Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Emotional hangover

Not being pregnant feels unfair.  It was only our first time, but I feel betrayed or something.  I know that is probably a strange emotion to put on this, but I guess that’s what it is.  I think all of the stuff going on with my parents’ separation is what is weighing most heavily.  I was able to set that aside when I was trying to get pregnant because my family (Kristen, future baby, and I) were what needed my attention.  Now that I am not pregnant, the separation is in the forefront. 

I had this idea that getting pregnant was going to be easy.  I did everything I possibly could to optimize my chances of getting pregnant using at-home ICI.  For me, doing EVERYTHING in my power means that I can accomplish it.  When I want something I put my mind to it and get it done.  This is literally one of the few things on earth that my will power, preparedness, and hard work cannot predict a successful outcome.  That frustrates me.  I guess you would have to be a type-A personality to understand.  Kristen keeps telling me that I did everything I could and that it has nothing to do with us.  I love Kristen and I know that she is trying to help, but unfortunately this is going to feel like a little bit of a failure for a little while.  Just my personality. 

On a high note… I got over 100% on an exam in my Jazz Appreciation class last night.  I was extremely worried about that exam because I have NO musical ability.  Eighth-note, what?  I spent close to seven hours studying over the weekend and clearly it paid off!


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Four tests later

I went out yesterday and bought the digital tests because I have read that they are more sensitive and will catch pregnancy sooner than the ones that you need to interpret the lines.  Just for a little bit of torture I took a test at like 7pm last night.  I knew that end of the day was the worst time to take it, but I just had to try.  "Not pregnant" came up on the screen.  Expected.  Kristen told me to wait until Tuesday to try another test and I wasn't so sure I could hold out.

The first thought this morning when I woke up was "I should take a pregnancy test."  I was lying there trying to convince myself that Kristen was right and that I should wait until Tuesday.  When I finally got out of bed and went to the bathroom, I had decided I would wait.  Then I realized that I was just starting my period.  Huge disappointment.  You know, the worst part of it is that I still had this thought like "oh, some people still get light periods when they are pregnant."  Like four negative pregnancy tests and my period isn't enough proof that this month isn't our time to conceive. 

I have to have some sort of faith in something and know that our time will come when that little soul is ready to be ours.  Regardless of all rational thinking and faith, it is still a big disappointment.  I guess this is all part of the process and I had some big, unrealistic expectations for our first insemination.  Next time I will try to be a bit more guarded with my excitement during the two week wait.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Have we not been deceived?

I was convinced that we may have beaten the odds and gotten pregnant on the first try.  A week after we inseminated Ashley's breasts were sore and she felt exhausted--signs of pregnancy.  But after three tests (maybe it's still too soon?) we haven't seen any positive results.

I feel like I may have handled this the wrong way.

This weekend I talked Ashley into buying some pregnancy tests since she was experiencing so many symptoms.  I said, "If a baby is what is effecting you, wouldn't it show on a pregnancy test?"  Well, first of all, what do I know?  I'm no doctor.  I haven't read about pregnancy.  I actually don't know much other than what's taught in biology class (genes from both parents divide and join to create a new life) and here I am telling Ashley she need to keep her hopes at a realistic level--reminding her it probably won't happen this time--and what do I do but talk her into buying pregnancy tests early.

It's been two weeks as of today since we inseminated and Ashley tested negative this morning.  Should that be the end all of this round?  Do we take it as a defeat?  Ashley sure did.  Me?  I am still okay.  I suppose that while I was excited at the idea that we may have won the fight this time, I kept it in the back of my mind that we might only be excited for our hopes--the dreams of our future.   It's been two weeks and Ashley isn't on schedule to have her period for another week.  Is it wrong of me not to accept that we've lost until then?

As Ashley's partner in this, I want to keep her heart safe from disappointment.  This morning, as she crawled back into bed with me and whispered into my sleeping ear that the test was negative, I had thoughts of immediately buying another batch of sperm and trying again right away (which we can, in no way, do).  As she cried, I wondered if it would have been so sad had I not encouraged her hopes as much as I did.  If I had only reminded her more often to be realistic.

The reality of the situation is that trying to get pregnant is a roller coaster of happy-sad, excitement-disappointment.  How are we not supposed to rejoice in signs of pregnancy when that's our goal?  How is she not supposed to be sad when she feels like something has gone wrong within her body (i.e. perhaps she was pregnant and it didn't attach)?

Waiting is easier on me.  In all senses, but particularly in this situation.  I am not the one experiencing changes in my body that I feel I have to interpret as +Pregnancy or -Pregnancy signs.

At this point... I just wish I could take the burden off of Ashley a little.


Today, I'd like to leave you with this adorable father daughter compilation:

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Still waiting

I am convinced that the wait between insemination and a definite positive or negative pregnancy test is the worst torture imaginable.  I have had every thought in the past two weeks about how I am pregnant, I am not pregnant, I was pregnant but now I'm not...  I feel a little bit crazy.  I have even gone so far as to beat myself up over what I should have done differently to get pregnant (hello crazy lady, you don't know whether you are or not yet).  On Sunday night Kristen really wanted me to take a pregnancy test.  We went and bought a 3-pack and I did the test at 3am on Monday morning (had to pee and couldn't wait until the alarm went off).  No such luck!  I did another one on Tuesday and it was another negative.  Today is day 14 since inseminating so I guess Monday and Tuesday were both a little early to tell.  I am going to test again tomorrow and hopefully I will get a positve result.  At the moment I am convinced that I am not pregnant, but we shall see.  I am really looking forward to knowing either way so that I can stop stressing over it.  Although I will be heartbroken if I am not pregnant, I will have a margarita and start planning for the next try! 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

One week and counting

It has been one week since we did our first ICI. I am really tired and grouchy (maybe I am pregnant!), but I am inclined to believe that the copious amounts of pollen are causing my discomfort. Going without allergy stuff really bites!

I didn’t get a chance to write about the actual experience of the ICI yet so I figured that today was as good a day as any. I had this romantic vision going into it that we would have some romantic, sexy time before we inseminated and then lay in bed together after. Well, the reality was that we had to schedule time to meet up at home to do the ICI. I left work early and Kristen went in to work late. As we stood there in the kitchen with the giant nitrogen tank trying to figure out how to get the tiny little vial of liquid gold out without freezing our fingers off, I realized that all preconceived notions about how this was going to go were flying out the window. We ended up with oven mitts and tongs and successfully removed the cute little plastic container. Then we thawed it in a warm water bath while we tried to be all romantic. It is extremely difficult to focus on sex when you are thinking “has it been in the water bath too long?” or “am I really ovulating?” I mean, we did manage to have both pre- and post-insemination sex because it is something that apparently helps the process, but it was really hard to get in the mood.

Kristen and I did a lot more giggling and joking around than anything else. While I was laying there with my legs in the air after the deed was done, she stood on the bed and shook my legs a little bit. She figured it might help the swimmers get there faster. 

Although this blog entry probably sounds really cynical, I do feel like Kristen and I are more connected now than we have ever been. I love her so deeply and feel incredibly lucky to have her by my side. I really look forward to raising a family with her and growing together as people.

So, I have one more week to wait until I can take a pregnancy test. Although I am a little confused because my period isn’t usually until the 28th or 29th. That random ovulation really threw me for a loop!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Now resting in a calm sea.

It hasn't even been a week yet, but we're starting to calm down from the initial excitement. I haven't sent an "Are you pregnant yet?" text in a couple of days, but I did ask her just the other night if she felt different yet. She keeps telling me that she probably wouldn't feel anything for at least two weeks and that's if she feels different at all. Despite this, I've been talking to her ovaries as if it might help to give them a little encouragement at this point. It makes me feel like I'm participating instead of just waiting.

Ashley has found a new book to read, which she thinks is a fantastic source of info. I forget the name of it, now, but I'll get it from her later.** We went to breakfast at our friends' house this weekend and stumbled upon the book. Our friends are also a lesbian couple contemplating children but they have friends who are involved in making babies happen. Not the sex part, but the birthing part. Their friend, anyway, is a midwife and got the book for them and now we're borrowing it. Thank goodness for such friends as these.

The visit wasn't all sunshine and rainbows, however. When we first began talking about Ashley and my decision to try for a baby, our friend interjected a bit of her knowledge on the complications in store for us in the future, namely second parent adoption. I had this idea in my mind that once Ashley and I finally conceive, we would begin the paperwork for the adoption so that once the baby made its way into the world that it would be all mine. But she put a damper on that real quick, saying, "I've heard, in many cases, it can take up to two years."

Oh the joy.

Until next time, Kristen

**The Ultimate Guide to Lesbian Conception, Pregnancy and Birth

Thursday, June 9, 2011

We may have skipped a few beats along the way.

My intention was to write about the donor selection process and how I felt like it was so bogus but completely necessary. I wanted to write about a lot of things before today, before we inseminated.

So, we may have skipped a few beats along the way. Sorry for that. I'll touch on it later if I have the chance. For now, I'd just like to talk about how exciting these past few days have been. Well, exciting and terrifying.

Like Ashley mentioned in her most recent post, a few emotional issues have come up. A part of me was angry yesterday when I learned about everything going on with her parents. I was angry--not at her parents themselves--at the fact that everything was happening right when Ashley and I had planned for our donor delivery (which, in itself, was difficult). Attempting to get pregnant is stressful enough without added stress from external sources. Imagine my relief when Ashley said, "I don't want to worry about them. I just want to focus on our family and our future together." Not that her parents' well being isn't important, but I was afraid the stress of this situation could make getting pregnant difficult and while my baby is currently a figment of my imagination--a hope--it is still more important to me that this baby exist than it is for me to be preoccupied with their conflict.

Today was nice, though. The details are ours but it was hilarious and beautiful and I wish I could have stayed with her instead of going straight to work after. Maybe I could have shaken her up a little more--got to make sure those swimmers find their home! But instead I'm at work sending her e-mails asking if she thinks she's pregnant yet... Is it possible that I'm wanting too much too soon?

As soon as we began this whole thing Ashley said to me that it was "as if a little baby's soul was just waiting for us." Now, yes, maybe that's just her being sentimental, but I find myself calling this yet-to-exist baby "her." Last night, however, I went to sleep thinking about Ashley's parent's issues and our housing issues and I dreamed of a little boy with smiling eyes and brown hair. I told Ashley about it this morning, but she keeps telling me not to get my hopes up. Well, aren't they bound to be up to some extent? Anyway... when we do have a baby and he grows up to be a little kid with brown hair and smiling eyes, I'll remember last night's dream.

- Kristen


So, a few days ago I was thinking about how this year will be the best year ever. We got engaged, we’re making a baby, I will be graduating with my associates in the fall, and everything is running smoothly. Then the earth shifted on its axis yesterday…

I found out that my parents are separating. Though they have been together for 35 years, my father’s midlife crisis is too much for my mother to handle. I completely understand, but I love both of my parents and that makes it difficult. To complicate matters further, Kristen and I were planning to move into an apartment attached to my parents’ house in the fall. This move was planned to save money and allow for us to bring our new baby to my mother’s daycare nearby. So now we are back at square one with our moving plans. In the grand scheme of things it is not a big deal, but another thing that was sprung on us yesterday.

Another not so amazing thing that happened yesterday is that I found out that I was ovulating. Now, I was not due to ovulate until early to mid-week next week, but I guess my body had different ideas. I ended up having to call the sperm bank to have our goods shipped right away. Rush shipping… that will be another $75 please. I hope this baby making works cause it is time consuming and expensive. BUT I know that I have to be patient and expect for it to take some time.

I kind of feel a little betrayed by my body. I mean, I have spent the last few months taking my temperature every morning, checking the fluids, peeing on strips, and everything else and then my body surprises me with random ovulation. Really? Now I am going to take a deep breath and look forward to some baby making this afternoon.


No time for small talk...

Today's the day we take our first shot at becoming parents! 

I'm hoping for success but also reminding myself that there's only a 30% chance when done at home.   More to come...


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

So many exciting things...


Big news… Kristen and I got engaged the other day.  Well, actually it was at like quarter of one in the morning on Friday, May 13th, but the point is that we are now officially engaged.  It was interesting because, being the sap that I am, I expected to cry.  However, I started giggling uncontrollably when she pulled the ring out and said that she wanted to marry.  It was a really nice evening and I am ecstatic.  Nothing has changed at all, but I now have a beautiful ring on my finger and we can introduce one another as “my fiancee.”  You know, the important stuff! 

On the baby front I have been tracking my cycles and trying to plan for the sperm shipment next month.  I have finally pinned down the day that it needs to arrive and will order it within the next day or two.  I am really nervous about the whole thing.  Not so much about the getting pregnant, but the stuff that comes after that, like being a parent.  That is scary stuff and I am ready in theory, but maybe we need to wait until I am 32 or 35 or even 40.  I guess you are never ready for that shift from your own identity to being someone’s mommy.  Kristen told me a really great quote about having children the other day, “Having children takes the focus off yourself, which I’m really grateful for. I’m so tired of thinking about myself. I’m sick of myself.” (Brad Pitt, 2011)  What an awesome view of the whole thing.  I guess that is where I am at… feeling like I am ready to think about another person.

On Saturday we went to a graduation party for my cousin, Stacey.  There were a lot of people there that I have never met, but it was a lot of fun.  The highlight of my day was being introduced to my Stacey’s nephew (by marriage).  His name was Colby and Stacey told us that he had two moms.  I asked him how he liked having two moms and he said that he felt lucky.  He thought that it was great because he got a lot of love.  Colby was a really interesting kid that was polite and well-adjusted.  That reaffirmed in so many ways our decision to have a baby.  I feel blessed to have found someone that I love, trust, and respect as much as Kristen and I really look forward to sharing that with a new life.

The other big thing that happened this week was that I finished my finals at school and got my grades back.  Again, I got all A’s.  That makes me feel incredibly lucky to have gotten through another semester without too much trouble (and I had less emotional breakdowns this semester).  I am hoping that I will be able to maintain the good grades while I am pregnant and after the baby is born.  I guess I just have to take one step at a time.