Ovulation, the view from space

God, I’m such a bad blogger.

I remember a time when I used to eagerly rush home to write a post. I’d keep a notebook in my pocket and dash down thoughts and observations and try to whittle them into something clever and, I daresay, profound when I finally found myself cloistered away in the Fortress of Solitude. The Fortress was my old Bachelorette apartment where I lived on and off for several years, through two relationships – one with a boy and one with myself. The time I spent dating myself is the time that led to more writing. It was a nice cure for my discomfort with loneliness.

Now I don’t have time to be lonely, and I’m grateful every day for that, but I do miss writing. Seems all I have to do is just sit down and the words seem to flow from my fingertips. It also seems that I care way less about being clever.

Tonight is the eve of our first Intrauterine Insemination (or IUI) attempt. I’m trying to get knocked up, and it’s a far different process than I ever imagined it would be. Back when I first met my partners, before we decided to build a partnership together, my fella had a vasectomy. In a rather unusual move for most people in such a position, he decided to bank some sperm. I think at the time his rationale had more to do with the possibilities unfolding with stem cell research, but the phrase “just in case” rang in my ears, and continues to do so now. Back then, I remember feeling sad that he was making such a move, but it seemed totally illogical to object at the time.

I have always known that I want to try to have a bio baby of my own creation, and my partners agreed to be open to this idea, which was a huge factor in my decision to enter into this life. So nearly three years after this crazy adventure began, here we are – taking the next huge steps toward building family together.

I’ve been seeing the fertility specialists at Mount Sinai for over a year now. I’ve experienced pre-menstrual spotting for the last four years (it’s basically like I get two periods, one right after the other) so we wanted to check everything out and make sure it was all in working order. We did two rounds of cycle monitoring where we closely watched my cycle progress by taking blood samples and doing ultrasounds. We did a test where they filled my uterus with a saline solution and slid a tiny camera up there through a catheter, and we did a final round of testing where they tried me on Prometrium, a synthetic progesterone which magically made the spotting go away. It turns out the spotting was caused by a very minor progesterone deficiency.

My man’s samples were tested and they appear to be a hearty lot. We’ve got lots to work with, and my doctor is being careful to make sure we don’t blow our entire wad on the first try. (Tasteful, no?) This month marked our first “for real” cycle monitor and I was kind of a basket case.

This surprised me because I expected some nerves, but not so much emotion. It’s kind of impossible to know when the first day of my period is because my spotting continues right on through the main event. I think I called in my day one a little early because I started testing at the clinic on Sunday, and have had to go back every single day this week. Every other day was the ultrasound/blood combo, and every day was a blood test. You can usually do a home test to tell if you’re ovulating with a urine stick litmus test that tells you if your LH (or luetinizing hormone) is surging. If it is, you’re about to ovulate. I can’t pee on an LH tester stick because nothing shows up, so I now look like I have a drug problem and my kids are wondering why I’ve suddenly stopped walking them to school every day. Thank god for my amazing brother-in-love who’s been there all week to shepherd them to and from school.

Each day we’d come home and I’d try to act normal and get through my immense pile of work, which I’ve been largely successful at. I will confess to several extended lunch breaks where I spent my time poring through baby names and freaking myself out with the endless amount of terrifying statistical information available on the Internet about ovulation and conception. At around three o’clock each day the call would come in. “Not today. We’ll see you tomorrow.”

I had to clear my entire weekend schedule, which is a drag because I was really hoping to go home and see my mom who is just finishing her radiation treatment. Basically if my blood work shows that my LH has surged significantly, we have to drop everything the next day and come in for our IUI. Today the call came in, and horrible troll that I am, I made “serious face” while listening to the voice mail knowing that my fella was watching intently. Then I paused dramatically before giving him the news.

So, tomorrow at 11:00 am EST we are going to try to make a baby. In a clinic. With a catheter in my uterus (I like to call it the Stairway to Heaven) and a spermcicle. Was it what I imagined pregnancy would be like? No. But really none of my adult life is how I imagined it to be and somehow it’s about a thousand times better than I ever thought possible.

H & A are totally geared for the possibility of a sibling. They started asking about when I would have a baby long before us adults ever brought it up. Those little monkeys totally blow my mind. We’re obviously going to wait to tell them when we’re sure all is well and that we’ve passed that 2nd trimester hump, but I feel very confident in their ability to accept a new addition.

I’m a mixture of super excited, super serene and kind of really nervous. We have to wait two weeks after the IUI to know if we’re pregnant, and that’s going to be the longest two weeks EVER. Then, the subsequent months of waiting before we can tell the world will be interesting too. You’ll be reading this long after it was written because I want to be cautious.

My everything is crossed at this point. I’m feeling very connected to my body, which is remarkable and rare. I’m super excited about the job that lies ahead, and mostly confident about my ability to make it happen smoothly.

N & S are solid. I really love them so much. There’s so much support in my corner, and I really feel like we’re doing this as a team.

Hopefully I can sleep tonight. It feels a bit like the night before Christmas.




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