Monday, October 30, 2006


Ages ago, two male friends of mine offered to donate their sperm. One guy insisted on doing it the old-fashioned way (eew!) so we immediately excluded him as a possibility. The other guy travels on the job and is only home for a couple of days out of the month, so he got excluded by default, as it is too hard to coordinate with someone who is never around.

In the meantime, one of my close male friends, H, has made comments here and there, jokingly, about donating. But now I'm wondering if he's really joking, or if he'd sincerely agree, should I approach him. You see, he's made jokes in the past that turned out to not be jokes, so I'm wondering if this is one of those situations. R and I have thought about approaching him, but my goodness, how the heck am I supposed to do that? I have no clue what to say. I don't want him to feel pressured or wierd, ya know.

Any thoughts?

Saturday, October 28, 2006


Things are pretty much about making sure we are still putting one foot in front of the other around here. We are both so upset and just trying to deal with all of this.

I made an appointment to go and talk with our doctor and see what she has to say. I want to learn more about the medicine she thinks we should try next time, and how many more IUI cycles she thinks we should do before moving on to more invasive stuff.

I need a plan badly. I need to know what we should be doing, and what the game plan is long range. It makes me feel a lot more okay when I know what to expect. Right now I feel like I don't have any vision of where we are going or what our real chances are, etc. I know that the more we try, the less likely it is to happen. At what point has our luck just run out?

We are going out with a couple that just completed their sixth try and are waiting to find out the results. They said they think that this will be their last shot and I am curious to know what their reasons are. I am equally curious to know what our doctor has them doing and why

The truth is that I have pretty much lost hope that IUI will ever work for us. I am ready to move on and give IVF a try. I know that it is major money and major physical pain, but I need to know if this will ever work. I need to know in two or three tries of IVF if it is time to move on to adoption, etc., rather than waiting out another few months of IUI then IVF. I just need for us to find out the answer, even if it is an expensive one.

What we are going through is pretty emotionally expensive right now and to be honest, our collective sanity/relationship is worth a good deal more to me that the money IVF would cost. I wonder if I would be able to even deal with IVF if we have to go through all of this again. It is very difficult to know what to do or when to make the leap to IVF.

If anyone has any advice on the subject please share. Similarly, if anyone has any advice on Atlanta area RE's or affording all this high tech baby making, share!

Friday, October 27, 2006


R had open enrollment for insurance this week. She took the paperwork to the insurance specialist at our clinic, who was kind enough to research each plan and the benefits of using one versus another. What we found out is that one of the plans will pay for inseminations. This is great news! It will not, however, cover the cost of donor sperm, but that's okay with us. Buying donor sperm isn't so much a big deal if we don't have to pay for all of the other stuff. It's about time we had some relief.

In the meantime, Amanda from For the Byrds recommended some different sperm banks to us that are less expensive than the one we use. I don't know if these others will meet our needs, but it's definitely something to look into, again (it's been a while since we initially researched, so it may be good to refresh our memories and check on things). Thanks, Amanda!

Thursday, October 26, 2006


I was just sitting here and thinking about IVF; nothing in particular, other than I had the thought that if we ended up going that route, maybe R could use a combination of her eggs and my eggs. That way, we could have a combo pack of multiples, possibly. Honestly, I don't even know if this is a possibility. Is it?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


R and I are both going through a difficult time right now, but for some reason, I am having an especially hard time with this. I can hardly go an hour without bursting into tears while working at my desk. And I'm exhausted. Totally drained. I've been sleeping excessively and still, I want more sleep. I just feel terrible, even though I'm trying really hard to remain positive about the good stuff.

Also, I feel guilty for not being able to try myself and for that not being an option. If I can ever get well, which eventually I will, then maybe I can try. But right now there's not even the slightest bit of a possibility, so it makes me feel even worse.

We're in a wierd situation with the donor stuff. The donor we used last time, who has a remarkably high sperm count, is the donor we'd like to use again. However, he's quite popular according to Xytex. We can either:

  • immediately purchase the two vials he has left (which, by now, are probably sold out), which are washed (we prefer unwashed), and pay extra for storage

  • or

  • we can be put on a pending list, which has nine people ahead of us

  • or

  • we can say screw it and choose another donor altogether.

Then again, who knows what we'll do next. We haven't given up on trying, but we made an appointment to go to this adoption information session thingie the first weekend in November. We scheduled it two months ago and had kind of forgotten about it. Well, at least I had forgotten, but then R reminded me and we decided we're still going to check it out.

In the meantime, we're wondering what our next move should be. Do we try another IUI? I mean, we've only done four, which isn't that much, but also, we don't want to continue going that route if it won't work. So, do we skip ahead and go for IVF? I'd be all for it, except that it's soooo bloody expensive. I don't want to spend $15,000 for one chance at something that may not work. That would suck a lot more than only $5,000, which is what we've spent total so far for four IUI tries.

Needless to say, we have so many questions.

Monday, October 23, 2006


The results from our test this morning came back negative. Dr. A wants R to discontinue taking the progesterone supplements so she can expel, ie, have a period. This is terribly upsetting, but not surprising given the events of the last week.

We're taking a month off, at least, and we're thinking we'll try again over Christmas break; that is, if we're up to it. In the meantime, the doctor wants R to take Ovcon 35 Oral, which is a type of birth control, I think. She'll also take Letrozole Oral, a medication more commonly known to treat breast cancer, when we start trying again.

For now, we just need time to cope and process this.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


For my story about my trip home and how my Mom is handling the news of all of this (she didn't know we'd been trying or anything), visit my blog at Ju 2006.

To follow up on what I wrote there, I got an email from my Mom this evening. She wanted to thank me for coming and for helping her with her new computer. But mainly, she wanted to check on R. It was pleasantly surprising. I just can't believe she's being so calm and okay. I'm honestly still waiting for it to sink in and for her to throw a fit.

Both R and I forgot to mention that we met two new gals in Athens who are also trying. Well, I say met, but really, we've only spoken with them via telephone, but we made arrangements to have dinner with them later this week. It's kinda funny because our doctor is the one who arranged for us to meet. She asked us if it was okay to pass along our info and asked them the same. So, here we are.

I don't know a whole lot about them, other than one of them is pretty butch and they've been trying to conceive (by the way, I despise the shortened acronym "TTC" -- I hate the way it looks or something -- reminds of those ta-ta-for-now "TTFN" acronyms that people use far too often in email exchanges) for almost a year unsuccessfully. I also know, though, that they haven't been very aggressive with it as far as medications and such.

Anyway, we're kind of excited to know anyone else doing this in our own town and the butch one is glad to meet me, I think, because she doesn't have anyone to talk to about her role in this. I feel the same.

As for us, we made it through the weekend. That's longer than we expected. And oddly enough, R's still having lots of signs, ie, sore boobs, back pain, and today she had morning sickness. We had to stop the car early in the day for her to puke and then when we returned from Target this evening, she hurriedly got out of the car and puked in our driveway. Poor thing. It could be stress, we don't know.

We have our appointment with our doctor in the morning to do more blood work. We'll have results within a couple of hours after that, probably around lunch time. We're both really hoping for good news. Keep those good thoughts/prayers/etc coming -- we'll take all we can get!

Saturday, October 21, 2006


We are still very hopeful but trying to be realistic. This has all been very difficult, mostly because we just don't know. I would love to know what the deal is but we just don't and this is hard. Ju went to her mom's to clean out her old high school stuff from the house at her mom's obsessive insistence, so I was sent to my mother's for safe keeping while Ju is away. I know this is strange, but it is kinda nice not to be home and not to be around Ju because it makes me feel a little more normal, a little less like this is really happening to us.

We talked with our wonderful Dr. on Friday because she is going out of town next week, which is upsetting because she is a life line and I like to have her support and counsel. She told us that she was not really ready to throw in the towel on this pregnancy and that because my progestrone level is in her words "awesome" she felt we might have a shot. We will go back for more tests on Monday and see how things look. So far, so good. She also said that we might want to take a month off if this pregnancy doesn't continue and take birth control pills to suppress my ovaries and them hit them with an enormous chunk of stimulating drugs. Scary, but okay.

I have a lot going on this month, which for anyone who knows me, is kind of a joke; like, when are things in life ever calm??? The lady who will be taking over my job is going to be there on Monday morning to start figuring things out. I will also begin to pack up my things and take them out of my classroom to get ready to take them to my new school. I love the people I work with and this is beyond scary for me to move to a new place with a very different professional culture, from what I hear anyway. I am thrilled about the job but super-scared that I won't be any good at it, and they will be sorry they ever picked me. It looks like Nov. 1st will be day one of the new job. OY VAY!!!

I am pretty out in my current job and now I will have to begin the annoying process of helping everyone else process my gayness, again. Good times, I tell you. Oh well, it was bound to happen sooner or later.

On the house front, we are devoting next weekend to working on the house and making choices about the sale of the house. Like, if we want to try it by ourselves again or if we want to list it, along with all of the repercussions of these choices and what it is, exactly, that we want to do.

Being a grown-up is so complicated!!!!

Friday, October 20, 2006


It's late afternoon on Friday and we're still hanging in there. The results from R's progesterone test came in and the nurse relayed to us that Dr. A said it looked "awesome." So, that's something good, right?

Although, I must admit, I'm a bit confused as to what this means, exactly, and how this helps/hurts us. The test yesterday was to check hcg, I think, which should be at a level of 5. It wasn't. Yet, the doctor's office only gave us a "maybe" because they were waiting for the progesterone test to come back. Now that they have "awesome" results, does this mean things are looking up?

I just don't know what's going on right now. It all seems too surreal. But hopefully, we'll hear from Dr. A today and we'll have an inkling.


While R is *technically* pregnant, the hormone levels don't seem strong enough to be able to maintain it. We fully expect for this to go away either today or over the weekend. The pregnancy test this morning was negative. That's not good.

But we're plodding along and who knows, maybe this is all just a test of our patience and our wanting, and maybe this will all work out. There's the tiniest sliver of a chance and I guess that's better than nothing.

In the meantime, there's lots of tears and lots of worry. R's got the day off from work, just in case something goes wrong. I'll probably go to work for a while, but I'll be "on call" and will probably come home early.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


Whoever said you can't be a little bit pregnant is wrong! Continue reading to find out why:

This morning, R got up and as she's done every morning for days on end, took another pregnancy test. Just after that she left for work. And then just after that, the test turned positive. I got really excited and called R at work to leave a message for her before leaving to go to work myself.

I had to stop at the store on my way to work to pick up a couple of little things and ran into our doctor, of all people. She asked how we were doing and I told her that we got a positive test this morning. She got a bit excited and told us to come in for a blood test today. So, on my way to work, I called to leave R another message to say she needed to do a blood test today.

Finally, I arrived at work and just as I was getting all settled into my office, my phone rang. I assumed it was R returning my calls, but instead it was the school where she teaches. They asked if I could come pick her up because she'd gotten sick and passed out at school. Of course, I left my job and headed right over.

So, I picked up R and we headed straight to the doctor's office, where we did a blood test. On the way there, R reminded me of the story her mom has told a million times. Basically, the story is that the only time R's mom ever passed out in her life was when she was very first pregnant. Of course, R thinks this is what is happening with her, too.

We got our results from the doctor a little while ago. Dr. A's answer is "maybe". Not a no, not a yes, just maybe. She wants us to do another blood test on Monday, but by then we'll probably know on our own anyway, as R is supposed to start her period tomorrow or Saturday. So, as it stands now, we are a little bit pregnant.

This is sooooooooooo frustrating!!! Actually, there are no words to describe how this feels. We just want an answer. We can deal with yes. We can deal with no. But we just need to know what we're dealing with!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


R's been displaying some of the tell-tale signs of being pregnant, yet our tests are coming up negative. We weren't sure if the medicines and hormones were causing her body to do wierd things, or if it could possibly be that the hormones would cause a negative result, so I called Dr. A's office to inquire about this.

I spoke with the nurse/coordinator and told her what was going on - ie, R's been having some nausea, her boobs are the size of Texas, and she's been feeling "wierd", etc. The nurse said, "Oh, that's good!" I inquired about the testing and she checked our chart, then told me it was too early. So, I guess I have to take her word for it.

At any rate, I feel the slightest bit relieved, at least for now. At least I feel justified in holding out hope.

Monday, October 16, 2006


On Friday, R had some bloodwork done to test her Progesterone levels. The results were supposed to be in first thing this morning, but instead, they didn't come in until after 2:00pm. As it turns out, the results are okay. R's within the normal range for what the progesterone levels should be, although the doctor said she wished it would be slightly higher. So, Dr. A wants R to take some daily oral supplements.

So, that's where we're at right now. Things could go either way, but we're doing everything we can and everything we're asked to do. I just spoke with R and she's on her way as I write this to pick up her prescription so she can take it before she goes to class tonight.

More coming soon.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


Clearly, we want to become pregnant, hopefully soon, because we have spent the family fortune. We're beginning to worry about our ability to financially keep up with the ever-increasing cash and emotional/hormonal demands of this process. That said, this morning I got up and faithfully peed on a stick, and well we got nothing. I mean, nothing, which made me feel awful and okay at the same time. I say 'okay' simply because I want the test to scream "you are having a baby some time in late June!!!" However, I also know my semi-positive stuff could all just be trigger shot silliness as I read on the internet this AM:

Every woman's metabolism is different, but as a general rule of thumb, you should allow 1 day for every 1,000 units of hCG you injected. The standard hCG dose is 10,000 units; thus, 10 days after the shot, the synthetic hCG should be gone and you should be able to test for pregnancy without detecting the shot. However, you should ask your doctor what the recommended protocol for your dosage is.

Some women choose to test daily to monitor the essence of the hCG in their bodies; once the synthetic hCG is gone, the tests become negative. If the hCG "comes back" and the HPT's turn positive again, it's likely due to a pregnancy and not the leftover hormone shot.

I would reference the site but I don't remember which of the 4,000 sites I looked at it was on... sorry!

Anyhow, we are just hanging in there to see how this goes.

I will say, however, the only time I have ever seen any sort of positive was the first time we did it, which is when I had what I believe to be an amazingly early miscarriage. I stupidly did not really acknowledge it at the time and made no effort to slow my life down whatsoever afterwards, and ended up giving myself shingles.


I did go in Friday to have my progesterone checked and we will find out the results first thing tomorrow (Monday) morning. Depending on the results, I may need to go in for a dose of extra progesterone, so I can try to hold on to these hopefully fertilized eggs.

Saturday, October 14, 2006


Okay, a third test was taken this morning -- but pretty much, there's nothing there. I mean, there is the slightest bit of a faint line, much lighter than what has shown up before. We feel slightly disappointed, but we're reminding ourselves that it's still early.

Friday, October 13, 2006


After last night's testing experience, we decided to do a second test this morning, when R's sample would be most concentrated. Again, the test did the same thing, with a faint line, but this time the line was darker. See?

R's test #2, without a flash

R's test #2, with the camera flash

We were thinking that the test could be false positive because of all of the hormones R's been taking. But then the fact that today's test was darker seems to negate that theory.

I took a test myself, just to see what would happen and if mine would yield any sort of extra line. The results:

my test = negative!

Even after several hours, my test still shows no signs of the extra line. We were told that sometimes if you wait too long, the extra line would show up. But that hasn't happened.

So... we're thinking R's test is definitely a positive. Now, whether or not it is a real positive has yet to be seen.

*keeping fingers crossed*

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Every day, R's been saying that she was sure everything worked this time. I've been so excited, I can hardly stand it. Then, today, R came home and announced she wasn't so sure anymore. So, even though we know pregnancy tests down't work this early on, we did one anyway. Even though it doesn't make any sense, it actually made us feel better, somehow.

Anyway, R did the test but had to leave quickly as she was running behind schedule to meet up with a friend. So, I'm sitting here looking at this pregnancy test and I swear, I think there's a faint positive line. Now, I don't know if it's a fluke, my imagination, or the real deal.

I've taken a photograph. What do ya think?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


This is kind of a strange question -- but of those of you who have had pregnancies, did you notice any immediate changes "down there"?

R says "it feels different" and sure enough, when I checked things out, it felt different -- sort of spongy, but hard beneath, if that makes any sense.

Any thoughts out there?

p.s. Happy Coming Out Day!

Sunday, October 08, 2006


Okay, I know that this is really crazy because I am not a calm person. People who know me can attest to this. I am pretty manic, and go a little nuts if things don't go my way. However, I am feeling oddly calm; so calm it makes me uncalm. It truly feels just like things are going to be just great and I don't really have to sweat it. Baby or no baby, we will be exactly perfect. It might just be my own body's relief over not being poked, prodded, tested, medicated, and messed with for a few weeks, or it might be that we have reached what I am sure is a brief stint experiencing the zen and art o' baby making.

This is not to say that I am sure it will work, only sure that we/our drs./the donor, etc. have done our dead-level best and that we are getting closer, even if we are not actually there yet. That a baby could happen.

I have had plenty of days where I thought that it was impossible, that it was really just time to give up and admit that it was time to talk seriously about trying to adopt. I am not against adoption, for us or anyone else. I think that it is great. I am just afraid of all of the horror stories. Not that fertility doesn't come with horror, but it is a horror that I feel more in control of (I don't claim to make sense). It worries me to think that a new mom whose child was promised to us could change her mind and we could walk away without a baby when we were so close. I know that if/when we get to a point where adoption makes sense for us that we will not hesitate. I am just glad that day is not today and that hope has returned in whatever small way to this endeavor and to us as a couple.

Obviously, we talked about how hard it was to try and not be successful or be semi-successful for a day. I just don't really think even I knew how hard this had been on us individually or collectively until things changed and the process started looking promising again. Even when we started the process this round we were so cautious and sad. I have just been braced for the bottom to fall out any minute. Everything changed when the egg count was up and the sperm looked like they were actually MOVING.

Like I said, I am sure that this is only a moment of calm in a much wider and wilder sea of parent making and parenting, but it is nice to be in right now. I appreciate the break.

Saturday, October 07, 2006


Yesterday, R and I went to Dr. A for our first insemination, using Donor #1. They'd just finished "washing" as we arrived and we got to view the specimen under a microscope. My word, it was amazing! I mean, the whole field was totally covered in moving sperm, without a bit of blank space inbetween. It was completely unlike any other specimen sample we'd seen in past inseminations. Needless to say, we were very excited about this, as was everyone else present. Lots more happened and R wants to blog, so I'll leave my comments to the topic of sperm count only and she can fill in the other details.

my rendition of Donor #1's sperm count

This morning, we went in for insemination number two, using Donor #2. Since it's Saturday, one nurse and Dr. A had to come in just for us. We arrived while the nurse was "washing" and we just chilled out and talked with her for a long time. Dr. A had not yet arrived, as she was still busy with patients at the hospital. Anyway, the nurse showed us the specimen under the microscope. To say we were disappointed with what we saw is an understatement. I mean, there were only a few sperm crawling around, with all this blank space inbetween.

As it turns out, the count of Donor #2 isn't bad; as long as there are at least ten per field of power, it's good. When Dr. A arrived, she said he was okay, but that she could understand our disappointment in comparison to Donor #1. In fact, she said that Donor #1 had an abnormally high count; the most she's seen!

my rendition of Donor #2's sperm count

Thursday, October 05, 2006


We are so excited that there was more than one little egg-o this time!! I am kind of at the end of my rope, homonally seaking, and having more than one egg really made me feel like it was all worth it; that we are still in the baby making game and that there is some hope. The last few weeks have been very difficult because the drugs have been pretty intense, both physically and hormonally, and because there has just been a lot going on in general.

We have had things go haywire with the sale of the house and my job has been a bit challenging to say the least. Fortunately, we are taking a bit of a house break this week. We will meet with an agent next Monday about listing our house. We are considering flipping our house, essentially, and will be talking to the agent about which improvements will have the most impact on the sale price of our house when we relist it. There have been a few very sucessful and profitable flips in our neighborhood and if it means a lot more money, I am willing to live in a construction zone for a few months. The truth is that our house is very small, but we could make it work with a little one if need be. Plus, all the improvements that we would make would be things that we want done if we wind up having to stay in the house for some reason.

As for the job, things are going very well there, but I am just crazy-busy trying to keep my head above water. This time of year is always hard because it is a very long stretch to make it from the beginning of the school year (Aug 1st) to Thanksgiving break at the end of November. This is a very typical time of year to start to lose it a little :).

I am trying to be realistic about the baby, but I am very hopeful. Even if it doesn't work I know that we have a pretty good shot with the drug combo we have used this round.


We went for R's ultrasound today and it wasn't a bit too early, as the eggs Dr. A detected are quite mature. We've decided to do a dual insemination and I'll drive three hours tomorrow morning to pick up the extra specimen. Tonight R has to have the HCG injection, but the woman who usually assists us is out of town. Our next-door neighbor works in a pharmacy lab, however, and has arranged for us to do the injection with one of his co-workers, who has lots of experience administering shots.

We'll have our first insemination late tomorrow afternoon and then the second on Saturday morning. We're excited, but the fucked up and funny part is that we're using two different donors for the two inseminations. So, technically, we could end up with twins that have different biological fathers! How insane is that?!

I ended up telling my boss today about what we're doing and I was so surprised at how accepting and supportive she's being. It's awesome! I mean, she is so excited about this and said she was going to pray for us and keep good thoughts for us. I am just so excited to have people around me at work who I don't have to tiptoe around because they're all so supportive and encouraging.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


R had the dye test today to see if her fallopian tubes had any blockages. It was really interesting to see up on screen because it didn't look anything like the diagram you see in health class. Her fallopian tubes are very long and they wind all around. They're higher on one side than the other, too.

We'd been told by the doctor herself that the test would be really painful, but R said it wasn't that bad. It hurt some during the procedure, but afterwards she felt okay. Our doctor said everything looked really good. She did, however, move our ultrasound up one day, rather than waiting until Friday to do it. Better early than too late.

Dr. A mentioned that she'd had a lot of success lately doing dual insemination with unwashed sperm. Strangely enough, the specimen we ordered this month only came in unwashed, so that's what we have. We don't have enough to do a dual insemination, but if the ultrasound results tomorrow are really good, I'm going to order a second vile and drive the three hours to pick it up. I mean, if we're going all out, then we might as well do everything we can.

One funny thing - I ran into my boss while I was at the hospital. When we arrived, we were told we needed to go and register, something we didn't know we'd have to do as no one told us ahead of time. So, we went to register and then had to sit in this waiting area while they processed everything, which took about 45 minutes. At some point, R got up to use the restroom and right then my boss came in. She was just as surprised to see me as I was her and we spoke for a few minutes. As it turns out, she has an aunt who is very ill and has just started chemo, so she was there to visit. It was really strange. On the bright side, at least my boss knew I was doing something legitimate and not just ditching work for no good reason.