Monthly Archives: June 2007

The Pros and Cons of IUI vs. DYI

That would be intrauterine insemination at a doctor’s office vs. do-it-yourself intravaginal insemination at home with a needle-less syringe.

Cons of IUI:

1. I had to drive to Manhattan after the most stressful day of the school year to avoid carrying a liquid nitrogen tank of sperm on the F train. If I had taken the train, I would have laughed the whole way. Which, it turns out, would have been preferable to cursing the whole way. (Next time, should there be a next time, Dr. Mug will have filled out the form to have the babyjuice delivered right to his office, so I won’t face this particular problem again.)

2. I had to wait for other people to go before me. At home I’m always first in line. In the waiting room, I swore I felt a slight cramp and was pretty sure I was ovulating on the spot. This was, of course, all in my head.

3. Slight cramping. Just slight. But get THIS — I asked Dr. Mug if I should take and Advil if I had bad cramps. He said absolutely not because studies have shown that something in Advil inhibits ovulation! WTF? I did not know this. Did you know this?

4. Ugly fluorescent lighting, not-as-comfortable-as-my-own-bed doctor’s bed and four people in the room. Nothing beats doing it at home in your own bed with candle-light, music and a little romance. Well, at least we got to hold hands… kind of awkwardly, backwards around the ultrasound machine.

5. I had to assure the doctor and several techs that it was the correct sperm around twenty times. At my house we know which sperm is which. At one point I said, “I don’t really care which sperm it is, as long as it works.” To which my honey responded that someone else might actually care. A lot.

6. The speculum. Yeesh.

7. After the insem, I had to drive back home. But only after buying an iced green tea latte at Starsucks. I am Starsucks illiterate, as there are plenty of wonderful privately-owned coffee shops in my neighborhood. When I kept standing at the counter waiting for my tea, and I told the barrista as much, everyone behind me looked at me like I was an alien, because I didn’t know about the secret food drop-off place. Which is why I choose to remain Starsucks illiterate. Anyway, I didn’t like having to drive home after the insem, since I normally just go to sleep afterwards.

Pros of IUI:

1. High tech! They had a groovy sperm de-froster that was way cooler than my travel mug and meat thermometer. I got to see the spermy guys inside my body. They looked like a superhighway. Apparently, there were 13 million of them. Which we knew were active, because the doctor looked at them swimming under a microscope. I also got to know for damn sure that I had not-yet ovulated, but was just about to do so, because my follicle was 23 mm long. According to Co’s comment, that’s just about as long as they get right before they pop.

2. It was cheaper. Who knew? My insurance covers so much, that all I had to pay for was the babyjuice. Dr. Mug told me to only order one vial, so it was $615 with delivery, rather than the usual two ICI vials for $850. (Though, honestly, what I’m missing in sperm costs, I’ve probably made up for in co-payments.) The IUI vial was a bit more pricey than ICI, but I hope I’m getting more bang for the buck. Let’s see, $615 divided by 13 million… that’s 0.00005 bucks per sperm. Not bad, I guess.

2. Doctor jokes. Actually, he stole this one from a patient, who he thinks was a lesbian comedienne. (Could it have been Judy Gold?) He said that when he showed her the vial to make sure it was the right donor, she replied, “Hmmm, I thought he’d be taller.”

3. Nobody had to touch the sperm. I mean, yeah, deep inside my reproductive system I touched it. But I didn’t need to smell it, or wash it off of anything.

4. Secret messages. My TTC neighbor had been there that morning for an ultrasound, so she told Dr. Mug to tell my egg to run like Jackie Joyner-Kersee. Jackie Joyner-Kersee egg + Mark Spitz sperm = Cakie’s little sibling. Dr. Mug jokes that if we get two more patients from our building, he’ll do ultrasound house-calls.

5. A healthy dose of reality in the form of statistics. After he finished, Dr. Mug said, “Don’t get too hung up on any one cycle. Couples using fresh sperm only have up to a 20% chance to get pregnant each insemination. With frozen sperm it is slightly less (I think it is up to 17%? Co? I know you know it.) So don’t let it all bank on this one try.” True. True. And good for all of us to hear. However, this is my 7th try, so if my odds are 2 in 10, doesn’t that mean I’m about to roll my number?

Sorry for the delay in the post. I basically passed out when I got home. Actually, I watched a good, but difficult-to-watch DVD. Then I passed out. Now my job is to not start thinking that every little twinge in my body is a sign of pregnancy. My job is to not give myself psychosomatic symptoms. Luckily, week one of my 2WW (that’s two-week wait, Mom) will be in South Carolina with my in-laws. There, I’ll be too concerned with my over-stuffed belly to worry about my uterus.

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Filed under IUI, my hon, TTC

Ok. Just a Little Pinprick… there’ll be no more AAAAaaaahhhh…

Gwen came over with two sterile alcohol swabs in hand.  We sat on the couch and I started reading the insert that  came with the trigger shot.  [Gasp!]  Is it ok to drink alcohol with this?  I glanced over at my half-full wine glass.  It’s fine, Gwen responded.  A looked at me.  Oh, just drink your wine and take the shot.  So I did.  It didn’t really hurt.  Whew.

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A Few Answers and a Big Thank You

Hmm. I have to answer a few questions.

The schmoe (donor) is a person I don’t know. It was between him and some other guy I don’t know. This guy won because he has dimples. When we downloaded the long form we also found out all of his siblings have dimples, too. So. I’m going to refer to this donor as “Dimples.” It was a really close tie for first donor place with the one I’ll call “Drama Queen.” If this cycle doesn’t work, I may use Drama Queen next month. Danator, if you could hook me up with the reality hair-cutting guy, I’m in. I’m obviously not commited to anyone now that the cakiedonorsperm isn’t in the picture.
I think my follicle was 18 whatevers long. Does that sound right? Is that good?

I had to go to three different drug stores to get my trigger shot. I didn’t anticipate that, since I never went to a drug store that didn’t have the drug I needed before. I actually let my fingers do the walking before I went to the last drugstore. Each place said out loud, “That’s an injection right?” I don’t think they really needed to say that out loud, do you?

So I have to give a shout out to my Clomid twin neighbor, Gwen. She not only offered to stab me in the leg with a syringe this evening, but when I went to pick Cakie up from daycare, she was there getting her son, Hymen (Cake’s name for him). She offered to take Cakie home with them while I ran around to drugstores. When I got back to their house, she had also made me dinner. Holla, Gwen! You rock.

The babyjuice should arrive at my house tomorrow before noon. I get to leave work at 2pm (cue Pink Floyd).Then I’m going to drive it and my honey in to Manhattan to Dr. Mug’s office. Please send good swimmy vibes in the general direction of Columbus Circle around 4pm tomorrow! Oh, and if you know of any old-wivesy fertility rituals, let me know. I’m definately going to do the green tea thing.

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No Rockin’ Hula Luau

I’m not a good liar.  Let’s just get that out there.  My principal is great in many ways, but she is known for being uncouth about people’s pregnancies.  I don’t really want the powers that be to know yet that I’m trying to get pregnant. So when I had to call in to work this morning to tell them I’d be late because of my ultrasound, I couldn’t do as my neighbor suggested and tell them a filling fell out.  I decided to say that I had a private medical matter I needed to fix.  Since I didn’t know about this ultrasound until Saturday, I couldn’t give them any notice.  I was mortified when I called and the principal herself picked up the phone.  Oye!  I blurted out my rehearsed line and hung up.  But, yikes.  That was unexpected and weird.

Where does the pollen go?But the ultrasound was good.  Doc says we’ll inseminate on Wednesday at 4 pm.  Wednesday just happens to be the last day of school.  Contrary to popular belief and Grease 2, the last day of school is not a luau.  For me it is the most stressful day of the year.   I’ll just have to make this one calm and do my best to keep all of my bodily functions as tranquil and smooth-running as any other day of the year.  Yay!  I’m really excited for this cycle.

No more Cakiedonorsperm has been sold back, so I’m going with some new schmo.   Which schmo?  I don’t yet know.

This is how weird I am.  While I was “waist down” naked in the doctor’s office and waiting for him to show up, I pulled down a gestational wheel from the wall.  If this cycle works, the baby’s due date would be March 20.  That’s right on the cusp of Pisces and Aries.  Now, I’m not a big astrology buff, but I am a homo. When I lived for a summer in Provincetown right out of college, “What’s your sign?”  Was the second question asked of a person.  The first was “What’s your name?”  The third was, “Are you gay?”  Always.  Restaurants had been known to hire waitstaff according to the zodaic signs of their current employees. So, I guess some of that stuck with me.  Yesterday, when A looked at the computer and looked at me with a smirk on her face and said, “Why does the computer have a website about the compatibility of Aries on it?”  I had to fess up and tell her I’d been over-thinking the outcome of this cycle by seeing if the baby would be astrologically compatible with the rest of the family.  If she is born early, she’ll be compatible with A and me.  If he comes a little late, he’ll be compatible with Cakie.   Ok.  Now I’ll stop projecting.

Last thing… I need to give myself the trigger shot on Tuesday night.  I’d appreciate any expertise or advice those of you experienced injection folks have to offer.  XOXO

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Filed under LGBT, my hon, my son, teaching, TTC

Back in the Saddle Again…

… stirrups and all. I dragged my achey-from-packing-my-classroom body into Manhattan this morning to have Dr. Mug give me an ultrasound. Good news! I have a “very nice looking follicle” on my right ovary. The doc thinks I will be able to inseminate this cycle before we leave for vacation. Whew. I don’t think I could have standed waiting for another month.

Here’s the part where I overthink things: I wanted to make a list of reasons why it would be great to get pregnant this cycle.

1. The timing is really great for the school year. I want to take six months off, and it really needs to be including the two summer months. So having a baby in April or the end of March would fit right into my plan in a good way.

2. I wouldn’t have to try getting pregnant anymore.

3. This is a “natural” cycle (as natural as anything can be when a man is sitting between your lesbian legs, which are up in stirrups, putting a tube full of recently-thawed sperm into your vagina), which means that my risk of multiples is minimal.

I’m stopping the list here. I can’t start getting all set on this cycle working. I’ll work myself into a frenzy again that might end in one pink line and a bottle of wine. So I’ll stop overthinking and try to be more “in the moment.” Ohm.

Now I have to order more sperm. I still don’t know if any Cakiedonorsperm has popped up anywhere. So I have to choose another donor. It is not like choosing a topping for your pizza. It isn’t even like choosing a person to date. This choice will (hopefully) result in a child. If I choose guy A, I’ll have baby A, etc.

It is a little bit fun, though. Now that I’m unlawfully wed, it is the closest I’ll get to internet dating. I like trying to read between the lines in the short profiles. Which is, of course all conjecture and bias. When we chose Cakie’s donor, it was none of the guys I had so carefully chosen. Something went wrong with the first guy I chose, and so A said, “let’s just use this one,” and I said “if he’s male and they can swim, let’s do it.” I have to remember that.

The next ultrasound is on Monday morning. I’m hoping the actual insemination will be on Thursday, rather than Wednesday. I don’t really want to inseminate on the last day of school.

I’m excited! And zen. I am also zen.

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Oh, Bloody Hell.

This last full week of school, the longest week of the year, has included as well the longest menstural period of my life.  It won’t go away.

I won’t trouble you with all of the gory details, because… eww.  I don’t have one of those go-bleed-in-the-garden a’la Ntsoke Shange types of relationships with my period.  I just patiently (or not-so-patiently) wait for it to go away.  That usually takes 6 days from start to finish, including the first day of just spotting.  I’m on day 9 now, and I’m hoping that I’m not actually slowly bleeding to death.  Could the HSG have poked a hole in me somewhere?  Is something about the Clomid going to make my periods last for 14 days for the rest of my menstruating life?  I know that neither of those scenerios are very likely.  What is more likely is that the extra gook in my tubes made this an extra long haul.  I feel like this is an overshare.  But I can’t see your faces and I have to complain to someone about it.  Hopefully it will be my last period in a long time.  Hopefully.

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Are those wedding bells I hear?

Check it out!

The Massachusetts thing was a step. This NY state thing is another step:

Just a few minutes ago, the New York State Assembly passed the Governor’s marriage equality bill by a vote of 85 to 61 and showed once again that it is a leader on civil rights and providing equality for our community.

I wanted you to know immediately about this history-making vote because your hard work made this happen.

Remember, it was less than a year ago that New York’s high court said there was no constitutional mandate to provide same-sex couples access to marriage and used arguments to support its decision that were demeaning to our families. In response thousands of you rallied all across the state and called for your elected representatives in Albany to lead by passing marriage equality legislation.

You need to know that the Assembly passed this bill because you put pressure on them to act. For almost a year lawmakers heard from New Yorkers, both LGBT and straight. They heard from religious leaders their congregations; they heard from labor leaders their rank and file members; and they heard from business leaders and our colleagues. ” — From an email to me from NYS Pride Agenda.

I’m glad I have something else to think about while I wait for my old eggs to prepare to meet up with my little frozen spermy guys after they hobble up my squeaky-clean tubes on their crutches.

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