Friday, July 4, 2008

Not So Bad

Our early morning trip to the fertility clinic for our intrauterine insemination wasn't so bad. In fact, it was kind of nice the way it worked out even if I did only get two hours of sleep. We left home at 5:30 which I know is normal for many people with regular jobs, but for me it's like entering an alternate reality. I had so little sleep I was punchy and delighted by the birds' activity and the clean smelling air. It seems like I've ovulated on a number of holidays this past year of trying to conceive: I know Thanksgiving and Christmas for sure off the top of my head, and I think a few more if I were to check back through my calendar. Every time this happens we think how nice it would be to say our baby was conceived on Thanksgiving. Or Christmas. Or Independence Day, with fireworks (even if it did happen in a doctor's office).

Because it's the 4th of July there were no workday commuters on the road so we breezed onto the 7:05 ferry and Delia shot her load for the lab early. While we were waiting for them to prep and analyze it, my brother-in-law brought our nephew Mr. Squishypants down to meet us for breakfast at McDonald's. Seeing his two year old self running with a huge grin down the sidewalk to meet us and listening to him giggle and pronounce all of his new words with so much babyish concentration and accomplishment was bliss, and of course a huge reminder of why we're going through all of this to try to get pregnant. Seeing my family on his face and in his expressions, seeing my sister and my grandpa and my grandma and my mom and even myself radiating from him is like being reborn into a world with more love.

The only medical office open in the entire many-floored building was the fertility clinic so we knew that everyone we saw coming in and going out was there for the same reason we were, and there were A LOT of people which was both reassuring and depressing. In my typical asshole fashion I couldn't help judging the people I saw and comparing myself to them. The first people I really took notice of were a somewhat unattractive couple with an overweight lady in high water track pants. I couldn't help feeling like "here we are: all of nature's duds who aren't supposed to breed." I prayed that our cup 'o cum wouldn't get mixed up with theirs.

We had a couple of hours to observe the other "duds". While I assessed them from a distance, trying to pinpoint their problems I promised Delia that I wouldn't allow myself to say shitty things like this once we have a kid, but look at her, the one in the designer camo sweatpants and glossy black bag: that dud is anorexic. No wonder she can't get pregnant! And listen to this other one with the smoker's cough sucking down the coffee; her man looks healthy enough but they don't stand a chance with what that girl's doing to her body. The duds by the window? She's clearly over forty.

I knew I should be ashamed of myself; do I want my child to be a judgmental ass the way I am, looking at total strangers and rejecting them them as "duds" in my head to make myself feel better about my own inadequacies?

Then we saw a beautiful couple, younger than we are, the picture of all-American vitality. I felt so much better after I saw them. They looked like the kind of people who never have anything go wrong for them. It made me feel better having them in our pool of duds, knowing that not all of us are so easy to point at and diagnose as being infertile because of natural selection. Maybe we're just impatient. Maybe we're "special". Maybe the things that are right with us are more important than whatever is wrong. Or maybe nothing was "wrong" with the perfect breeder couple. Maybe they're only in the big city for the holiday weekend before he heads off to war and is just banking some sperm for the love of his life to use in case he dies or gets his nuts blown off in Iraq. Who knows?

Last night after my nervous, bitchy anxiety mini-attack over stupid things (worrying about being late, worrying about driving, grinding my teeth with resentment over the shitty timing of things and the potential of missing one of the few things I love doing with a large group of strangers: watching fireworks) I had another attack, this one of self-loathing. Am I ready to be a parent when I deal so poorly with such tiny monkey wrenches being thrown into my plans? How would I feel if I had a kid who acted as ridiculously as I act? I'm going to screw my kid up by being a tense little asshole! No wonder I can't get pregnant!! BECAUSE I'M A FUCKING SHITHEAD!!! I should stop now before I create new life just to ruin it with my craziness!

But then it was morning and I didn't feel like an asshole anymore and good songs came on the radio while we were driving. Cowboy Junkies version of "Sweet Jane" off the Trinity Session at 5:53 am was surely a sign as was "Closer to Fine" on the way home. I can't believe there was a huge time in my life where I could sing along to that entire song without choking up and crying.

*****

The doctor stood there with the sealed envelope and told us it contained our report with Delia's sperm analysis. Even though we know her sperm is good, it was like fucking Oscar night or something waiting for him to rip it open and tell us if we were winners, especially since she shot a big load just day before yesterday: 36 million and some other numbers I didn't catch. They never tell you what is average or what would be considered superstud strength, they only tell you they're looking for a number over 10 million.

It was the same doctor who did my HSG (I thought I blogged about that, but I guess I didn't -- oops) so I felt comfortable that I was in good hands. He showed me the catheter and explained what he'd be doing. Of course I expected cramps, especially since I couldn't take any anti-inflammatory meds this time, but things started getting tense when he had to throw the catheter into the sink and get another one. More poking and cramping that felt like it HAD to be penetration and another catheter thrown in the sink as he explained that it had no bearing on my ability to get pregnant, but that my cervix is angled, ACUTELY angled (because of my tipped uterus), in such a way that it just makes his job a wee bit harder. Before he threw the third catheter in the sink he showed me how the soft tip simply bent over when being confronted with my cervix. Finally with the fourth catheter he got it threaded in all the way and shot me up with Delia's specially washed sperm. We stayed in the exam room with me lying on my back for the recommended fifteen minutes to allow the sperm to swim up my tubes and I wished we'd brought our cameras because we could have shot some gyn porn or at least behind the scenes footage all that time. I was tempted to steal one of the catheters and our syringe, but worried we'd get "caught" and be thought of as freaks even though it's all just garbage and we PAID for that garbage. Oh well.

I'm feeling mildly crampy and uncomfortable tonight, but I don't know if that's the after-effects of the IUI or general ovulation crampiness heightened by the Clomid which can get bad enough that it wakes me up at night. Anyway, it's not exactly painful right now, just vaguely sore, tender and tight-feeling.

Now we've got another two week wait.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Again with the Not Pregnant!

Even with all our machinations I am NOT PREGNANT.

Took a test this morning: NEGATIVE. Period started a few hours later. It's disappointing, but a lot less stressful than some cycles simply because we knew when I ovulated which means we knew when my period was due and it came exactly on time so there wasn't any guessing or unusually lengthy, drawn-out wait.

Our plan for this fresh cycle is to do another round of Clomid (starting on Saturday, assuming the doctor calls my prescription in on time) and try an intrauterine insemination (IUI) this time. We may or may not do a few other things, too (more tests, more drugs, etc.). We'll see what happens . . .

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Moon Phases

I confess to being superstitious about moon phases in our conception attempts; I want the moon to be WAXING (getting fuller) while we're trying to conceive and when implantation happens. The waxing moon is the time to plant, that's all.

Of course, when you have a totally unpredictable cycle that stretches on for six weeks and doesn't/has rarely ever come close to syncing up with the rhythm of the moon it's hard to get everything lined up. Obviously I'm not so superstitious or strange that we haven't tried to get pregnant even if the moon was waning when I ovulated and after, but I have definitely felt more hopeful and happy when the moon phase was "right".

And it was "right" this cycle, I think. The moon was new/dark a couple days before I ovulated, which means it was waxing when I ovulated and, if all went well, when the egg would have been fertilized and then later implanted. The moon is full right now and if my period is going to come, it's due tomorrowish. Naturally I hope it doesn't come. And if it doesn't/if I'm pregnant, I will probably partly attribute it to the moon.

That and the Clomid. And the Instead cups and Robitussen tricks. Every little bit helps, right?

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

One Down, One to Go

We're in the middle of another two week wait; my period is due on June 19th so we should find out around then whether or not our conception attempts succeeded this time around.

I took five 50 mg (the starter amount) doses of Clomid; this is the first cycle we've done anything medical to boost fertility. Without knowing whether or not it helped/worked in terms of conception, I do at least know that it made me ovulate on a normal schedule and we won't have another 7 week cycle/torture/waste of time. That is already a huge load off my mind.

We also tried one other new trick I read about online: inserting an Instead cup after fucking to keep my cervix soaked in as much cum as possible for as long as possible. We did that two or three times, with one of them being a whole overnighter, but the first time being something of a botched attempt since I jumped the gun and tried to awkwardly insert the fucker too soon, losing mass quantities to the hairy crevice of my ass. Whatever. It still seems like a pretty damned good idea, in theory at least.

Anyhoo, we're right around the time when I should be experiencing implantation if an egg did get fertilized. I'm very hopeful, as usual during the cycles when I'm sure I ovulated. I'm afraid that when we went to eat today that the newb waitress forgot to give me decaf, though. With this going on, every little mistake like that is something that makes me kick myself later when I get a BFN (big fat negative) on pregnancy tests. I will totally blame it on the waitress and 1.5 cups of coffee if things don't pan out this cycle.

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

To Test or not to Test?

Today or tomorrow is about the earliest I can do an early pregnancy test (its directions say up to five days before your period is due), but I think I'm going to try to wait a couple more days. It's too hard seeing a negative and not knowing if it's because I'm really not pregnant or if I just tested too early.

In the beginning we videotaped my early morning pee tests to try to get the exciting moment saved for posterity. After about ten negative attempts (some within the same cycle, so not ten months) I just couldn't handle burning up more tape on the same sad results. Dragging out the camcorder over and over again to witness myself failing to accomplish the most basic human function added a layer of repetitive humiliation and depression to an already stressful task so I really had to stop. It was horrible waking Delia up for my early morning pee, both of us heading to the bathroom, cranking up the little motor on the Canon and having to both sit around waiting to preserve our disappointment forever on digital video. Even though the footage is still good for pee lovers, it got real old for me real fast.

Deciding whether or not to videotape and/or otherwise share our precious and pathetic moments on our sites is always a challenge for us, but even more so with trying to conceive and share (plus eroticize) a pregnancy. Documenting and sharing it seems even more valuable since it's a once-in-a-lifetime (or maybe twice-in-a-lifetime) experience, but for the same reason it's also important to preserve enough of our experiences AWAY from cameras so that we can just feel what's happening without being photographers/models/subjects/whores and without altering the experience by adding those elements to it.

If I am going to have negative results (which I've had a lot of in the past nine months) I can handle waking up by myself and doing the test, then telling Delia when she wakes up that it was negative. It becomes harder and I feel more like a loser when she gets up with me and watches/waits with me for the results. And it would be EVEN MORE DIFFICULT if I had promised members to tape it and had to keep sharing the bad news. Over and over again. And maybe never "deliver" (in more ways than one). Which is why I didn't promise that, and why I started just testing without even telling Delia.

I realize that being infertile wouldn't make me a "failure" or a "loser". I realize I "shouldn't feel that way". But the truth is that documenting things AMPLIFIES and ALTERS their emotional significance. That may not make rational sense to some people, but it's the reality. Events ARE impacted when they are observed.

Taping and testing. Not sure what to do about either of them this week. I'll decide tomorrow what I will do the next day. Or maybe tomorrow I will sneak into the bathroom by myself, pee in my glass, and dip the stick. And be the first person to know whatever it is or isn't or I'm not sure of -- the only one who knows what the test says for at least a few minutes.

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Monday, March 17, 2008

Two Week Wait

We're now a couple of days into another "two week wait" hoping to find out at the end of the month that we're pregnant. Here's a little update from a post I just made in my main blog:
We’ve had sex four mornings in a row hoping to fertilize the egg that I popped on Friday. Sunday morning was just for good measure ;). It really relaxed me so I went back into a blissful sleep afterwards, then got up and spent many hours doing housework. I’m not an efficient cleaning person because I get easily distracted and roam from room to room, but when I just allow myself to enjoy the process it’s actually really soothing to me. It was nice to get away from the computers and pay attention to our surroundings. While we are waiting to find out whether or not our conception attempt was successful I want things to be as calm and relaxing as possible and also focus my energy on grounding myself in my body and home. Peace is a state of being I usually have to work towards to achieve; I would like to practice more to get to the point where it comes more naturally. This is especially important now that I want to become a parent.

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

SEX tonight!

Delia hasn't shot a load since Monday and I just tested and still I'm not having my LH surge, so we're going to fuck tonight: both of us are jonesing for a good fuck. If my surge happens tomorrow then we'll do it again on Tuesday and it will still be enough abstinence for her to replenish her stores (plus have leftovers inside still from tonight).

We have read and heard a lot of contradictory information anyway about the effect of abstinence vs. frequent ejaculation on sperm count; supposedly it's not good for sperm count to wait this long, yet doing it every day or more often is not good either; while some people discount that, we have been trying for months and perhaps been overdoing it, so even just skipping one day will be an improvement over what we've been doing. Judging from the variation of her sperm count with her deposits for freezing at the fertility clinic, though, I'd say abstaining three or four days might be better.

But who fucking knows for sure, right?

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

My First Appointment with a Fertility Expert

We made the trek to the fertility clinic on Tuesday for me to be seen this time instead of Delia going to the lab area to bank sperm.

For my first appointment we chatted, of course, and the doctor performed a transvaginal ultrasound (she slid a long, lubed-up, dildo-like transducer into my vag, rather than rolling one over my abdomen because of the placement of my non-pregnant uterus). The good news is that my uterus and ovaries look healthy and normal (though she did exclaim that my uterus is "tipped WAY back", but I already knew that and it isn't supposed to have any bearing on whether or not I'm fertile). She angled the transducer to one side to show me one ovary and then the other (with lots of black dots on each showing the competing egg sacs/follicles). I meant to ask for a picture (to scan and post here), but I forgot; the procedure didn't take long at all, but it was a relief to see that at least there's nothing obviously wrong with my ovaries or uterus. The doctor did a great job of gracefully inserting her tool into me, but no -- having a woman doctor penetrate me with her big long wand wasn't a sexy experience for me (though I could certainly concoct a fantasy based on the experience that COULD be sexy).

Of course she reassured us that trying for six months is not a very long time at all so not to worry; I'm still young (relative to the women she usually treats) but she understood that part of our hurry is that Delia's transition is on hold while she puts off starting hormones to maintain her own fertility so we can get pregnant. The doctor was really cool about that and asked (in a casual, personal, "I'm fascinated" way) to know more about when she decided to transition, expressing her admiration for the strength it must have taken to resolve to do that. This probably sounds like a cheesy after school special scene, but it wasn't.

She explained the steps they would usually take during my next cycle if we don't get pregnant this month; long story short, they'll test whether or not my tubes are blocked and depending on whether they are or they're not, they'll put me on hormones then we can also come back and get intrauterine insemination so that they inject the sperm right into my uterus. Apparently the chance of having twins is 5-8% with the hormones and 1% for triplets. Personally I think that is more of a risk than I want to take right now, but it's not quite as bad as I thought it would be.

We haven't really had time to decide whether or not (or when) we'll go that route, and my thoughts on that are grist for other blog entries when I'm not so pressed for time.

*****

I'm hopeful that this cycle will be THE ONE where we do it naturally; we've only been using the ovulation predictor test strips for two cycles, and may have been overdoing it with the fucking, reducing our chances of conception by screwing four of five days in a row and too early. This time we will wait until my LH surge happens and fuck the next day (there are a couple of reasons we weren't doing it this way before; again, grist for a different blog entry).

My LH levels seem to be picking up, so I won't be surprised if we get our chance tomorrow or within a few days. Delia hasn't shot a load since Monday so the sperm should be hearty and numerous.

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Sunday, December 2, 2007

Surge & Sperm

After this many months of trying, I ordered fifty ovulation predictor test strips to test twice a day during my November cycle. During October I got a pack of five Accu-Clear tests at the grocery store; they were so expensive, and for someone like me with an unpredictable cycle it wasn't enough to detect anything.

This time around I read more about how the tests work and when the surge of luteinizing hormone is detectable in urine (RARELY in the morning, FYI). Three weeks after the first day of my period, I got positive results (bottom two strips; the line on the left has to be DARKER than the control line on the right):

ovulation predictor positive results

Those third & fourth strips from the top were from the afternoon and evening of November 23rd, so I should have ovulated that day or the next. Some people say that by the time you detect the LH surge in your urine (hours after the actual surge), it's on the late side to have sex because the sperm will have too far to travel to get to the egg in time, so you should actually be fucking in the days preceding the surge. Fortunately we DID fuck the days before.

Delia shot a huge stored-up load in me on the 21st, and another giant one on the 22nd (Thanksgiving), plus one on the 23rd (the day of the positive test results) and the 24th. On Thanksgiving I FELT like I was ovulating (and the test results were getting a teensy bit darker), and we got really excited that day and the next, as excited and hopeful as we've been about it since we started trying to conceive. REALLY excited and positive, to the point where we BELIEVED it "took", and not just that it took, but that it will be a girl.

I think it makes a big difference emotionally when you get positive results on tests. SEEING those dark lines on my pee sticks made me feel certain my body is working properly. Also, Delia had her sperm tested and they're normal (she's done two deposits at the fertility clinic which they've been able to harvest into a number of vials for freezing: four the first time and I'm not sure how many the second time).

Now, over a week later, I feel PMSy. It just started today but I feel a little edgy and impatient. Night before last I dreamed that my period started; I inspected the cloth dotted with the blood that came out of me and tried to be positive, telling myself it was implantation bleeding, but there were shreds of tissue and too much blood for me to believe it was anything but my period. I also woke up from a bad dream this morning; my dreams get more active and scary when my period's on its way, so I feel . . . . blah. I'm trying not to feel hopeless, but I feel a little depressed. You want to ascribe meaning to every imagined "symptom": Is my pussy wetter than usual? I believe it is! I MUST BE PREGNANT! Am I crankier than I was yesterday? Yeah, for sure -- I MUST *NOT* BE PREGNANT! I'm not hungry for chocolate -- I COULDN'T POSSIBLY BE HAVING PMS SO I MUST BE PREGNANT!! I'm agitated and horny -- I MUST BE HAVING PMS, THEREFORE I AM NOT PREGNANT!!

One other good thing about getting positive results for LH surge on the ovulation prediction tests is that at least I know exactly when my period is due this way: FRIDAY. Things should be more obvious to me in a few days, and if my period doesn't start or feel like it's going to start on Friday, I'll take a pregnancy test on Saturday, December 8th. If it's positive, I'll let everyone know!

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Latest, in a Nutshell

After four of my notoriously unpredictable cycles, whether or not I'm fertile is still up in the air; I haven't gotten pregnant yet.

I'm extremely sick of fucking in the missionary position every day and lying there trying retain spooge for blocks of time afterwards. It was sweet for awhile, but it's getting to be a boring obligation.

Delia is getting her sperm tested and frozen on Thursday. I never thought I'd be considering doing anything "artificial" to get pregnant, but I'm giving us a special dispensation to say "fuck it" to my old rules.

On the other hand, I'm of two minds: attached to being childless, and attached to wanting to have one. I'm up in the air about it and ready to just give it a bit of a rest for a few months.

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Love Making

We had sex for the first potentially-fertile time on Thursday. It was probably too early, but still . . . we were both aware that it was purposeful sex aimed towards the specific consequence of conception.

Things I'm embarrassed to admit:

I found myself trying to concoct fantasies in my head that weren't as kinky as my usual fantasies during sex. I tried to imagine "healthy" fantasies. What kind of fantasies are you supposed to have when you're making a baby? Lines kept running through my head like, we are having grown-up sex. This is how adults do it. I kept being nagged by the awareness that somehow what we were doing was suddenly a touch foreign to me.

On the other hand, it was very romantic and lovey-dovey sex. Here's what a voyeur had to say about it:
You and tucker look so hot together . . . everybody on chat was talking about you. I added that you have the hottest body . . . Tucker was hot too, he's cool. It wasn't really sex to me, it was love making there, true love making . . . it was beautiful.
Isn't that sweet? I guess the romance was apparent, maybe because we both had big shit-eating grins on our faces.

Of course, that particular voyeur didn't have audio so he couldn't hear the naughty fantasy I confessed aloud to reverting to. I actually don't even remember what it was now, but maybe some other peepers heard it. Something about me being Delia's daddy, I think.

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