What I’ve Done So Far…

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.

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3 Comments

Filed under TTC

3 responses to “What I’ve Done So Far…

  1. Lo

    First of all: Cakie! That is really adorable.

    Second of all: I am glad to hear of your decision, and glad to hear that insurance at least covers something. (Do you know if they will cover IVF? I don’t know if you’d be willing to go that far but it’s worth finding out.)

    And it’s true, you’ve only tried twice. and even those two times were with the poor little AARP dudes trying to get their sad selves all the way up through your cervix. So, be gentle…

  2. Co

    Have you found an R.E./clinic yet? There are quite a few bloggers in your area who’ve used different clinics. So feel free to ask.

    What kind of fertility testing have you done? What kind would you be willing to do? I’d recommend finding out in advance what kind of testing a clinic will expect you to do, if you’re not game for a full fertility workup, including an HSG. I had to have that done before my R.E. would shoot it up there.

    Since you only get 3 IUIS paid for, would you want to consider some medical interventions (a trigger shot? progesterone supplements? Clomid, even?) in addition, or are you looking to do totally natural cycles? That may affect your choice of clinic, too. My first IUI was a “natural cycle”, I thought, until they told me I needed to do a trigger shot and progesterone supplements, because they were just standard practice at my clinic, even for a natural cycle. If I’d ovulated earlier, then I wouldn’t have triggered, but when my follicles got mature-sized, they’d get nervous and want me to trigger so we didn’t miss my ovulation.

    Find out what the hidden costs of an IUI might be. For example, our insurance paid for the IUI itself, but not for the defrosting/washing of sperm. If you buy washed sperm, then the clinic may just defrost it at no extra charge. Our lab washed all the sperm anyway, even if it was washed, and we paid out of pocket for it. Some of the washes they do actually improve motility and such. But it might be worth finding out about any hidden costs upfront.

    I like to talk about this stuff way too much. Hope I haven’t talked your ear off. Good luck. I’m glad your insurance will pay for at least some of this.

  3. Oy! So how do they do the testing and the insemination? And Lord help you with the whole insurance thing… at least it seems like you might get *some*thing…

    BTW, I think you should get sperm from Anthony on Shear Genius. He looks like he could be related to A and he has a sexy Londoner accent. Plus, free haircuts for the whole fam!

    Yes, I am brilliant.

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