Tuesday, September 29, 2009

really? i mean come ON!!!!

ok, i get it. im infertile. my womb is probably drier than the sierra desert. i walk past house plants and they shrivel up and die. i have plenty of examples of my barren-ness every day.

not only do i have to deal with friends who unexpectedly get pregnant... "oops, we weren't even trying! *giggle*"

*deep breath*

and an ex-boyfriend who suddenly became a parent... "as it turns out, the paternity test says that i have twins"

*rolling my eyes*

but now we have to deal with pregnant women getting pregnant?

come on universe...what's wrong with you?!?!


Monday, September 28, 2009

the not-so-terrible two week wait.

i am officially 4/5 days into the TTWW. i am crampy as a mother-father and am still pretty irritable. im starting to think that my irritability has more to do with dealing with the nearly constant cramps and less to do with the raging hormones. *shrug* nevertheless...im in some pretty uncomfortable pain and its not fun. *pout*

we went to JC Penney this weekend with NM's mom (she was visiting for the weekend to help celebrate NM's birthday) and i was in the dressing room trying on a shirt when suddenly i looked at myself in the mirror. good LORD am i bloated! i pretty much look preggo. i am told that the joy of bloat is a side effect of the fertility drugs but my imagination cant help but think that maybe one of the past insems actually worked and im currently carrying a 6 month old baby in my belly. NM thinks im crazy but hey.... you never know! ive seen way weirder stuff on TLC!

this TTWW feels totally different that any of the previous 7 cycles. typically at this point in the ballgame i have my eye on the prize and cant WAIT for the 2 weeks to pass. every passing minute, hour, day is consumed with counting down.

this time, aka...my last try... feels totally different. its like i dont want the 2 weeks to pass.

i think im just afraid that this moment right now is the closest i will ever come to being pregnant. at the end of the TTWW i might get my period which then means that we will move on to other options for a child.

somehow, being maybe-pregnant is better than never being pregnant at all.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

belly full o' swimmers

well... i have officially begun the TTWW. we had 2 inseminations (today and yesterday) so now all i can do is wait, wait, wait, wait.

the insems were no big deal... im pretty much a pro at this point. the new doctor's procedures differed slightly from our old RE but not too much. the biggest difference is the fact that they let me pee before the procedure. *wiping my brow* whew!! our old doctor said that a full bladder made it easier to "find the cervix" which always made me a little suspicious since we are talking about a space that is roughly the size of a grapefruit. how hard is it to find a cervix in there?

while it seems a small difference, it actually makes insems MUCH less annoying. i used to pee before we got in the car to drive to denver (our old RE was an hour away in denver) and then, since i didnt wanna flush $600 down the toilet, i would continue to hold my pee for hours after the insem. it wasnt fun. i have a very low tolerance for that kinda discomfort so having the opportunity to pee before the insem was a dream.

the nurse yesterday was this totally socially awkward lady who is probably really nice but in an insemination environment just seems odd. she put a hospital bracelet on me when we first got there with my name in big black letters. then, when she came into the room to do the insem she made me show her my bracelet and verify my identity. i still cant figure out why. she knows us...and has been our nurse for numerous other appointments. did she think we were gonna sneak some look-alike-jersey-double into the appointment? *shrug* weird.

i didnt have any freak out moments but did almost lose it when she showed us the vial to verify the donor number...

nurse: ok, can you look at this vial and verify that we have the correct number.
NJ: *checking the number on the side of the vial* yup...thats the one.
nurse: *looking at the vial* now, you do understand...that the red cap on this vial means that this is a mixed rate donor, right?
NJ: sorry but i dont know what "mixed rate" means.
nurse: no, *talking slowly* mixed raaaace. you do understand that this donor identifies as mixed race. right?
NJ: *not sure what to say*
NJ: yes. we are aware of the racial identity of our donor.

WTF!?!?!? she might as well have said, "excuse me miss white lady, are you aware that you might be creating offspring with.....A BROWN PERSON?!" because that's what i heard her say. i wanted to say, "yes...we lesbians are planning to create a queer multiracial family. stick that in your bible and pray about it". *deep breath* white people, i swear.

the second insem was pretty much the same but we had a much cooler nurse this time. well... i should say that NM had a much cooler experience since she and the nurse became BFF's while i was up in the stirrups. picture me, in stirrups, trying to keep my head off the dirty ass pillowcase, not able to see anything thats going on, feeling pinches and pokes and twists and i hear this....

nurse: ok, im gonna get the boys in the catheter.
NM: *laughing* oh, we call them "michael phelps" since we hope they are good swimmers
nurse: oh thats great! and speaking of phelps... isnt he amazing?
NM: i know! he was born to swim!
nurse: yes he was. imagine if he had never been exposed to swimming... what a huge loss. its crazy to think about how some people might be born to do something but because they are never exposed to it, they never have that chance.
NM: yeah...thats crazy.
nurse: so, what are you doing for the weekend
NJ: *resisting the urge to say, helloooooo?! i hate to break up the tea party but could you focus!
NM: oh, my mom is coming to town for my birthday this weekend.
nurse: oh that will be such FUN! we were just in california visiting my kids.
NM: oh really? where in california?
nurse: northern LA. we went to disney land and had a blast.
NM: oh i LOVE disneyland!
nurse: well, let me tell you....we went with 4 adults and no kids and it was so much fun!
NM: *laughing* thats great! disneyland should be for adults only!
NJ: *thinking* the minute that i am im out of these stirrups, im filing for a divorce.


needless to say, NM didnt leave the appointment with the nurse's phone number or facebook info. *rolling my eyes*
men, i swear.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

im not crazy, im just on fertility meds!

i had my final corn-dogging this morning and it went really well. well, i mean...as good as a corn-dogging experience can go, i suppose.
my eggs are frackin HUGE and it looks like we are set for wednesday and thursday of this week. woohoo! i told the RE that i feel like im about to get my period because my ovaries are KILLING me and my boobs are bigger than the usual DD...which is already pretty damn big. he said its all normal and part of the joys of hormones.

i shoulda known since i had the following interaction with NM on sunday:

NM: hey babe, where is the folder that we are using to store all of our doctor bills?
jersey: on the bottom shelf of the cabinet.
NM: which cabinet?
jersey: *impatient sigh and curt response* the cabinet with the drawer!!!
NM: hey babe...there is lots of other stuff in this folder. i thought we were gonna just use one folder for all of our doctor stuff.
jersey: *resisting the urge to claw her face off* well excuuuuuse me for living! i put the most recent bills in THAT folder because it was the only one i could find! if you dont like this system than make your own!! *fire spitting out of my mouth and eyes rolling back into my head*
NM: *long pause* oh, honey... are we gonna have..... "a day"?
jersey: "a day"?!?!?!? what the HELL is THAT supposed to mean?!?!?! god, i swear! how rude!! im on all these fertility meds that make my ovaries hurt and you're over there giving me grief.
NM: yeah, um... fertility meds.
jersey: *realizing what she is talking about* oooh, riiiiight. *nervous laugh* fertility meds make me crazy. *gulp* sorry.

so never the less, im pretty much one big raging hormone. its lots of fun.

but not more fun than the 7 inch needle that NM had to stick in my butt cheek today. after the corn-dogging we had to go home for an HCG shot. it was my first shot that had to go into the muscle and NM did a brilliant job. well, with the exception of one minor (read: irritating) freakout. i decided that she would have to give me the shot on the couch so that i could use our current free cable as a distraction. nothing like HGTV to take your mind off of a 7 inch needle.

i told her to handle the shot stuff on her own and then just stick me with it. but, bless her heart, since she was nervous, the experience was more like this:

NM: *attaching the draw needle to the syringe*
jersey: *watching HGTV*
NM: *drawing up the medication and then switching to the 7'' injection needle* oh....my.....god....
jersey: what?
NM: this needle is HUGE! *laughing nervously*
jersey: um, i dont need that right now! GOD!
NM: i know, im just saying! this thing is enormous!
jersey: stop talking and do it already! dont give me any warning and for the love of GOD dont count down. just do it.
NM: ok... here we go.... i can do this.... are you ready?.... here we go..... the nurse said to not hit the nerve... ok, i think i have the right location... oh my god.... are you ready?..... this might hurt.... ready? ready? ready?....one...... two.....


it actually didnt hurt that badly. it was way less painful than the follistim shots that go in my belly. anywhooo... tomorrow is the big day. send lots of fertile energy our way!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

ovary watch- 2009

i had the pleasure of receiving yet another corn-dogging yesterday morning to check the progress of my eggs. i couldn't believe the difference a couple of days can make! my ovaries looked like crowded NY subway trains.

i should have known that there was some growing going on in there because all weekend i was walking like the hunchback of notre dame. every step i took felt like someone was jabbing me in the ovaries and the only relief came from (very) small steps while hunched over. people on the street must have seen me and thought, "oh, i wonder what happened to that poor woman". little did they know, im actually subjecting myself to this torture. clomid made me crampy in past cycles but this follistim is no joke.

the doctor was actually pretty cool. he is a total ego maniac but im hoping that his ego is directly linked to his ability to get me knocked up. you know how men are... they love to spread seed around and then take no responsibility for the subsequent offspring. in some ways, being an RE is an ideal job for a dude.

i got a little freaked out though because in the morning before i went to the doctor, i was watching some dumb murder show called "snapped". we dont typically have television because we canceled our cable in may and never went to get the digital converter thingy but as it turns out, they never actually came out to disconnect it! they are coming in one week but in the meantime we are enjoying the free cable. yesssss! *fist pump*

i digress...

yesterday morning i flipped on some dumb show about women who murder their husbands. its called "snapped" and the women are profiled and totally portrayed like they are crazy. never mind the fact that almost all of them murder their partners in an attempt to escape abuse! but yet somehow this show manages to turn them all into gold-digging heartless psychopaths. *deep breath*

i digress again...

so, on this show there was a story about a woman who (along with her new man friend) killed her abusive ex husband. the new man friend was WAY crazier than she was and as it turns out, he was from the next town over from where i currently live! but wait, it gets weirder. to top it off, he looked just like our RE and...get this.... even shared the same last name!!

i texted NM to tell her and she told me that i should ask directly if he is the same guy. as tempting as this sounds, i havent been able to figure out how to make that conversation happen...

NJ: *in stirrups and getting corn-dogged* so... i saw the craziest thing on TV this morning....
doctor: *staring at the monitor* yeah?
NJ: yeah... i was watching this television show about murderers and they featured this story about a crazy murderer guy from the next town over.
doctor: *moving the corn-dog-stick around and watching the monitor* really. hm. interesting.
NJ: yeah. it was crazy too cuz he actually resembled you and shared your last name.
doctor: *totally ignoring me* really. wow. nurse, can you check the flux capacitor and issue a dose of blah-blah-blah.
NJ: so............................................did you do it?

and.... scene.

anywhoo... the doctor said that i have 3 big eggs that are ready to go and then over 5 that still need to bake a little. so the plan is for me to go in again for yet another corn-dogging and then a possible insem on weds and thurs. it will be our first experience doing 2 insems in one month. i know there are lots of conflicting messages about the success of doing 2 IUI's but we figure that it cant hurt. especially since this is my last shot.

in other news, i received a letter in the mail from my insurance company saying that they are going to help cover some of the $990 bill for anesthesia. not all of it, but most of it. needless to say, im very happy.

in totally unrelated news, we recently watched the film Hard Candy and loved it. if you haven't seen it yet, i highly recommend it.

Friday, September 18, 2009

WWIJD? (what would infertile jesus do)

ug. im in a bad mood. *folding arms and pouting*
we had an appointment for yet another corn-dogging this morning and even though that alone is enough to put anyone in a bad mood, we also had a pretty annoying conversation with the nurse.

we are hoping for an insemination this month (my last attempt) but we havent figured out how to get the swimmers to this new doctor's office. we have one rogue vial left at the other doctor in denver and apparently no one can figure out how we can get it shipped to the new doctor, 60 miles away. so then, the nurse comes in today and we have the following interaction:

nurse: i just talked to the doctor and we have bad news.
NJ: ok.
nurse: since we cant verify the quality of the specimen that you have at the other doctor's office we cant in good conscience use it for an insemination. sorry.
NJ: wait, im confused. what do you mean?
nurse: well, the doctor said that we really have no way of knowing what happened with that vial or how it was processed or handled so it would be irresponsible for us to use it. so we cant.
NJ: how it was handled? its been sitting in storage at the other doctor's office.
nurse: i know...but we cant be sure how it was processed so we cant in good conscience use it.
NJ: but the vial cost us $600. we certainly cant just throw it away.
nurse: *fake sympathetic smile* i imagine this is difficult.
NJ: so you're telling me that the doctor will only use vials that come directly from a cryobank?
nurse: im not sure. you see, the thing is... we dont typically deal with things like this.
NJ: *seething. and silent*

"things like this"?? what like, GAY people? ooohhh, did the gays throw a monkey wrench into your heteronormative medical procedures?

*deep breath*

so then, she also said that i have to go back for yet another corn-dogging on monday! WTF?! 3 ultrasounds in one month! im not katie holmes!!

im just so done with this whole process. its hard to make major decisions that involve major amounts of money when you don't really know if what they are telling you is legit. do i need 3 ultrasounds within 10 days? *shrug* how the hell am i supposed to know?! so there we are, forking over $300 for each one, not knowing if this is just some dumb protocol that helps pad their wallets!

and the other shitty thing is that i still cant completely shake the fears from the homophobic rumors. i want to believe that they are only rumors...but in the back of my mind i cant help but wonder. and i feel like i have to be on my best behavior and not challenge the system too much (which is nearly impossible for me) because otherwise their homophobia will cause them to screw us over. i know, i know... people arent that vindictive and im overreacting and i should learn to trust people more and and and... but when you have thousands of dollars on the line, its silly to not do everything you can to ensure success. its strange to be sitting in a doctor's office worrying about how likable you are and making sure that you try to do and say the right things so they will like you enough to not screw you over. i feel like im at some dating service trying to impress the staff so they will hook me up with a hottie.

and the other thing that kinda bugs me about this doctor is their facilities. i told NM that every time we go there i feel like i go back in time to the 70's. the walls have wood paneling and you can see the dust that has settled in between the panels. there are hand towels (yes, like actual towels) in the bathroom for people to dry their hands on. (is that even sanitary?!?!) and i swear they have the exact same pillow cases as my grandmother! you know how most doctors will use plain white pillow cases and then pull the paper over the top of the pillow? well not these guys. you have to lay your head on the same nasty ass pillowcase as who knows how many other women. laying on the table makes me feel like i went back in time 40 years and im in some guy's living room asking for an abortion!

we left the appointment and went home to do the third shot of follistim and i got this overwhelming feeling of relief that this will be my last time going through this madness. after taking the summer off from TTC i was excited to be back in the process again... but each passing day and each irritating experience and each bruise on my belly from the shots, seems to leave me feeling less tolerant of putting myself through this mess. enough is enough. we will go into this cycle with a positive attitude, zero expectations and lots of hope. and although i know that a failure this time will be sad and heavy and hard to recover from... in a small way, it will feel very freeing to be done putting my body through this.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

those who cant birth, bake.

i love baking. if given my choice, i would spend all day, everyday baking.

i spent this past weekend working on my never-ending-thesis and baking two new recipes. the first recipe was one for jam thumbprint cookies. a few weekends ago we decided to can tomatoes and peach jam with some friends and like total amateurs, we bought WAY too many peaches and ended up with over 6 gallons of peach jam (not kidding). so, in search of a new recipe that would allow me to use up some of that jam, i made THESE cookies. they were pretty much the bomb.com.

the other recipe i attempted came from bakerella. i have wanted to make her famous cupcake balls for a while now but never had the courage. until this weekend. in another total lapse of judgement i also decided to try her cupcake pops. needless to say, mine didnt turn out nearly as good as hers.

i think my main problem was the thickness of the chocolate coating which didnt allow for much detail. anywhoo... im sure it takes a few attempts so ill try them again at some point.

this weekend also included a special little package on my doorstep.

......................drum roll..................................

three cheers for fertility meds!!

*deep game show voice* that's right folks, we have here 3 doses of follistim, 6 needles and an hsg shot.

but wait... there's more! just when you thought this offer couldnt get more exciting, there was one more thing in the box.....

....................drum roll..............................

a $432.00 bill!! *crowd goes wild*


at least we got one of those cool freezer packs out of the deal.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

what part of "im from new jersey" dont you understand?

first order of business is to report that i successfully survived my first CD2 corn-dogging experience.

second order of business is to explain what the hell i mean by "corn-dogging". i have received a couple of emails asking what the heck i am talking about. yet another example that the thoughts in my head dont necessarily translate well to the outside world. allow me to explain...

*clearing my throat*

when infertile sally wants to have a baby she will most likely have to undergo many ultrasounds to check her innards. the method of said ultrasounds is not the typical goop-on-the-belly ultrasound like is seen in most movies when an already pregnant woman goes in for an ultrasound. oh no my friend...sally gets the pleasure of enduring the "internal wand probe" which, much like it sounds, is essentially a giant dildo-thing with an ultrasound camera on the end. so...when sally is in the process of receiving said "internal wand probe" ultrasound it is not uncommon for her to feel like a human corn-dog. there you have it.

third order if business is to share that yet another medical practitioner commented on how "easy" i am. what the hell!?!?! if you remember from THIS post, apparently i am "easy" to perform an insemination on. well this morning we had the following conversation with our ultrasound technician:

ultrasound tech: wow. you're so easy!
corn-dog me: um... excuse me?
ultrasound tech: its so easy to find your ovaries on the screen. i love giving ultrasounds to you because typically women aren't this easy.


if only i had a dollar for every time i heard that.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

thoughts on money and getting corn-dogged

*heavy sigh*

so... i called the RE to tell them that its CD1 and they called back with excited energy and a plan for the next few weeks. yay!

step one: baseline ultrasound tomorrow morning (it will be my first corn-dogging experience that early in the cycle. um... fun.)
step two: start clomid on CD 3. stop clomid on CD 7
step three: follistim 150 on CD 8, 9 & 10
step four: second ultrasound on CD 10

sounds exciting, right? ok, aside from CD2 corn-dogging....it sounds like a great plan, no?


what started as excitement about being back on the insemination horse quickly morphed into a panic attack about how the hell we are gonna pay for this.

step one = $300
step two = $40
step three = $125 per shot for a total of $375
step four = $300
for a total of $1,015. and that's not including the cost of new swimmers and the inseminations. new swimmers will cost us $2,570 (after we use our $1000 credit at CCB), shipping will be $200 and then we still have one rogue vial at the old doctor that we will have to spend $125 to get shipped to the new doctor. then each insemination costs around $200.

so... the grand total for getting back on the horse will be.... *drum roll*.....$4,310.

*dry heave*

how the hell can i justify spending this kind of money? that is more money than i get paid to teach an entire course for the entire semester! it makes me so frustrated... and sad. *sigh*

and you know, i fully understand that we...as a non-hetero unit...are gonna have to face some additional challenges when it comes to getting prego. i mean after all, we are going against mother nature's plan and all that jazz. i get it.

so im totally ok with the notion that we might have to deal with doctors or pay more money to get knocked up. im certainly not advocating for free sperm dispensers on every corner. (although, i wouldn't fight anyone who attempted to get such a system implemented). what is so annoying to me is the grandness of the bills... the shear enormity of the cost...and that it isn't applied to everyone the same, across the board.

for example, if we lived in massachusetts, much of these costs would be covered by insurance. then, after a certain number of attempts, the entire bill would be covered... even up to IVF! its a trip for me to read posts written by women living in mass who are sad because they are "getting down to only a few more IUI attempts before they will switch to IVF because its free". um....what?? dont get me wrong, i fully understand and support folks for feeling sad because they aren't getting prego the new-old-fashioned way with IUI. IVF is painful and long and pretty invasive. but shit... at least folks have the opportunity to take that next step! for less than $30,000!

i think two things are bugging me right now.

1. if folks in other states have a policy that saves them THOUSANDS of dollars then for god's sake we should all have access to that same option. its not like NM and i live in some backwards country where gays cant get married...err, wait. you get the point.

2. and.... its so frustrating to make a decision and then immediately second guess our decision. we have talked sooooo many times and for soooo long about whether we should just stop now and move towards adoption but in the end we want to experience the process of pregnancy as a family and the process of birth together as a family. so we make the decision to try again and then one conversation later im back to feeling sick and scared and discouraged. not to mention the fact that im one day into my period (read: emotional) and im not really looking forward to getting corn-dogged tomorrow at the doctor.

so, in closing... im kicking rocks right now. not boo-hoo for me because im gay and we can get prego. more like boo-hoo for me because we cant afford to even try.

*singing* i know... all there.... is to know.... about the waiting game.

well, i finally took the leap.

i called the adoption agency and told them to put us on the waiting list. technically its the "waiting-for-the-waiting-list" waiting list...pero, its still a step.
the woman on the phone said that there are currently 25 couples on the "inactive" waiting list. those folks are waiting to be put on the "active" waiting list which consists of 30 couples. so...they have like 60 babies to place before we will see any action.

she estimated that we would spend 5 months on the "inactive" list before joining the "active" list. once we get to the "active" list, we get to hurry up and wait some more until we are chosen by a birth mom. this can take anywhere from 2 months to years.

in other news, today is CD1 and i called our RE to tell them that we are back in the race. we shall see what they say when the nurse calls me back. im excited to start trying again...especially with the non-homophobe doctor up the street. i certainly wont miss those long drives 3 times a month!