Tag Archives: plans

Second Trimester and the Circle of Life

16 Nov

I honestly can’t believe how fast this pregnancy is flying. Two weeks ago we passed the halfway mark and it just blows my mind that this baby is half baked already! I am really starting to feel as though the pace has picked up and there are a lot more changes and decisions to start talking about so I really hope I can get my butt in gear and blog more to talk about them.

I started taking bump “progress” at 14 weeks. I never thought I’d be one of those women who felt fat instead of pregnant, but it happened. I’ve kind of gotten over that. So, here’s the roundup:

14-15 weeks: The baby is about the size of a  lemon…


How I’m Changing:

I had definitely begun to notice my changing belly and those that knew me definitely could too but to strangers, I still felt like I just appeared to have a gut. My tummy seemed to be smaller at the beginning of the day than it was by the end.

What I’m Eating:
MILK! I became just fine with leaving out the chocolate syrup and started downing at least a gallon of milk a week. Crazy part is that I had never liked milk. Realized that sugar was a big proponent of my acid reflux and so I tried to cut down on it as much as possible…with Halloween right around the corner. Great.

How I’m Feeling:
Waking up regularly between 2 and 3am began to lessen, which was good because even though I had started gaining my energy back, I really needed my sleep. Regular bed time became 9-9:30pm and I wouldn’t wake til 7am.

16-17 weeks: The baby is about the size of a  avocado…


How I’m Changing:
Total weight gain was at 10 pounds so far. I felt like I was starting to look pregnant and rounded out a good bit more those two weeks. Had to start shopping for a lot more clothes during these weeks because my regular work attire were really starting to become uncomfortable. Maternity pants are a godsend!

What I’m Eating:
Anything and everything! It seemed like I was always hungry and it meant the baby probably had a little growth spurt. I wanted more meat and protein and I woke up ravenous just about every morning.

How I’m Feeling:
I don’t cry easily but a few things had me wiping some tears away. I chalked it up to hormones…Sciatica kicked in and made me a little uncomfortable. I’ve been working with a chiropractor to keep me properly aligned and out of pain. I’ve noticed that when I exercise or do anything a little more strenuous than daily activity for more than an hour, I am not rebounding as quickly. Takes me about 2 days to not feel wiped out by it anymore. Felt some intermittent abdominal pain probably from my uterus stretching out and moving upward. The best part of these two weeks was feeling the flutters of the baby’s movement turn into kicks!

18-19 weeks: The baby is about the size of a sweet potato…

How I’m Changing:
Starting to feel like there’s more weight to my belly. When I work out, I notice that it kind of feels like there’s a bag of water sloshing around in there and it’s not always so comfy. My hips and back were definitely shifting and continuing to see the chiropractor helped a lot. I had to start sleeping with a pregnancy pillow or I would wake up in a lot of hip pain. Energy levels are still up though and I’m feeling VERY motivated to get things done around the house and be productive.

What I’m Eating:
My appetite returned a bit more back to normal and I had to be careful to avoid anything that would trigger my acid reflux. Still on the milk kick though and a big glass of that really seemed to help tame the beast.

How I’m Feeling:
Our childbirth classes started and I really like the instructor. It was so helpful talking to other couples and starting to work on our birth plan. Most of the couples in our class are also planning home births so that gave me a confidence boost and I felt a sense of renewal about our decision to take that path.

20-21 weeks: The baby is the size of a pomegranate…


How I’m Changing:
The belly is rounding out and protruding a little more. *Gasp* I’ve started to get a few stretch marks on the sides of my back, but none on my belly. My favorite part of the day is when Mrs. E lovingly rubs “belly butter” on me while she talks to the baby. Makes the stretch marks all worth it.

What I’m Eating:
Same stuff as the past few weeks only that I actually started to want a little more sugar, but it still doesn’t agree with me and triggers my reflux. Began trying to drink even more water throughout the day but it’s hard cause I feel like I have to run to the bathroom every 30 minutes.

How I’m Feeling:
Started experiencing some abdominal cramping and wasn’t sure if I might have gotten a bladder infection but I started pumping myself full of cranberry juice and vitamin C just in case.  My general practitioner seemed to think that it might be Braxton Hicks contractions starting already. Yikes!

Overall, I feel pretty lucky and as though I’ve had a pretty smooth pregnancy so far. I feel good and pretty much any problem I’ve had has an easy remedy. I continued to be adjusted by the chiropractor to keep my sciatica at bay and I have added in some massage too. That actually really hurts but my muscles are forming some pretty fierce knots as my body adjusts. I’m fine with the “upkeep” of all these things and hope it keeps me ahead of any severe discomfort for a while longer.

The awesome thing about our 20th week was that we had the anatomy scan and found out the gender of Sprout. It was so awesome to be able to see that little baby moving around on the monitor and be able to SEE what I’m feeling inside. Mrs E and my mom were there too and they were pretty shocked to see just how active the baby was. We didn’t have the tech tell us at the appointment (because we wanted to keep it a surprise for a while) and instead she wrote it in a card which we opened later in private to find out if we were having a boy or a girl. That day was probably my happiest since finding out that I was pregnant. We really don’t actually care what gender the baby is, as long as he or she is healthy but just knowing has really helped to feel even more connected to that little being growing inside me. I was walking on air!

Sprout at 21 weeks and 2 days

Unfortunately, our 21st week brought an onslaught of crap with it though and I definitely felt a difference in how I reacted to those things emotionally with all these ramped up hormones. The fact that we had been on such a high beforehand also brought us to a screeching halt. Mrs E’s Uncle passed away and we were close to him. He was sick and it was anticipated, but it still felt sudden. When we got the news, I could NOT STOP CRYING. It happened to me again at his funeral. Once I get going, it just feels impossible to shut off.  The fact that I feel like I didn’t have control of it, made it significantly worse. My grandfather is also having increasing issues with dementia and we had to move him to a nursing home and then our guinea pig died (he was 7). All of this in the same week really just felt like a lot. Mrs E’s family came into town and my family was also running around trying to secure my grandfather’s arrangements. It was just exhausting and I still feel as though we’re still recouping.

We had planned on having a gender reveal party last weekend to get everyone together and generate some excitement over Sprout, but we decided to delay it a week because there was just too much going on and we really wanted to relax and enjoy the celebration. So that’s where we are now. The gender reveal party is tomorrow and we have been delighted in seeing the excitement it has generated. We ordered a cake from an awesome local bakery and instructed them to color the cake pink or blue. The highlight of the party will be cutting into it and unveiling the gender of Sprout. We’ve known for almost two weeks now, so although we’ve gotten really good at playing the pronoun games we are more than ready to share. I’ve worked so hard to get ready for the party and will make a post on the reveal itself in a few days. If you follow me on twitter (@elyima), I plan to spill the news there right after we cut the cake too. I hope we get lots of good pictures and video though so I am hoping that will all make for a really cute next post alllllll about the details of the party.

In the midst of all the craziness, my parents bought the crib that we wanted and hopefully soon we can assemble that and get back to making progress on the baby’s room and the house. I promise some pictures of all of that when we get around to it too. Our nursery is painted and we have a rocker but otherwise, it’s looking pretty sad. Hopefully, not for long!



Time Flies When You’re In Your First Trimester

14 Sep

I can’t believe that today is the last day of my first trimester already! Tomorrow I will be 14 weeks pregnant and even though some of the sicker days felt achingly slow, those weeks overall seemed to fly past. We are past the greatest risk of losing the baby now and I have pretty much told everyone in our lives that we are going to be able to tell in person about our exciting news. I’m going to have to “come out” about the baby at work next week though, as I’m starting to feel like it’s getting too difficult to hide my bump for much longer. I only have so many baggy work clothes!

In the past few weeks we have taken time out to try to visit just about all of our family and close friends to announce the baby. Some knew we were trying, some didn’t and that made for a lot of shock and some lackluster reactions. My grandparents actually thought I was kidding when I told them, and (with the help of my Mom) it took about a week for it to “sink in” that we’re really having a baby. We announced to my step-father’s family at a labor day picnic to a table of 12 and only my aunt had a verbal reaction of “Oh, wow”. Otherwise, the news got less attention than a “please pass the potato salad”. You win some, you lose some I guess. Disappointment was our initial reaction to them, but we are not getting hung up on it and know that things will be different A) when I’m showing more and B) when the baby actually gets here. Our closest friends and family are really happy for us and that’s what we’re focusing on.

In the midst of all this, our house has been just buzzing with projects and preparations. No actual progress has been made on the baby’s room yet, but we have a lot of things we’d like to do to other areas of the house to get ready for Sprout’s arrival. We started in the kitchen a few weeks ago and repainted, hung a ceiling fan, new light over the sink and installed new counter tops….all in one weekend. We had the help of our donor and his boyfriend for some of it, but I am so grateful that Mrs. E is super handy around the house. She’s being very careful about what she will let me help with though. Thankfully, due to purchasing NO VOC paint I was able to still take on quite a bit. We have many more projects on the horizon so I’m sure we will continue to stay busy. This weekend we plan to paint the baby’s room and next week, we’re getting new carpeting installed on the 2nd floor of our house. All this and we haven’t even really started shopping for the baby yet. I imagine that fun will start soon 🙂

So here’s a recap about the pregnancy since my last update:

8-10 weeks: The baby was about the size of a grape…

How I’m Changing:
Holy BOOBS, Batman! I didn’t expect them to start growing so much so fast. They were pretty sore and I had to go buy new bras a cup size bigger already.

What I’m Eating:
I started having a very hard time eating salad. This was a problem because I love salad and eat at least one just about every day. It just didn’t feel appetizing at all. I did eat a lot of apples and watermelon. Lemon sorbet was a big hit and those things along with saltines were about all I could keep down. Acid reflux was strong and constant no matter what I ate.

How I’m Feeling:
Morning sickness hit me hard! I had some pretty severe bouts of nausea and vomiting and driving became and especially difficult task. I never got motion sick in the car but I certainly started to around week 8. I was also very tired and even with a nap after work, I was going to bed by 9pm every night. It’s pretty common for women to lose weight in their first trimester, and I was no exception. I lost about 4 pounds those 2 weeks. My sense of smell was also out of control. Scents that I didn’t care for became 100 times worse and I could stiff them out blocks away! We saw the Midwife and an OB in the 8th week and both totally fell in love with our Midwife and became set on a home birth…and have faced a lot of adversity for that decision. I actually stopped talking about it or answering questions regarding it with friends and family because I got tired of hearing “You’re nuts!”, “You must be kidding”, “Aren’t you scared?” or “Ok, we’ll see how that goes…”. It’s quite discerning to me that people aren’t trying to realize what a personal decision this is and how much time we’ve spent researching it. We remain confident in our choice.

11-12 weeks: The baby was about the size of a lime…

How I’m Changing:
I’m starting to notice a small bump, but it doesn’t quite seem noticeable to others yet…Unless I’ve just eaten, then it’s much more apparent. Pants are tight. By the end of the 12th week I wasn’t able to wear my normal jeans anymore without a belly band. My coworker had given me some of her maternity clothes but they were for summer months. I started wearing a few pieces here or there just to be more comfortable.

What I’m Eating:
Foods became palatable again as the morning sickness eased a bit more over these two weeks and I was able to enjoy a lot more variety again. Acid reflux is a regular pain in the ass. Still really into that lemon sorbet though. I started really wanting chocolate milk (and I don’t even like milk!). I wouldn’t call it a craving, I could have gone without but it just sounded good. Started drinking a huge glass of that every morning and before we knew it, I was easily downing a gallon of it a week. It couldn’t be the premixed stuff either, I had to mix the milk and chocolate syrup for myself. YUM!

How I’m Feeling:
Started to get my energy back in week 12 and stopped taking naps after work. I was still going to bed earlyish, but I was grateful to be able to make it a few more hours without feeling like a zombie. Mrs E seemed kind of glad for that too, I think she was starting to miss me when I had been needing 12+ hours a day.  Emotionally, I was on the verge of tears a lot more frequently. I didn’t cry a lot, but a lot more things made me feel like I wanted to or could have if I hadn’t exercised some restraint. 3am also became a very popular time of day in our house. It seems no matter what I do, I wake up at almost 3am on the dot every night and have a hard time getting back to sleep. I also started being able to feel Sprout move when I would lay very still in week 12. The midwife confirmed that’s definitely what it was when I described it at my appointment. Best feeling in the world!

13 weeks: The baby is about the size of a peach…

How I’m Changing:
The bump is getting bigger! I’m starting to round out a little more and my belly is getting a little harder. I feel better about it because I’m starting to look more pregnant than just pudgy. I’ve even gotten a few belly rubs and pats this week from a few excited loved ones.

What I’m Eating:
I’m pretty much back to anything goes with foods this week. Nausea isn’t a normal occurrence anymore, but I definitely can’t eat as much at one sitting as I am used to. We went on vacation and I enjoyed a LOT of good food that I would not have been able to tolerate a few weeks ago. Spicy food has always been something I love but unfortunately, it causes some rockin’ acid reflux a little too easily so I avoid it. Until this week, I haven’t wanted anything that I couldn’t have, but now sushi and beer are starting to sound really good every day. I’ve had a few sips of Mrs. E’s beer to curb my taste for it and cooked sushi instead of anything raw.

How I’m Feeling:
My energy level is definitely starting to return to pre-pregnancy level. I still like going to bed early because the 3am curse hasn’t quit and some nights I lose up to 2 hours in the middle of the night. Since I got my appetite back and we went on vacation and indulged, I have gained 5 pounds. I’m looking forward to getting back to the gym a little more now that I have the energy and being “out of the woods” and into my 2nd trimester.


I realize that all these updates are a little sucky without “bump pics” but I have been taking them and I will add them as soon as I get a chance to take all the pics off my camera from our vacation. We listen to Sprout’s heartbeat on our doppler about once a week and it’s definitely one of our favorite things to do right now. I’ll try to be better about the updates now that I’m spending more time awake 🙂 If you have questions for us about anything you’d like more information about, please tweet me or drop them in the comments. If we get enough, maybe we’ll do another short little video and I can get Mrs. E in on it. Those are always fun.

Planning To Start A Family

16 Jul

One of the best things about having this blog has been meeting and coming to know others who want to start a family and talk about that journey. In fact, I just got this from my ask box on tumblr:

Hey there. Through mutual fangirlness of Grey’s I started following your tumblr and twitter and from there found your blog about trying to get pregnant. Basically I am asking you for any advice that you have. Me and my fiancee are planning our wedding and we know that in the next 12-24months we are gonna wanna start trying to have a baby. We just want to know if you or your Mrs have any advice, anything we should think about before starting any preparation. Thank you.

It can be a very intimidating road and I have been asked by lesbian couples a few times where to begin. I decided to write a post with what we thought was some good advice. This is a very personal process and decision so undoubtedly your roadmap will vary but this should give you some things to think about.

Since I’m mostly asked by other lesbian couples, this is tailored to them.

Start Saving Money – It is never too soon to start a “baby fund”. Really, never.  Sit down with your partner and look at your finances and figure out how you will afford getting pregnant, doctors visits, birth, adoption, legal fees, all of the things the baby will need and even child care eventually. Don’t overwhelm yourselves, but it’s a good way to financially commit to this decision. Even if you don’t earmark the costs specifically, trust me, you will be able to find some way to use that money and the earlier you can start socking it away, the better. Starting a family is especially expensive for same-sex couples and can be even more so if you live in a state where you cannot be legally married.

Live In A Stable Environment – Is there room where you currently live for kids? If you will need to move then that’s another cost that you will have to plan for. Some people feel like they need to own a home before they are ready to have kids, but I don’t necessarily believe that. You should know that you live in a place that will work to raise a family. If you start somewhere less optimal and get stuck there for an extended amount of time, it helps to know and like the school system that you are in. Think about your own education too. If you have educational goals that you are still working on, try to finish them before you start trying to conceive that way you can focus on your family when the time comes. It also goes without saying that you should feel like your relationship is stable and your partner is someone you want to raise a child with. Talk to your partner about marriage if you haven’t already done so. If one or both of you would like to be married or have a wedding before you have kids, that’s obviously another large cost you may need to plan for.

Talk About What You Both Want…A LOT – There are a lot of decisions to be made in this process and it’s intensely personal. Talk about why you each want a baby and if they are good reasons. You have to be ready to give up a lot and put your children’s needs first. Talk about the process: ICI, IUI, or IVF? Known donor or anonymous? Would you like your children to physically resemble you? Who will carry? Would you prefer to just adopt? We spent many evenings talking these things over and revisited some of them many times. You should know what is important to you and to your partner and what you can compromise on. A lot will depend on your budget and some things may not go exactly as planned. For us, we decided that we were going to start this process with the least evasive methods possible and take more aggressive steps forward in six month increments only as needed. Other friends I knew decided that IVF was a better choice for them and they began with that. Of course, you’ll need to work with a doctor before you can determine what your best course of action will be. You should have discussed these things enough to know your general preferences as a couple before discussing it with a Physician though.

Get A Good Lawyer – We found a great family law attorney and worked with her to get our medical power of attorney, wills and living wills in place years ago. If you do not live in a state where you can be legally married, these are very important to secure your rights and wishes. You may want to find an attorney that specializes in gay rights and adoption. We also used our attorney to create legal agreements between us and our known donor. These protect him as well as us and our child legally to the best of our ability and we would not have dreamed of trying to conceive without them. It’s likely that you’ll need a good attorney to complete an adoption or second-parent adoption for you in this process as well. Some lawyers specialize in adoption only. If you know same-sex couples in your area that already have kids, they are often the best to ask for a referral.

Educate Yourself – Read books and surf the internet to try to find resources. One of the best books I read early on was The Ultimate Guide To Pregnancy for Lesbians. The book has a lot of other resources listed in it and it will give you A LOT to think about. If nothing else, it was a really good tool to get us asking ourselves those important questions about what we wanted. As we talked about our choices, my curiosity about all of the options grew deeper. Learn about artificial insemination methods, sperm donors, adoptions and pregnancy as much as you can now. You’ll be glad you took the time to become informed proactively when you have to start calling the shots.

Create A Supportive Environment – The internet became my best friend. I found comfort, support and a lot of good advice in the blogs of other couples who were going through this process. Often, I found links from there to other blogs (I’m a bad blogger and never set that up, but they are out there). Talk to others who are going through it. I also created a good little support system for myself on twitter and that has been amazing! We ended up having a community that was rooting for us and picked me up on some pretty dark days. It was nice for me to have a bit of anonymity sometimes so that I could be honest and vent. But, there’s a dark side to the community too. You will inevitably watch others reach their goals before you do and that can be hard. I liked using the internet because I could turn it off when I had to escape. Some people prefer the comfort of talking to their family and friends about the conception process instead. I would just caution you to choose your audience wisely. Not everyone may approve, understand or have positive words for you and you should trust your gut about who will listen and be supportive in a way that you need when you are fragile. Communicating how I felt at times was very cathartic and some days when I was depressed about it I just couldn’t stand friends asking me how it was going. But everyone reacts differently. I wanted to tell my Mom what I was going through but I didn’t want her to know too much so we could hopefully surprise her with news one day and I was SO glad that worked out. I guarantee you will go through so many more emotions than you can anticipate. Find those who you can come to on good days and bad alike.

Get Healthy – If you’re planning on getting pregnant, or supporting your partner through a pregnancy you should be healthy first! Your body mass index should be in an optimal range for your best chances at fertility and if you have weight to lose or gain, a year in advance is the best time to do it. Try to achieve your optimal weight (and stay there) for at least 6 months before you start trying. If you smoke, quit now. It’s one of the best adjustments you can make for your whole families’ health. If you plan to quit drinking coffee and soda while you are pregnant, wean yourself off the caffeine about six months beforehand too. The morning sickness will be enough on its own without the caffeine withdrawal.  Start taking prenatal vitamins 6 months to a year before you plan to conceive to prevent birth defects and find out if any medications that you are on are safe to take during pregnancy. If they aren’t, try to find ways to get off of them in that year prior. I also found it was helpful to find out your blood type if you aren’t sure. If you are the one trying to get pregnant it’s important to get familiar with your menstrual cycle. Track it and try to learn about your body’s ovulation signs. Maybe even buy a basal body thermometer and start taking your temperature or use ovulation strips. Anything that helps you get the hang of when you will be most fertile. I found that keeping the info in a fertility app on my phone was easiest. Getting in shape goes for your mental health too. If you have baggage or emotional issues, consider getting therapy and working through it. Be the best person that you can be before you start bringing more people into this world.

Find A Good Doctor/Practice – You have to be comfortable talking to your doctor about your relationship and your plans. If you want to get pregnant, you should make a preconception appointment with your OBGYN (or take time during your regular appointment) to talk about it. If you have irregular periods, I’d advise doing that a year out. My doctor put me on birth control as an attempt to help my endometriosis subside and give us better chances before we started trying. That was a six month process and if I hadn’t gone so far in advance, I would have felt a little disappointed by the setback. It’s also a good idea to have regular STD testing done even if you think you have nothing to worry about. Most insurance covers them anyway and they will probably be required before any type of insemination. If there is anything to find out and treat, you’ll be glad you did it early. Talking to a doctor that doesn’t specialize in same-sex families can be a bit awkward at first, but you have to be willing to speak up and you should have a good feeling about your doctor and their bedside manner before you decide if you want them to handle your pregnancy.  This all makes sure that you have your ducks in a row and it will ease that transition from TTC into pregnancy when the time comes.

Make A Baby Bucket List – This process can take a while and sometimes, there is just nothing to do while you wait. We found it helpful to make a list of things that we wanted to do before we had kids and things that we wouldn’t be able to do for a while after. Go to Vegas, jump out of a plane, stay in bed all weekend, etc. (Okay, so I chickened out on the jumping out of a plane thing.)These are just examples of things that helped me feel like we were doing something for us that didn’t directly involve, doctors, lawyers or trying to get pregnant. Enjoy your lives, have fun with your partner and bond while you check things off your list. You’ll be able to look back one day and treasure that time before you were Mommies. I promise, doing those things will give you an escape and help you feel less overwhelmed. They’ll also make you feel even more ready to start your family.

Change Your Lifestyle – There was a time when we used to spend every Friday and Saturday out drinking with friends and dancing at the club. Even though I got very bored of “going out” I felt like if I was sitting at home on a weekend, I was lame. That may not be your speed, or maybe it is right now but you may want to work on changing that before you end up pregnant. Sometimes this just happens as you get older anyway. We started making a conscience effort to stay in watching movies at home on Friday nights if we didn’t already have plans. We spent more time with our own families and friends that already had kids and things naturally calmed down. It shouldn’t be nearly as much of a culture shock for you if you adjust slowly. We felt as though we had a group of friends in our lives that focused heavily on drinking and created more drama than they were worth so we sort of intentionally drifted out of that scene. We made new friends and we know that they will be there and want to spend time with us, even when there are kids in tow. Look at who you keep around you and if it fits into what you want your life to be.

Give Yourself Time – You have to be ready for anything once you start trying, but also patient enough for it to take a long time, especially if you are dealing with reproductive issues as we were. People are having kids later and later now and some of them fear that dreaded age 35 when your fertility begins to decrease. Find the balance that works best for you and don’t rush. The bottom line is that nothing teaches you patience and to expect the unexpected like having kids. Know what you want but try not to set unrealistic expectations. It can be a hard and scary process and I learned that sometimes things that you think won’t happen to you, do. It’s also the single most rewarding thing you might ever do with your life. Try to relax and enjoy every step of the way.

We hope this helps you and send our best wishes for starting a happy, healthy family!

E, the Mrs & Sprout 🙂

One Whole Year Later and Starting All Over

2 May

Yes, we’ve been at this an entire year already…

When we started this process, I never actually thought that 12 months later we wouldn’t have achieved a pregnancy yet. I knew the statistics and that it could take a while but didn’t really think that would happen to us. Sure, I understand setbacks, miscarriages and tragic things can happen but I honestly never expected to see no progress at all.  I feel betrayed by my body, which no one actually seems to be able to find anything wrong with. I realize that I am lucky. The hand I’ve been dealt could be much worse and I am grateful that it’s not. However, an entire year of failed attempts is disheartening and frustrating and I’m grieving that a lot the past few days. I’m trying to find strength in the fact that when our baby does come along it will be so special because we endured for it. Our efforts were never without extreme thought or care and when we prevail we will be better mothers for that process.

Regardless, it’s hard to remain strong every day. The past few weeks have been really emotional ones and some days my disillusionment and pain shows no matter how hard I try to tuck it away.

First, we got another negative test result. I felt that I had more symptoms than ever last month was really hopeful that we were going to get our positive result. It was pretty shattering when I found out I wasn’t pregnant. That was immediately followed by one of the most painful periods I’ve ever experienced. It just felt so cruel.

Next, we worked through some issues with our donor and found out that although he does want to move out of the area, it may not end up being as immediate or as far away as we were originally told. Basically, he and his boyfriend don’t know what they are doing yet but they had made grandiose announcements of packing it all up and whisking away very fast without talking to us first and that was pretty devastating. We told them they really need to please just communicate with us more so we’re not caught so off-guard. We concluded that they’ll probably end up being around for at least the next 3 months. I hope. No promises there.

Lastly, we went to the Reproductive Endocrinologist to discuss our next steps after my HSG test. I expected to talk about starting Clomid or other fertility drugs to chemically enhance our chances of pregnancy by making me produce more eggs. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the result at all and instead we were told that since there’s actually no dysfunction with my ovulation cycles, that he will not prescribe any medication to add on to our method. The RE said that he would not use drugs to help us boost our results unless we were doing IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) or IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) under his care.  Then he basically recommended that we move on to one of those methods and stop trying at home on our own. If we didn’t change our plan there was nothing more he could do for us.

This was NOT what I wanted to hear and it felt like it kept getting worse. We would not be able to continue using our donor unless we went through several thousand dollars of tests (again) and processing to get his semen screened, cleaned and stored at a cryobank. With IUI, a thawed vial of semen would be placed directly into my uterus at the time of ovulation and FDA regulations keep us from doing that with fresh semen from our donor with our doctor’s assistance. With IVF, we would harvest some of my eggs, fertilize them in a lab and put a few of the “good ones” back in to hope that they stick. That’s not an option using our donor’s fresh semen either.

The entire appointment was a bit surreal for me and I’m not actually sure how I maintained any composure because all I really wanted to do after hearing that news was burst into tears. I knew that wasn’t going to get us anywhere so I tried to keep asking questions to use our time wisely and postpone the emotions until we had more privacy. I did NOT want to be sent home in tears feeling like I didn’t know anything new. Information is comfort to me so we pressed on. We’re not sure what we’re going to do yet but I needed to know enough to feel like we were able to make a rational decision and not just an emotional one or like we were grasping at straws. I even pushed the issue a little more of trying fertility drugs with our current method and the doctor completely denied it again. I guess it was just really hard for me to let go of that because I was 110% sure that was going to be our next step.

So it was recommended that we move on to IUI or IVF but we probably can’t get all the logistics in place to start doing it until August at the earliest. I don’t know why it takes so long but then again, patience was never my strong suit. For IUI without any fertility meds we’d be looking at costs of about $2500 for each cycle with 2 actual inseminations occurring. (Right now we do 4 or 5 each month.) If we decided to use fertility meds for that process we’re looking at more like $3000-6000 per cycle. For women my age the general success rate for IUI is 20-25% per cycle. The success rate for IVF is more like 50% per cycle, which sounds appealing but it’s also a multi-month process which will cost more like $11000 per try. On top of that, you have cryo storage fees for embryos that can be saved for another attempt and for donor sperm units that have been purchased but not used. Making babies this way is expensive, people!

No matter which method we choose, it’s much more cost effective for us to work with a cryobank and order anonymous donor sperm than it would be for us to process our own donor, freeze his and use it. Of course, selecting a new donor brings a whole new world of options to us. It is kind of fun to think about being able to just call up and order half of your child’s genetic traits though. So, is your head spinning yet? Good. You’re caught up to where I was a few days ago.

It’s definitely overwhelming and I’m trying to take it all in as best I can. We’ve had increasing doubts about our donor arrangement lately and I feel as though this might be a little twist of fate pushing us in a different direction. I’m trying not to get too caught up on the dollar signs yet, but obviously that’s a major concern. Of course in the long run, whatever you end up spending is worth it but getting used to the idea of those bills is a big adjustment. Everything is an adjustment! We’ve really just spent the past few days beginning to wrap our heads around it and trying (unsuccessfully) to not let it stress us out.

For now, we’re going to keep doing what we’re doing. Our next appointment to discuss our decisions isn’t until later in June so we have some time. We’re going to keep doing what we’re doing for at least that long and who knows, maybe I’ll get knocked up and all of this will have been for nothing. Neither of us think that discussing this with our current donor is necessary yet and we may not broach the subject until we have more solid plans or know that we’re done trying at home all together. (Some of you actually know him, so mums the word for now, k?) There’s just so much to consider that I can’t begin to possibly cover it all here, but that’s the big jist of the past few weeks. We have a LOT to think about and are feeling thoroughly overwhelmed by it at the moment.

The best part of the last few weeks was that I got very clear and positive ovulation test results this month. Sometimes in the past the tests never showed positive results and we just had to take our best guess. There was no guessing this time so hopefully that resulted in some very well timed inseminations. We are in our two week wait now so we still won’t know anything for a while. Lastly, we are still going to do the Q&A video I talked about in the previous post. I got lots of good questions but feel free to submit more because we still haven’t recorded it yet. Oops, we’ve been busy. There are certainly lots of new things to question!

If you’re still reading you deserve a big hug and I just want to thank you again for your continued support. I don’t know how I’d be getting through some of these days without the encouragement.

E & The Mrs.