Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Long A$$ Post

The "state of the business" is fine. Dr. Wilson didn't have any concerns about me donating eggs to MBW. She did know that they couldn't do it there due to legal paperwork- I don't think they handle donor eggs at all, regardless of same sex couples. She initially referred me to Dr. Doody's Clinic- The Center for Assisted Reproduction, because he also practices at UTSW. Jennifer, Dr. Wilson's nurse (and the best nurse EVER!), called me this morning to let me know that Dr. Wilson had talked to Dr. Doody and they will not take us for "social reasons". I'm horrified, pissed, and feeling a bit activist. They are willing to allow single women to use donor eggs, but god forbid it be a same sex couple.

Luckily, Jennifer recommended another clinic- Dr. Sy Le of Advanced Reproductive Care Center of Irving. I called their office and asked up front if they had issues working with same sex couples. The immediate response was "absolutely not". I was very relieved and look forward to making an appointment there.

Now to the prior issue. In Texas, unlike California, I'm not sure if we have any legal recourse. Janet is calling a friend who is a lawyer and professor, we will see what happens. I'm also going to contact the Dallas Voice and every other venue at my disposal to convey the discrimination.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Meal of the Week, 1/25/09

I missed last week, call me lazy, so, you're getting a classic clean out the refrigerator meal at our house.
For your viewing pleasure- "Clean out the fridge" Split Pea Soup
Key ingredients:
1 bag split peas

1 bag cubed ham

96 oz's chicken broth

Things I needed to clean out of the fridge:

Half a bag of baby carrots, chopped
6+ shallots, chopped
4 stalks of celery, chopped
6+ baby bella mushrooms

Hopefully this won't horrify anyone, but this is my method of making the soup:

On medium high, heat broth, split peas, and ham. As I chopped them, I added the "clean out the fridge ingredients". I simmered for 1.5 hours and added salt and pepper to taste.

I would normally include a cocktail recipe, but this one was enjoyed with water. We had the pleasure of joining MBW's parents for a wine and cheese lunch, so we decided to keep to the spirit of moderation for dinner!

Still Negative/Still Positive

Just checked 'the stick' and it is negative again. Not devastating, at least not yet. We both still have hope and are not ready to give up on my eggs but it is, at the very least, disappointing. On the bright side, we have another opportunity to try again in a few weeks!

I have never looked forward to my period, most women don't (unless they are hoping they are not pregnant). Looking forward to the cramping, blotting, bleeding and slightly more sensitive feelings seems so ass-backward. But I definitely look forward to it and surprisingly she does too.

We want more then a baby, we want a family. I have always thought when I heard a young women say she wants a baby that she is not thinking about the bigger picture. They have a baby, then a toddler, then a child, then a pre-teen, then a teen - well, you get the picture. Maybe I am just cynical (or jealous), but I have thought about this for a long time. Now that my head and my heart are in the right place my body thinks I am several days late and a many dollars short.

Thank goodness I have Meredith, an incredible family and wonderful friends. I thought I wanted/needed this to be a private journey but as evidenced by Meredith publishing a blog, it's not! I am not accustomed to sharing my feelings with a lot of people, let alone the 'world wide web', but I am growing more comfortable with each and every word. Hopefully next month, which is probably as often as I will write (sorry Meredith), we will have great news. I can't wait to be uncomfortable and miserable and get an 8th chance at having our baby!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Off to the doctors office

I'm off to the doctors office this morning to find out how my reproductive system is working. A little over a year ago, I was diagnosed with PCOS- 10% of the female population have it, so I'm not going to moan about it, but it is a pain in my desiring-to-reproduce-a$$

So the mission today:

  • Determine the overall state of the "business"
  • Determine, if stimulated with the right drugs, if the "business" will produce viable ova, ripe for MBW's usage
  • Determine if UTSW will do the deed or if we are going to have to go to the baby making business in Bedford

Things I know:

  • I'm 10 lbs heavier than the last time I went in
  • I'm no longer on BCP's

On good notes:

  • We are invited to our dear friends' home for an evening of Weight Watchers friendly food
  • We still have an opportunity for a positive pregnancy test tonight or tomorrow]

Hope everyone is having a fabulous Friday!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Intuition took over

Last night, I decided to calculate in my head when MBW's insemination would be. I was *feeling* like it was time, even though we weren't scheduled for another sono until Monday or sometime later, I couldn't remember. I looked at our old calendar (we still haven't put up the 2009 in the bathroom closet) and realized that she was on day 11. Pre-Clomid, day 10 to 11 was her ovulation day, so, for safety's sake, I asked her to do an OPK.

2 pink lines. Crap. Was this the first day of 2 pink lines or had we missed it? We quickly called the RE's office and asked them to come in. We were called back and scheduled for 9 am.

She did another OPK this morning and the test line was more faint. Was it because I'm cheap and buy the Target brand of OPK's instead of the CBE?

We get to the RE's office at UTSW, to find everyone standing on the first floor of the building. Apparently, a fire alarm went off around 8 and they were still trying to figure out what the cause was. While in the lobby, we started chatting with another couple who were also on their way up for an insemination. She and her husband were amazingly candid and cute. They showed us a picture of their daughter who was conceived a few years earlier through donor and IUI. It made me feel hopeful, even though, there we all were, standing on the first floor of the building, praying that our dethawing samples were ok. Also, it was odd, no one waiting at the RE's office had ever actually spoken to us, nor had we started any conversations. Sometimes it feels like there is this unspoken rule that you aren't supposed to acknowledge that anyone else there could be there because they too were unable to achieve one of nature's most common functions.

Dr. Patel, one of our MOST favorite doctors was the RE on call for the deed. He chatted with us as we went up stairs and we shared with him the more faint line this morning. He suggested we do one more OPK there to ensure that we didn't waste a sample. Their CBE OPK had two, very dark lines, so off we went!

I am not a particularly religious or spiritual person. I have the faith of a mustard seed and way to much Biblical/theological knowledge-the kind that makes you shake your head at all the celibate men who must have come up with the stuff- but again, not a lot of active spirituality. This time, after they left us in the room with MBW's feet and rear in the air, I was touching her stomach and I felt myself praying- please send us the spirit of a Baby A or a Baby R, or or or.

This broadcast has been temporarily interrupted by my MBW because I need to get in the shower so we can go to an uber birthday party, complete with an Elvis Costello tribute band and a keg of Guinness (though we will be keeping intake VERY low).

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Meal of the Week

So we all know that potentially pregnant women need to eat. Well, at my house, we eat a little too well. In the spirit of our household, I think we need to blog on a meal a week.

This weeks signature meal: Red Chili Stacked Enchiladas

First, prepare perfect meal preparation cocktail.

Grapefruit Goodness:
1.75 Shots Tequila

0.5 Shot Orange Curacao

Add Jarrito's Grapefruit Soda to taste, garnish with lime

Take a sip and start your red Chili Sauce. This is accomplished by starting with Bueno Red Chili, brought back in a collapsible cooler from your last vacation to Santa Fe or purchased in it's mild form at your local gourmet grocery store.

In olive oil, saute half an onion with one clove of minced garlic. When soft, add red chili, a pinch of oregano and 1.5 cups of chicken broth . To make the recipe vegetarian, vegetable broth or water works as well. Cover with a lid and allow to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

Take a few more sips of your cocktail and prepare the black beans by adding one can with their liquid to a pot. Season with black pepper, salt, and 1 diced jalapeno with seeds and 1 diced jalapeno without seeds. Bring to simmer until red chili is complete.
You are getting close now, so preheat oven to 425. Dig out your casserole dish and remember to spray with cooking spray- remember what a pain it is to clean without the spray? Check to see how fresh your corn tortillas are. If they are still warm from being made at your local tortillaria, don't worry about warming/softening them in oil. If not, heat oil, until it almost sizzles and add tortillas one at a time to soften, using paper towels to suck up excess oil. Back to the dish- add a small amount of red chile to the bottom to start your layering process. Create a layer of tortillas on top of sauce followed by grated cheese (we prefer sharp cheddar), and beans.

Continue this layering pattern until you have no more room in your pan. Cover the top most layer with all remaining red chili and lots of cheese. Place the pan on a baking sheet- to save the bottom of your oven, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to rest/cool for 10 minutes. Serve with your favorite beans (we like to invite family members over who also bring beans) and Mexican beer or iced tea.

Friday, January 2, 2009

One Year, Six Tries, Maintaining Hope

After sucking oodles of information from the internet, blog rolls and books, I think it is time to contribute something back to the internet.

My partner and I have been together for four years and were married in 2007 in Canada. We reside in Dallas, Texas in an ever evolving craftsman bungalow with four dogs and two cats. We’re lucky to live in very gay friendly, family friendly, diverse community.

I knew we were forever when I started daydreaming about raising children with her. Is there anything more intense than the thought of a partner willing/committed to raising little humans who may need years of therapy once you’re done with them- or- a partner who views your genetic material as something good enough to use to create new life? Perhaps I take these things to seriously, or maybe I’ve just thought way too much about it!

We started our trying to conceive journey last January, with Dr. Ellen Wilson of UT Southwestern Medical Center. She had been recommended by one of the Dallas parenting groups and I had a previous good experience with her related to PCOS treatment. My beautiful wife (henceforth MBW) was to be the first carrier, due to age, immediate desire, and accommodating work environment. With MBW’s age being over 40, Dr. Wilson’s prognosis for pregnancy was not bright, but she was encouraged by the outcomes of the initial sonograms and Clomid challenge.

We selected our donor from the California Cryobank (They have awesome Customer Service!) based on his RH factor (MBW’s RH negative), height, SAT scores, athletic ability and ability to infuse humor into something so clinical as a sperm donor profile. Our first order was supposed to arrive in time for a January insemination, but, due to shipping debacles on the part of FedEx (did I mention I had to call FedEx and let them know that the tank contained “human specimen” and they needed to get it here fast), it didn’t arrive in time, which turned out to be a blessing! Janet scored a new, wonderful job at a local not for profit hospital and was slated to start in February. FMLA doesn’t kick in until you’ve been on the job for a specific period of time, so we knew the stars must have aligned for us.

Since then, MBW has been inseminated six times via IUI. The first cycle was natural, no drugs, just our wonderful Clear Blue Easy Fertility Monitor. The next five were medicated with Clomid and monitored via vaginal sonograms. Four of the medicated cycles were at 25 mg of Clomid and the last cycle the bumped the Clomid up to 50 mg. We’ve used trigger shots for three cycles as well, but they are primarily for our convenience versus necessity. Also, for anyone else TTC’ing in DFW, the trigger shots are least expensive at the Las Colinas Target (Think ~$70 versus ~$100+ at most other locations that carry them)

This month will be try seven. We went in for the day four sonogram this morning and as per usual, everything looks great. We did have a more frank conversation with the doctor performing the sono and nurse Jennifer (the best nurse in the office!). While not easy, we are starting to think of IVF with my ova/eggs but her carrying. It is hard for me to consider. One of the things I would love most in the world is to have a little MBW in the house, regardless of gender. This morning we went so far as to price the process, but we won’t stop trying business as usual.

We try to keep our hope alive each month we find out we aren’t pregnant by viewing it as the beginning of yet another opportunity to create a new life.