Saturday, September 27, 2008

Grams and Pops

Grams and Pops---those are the names that my nephews call my parents.

During my parents' visit last week, we didn't really have much time together. They visited during the week and I couldn't take any time off. I did manage to fit in a talk with my mom after my dad went to bed. I've talked to her about having a child on my own before, but not with so much conviction. She is somewhat scared for me, I think. She has a tendency to focus on the practicalities, almost to a fault. She is most worried about the financials (probably with good reason). Still, I didn't want to talk about all that. I just wanted her to say she supports me, that she will love her grandchild with all her heart no matter how she or he is conceived. I think she finally got that--I felt very comforted after the talk.

So of course my mother told my dad the next day while I was at work. They tried to bring it up at a nice restaurant the next night (I put them off). My mom kept pushing my dad to say something to me (she thinks I don't notice those large-eyed 'say something'! looks she gives him). He did say that he loves me and supports me. I said, thank you--that's all I need right now.

But I must say it was so sweet, when I returned home from work the day they left, they had left me a card. It said, "Live your Dreams!" And then my mom wrote, "Looking forward to much happiness in your life---Love, Grams and Pops." I sobbed.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

PKD, Discussion 2

I had another really good talk with PKD (potential known donor) last night. I thought maybe after our first conversation he would have second thoughts, come to his senses...whatever you might call it. Well, he's still very positive about it. I was able to bring myself to ask him what he would want out of the whole thing, or what his expectations might be as regards the child. He said that it's hard to think past the first couple of years, but that his overriding thought is that he would like to help. We still need to define what "help" means, obviously (taking it one step at a time..)! He said that it would be very hard, impossible, for him to have no contact with the child. I'm glad he said that. I want my child to know who his father is. We just need to come to a mutually-comfortable agreement. As I said him last night, I feel that as long as I / we are comfortable with the situation, the child will be comfortable with the situation.

One thing that we still need to work through is how or why our brief romantic relationship (of July!) ended, or more accurately, didn't go anywhere. I think it's important that we are both on the same page, and that there are no lingering desires to be romantically involved. The feelings that we have for each other are quite complex, but I think we both realize we aren't cut out for a partnership. More to explore there...

Finally, I had my 5th date with James on Thursday night. I didn't break up with him but I did feel (and I venture, indicate physically) that things are over between us. I'm sure he is surprised, since the first 3 dates were so wonderful, but it really just hit me on date 4 that it wasn't working for me. I could try to explain why, but it would sound too much like a Seinfeld episode.

My parents are coming for a visit tomorrow for 3 days. This is a crazy time for them to be here. So much going on in my head. I'm worried about conflicts (I have a history of that with my father). My mom and I are close and can talk about anything, but not the case with my dad. I feel that I need to talk to him about where I am going. I really need his support. But I am worried that my dad will be uncomfortable and say something painful and difficult that will replay in my mind again and again. For this reason, my inclination is to hold off on the group discussion and just wait until my mom and I have some time will be hard, though.

Monday, September 15, 2008

My First Appointment!

I went to my first consult with an RE today. I really liked the doctor, and the clinic seemed wonderful. I was very pleasantly surprised at how comfortable they made me feel about being a single mom wanna-be (basically this consisted of not flinching when I told them my status). I could feel that it was a bit unusual for them (the nurse kept saying "your partner" and then apologetically correcting herself). What I like about the doctor is that he clearly looks upon me as a fascinating new case or problem that he wants to figure out and solve. I like that analytical approach.

The only weird thing is that the nurse asked me if I am gay. I thought that was a bit irrelevant.

And I got what I think is some good news, although I shouldn't get my hopes up. I showed the doctor some LOVELY pictures I have of my innards, taken during my laparoscopy in 2002. The pics show my uterus and fallopian tubes in all their glory. He explained to me (as my surgeon never did!) that in 2002 none of the endometrium had implanted on either my uterus or my tubes (only on the cavity walls and intestines). He said my tubes looked "beautiful." Of course the pictures are from 5 years ago, and who knows what's going on inside those tubes, but hey, I'll take whatever encouragement I can get.

I am going off the pill and I will be scheduling an HSG and SHG in the next cycle, plus blood work. I had no idea they could estimate how many eggs we have (or did I understand that wrong)? My insurance will cover these tests since the diagnosis is still "endometriosis." So that's good. Despite the lecture the Doc gave me about how "old" my eggs are, my chances for birth defects and miscarriages, and all that good stuff, I feel positive. I am pretty sure I never would've had the courage to make this first appointment if not for the blogging community, so thank you thank you.

I haven't spoken to Matthew again since last Friday night; I think I'm going to make a trip to Brooklyn so that we can talk in person.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


I was having a bad day yesterday. Work was bad. Work is usually my one really good, consistently rewarding thing, so when it sucks, all of the other depressing things in my life also come into high relief.

I got home after a long day of feeling unappreciated and inadequate, found a small little bottle (like, airplane small) of "dark chocolate vodka" in the freezer, and plopped in front of the tv. Next thing I knew, I was calling Ex Number 2 (Matthew). We are very close. We tried the romance this summer, and it was as if neither of us had it in us. We talked about that. I told him that, romantically, I feel like a cardboard cut-out of myself. [Case in point: James. Things are totally stagnating with that, and I know it's about me].

At the same time Matthew and I care deeply for one another, but I wouldn't describe it, exactly, as romantic love. We talked about that. Next thing I knew, through tears, I was telling him that "I am going to have a child--I mean, no, I'm not pregnant NOW, but I am working toward that." He just kept saying WOW; not a shocking, that's bad, but WOW, that's big, Jo. But he was so supportive, so wonderfully supportive.

Next thing I know (thank you, chocolate vodka!), I am asking him if he would consider donating sperm to my cause!

It got more intense from there, as you can imagine. He said yes.

I said, no, you need to THINK about this; we both need to THINK about this EXTENSIVELY, like for a couple of months, hashing through all the pros and cons, and how it would work. Writing down questions, asking them, figuring it out. This is not a relationship, at least not a traditional one, it's something different, and we need to define that.

I was elated after the phone call. But this is serious--talk-to-a-therapist-stuff, isn't it? Part of me has been wanting this for months (well, actually, I have been thinking about Matthew in this role for a couple of years), but how do I assess, logically, if this is the best choice? There are so many questions to answer.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Knocking Myself Up

Things have gotten wacky at work, as they tend to do this time of year. Isn't it amazing how, within days, that ole' stress can return? I think to myself "oh, yea, THIS. I remember this." Somehow I totally partitioned it off all summer. I guess I'm good at compartmentalizing.

I finally got the book, "Knock Yourself Up..." in the mail, and I stayed up until 1:00 last night voraciously devouring it. Then I awoke at 5:00 just thinking and yearning. Then, on my way to work all I could think about was my baby--the feeling of having him in my body, the extremely amazing joy of breathing in her smell when she is born. Oh, god. It was hard to switch it off when I got to work. One of these days I'm going to blurt out something horribly inappropriate to a coworker, with tears in my eyes.

One of the things that the book is helping me to grapple with is the idea of donor sperm. I do have hesitations about it. The major one, not surprisingly, is the consequences it might have for my child's identity (or his grappling with his identity). I just picture the average 15 year old and her angst and struggle at trying to know who she is. Many women more eloquent than I have written about this issue before. But god, it's a doozy, isn't it? I am also still just--uncomfortable--with the idea in general. Just not sure yet where I am with it.

One of the best sections in the book is about the advantages of single parenting. It's really the most honest assessment that I've ever seen. Basically, it's arguing that for some women, single parenting can actually be easier. I must say, that resonated STRONGLY with me. The reason being...that the relationships, well, they have always been so hard and honestly, unhappy for me. Of course there is always the blissful love phase, but the rest is mostly characterized by conflict, and pain. [I can't tell you how many times someone has said to me "When you meet the right one, it won't be that way." It's kind of like the ole' "When you stop trying (to conceive) it will just happen," which seems to be the most common sentiment expressed to those ttc.] Hmm.

So yea. Going it alone seems to fit who I am, however I may not have planned it this way, visualized it this way, or even imagined it. I must say--never ever ever did I imagine myself using donor sperm. Wow. But, perhaps I am slowly coming to terms with the possibility that that this is where I am supposed to be.

brief update: 4th date with James; I'm afraid the sizzle is dying, but then, I don't even know, anymore, what my criteria's all messed up.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

State Mandates... and an Appointment

I made an appointment with the local repro endocrinology clinic! I am proud of myself.

I had a good talk with my OB/GYN, who seemed as if she was expecting this call from me (or at least that's how she played it--I appreciated it).

So I started to look into my insurance seriously, made a few calls. And it turns out that the situation is even worse than I expected. My insurance is actually willing to cover treatments for infertility (i.e. insemination); but my LOVELY LITTLE NORTHEASTERN STATE imposes mandates that completely void my insurance. Firstly (and the only one that really matters here), is that I must be married to receive this coverage. The 2nd mandate (I love this) is that a married couple must have been trying for a year--unsuccessfully--in order to receive insurance coverage for infertility. I'm assuming doctors all over just fudge that one. I mean how many couples notify their doctor the day they start trying? Give me a break.

So, yea. There will be no insurance coverage for me. None.

Not sure what these mandates are supposed to be doing, but my suspicions are that in my very Catholic, very tiny state, our very conservative governor is worried about unmarried females (read: gay females?) trying to have children without a living breathing male in the room. Forget unmarried straight females--that's just wrong.

I'm very curious if this is only the case in my state, because I would seriously consider moving. I live close enough to a border that it wouldn't be a big deal. I would love to see this issue in the media...but really, what politician is going to want to broach THIS subject? I don't see it happening.

I'm going to see how things go at the clinic and go from there. I think all this information is just going to be helpful to me as I consider my best path...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Making That Appointment

Talk about setting the mind to work. The confluence of a new romance, as well as more and more information from my fellow bloggers (thanks everyone), has really got me to thinking. I had a great talk with my mom the other night. She is so darn supportive. Love that woman.

One of the things that has been suggested is that I need to visit my doctor, pronto, and get a fertility test. I guess at the very least that will alleviate any questions I might have about being able to have a child. Who knows what the current state of the ole' system might be.

I guess I have reason to worry, and it's been a bit of a mental barrier for action. For those of you who may have missed it in my previous post, I have endometriosis. As horrible as it is, I do think it is a relatively mild case based on what I know of the experiences of other women. I can basically control the horrible pain with birth control pills. What that means is that I've been on the pill since I was about 19. I had laparoscopic surgery when I was 32. It shouldn't come as a suprise that before then, I hadn't been diagnosed with endometriosis, even though I had been fainting with pain and having "fits" since age 16. One doctor put me on anti-depressants. Another told me I had Irritable Bowel Syndrome--one of the great catch-alls for female "issues." When they finally diagnosed me accurately, I was in surgery within 2 weeks.

Anyway, during the surgery, they removed endometria mostly from the exterior of the uterus and the intestines. No mention of the fallopian tubes being involved. So I guess I am still hopeful? Aren't we all? Should I be?

Yet all the more reason to get tested. I suppose I have feared taking the first step, just asking my darn OB/GYN for the test. I did bring up the fact that I was a thinking SMC within the last year. She is a great doctor and very cool, but I could tell that even she was a bit taken aback. Perhaps she's never worked with an SMC before. Perhaps I'm reading into it. Anyway, last time I had my regular appointment, I guess I was just having a bad day. I couldn't bring myself to talk to her or to ask for any of the information I really wanted (the tears were already swelling up, so I just couldn't go there). I left that appointment feeling depressed and it lasted for awhile.

I need to do this. I'm scared, because going off the pill involves really bad pain. It will definitely affect my sex life (4th date with James on Saturday btw).

But time, it is a-wastin'. Check in soon. I will have made that appointment. I will.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Things Get Complicated

Who would've thunk that the moment I begin to get serious about having a child, not to mention begin a blog on the subject, I meet someone.

I suppose many people would say it's fate. The ole' "just when you give up, stop worrying, that's when it will happen." I never thought my life really worked that way though.

Let's back up. I've only been on 3 dates with James. But oh, they have been good dates. There is at the very least boyfriend potential here. Almost certain boyfriend-dom. And I have been single for 5 years. F-I-V-E . Y-E-A-R-S.

Still, there's no point getting ahead of myself here. As I've said in many a post, I need to be serious about having a child now, since life is uncertain, especially when it comes to men. Let me rephrase that. MY life is very, very uncertain when it comes to men.

And honestly, it's very hard to pursue both things at the same time. How would most men take the information that I'm going through artificial insemination in order to have a child? Sounds like kind of a deal breaker to me.

Things get complicated.