. Hopefully, I can be more grounded than that.

About 10 days after the insemination, I have the urge to take a pregnancy test, but somehow will myself to wait. I had no idea I had this much willpower!!! I convince myself that I just want to know. I can’t allow myself to generate too much hope, but every twinge in my body is taken as a sign of pregnancy and I have to talk myself out of believing. I have heard numerous women say that they just knew, and I crave this knowing, but it refuses to cooperate. Damn rational thought process!

On day 26 of my cycle, I wake up knowing I will take the test! I try to control the excitement, knowing that the more hope I allow myself the more disappointment I may have to face. We are all aware of my morning routine, but I wake up early and am unable to snooze….go figure. So I get up and pee on the stick. Go let Shadow out, forcing the anticipation out of my mind. I only have to wait 3 mins, but it feels like an eternity! As I walk back up the stairs, Shadow flying up before me to dive back into bed, I remind myself that a negative result isn’t necessarily indicative of a failed attempt. It’s still a couple days early. (The most accurate results are after the date of your expected period, which is typically day 28 for me.) I try to find that feeling of knowing, but it’s not there, and I walk into the bathroom with such nervous anticipation. There is only one line and a sadness washes over me. Again I am reminded that I am doing this alone. There is no one to share my burden.

I get into the shower, silently convincing myself that there is still a possibility that I am pregnant, but it’s false, even to myself. Deep down, I know! But I choose hope for now.

The next day, my period begins and the sadness creeps in. I feel alone, all the while knowing that I have so many supports to reach out to, but I am painfully aware that the loneliness belongs to me. I can’t give it away, so I embrace it and give it its due. Tomorrow it can be set aside.

Friday, May 2, 2008


I know I’ve kept some of you hanging. I should be a writer for Lost! To continue…..

So, she calls my name and we walk back to the exam room. I’m still clinging to my vial of sperm and am now profoundly nervous. I liken it to the first time you have sex. You are excited and really want to do it, but have no idea what to expect, so your heart is just racing. I hand the nurse the vial and she asks if I need to use the restroom. I figure this is a good idea so I do. When I return she tells me that I need to undress or I can just pull my skirt up and take off my panties. That is WAY too much like I’m a teenager sneaking to get laid, so I opt for taking it off! There is a little section of the exam room that is sectioned off with a curtain where I go to undress. She hands me a sheet to wrap around myself.

When I emerge, she tells me to lie on the exam table with my feet in the stirrups. This is exactly what happens during a regular ob/gyn appointment, so now I’m feeling a little like a pro. Any familiarity offers some small comfort at this point! She then explains what will happen. She will “clean” my cervix with what appears to be a large q-tip, then insert a catheter attached to a syringe, in which she has placed the specimen. She will insert the catheter, through the cervix (hence the “cleaning”), into my uterus. Once the catheter reaches the top of my uterus, she will insert the sperm. She tells me that I should feel some cramping. She leaves the catheter there for two minutes and then slowly withdraws it. I then lie on the table for ten minutes allowing the sperm to swim up my fallopian tubes. We are chatting this entire time, mostly about baby things, but not really the procedure. I feel slight cramps, but a routine pelvic exam is more uncomfortable. She then explains what should happen over the next couple of weeks, and instructs me to stay put for another few minutes and go about my day.

Lying on the table, alone in the room, I try to visual what is happening inside my body. It’s a strange sense. I keep wanting to feel something, but I’m not even sure what it is. Emotionally, I am feeling a sense of peace and excitement. After about 5 mins, I get dressed and leave. It’s strange leaving. I just walk out alone. It’s almost a disappointment, I wanted the fanfare, but the happiness is stronger, so thankfully it wins out. I return to work, where everyone is bursting with questions and excitement, which helps to prolong the euphoric mood for a bit longer. But then, it’s back to work. I can’t really concentrate on anything, however, because I can’t stop thinking about what could be happening inside me!

A couple hours later, the cramps start! And they progressively get worse. By the time, I head home for the day, I am almost doubled over. Thank God it’s Friday because I just want to go lie down. I have never experienced cramps like that. It’s not that the pain is so severe, but the cramping just doesn’t ease. I spend the entire evening in bed, which Shadow is thoroughly unhappy about, and manages to make this known every hour! The next morning, the cramps have dulled, andI am able to function fairly normally, although it’s still somewhat uncomfortable. By that evening, thankfully they are gone.

The next 2 weeks are anything but normal, but that will have to wait until the next posting.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Testing begins.

It’s amazing how familiar I have become with my cycle! Testing for fertility is much like testing for pregnancy, in that you pee on a stick and wait. It’s vast difference, however, is that it doesn’t really precipitate any celebration. When you get a positive result on a pregnancy test, you have a baby to get excited about. Testing positive on a fertility test just means your body hasn’t malfunctioned. Anyway, I was staying at my sisters at the first day of fertility testing. I wake up in the morning and go to pee (which is standard operating procedure anyway). However, my sister is already in the bathroom, so it becomes a group activity. (I am fairly certain that I informed all of you that I was raised by hippies, so no freaking out that I peed with my sister standing there!!!) I then go let Shadow (the dog) out. This is the only time he’s better at holding it than me! When I come back, the requisite 3 minutes have passed and I brace myself for either a blank circle or a smiley face. Being that it was the first day of testing, I should have expected the blank circle, but I will admit I was disappointed. I stayed at my sisters again that night, repeating this process the next morning.

As an aside, my brother-in-law travels for work, so frequently I will stay at my sisters to help with the kids when he is out of town.

The third morning, I am in my own house, and have gotten used to the blank smiley face. So pee on the stick and go to let Shadow out, not really expecting much except for the long day at work I know is ahead of me. When I return to the bathroom, I take a cursory glance at the “stick” as I’m getting ready to get in the shower. There is this little smiley face just looking at me. I was surprised at the surge of joy that overtook me. I started to smile, and looked around for someone to celebrate with. Shadow is the only one there, and he’s already back in bed, which is his normal pattern for the morning. I think that’s when the sadness creeps in a bit. Despite my fierce independence and rigid stance about my ability to do this on my own, there is sadness that I don’t have a partner to share this experience with. It doesn’t last long, however, as I’m very good at compartmentalizing my emotions. I then realize that I don’t really have anything tangible to celebrate. When you have a positive pregnancy test, you get to make announcements and make plans. What am I supposed to announce??? Oh well, I choose to be excited. I grin throughout my shower.

Insemination Day:

The anticipation is strange. I wake up in the morning with this odd mix of excitement, fear, joy, apprehension, probably the spectrum of human emotions. Thankfully, I have an extremely busy morning at work training, knowing that I have to leave the minute it’s over. My coworkers are aware of this process and feed into the nervous excitement. I can’t even imagine what the trainees thought was wrong with me. I’m giggly (which I’m normally not at all!), fidgety, and am checking the clock every 15 minutes. Finally, it’s time to go and tell my boss I’m leaving. She gets this enormous grin on her face and says “I feel like I should give you oysters or chocolate or something!” I tease back…”Could you just call me baby and tell me I’m hot?” We both laugh and I go to get my stuff to leave for the clinic. It’s only a 10 minute drive, but it feels like it takes hours. My stomach is flip-flopping and I feel like I’m floating. I have no idea what to expect! I doubt it will create the same emotions the second time (if there is a second time).

I arrive at the clinic, where I have been instructed to check in with the andrology lab. This is where they store the frozen specimen. It strikes me as quite funny that we use all kinds of slang terms until we get to a dr’s office. She tells me that she needs to unthaw my specimen, which will take 10-15 minutes, gives me some paperwork and sends me upstairs, where I am to pay for the procedure. The financial representative is in a room smaller than most closets and his demeanor reflects it, so there is little conversation beyond telling me the total and asking me the check number. He then hands me a receipt and I tell him thank you. Funny how politeness is so ingrained in me! This transaction was much like paying a parking ticket and served to dampen my mood for a couple minutes, but I choose not to focus on his bitterness as I walk back down to the lab. I then sit in a large, open waiting room as I had been instructed, looking around to see if every person in the room knows why I’m there. I feel like I’m 16 and have gotten caught having sex in my parents bed! (This never actually happened, but it’s what I imagine I would feel like.) She then calls my name and I go down a hallway back to the lab, where there aren’t any observers. She hands me a tiny vial wrapped in brown paper (how funny is that!!!), tells me to keep in warm and upright. She checks my ID, confirms my donor number, has me sign that I have received my specimen and tells me good luck. I now have to walk back out the lobby elevators and go back up to the Ob/Gyn floor. I am acutely aware during the entire elevator ride that I am carrying sperm. And I can’t stop smiling! I’m a dork. Have I mentioned this before? I wonder what my fellow elevator inhabitants were thinking.

I check in at the reception desk and wait some more, all the while cupping my vial of sperm in my hand like my life depends on it. You would be surprised at the number of things that run through your mind. Am I making it too hot, not hot enough, what if I tip it, or drop it? It’s sperm and I’m treating it like a newborn. The nurse comes out and tells me to come back……

I have to run to a mtg, so I will finish this with a new blog post.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Baby Daddy!!!

I have chosen the donor. My baby daddy is donor PC 1078. I’m not actually pregnant, so technically there isn’t a baby or a baby daddy yet, but it’s just so darn fun to say! Once I got into the picking process it wasn’t really all that difficult….surprisingly and somewhat disappointingly. It was somewhat anticlimactic. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but some sort of fireworks or thunderclap would have been nice!

One of the things I “discovered” along the way is that I don’t want a picture of the donor. I much prefer for him to just have a number and be a clinical procedure. My top pick based solely on the short profile turned out to be an open donor, so when I ordered the long profile I was able to get baby pictures and a recent picture of him. Sounds interesting right!? You get to see what your child might look like. Only interesting in theory. First off, HE’S A CHILD! It was a little strange to see how young he was. (Interestingly enough, the donor I ultimately chose is a little older! I could probably psychoanalyze that, but I’m not going there!) Secondly, I don’t want that picture in my head. I don’t want him to be an actual person. I had no idea I would feel this way, but it was a pretty strong repulsion to seeing him as a human being and not just a vial of genetic material. Maybe I will feel differently when there is an actual baby and I have to explain this decision. If I do, the donor I chose is also an open donor and I can get this info at that time.

So basically, after my freak out over seeing this child’s picture, (My sister gets creeped out when I call him a child, so I have to keep doing it!) I only ordered the long family medical history info for the next 5 donors I was interested in. My sister and I went out for dinner, ordered a bottle of wine and read through them. I had my favorite going in, based on my own family medical history. My sister immediately agreed with me and then that was it. I wanted to make some sort of announcement or something, but we just sat there looking at each other, both with these stupid grins. And then we drank more wine!!!!

Anyway, it came down to a rule out process of family medical history and amount of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs consumed. Sounds so bad. I should be able to brag about some outstanding characteristic, but honestly he was just the healthiest. So here are the stats. He’s 6’2”, 195 lbs. He has brown hair, brown eyes, and a medium build. He has a Master’s degree in counselor education, and is a marathon runner and triathlete. He doesn’t drink, doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink coffee, has never used drugs, and has always been an athlete.

I ordered my first vial on Monday and will begin testing my fertility next Tues. When my hormone level spikes, I will go in for the insemination. I am feeling a mixture of excitement and fear, but am trying not to put too much emotion into it. I haven’t been able to wrap my head around the possibility of not being able to get pregnant. I think that’s something that I will have to deal with as it occurs. Despite my best effort, I can’t always be prepared emotionally! I’ve also learned that I don’t always want to be. I like the anticipation and the build up. I have to be honest, however, it is difficult not to go too far the other way. I don’t want to face not getting pregnant, but I also don’t want to just assume it will happen. It’s hard to stop yourself from planning and thinking about baby stuff. I have to keep reminding myself that I’m not pregnant...... yet!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Too many choices???

How does one go about deciding the genetic fate of their offspring? What a daunting and bizarre experience! I know less about my ex-husbands genetic background than I do about the potential “baby daddy.” Why I chose not to reproduce with him had little to do with genetics, however!!!!

Here are the basics. There is a catalog of donors, which you can access online. The initial list gives the basics-hair color and texture, eye color, height, weight, some screening results, and typically educational background. Then you can review a short profile which gives a bit more family medical background and “essay” type answers to some questions. You can then purchase more information about the perspective donor, including in some cases, baby pictures and current pictures. I have decided to go the “open” donation route, which just means that the donor is open to some amount of contact/disclosure once the child is 18.

Now, I have done more than my share of online dating, and this seems similar in that there are so many choices, you can psyche yourself right out of making a decision. I think my mind is programmed for finding a mate and a good father. It’s difficult to think only in terms of genetic selection. There are some obvious rule outs based on my own family medical history, but hair color, eye color, height, weight, even educational background. How much do these things really matter? Will I end up regretting my choice of donors? What if my child is short or suffers from obesity? How much of that is controlled by environment? I never realized how difficult this would be to think about.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Lag time

Seems I have left some of you hanging. I apologize for the delay in updates. I haven’t had much motivation to write lately. I am not a natural writer, so I need inspiration! Anyway, thanks to everyone who is supporting this blog and asking for more.

Updates: The AI is almost under way. I had my last round of tests to ensure I am worthy. This still bothers me on principal. I am purchasing a product that almost anyone with absolutely no qualifications can get for free. And yet, I’ve had to continually prove my worthiness. I even had to go see a geneticist! I have a rare blood factor that can cause a variety of medical conditions, one of which my mother has. It’s too complicated to go into here, but it is an extremely rare disease, even with the presence of this blood factor. Well, I’ve known about this since I was a child and disclosed it during my interview. I have done enough research to know the risks and explained this to the nurse. She, however, decided it was her calling to make me feel like a monster for even considering putting a child at risk. Statistically speaking, my child would be at greater risk for getting bitten by a shark at birth, but no matter to her!!! So, I went. I am certainly not going to be accused of being a bad mother before I am even pregnant. I will wait until I really screw something up for that! Anyway, I saw the geneticist, who confirmed my facts. The nurse seemed almost disappointed when I told her! Wonder if I should analyze that???

Now, I am at the donor choosing stage. It’s an interesting process, which requires a blog of its own! I promise it won’t be a month in the making.

Update on amazing man: He’s still in the picture, although less and less. Our “relationship” is tumultuous at times, but we seem to have a pretty solid friendship if we can keep the boundaries clear. I have told him about the baby plan and he reeled at first, thinking it was some sort of ultimatum, but I believe he will be supportive. We shall see….

Friday, February 15, 2008

Daddy's Girl

I am sitting, once again, in the hospital room next to my sleeping father. I am trying to get some work caught up. I can’t remember the last time I was at my office. What an ordeal this has been for our family. As a therapist, I know exactly what to expect, emotionally, physically, and spiritually, when one becomes a caregiver for a parent. Even that could not prepare me for the last several weeks. I will admit that I am somewhat of a daddy’s girl, so watching my father become helpless has completely shattered everything I thought I knew. I have found inner strength that I never knew existed and learned to be grateful for the all the daily gifts; a great cup of coffee, comfortable shoes, phenomenal nurses, an incredibly understanding boss, my unbelievably supportive friends, the strength of my family, the undeniably unconditional love of a dog!

Unfortunately, I have also learned a few hard lessons. Just because someone says they are a friend, doesn’t mean they will come through for you. I need sleep, more than I ever realized. I have limits, emotionally and physically.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


I am at the depths of human emotion right now. To the point that writing is a chore. I force the words, hoping that they will take with them the pain in my core. It's a physical pain that consumes me. There are times that I become overwhelmed with life. I’m sure we all do, but this is about me. I write that, hoping to be funny, but what I see when I write the words is a desperate cry for something to be about me. For someone to come and ease the pain, or at least to acknowledge that it’s there and that they feel hurt to see it in my eyes.

It’s been a couple days since I wrote that first paragraph. I considered scrapping it and starting over, but it’s a good reminder of where I’ve been. Anger has come to relieve me of the rawness of the pain. Amazing how anger can be such a powerful friend. I’m sure the pain will return, but from experience I know that it will be less powerful when it does. That provides some comfort.

Specifics I am unable or unwilling to share at the moment. I’m not sure if it’s a fear of allowing others to see my core or a fear of having to face it myself. I choose to shroud myself in vagueness and hide from the realities until anger has stripped the pain of it’s devastating power.

Life, however, does go on without my permission and will eventually sweep me along with it.

Monday, January 14, 2008

And so it begins....

A little background: I belong to a “social networking” site, which is my covert way of saying an online dating site. I do not currently have an active dating profile, but participate in the forums pretty regularly. I’ve also made some acquaintances that I correspond with and have directed many of them to this blog. I am posting a recent email that I received, not because I am angry, but because this is a common sentiment when I inform anyone of my decision to use this babymaking route.

“hmmm !!! i just meant , that your making something happen that's suppose to happen naturally ....there is a reason why you are not with child ...what it is , i don't know ......i just feel that you should make things happen ...sort of like your playing god !! have you thought about the babies feelings ...growing up without a dad , and all the other things ......does this make you selfish ? to only think of what you want ? ...ok, ok ,,,i quit ....this too deep for me ...... i would just rather float down the river in a kayak ,and see where it takes me”

I have thought about all of these things, agonizing over many of them. Here is what I came up with…Does anything really happen naturally? Aren’t we active participants, guiding our own paths? I do realize this isn’t the “traditional” path for having a baby, but many things in life have evolved beyond the traditional. The reason I don’t have a child isn’t part of some grand plan. It’s a product of choices I’ve made and choices I’ve not made. I refuse to get into a relationship with the sole purpose of parenting. I’ve been a wife. It isn’t the same job as being a mother. They have very different responsibilities involved in them. Why is it a necessity to take on the role of wife before or at the same time as mother? Many women do this (become mothers) unintentionally. I am amazed at how so many people are accepting of that, but somehow think that actively making this decision is somehow less worthy. I have put hours upon hours of consideration into this decision. I would venture to guess the majority of parents, even the ones in loving, stable relationships, haven’t done the sole searching I have done prior to having a child.

The other argument I hear is the “growing up without a dad” sentiment. Will my child be the only one without a dad? It’s such an absurd argument. With over 50% of marriages ending in divorce and countless numbers of children being raised in single parent households, I doubt that my decision is as scandalous as some would make it seem. My child will not have been “abandoned” by anyone. There will be no dad who chose to have limited or no contact. There will be no split household which requires shuffling back and forth between worlds. As for the “other things” that my child will be without, I cannot fathom what they could be. My income is higher than a significant number of 2 parent households, and I have an unbelievably supportive family and group of friends. That’s so much more than many children have. Does that make me selfish? Possibly. But tell me, does anyone have a child for purely unselfish reasons?!

I have never been the “float down the river” kind of person. I have always had direction and drive. I work hard for what I want and am not afraid to face any challenge. My child will be completely and fully desired. He or she will not just be something that happened in my life!

Sunday, January 6, 2008


Ahhh, wanderlust! It is an incredible thing, but can also be quite unsettling. My wanderlust runs deeper than my means to indulge it! Luckily, I am one of those people who can get lost in a good book, and it comes close to fulfilling the need to escape and explore. Or again, maybe I am just really good at fooling myself.

I have reached that stage in my life where my mortality has become a reality. The path that I am choosing will limit my freedoms (and my ability to indulge in the often felt wanderlust) and it frightens me, but I have to choose a path. I can’t continue to meander through my life, waiting….. I watched Notes on a Scandal and one of the lines struck a chord with me. I am in the space between life as you dream it and life as it is. I can’t let go of the dream, but am painfully aware of the reality.

I did indulge in some good wine this weekend and spent some time with friends. I also spent some time dreaming of new adventures!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


Seems I’m actually pretty perceptive! I was not wrong about “amazing man’s” retreat! Small victory, to be right. He has informed me that he does not want a relationship. Basically, he’s not ready for a relationship, with me or anyone else. He said that he likes me and likes spending time with me, but he’s not in love with me. (Ouch!) He feels like he’s hurting me, and he would rather lose me as a friend than continue to hurt me.

Now, I know this sounds bad, but I do think he’s sincere. For those of you who don’t know me, this piece of info is important: We are not physically intimate. So, he isn’t “using” me, which seems to be the popular assumption.

Back to me because it is my blog! I have to decide what I can handle. Can I continue to hang out with him without feeling rejected? I don’t want to lose him. We have developed a great friendship. But will my secret hope be that he will fall in love with me? I just don’t know.