Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Era of Peeing

As you can probably tell, I am a stress ball about certain things…okay most things.  The other day, L said she was stressed, which is a rare occurance, so then I got stressed.  I got stressed about carrying a baby during the busy season at my job and that the stress would not be good.  L says, “don’t be stressed about possible future stress”.  Okay, she is right, how dumb is that.

On another note, the Clear Blue test kit needs to start when your period starts.  This would have been good for our Dr. to inform us of, but alas, now we have a test kit a month early.  So, we went and got a plain jane ovulation kit.  The era of peeing on things begins.  Just to explain what I am calling the era of peeing, I now, get up at 6am and take my temp.  Then, I go and pee into a small plastic cup, which I think will only result in lots of peeing on my hands until I get good.  (L suggests that I can only get better at it….let’s hope so because when I pee into a cup for the OBGYN, it is always a mess.)  Moving right along, so then I take a stick and dip it in the pee for 10 seconds.  Then, after 5 minutes, a dark line apears according to hormonal levels.  If it is really dark, you are ovulating.  If it is really light, you are not.  There is a bar that you compare your pee bar to so you can tell.

Then, once I am ovulating, I call the Dr. and say, “Hey Doc, I’m ovulating” and then 24-36 hours after that, they sperm me up.  (ONE HIT WONDER, ONE HIT WONDER.  Sorry, it’s now a hopefull chant in my head:) ) Then, after a week I think,  I get the pleasure of peeing on a stick again.  This time, it is a “Preggie/not Preggie" stick.  If it does not take the first time, the process starts again.  Note also that I will be peeing on an ovulation stick for the next 10-20 days since I have not yet charted a full cycle.  So, more days than not for at least the next few months, I will be peeing on sticks…thus..The Era of Peeing begins tomorrow at 6am!  On that note, I better get to bed

Thursday, January 27, 2011

He Hates Our Unborn Baby

So pretty much everyone has been really supportive of our plans to have a baby.  We haven't told very many people yet, but still it's so nice to have everyone be so positive about the whole thing.  Everyone that is, except for this man.  This is Eric, our roommate's brother.  He doesn't mind being identified, so I don't feel bad about putting his name.  Eric told us all of the following things recently: that he will only be friends with us again once the baby has grown up, that the sperm donor we have picked out looks like a serial killer, and that we should name our future child Boom Chico.  I'm hoping that he is mostly kidding on these things, but you never know with Eric.  Also, he requested to be included in the blog, so here you go Eric!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Fun Stuff

I’m having a boring day at work today and thought that after my depressing post about how much money this is costing us, I’d post something a bit happier.  So I scoured the internet looking for things that I’d like for our future baby.  S doesn’t really like looking at this sort of stuff (yet), but it’s been my favorite thing to walk down the baby isle at Target for like 5 years now.  So here are a few things to tickle your fancy.

First thing, I LOVE mobiles.  I love love love them.  I want tons of them and I’ve really wanted to try my hand at making them.  There are so many cute ideas out there that it’s just hard to pick.

I also really love the idea of wall decals.  They are pretty cool, just peel and stick on any wall and like magic, it’s transformed.  S and I really want to do some sort of forest themed nursery, and I love the little animals the trees in the top left decal.  I also like the idea of having a Dr. Seuss quote up on one of the walls, but I’m not sure which one I like better, they are both so cute!

I also want to make sure that my kid is awesome.  I think that cool coloring books are so the way to go, there are too many lame Barney coloring books out there.  I’d like my kid to start to have some culture right away.  That includes music.  Did you know that there is a whole ton of different CDs that have lullaby versions of awesome music?  I love the idea of Radiohead and there is also one for The Cure!  How cool is that?  And in keeping with all of the animal stuff, the whale goes over the spout in the bathtub, which is not only cute but also keeps the wee ones from bumping their tiny heads.

I also love to look at baby clothes.  I love the ‘business bib’.  I  think it is so cute.  S and I saw a onesie (or is it onezee?) the other day that was a fake tux, I love stuff like that.

And lastly, something for S and something for the baby once she/he is a little older.  I love the can’t touch this shirt for S while she is pregnant.  Not only is it funny, but also, who wants strangers touching them all of the time?  And I love the Jane Goodall t, it’s important to have good role models/heros in your little ones life.
Hope you enjoyed!

Got My Mind on My Money (And My Money On My Mind)

Money is weighing heavy on my mind right now.  How to afford to get S pregnant?  It’s already expensive to have a baby the ‘traditional’ way, but as a lesbian, there are so many hidden fees that you wouldn’t expect.  Here is a list of money that either has been or will be spent in this process:
$250 for access to the donor info on California Cryobank, good for 3 months
$465-685 price for donor sperm- price varies according to ‘type’ as in for IUI or ICI and is more if the donor is open vs. anonymous- also note that this is just for one IUI or ICI procedure and that a lot of people (if they can afford it) do this 2-3 times within a 48 hour time span just to make sure they don’t miss ovulation (or the big O as it is referred to on TTC websites).
$200 for Clear Blue Ovulation kit plus test strips and 3 pregnancy tests
$400 for IUI insemination at our doctor’s office
$30 co-pay for preconception visit and any subsequent visits to OB/GYN
$25 in books including The Ultimate Lesbian Guide to Pregnancy and What to Expect Before You’re Expecting
$125-275 for Sperm shipping, depending on the day of the week and how fast it needs to be sent i.e.- 5 day, 2 day, overnight etc.
$12 for one month of prenatal vitamins
$10 for Basal thermometer
$3 for Decaf Green Tea
$9 for Green Tea mug
And I’m sure that there are other costs that I’m forgetting, but what I have listed is enough to make your head spin!  The good news is that we aren’t starting this (probably) until our credit card debt is paid off.  And once we have that paid off we have about $1300 a month that we can budget towards these costs, so this is do-able, but costly.  

I’m including in this post a few pictures of S with some of our purchases- Basal thermometer, Prenatal Vitamins, Green Tea and mug.  Her face has been censored by her request due to her fear about work finding out about this.  S, unfortunately, works for a company that doesn’t really understand the whole work/life balance concept and frowns upon their employees getting pregnant.  Weird, eh?  Especially in this day and age.  So until she is too pregnant to hide it, we are doing all of this under a veil of secrecy.  That means that if you read this blog that you are either a.) a very dear and trusted friend/family member or b.) a total stranger who doesn’t know us and most importantly, where S works.

S is going to be such a good momma!  She has taken so many steps already to prepare herself for this process and today is no exception.  She scheduled a dentist appointment for this afternoon to get her teeth cleaned and checked out, that way if she does need any dental work done, they can do it now while they can still do x-rays on her and what not.  And she also has an appointment for next week with our general doctor to get a physical to make sure she is in the best shape she can be for this process.  Not to mention her healthy eating, walking, vitamins and whatnot.  Now I need to get on the bandwagon as well and start getting myself ready for this.  I want to be a fit, healthy, debt free momma!

Monday, January 24, 2011

So many Drs.

The wife and I keep taking steps toward pregnancy.  I think we are both sooo excited right now we just want to order sperm and give it a whirl.  I am currently on my period, which means that I may be 14 days away from ovulation.  You ovulate 14 days before your period, so between Basil and the ovulation kits I just ordered, we can pin it down this month if we want to.  We are unsure if we are going to do that or not.  I am about to call the sperm bank to see what needs to be set-up just so we know.

Today, I got up and called 4 different Drs.  I set up a dentist appointment since they want to do Xrays and such, I need to to do that before we start trying to conceive.  I called the OBGYN to ask about insemination being on insurance.  She doesn’t know and will get back to me in 3-5 business days.  Lame, I want to know now!  Without insurance, it is $400 a try, which means the sperm will be $700-$800 a try and then the added $400…it will be an expensive process.  I then called my general Dr to get a physical.  Everyone thinks I am diabetic due to my urination, so I will have blood drawn to see.  It would ruin my current birthing plans if I got gestational diabetes, so it is important to find out. Plus, I am just due for a physical, so I figured I should have one done.  I then called the birthing center to see if that was covered on insurance.  I know it is jumping the gun, but I want all the ducks I can control in a row before we actually become pregnant.  If with all my ducks marching happily forward, there are still a lot of things that can change, so I want them marching so I don’t feel like I have no control.  Because, as all of you know, I am a control freak;)

L and I went to get Decaffeinated Green Tea yesterday.  I read on a site that you up your chances of conceiving 10% by drinking it.  I was about to buy Fertili-tea, but it contains caffeine and I don’t see the point in starting to drink caffeine when I never did before.  So, I compromised and got the Green Tea.  Something about the antioxidants are good.  Either way, can’t hurt.

Here are the “Baby Steps” I am taking:  I quit smoking a few years back.  One of the hardest things I have ever done.  I smoked cigarettes for 10 years and still miss it, but know I can never have a puff again or I will be a smoker.  I just tell myself it is not worth it.  Currently, I am getting up at 6am every morning and taking my temp, drinking a cup of Green Tea and taking pregnancy vitamins everyday.  I am walking 4 times a week and cutting back on sweets.  The sweets part is the hardest, but the wife brought home boxes of Girl Scout Cookies the other day and out of the whole box, I only had 2.  Pretty rockin for me.  I have stopped drinking completely, not that I did all the time, but would with friends on the weekend, and I have also stopped taking allergy meds.  I am not sneezing that much or snotty, so ATX is working with me on that one:)  I have for the past few days taken IBProufin for my period pain, but I will not be trying to inseminate while I am bleeding, so I think it will be okay.

I know it all seems like little things, but they are what I can do now to make for a good pregnancy.  I am also going to look into acupuncture for fertility depending on if our insurance covers insemination and such.  The only drawback I see with it is money.  They want you to come in once a week and it is $70/session.

Well, that is all for now.  More later….I am going to still keep thoughts of being a One Hit Wonder in my head because as rooms said, “you gotta think positive.  think baby thoughts”.  This pessimist will try:)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

One Hit Wonder

I just purchased a Clear Blue ovulation kit that was packaged with the monitor, 30 test strips and 3 pregnancy tests.  Very exciting!  This whole thing is crazy really.  We could try to become preggie next month.  The percentages are not very promising.  Even under the best of circumstances, you only have an 10-20% chance of pregnancy.  Jeez.  That’s just not much.  With fertility drugs, you go up to a 20-25% chance.  Still not very high.  I really want to be a one hit wonder, but it appears that it might take quite a bit to get there.  With all this prepping, I feel like I am already preggie!  Yet, the hardest part of trying is yet to come.  I really don’t think I could stand to try for a year.  I hope it is an easy take, but I am torn on whether to get excited and go, “I’m going to be a One Hit Wonder!” or just play it cool and look at the facts that it could take up to a year.  I keep telling people that it could take up to a year and they keep saying, “or it could take the first time”.  If only…..
I think I will just daydream about being pregnant until it happens.  Until then, I will be buying weird stuff like strips to pee on a few times a month and a thermometer I have to use every morning.

Exciting Day!

**We thought that this was deleted but it isn’t!**

We had a very exciting day yesterday!  L took off the day to join me for the drs. appointment I had with the OBGYN to ask questions and what they called a “pre-preggie visit”.  So, I made an appointment to also go and tour the South Austin Birthing Center before my appointment.  The most exciting part is the Birthing center.  I have been following them while it was constructed around the corner from our house.  They just opened in December and it is beautiful!!  I walked in and turned to L and said, “this is where I want to give birth”!  She was totally conviced by the place too.  They have and Art Room and a Music Room.  Both of which had an amazing bathtub they said you can use when you are preggie and have a hard day.  Sweet!  The fees also include free preggie yoga, all your pre-birth check ups, and 6 weeks of post pardum care.  The people there were so nice!

My drs. appointment was fine, but not exciting.  She answered all my questions and took some blood, but seemed to think we were jumping the gun I think.  I thought she would do a whole pre-preggie diagnositic, but she just answered some questions and let us go on our way.  I did pee in a cup, which is harder than it sounds, and they did draw blood, which may have scarred me for life.  I will post the pic.  It looks like a dog ran up and ravaged my arm.  It is nuts what a poor job she did. 

The most surprizing part of the whole visit was that both places seemed to not have worked with lesbians before.  I am not surprized by the OBGYN, but Birthing Center was not sure how it worked to become preggie for lesbians.  I was just as surpirzed by the fact that they had never really worked with lesbians as they were to find two lesbians touring the facility pre-conception. 

Then, we came home and narrowed our seach of donars down to 3! 

All in all, we are well on our way to becoming preggie!!  A very exciting day for us!!  I came home and rooms said it felt like I was already preggie and I totally agree.  All this is making me really, really excited now.  I am over my nervousness (for now) and onto being ready to be knocked up!!!!

First Offical Apointments

Poor S, she wrote a blog about our day yesterday just a few minutes ago and then it accidentally got deleted.  So I will have to inform you about our day because she is going to bed now.

The appointment with the OB/GYN wasn’t too exciting.  We got alot of important questions answered about CMV and RH and all that sort of stuff.  She took blood and urine from S to test for a few things- can’t remember what exactly now they were all testing for.  When taking blood they managed to mangle S’s arm pretty badly.  As you can see from the picture on the left, it is nasty looking.  This picture really doesn’t do it justice.

One very sad thing she told us is that from basically now til the baby is born, I am in charge of scooping/changing the litter in the cat box.  Ugh.  I hate doing this so much.  Those cat-holes can make a real stink and normally we just take turns doing it each once a week.  I told S she would owe me 9 months of scooping once this was all over and she told me that “I’m growing a baby for you, so I don’t think I’m going to owe you any thing.”  OK fine, I’ll do it, but everyone should note that I a doing this under protest.

At the OB/GYN they will do the insemination there if we do an IUI insemination, but it is $400 for them to do it unless S’s insurance will cover it, which we should find out about next week.  Seems a little pricey considering it is just sticking a tube up in her and ejecting semen in her uterus.  Is this is sort of thing that if the insurance doesn’t cover it, we should call around town to other OB/GYN’s?  I mean, $400 is really going to add up when you think about how much money we will already be spending on the actual sperm and the shipping fees and the cryo-tank fees and the cryobank website (which reminds me, we ended up picking the California Cryobank) fees and blah blah blah.

Our other appointment was to tour the South Austin Birthing Clinic, which was awesome.  I was a little bit apprehensive about S’s desires to have a natural childbirth not in a hospital, but after seeing this place and taking to them, I am convinced it is the right thing for us.   This picture is of the front entrance.  There is also this beautiful reception area AABCS-SK-Clinic-Waiting-682x1024.jpg, but the best part is the rooms. Each of the rooms has a great big bed and a giant bath tub and a huge walk in shower with a big built in bench.  We were able to see two of the rooms, the music themed room and the art themed room but there was a lady giving birth (!) in the third room, which is apparently folk themed.  We both loved the art room best but the music room is cool too.  Here are both of those rooms:            

They provide pretty much everything you need once you get pregnant.  All of your monthly/weekly pregnancy check ups, the delivery and then 6 weeks of care after the baby is born.  All of this is just $4,000 without insurance and will of course be less if our insurance will cover any of it.  Hopefully we will be finding that out next week as well.  Also they had really good info on what sort of pregnancies they can and can’t handle and when they would take you to the hospital and what sort of drugs they could give out.  And only your midwife and whoever else you’d like will be in the room at the time of delivery, so there isn’t a crowd of strangers hovered around you.  I think that is nice.

So much progress!  There are more things to tell, but it will have to wait for another time.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Finding The ONE

Finding the right sperm donor is a pretty crazy process.  We started looking a few weeks ago and there are so many choices that your head starts to spin after looking at just a few.  First off, it’s hard to decide which website to use.  There are dozens of sites and each one has different donors, different info available for free and different info available for $, the sperm varies in prices along with shipping, there are different things to search by like eye color, hair color, size, weight, ethnic background, etc.  So much variation, so much to decide.  And what is important to us about our baby's sperm donor?  We have decided that all we really care about is blue eyes and yes to previously reported pregnancies.  We’d also like someone who is funny, smart, kind, and doesn’t seem like a big douche bag.  Not too much to ask for, right?
We’ve narrowed it down to two different websites, California Cryobank and Fairfax Cryobank.  They both have a good selection and have lots of interesting stuff you can see about the donors.  I’m leaning towards the California Cryobank, mostly because they post with each person what their “Celebrity” look-a-likes are, and I think that is really funny and really interesting.  I also feel like I’ve been into more of their donors than on the Fairfax site, but on the Fairfax site on some of the donors you can see what they call “lifetime” photos of the donor which includes baby pictures, kid/teenage pictures and an adult picture.  Plus they ask all of the donors what is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you and one guy put that he once saw a squirrel slap a pigeon and that made us laugh so hard that he is now my favorite over all between both sites.  Is that a good enough reason to pick someone?  Probably not, but after a while it seems like any one of them would work just fine.  

And even in picking out a donor, there is so much to know.  Like first off, S doesn’t know her blood type.  And we certainly don’t know if she is RH+ or RH- or her CMV status or really what either of those even mean.  And then there is the question of using ICI or IUI sperm.  ICI is something that you can do at home where the sperm is just put in close to the cervix and IUI is typically something that would be done at a doctor’s office because it has to go through the cervix and into the uterus.  We would prefer to do the ICI first and then try the IUI if that’s not successful, depending on the opinions of our doctor. 

Speaking of doctor, we have two very exciting appointments tomorrow.  Tomorrow at 12 we are taking a tour of the South Austin Birthing Center and then at 1:45 S has an appointment at her OB/GYN for a preconception check up to make sure we are good to go on the physical end of things and also so we can ask some questions like the stuff I listed above plus to find out about her insurance coverage on this.  And I was able to get off work, so I'll be able to go to both apointments.  Nice.

It’s all very exciting and seems to be moving fast.  S tends to get freaked out if we look too far into the future, for example I want to go look at cribs and pick out a name, while she can’t handle much more than 45 minutes worth of looking at potential sperm donors.  By the way, this is our list of possible names so far, in no particular order:
Skyler (which I HATE, but S loves, so I’m being forced to consider it further)

So that’s all for so far, I’m sure after the tour and doctor’s apointment there will be more to tell.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Day 2

Day 2:
So, I set the alarm and woke up at 6am on my last day of vacation and took my temp.  It was 95.97 degrees.  Which, means I rushed it.  So, we will try again tomorrow.  
How we finally came to the place where we can have a baby.  The wife and I have been baby crazy for a while.  I myself have been baby crazy since I was 15 yrs. old.  Once my body was okay to make babies, it wanted one.  Hence, I have never had sexual intercourse with a man.  I always felt that if I did, I would have an instant baby and as much as my body wanted one, I logically did not.  15 yr olds should not have babies.  That is my personal opinion.  
We have been talking for a while about just trying.  Everyone alway say, “there’s no right time to have babies”.  I always say back, “There has to be a time better than now.”  When we were living paycheck to paycheck, I think that it was a little rushed.  Now that I make good money, I was working on paying off our debt so that we could start with no credit card debt.  We both paid off our cars last year and I don’t have any student loans, so the only debt we would have is the wife’s student loans and the house.  The house is totally affordable, so I don’t see that being a problem.
We were about 6 months away from having it all paid off when my mom came for a visit.  Without provacation, she cut me a $5,000 check and said to use it for babies.  To me, that means paying off the rest of the debt because then, we are a go.  That means, We will have all our debt paid off in 3 months.  Which means, baby time is a go in 3 months.  Whoa, how did that happen??  I thought we would never get to the point.  We kept saying, we had a 5 year plan.  We did that for about 6 years and then we had a 1.5 year plan that lasted a few and now we are here.
I am uber excited, cause like I said, I have been wanting for a baby for almost 15 years now, but I am also uber terrified.  Why, you ask am I scared...well I am a little neurotic.  Here are the things going thru my mind:
  1. The Wife and I have such a great relationship, what if trying to have a baby or having a baby changes all that?
  2. What if I cannot conceive or have a bunch of miscarrages?
  3. What if my baby does not come out okay?
  4. What if I am an awful mother?  The one thing I have always wanted and I am awful at it?!?!!?
  5. What if I lose my job and then have to support myself and a child on The Wife’s wages?
  6. How will the kid learn to walk on tile floors?
  7. What if they kid hates animals and we have 2 cats and 2 dogs?
  8. What if I get incredibly fat during pregnancy?
  9. What if I get gestational diabetes during pregnancy.
So on and so forth.  All these terrifying questions.  I do take some comfort in the fact that I am surly not the only one to think these things.  They seem like very likely and typical fears.  We are in a depression right now and what scares me is money.  I have always been obsessed with money and having a kid seems expensive and my job is not as stable as I would like.  
So, all these things running thru my mind and I cannot even take my temp right.  Well, here we go….

Day One- Basil

We took our first steps to pregnancy. We bought a Basal thermometer. Just so you know, it is Bah-sal (like a sheep), not like the herb. It is a specific thermometer that takes temps to the tenth of the degree. This is important, for all you non fertility seekers, because there is a dip and then a spike when the egg is dropped. I am to chart my temp at the same time every morning without moving before I do it. I asked the wife if she would just stick the thing in my mouth when my alarm goes off and she is not down with that. so, I will set an alarm for 6am every morning and do it and write it down and then either go off to work or go back to bed.

We also bought pregnancy vitamins. Actually called pre-natal vitamins. I complained about them because they make your hair and nails grow and mine already grow to fast for my liking. The wife said to, “cut the crap. I don’t want to hear about your nails and hair growing. It’s not like they will grow suddenly and you can’t leave the house because they are growing so fast.” Well, no, but it is a pain because I like my hair short and I have to get it cut all the time as it is.
So, I took my first pre natal vitamin. Okay, check, but then I wonder, if we are not trying for 3 months, why am I taking them now. The wife says it’s because I should be taking a vitamin anyways. Fine.

Then, I decide to “practice” with the thermometer. I take my temp and then read that I am to use rubbing alcohol to clean it. OH GOD WHAT HAVE I DONE. First step to pregnancy and I did it wrong. Damn. What if the thermometer has been put in a dog’s butt before I placed it into my mouth. Aw jeez. So, I run to the bathroom and rinse my mouth with mouthwash. There, better. Now I try to wash the thermometer(which I from here on will name Basil) with hydrogen peroxide, which is not rubbing alcohol I am informed. Epic fail for step one. Me and Basil have to get better at this if I am to ever become preggie!!

That’s all for now. I will write more of a how did we get here and such moving forward. Day one of possibly trying to get preggie….done!

The beginning of Baby Mamas Drama

So the little lady and I want to have a baby.  The little lady is my wife.  We have been together for almost 9 years now and have been married for two years (not legally, you know how it is).  This is something that we have been dreaming about and thinking about for a long time and I think that we are ready to start working towards that.  So this blog will be a chronicle of sorts about our journey.  Both of us will be blogging about it.

Now I’ve been reading other trying to conceive blogs for a while now and I think that sometimes they can be a bit confusing.  There are so many abbreviations to know, like TTC is for trying to conceive and so many medical procedures and it can be mind blowing.  So I will attempt to clear up the process as best I can with my limited knowledge.  Our roommate the other day put it best, “By time you guys get done with this you will practically be doctors.”

So one of our first steps has been to pay off our credit card debit.  I can’t take much of the credit for this, most of the hard work has been done by the little lady.  Also with the help of her mother.  So now we are within about 3 months from being debit free- at least in the way of credit cards.  Our more exciting steps towards having a baby have been trying to pick out a sperm donor.  Now, we have decided to go through a sperm bank and not do a known donor, even thought that would be cheaper.  Legally it is just easier and makes the most sense to us.  There is so much to decide and pick from that the choice of who to pick can be a bit overwhelming.  Just picking which company can be a hard decision.  I’ll talk more about this later.

We are on our way to being baby mamas, and knowing us, there will probably be some funny drama along the way.  It’s going to be a wild ride.