I’ve wanted to be pregnant for an embarrassingly-long time. I took a lesbian parenting book to meet with a friend who was going to help us find a donor when we first began this process. When I opened it I was shocked to discover that I had scribbled my name and the date when I bought the book in the front cover: 1993!
My partner gave birth to our son, whom I will now refer to as “Cakie” since that’s what he calls himself, in August of 2005. Part of me thought I’d want to start trying right away, but the other part… the one that wasn’t getting any sleep and was covered in spit-up, knew I should wait a bit. I waited a bit. Then I was ready to go. But my lovely cryobank was not ready. We had purchased 6 vials of Cakie’s donor’s sperm when A got pregnant. But apparently, I was supposed to open my own storage account, in order to have access to the sperm that I already owned. So I had to wait for them to open the account. How long, you ask? 30 DAYS! That’s a very inconvenient number for a woman who wants to get knocked up. I waited the 30 days.
Next comes what I should call, “My Unenlightened Period.” That’s when I thought that frozen sperm followed the same rules as fresh… mainly, that they last for five days in your body. Plus I was trying to have a girl. (Don’t worry, I’ll love any gender that comes along. But I have my boy. I’m not ashamed to say that I’d like a girl now.) When you want to have a girl, they say, since the girl-making sperm have more stamina, you should inseminate in advance of ovulation, so mostly the strong girlie sperm will be left when the egg presents itself. I did not know that the frozen sperm are tired. They have little spermy walkers and sciatica. They belong to sperm AARP. And they only last for 24 hours. I used all six of the donor sperm vials in my period of unenlightenment.
Then I was stressed out and exhausted. So I took two months off. It was great. I turned into a human being again. I decided to look into IUI. I wanted to up the odds. I went to my local midwifery and had a fertility consultation with them. I didn’t think I needed one. I’d been charting forever. Luckily, it was this visit that removed me from my period of unenlightment and placed me firmly into “The Last Flicker of Hope.” (I know I’m over-dramatic. I am gay. What can I say? My people tend to lean toward the dramatic side.) I learned about the tired old frozen sperm and I learned a few tricks about timing. Shortly afterward, I also learned that some wonderful person had sold back four vials of Cakie’s donor sperm, which I promptly bought. They were ICI vials, which meant that I could not use them for IUI, so I tried again at home. I had perfect timing. The stars aligned. I got sore boobs. I felt implantation cramping. I started to obsess over baby names. I got my period. Twice. That means I no longer have any Cakie donor sperm, since I inseminate twice each cycle.
When I started this process, I told myself that I wouldn’t get nervous until I’d been trying for a year. I told myself I wouldn’t take any drastic measures. I told myself I wanted to inseminate at home. That was then. Now, I just want it all to be overwith. I want to be pregnant. I want off this evil rollercoaster. Though my lovely friend danator pointed out that since I had only had good timing twice, I only really tried twice. I still feel like I need to end this TTC drudgery as soon as I can. This week I called my insurance company. They will pay for 3 IUI inseminations “per lifetime.” I asked the woman on the phone if I died and came back as the same person, could I get three more? She thought not. So my new plan is to go high-tech. I’m going to go to a fancy fertility-type place for those three paid-for IUIs. If they don’t work, I’ll go to the much-cheaper midwifery. I’m taking this month off to try to work out the medical stuff, and I guess eenie, meenie, minee moe myself another donor. And, hopefully, to feel like a human again.