Diblings!

Arya has four siblings that I know of. The sperm bank I used has their own sibling registry and I finally got around to registering us. Three of the babies are boy triplets. I really hope that the parents of these kids want to connect. I write a message a few weeks ago and haven’t heard anything back yet. But the messages are housed on a private bulletin board that doesn’t give notifications that someone has posted. So, I’m hoping they will still contact me.

Also, I talked to Arya’s daycare and she starts September 1st. This made me a lot sadder than I expected to be. I always predicted I would be super ready to go back to work but I wish I had six more months. I’m also having strong urges to have another baby. ( more on that later).

Figuring out what hands are for

Scheming for world domination?

The Bay Area in June.

The sperm finds a home ( aka my first IUI )

I went in for an ultrasound a few days before I was scheduled to ovulate so they could make sure everything was working. I was happy to hear that I had two follicles ready to go. She estimated I would ovulate in a few days and told me to take ovulation tests the next couple days to pinpoint the exact time. If I didn’t get a positive by Friday I was instructed to give myself a ” trigger shot” in the stomach. ( eww).

On Thursday I took a test in my office’s bathroom and it came back positive. I was very surprised because my body had been failing me for so long. I decided I had to take a picture for posterity because something was finally working!

positive-opk

I called the office and scheduled my insemination for the following afternoon. Then I remembered that I had an all day meditation scheduled in Federal Court at the same time.  Awesome.

Luckily at least four other people would be at the mediation so I would be able to leave without too much difficulty.  My friend agreed to go with me for moral support.

The day of, I woke up at 5:30 because I had to drop the sperm off at the clinic by 7:30 A.M.  I casually ducked out of my mediation, picked up my friend, and went to the clinic.

The nurse said she would be doing a pap smear while she was already “up there.”  She also held up a vial and had me check twice that it was mine.  She also checked the bracelet they had put on me twice.  I joked that “something crazy must have happened” to inspire so much caution.  She didn’t laugh.

syringe

When she came back in the room she put the sperm in a long catheter and gave it to me to keep warm while she did the pap smear.  My friend laughed and said it was the first time she was present for someone else’s pap.

Then it was time.  I handed the nurse the catheter and she poked it through my cervix and slowly released the sperm.  It felt a little anti-climatic so I was like “should we say something to cheer it on?”  The nurse suggested singing to it but I couldn’t think of anything appropriate.  She had me lie on my side and said I should relax for twenty minutes.

When she left the room we were suddenly full of questions.  How do they freeze something alive and thaw it out and it comes back to life?  Where exactly are my eggs?  How far do the sperm have to go?  When we got in the car we googled a few videos that showed the whole fertilization process but we weren’t able to find anything that explains how sperm can come back to life.

(That night I actually watched the updated NOVA sequel to”the Miracle of Life” and I highly recommend it).  

 

I heard from my co-workers that the mediation would be continuing late so I headed back over to the court. When I walked back in the room all I could think about was: “I have sperm dripping out of me and these people have no idea.”

My first doctor’s appointment.

 

My health plan doesn’t cover anything even remotely infertility related.  (Although, the second a baby is growing in my uterus it will be 100% covered).  I met with the “reproductive endocrinologist (RE)” ( $245 for a half hour) who had previously diagnosed me with a “mild” case of polycystic ovarian syndrome.  I got the diagnosis two years ago when my now ex-husband and I had met with him because I wasn’t getting pregnant.

When I made this appointment, I was careful to tell them that I was no longer married and that I would be doing this on my own.  Unfortunately, this didn’t make it into my chart, and the doctor immediately asked me why my husband wasn’t there.  This was an honest mistake, and instead of changing the subject gracefully after I informed him we were now divorced, he stammered, turned red, and blurted out: “that’s a picture of my daughter and she just got a Fullbright scholarship!.”  Umm what?? I wasn’t sure how to respond so I just faked excitement and exclaimed “wow, that’s great!”  After an awkward pause Dr. Awkward began going over my treatment plan.

I am 38, which is considered  “old” in the world of reproduction, but the blood tests he had ordered showed that my lady parts may still have some life left in them. Dr. Awkward said that the best way to determine my chances of conception are to test my “ovarian reserve.”  The main predictors are a blood test that tests the amount of FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and an ultrasound where they county your follicles.  My FSH level was a “reassuring” 4.1 (they never say good in the world of infertility.  My follicle count was also “reassuring” but they never told me how many they found.

We made a plan that I would take a drug called Femera, which stimulates ovulation and would begin Intrauterine Inseminations (IUI’s) with donor sperm .   I was then given the homework of choosing a sperm donor ASAP.

 

 

 

 

My journey so far (aka why the f*$k would you choose to be a single mom)?

 

ven-2

Despite my sweet but very conservative mother’s best efforts, I don’t think women at any age (especially those of us in our 30’s and 40’s) should have a prescribed set of milestones and events that mark us being “adults” and getting our shit together like marriage, kids, etc.  Hell, I’ve been struggling against the patriarchy my whole life.  I hate admitting this (especially my 20 year old, bell hooks reading, women’s studies majoring self) but I still had some of these expectations for myself.  Namely, I pictured myself having kid(s) with a long term partner (preferably bearded, chubby, and a radical feminist). And then my marriage fell apart and I found myself divorced at 38 (a divorcee hehe).

About a year after I split with my ex-husband I went on a frantic search for a new partner and it was…rough, including a date with a guy who divulged the following things in the first 10 minutes of our date: 1) that his friends had murdered someone 2) that he could build a flamethrower if he “needed to.” 3) that he is extremely “militant” about martial arts.  He was also missing an eye and had misspelled finger tattoos.

One of the other reasons I don’t think I found my new life partner on Ok Cupid is that i wasn’t actually looking for a life partner, I was looking for a sperm donor because I was scared that my eggs in my ovaries would implode if I didn’t get them fertilized NOW. After a ton of therapy and Zoloft I came to the conclusion that I would be a kick-ass single mom.  My decision was significantly helped along by a friend (who I will refer to as my fertility sugar mama) who was in a position to give me some money to pay for it.  I mean this is one of the few options women have that men don’t so I should take advantage of it, right?

This wasn’t by any means an easy decision to come to.  I’ve actually found myself mourning the loss of my hypothetical kid’s hypothetical father.  But when I pulled the trigger and made my first doctor’s appointment I actually felt a sense of calm.  Not that I am not scared to death of the idea of bringing a new human into the world, but I feel like I finally have some control of what my future might look like AND no more internet dating (for now).  So here I am taking the plunge..