Thursday, December 31, 2009

The much belated sonogram post

First of all, happy belated holidays and happy new years eve!  I hope you all found joy in your personal celebrations and time with friends and family.

Our family celebrations were wonderful!  We spend time with Janet's family Christmas Eve (think steak and crab leg dinner!), stay overnight, and gourge ourselves on mimosas/oj/coffee, stocking gifts, breakfast, gifts, and dinner.  Janet's family is full of rituals that I've truly come to appreciate.  This Christmas I couldn't help but daydream a little bit about what having an ~6 month old baby will be like next year.

Now to the REALLY good stuff:

On 12/22 (12 weeks, 6 days), Janet had a beautiful sonogram/nuchal scan.  Butterbean is looking good in there.  Measurements were on track (12.4 weeks), heartbeat was good (162 bpm) and mother was gauged healthy!

Peek-chures (for those on facebook, sorry for the spam)

Is there really anything as cool as being able to see a baby nose?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Bullet-y Updates

This will be a bullet-y sort of post, mainly because it’s been so long since I’ve updated, if I don’t do it this way, it could be the post that never ends.

The highlights and other random thoughts:

• Thanksgiving was wonderful. My mother in law makes the best gravy EVER.

• Janet’s first OB appointment was 12/1 and we love love love Dr. Lo and her nurse.

• Janet had a little bleeding scare the day after her first appointment, called in, and received sonogram. It turned out that all was well and we got a new picture of Butter Bean.

• Dr. Lo asked Janet if I would want to breastfeed as well. I’m still struggling through how I feel about it and waffling back and forth.

• I think we have a nursery theme: Dr. Seuss- All the Places You Will Go. Anything we do will be very loosely based on the theme, but something is better than nothing! (We/I really just want super bright and happy colors- I LOVE this IKEA crib)

• We bought a new fake/faux fabulous Christmas tree. We looked in what felt like 20 stores and finally found it at the decorators warehouse place that looked as if Christmas has exploded all over the store. The tree has now been assembled and decorated and the rest of the house has spirit to match.
Nekkid Tree:

Decked Tree:

• Finals are finally over. This semester was a total beating. I ended up leading and doing most of the group projects for both classes- I need to figure out how to not let that happen again next semester.

• Our house’s exterior is finally completely repainted after having been stood up by another painter who left the house 2/3s scraped and primed (and took our money).

• Our Christmas party is Saturday. Supposedly 50 people are coming to our little 1271 sq ft house- its always so much fun, but I turn into a total basket case the morning before. I’m lucky in that my best friend lends me her kitchen and bakes cookies with me the day before (tomorrow), and helps keep me sane with food warmers and general calming. Janet took the day off today to do party prep stuff. I think 6 bundles of pinon wood and a trip to the dry cleaners is in her future.

• Indigestion is hitting Janet hard. Any recommendations other than Tums are greatly appreciated.

• Janet’s boobs have become absolutely huge and required new support. A trip to the bra fitter helped greatly.

• Janet’s next appointment with Dr. Lo is next Tuesday, 12/22. They will be doing the head to toe exam and I think the nuchal scan. After that sono I think I’ll post the side by sides of our 8, 10, and almost 13 week pictures.

• All Christmas shopping is complete. For each other Janet and I are doing the 4 gift thing talked about originally in this blog.

• I’m trying to find a church home. I grew up Presbyterian and want Butter Bean to have a religious upbringing. I think I’ve settled on Kessler Park United Methodist Church- but might still try out a few more.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Whoo Hoo!

We had our first sonogram yesterday and got to see our baby and hear the heartbeat! It was 153 and according to our doctor they want it to be between 140 and 160 at this stage. We are so proud of our little butter bean!

We have now officially graduated from the fertility center and are ready for the obgyn. No paper or diploma, but 3 lovely shots of what will eventually be our favorite live-in!

Thanks for all of your well wishes, we are doing great!

Thursday, November 12, 2009


That’s what I’m feeling today. I had two main triggers. A high school friend in Tampa mentioned that his wife had just made him collard greens- gag if you want to, but they are one of my favorite things on earth. The second trigger was this morning. I go to a personal trainer once a week because I can’t seem to motivate myself to exercise otherwise. She mentioned someone that we mutually know who was watching the Alabama game last Sunday. As I’ve mentioned before, I grew up in the panhandle of Florida, lovingly known as LA… lower Alabama. Where I grew up, you were one of 4 things. A ‘Nole fan, a Gator fan, an Auburn fan, or a ‘Bama fan. It didn’t matter if you or anyone in your family had actually gone to any of the referenced schools- but you were one of them. I don’t particularly love football- but it still gives me the feeling of home. When the SEC is playing on TV- I start to crave boiled peanuts, cheap beer, and Southern drawls. I miss going to church on Sunday morning and discussing the scores/plays of the prior nights Gator game (my alma mater). I miss the smell of saltwater and swamp- but now, writing this post, I think I am troubled that our future child will probably never know those smells, tastes, and rituals. I’m not saying that Texas won’t have it’s own- but I won’t share those experiences with our child.
What are your thoughts? How did/will you feel if you are raising a child outside of the comforts and rituals of where you were raised?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What kind of mother do you want to be?

What are we thinking about right now, in early pregnancy was the umbrella question from Heather…

As the non birthing mom and lacking the focus on my own body changes/new sensations/etc, most of my thoughts- walking down the aisle of the grocery store, drifting off to sleep, driving to work- are all around what kind of mom do I want to be?

I think about my mother, I think about the “village” of women who raised me, I think about my friends around me who I’ve watched mother and I contemplate. Based on my observations and experiences, what are my own guiding principles of motherhood?
My observations are that some of the things that I’ve learned as a manager in a megacorp translate nicely- if only I was perfect at all of them.
1. Be present…not just in actual location, but in spirit. I think of all the times I felt truly loved as a child and can relate them all back to the person being focused on the moment- not the 5000 other things that were going on. Growing up, my mother wasn’t really around and when she was, she was on her bed with her nose buried in the paper or a book. In contrast, my early caregiver was a woman known dearly to me as Grandmama Vicky. I was with her from 8 am to sometimes 10 pm at night. Even though she sometimes had up to 8 other kids in her care (no including her own), she was always present- focusing her question and attention on the one that was in her arms at that moment.

2. You don’t have to tell them everything, i.e. shit does not have to roll down hill! My kids don’t need to hear about all the horrible details of my bad days at work- they have the rest of their lives to deal with the ills of the world. Its my job to protect them as much as possible and make sure they only have to deal with what might be considered age appropriate. I remember getting the sordid details of my mother’s divorce/marital difficulties around the age of 6 and wouldn’t wish the feelings I had- the helplessness, the feeling of responsibility, on anyone.

3. Unconditional love. I know this one is a cliché, but I grew up feeling that my mother’s love/acceptance of me was all based on the what have you done for me lately mentality. On many levels, I think of the lies I told to her either blatant or via omission and look for a root cause. Though my omissions/lies were never really related to anything most parents would have cared about, I never really knew what might throw me over the edge and into the unloved category. I want my kids to know that there is absolutely nothing they could do that would stop my love for them. Be open and honest with me and we can work through anything.

4. Be consistent. My boss has always said to me- as long as there are no surprises, we are good. I think this is probably the best guidance I have ever received- and so true in my own life experience as both an adult and a child. The aforementioned Grandmama Vicky had strict rules and expectations. They were consistent no matter who you were or what day it was. The structure and consistency made me feel safe and secure.
That’s all I have for now, but I’m sure I’ll add more to it as my contemplation progresses.

Not much to blog about?

My darling wife is sleeping all the time and has to pee every hour- and we are waiting patiently for her sonogram next Wednesday.  Other than that, I have little to update on.  In the spirit of many of my other favorite blogs- what should we post about?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I've read in so many blogs that the calm after intervention induced pregnancy is disconcerting.  While Janet and I haven't actually talked about it, I'm guessing that now she is also feeling the truth to those blogs.  Two blue lines and three betas does not prepare you for all of the waiting.  Wait to see if the daily bleeding means anything, wait to see if the cramping continues, wait for opportunity to see if butterbean style life exists...

In my fear, I keep putting my dear wife through peeing on hpts.  My logic is that as long as the pregnancy continues to be strong enough to create the line before the control line even starts to fill in, we are probably good to go.  I'm blessed that she indulges me. 

Two more weeks, two more weeks... wash, rinse, repeat.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Crisis averted?

After tears shed last night, thinking the worst AND letting the internet thoroughly freak us out...

...our beta came out awesome!

1199 AND guess who got her DPO measurements wrong on the hCG chart she last posted- oh yeah, that would be me.  So this is what our chart should look like.

Its no longer on the average side.  Before it was pointed out to me that I had our days past ovulation wrong, Janet had conversations with the nurses in which they indicated that our doctor thinks that the reason for the red and brown bleeding and craping was because we currently have twins...and that the symptoms are of them "hunkerin' down".  I know that doctors are normally pulling crap out of the sky at this point, but still, it made me feel a lot better- and hearing the beta number- TOTAL elation.

Thanks so much for all the good thoughts, prayers, and juju!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Fear is your wife having progressively worse brown spotting and craps following two progressively positive betas.

Fear is searching all over google and talking to a nurse, but not really having a clear answer as to if the spotting and cramps are a problem.

Fear is having no good answer or indication until another beta is done tomorrow at noon.

Worthless is having no way to protect my wife from this fear.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sometimes Average is Great!

If ovulation day is the same as our egg retrieval day, we are trending on the average side for Singleton values-  W00T!
Janet's first sonogram is scheduled for 11/18.  That seems like an awfully long time for us to continue to obsess over if things are going ok or not.  I thought the wait to conceive was awful, but this is downright terrifying.  Every symptom takes us to Google.

On a side note, thanks so much for all the book feedback and support.  Between Kindle books and I think we will be drowning in information.

One more question.  We have friends who are looking for information on clinics that have egg sharing programs.  If there is any chance you would provide the clinic info, I would be super duper greatful!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Beta 1 = 174

It's real now!!!
As I watched Janet last night and this morning, I can see her beginning to let herself accept and feel happy that this is indeed a pregnancy. For the past couple of years, I've been swooning every time I saw kid’s clothes, stores, etc. Janet would indulge me and accompany me in/around them, but she wouldn't really get "involved" in the gushing. Now, she actually asked to go look through the stores- wooooo hooooo! I'm allowed to start buying books- I would like to avoid "What to Expect when Your Expecting" because I've heard it’s just a bit too much- but I could be persuaded otherwise. Any others you fabulous people would recommend?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

And Then There Were 3 (or 4!)

I'm not sure I can ever express in words the joy we felt in our hearts when we looked at the stick and it spelled out P-r-e-g-n-a-n-t! There were screams, tears, smiles and one long huge hug (and a lot of confused dogs!). I know most of you have had the same moment so I won't go on, needless to say it was a momentous occasion and I am glad we can share it with of you.

My hope now is that I can finally stop disappointing Meredith when she asks me how I feel. Soon enough I will be nauseous and throwing up - anything to put a smile on my girls face!

On Saturday we go for the blood test and assuming that goes well I will Meredith tell the rest of our friends. I guess seeing it in writing isn't actually good enough for me, I need to bleed to make sure it is real.

Thanks for your comments and well wishes, hope you are having as spectacular a week as we are!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Oh YEAH baby- there is a butter bean in there!!!

Blood test confirmation:  10/24

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Hello, It's Me Again

I am painfully aware, as is Meredith, how long it has been since my one and only post. It's not that I don't want to, its just not something I think about doing. Oh, and she is so thorough I'm not sure I have any relevant information to add!

What I realized I could add, and should add, is my current role as incubator. I felt a little crampy/crappy for a couple of days but now I feel really good. It is hard for me to remember not to over exert myself and take it easy. I stress over what would be too much versus Meredith thinking I am just trying to get out of chores! I know she doesn't think I am lazy, but I sure wouldn't mind convincing her that cleaning out the litter box was overwhelming!

Well, I don't want to wear myself out on my second ever post so I will save a little for later this week. We had a busy weekend and ended with a dinner party for my Mom's 76th birthday! We had a great time and love being with our family. (Hi Mom, hope you had a good time - we love you!)

All for now - Janet

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Larry and Curly meet the world

Larry and Curly wanted to stop in and say hello- 3 days post 5 day fresh transfer. 

In other news, HPT was negative last night, but we expected that.  Where the Wild Things Are was cinematically beautiful- but far more dark and psychological than I had expected.  I wouldn't recommend it for kids- but I loved it.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Friday, October 16, 2009

The best is yet to come

We now have the embryo transfer and related bedrest behind us.  Everything went well- two pretty embryos transferred (Larry and Curley for those keeping track).  Apparently Moe decided that he/she was indeed not a morning, afternoon, evening or night person.  The transfer went without a hitch- pic of our embies to be posted when I am home to turn on the scanner.  Janet thoroughly enjoyed her bedrest and *hopefully* went back to work today feeling rested and happy. 

Since Janet didn't take the HCG shot, it is our understanding that early pregnancy tests will work on her.  So far, I've bought six based on this website's detection level info.  I also found this fabulous poll/thread for surrogates that gives a good idea of when, if we are preggo with twins or a singleton, our hpt will show a positive (all based on a 5 day fresh transfer).  Naturally, since I've been buying a$$ loads of tests, I had her test last night, 1 day post transfer.  Negative- duh, but satisfying.  I will start getting anxious on Sunday and Monday.

This weekend is going to be jam packed.  Hopefully jam packed will mean less time to obsess.  Tonight we're bonding with our inner 6 year olds and I CANNOT WAIT!  Bring on Where the Wild Things Are!  I've been a hug fan since I first read the book in the late 80's.  My 13th birthday party was even themed after the book- "Let the Wild Rumpus Begin!"  and I have the t-shirt, etc etc...anyway, like I said, I CANNOT WAIT!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

To meat or not to meat

Since I lack any fun ttc news or statistics or related obsessions...Lets talk about meat.

In our house, we aren't vegetarians- but we're moving slightly in that direction.

Upon reflecting on the dishes that we pick out for the week and the frozen/prepared foods we take to work, Janet and I have come to the realization that neither of us enjoy eating meat by itself.  We've made appetizing sounding meals such as apple and adobo glazed pork chops with couscous and found that we really only ate a couple of bites of the pork chop and finished the entire thing of couscous, using the glaze as an additive.  We do this over and over again with chicken breasts and the like. 

So why do we keep buying meat (fish is the exception)?  If we
A. Don't really like it, unless incorporated into something else
B.  Are comfortable ensuring that our protein needs are met with legumes/eggs/etc

We aren't thinking we will be vegetarians- I could never give up bacon, chicken broth, oh, did I already say bacon?- but I think we might be able to save both money, a bit of carbon emissions, and make more creative entrees.

Menu since consensus was gained in the household:

Sunday: Green chili stacked enchiladas (contained cream of chicken soup, so not totally veg)
Monday:  Curried butternut squash and corn chowder
Tuesday:  Parmesan brown rice pilaf with portobello mushrooms and white beans
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Pizza

What are your favorite meat free meals? 

Monday, October 12, 2009

Larry, Curley, and Moe- Day 3 update

And the Embryologist's observation/grading is:

Larry:     10A
Curley:     7B
Moe:        6B

I'm hoping that Moe just isn't a morning person and will persevere towards the preferred 7+ cells by day end.

On an awwwww, note- my beautiful wife brought home three roses last night, one for each of our embryos. 

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Empty Follicle Syndrome

So, since I have confidence that Larry, Curley, and Mo are dividing happily today, I have time to obsess over something else.

Why didn't I have more eggs?  Since every sono said I had between 13 and 20- and my levels were good, and my ovarian reserve numbers were fine- what gives.

So far I've found this article on empty follicle syndrome, which in turn gives me more terms on which to search.  Obsession is good.

Also, this morning we had a great breakfast with a friend that we met on the CCB message boards.  After over a year of trying and failed IVF's, she got pregnant on their last- we have sperm left so what the hell- unmedicated IUI.  Without a doubt, its a good juju morning.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Cautiously Optimistic

Fertilization report is in and...things are ok.  Of the 4 embryos, 3 fertilized.  Of the 3 that fertilized, 3 are dividing nicely and Dr. Le is happy with them. 

After much crying and drying of eyes last night, we now have glimmers of hope.  In our general silly nature, we would shoot each other three fingers- our new lucky number!

I can help but call them Larry, Curly and Moe.  Janet just said- but there are no girls names in there- to which I retorted that Curly and Mo are both andryogenous and could be either.

I need to check church times.  Per my begging and pleading with G-d last night, I'll be in church until our future baby is born.  I should know better than to negotiate with the being above- perhaps we can negotiate down to two/three Sunday's per month.

Friday, October 9, 2009

All this, for four eggs.

I am completely deflated.

They aren't sure if all the follicles they saw on the sono's were just duds- or if the ovidrel didn't work.

To add insult to injury, California Cryo apparently shipped a dud for our sperm (2.3 versus their guarantee of 10) and the clinic just called us to ask us how we would like to pay for ICSI.  I have no idea where exactly we are going to get $1200 by the transfer as it wasn't budgeted and we don't get paid until next Friday.  I'm sure we'll figure it out. 

Thanks so much to Heidi and N for pointing me towards Vee and Jay's blog.  It makes me hopeful.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Complaint Not Sent

Dear American Apparel,

My women’s size XL United Way T-shirt is obscenely small. Yes, I know that I’m spazzified from E2 levels that are now over 3000- but really- if the material is so thin I have to wear a cami under it AND feel like a sausage- there is probably an issue. Most other fair trade/organic women’s XL’s fit me just fine. Grump grump grump.

Yours truly,

A hormonal egg donor

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Spazztastic and the end is near

I'm having total moments of spazzyness today.  I'm prepping for tomorrow's United Way kick off  (2 employee sessions, ~250 employee's each) and keep finding more loose ends to tie up.  I needed to send the final UW powerpoint to our COO as he is kick off the meeting.  The pitch was 11 megs and there was no way I was going to put our COO in mail jail.  I figured I needed to find a web location, which I did and had someone add it online.  Now all I had to do was forward Mr. Big Wig the link.  I typed out my email quickly, added the link and pressed send.  When I glanced over at the webpage where the link resided, I realized that the date on the title read 1008.  The first thing that ran through my mind was "OMG I just send Mr. Big Wig a link with last year's presentation."  I gave myself a heart attack for at least 15 seconds while I realized that no, I had just departed from my normal naming convention and that the package was indeed the correct one.  Ugh.  Its stupid- this is not a big deal and I have NO idea why I'm making it into one. 

In addition to UW, I keep finding things I have to do and meetings I have to move so that I can get away with being out on Friday.  Thats right, the big retrieval is Friday.  My follicles were all between 16's and 26's, E2 = 2192, and P4 = 1.7.  Tonight I'll have fun with two vials of Menopur and enjoy an extra stick of Ovidrel. 

I'm so excited that this part of the process is going to be over.  No more drugs, no more mood swings, no more blood draws.  My arms look like I'm an addict thanks to bright green bruises down my arms from the blood draws.  The hardest part of this ending is that reality is setting in- I'm not carrying this baby, Janet is.  I didn't think that I would feel like this- perhaps its just the hormones.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Feeling accomplished

So of the two things I had to get done prior to going under on Thursday or Friday, I’ve managed to get one completely done and the other negotiated and an expected date of arrival.

Thing 1: Psych Evals- Results sent to the clinic nurse yesterday afternoon.

Thing 2: Embryo contract thingamajig- a little more complicated. We called the lawyer that will be doing our second parent adoption for help on this one. She hasn’t done anything similar in multiple years so was seeking templates from her peers/NCLR/professors whatever. Our conversation came down to- if we wait to make sure that she has every i dotted and t crossed from a case law perspective, we won’t have anything before the egg retrieval. I asked her if Janet and I should simply draft something basic and have it notarized. We went back and forth on the idea and compromised that she would draft what she was fairly certain would do the job and then make any last minute amendments if she received something from her lawyer posse (my words, not hers). I respect her ultra diligence- but knowing that this is more so that the clinic can check a box versus protection for us- I’m thankful for the compromise.

I’ve seen a lot of grateful for lists lately, so I’ll make a shout out to the universe here:

• I’m grateful to our lawyer, who has fought for the rights to LGBT families since starting her career. I’m thankful that she understands how income taxing this entire process can be and charges very very low fees for documents that could be so meaningful.

Because I’m a process improvement person, I can’t help but wonder- is the clinic learning anything from our situation? Will they keep our documents/service providers on file so that if another lesbian couple comes in wanting to do the same thing, they won’t get the crap template and recommendations that we did? Every time I walk into the clinic I am thankful that the staff is so supportive and kind- but I truly hope the administrative details of all of this can be easier for anyone else after us.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Protocol Update 3

9/26-Stim Day 1- 175 iu Follistim (Puregon), 5 units Lupron
9/27-Stim Day 2- 175 iu Follistim (Puregon), 5 units Lupron
9/28-Stim Day 3- E2 Level 55, 200 iu Follistim (Puregon), 5 units Lupron
9/29-Stim Day 4- 175 iu Follistim (Puregon), 5 units Lupron
9/30-Stim Day 5- 200 iu Follistim (Puregon), 5 units Lupron
10/1- Stim Day 6- E2 Level 205, Progesterone 0.8, 200 iu Follistim (Puregon), 5 units Lupron
10/2- Stim Day 7- 200 iu Follistim (Puregon), 5 units Lupron
10/3- Stim Day 8- E2 Level 656, Progesterone 0.6, 200 iu Follistim (Puregon), 5 units Lupron
10/4- Stim Day 9- 200 iu Follistim (Puregon), 5 units Lupron
10/5- Stim Day 10- E2 Level 1148, Progesterone 0.6, 200 iu Follistim (Puregon), 5 units Lupron, 1 vial Menopur
10/6- Stim Day 10- 200 iu Follistim (Puregon), 5 units Lupron, 1 vial Menopur
10/7- Stim Day 11- E2, progesterone, follicle check

The follicles looked good today, ranging in size from 12’s to 17’s. Dr. Le said that essentially he was going to turn the heat up on the eggs for the rest of the week with the Menopur and that we would be looking at a Thursday or Friday retrieval. I’m hoping for a Friday retrieval. I’m one of the co-leaders for my office’s United Way Campaign and wouldn’t you know- the campaign kick off is Thursday, the 8th.

Any tips on dulling the sting of the Menopur? I consider that I’ve been lucky so far as the Follistim was pretty easy on the skin.

Psych Evals aren’t so scary Part 1

So ARCC expects people going through IVF to have a psychological evaluation. I’m not sure if it’s all couples going through IVF, or just those using known egg donors- but I know we had to. They didn’t tell us we had to get the evals until right before I was going to start stims. The nurse is just like “have you gotten your eval yet?”. Um, big fat no. I didn’t know I had to have one/didn’t budget for it/and am a little pissed off at the insinuation…

So I get over all of that and go back into logical, “treat this like a project” mode. First she gave us a referral to an infertility therapist. We called, got the price estimate- holy hell people it was out of control. After crossing that option off the list I called and asked for an example of what they were looking for so that I could procure another therapist. The question list was even more offensive to me.

Example: Candidate reports having no emotional attachment to her donated genetics or the child to be. ___Yes ___No

Needless to say, I emailed the nurse that sent the questions over and politely went off. Per these questions, I’m definitely not a fit egg donor. The questions also go against the legalities we will establish when we move towards a second parent adoption… :::proceeds to rant aimlessly:::

So anyway, the nurse email’s me back and says that whomever we go to can customize the evaluations to our situation. At this point Janet’s called a few people, I’ve called a few people. Responses were either non existent, or they couldn’t get us in for weeks. I luckily turned to the Family Equality Council Dallas yahoo group for a referral and got a response within 24 hours. It turns out that De’An Olson is part of the aforementioned group- and not only could she perform the evals and get them completed on time, but she also works with the lawyer we will be using for our second parent adoption. She performs the home studies and evaluations for those. So, not only did she work us in within a week, so also made a deal with us by which the amount we spent on our evals can count towards her eval/home study fees when I adopt baby(ies) Gabber.

For anyone else in the DFW area needing a same sex or non traditional family fertility psychological eval, second parent adoption home study, or general therapy, I highly recommend her!
De’An Olson, LCSW

Tomorrow- more thoughts on the eval itself.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Protocol Crap Part 2 (Skip)

9/26-Stim Day 1- 175 iu Follistim (Puregon), 5 units Lupron
9/27-Stim Day 2- 175 iu Follistim (Puregon), 5 units Lupron
9/28-Stim Day 3- E2 Level 55, 200 iu Follistim (Puregon), 5 units Lupron
9/29-Stim Day 4- 175 iu Follistim (Puregon), 5 units Lupron
9/30-Stim Day 5- 200 iu Follistim (Puregon), 5 units Lupron
10/1- Stim Day 6- E2 Level 205, Progesterone 0.8, 200 iu Follistim (Puregon), 5 units Lupron
10/2- Stim Day 7- E2 and Sono check

Can't these eggs cook any faster?

The e2 vampire couldn't get me

This morning was my first sono since starting Follistim. Just like the last visit, they also attempted an E2 draw. I say attempted because apparently, my intake of only coffee before 10 am is not compatible with their need to draw blood. After three attempts they handed me a cup of water and sent me in for the sono.

Sono: 14 Follicles:
Left- 7, ranging in size from 8 to 12
Right- 7, ranging in size from 7 to 8 (mostly 8's)

Post sono and 12 oz's of water chugged- the vampire got her breakfast. Based on the E2's they'll email me my next doses of the wonder drug.
My next appointment is Saturday at 8:45 am. I got a big kick of calling Janet and informing her that she would be seeing 1/2 of her future unborn children at that time.
Boring protocol update 2 after the email from the Dr's office.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Bloated much?

Its day 5 post start of Follistim and I had to wear my fat jeans.  My mini Budha belly is relieved that my fat jeans sit low on the hips.  Unfortunately, the belt that keeps them on my hips is digging into the bottom of said belly- ugh!  If this is day 5, I'm not sure I'm going to make it to 10 in my current assortment of pants.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Protocol Crap- Feel Free to skip

For my sanity, I'm going to log protocol details and E2 levels.  I know its boring.

9/26-Stim Day 1- 175 iu Follistim (Puregon), 5 units Lupron
9/27-Stim Day 2- 175 iu Follistim (Puregon), 5 units Lupron
9/28-Stim Day 3- E2 Level 55, 200 iu Follistim (Puregon), 5 units Lupron
9/29-Stim Day 4- 175 iu Follistim (Puregon), 5 units Lupron
9/30-Stim Day 5- 200 iu Follistim (Puregon), 5 units Lupron

10/1-Stim Day 6- E2 Check?

They said the E2 level was good, but in reading online, it looks like of low for two days at that level of Follistim.  Opinions?  Trying not to be obsessive.

She lost it...

...and then found it again.

Lupron suppression with BCP's ended on Saturday and THANK GOODNESS. That stuff made me absof#$%inglutely crazy. The physical effects were mild- just a few tension headaches- but my mood- down right foul.

I totally lost it on Saturday when I was supposed to start stims- 175 iu of Follistim. As a refresher- I bought my Follistim from a European distributer to save a bit of cash- and the clinic said it was ok. It came under the brand name Puregon. The drugs had been sitting in fridge waiting for this splendid day- I hadn't opened them assuming they were vials and corresponded to the obscenely large number of insulin needles the clinic had ordered for us. Imagine my surprise when I open the package at 10:30 pm Saturday night to take my injection only to find that the vial is made for a pen- and a pen wasn't included. Then I found that my dosage was in IU and the syringes only measured cc's. Naturally my sense of self reliance kicked in and I started googling- only to be reminded that IU's and cc's aren't exactly convertable- IU isn't a volume measure. So, temporarily freaking out, I call the doctors after hours line, only to be told "I don't know how to help you...didn't the nurse tell you what to do?". I totally lost it at that moment. Janet was in the other room watching SNL and had no idea that I was crying. I don't think I have cried that hard- perhaps ever. In my emotional state all I could see was 1/4 of my 401K down the toilet and our dreams of a baby gone...all because I wanted to save some money and order from an overseas pharm. I yelled at Janet, I yelled at myself, I sobbed for what was at least 15 minutes. My beautiful and amazing wife calmed me down- just her hug brings me to clearer thinking.
Clearer thinking took over. My vial was for 600 iu- I knew that my dose was supposed to be 175 iu- that meant that there were 3.4 doses of that amount per vial. Then I figured out how many cc's was in the vial- ~75. 75cc p/vial divided by 3.4 doses means that a 175 iu dose would equal ~22 cc's. I proceeded to be very impressed with myself and did the deed! WOOOOO hoo. Sunday in the early afternoon the doctor called me back to find out if I'd managed to get a Follistim pen- at which point I informed him what I had done. He was impressed and I felt vindicated. He told me to do my thing Sunday night and then when I stopped in on Monday to have my E2 labs done that they would give me a pen from one of their sample kits. Needless to say- I made sure to ask for the pen when I got there this morning. Now I'm just waiting for the call back RE: my next dosage.
Also in queue:

Psych Evals- Thursday

Embryo Agreement- sometime this week

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I have successfully managed to give myself two lupron injections without freaking out.

That is all for now.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sometimes you feel lucky- sometimes you're just pissed

Background: I grew up in Florida, which until recently had an enforced ban on adoption by gays and lesbians. While there, I knew that I could never protect my family if the child of my same sex relationship was born in Florida.

When I moved to Texas, I learned that because Texas does not specifically forbid gays and lesbians from adopting, family courts in Bexar County (San Antonio) and Travis County (Austin) have interpreted the law to allow for second parent adoptions by the non birth giving individual within a same sex couple. While Travis County only allows Travis County residents to go through the court system for second parent adoptions, Bexar is open to residents of all Texas counties. I did enough research to find at least two options for lawyers who work with Dallas area couples and have a few recommendations for social workers. Until Tuesday, I've always felt lucky to live in Texas, where though conservative we may be, legal interpretation has taken the side of permissiveness. I've even taken some bit of pleasure in providing additional feedback to blog entries that say the opposite regarding Texas. I have an issue with people not taking advantage of the legal tools available to them to protect their families/their rights and then ending up in court, putting a child through hell.

For some reason, I woke up from a dead sleep at 2:30 am on Tuesday, absolutely livid that a child that is genetically related to me and birthed by my wife, would in no way legally be connected to me until I invited a social worker into our home, paid thousands of dollars to an attorney, and stood in front of a judge in San Antonio to prove myself worthy. I know this will pass, and I'm not going to put my future child at risk by attempting to protest the system- but I'm having a moment...

Friday, September 4, 2009

IVF Protocol v2

So the latest and greatest protocol start dates:

Janet- 9/10
Meredith- 9/14

Meredith- 9/26

That seems like a helluva lot o Lupron.

On another note- we'll stop our cocktail drinking habit when we start the Lupron, so to go out with a bang, and in celebration of the recurring '70's Casserole and Movie Night we have with our friends, tonights cocktails are:

The Alabama Slammer
1/2 part Vodka
1/2 part Southern Comfort
1/2 part Sloe Gin
1/2 part Amaretto
OJ to taste

Freddy Fudpucker
1 part Tequila
1/2 part Galliano (I have no idea what this is, but I guess I'll find out when I get to the store!)
4 parts OJ

The Casseroles are known as Tatertot Casserole and Open Cans Chicken Casserole. I'm sure I'll have something smart alec to say about those later.

Movie: H.O.T.S

To my US friends- have a great labor day weekend!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Protocol Med List

Even though they have work to do on the actual start days of our protocol, the meds stay the same- so being the dork that I am, I through all the stuff into a spreadsheet for a cost compare:
I have already ordered the Lupron (generic) because I thought Janet had to start it today, but everything else, I'm shopping around for. Any other pharmacies I should consider?
Thus far, I'm thinking Ascend for the Follistim- I'm not sure that I want to wait around for IVFMeds to get things through customs- they also don't actually offer the 900 size that I need- would have to buy 3 600's for the price noted above. Freedom is definitely the least expensive for the Ovidrel.
So anyway, Janet started today. I let the nurse know and now am waiting for the new protocol schedule. Lets get this party started for real this time.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Dear Fertility Clinic,

Before you spend time developing a protocol for your patients, you might want to make sure you have asked all of the rel event questions- like, is Janet still on the bcp's we gave her to take so that we could delay the surgery to remove her polyp- that we then told her to stop taking?
Assuming that she was still on the BCP's you told her she could stop taking was probably a bad plan. We are disappointed to have to wait at least another week to start. While we understand that sometimes mistakes happen, we look forward to your more thorough attention to our charts in the coming weeks.

The irritated Girls Seeking Gabber


So, when I set up this blog, I purposefully left it open to search engines. I did this in hopes that I could make the Dallas, Texas IVF/Donor Egg/Big Gay/Lesbian/etc family creation search easier for others than it was for me. I also wanted to repay the kindness of all the blogs that I stalked/read from start to finish/still follow while planning and researching this big adventure.

A search query that someone used to here last night has grossed me out a bit and is making me question my decision. I also can't help but giggle a little in thinking about the poor schmuck that landed here thinking he was in for a treat.

The search term:
girls drinking sprem pushy

Now back to our regularly scheduled TTC blogging.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Protocal is about to start!

So, today I got the below email from the our assigned clinic nurse regarding our protocol:

"Janet will be starting lupron on Thur. 9/3/09. Meredith will start her lupron on Tue 9/08/09. "


Who knows what the rest of the protocal looks like- but, at least we know a little bit of something.

Monday, August 31, 2009


Yesterday was CD1- and what a horrible start it was! I had accidentally been off the pill the prior month (I thought I was set up for auto delivery from my mail order pharm- not so much!), so wasn't quite sure what to expect. As we were about to start cleaning up from dinner - I swear I almost doubled over from an onset of cramps. I don't think I've experienced anything that bad since I was in middle school and the ibuprofen was in my mom's bedroom and I didn't want to wake her. Anyway, 1 heating bad. 1 hour, and 4 ibuprofen later, I was ok. I'm now happily back on the BCP's that apparently, will hold my cycle until Janet catches up in ~9 days. I called the Dr's office this morning (per their directions) and the nurse told me Dr. H would start developing the protocol.

Janet now has ~9 days to get her required pap smear and physical that apparently she's been putting off, and now- I really really really have to go back to the evil LabCorp for my FDA panel blood draw. Hopefully this time they won't make me wait forever for nothing.
On an interesting note- this morning I walked in the office to a gaping hole near my desk. Apparently someone drove through a window (accidentally). Since I know everyone is ok, I feel like it's ok to laugh- these things just don't happen in our world! They've been boarding up the hole, cleaning up the glass, etc for the past two hours- its making me nuts! On the other hand, its nice and cool outside (for Texas) and the new "ventilation" has made the temp pretty nice.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Its really about to start...

Forgive me blogworld for I have sinned- Its been forever since my last post.

This ivf, egg donor thing is really about to kick off.

I had my egg donor consult last Friday. It was essentially an office visit with Dr. Haas where he explained the same things he did before when Janet and I were together followed by a pelvic exam featuring the ever so fabulous dildo cam. There was really nothing of note until the nurse took me into the room to ask all of the FDA questions. They were pretty damn funny. Luckily, the nurse had a great sense of humor as well. When the office visit was over, they told me I should go grab lunch because the lab for my FDA panel was closed for another 30 minutes. I took the opportunity to grab my ever so favorite chicken salad sandwich at corner bakery. I arrived back about 15 minutes after the lab reopened to find 6 or so people waiting in the waiting room. Apparently they only had one person working and she was doing the job of receptionist, phlebotomist, pee cup labeler, etc. I waited 30-45 minutes until my name was called. She took me back, looked at her lab sheet, left for a minute, and returned to say- sorry, the last FedEx pickup was at 11:15- we can't do your FDA panel today- can you comeback on Monday? Grrrrr.

It is now Thursday and I still haven't taken my pretty little blood rec back to the lab. I need to call to find out if I need a new rec, if I've screwed everything up- blah blah blah.

I'm totally psyched that this is all really about to happen! I'm supposed to call on my next CD 1 so they can start the bcp's and lupron. Janet is 5-7 days behind me cycle wise.

Questions for the experts on the lupron- what were your side effects? My sister in law says she felt super lethargic. Opinions?

And now, just for fun, a completely self involved and bad pic of us while we were in Pittsburgh.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Skipping Class

Don't look down on me if you are a culinary genius- but...I'm skipping class to make tortilla soup loosely inspired by Rachel Ray's Mean Grean Chicken Tortilla Soup. I say loosely because while I do use lots of tomatillos and a beer base- I basically clean out my fridge for all the other veggies.

For some reason, skipping class for the catharsis of chopping veggies for an hour sounds totally worth it.

Today was one of those days at work that was pure frustration. I was working with massive amounts of data and my CPU was not liking it at all- so what should have taken me an hour took me 5. Not being able to send and receive emails, use im, or surf while data loads is abso-fu$king-lutely miserable! Perhaps thats why I need a little rythmnic chopping action in my life?

In more relevent news, Janet had her pre-op consult for Friday's surgery. Dr. Le instead of Dr. Haas will be doing the surgery and she really liked him.

In less relevent news, I've surrendered to my own weakness. I can't workout by myself. I tried. After 6 weeks of having a personal trainer, I thought I could do it on my own- had the trainer design a workout and everything- but it.just.doesn' I start a workout and succumb to my own self doubt as to whether or not I'm doing it right, how stupid I look, whatever. I end up stopping before the workout is complete and run over to the the treadmill to do the only thing I'm sure I know how to do. For some reason, paying someone to reassure me during the process, urge me on- totally works. The fact that she's totally hot probably helps too- to workout harder at least :c)

Off to the grocery store- need vitamins and jalepenos.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Finally a TTC update!

:::does happy dance to fertility deities:::

We finally got our property tax refund (part of the IVF cost) and I'm now comfortable taking a 401K loan for the rest (arrrrrrrrrgh!).

Janet has a polyp removed on Friday- shouldn't be a big deal, but I really don't want to see her in pain :c( We're planning on a homebody weekend full of couch snuggling, old movies and crappy food. Anyone have any experience with polyp removal they want to share? We've been told it's like a very crampy period.

With the polyp removed and the amount of time that it takes for the 401K loan to process, I'm thinking we will be on the September cycle- perhaps earlier, but I would rather be less optimistic.

I need to schedule my battery of FDA mandated tests for egg donors. I think its so funny that men can donate sperm to their wives for iui and not have to go through an FDA panel, but I do to donate it to my wife (yes, I know, Texas, USA doesn't consider us married). Lets hope the track marks don't disqualify me ;c). I wonder how many of the FDA tests I can get my insurance to pay for by just asking for them as part of a routine physical?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Advanced Reproductive Care of Irving

I can make the declaration now- we've found THE clinic and THE doctor.

First the fun of getting there- I couldn't find the building and Janet got stuck in unmoving traffic while on her way, so we initially didn't know if the appointment would even happen. I actually walked in the Baylor Hospital, not realizing that the clinic was a separate entity- the GPS didn't help either.

Our appointment was with Dr. Haas. He was super nice and thorough without being condescending. He drew out on paper what our cycles would look like, differentiated between the drugs and tests we would each require, etc. (Being the LEAN business geek that I am, I'm considering creating Visio flow charts for him so he doesn't have to draw it out for future clients.)

Now comes the amazing part- the cost! ~$8,000 including meds! I nearly did a happy dance in the office. We can "afford" to make a baby and eventually feed it too!

Afford is a relative term however- we can't honestly say that I have $8000 sitting in a checking account (and yes, I know that I should).

Janet had a histosonogram yesterday- they seem to require it for all patients- and they found a polyp. Apparently the removal procedure is pretty easy, but I still feel bad for Janet- she's already had a fibroid removed. From what she told me, it doesn't sound like its a big deal fertility wise though.

Ohohohohohohoh- and another super cool thing that made me/us happy- Nurse Christy, one of the nurses we liked at UTSW, is now at the clinic managing the IVF patients. She stopped by to see us while we were waiting to find out the cost "stuff". She was known for crossing her fingers for us after every IUI. Its so nice to have a familiar face around.

We are thinking we will start our cycle in August. It will give us time to get finances in order and get all the tests, ordering of "specimen", and legal paperwork in place.

That reminds me- I found it interesting that we can go to our own lawyer to get the paperwork drawn up for the egg donation and embryo ownership. We went to Lorie Burch for our wills- I'm wondering if she can create these documents as well. We're pretty sure we'll use Suzanne Bryant for our 2nd parent adoption...which to choose... Heck, it might not even be a choice, one or the other might not choose to perform those kinds of agreements...did I mention we both love Lorie and her being here in Dallas versus in Austin...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Smattering of Updates

Yesterday was a good day!

  1. I found out that the city is refunding ~$800 in overpaid taxes. The check should arrive this week and will promptly be deposited into a high yield savings account (anyone have a preferred online bank for these?)
  2. I called the State of Florida office that handles adoption information. Josette Marquess, the exceptionally nice and overworked handler of all non-identifying info, let me know she was dropping my information in the mail that same day!
  3. Jennifer, my favorite nurse for UTSW called me back about my test results and told me not to worry. She also told me not to obsessively seek info on the Internet (she knows me so well) and cause additional stress. They are probably just going to invite me in for a sono to check my cysts out. (While she didn't say it, I think the inference is that if the elevated E2 can be attributed to my PCOS, they are less worried about an artificially suppressed FSH- not sure, thought it makes me feel better to tell myself that)
  4. I ran/jogged/flailed at a decent pace for 2.5 miles- and felt like I had a little left to give. My recent re-engagement of a trainer, finding a gym in which I'm comfortable, and finding strength within my own body I didn't know I had has done amazing things for my confidence levels and sex drive (yeah, sorry if you didn't want to know that)
  5. I booked tickets for our trip to Pittsburgh for my Grandparents 50th wedding anniversary. We are staying with my "Aunt" Nancy's family. They have a baby girl I can't wait to meet. I'm giddy as I haven't been up there since high school. Oddly, even being the little Southern girl that I am, I really enjoy the Pittsburgh landscape. I think it was the first place I visited with so many Universities in area. My favorite memories are of Big Joe (my grandfather) taking me around Carnegie Mellon. I was SO impressed.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

It IS the month of HOPE!

A few weeks ago, seeing these posts would have enabled my wallowing in self pity. This month, with our various doctors appointments, and nothing telling us for sure that we are going to have more issues, seeing positive pregnancy tests in blogland makes me jump for joy!

Give your love, support, good karma, prayers etc to Amy & Melissa's Baby Blog and Two Hot Mommas. They got their BFP's!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Shopping Around and Being a Drama Queen

So last week we had our "financial consult" with SIRM Dallas...

For for me to donate my eggs to be used for Janet to have IVF we are looking at the following costs:
Single Cycle with Ovum Donor, Gestational Carrier, or Ovum Donor & Gestational Carrier


Office Visits
Serum estradiol hormone tests
Ultrasound exams of uterus and ovary(ies)
Egg Retrieval including procedure room fee and surgical supplies
Culture and fertilization of embryos
Embryo Transfer (ET) with ultrasound guidance and supplies
Two (2) Beta hCG pregnancy tests

Not included:
Anesthesia Supplies
Anesthesia Provider
Assisted Hatching
ICSI, etc
(you get the picture)

Given that after our first meeting I wasn't exactly in love with Dr. Saleh- he wasn't capable of performing a miracle with my wife's beautiful ova- and using donor eggs is a fairly basic, fertility clinic procedure- We/I decided we needed to shop around. Doctors Le and Haas in Irving will work with lesbians (where one wants to donate an egg to the other- or at least that is what we've heard) and their fees appear to be SO much less! We have a consult with Dr. Haas this Thursday.

Due to my PCOS, Dr. Saleh asked me to come into his clinic for a day three FSH test and a glucose tolerance test. Not wanting to go to some fertility clinic where I lacked relationships, I opted to call my most favorite UT Southwestern. On Friday I did the glucose tolerance test and this morning I did the day three FSH. My favorite nurse Jennifer just left me a message with the FSH test results:

FSH: 6.9- good
E2- 88- not so good.

Jennifer said she was going to check with Dr. Wilson to see if she wanted me to come in to see if I have cysts, which are known to cause elevated E2 levels. Well my friends, I have PCOS- so of course I have cysts (or at least I did 2 years ago when I was diagnosed).

I'm now off to frantically search the Internet to find out what can be done to get the E2 levels down even though I have PCOS or at least determine if I should be worried- because right now I'm having a little coronary.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Pool Fairy

This is what happens when you make a wish on Facebook that a fairy would delivery a kiddie pool to your front yard- and one is magically delivered!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Loss and Hope

Loss and hope are what we are feeling in our household after phone consult over the phone with Dr. Saleh of SIRM.

While Janet had filled out lots-o-forms pre-consult, her actual records from Dr. Wilson's office had not yet made it over. We couldn't answer the specific questions like "what was her FSH level on day 3 and on day 10". All I could say was that I remembered she had been borderline.

Consult thoughts/feelings:
Dr. Saleh was about 30 minutes late in calling. Not abnormal for a doctor, but for some reason, waiting by the phone made both of us more anxious than if we were in the office. He was apologetic and patient as I conferenced Janet in. As was previously mentioned, during the chart review, he didn't have much to go on other than what we could recall. Who knows why charts take so long to get from point a to point b in the day and age of digital medical records... He was blunt but kind about our state of affairs which I appreciated. He was a bit remedial in explaining the details of ovarian reserve, declines with aging, etc, but I'm sure patients at the beginning of the process would have been more appreciative. When I disclosed my PCOS status as a potential egg donor, I didn't like that he questioned whether or not my PCOS diagnoses was real or not- I didn't go to a some backwoods doctor- I went to an expert in the field who gave me thorough review. Overall, he a little condescending but confident, competent, and straight forward.

During the consultation he expressed surprise that Janet had been encouraged/allowed to do 9 medicated IUI's at her age and hadn't been immediately encouraged to do IVF while she was still 44. I didn't really know how to respond. Dr. Wilson wasn't pushy and we weren't keen on the expense. In hindsight, it might have been worth it- aggregated cost of 9 medicated IUI's, sonograms, sperm would have probably equalled the cost of one IVF... Oh well.

The net of the overall conversation was that Janet has chosen to use use my eggs. This is where the sense of loss comes in. I can't imagine, for Janet, how it must feel to be told that you can't use your genetic material. I know that she must have some fantasies about her baby- his or her natural traits, etc. My heart weeps for her, for us. I think I've mentioned it in blog posts before, but I have dreams of our sturdy little boy or girl with her brown almond shaped eyes and round rear end- The little boy or girl with the silent but deadly sense of humor and the mischievous glimmer of the eye and an affinity for all things athletic.

On the hope side of the scale, we now have hope that we could have a baby this year, or at least she could be pregnant with one. I started to write "complete hope", but that isn't exactly true. I have PCOS impacted eggs- we have no idea how I'll respond to drugs, how the eggs could be impacted by insulin exposure, etc. We also don't know exactly how much all of this is going to cost and how we can pay for it. I have a feeling we are going to go the much advised against route of borrowing against the 401K's- at least we would be paying interest back to ourselves.

So, next steps with SIRM:
- Chart review with the IVF nurse: J & M
- "Financial" consult: J & M
- FSH testing: M
- Fasting insulin & glucose test: M

After we meet with the IVF nurse I'm sure I'll have more updates on the treatment protocols.

Monday, May 18, 2009

9th time wasn't the charm

For those that inquired about our status- thanks for the prompt.

I've been avoiding blogging, for fear of not being able to say anything positive- in fact, I wrote an entirely bitter and angry post that I subsequently deleted, but at least I got the words out of my system.

After Janet peeing on what must have been $80 bucks worth of pregnancy tests, aunt flow came raging in. My heart broke for her every time the pregnancy test said "not pregnant". There are only so many times you can laughingly add "yet!" to the statement.

I called SIRM and Janet has a consult with them next week. Depending on what the doctor says, on to IVF we go. Now we get to figure out where the money is going to come from as well.

Sorry for the morose post.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Friday night at home

After a long week, MBW, henceforth known as Janet (since I realized her team name on our profile shows up anyway) planned a night of dominoes and beer at our Casa. Given that I haven't played dominoes since I was six-ish and beer was involved. I was game.

I had fun going to the beer store on the drive home.

I picked out three beers I had never had before, but that sounded good on the label. A dangerous thing I'm sure.

The first selection was Shiner Hefeweizen. I had not idea Shiner ventured into the realm of Hefewizens and wanted to give it a try, particularly since its from Texas. I have to be honest and say I was a bit disappointed. The flavors of fruit weren't particular pronounced and each sip didn't make me want to take another.

The next was New Belgium's Mighty Arrow. For this one, I really wasn't sure what to expect. Pale- well duh- it's going to be a more refreshing taste, but other than that, no expectations.
It smelled citrusy, but also a bit like walnuts and pine nuts smell when you toast them together. When drinking, the citrus wasn't pronounced, but merged well with a nutty flavor. This one I did look forward to the next sip.

Finally, we tried Widmer Brothers Drop Top Amber Ale. I actually bought this one thinking that Janet's brother would be stopping by- and he enjoys beer with a bit more body (In fact, I think some of his preferreds would walk on their own.) I have to be honest and say I didn't finish the bottle- but I enjoyed it. The blend of honey and wheat was pleasant, but after two other beers, popcorn, chips, and girl scout cookies- I just wasn't in for much.

I had more fun playing dominoes that I thought I would. We played an easy game so I could learn and I started to pick up on strategy- just enough to use it to screw myself later!
From what I saw on a website, I think this is the game we played. After 5 games, we switched to Scrabble, which oddly enough, our brilliant friend- A from the family C, had never played before.

Hopefully there will be many more game nights to come!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Patience Pays Off

She surged! Ovulation detected last night and again this morning. She's on her way to RE's as we speak.

A picture of MBW's favorite dog just for smiles and good measure:

Meet Mathilda. MBW found her as an 8 week old puppy in a mud puddle after a rain storm. **

**Update** Insemination complete. She had four good follicles. On the left she had a 32 and a 27. On the right, which they were far less impressed by, she had a 14 and a 13. As per usual, her lining and her mucus looked great.

Fertile thoughts!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Just Icky

What is bound to happen if you routinely leave your phone on a stack of magazines on the back of your toilet?

Oh yeah, it was disgusting. The phone fell in the porcelain goddess at the most inopportune moment.

Lucky for me, a person had the same phone on Ebay for a darn good price.

Funny part was that the person I'm buying the phone from is in Crestview, Florida. The same beautiful place where my mother was in the hospital recently, and where one of my Senior prom dates was from. I know I probably shouldn't be surprised- the area is the location of the largest Air Force base in the world, with thousands of people also landing for tourism- but the redneck riviera keeps presenting itself in my life. I know its in my blood- sugar white sand and gulf air will forever send waves of energy through my spine- but the inland parts, where I was always trying to escape- come on!

Anyway, slightly used Sony Ericsson phone is on its way to me from Cres-tucky, Florida. Thank goodness for Ebay, being able to afford a replacement, and finally learning the lesson that neither magazines nor phones should be on the back of porcelain goddesses.

In TTC news, MBW has not surged and its day 11. We ran out of CBE monitor sticks so will have to rely on the normal OPK's. We're desperately trying to remain patient and not rush off to buy Ovidril. Why spend $75 bucks on something her body can do on its own- though it would be nice to be able to plan the insemination time...

Ohohoh, and celebratory news, our friend Ginny's pregnancy test is still positive! She will be the first from our Cryobank Friends Dallas group to get pregnant!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Weekend Recap

We were lucky enough to have multiple options for our Friday. We were invited by two new friends in our neighborhood to do a gay bar hop in celebration to the restaurant and bar scene in Dallas being newly smoke free. Janet's brother invited us out to dinner at our favorite pizza place- Eno's. Finally, we have a standing Friday potential date with our friends- the family C. We bought our house from the family C and they moved a whole two streets away. They have a great front porch for drinking Mr. C's fabulous concoctions.

After a frustrating week, all I really wanted to do was go home, relax/veg for a couple of hours and enjoy a black dragon, crafted with care by Mr. C and some fabulous conversation and banter. Lucky for me, everyone in the family C was well, so my wish came true. I came home to MBW working in the yard. I offered to make dinner in exchange for not having to work outside (awesome trade, right?) and made some quick and easy grilled salsa chicken sandwiches. We enjoyed our sandwiches, relaxed, and headed over to the C's. One double black dragon and all was well with the world.

Saturday was fairly scheduled, but most things fell through, which was good. In the evening we were to attend the Community in Schools Celebrating Successes event with some people from my office. The dress was "Texas Cocktail" which I had clarified by an event organizer as normal cocktail wear, but you can wear boots and a cowboy hat. Umm, yeah, not so much. MBW was hoping it meant jeans and boots- I truly enjoyed breaking the news. So anyway, we spent most of the day in Northpark Mall finding slacks and shoes for MBW. We were serious power shoppers. I ended up in a dress- the first time in over a year and she in a beautiful sequined top with well fitting trousers. She looked beee-uuuuu-tiful. We had much fun with our friends from work and left the even inspired. CIS does such an amazing job in the local schools and my company is lucky to partner with them.

This morning we slept in- sadly, there are few things I enjoy as much as sleep. MBW's birthday was Wednesday. The family celebration was held at noon in a new restaurant in Addison called Masaryk's. It's owned by family friend Gabe, who catered the brother in law's wedding and is also owner of family favorite, La Margarita, in Irving. The restaurant didn't disappoint! The service was even better than at La Margarita and the interior was lovely.

We came home for a nap- sleep in, take naps- we live the life! Instead of napping, we watched the ever so fabulous Cary Grant in Mister Blandings Builds His Dream House . I'm so glad she loves those old movies and I get the benefit of enjoying them. The dialogue was so witty. When we finally pulled ourselves out of bed, we went for a neighborhood walk and meandered over to the home of our favorite guys' house where our friend L was sipping wine on the front porch. We were invited up for a glass and were sitting around when an unfortunate thing happened. We hear guttural screams of an animal from a nearby street. Being the animal freaks that MBW, L, and I are, we went running for the screams. A poor little pug had been hit buy a car. L went for a towel while we went for the pug. We rushed him to the local ER vet and turned him over. The vet wasn't sure if we was going to make it (mainly due to potential spinal injury), but we will know if he does tomorrow if he's handed over to the city of Dallas. If he makes it, we'll get L's partner involved (he works with a group called Paws in the City) to make sure he gets a good home.

Now I'm off the adrenaline, finished doing some work to prep for tomorrow and am feeling grateful for all the good parts of the weekend.

MBW is on day 9 of her cycle and the monitor has two notches. I'm sure we'll be inseminating this week, so- need all the good mojo we can get. It would be great not to have to go with IVF.

Hope everyone else had a great weekend. I'm celebrating and praying for my friend Ginny who POS and got two pink lines this weekend! She has her in clinic pregnancy test tomorrow- so send her all of your good vibes!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


MBW's brother and wife are attepting to have a baby via IVF and have stumbled upon a new Doctor/Clinic after a poor experience with CAR.

The new clinic is the Sher Institutes for Reproductive Medicine and they are seeing *I think* Dr. Walid Saleh. In first going through their website, it looks like they are going to be gay/lesbian friendly based on reason five here.

Does anyone out there have experience with SIRM? If you had an experience, how was your patient experience, did you find it to be more or less expensive than other clinics, etc?

Monday, April 20, 2009

The New and/Revised Plan

Alright, so finally, a post related to what this journal was originally created for- TTC'ing!

We're on a new plan of action- or at least a revised plan of action. After two months off, figuring out what we were going to do, dealing with my mother related stuff, our dog stuff, and generally attempting to save money, MBW is on day 3 of her cycle and we are planning on an a triggered clomid IUI this month. We are going to do without formal monitoring as we've never had any issues with follicles not developing or lining thickness- and I swear, I'm not going to freak out on day 11 and spend $233 on a sonogram prior to her insemination.

What if number 9 doesn't work?

We have plans for that too!

After going back and forth, MBW has decided to go forward with an IVF using her own eggs. (Did I mention that there is really nothing more I want in this world than little boy and girl versions of my beautiful wife?!?!) We're still trying to figure out how to pay for it, but she wants to be pregnant by the end of the year or not at all. Disappointing to me, but if I were turning 45 in a few days, I think I would feel the same way.

If IVF with her eggs doesn't work, before the end of the year, we'll try with my eggs- and even if we don't end up trying with them, I think I still want to have embryo's frozen. My fertility will start to decline soon- and I really don't want to face this much time/heartache if there is any way to have an insurance policy if you will.

For IVF with her eggs we will be able to stay with Dr. Wilson at UTSW. For her to have IVF with my eggs, we might have to go to Dr. Le, or we might be able to stay at UTSW depending on if they get their legal documentation in order by then. I would truly love to be able to stay at UTSW and we've gotten so used to the wonderful nursing staff and doctors there- here's to hoping they get their legal stuff in order so I could donate eggs there.

Anyway, just sent an email over to MBW to make sure she had a Clomid script and knew went to start it. Its odd how after two months off, I don't remember when to remind her ;c)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A New Point of Reference

For my 27 years I've been told that I was a scientific miracle. The product of my mothers eggs, the sperm of a Mexican genius, and a surrogate mother. I've been told that the procedure was performed in Mexico and the surrogate delivered in Fort Walton Beach, Florida where I was promptly "adopted" because the state didn't have rules for such things.

This was in 1982- the procedure wasn't even done successfully in the US until 1981. My mother was 50 and egg cryo-preservation wasn't done successfully until post 1982. Given that my dear wife is 44 and they give her very low statistics with her own eggs and IVF- when thought through, the story gets less and less plausible.

As we've progressed through our own fertility process, I became more and more skeptical. I don't look anything like my mother. I don't look anything like my siblings.

I remember finding the adoption info one day when snooping through a folder with my name on it in my mother's filing cabinet. It gave some specifics about the height and weight of the birth mother, I vaguely remember a first name. At the time, I simply attributed it to the story mentioned above.

I had been thinking of asking my brother or sister for a DNA test just to confirm or deny my suspicions. I never got around to it, and instead, mentioned it to my niece this weekend while we were on vacation in DC. *Side note- my niece and I are the same age* She came clean with me- they had all known for years. Based on my niece's recollection of the story, my sister had been an acquaintance of my birth mother, who apparently got pregnant by a sailor (Pensacola NAS and Eglin AFB are both close- so very plausible). My mother who was teaching at the local university reached out to one of her college classes- communicating that she was looking to adopt a child and if they knew anyone in a 'bad' way, to make contact. Out of respect for my mother and the secrecy she was sworn to, she can't give me any additional info- but I was directed to friends of the family and my brother. I send my brother an email and haven't heard back yet- hopefully he will have some interesting or enlightening comments.

I've gone through a few stages of emotion. The first was thrill that I was correct in my doubts. Next came the thrill that I'm not biologically related to my mother- who is often cruel and manipulative. Then I was angry. How dare something something so basic be kept from me? While it doesn't change fundamentally who I am, I have a right to know medical risk information- especially now as we embark on this journey. Now I'm simply curious and amazed. There might be someone else in this world who looks like me or has my same obnoxious laugh, or anything else. My curiosity has led me to take steps to get the non identifying information from the state related to my birth. I wish my memory were clearer, but I really don't remember all of the details from the first and last time I read the info in 9th or 10th grade.

I think I will probably attempt to search for my birth parents after I get the info. I doubt they have ever looked for me as I've looked on several of the adoption/reunion websites and have found no traces of someone looking for a baby girl born on my birthday. A friend said that the worse thing that could happen would be for them to:
a. be in jail
b. not want to make contact
In either case, I wouldn't be any worse for the wear than I am now.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

For the love of beer

Since meeting MBW, moving to Texas, and visiting Eno's on a regular basis, I've become an amateur beer lover/taster. Just like wine, I can taste the different notes- honey, florals, hops, etc. Also, unlike wine, beer never gives me a headache afterwards. After mentally making it ok in my mind to be a beer lover, I've jumped off a beer cliff. Since starting Weight Watchers to get both my weight and blood sugar under control, I haven't imbibed much, mostly due to knowledge that when drinking beer, fattening food like pizza is normally involved.

Well folks, I found the best blog entry ever! First, its super fab to find a beer blog written by a woman, second, she has calories/ww points with them! I can enjoy without guilt now!

We're off to the Irish festival this afternoon with MBW's brother (A) and sister in law (J). Now I know that I can enjoy a Harp (versus a Guinness, which I always thought would be better for you- go figure) and a walk! Now I just have to stay away from the food, which shouldn't be a huge problem. I was never a fan of the food while I was in the country itself or at the Festival...

And for no real reason- my favorite Beers/Ales

New Belgium Mothership Whit
New Belgium Blue Paddle
Dales Pale Ale
Pyramid Apricot Ale
Brother Thelonious
Blue Moon
Left Hand Milk Stout

What are your favorites/recommendations to a newer lover of beer?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Not this month

To start off with, a few things that made me happy today:

  1. I initiated a refinance on the house. For our current payment, I can refinance the house house for 15 years instead of 30. Score!
  2. My blog was part of the latest post on, one of the first websites I found when I started researching the pregnancy process.
  3. I enjoyed a tortilla with local honey for dessert.

MBW had jury duty today- I didn't think she would actually be picked. I'm not sure I've ever met anyone who was selected for a jury- but then, I count amongst my friends a high number of lawyers and book throwers. She was picked- for a case involving sexual assault of a minor. I don't know details of the case- and I'm not sure I want to unless, after the case is over it will help her process. Given the nature of the crime she will be rendering judgement on- and the psychological/psychosomatic impacts it may have, we decided tonight it would be better to not inseminate this cycle. I'm some mix of relieved and let down. There is something thrilling about seeing the ovulation line on the OPK and the third bar on the CBE monitor, followed by the excited call to the doctors office. On the other hand, I'm relieved to not have to confront a potential negative ending for another month as well- or the thought of the 6 to 10 k cost of IVF later down the road. We have one more vial of our hunky East Indian Scotsman on ice- just waiting for another chance for success.

What good things happened to you today?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The universe said it had a different plan

Well, the universe didn't accept my plea. Rather than giving it the finger, I'm going to take the view that it is telling me to wait for a greater plan.

As we sit here, eating our favorite trashy supper of 2 cans of Ranch Style beans mixed with a can of Ro*tel, lightly sprinkled with cheese, we are on day 3 of our next IUI. If this doesn't work, we'll move on to plan b- IVF for her, with my ova. I'm scared of the drugs, the expense, and of not having a baby genetic Janet in this world- but I'm happy that we have options. We have plenty of options, which I suppose is why, 8 months of negative tests later, we are still positive.

A co-worker and friend suddenly passed away last weak, taking me back to one of my core principles: Life is precious- treat it with care, humility, and respect. We can't let an unfulfilled want ruin our ability to appreciate what we already have, which is a life full of laughter, joy, learning, family, friends, art, altruism...I could go on.

Amsale Berhanu- you were a light in this world. I am thankful to have learned so much from you.