Tuesday, August 30, 2011

U/S 2 on CD10

I had my second ultrasound this morning, and it went a lot better than Sunday's in the emotional department. The doc did take his time, on the most part, and was a lot easier to talk to. It could've just been the day on Sunday, though I'm still not convinced, but, as Strawberry said, there is a possibility that I won't even have a need for him after this insem, which would be awesome :) So I'm going to focus on that.

It looks like the insemination will take place either Thursday or Friday. I go in on Thursday morning for another u/s and if I test positive on my OPK tomorrow morning, and if I'm measuring large enough, we'll go ahead with it on Thursday. If not, it will most likely be Friday (CD13). He talked about the possibility of giving me a trigger shot on Thursday, which I know very little about. I mean, I know that it's LH and what it's for, but is it a needle in the stomach?

Monday, August 29, 2011

First clinic visit with an added surprise

I had my first ultrasound yesterday morning.

I woke up on Saturday, took an ovulation test on CD7 and it was positive. Positive on two different brands. No other signs though (fluid signs only; temps do not work on me). Devon and I both looked at the happy face and looked at each other and beamed with joy.

Fuck, it’s early – but yay! It’s soon!

I called the nurse and explained that I got 6 positives in a row last month and that I was incredibly early in my cycle this month. She had me come in the next morning (crack of frikkin’ dawn on a Sunday) and have an ultrasound.

I tested again that morning on CD8 and it was negative. I’m guessing it was a false positive on Saturday (99% accuracy, my ass), so I felt a bit silly going in, but we both decided that it was a good chance to talk to the doctor about what’s been going on with my ovulation.

We were 9th on the list when we got there about 10 minutes after the clinic opened. Well, actually 8, but I didn’t know we had to take a number when we got there, so when the woman who arrived after us took one and sat down, I clued in.

It’s so flippin’ busy there, and on the weekend, they have one nurse and one doctor (who happened to be our RE). When it was my turn, I had no idea what to expect, so when the nurse asked me to “change,” I responded “How?” Shorts and undies off, towel wrapped around your bum, walk down the hall.

Devon didn’t come in the room, even though I wanted her. We just didn’t know how it all worked. Not long after I got in the room, my RE came in and shoved a business card in my hand. I was so distracted by, oh, I don’t know, the ULTRASOUND, that I didn’t even look at it. I put it on the chair. He asked me if I had a bag. (I didn’t). He picked the card up and shoved it back in my hand and told me to hang onto it. When the nurse walked in, he changed the subject quickly. I didn’t think much of it, then.

He asked me when I surged and I told him the day and then told him – tried to tell him – about the previous month of 6 positive OPKs in a row.  He repeated the cycle days I told him about, incorrectly, and then replied, “it’s normal to test positive two days in a row”. Um, I know it is. But how about 6?

I recognize that they are busy, I really do. But as I said later to Devon, when you are dealing with a woman’s vagina AND her emotions… take your fucking time. Especially if this is their first time doing something like this.

“Put this in yourself,” he said, as he shoved me the wand. [Okay, please don’t laugh at me, but in all my readings, I didn’t even think about the possibility of it being an INTERNAL u/s. I know that sounds stupid, but hey – if they can see an embryo through a stomach, couldn’t they potentially see a follicle that way too? I know, I know].

So, I put it in. And, because I had no other signs of ovulation, let’s just say I was a little too dry for doing that aptly on a Sunday morning. Ouch. Especially when he cranked it from left to right with no warning. (Looks like it’ll be my right side, which has 14 follicles. Is that a decent number?)

I tried to ask what was going on with the testing, but all he wanted to tell me was that it’s not too late, and that I didn’t miss ovulation. I tried to explain to him that I was aware that this probably wasn’t my time, but I wanted to clear up some questions I had, but he was pretty much out the door before I could get answers.

So I’m left in the room with a soggy feeling and a business card, which I finally read. It’s for a new fertility clinic opening in the city. And my RE is the medical director. Then I realize he had said something about me seeing him in his new office next month, but shut up when the nurse came in. He was trying to make a business deal the whole time I had my pants off.

I walked back out to the waiting area and said to Dev (quite loud for someone who usually mumbles), “we’re done here; let’s go”. People looked at me funny and Devon was visibly confused, but I just wanted to get out of there.

For the whole day, I just felt shitty. Shitty that my ovulation is tricking every brand of OPKs we buy. Shitty that my RE is taking off and going out on his own. Shitty that this first insemination is starting off on a peculiar foot. Shitty that we initially clicked SO WELL with this guy, and we may have to go RE-shopping (if we even have the choice). It just made me realize how this is such a for-profit business. I get why, but it just doesn't seem right.

Devon has a way of calming me down, and she did. I feel better now, and I’m still excited for this baby-making process, but I just want someone to be gentle with me. It’s a bit emotional, people, and I’m an emotional person. Perhaps not really cut out for this, but I guess it comes with the territory.

I’m to go back tomorrow morning to see if I’m anywhere near ready (CD10). I tested negative again this morning, so it’s doubtful, but hey – I’d rather be early than late.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sighs of Relief

I told my mum we were starting a family.

It took me months and about two targeted attempts, but I finally did it. My grandmother was in town from Britain and my brothers, their wives and all the grandkids headed to my parents in various forms two weekends in a row to visit with the grandmother. 

It's tough to get my parents on their own now, especially because they now live out of the city and it's a trek to get over there, and the chances of being alone with them are slim to none. I've also waited for it to come organically, and of course, it never would. There were some opportunities like when we told them we were thinking about going in on a house with friends of ours. I said it would be great for them to have someone to hand their kid over for 10 minutes when they go to the shop. She responded that it would be great for us too, for someone to look after our cats when we were gone. I wanted so badly to say, "Yeah, it'll be good when we have a baby too," but I kept choking up on my words.
I felt strongly about letting them know before we started trying. I feel as though if we'd just shown up pregnant, it would've been a big slap in the face, somehow. But at the same time, my best friend had a good point: "I didn't call up my mom to tell her I was going to start having unprotected sex". True, but for whatever reason, this felt different. 

In another post, I will perhaps go into the intricacies of my relationship with my mother, but not today. We have only become close in the last 6 years. And my "close," I mean I call her every few weeks and we can mostly enjoy our once-a-month-or-two visit. She's a difficult and complicated woman, who never showed her love until well after I was 25 years old, but she has changed, and somehow our relationship just works. Through everything, if I dig deep enough, I realize that she does adore me - she just doesn't know what to do with that emotion.

I'm closer with my dad, but didn't feel right about telling only him (my mother would have killed me). I wanted to tell them both at the same time, but the opportunity didn't come up. After a long visit, my mum had to drive me and Devon somewhere, and when I got in the car, I just knew that this was my only opportunity.

"Mum, I really want to tell you what's going on for Dev and me. We're about to start a family."


Her response? "Well of course you are! How could you not? You're both so amazing with kids, and Lex - you've wanted to be a mum since you were two years old. That's all you cared about."

I just smiled. And then she went on about how I'll have to move closer to her so that she can "take care of me". You need to understand that this comes from a woman who never really took care of me (other than the bare necessities), so it was a little overwhelming. 

It was interesting: she wasn't that interested in my mental health. All she wanted to know about was the donor - what does he look like? what is he good at? etc. I didn't expect her to focus on that, but all things considered, I was delightfully surprised with her reaction. 

I haven't had a chance to tell my dad yet, and though I imagine my mum said something, he's probably feeling a bit left out. But we have time, and now that the initial word is out, I imagine that will make room for many more words. My mum basically said she wouldn't inquire until we told her we were pregnant... which I think she probably said out of respect for us, but I actually do want to talk with her more about it.

Anyway, that's that. I feel so incredibly lighter and am continuously amazed with my family's support. We told my sister-in-laws (who I am way closer to than my actual brothers), who are both thrilled. It was funny, when I was having trouble with telling my mum, one of my sister-in-laws suggested we just let the kids tell her, so she had a little chat with her 6-year-old in front of us:

"Would it be great if Auntie Lex and Auntie Devon had a baby? Would you like another cousin?"
3 second look of confusion followed by a, "Yeah! I hope they have a boy so it evens out the boy and girl cousins. Hey... is that a hornet??" as she ran off into the garden, following the buzzing.

In pressing news, AF came yesterday. As soon as I saw it, I just couldn't get over the fact that this *could* be the last time I see it in many, many months. Hopefully!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

On Choosing a Donor

Thank you so much for your input and suggestions on the OPK issue. I'm going to try another brand - maybe two - for next cycle and see what happens. I'll talk with our RE about an ultrasound too. But how do I know when to go in for one? When I think I'm ovulating?

Okay, so choosing our donor was most probably the most surreal experience of this TTC journey so far. Devon and I have date night every Thursday, and we decided last week to use the night to take a serious look at cryo-dads and, at the very least, narrow down our list. [side note: I am so impressed with Devon - she is as much into all of this as I am now... she writes me with answers about TTC stuff that she's researched, baby name ideas, thoughts on sperm. She's excited. SHE'S EXCITED. Do you know how frikkin' awesome that feels? I'm so happy.]

We found out that our clinic deals with three banks only. I believe this is the case for all Canadian clinics. Health Canada (our FDA) has to approve all donor sperm to make sure that it is "Canadian compliant"... whatever that means. Along with the one Canadian bank, we had a choice of two American banks - Xytex and Fairfax. About half of the Xy donors are Canadian compliant and about 30% of the FF donors are too. We were not very impressed with the Canadian bank, so we dropped that one early (as some of you know from my other posts, there are slim pickings here). 

One of the nurses at the clinic told us that most people go with Xy, though she didn't say why. FF's website is impressive and fancy and off the bat, seemed the most user-friendly. Xy's website is decent - no bells or whistles, but easy to use. Before purchasing anything, we basically made a list of the top 10 on both sites and then tried to figure out how much money we would spend to find out more about them. Xy was very straightforward with fees and one (hefty) payment lets you view every aspect of every profile. With FF, the fees were info and donor dependent, and what looked like a lot less money would've ended up being way more expensive than Xy for the same information. We also liked that the majority of Xy donors had adult photos, which was not the case with FF. I won't go into it more than that, but if anyone wants to ask questions about the experience so far, feel free to email me (contact me page).

Anyway, just as the donor pictures were loading for our top two donors, we looked at each other and said, "oh my god, they're going to be so ugly". And then one of our top choices came up and we again looked at each other and said (and I quote), "he's fucking hot!" And then our top three choices loaded, and they were all really, really good-looking guys. We were actually very surprised. I know, I know, it's a photo - and probably the best one that they can muster up - but it's all a shallow lesbian couple can go by ;)

We were looking for a few things: Devon's colouring and her interests/personality. The only thing I was pretty adamant about was for him to have a squeaky clean mental health history on all sides. We were really happy with our search and after sitting with our top choices for a few days (and obsessively revisiting them), we decided on our guy.

It just feels right. He feels right... as messed up as that sounds. This whole thing has been so surreal to us - we are shopping online for our future baby's father. So weird. We looked him up on siblingregistry, and there are four offspring listed (we've yet to decide whether connecting with half siblings is something we'd ever do).  I did a search for the donor number, just to see if there was anything else posted about him, and one Xy web page came up saying that there was no samples left, but I think it was cached. We tried not to get too attached to him - and we tried to feel confident in our second and third choices - but it's hard once you make the decision. 

Although this ovulation thing is worrying me, we decided to at least have the option to start next cycle. I imagine we will. So, we called the Canadian "pimp daddy" (we can't order directly from the bank for legal reasons), who add about $100 onto each unit. Despite a few regulatory things, we were actually surprised at how easy the whole process of ordering was. We bought three to start (a recommendation from the clinic). They are being shipped on August 17th and will be good and ready for us to do our first insemination in the last week of August. 

Devon is so excited and wants to have a party when cryodad's goods arrive in the city. With the way I've been feeling, I almost agreed with her... but... we have still only told two people, and I think it'll stay that way until three-four months after a BFP.

I'm not even scratching the surface of all of the emotions surrounding this process, but for tonight, I just wanted to get the words out of my body. My heart will deal with the rest another day. 


Monday, August 8, 2011

Ovulation Woes...

Okay, so there is a TON to catch up on including:
  • We “passed” our psych eval (w00t!)
  • We chose a donor (holy shit!)
  • We ordered sperm today (whhaaaat?)
I’m thrilled and I will write all about it when I have a chance. Lately, all my spare time has been taken up looking for donors… I think that’s a pretty good excuse ;)

There’s something going on that I wanted to do a call out to see whether anyone had experienced this: When I was at the clinic (CD10), I bought an OvuQuick OPK from reception. I decided to test starting on CD11, even though my cycle is 27 days, so it was a bit early. 

First test = positive. Very clearly positive on CD11 (Picture #1). 

Now here’s the thing… I’ve tested every single day since then – 6 days – and all tests have come back clearly positive, including today’s (see pic #2) on CD16.

I can’t find an explanation anywhere. I’ve heard of woman who test positive for 3 days max, but never double that. I called the nurse this morning, and she just said, “that’s weird… that’s not normal”. I tried to make it clear that I’ve been taking these tests according to the clinic’s (and the manufacturer’s) instructions and am not a dumb ass. She says I could come in for an ultrasound to figure out when I ovulate, but I kind of want to know a ballpark. BBT are not consistent because I am never asleep for more than 3 hours straight (I pee often). Cervical fluid/position is inconclusive day-to-day. 

I don’t want to waste a grand next month with a shot in the dark (literally?), and I feel as though I’m even more confused about my cycle now :(

Any advice? Anyone ever had a super long LH surge? 

I want to figure this out so that we can get going next month!!


Pic #1 (CD11)


Pic #2 (CD16)