Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Mean Man and Brunch

This morning, walking down a street in my neighorhood, I walked by an old man smoking a cigar. I coughed as the smoke hit me. I didn't cover my mouth. For the record, I always cover my mouth when I cough or sneeze. I am the queen of considerate. Really, my GM trained me well. But, this cough hit me with no warning and my hand didn't get up there. So, I just coughed.

The snoking man nastily said to me, "Cover your mouth when you cough!"

I was not in a good place today. Not at all. My emotions were raw; my tolerance was low. So, I turned and asked, "Excuse me?"

He told me that not covering one's mouth is the main way germs are spread and called me a slob. The slob comment really got my goat--namecalling was totally uncalled for--so I yelled back, "Fuck you" loudly and angrily.

I actually was in such a bad place and in such a bad mood that I started crying. Then, I chased after the mean man and told him that it was his cigar smoke that made me cough in the first place and he'd made me cry on a very bad day and he should stop blowing smoke in people's faces if he doesn't want their germs. I was so furious with him. He really didn't need to start something with me.

I don't usually care so much. I live in an urban area where people say obnoxious and nosy and nasty things all the time. I usually let it slide off. But today I couldn't. And I sat down on the sidewalk and sobbed afterward. I sobbed on the train the whole ride into the city. It was really unlike me. And I was still boiling over with anger afterwards. I wanted to go spit in the man's face. How'd he like those germs?

I just couldn't let it go. It was needlessly hurtful on a day when I really couldn't take any undue hurt, nd it was TOTALLY HIS FAULT THAT I COUGHED!!!!!!!! I am not sick. I'm an asthmatic who coughs when exposed to second-hand smoke.

Anyway, I eventually calmed down. We got together with Sophia for brunch and met the infamous Steve the horse. Brunch was fun.

I can't believe how short my fuse was today. What the hell is wrong with me?

Pathetic Poetry, aka Why Mathy Types Shouldn't Write Poetry

Every negative is a loss
of hope, of possibility, of barriers.

I once thought that
the wall between myself and my own mortality was struck down
24 years ago,
when my mother died.
The wreckage of that wall further destroyed
20 years ago,
when my father died.
The wall now turns to dust
as I watch my brother waste away.

I did not see then
that there was a wall that had not yet fallen.

The wall that still stood
as a barrier between me and my own mortality.
A second wall
that held something atop it.
Another barrier.
An opportunity
to live on
through a child.

Every negative chips away at that second wall,
that wall I had not noticed until recently
but that was always there.

Every month it is harder to look.
The wall is less inviting,
more ominous,
more reminiscent of the other wall,
the one that fell decades ago.
Why should it stand?

It might be easier
to place dynamite at its foundation
and do what I know will happen anyway,
speed its fall,
with my own fingers.
Pressing the button
at least I would be in control.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Negative

What more is there to say?

15 DPO: Waiting

So, I went in and had my beta. They weren't very busy today, so Nurse Poker Face came in and asked me how I felt. I think she thought I might be pregnant. I told her I didn't think I was pregnant.

I didn't take an HPT yesterday or today. I'm just waiting for the beta results, which I expect to be negative.

Nurse Poker Face brought up injectibles again, but I stuck to my guns about wanting to do one more Clomid cycle before I consider a different treatment. Also, she said I'll have to come in MORE OFTEN than usual when I do injectibles because they'll want to keep taking my blood, monitoring my levels and adjusting my dosage if I do Follistim. January is a lousy month for me to be doing that. I have a scary amount of work right now.

Also, I'd like to get the lowdown on multiples and injectibles before I make a final decision. Lo and I actively don't want twins, but I am sure we could manage. But more than 2? Shudder.

On the plus side, I found out that injectibles ARE covered by my insurance, but at a "preferred" copay (I assume that means a higher copay, but you know they have to have a euphemism for it) and I have to get them mail order. I don't know how much I'll have to pay out of pocket, but someone will be calling me back to let me know. But I'm so happy that they're covered! Huge relief.

Meanwhile, I wait.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

14 DPO

So, I now have the materials for my next project. It's going to be a doozy. But it'll pay a little more than my usual projects because of its length and complexity, so hurrah! More money for the sperm fund.

I can't wait until I can start saying that it's for the baby fund, but for now, it's looking like it's for the sperm fund. We'll need it. We have to order more vials if this one didn't work.

My chart is now doing what is always does at the end, when I'm on progesterone and not pg. It picks a temp and just hangs out there day after day. That makes me less hopeful.

I am not going to do an HPT before my Beta on Friday morning. It makes me feel so miserable to go do the Beta test when I'm positive it's a total waste of time. Since Lo is off, maybe I'll ask her to meet me afterward for bubble tea near my clinic or something that might cheer me a little while I wait for my afternoon phone call from Nurse Poker Face. The one where she tells me it's negative and I should call when I get my period to start the next cycle.

But, at least I have work. And at least I'll know for sure by New Year's.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

13 DPO: No work to distract me

I finished yet another book last night.

I have no work to do right now. It's a weird feeling. I always have 1-2 projects that I could pick up and work on. It's not cause for concern. I have a big project that I should be starting up this week that will keep me plenty busy. I just haven't received the materials yet, so I really can't do any work right now. How am I supposed to distract myself?

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Christmas was fun overall. I stayed with my brother and SIL. That was nice. I love them both dearly and they are really sweet to me and Lo. I worry about them so much.

Things are no better with them, or so it appeared to me. My brother still drinks ALL the time. We stopped at a liquor store on our way to Christmas Eve dinner, ya know, to pick up a bottle of wine for our host. He stopped there, too. But to pick up a bottle of something to get him through the trip to his in-laws', where he was going. A bottle just for him.

It's bad when your liquor store lets you run a tab, because you're such a good customer.

My SIL has been unemployed since before the summer. She has been severely depressed, and not surprisingly so. My brother drinks away most of his paycheck each week and they have trouble paying their bills. Being on unemployment and the way he treats her doesn't help her mood either. He can be really nasty and abusive to her.

My brother is pickling his liver, if he hasn't already pickled it. My father was only 39 when he was diagnosed with cirrhosis and his liver was full of holes at that point, so who knows when he started pickling it? Even if my brother weren't an alcoholic, he shouldn't be drinking anywhere near as much as he does. Both of us need to be careful. Women can get cirrhosis much more quickly than men can, so I watch how much I drink. Just like I get screened for ovarian cancer. If you know you're at risk for a life-threatening disease, you need to be careful. I don't know if my brother cares if he lives or dies, which is sad.

I saw my brother in just his boxers (thanks for that, bro). He is thin as a rail. According to my SIL, he doesn't eat like a normal person. I'm sure his digestive system is all screwed up by his drinking. Or maybe it's the liver. My father, toward the end, couldn't hold down food, whether or not he drank. It was pretty horrible. My brother isn't that bad off yet, but he's well on his way.

So, I worry about him. I gave him my typical speech about helping him if he ever decides it's time to get help. He told me he was Irish and was going to live forever. Uh huh.

I feel badly for him. His job is going union and they're paying for him to go to school. That would be really great for him career-wise. If he's union, that'll mean better pay, better benefits, and better job security. But how is he going to get through 2 nights a week of school without a drink? As it is, I suspect her has a hard time getting to 4:30 on a workday without one.

I also feel badly because I cut him down pretty good during Christmas dinner. We were sitting at the table. He was spouting off about something and being ignorant. I jumped in and started to tell him where his thinking was flawed, because it was. He cut me off mid-sentence and started talking loudly over me. He stood up as he did this, so he was towering over me, too. This made me angry. I felt like he was being aggressive and dominating. He was also drunk. He reminded me of my father right then. I felt the anger pulse through my bloodstream and make my face hot. I interrupted him and said simply, "You're louder, but you're not smarter."

My family couldn't believe I said that. It shut my brother up totally. I'm sure I embarassed him. I'm sure I cut him. I felt a little proud of myself for having stood up to him, and basked a little in the attention my family showed me. I think they aren't used to me having any spunk and some of them were impressed. But I also felt badly. He's so easy to cut. I am smarter than he is. He knows it. I didn't need to do that to him. Maybe if he hadn't been so aggressive toward me. Maybe if he hadn't been drunk.

Anyway, now I feel guilty. But I think he knows that I love him and would help him if he ever wanted to get help for his drinking.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas Dip?

So, yesterday, 11 DPO, my chart showed a big temp dip. It went back up high today.

Lo was all hopeful it was an implantation dip. I was mildly hopeful, but not very. Still, I was excited to see some variation anyway.

According to Fertility Friend's statistical study on such dips, they counted any significant dip that lasted only one day between 5 and 12 DPO as an implantation dip. They also say that when it appears on pregnancy charts, it's usually around 7-8 DPO. And of course, as always, they caution you that it doesn't mean you're pg.

So, was it or wasn't it? It WAS a day late for an implantation dip, although implantation doesn't necessarily have to happen right on cue by 10 DPO. I didn't have any spotting. I'm taking progesterone which affects my temps. So, maybe it was just a weird anomaly. Maybe my temps are lower in the maelstrom of my brother's house, where we stayed yesterday. Maybe Santa brought me a present because I'd been pining for one measly early pregnancy sign all week, and I've been a very good girl this year.

Anyway, only time will tell. But it's fun to see something different on the old chart for a change.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

9 DPO

So, no early pregnancy signs as of yet.

My BBTs are getting steadily higher. Today was 98.7. The progesterone could explain my high temps. I'm not overly excited on that score.

I am staying at my brother and SIL's house on Christmas Eve. I will have to store a hoo-ha bullet in their fridge. I'm debating whether or not I should mark out the directions that say "take 1 vaginally" or that say what it is. My brother doesn't know I'm TTC.

Nothing much new here.

Friday, December 22, 2006

8 DPO Distraction: 6 Weird Things about Co

I was tagged by E. to do the 6 Weird Things meme, so here it is.

I could probably come up with many more than 6 weird things about me. I'm a weirdo. The muppet I identify with most is Gonzo.

1. I like math a lot. I once played a game called 24, the algebra and exponents version, on the plane with my friend R. for 3 hours straight. We were on our way to a math conference. I celebrate Pi Day every 3/14 at 1:59 P.M. (Pi equals 3.14159...) Now, liking math a lot does not make me weird, but I'm in the minority, I know, and I bet lots of folks think it's weird.

2. I don't like sweets. I never have. I always turn down dessert, except when forced or if there's something a little more savory than sweet offered. I didn't eat chocolate for 20 years of my life (I thought I was allergic...wrongly... I tested allergic as a kid, but I was probably allergic to an impurity in the test, not to chocolate per se), and when I finally could eat chocolate, I didn't become a chocoholic. I suspect it's partially genetic, because my brother doesn't like sweets either.

3. I am obsessed with sharks. I love sharks. Every single Shark Week, I am glued to the Discovery Channel. Poor Lo tolerates this. When I was a little girl, I used to go around telling everyone that I was going to be an "ickyologist." I guess saying "icthyologist" was too hard for me and besides fish are icky, aren't they?
How did I get warped like this? Well, it dates back, I think, to when I was 2. My parents really wanted to go see Jaws. But my babysitter flaked. Rather than cancel their plans, they took me to see it. They figured I'd sleep through it. Um... no! I paid attention the whole time. And I had a grand time. I loved it. My dad thought to himself, "She doesn't know what is happening. She just likes the moving pictures and pretty colors." I didn't see another movie for a little while, until my dad took me to see Pete's Dragon. I screamed in terror, "It's a dragon! It's gonna eat me! It's gonna eat me!" My dad had to take me outside and calm me down and convince me, "No, it's a good dragon." So, I believed him and we went back in. "Oh, there are scary, bad people trying to hurt the good dragon! Scary people!" At that point, my father took me home. To this day, I have never watched Pete's Dragon in its entirety. Shudder.

4. I am a morning person. We're a minority (like math people), so I guess it makes me weird. I like being up early. I am chipper in the mornings, and do my best work then. I have learned not to be too cheerful around the majority of folks who feel and look like death in the mornings... at least until after they've had a cup of coffee or tea.

5. I can move one pupil in one eye while keeping the other one stationary. I get double vision when I do and it happens sometimes involuntarily when my eyes are tired.

6. I can do one cool 80s dance move. It's the one where you squat down on one leg and swing the other leg around and around, jumping on the other foot each time it comes around, and balancing on your hands. I can still do that one. I also used to be able to put my foot around the back of neck, but I'm too old now and not as limber as I used to be.

So, those are my weird facts. I don't know who has or hasn't done this, so I tag anyone who hasn't yet done it and wants to.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

7 DPO (7 DPIUI)

So, the obsessive checking for early pregnancy signs begins. Even though it's pointless. You can't stop me from going nuts checking and then having my hopes dashed as usual.

I had a dream last night that my best friend, who is TTC with her husband, was pregnant and I was jealous as hell. Then I dreamed that I went to Dr. Quick's during the TWW... in my dream I always did that, even though in reality I don't... and he did a different test than he usually did and that made me hopeful I might be pregnant.

I told Lo about my dream and she and I decided it just means I'm thinking about whether or not I'm pregnant even when I sleep. Oh the joy, to have a truly 24/7 obsession!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Yesterday was my mother's birthday. She would have been 57 years old. Happy birthday, Mommy.

Mommy_and_me

That is me probably shortly after my birth. Yes, I had lots of black hair at birth. I looked like Bert from Sesame Street after I was born because it was kind of sticking up, too.

And yes, my mom is feeding me formula in that pic. That was in the days when most doctors preached that formula was better than breastmilk. No one may pick on my poor dead mother for following the conventional wisdom of her day, or else!

I love you, Mommy. Happy birthday.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Non-Photo Friday: I is for IUI

What else could I be for? But no. We're not taking a picture.

We're at 2 dpo and we're both feeling hopeful. Last time around we felt pretty negative from the beginning, but this time we both feel we could be in the game.

I have a list of reasons, which I am far too superstitious to post now, but will reveal once we know one way or the other.

It's good to be hopeful. But the TWW is torturous.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Try #4 (IUI #3): Tiger Fish

stripedfish

So, we had our IUI today. I felt really positive about it. Not that that necessarily means it will yield the result we want or anything, but it was a sharp contrast to the last one. The last one was during a time of high stress for me and I don't think I ovulated at an optimal time. And I really felt like it wasn't going to work from the get go, which just is not at all fun.

This go'round, I was very mellow and not stressed, and I think our IUI was timed well.

59 million sperm, motility 72% (whatever that means, but the lab tech was impressed).

This try is named after the striped fish in the tank at the lab. It was a little purplish, unlike the photo I put above, but it had black stripes. We're calling this try "tiger fish."

So, anyway, I'm joining those of you already in the TWW.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Belated Photo Friday: H is for Holiday

Here's some photo evidence of holiday cheer around the O household.

Tree 2006
Tree 2006. It's not a real tree (Co is allergic) but doesn't it look great? This Jew can't tell the difference! And Co even indulges me with my Tree-In-A-Can, a candle that smells like real spruce. Mmmmm.... In this picture you can see the stockings hanging on the bedroom door, and if you look closely, a few of the South Park ornaments. Heh heh.

Though we will be a Jewish family, Co's culture includes this celebration, and I enjoy being a part of it. Who wouldn't want an evergreen full of lights at this time of year?

Holiday Lights
We live across the street from a park, and this year the two columns at its entrance are decorated with these festive blue lights.

Holiday Hound
And of course, the Holiday Hound. Oh, Mom, not the ears again!!

Monday, December 11, 2006

CD16: So, After All That...

I have 3 follies.

left: 18 mm, 17 mm
right: 14 mm

Dr. Quick: "You have a couple of eggs." I guess that means I might pop two after all. And Nurse Poker Face and I talked about how I'm doing another Clomid cycle next time (if necessary), not injectibles.

The tentative plan...
triggering tomorrow night
IUI on Thursday

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Six Weird Things About Lo

I've never been tagged in the blogosphere before, so I offer Brooke my greatest thanks for making me feel like one of the cool kids. I give you 6 weird things about Lo (with a little help from my wife, who kept insisting, "But you're not weird." Yeah, right).

1) I like to read several books at a time. Often I have a novel, a work of non-fiction, and a young adult novel (my excuse is that I teach 7th grade; the truth is that I never stopped reading kids' books) going at the same time. I like the variety. As a kid I used to make stacks of up to six books and read a chapter at a time.

2) I can play any song I hear (on the flute or recorder, my instruments of choice). This might be my early Suzuki piano training. I was taught to play piano, at age seven, only by ear. I was never taught to read music, which frustrated me to no end so I taught myself how to read the treble clef so I could play through my mom's Rodgers and Hammerstein and Song Fest on my own. My dad says his mom, who was a piano teacher, had perfect pitch (which I do not have!). I am no great musician, but I enjoy playing.

3) I hate carbonated beverages. They do not quench my thirst. (Co says I am the only Jew on earth who does not like seltzer.) This also means I don't really like soda. When I was in Europe -- and this was over ten years ago so things may well have changed -- it was very very hard to find non-carbonated water. I learned to say non-carbonated in Polish. (Niegazowana, in case you're interested.)

4) I prefer dogs that are short and long. You've all seen the famous Maggie Mae (and a lucky few have met the beast!) and I grew up with a Welsh corgi. We got the corgi because I fell in love with my grandparents' corgi. I will have to post both corgis' pix at some point...I do love oddly-proportioned canines.

5) I am a Luddite. I do not own an mp3 player of any kind and I don't even use my computer to listen to music (when we burn CDs we use Co's). I own a record player and a used amplifier my dad got me because I prefer to feel the weight of the radio tuner as I turn it. I hate the digital kind. (I'm going to have to fold because it's not working so well, but I'm dragging my heels.) We do have a DVD player, a gift from my mom, but I maintain that both VHS and audiocassette are much more practical media. You can't continue to add material to CDs or DVDs. I far, far prefer editing tape (I've worked in radio) by hand than by computer. It's just so much less....tactile. I'm not convinced that progress is always for the best.

6) I am always hot. I have been known to go outside in a T-shirt in 30 degree weather. My dad tells a story of me going swimming on Cape Cod in December. This leads to some arguments with Co -- who is always cold -- about opening the windows. Since we live in an overheated city apartment, I don't put the T-shirts away all year round.

I tag anyone who wishes to reveal six weird things! And you'll get to hear Co's weird things eventually too, since she's been tagged, too. :-)

Saturday, December 09, 2006

CD14: I'll Take What I Can Get

18 mm on the left. It grew 2 mm at least.

And Dr. I-Don't-Want-to-Be-Here-on-a-Saturday did say I had some smaller follies. Not big enough to matter, but at least they exist.

Back for another u/s on Monday and OPKs till then.

Lo and I discussed and rubber-stamped a plan. All of you who said that having a plan is key are totally right.

The plan is for me to do 6 IUIs total and then we'll stop and reassess. The tries need not be consecutive, if I need a month off here or there. I feel better about that. I feel better knowing that if after 6 tries, I want to stop, that's an option. Or if I want to continue, that's possible, too.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Thoughts on Your Comments (Plus Co Feeling Sorry for Herself For No Good Reason)

Hi. Thanks for all the comments. They gave me a lot of food for thought.

I was surprised that so many of you think I should seriously consider injectibles, and that you said there is a decreased risk of cancer from them.

(I will spare you all my thinking on the Clomid and ovarian cancer risk thing.)

I would be interested to hear about any studies showing that injectibles are less likely to cause ovarian cancer, because I haven't read anything like that. However, injectibles haven't been around for 50 years like Clomid, right? If so, that could mean we don't yet know exactly how they change our probabilities. How long have they been around? Anyone know?

I think what I really want right now...more than anything...is to feel like there's a way out for me. Like I don't have to keep doing this if I don't want to. I don't think I am willing to do IVF, to answer Bri's question. I have always said that to Lo (not on the blog). I just don't think I'm willing to put myself through that. I won't say never, but...

I don't know about injectibles. I don't know that my insurance covers them, which would mean having to come up with $2K a pop to do them, according to Nurse Poker Face. That's a concern, as well. That and the fact that there are no guarantees that my follies would do better on them.

I just want for us to have a back-up plan. I want to be able to either go to another RE or to bow out if I try everything that I am willing to try with this RE and get nowhere. I think what I really want is for Lo to tell me it's okay to give up if I need to in three months or so. That she'll take the TTC reins or we'll talk seriously about adoption. I would be sad if I don't get to bear a child, but by no means devastated. I would be happy to have a child another way. I have never really needed to be pregnant, although it would be nice. And maybe it's better not to pass on my scary gene pool anyway.

I really thought I wouldn't have to feel any of this angst until I had done 6 IUIs. I'm upset that Nurse Poker Face is suggesting that there is something really wrong that needs to be addressed when this is only my third monitored cycle. I'm furious that if I were het, I'd have a gynecologist reassuring me to wait at least 6 months before worrying about anything, but because I am going for follicular monitoring and taking Clomid every piece of data is scrutinized and if I have one outlier month, they start pulling out the bigger guns. (I got 2 follies from a natural cycle and 3 from my last Clomid cycle... overall, my track record ain't bad). I should never have gone on Clomid. I should've stayed on pseudo-natural cycles. I feel like I opened a floodgate and now I can't close it.

And come Saturday, I may find out this follie is nice and big and I'll feel less worried. Or come Saturday, I'll be devastated again. Or maybe I'll flip out and this will be the fricking cycle that produces a pregnancy and I'll feel like an idiot for having worried. It's not like I don't have any follies.

I just feel like I need a strategy. And I think I'm not willing to try injectibles next month. I'd like to (a) do one more Clomid cycle or (b) go backwards and do one of those pseudo-natural cycles or (c) get a new RE or (d) go back to searching for a KD so I can escape the medical nightmare or (e) take a vacation.

Lo needs to post her 6 weird things meme now. I've been bugging her to do it. I don't want to see my posts every time I visit our blog any more. I'm tired of me.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

CD12: No Progress

So, here's this cycle's follie history.

CD3: nada
CD10: left 16 mm
today, CD12: left 16 mm

So, it didn't grow in the past 2 days and I don't have any other follies to speak of.

Dr. Quick's only comment was that things seemed to be "slow."

Nurse Poker Face was not as upbeat about it. She gave me a grim look when she discussed it with me. She said that it's not good that on Clomid, I only got one follie. She also said it's not good that it hasn't grown at all in 2 days.

This is only my second Clomid try, and last time I ended up with 3 follies. She said that didn't matter. With the Clomid, I should have produced more than one follie. She brought up injectibles and suggested I see if my insurance would cover them or not. I was feeling pretty hopeless by the time I left there.

I'm glad I had time to process it a bit on the train ride home. As a mathematician, I have to say... you should never draw inferences based on an n of 2. Maybe if I hadn't done Clomid this cycle, it would've been annovulatory. Those cycles do happen, even to perfectly healthy women, right? Not to mention, maybe my body just isn't being cooperative this month. Does that mean we should infer that I'm not a good Clomid candidate? I don't think so, since it worked once and I've only tried twice.

I mean, of course, I'm bummed out. I got 2 plump follies when I did a natural cycle. It would suck if I'm only getting one now on Clomid.

But, it's only CD12. And my follies never seem to grow the 1-2 mm per day, right on schedule, that they're supposed to anyway. Here are my stats from my last two follie monitored cycles, in case you're wondering what I'm talking about.

(Natural Cycle in October)
CD8: left 15 mm
CD10: left 17 mm, right 14 mm
CD14: left 19 mm, right 20 mm [notice in 4 days, the left only grew 2 mm]

(Clomid Cycle in November)
CD10: right 17 mm
CD12: left 11 mm, right 15 mm, 13 mm, 11 mm [notice the right follie seems to have shrunk... Nurse Poker Face could not explain this]
CD14: left 16 mm, right 17 mm, 15 mm

So, I have to go back on Saturday. Hopefully there will be some sort of change.

I don't know if I would be willing to do injectibles...ever. I have my own personal reasons for this. Mainly, my mother and maternal grandmother both died of ovarian cancer, so I don't really think I want to hyperstim the ol' ovaries that much. Also, I don't have a burning need to experience pregnancy. I'm happy to get pregnant if it's in the cards for me, but I would also be happy to adopt. I know some people have very strong feelings one way or the other, but I really don't. Never have.

I have completely lost the great attitude I had 2 days ago. The "it's too early to tell" attitude, even though it's still early. I feel like I must be doing something wrong. I haven't been sleeping well for the past few days, getting up several times during the night, which is atypical for me. But I don't know what I can do about that. I've also had headaches for the past few days. Again, not sure I can do much about that. I feel like I'm getting sick. I know illness can affect fertility.

I know that whole line of thinking is foolish. Fertility is not easily controlled. If it were, we would all have so much less to blog about. But I can't help but feel like I'm failing somehow.

Conservative Families and Love

From CNN...

Mary Cheney, 37, and her partner of 15 years, Heather Poe, 45, are expecting a baby in late spring, said Lea Anne McBride, a spokeswoman for the vice president.

"The vice president and Mrs. Cheney are looking forward with eager anticipation" to the arrival of their sixth grandchild, McBride said.

----

Now, this might be an unpopular post, and you don't have to agree with me. But I'm feeling annoyed that both liberal gay rights groups and conservative anti-gay-rights groups are jumping on this.

I think the whole thing is sweet. And I don't like people using this sweet and real story for political fodder.

I come from a very conservative, Catholic family. My family members don't approve of living a gay lifestyle, because it's against the Church's teachings. They don't approve of gays bringing children into the world or of artificial insemination, because the Church teaches that all conception should take place between married couples. So, at least, in the abstract, they don't support these things.

But, they are a loving family. And I'm family. They love me no matter what. They love me even if we hold different values and disagree politically and religiously. And ya know what? That's okay.

They have accepted Lo as one of the family. They treat her like family.

They came to my wedding. My uncle, a deacon in the Catholic church, couldn't come to the ceremony because he isn't permitted. (To be fair, he also can't go to the wedding ceremonies of people who were married in the Catholic Church, then divorced, and then remarried.) My aunt felt the need to consult a priest to see if he thought it was okay if she went. These things, while a little stinging, also show just how much they value me as a niece. If they didn't love me or care, then my uncle wouldn't have come to the reception and my aunt wouldn't have consulted her priest (who incidentally said she could go with a clear conscience and she did).

I am sure they will not approve of me bringing a child into the world. But if anyone will feel the brunt of that, and perhaps no one will, but if it's anyone, it will be me. They will not take it out on my child. They will love my child because it is my child; it's family. And they will fight over who gets to hold the baby just like with all of my cousin's babies. (Fighting to hold the baby is practically a death sport in my family.)

I think the vice president's reaction is totally sweet. He may not agree with his daughter's lifestyle. But he loves his daughter nonetheless. He may not agree that gays should have the right to marry. But he's going to love this grandchild just as much as he loves all his other grandchildren. Life is complicated sometimes. But sometimes even when people can't open up their minds, for family, they will open up their hearts. I think sometimes that's enough.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

CD10 Sono: One Good Egg

egg-m

So, I psyched myself up for the CD10 sono today. Last time, I was upset after my CD10 sono because the results showed a grand total of 2 follies, one on each ovary. I had that with a natural cycle, so I was bummed that with the Clomid, there was no difference.

But I learned some things last time.
1) CD10 is too early to know what's going to happen in the ol' ovaries. So, whatever the results of a CD10 sono, I shouldn't worry unless Dr. Quick says I should.
2) Sometimes, what appears to be one big follie on CD10 actually turns out to be a cluster of smaller follies. (Either that, or my follies sometimes shrink, but I prefer the former thought.)
3) Dr. Quick doesn't bother to tell me when I have smaller follies. He only notes and measures the bigger ones. I know this, because Dr. I-Don't-Want-to-Be-Here-on-a-Saturday does note the little ones when he gives my scans. Dr. Quick doesn't seem to note them until they're at least 13 mm. I also know this because I pestered Dr. Quick once last cycle, asking, "That's it?" And he told me that there were some smaller ones. But he likes to remain tight-lipped.

I have decided Dr. Quick likes me though. I thought he didn't for a long while. I thought he thought I was stupid. (He once told me I put the gown on wrong. I don't understand how I can figure out Calculus but I can't figure out a paper gown, but it is what it is.) I am used to doctors liking me. I'm a good little patient. So, anyway, I am glad Dr. Quick said goodbye to me and smiled at me. God, my approval-seeking adult child of an alcoholic behavior is disgusting, isn't it?

I was thinking last night that it's weird that I can just show up at an RE's office and say, "I want to get pregnant" and he'll help me. It wasn't really that simple, of course, but all the steps I had to take to get him to help me were medical. He didn't get to know me at all. I mean, does he care if I'd be a good parent or not? I know lots of people get pg all the time and wouldn't make good parents, and it's not for him to say who would be a good parent or not, but still. It's kind of weird that he's willing to help me not knowing me at all. It's good. I'm not complaining. I find all the hoops adoptive parents have to go through annoying given that most couples don't have to have home studies and background checks done in order to have their kids. (G-d knows, some children would be helped a great deal if all parents DID have to have those things done.) But it's kind of weird that this man is willing to help me get preggers without knowing anything about me. Why did he go into this field of medicine? Does he get satisfaction out of his job? Does he ever take a day off? (When I get Dr. I-Don't-Know-Want-to-Be-Here-on-a-Saturday, it's because Dr. Quick is at the lab doing IUIs and IVF transfers, not cuz he's off.)

So, anyway, back to my appointment. Before the appointment, I told myself over and over that I should not get upset no matter what does or doesn't show up on my sono today. It's only CD10. Too early to tell.

So, the results? One 16 mm follie on the left. My doctor said nothing about the right. But there could be smaller follies he isn't telling me about. That 16 mm follie might turn into 2 smaller ones. It's too early to tell. I'm not freaking out. It's unbelievable how much better I do when I know what to expect.

I'm also not freaking out because the reality is... I have at least one nice, plump follie. One good egg is all I need.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Clomid Cannot Be Recycled

So, yesterday, I was flipping out because I couldn't find my freaking last 2 Clomid.

We keep all our scrips in one corner of our kitchen counter. Because I get so few pills with the Clomid, the pharmacist doesn't put the pills in a little medicine bottle. He just puts the pills, still in their wrappers, in a bag for me and staples the relevant info to the bag.

The bag was not there. I checked on the floor. I checked everywhere. It was gone.

I asked Lo if she had thrown the bag out thinking it was just an empty bag. She insisted that she had not done so.

Um... it was in the recycle bin. In our kitchen still, thank goodness.

So, all is well. Maybe it was done by little gnomes that don't want us to get pg. But, I suspect, it was my wife, even if she doesn't remember doing it. I love you, Lo.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Photo Friday: G is for Games and Ghostbusters

My "long-lost brother" ... the one who never can be bothered to call me on my birthday or anything ... called me up again this past week. (Did hell freeze over? This is the second call in 2 weeks!)

He wanted to know if I knew where he could buy this game, Po-Ke-No.

Teach Your Children to Gamble Early

My grandmother used to have a weekly Po-Ke-No game with the old ladies in my family. They would play for pennies, literally. They each came with a huge bag of pennies. Sometimes, they let me play, too, even though I wasn't a senior citizen. I can still remember when, in the midst of a Po-Ke-No game, one of my great aunts asked my GM, in Italian, if I'd gotten my period yet and my GM said no and the woman said something about the fact that I was old enough to have gotten that by now and so on. Of course, since they reverted to Italian, I was not meant to understand this conversation. But I did. Oh the joy.

So, anyway, I love the fact that Po-Ke-No bills itself as the "thrill of Poker and the suspense of Keno." Then they show a cute little family, with little kids playing. Teach your children to gamble early! That's all I have to say.

Actually, I didn't realize that some people considered gambling to be a sin until I moved down south. I guess the Roman Catholics I grew up knowing... with their Bingo games and trips to Atlantic City... never really bought into that.

Po-Ke-No Card

So, back to my brother. I told him I'd saved our GM's Po-Ke-No game and if he wanted it, he was welcome to it. I never play it. I made him promise not to destroy it though. He reminded me that he let me have our father's Air Force jacket, which is true. I don't know why I love that green jacket with my surname emblazoned on it, but I do.

G is also for this weird car that resides in my neighborhood, which I call the Ghostbusters car. It's hard to see from these pics, because I didn't want to show the phone number on the front or back of the car and because I took them at night, but it's a car that says "wildlife control" on it.

Who Ya Gonna Call

Can anyone else see why I call it the Ghostbusters car?

Ghostbusters Car_Cropped

Park close at your own risk, indeed.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Photo Friday Catchup: F is for Freaky

The first freaky photo shows Maggie (well, it shows her big square butt, mostly) playing with a cat named Little. Little and Maggie are about the same size.

Maggie and LiL 2

As you can see, the cat is threatened and has lifted himself up, as if to say, "Look, I'm twice your size." Maggie is oblivious. She wants to play.

That was at Thanksgiving. Then this weekend, Maggie played with her cousin, Lo's sister's dog, Mowe.

Your Whole Head Fits in My Mouth

One of the ways the two of them play is for Mowe to put Maggie's entire head in her mouth.

Maggie's a freak, but we love her.

Mowe and Maggie

CD3, Back to the RE

So, they made me do a pointless beta anyway, even though I am on cycle day 3. But I didn't mind as much because I got to get an u/s and a Clomid scrip so we're officially onto the next cycle. I am not feeling hopeful. But we have another vial of nerdy science sperm at the lab, so may as well use it up, right?

Dr. Quick thinks I did well on the protocol we used last time, so we're sticking with that.

I wonder if I am triggering too soon, but it's too early to suspect that really.

My first trigger cycle... all signs pointed to the IUI date and my O date being one and the same.

This last trigger cycle... the signs were not well aligned, but some of them indicated maybe I O'd the day before my IUI, or maybe not at all. Although Dr. Quick reassured me today that the trigger pretty much guarantees ovulation.

So, back for another u/s on CD10, next Tuesday. Popping my first Clomid today.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

My F-ing Family

So, we were supposed to go meet my nephew this weekend. We were supposed to go last weekend, but I was sick (got antibiotics on Thursday). I've been dragging around with this same cold for about a month. Ugh.

My sister emailed me that she had to go to her nephew's birthday party, and a benefit at the theatre she and her husband run. Okay, fine (although she found out about the birthday party after we planned our visit, and told us as much); I don't expect much more from my sister. After demanding we come up to see a show at the theatre one spring, she didn't visit with us because she had to weed her garden.

My mom and my sister live 10 minutes from each other and we were going to stay with my mom anyway. So I asked my mom if we could just spend Saturday with her and see my sis on Sunday. No, we couldn't, because my mother also had to attend the same birthday party and benefit (my mom, too, found out about the birthday party after we planned our visit....and my sister's nephew is not even technically related to my mom. And my this theatre has shows every week. Every f-ing week. And my mom lives ten minutes away).

My dad is visiting my sister for the second time in two months around Thanksgiving. I last saw my dad in June.

Both my mom and my sister expect us to come next weekend, which is when Co might get her period. After all of the loving support they've offered during this difficult time for us (and especially considering the outpouring of attention I expect when I produce a non-biological child for them), I think I'll schedule a weekend around the twelfth of never.

I never, ever dreamed my family would be like this.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Hopeful One

So, Lo has twice now pointed out that we should not go visit her family next weekend because I'll be getting my period then and it'll be too depressing a weekend to see the new nephew.

I find it sad that Lo... always the hopeful one... has decided this cycle is a bust already.

I also find it sad that we're BOTH feeling hopeless this early in the TWW. I like it better when it's just me saying stuff about how it didn't work.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Purple-Orange Fish


So the deed is done. A purple-orange fish made friends with Co in the waiting room at the fertility clinic...

It was all pretty routine. I hate seeing Co in pain but it went quickly. The count of this sample was 60 million, and we're hoping Co released three eggs. Sounds like pretty good odds, but who knows??

So into the TWW we go.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Photo Friday: B is for Birthday

Today is mine.


This is me on (or within a few days of) my first birthday, out on a walk with my mom and my pull-toy doggie (the only one they let me have until my eleventh birthday).

I am now 32. Several of you have blogged about the emotional weight of turning 30. I wasn't so worried about turning 30 -- I've always felt old for my time, so it felt right to finally be such a solid age as 30. The year I turned 30 I got my first driver's license, got married, and got tenure at my job. I felt accomplished.

For me, 32 is the real deadline, because my mom was 32 when I was born. In fact, she had just turned 32 a few weeks before, so I have long been unable to fulfill the assumption I always made that I would have children at the same age as my mother.

So, I'm not feeling so psyched about this birthday. Another year down the drain. Crap.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

My Mom

My mom is driving us crazy.

Poor Co actually hung up on her today. I don't know if I would dare to do that, myself.

First of all, every time she talks about our new nephew she needs to talk about his family resemblance to "our family." Which is starting to grate on both of us, since our own child (should we ever have one) will not look like "our family." I am not such a big fan of my looks that I really care so much about passing them on, and I am dying to have a baby that looks like Co. (And at least in theory I am going to have a biological child down the line.) I just think my mom could maybe say that less to us. (Admittedly, maybe there is not so much else to say about a creature that only eats, sleeps, craps, and pees.)

Second of all, whenever the subject of TTC comes up, she brings up examples of heterosexual infertility. WE DON'T CARE. Of course, there exists het infertility, and we feel akin to you all out there, but honestly? That does not make our lives easier. That does not take away trigger shots in the belly, hoo ha bullets, ultrasounds every 20 minutes, and the pain of failure. Mom does not know about these things, but for all the bragging she does about all the lesbian parents she knows, it would not be so hard for her to find out.

So, I am feeling weary and cross and like you in the computer are the only people I ever want to talk to again. Bleh.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Survey Says...

Not pregnant.

Beta was negative. No surprise there.

Sorry, Charlie. You're not our blue fish.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Photo Friday: A is for Aunt


As I mentioned (well, buried) in an earlier post, Co and I became aunties this week. My nephew S. was born October 15, 7 lbs, 13 oz. (I won't type his full name here, but for those of you familiar with the Bible...let's hope they never cut his hair.)

I have such mixed feelings about it all. I want to be a mommy, not an auntie. I am cross that I was "lapped" (Charlotte's term) by my younger sister. She announced her pregnancy a month or so after we had begun discussions with our first failed KD (and shortly after we had gotten the big "no"). In the space of a day or two, I had to cope with re-adjusting our conception plans, and with realizing that I would not be providing my parents the first granchild. To top it off, sis has continually been insensitive about how difficult and complex this experience is for us where it was easy for her.

But S. is a cute little guy, as you can see. In the picture above he reminds me *so* much of my sister as a baby and (to my relief) I'm feeling some affection. I'm actually looking forward to meeting him and holding him....of course, I am a huge sucker for an infant.

So I am settling, if uneasily, into aunthood.

(Alternatively, A could stand for a**....and I can't wait to kiss this little one below!!)

Monday, October 16, 2006

Every Sperm Is Sacred


We watched part of Monty Python's The Meaning of Life last night, and were treated to this little ditty.

I pointed out that for what we pay for it, it sure ought to be sacred.

Co, being the mathematician in the family, figured out that since there were 30 million little fellas in our Blue Fish IUI sample, and we paid $450 for the vial....each sperm cost $0.000015.

A bargain at twice the price. Let's just hope one of them did the job.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Symptoms, Aunt-hood, and Vehicles

Co has been gassy and nauseated. Is that good?? (Co is not counting chickens, because, she insists, she has been gassy and nauseated before and has never been pregnant.)

We are supposed to call Dr. Quick on the 23rd if she hasn't gotten her period (I assume for one of those mysterious betas). FF predicts her period a few days before that.

In other news, my sister had her baby today. If one more relative calls me and says "Hello, Auntie" I am going to pitch the phone across the room. Oh, boy. I'm a lesbian aunt. How unheard of. I am in no mood to be defined by my sister's fertility.

I don't feel like a very good person for not being more excited.

Our big news is that we pick up our "new-to-us" car on Tuesday night. It's a 2003 Saturn Ion, silver-blue. With both a CD player and a tape deck! (I honed right in on the important details.) I'll post pictures.

I might even post pictures of my nephew S (since my sister and her husband have a self-aggrandizing website where they plan to post his visage all over the Internet, I don't see why I shouldn't. But I don't have any pix yet).

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

If You've Never Seen It, It's New to You

The subject line is from a ridiculous advertising campaign NBC (I think) had one year when their regular schedule went into reruns. They were hoping to lure viewers to their reruns by saying, "If you haven't seen it, then it's new to you." True, but for those of us waiting for new episodes, it's still a rerun.

On that note, the FamilyO is buying a new car. Well, not a new car, but it'll be new-to-us. I live in a city where few people have cars. The public transportation is awesome, so most people don't need one. But when I moved here, I already owned my car free and clear. And I needed it to drive home to visit my grandmother all the time, and she lived 1.5 hours away in a place with no public transportation. So, I kept my car. I figured if I got rid of it, I'd never buy a new one so I might as well use it up.

Well, my car is pretty well used up. But Lo and I, hoping to be a FamilyO of 3 some day, really do use the car. Lo can even drive now, having gotten her driver's license a year and a half ago (she'd never had one before). So, it's time to trade the car in and get a new-to-us car. A gently used car would be ideal.

So, we'll have a new baby soon for certain. But it'll be a car.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

IUI: Code Name Blue Fish

blue_fish

So, Co has decided to name our tries (reminiscent of Sacha), though we didn't name our fresh attempt. This one is "Blue Fish," both because Co was clad all in blue when we did it, right down to her shark socks; and because she made friends with a little blue fishie in the fertility clinic's big calming fish tank while we waited for *an hour* to get the deed done. The little blue fish kept swimming near Co and opening and closing its mouth in little "o"s (you know, like the little O we're trying to make) and had a cute fishie wiggle. So if this one works (everything crossed!!) the little one gets a blue fish stuffed animal.

The IUI itself was incredibly fast. Thank you, Dr. Quick. As Co indicated in her previous post, the speculum is never fun, but the cathether was tiny and virtually irrelevant in terms of pain. Dr. Q only had her lie down for 5 minutes afterward, though I've read elsewhere of people having to stay prone for up to 20 minutes. P the Lab Guy, a.k.a He Who Defrost and Washes Sperm, was very nice, and happily told us that there were 30 million of the little guys in our sample (which I believe was only .5ml).

It was all so quick, Lo didn't even have time to corner Dr. Quick with her millions of questions. I did ask him if this ever works the first time, to which he replied, "Of course." Oh, you optimistic RE, you! So here are some of my questions for you, oh blogosphere:
1) Co had two large follicles, one on each ovary. Might the trigger shot have caused both to release?
2) Co found a statistic that, on average, one ovulates 41.5 hours after a trigger shot. Any commentary on that?

Friday, October 06, 2006

Photo Friday: Water & Uncomfortable

The Beach in our Backyard

For water, I offer a picture of the beach that was our backyard for a week in the Virgin Islands (St. Croix) this summer. What a blissful honeymoon. Look at the color of that water...and it was warm as a bathtub.


A bonus water picture: a horse swimming at that same beach. I had never seen a swimming horse before. But I guess it's a good way for them to cool down in the sweltering summer.

Swimming Horse

And now for uncomfortable:

Unhappy Reindeer

(Didn't think I could go that long without posting a picture of the first baby, did you?) The mommies think the reindeer antlers are just adorable, but as you can see, Maggie does not agree. In this picture she is using her paw to push me away while I held them in place. Every year we get a few quick pix before we put her out of her misery.

Alternatively, I could have posted a picture of Co's butt hormones. But we don't pick them up 'til tomorrow, and also, she would kill me.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Adventures in Synagogue


(Actually, my congregation meets in a church, but my adventures in church are an entirely different post...)

I was asked this year to give one of the speeches asking people to donate money. (This is less offensive than it sounds because my congregation, unlike every other synagogue in this neighborhood and many other places, does not requires expensive tickets or temple membership to attend high holidays services; we do request donations.)

People usually talk about their journey to the congregation in these speeches, and I was specifically asked by the rabbi to focus on LBGT visibility. She, like me, is a lesbian in an interfaith relationship. Just one thing I like about this place!

So I was kinda nervous and uncomfortable about telling my little story -- and especially about asking for money! -- but people complimented me afterwards and it ended up being nice to speak about myself to my community.

I noted that I love the congregation because I feel comfortable as a lesbian, and my non-Jewish wife also feels comfortable. I did not mention that my non-Jewish wife was not with me this morning because she was busy getting her follicle measured. Hee hee. But she's coming with me this afternoon. I can't even begin to explain how much it means to me, how much I love Co for wanting to raise our children Jewish, and for joining me in my tradition.

I'm not the most observant or reverent Jew, I certainly am not supposed to be blogging in the break between services on the holiest day of the year...but being Jewish is an inextricable part of who I am, and I am so happy that I have found a congregation where I can be my whole complicated self. And where I will be happy to bring my (cross fingers hard) children.

Now, scroll down to give Co and I advice about complicated medical techniques for conceiving said children....

Friday, September 29, 2006

Photo Friday: Windows

view_again

This window is at the aptly-named Riverview, where Co and I got married last August. The window itself isn't so spectacular, of course, but the grand sparkly river one can see through it is lovely. And any memory of our wedding makes me smile.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Photo, Uh, Tuesday: Lo's Stuff (with Sperm Washing News)


I'm a teacher, and this is the load I carry to school. I never stopped carrying a backpack, but went straight from student to teacher. My current powder blue one has many secret pockets, which is necessary because I've also never taken to carrying a purse. I do have a "weekend purse" so I don't always show up shlepping the backpack (but I would if I thought I could get away with it).

The tote bag was a free gift at a Liberty game (yes, I have paid my lesbian dues!) and I do not always bring it, just the days (like today) when I have extra materials.

I included the shiny binder in the pic because it's, well, shiny. That was my new school year treat from CVS.

NOTE: In other news, while making copies in the school office today I received a call from the lab and had to duck into the stairwell to discuss the washing of sperm. As Cali accurately reported, it is okay to wash sperm multiple times. You might lose a few in the process, but motility will only be increased. Phew. (As the lab guy asked me somewhat indignantly, "You think I would do something to make you not pregnant?" Well. I should hope not.)

Friday, September 22, 2006

The Fat Lady's Warming Up...

Co's temp dipped today. Now we really have to decide who to order up from the bank...Scroll down to weigh in.

Oh, well. At least now I can say I've seen, you know, semen.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Donor Roulette

We are trying desperately to narrow ourselves down to one donor. (The fat lady hasn't sung yet. Co is due to get her period this weekend. It's been a long cycle, due to delayed ovulation....if I didn't know so much about charting, I'd be all excited that she hasn't gotten her period yet, but alas, I know it's nothing notable.)

So here are the two finalists:

Funny Guy: He is half Jewish, half Irish & something else. This makes him a mixture of both of our ethnicities (and since we'd try to use the same donor to get me knocked up down the line, that's attractive). He is into Asian philosophy (as am I) and just seems like a generally nice person (the sperm bank faculty recommended him as being intelligent with a sense of humor). He's a researcher in molecular pharmacology. And, as indicated by his nickname, his whimsical sense of humor shone through in his profile. A drawback: there is some alcoholism in his family (maternal grandmother) and that makes Co uncomfortable because of genes on her side. We've negged lots of donors as soon as we saw any family history of substance abuse, but we got really into this guy somehow before we noticed it, so now she (and I) are torn.

Nerdy Science Guy: He is neither of our ethnicities. He's a genetic researcher, and a self-described science nerd (we both find that charming). He was also recommended by our lovely sperm brokers as a genuinely nice person, intelligent with a sense of humor. He has a son, who he writes about very affectionately. He's artistic as well as brainy.

So, I am begging for any advice or ass-vice. I didn't think the ethnicity stuff mattered to me, and we aren't at all concerned about looks. Our initial first choice donor (Corgi Guy) did not share either of our ethnicities and I would have happily gone with him. But somehow, faced with these two choices, it seems to matter a little bit.

Help...

Monday, September 04, 2006

Our Weekend of Sperm

So, after much advice from my friend J, who is a health professional, as well as our friendly neighborhood nurses on blogger, we came up with a strategy about the hepatitis issue. We asked KD about a variety of risk factors, and we were reassured by his answers, so we decided to go ahead with insemination.

This weekend Co was likely to ovulate, and we had to go up to Boston for a wedding -- fortunately it was KD's younger brother's wedding! On Saturday Co's temp dipped, so when we got into Boston, we did the deed. We got the spike on Sunday, and we insemmed again this morning (Monday) (the wedding was on Sunday and our KD best man was a bit busy!).

All went smoothly, as far as I can tell. We had great advice from dear blogger friends, as well as our trusty books, about how to take care of business. We even got a free oral syringe from Walgreens!

KD and his wife were both incredibly generous and even eager to help us out with timing. There was a bit of cloak-and-dagger to it all, since we were around ALL of our (and KD's) family, and we don't intend to share our plan until later on (if it even works). Co and I were staying in a hotel room *right next to my mom*, but fortunately she was out during both of our insems. THAT would have been quite an experience. Though we did get to exchange the mysterious Macy's bag with the cup in front of his grandmother. Hoo boy.

Sneaking around with sperm also made it much easier to be around my eight-month pregnant belly-rubbing little sister.

Oh, and by the way, the wedding was lovely too. My cousin's new bride (who has essentially been in the family for six years) is a great person.

So, here we go....since Co's luteal phase is usually exactly 14 days, we are officially in our first Two Week Wait. AAAAAAAAAH!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Photo Friday: Show Me Your Politics

This first photo is of my friend's daughter at the big Pride March on Washington in April 2000. A group of us: Whimsy, SandraMort, and a bunch of other folks went down in a big van (SandraMort's I believe) and stayed overnight in one hotel room. It was great fun. And little E showed her early proclivities for queer rights! (That's me holding her. I'm wearing my shirt that says "gay maidl" in both English and Yiddish. "Maidl" means "girl.")



This second photo brings the theme right home...


It was taken a few years ago (1999) at the ten-year reunion of World Peace Camp. The folks on the steps of the dining hall are the members of the orchestra for our camp musical, called, what else, Peace Child. (We named our little band No Respect, and wrote a parody of "Imagine" about suffering in the orchestra pit.) Yes, I really went to World Peace Camp when I was 14. What more is there to say, really.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Help! An Interactive Post

So....we will not be able to get hepatitis test results on KD by this weekend.

Here is what we know: he is clean for HIV and STDs and he is monogamous (with his wife). There is no reason to think that he has hepatitis; he looked it up online and has been told by doctor friends that he would know if he'd had it.

But, we don't know.

Also, he is a smoker (of tobacco).

In addition to the obvious health risk, state law here forbids insemination to women with hepatitis.

There's a temptation to go ahead, since it seems awfully unlikely that he has hepatitis, and his sperm is, well, fresh. But would that be a very foolish risk to take?? Should we wait 'til October and just go frozen all the way?

Please advise.... (I know it's a decision we have to make for ourselves, but we're both wondering what the Internets have to say, especially health professionals...)

Friday, August 25, 2006

Photo Friday: Music, music, music!

These pictures are from a yearly folk festival that I (Lo) have been attending since I was nine years old. First with my parents, then with my friends (fostermama and fostermommy, Whimsy and Jest, and some other blogless folk), now with Co and our friends. Of course I dream of someday bringing my own children to this event...

This is Pete Seeger with his banjo. He's the organizer of the festival, and an icon to many. I grew up with his music.









This is Holly Near. I love Holly Near, which suggests that I was born just a bit too late...in my defense, my (straight) mom listened to Holly Near while I was growing up and my sister and I went to many Holly Near concerts with our family.



Finally, here are people sitting beneath a willow tree, enjoying outdoor music. Bliss.

Monday, August 21, 2006

In Other News...Our Anniversary!



Today is our first anniversary! We had a beautiful wedding (as hinted by the pictures here). It makes me smile to remember it. Tonight we will drink a bottle of wine we saved from our jaunt to the Shore right after the wedding, and see how the top of the cake held up after being in our freezer for a year. (Co can't wait to get the freezer space back.)





One whole year of being married to my beautiful, brave, intelligent, funny, sweet Co. Just the first of many... And hopefully, we'll be soon be adding to our little family.

Hazards of Weddings at Botanic Gardens

So, yesterday, I was a bridesmaid in a wedding at a botanic garden. While walking on the grass at one point, I felt something sting me on my left cheek, no not the face. I shook my gown and a yellow jacket flew out.

So, to quote the Simpsons: "A bee bit my bottom and now my bottom is big."

Actually, it wasn't that big of a deal. But it was funny. And now I have tough-girl cred for getting through the ceremony and reception with a bee-bitten bottom.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Last Minute Photo Friday: Our Rack

So here it is...our rack. I love Photo Friday now that we have a digital camera!!



It's actually an expandable plastic shelf, the only possible way to properly store and display all the spices Co needs for her delicious dishes. At one point the spices were alphabetized (Lo's doing), but I haven't kept it up.

In the spirit of the theme, here's a gratuitious picture:




Though clearly it suffered on the trip home (which I'm sad about it), this was my favorite souvenir from our trip. Co tried to convince me initially that it was meant to be a shell. Um, what do you all think?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Off on Our Honeymoon



Even though Lo and I celebrated our union last August, we didn't actually take a big-deal kind of honeymoon. Until now.... so we're off to the Virgin Islands tomorrow. I've never been before so it should be fun. More when we return.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Photo Friday: Opposites



The theme this week is opposites.

So, I present...
black cat/white cat
real cat/fake cat (actually, it's a slipper)

I didn't take this picture, so I take no credit for it. But it fit the theme.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Happy Birthday Co!


It's my girl's birthday! And isn't she a cutie??

Happy, happy birthday sweetheart. I am grateful every day that you came into my life.

Lots of love from Lo and Maggie Mae...

Friday, July 14, 2006

Photo Friday: Where I Blog

Now that I have a laptop, I aim for the most comfortable spots in the house. Sometimes, I admit it, I blog in bed. But I am most likely to be found here:



I sit where Maggie is sitting in this photo. The tray on the coffee table doubles as a computer desk.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Lo Is Sick, First R.E. Appointment

My poor Lo is sick. She has two ear infections. She wound up spending a good chunk of the 4th of July afternoon in the ER to find that out. Now she has antibiotics and ear drops, but she is still in a ton of pain. My poor Lo. I hope she feels better soon.

I have my first R.E. appointment today. I'm a little nervous about it. But que sera sera. Despite the nervousness, there's excitement too that we really are starting to embark on this... for real now.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Photo Friday: Lo Climbs A Mountain

Here is my Photo Friday story:



The trail begins...



These white blazes continue all through the Appalachian Trail. Follow the one on the left...



...to the top of the mountain!!

Here's a gratuitous shot of mountain laurel from the trail (I know, we're limited to three, so I won't submit this one officially, but it's so pretty):

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Paws are Crossed



Maggie O wants everyone to know that her paws are crossed for everyone in the fertility sweepstakes. (Especially Marci, Sacha and anyone else still hoping for pregnancy this cycle.)

Friday, June 23, 2006

Photo Friday: The Cutest Rainbow of All

Maggie the Family Dog

Here is our double-rainbow dachshund. The rainbow collar is her everyday attire. (I -- Lo -- searched far and wide for it and bought it at a big march in D.C. She has a skinny little neck.) The Family Dog T-shirt, though adorable, is a less common piece of attire for the simple reason that she hates clothing. We've decked her out in it more than once for the local Pride parade though. Oh, those evil mommies.

(Click the link above for more pix of Maggie in her rainbow-wear. Thanks, J!)

Speaking of the local Pride parade.....here's a rainbow picture from there, as well.

Pride Rainbow in my City

If you click on this link, you will see the proud leader of our municipality with a rainbow flag. Yeah. Whatever. Maggie is much cuter.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Embarrassing Question

Ok....how do you post photo sets from flickr, so that they appear both as links to the photo set, and images on their own accord?

Everyone else is doing it, and I've tried that whole "trial and error" thing.

Your reward for helping, of course, is the Lo & Co photo collection..... ;-)

Friday, June 16, 2006

My First Crush



At left: the glow of young love.

This post is inspired by my recent viewing of Little Manhattan. (People who have never had a love affair with New York City may find this movie less charming than I did, but still pretty damn charming. I mean, it's about fifth graders in love, and it's realistic. What's not to be adorable.)

Anyway, my first crush is something I have spent my entire life not talking about, so here's to breaking THAT silence:

I was in the 4th grade, and she was in the 5th. She played the lead in the school play. My best friend and I played recorder along with the music teacher's piano. During those long hours in the school auditorium, I fell madly, passionately in love. But I was nine years old and I had no idea that I was in love. I knew that I wanted to know her full name and where she lived (one neighborhood over from me, I learned, and I did find her in the phone book, but of course I never called her). I knew that all of a sudden the sappy love songs on the radio spoke to me (I mooned over Billy Joel's "For the Longest Time" a lot). I dreamed about her, and made lists in my diary of the details. In fact, my diary entries from that year offer descriptions of my daily sightings. In short, I thought about her all the time. When she touched me -- when our hands brushed, when one day she put her head on my shoulder and moaned about memorizing her lines -- my whole body felt like it was on fire. I told my best friend that I REALLY REALLY REALLY wanted to be friends with her. That was the best I could do to understand what was happening.

Later in the year we did another play, at the local afterschool program where all the neighborhood children headed after school. I played Tweedledum to her Alice. I had a pillow shoved up my shirt and I lived for every minute of it.

At the end of that year, since was she was a Fifth Grader, she would move on to the local junior high, while I would stay in elementary school. I was tense about this development, but found solace in the knowledge that after just one more year I would join her there. As it turned out that was not to be, because my family moved to another city the summer after fourth grade. I mourned this girl for months after the move. I insisted on buying the same brand and color of sneakers she'd had, I named a LOGO computer program after her, I moped and longed and yearned. I didn't know why, exactly, I just missed her more than anything else about home (and I missed home a lot).

The story about me, in my family, is that I am a "late bloomer," and I wasn't interested in relationships because I was too busy with other affairs. Well, it turns out I wasn't late at all. I just didn't know what was happening. I was pretty early...the girls I knew weren't really into boys until at least fifth grade, and even then, the interest had a lightness, an airiness, a putting-on that does not at all remind me of my passionate fourth grade crush. Fifth grade was when kids "went out" with each other without actually speaking or touching. As it turns out, I had pretty intense physical yearnings as a nine-year-old. I was interested, all right.

It's just that I was 22 before I had the sense to realize what I was feeling. Now THAT is where I was a late bloomer.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Photo Friday: My Great-Grandfather's Hometown

This post is late because we were at my tenth college reunion...that, however, is another post (soon).



I took this picture outside the train station in Vienna, 12 years ago. It is definitely right up there with the weirdest things I have ever seen anywhere. It appears to be a statue of a pig. A naked pig, with big muscles, wearing a large tie, a hat, glasses, and white gloves. And, of course, pink shoes. The purpose or symbolism of such a statue, however, entirely eludes me.

I'm cheating, of course, because Vienna is by no stretch of the imagination my hometown. I've been there once. As indicated by the title, however, Vienna was my great-grandfather's* hometown.

This week's theme got me thinking about that concept of "hometown." It wasn't really necessary thinking, since the assignment was clear enough: take a picture of something weird where you live. But that word "hometown" always gets me. Where I live now is one of three places I could call "hometown," and whenever I am asked where I am "from," where is my "hometown," I wonder which city counts as my hometown, if there is one place that is The Answer. The place where I was born? The town where I went to high school? Or the middle city that imprinted upon me so deeply that I have chosen it as my adult home?

I'm hardly the the only person on earth not to hail from a single place -- three cities is even a rather short list, in comparison to many people I know including my mother -- but coming from a single "hometown" is a quality I envy. All three of my cities have had their influence on this person I am. I can't say I'm sorry to have lived the life that created this self I inhabit. But the grass is always greener...


*And even with this claim, I'm still cheating. My great-grandfather always called Vienna his hometown, but it wasn't. He hailed from a small village (shtetl) that was at different times in Austro-Hungary, Germany, and Poland. (Now it's in the Ukraine.) He did live in Vienna for several years while he did his apprenticeship with a furrier, and from Vienna he immigrated to the U.S. Here in the States he met my great-grandmother (a true city girl from Budapest). They courted, married, raised children and then grandchildren, and finally died in the same Big City that is one of my hometowns...the one I have chosen for my adult life. My heart is here in the city of my ancestors (but also, my heart is in another Big City, where the ancestors on the other side chose to settle). I did feel an unexpected tug of familiarity when I visited Vienna, a city I'd never seen before but that somehow still lived underneath my skin. Place matters so much, often in unexpected ways... (just one of the reasons it makes me angry when people suggest to me blithely that if I'm not satisfied with the rights I have where I currently live, then I should move...)

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Make My Family Legal


This post is in honor of Blogging for LGBT Families Day.

Yesterday there was discussion, in a court, about granting same-sex marriage in the city where I live.

Since I began to realize (at the tender age of nine) that I was probably a lesbian, I took it for granted that I would never have the same rights or privileges as the other members of my immediate family. The domestic partnership I have is, frankly, more than I ever dreamed I would have. The privilege of adopting my own child is, in fact, more than I ever dreamed I would have.

It never occurred to me that in my lifetime I might be able to live where I want to live and have a family just like any other family. I have always known, grimly, that I would live a cobbled-together extra-legal existence and grit my teeth and smile when relatives have two weddings when "well you know, this one is the *legal* ceremony."

I was raised by two parents who lived through, believed in, and were a part of the civil rights movement of the 1950s/1960s. I sang the songs, I walked the talk, I dreamed the dreams. I knew from a very early age that Rosa Parks wasn't just tired, she was part of a movement, she was sitting down to change the world.

But like the children I now teach, I also grew up thinking that civil rights was something that happened in the past, something that great people (including my mommy and daddy) had taken care of so that the children (me and my sister) could grow up in a world without hate, or at least *with* fair laws.

Of course, I got older, and I realized that the fight for civil rights is not over, and the road towards true tolerance and diversity and the ability to all live together and appreciate each other....it's a long one.

As a Jew, I have a constantly evolving awareness of my own role in the dynamic equilibrium that is American cultural/racial/ethnic politics. I watch cultural/ethnic/racial/class diversity play itself out on the subway every day. I have long understood that as a (white) American Jew, my role (as my parents before me) would be as an ally, working to end the oppression of others.

But as it turns out, I am a member of a group that does not have the full spectrum of civil rights in the U.S.A. I am not sorry that I am "married" to the woman that I love, but I do not feel that I chose to love her any more than I chose to be born a female, or a Jew. And I find myself uncomfortable and even somewhat ashamed to be in a group (gay people) that is denied so much in this country. That surprises me because I do not think that any other group with civil rights problems should feel shame -- if anything, the lawmakers in this country should feel shame for not moving faster towards justice -- but there it is.

So the possibility of marriage in my city -- and in another pending case that could be decided any day, marriage on the statewide level in the next-door state where I work -- seems both like something I should have had long ago, and more than I should even hope for.

I may be mistaken about this, but as I understand the law based on marriages in Massachusetts, being married would mean that my wife and I would not have to adopt each other's biological children; we would be automatically included as a second parent on a birth certificate. The thought of that simple privilege actually brings tears to my eyes.

Here I sit, frustratedly checking the Internet daily (even hourly) for news that will make my family legal...and yet even that is a kind of hope.

Here's to all our families, the love that creates them, and the legal rights we need to keep them safe.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Photo Friday: Grace


This photo is the view I see each day when I leave my building. I live in a city -- a very urban city -- and I crave the urban, I resonate to the urban, I panic when I am too far from all-night diners and bodegas. Even so, I appreciate this: my park across the street, trees waving gently each morning, a moment of green grace and peace each morning before I tumble into the frantic pace of a teaching day.


The grace in this photo is, again, the park....in my city, few people have back yards and front yards, so we all soak up our Memorial Day sun together. Barbecues and bike-riding and dogs wading in the lake, baseball games and couples cuddling and a man practicing the most graceful of martial arts moves while a little girl rides her pink bike past and three toddlers throw a football at each other. Our grace is each other, and these willow trees overseeing it all.


P.S. This week's participation in Photo Friday...as well as a more multimedia blog...brought to you by our new digital camera!!!! Yes, it finally happened!! A Canon PowerShot has joined the FamilyO.