Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Need Input from TTC-ers

I've calmed down a bit from my last post, and things are better. Devon and I had a great talk this weekend. There is still a lot going on in our little lives and things still feel a little crazy, but I'm choosing to be thankful for all the things that are working right now, and I have a little more faith that in time, the other things will fall into place. Thank you for your support.

Yesterday, I filled out the paperwork for a referral to another reproductive psychiatrist. I've been to one before, who - although knowledgeable - was a little scary.  [I can't believe that was more than a year ago]. My own shrink says that the doctor he's now referring me will be a good fit for us. Plus, this is for an actual "pre-pregnancy medication visit". 

But, for the main event!: This Thursday we go to our first fertility clinic appointment. Through talking this weekend, Dev and I decided that our purpose is basically to information-gather, which is okay, I suppose. I feel like this whole TTC thing is going far too slowly, and we haven't even really begun, but I do want to be in a good place and be healthy and want for Dev and I to be on the same page - we owe each other, and our future baby, at least that.

I work in public relations/communications in the medical world, so I have been able to find out every last little snippet of published information about the doctor we're going to see (plus a few word-of-mouth tidbits). He looks great on paper; I hope he has a personality that fits us. Humour would be good. So would acceptance and understanding, of course. If all goes well, I may have to make up a blog name for a new RE!

So, dear TTCers and moms who got to be moms through TTCing, I would LOVE to hear from you. I don't know what questions to ask, aside from "what sperm banks do you work with". I don't know the ins-and-outs of the fertility world yet, and I know a lot of it will come with experience, but I feel like I have an advantage knowing many of you who have gone through this already. Do you have little nuggets of wisdom that you could share with a few lesbians going into this brand spanking new? What is the one thing you wished you had asked back at the very beginning but never did?

I know, I know. I have to be patient. I just have no idea how to be.

Thanks in advance!


  1. Lex, you are doing fine. This is a journey and you are on it. Just take it one day at a time. On the next family check out Kerrie's stories. They are doing gestational surrogacy in India. Also, Heather has a great story. Start at the beginning of their stories and I am sure they will be happy to answer any questions.

  2. I went through IVF 2006-2007. Donor sperm, my eggs. It takes a ton of mental fortitude and an amazing partner to go through TTC. It will consume your life. The hormones, living in two week cycles, obsessing over every minute body change.

    I started this journey when I was 36. Already on the sharp downward slope of fertility, I went through about 10-12 cycles (one ending in a miscarriage), before I'd had enough. I never did have a baby.

    I'm not telling you this to bum you out. There is very little you can do outside of having good fertile eggs and sperm with a high count. It sounds like you have found a reputable doctor. Where you need to be careful is not losing sight of yourself or your partner. Also, no question is dumb to an RE. If they make you feel like that, get another RE.

    If it doesn't happen right away for you guys, have a plan on how long, how much money you are going to spend. Stick to it. It is a consuming business, this TTC. And remember, there is more than one way to become parents!

    On June 30, 2008, my partner and I welcomed our son, whom we adopted at birth. I've never known such joy, Every single doctor's visit, hormone shot, blood draw, tear and disappointment led us to our little boy. That journey made being his mom all the more sweet.

    I wish you much luck on your journey. Be ready for quite a ride!

  3. Oh, I hear you sooooo much on the slow pace of the information-gathering stage... I just want to get going, now, and yet find myself in a similar situation to you (and Devon, who reminds me of my own partner in many ways). Today, while at the local sexual health centre, I asked the doc about how I can access fertility services for queer-baby-planning despite my lack of family doctor. He said he didn't know, but suggested I call around to find out. Which was fine, but not what I wanted to hear... I guess I hoped there'd be some established routine, and there simply isn't, because what we're doing is still considered outside the norm. And it's sure shaping up to be quite a ride, like the previous commenter said!

    Can't wait to hear how Thursday goes...

  4. You can ask questions about things like how do they determine protocols and what tests will they run on you for what reasons, but honestly it's just a gut feeling. Through this whole finding an RE/OB/doula/pediatrician process, we've really learned to trust our instincts.

    Our first RE was okay, I guess, but we weren't really happy. We switched practices and absolutely fell in love with our 2nd RE, the one who got us pregnant. It wasn't because of her answers to any of our questions. We just clicked with her. After our first consultation, we knew we were going to make the switch and stick with it. As to why we loved her, she was super-thorough on her end, but she seemed to respect our intelligence and investment in the process. Beyond that, she was an utterly fabulous older woman, which my partner and I are both suckers for. Ultimately, we trusted her. I was always second-guessing the first RE.

  5. I wouldn't think you'd need to ask what sperm banks they work with. That's your choice entirely. But you should ask if they are able to store vials for you and if you can ship directly to them (and how much time beforehand should the sperm be there). Also find out if they wash it, should you choose ICI sperm, and what the costs are. Ask when they like you to come in once you've ovulated, and if they can accommodate weekend appointments. Will they do a certain number of IUI's before moving on to monitoring/drugs/other tests? How many doctors are in the practice?
    Ok, I think that's everything ;)

  6. Well, we're using Pom's RE, so I guess our experience was similar. But I found that the best thing was just to go in and see how you feel, and then ask what his plan is for you. Is he going to want to go slowly and try everything several times to see if it works before moving on to another drug or a different setup? Does he think you should go straight to IVF after 2 or 3 unmedicated attempts? And once you hear his answer, see how you feel about that.
    In my case I wanted a little caution and a little speed--so if 3 tries with Clomid and maybe a trigger shot doesn't work, I'm excited to skip injectibles and go to IVF. That wouldn't work for everyone, so talk with Devon and have a basic idea of how you would want to go about things (always hoping, of course, that you won't need to get to the end of your list, but knowing that it might happen that way).
    You'll do fine, though! And you can always ask more questions later if you leave the appointment and find that you forgot something.

  7. sounds like you've got some good input already - all the questions i was going to suggest asking have already been mentioned!