Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fall Color!

A break from the drama to look toward the sky! This amazing maple in front of my neighbor's (bright blue) house blows my mind. It wasn't even sunny when I took the shot. You should see it when there's sun behind it! Heavenly!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Waiting to ttc

My readers really keep me going on this quest...I am taking the advice of reading through a donor agreement with PKD. Hopefully if anything feels uncomfortable for him he will discuss it with me.

If all goes well, I will start ttc in March! It seems ages away, but I have to wait. I need to pay off two big bills (and I'm taking an extra teaching gig to do it). Plus I need to be just slightly practical because I have a huge career event next September, in the works for 3 years, for which my organizing skills are I can't really be on leave for that....Anyway, March, March March! The month of my 38th birthday. Gosh. Maybe I'll move it up to February!

And...I've decided to try home inseminations first. I'm not sure how many months to give myself but probably 3 to 6 before I turn to IUI. Anyone have any stories of success from home insems? Wouldn't it be a dream to keep it simple?

Babies babies babies. They are in my dreams. Two this week. Except in one of the dreams, the baby wasn't mine and for some reason it was a melancholy dream. In the other one, she was mine...and it was joyous.

Monday, October 20, 2008


Just a quick update. Since going off the pill I've had a roller coaster month...the beginning was euphoric, and the last few days have been absolutely miserable. I am coping. I managed to go to NYC for my dear friend's opening at a gallery in Chelsea. It was such a wonderful evening--he was ecstatic--and I'm so glad I could make it.

I stayed with PKD while in NY, who is moving from the category of "potential known donor" to "probable known donor." The visit was ESSENTIAL and cleared up a lot of complications and worries (it's amazing how important one-on-one face time can be). Firstly, we did away with the possibility of a romance between us. Our romantic weekend this past summer was an experiment--perhaps a necessary one--but a bad one nonetheless, one that took both of us out of our comfort zones. I really do love him, but much more like a brother. He admitted the same fraternal (or sisterly?) feelings.

He also told me that his willingness to be my donor has nothing to do with his own aspirations to have children. In fact, he admitted that he HAS no aspirations to have a family of his own, or a wife. Part of me is sad for him, because I think that derives from a difficult childhood and a father who abandoned the family. But it's also just one more indicator that he and I could never be more than friends (since obviously, I want the family). The lightbulb went on in my head when I asked him, "Well, if we WERE by some chance to be together as a couple, would you want children?" His answer was no. I therefore cannot ever, ever regret the lack of a romantic relationship between us since obviously it would never work for me (or for that matter, him)!

He also wanted me to know that he just wants to HELP me, because he cares for me. He doesn't need to be known to the child until I deem it necessary. He will sign anything. It was all pretty amazing, and I find myself somewhat in awe of his generosity and not wanting to question it. However, I am definitely open to outside opinions on the matter!

More soon.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Disparate Musings

Thank you to everyone who wrote me with support. I am not surprised, now that I've had time to reflect, that I responded in that dramatic way to the HSG. I should have known to tell the doctor my history of vasovagal fainting, but I definitely just put the whole thing out of my mind. At least now we (me and the doctor) know to be extra vigilant for future procedures.

The RE has said that I don't need to go through the HSG again unless I really insist (obviously I am not dying to try again). He says that given my history, as well as my laparoscopic surgery that revealed no endometrium on my tubes 5 years ago, the chances of my tubes being blocked are slim. He thinks I should go ahead and try a few IUI treatments (3, he said), and then if those don't take, do the HSG. I am inclined to go with him on this just because I'm leary of the HSG. My one hestitation is of course spending money on 3 months of treatments without being sure that everything is in working order. It's a tough call!

I am going to spend the weekend with my PKD next weekend in Brooklyn. There has already been a little bit of drama here---too much to even explain---let's just say it's complicated. Complicated is the operative word here. I am starting to think that the only way things will work out with this particular PKD is if we somehow end up together. Which is weird. Because after all, who would ever recommend coming at a partnership from this angle, now really? I am fully aware of the perilous territory I'm entering...

In the meantime, had an amazing talk with my mother, who must be winning the award for most supportive mother in the world...she is actually encouraging me to use anonymous (open identity) sperm! It was great to talk through the pros and cons with her, and it makes me realize I need to TALK about all these things more with people I love. It really helps. The blog is wonderful but it's not like having a conversation and seeing and hearing people's reactions to the things I'm struggling with.

In other thoughts, I've been moved by some of the amazingly supportive gestures taking place on the blogosphere amongst fellow SMC bloggers and Infertility bloggers (Dora, this means you!). There is amazing compassion out there.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Apparently, I'm one of the "sensitive" ones

The tests were traumatic. And I'm not being dramatic. In fact, the HSG never even happened. Don't read any more if you are squeamish...

I've always been a fainter, let's just start there. When I experience intense pain, my natural reaction is to pass out. This has happened throughout my life, and it's even been diagnosed as "vasovagal" fainting. The vasovagal nerve is the one that, if ultra sensitive like mine, sends currents directly to the heart and brain in reaction to pain, bringing unconsciousness. Let's just say if I lived in Victorian England and had to wear tight stays in my dress, I'd be the lady in the corner with the smelling salts.

I got through the sonogram fine (only one fibroid, and "tiny!"). When the Dr. went to put the catheter in my cervix to start the HSG, things got ugly. It was painful, yelpingly owingly surprisingly painful.** Within about 20 seconds, I heard myself saying... "I'm not feeling so well...." Next thing I know, I am waking up, or rather, not waking (those of you who have passed out before know the very odd in-between moment when you have NO FRIGGIN idea where you are, who you are, or even that you are). There were about 8--maybe more--people surrounding me, several trying to coax me out of unconsciousness with gentle "you're ok-s", the rest madly calling for the ER doctor, taking my pulse, or putting cold packs on my head.

Then the questions started. But I was in no position to answer them. I could not move for the nausea. My heart rate was down to 40, they told me later, and I looked like a corpse. But it didn't stop there! All of a sudden my uterus decided to cramp, like the tightest fist you can imagine, and the pain returned. It was ugly. I was limp as a rag and yet writhing in pain (the two things are not congruous). They put in an IV. They moved me to the ER. They did EKGs, blood tests. All that. The cramp lasted for about AN HOUR. "On a scale of 1 to 10, how bad is your pain?" Speaking felt like running a marathon, but I managed to say "10." I didn't want to live in that pain. In 45 minutes it was a 6. By 60 minutes, I was completely back to normal. No abnormalities, no issues with blood or heart. Just, as they wrote on my discharge form, "Common fainting/cramping." Within 2 hours, I was walking out of there.

Besides being completely traumatized, I am now faced with the decision of having to reschedule this test. Next time, A FRIEND IS COMING WITH ME (my good friend was horrified that I hadn't asked her to go, but I really didn't think it was a big deal)! I'm scared.

I'm actually fine now (no residual anything). I even went to work in the afternoon! Crazy. I am not worried about the episode itself, since I know what caused it and similar things have happened before. But I am worried I won't be able to tolerate such procedures that will someday make me pregnant.

**I'm wondering if the catheter should've hurt that much! I really like my doctor, but this was the 2nd time he inserted it because the balloon had failed to inflate on the first attempt. The second time was the killer.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Tests Tomorrow

I have my HSG and SHG scheduled for tomorrow morning... I am a bit anxious, of course. I keep telling myself there is nothing to be worried about (heh). Will update tomorrow after the tests...

Saturday, October 4, 2008

PKD on the Rocks?

Weird week.

For one thing, I'm off the pill for the first time in many, many years. I've lost 4 lbs without even trying (and I'm eating everything! I made my famous "tamale pie" all for myself and have eaten if for every meal since Wednesday!); I have what I would call "increased sex drive;" and, I have the energy of the Energiz*r bunny. My friend Mary tells me that my testosterone, which is apparently suppressed on the pill, is makes me wonder if I have been deadening all of the important hormonal impulses that would lead me to finding a partner for the last 5 years. But let's not go there...

I had a long talk with PKD and things are getting a bit complicated. I am sad to write this, but I'm not sure things are going to work out with this donor. Turns out there may be too many residual feelings between us. I don't think it's a problem for him, but I can just see myself, having a child and then yearning for a father for that child and then slowly, slowly, becoming resentful toward this man who didn't want to be with me as a partner, but sure didn't have any problem inseminating me. Do you know what I mean? And I ask that question to the universe and to cyberspace knowing that only I can answer it. I am going to visit him in a couple of weeks (he lives in Brooklyn) to have the big talk.

One of the complications that came up, very quickly I might add, is that PKD started to date someone and within a few dates told her all about "our" plans. He was distressed to learn that she was uncomfortable with it. He said that it made him think about his future dating life. OK, I can respect that (I have no choice but to respect it). But I can't help but reflect on our first conversation, when we talked about "forging a new kind of family relationship"...4 dates with a woman and it's all out the window?

I can't help but be a little pissed off of course (and here's where the dangerous residual emotional ties come in). But I have to remember that when I first asked him, he did say yes AWFULLY quickly. I was suspicious of that, and knew it was too good to be true. To his credit, he seems to have been thinking about things A LOT.

The next step? Go visit, have the big talk, try to figure out if the emotional ties are too treacherous. Then (and here I guess I am already moving on in my mind) start to look at anonymous sperm donation.

If I can spin this in a positive light, his initial willingness to be a donor allowed me to move forward, mentally, with the whole process. It became more real for me. I actually did things like research day-care, figure out my finances, talk to other parents, talk to friends, talk to family. So in this way, I feel more able to go ahead with things even with an anonymous donor.

There is ONE MORE man who I would love to ask to be a donor. This would be a much safer bet, since he is a gay man. Wonderful, smart, talented (a recognized artist), kind, perhaps the most interesting person I've ever met. Tall, with beautiful long fingers. I am fixated on his fingers. Anyway....I don't know if I can bring myself to ask him.

Friday, October 3, 2008

So THAT'S where they all are!

Last week, I had to be at work on a Saturday (we had a big opening event for a new building in our arts complex). There I was, walking through the galleries and everywhere I looked were COMPLETELY AGE APPROPRIATE MEN, good looking, interested, happy. Of course, in front of every single one of them was a stroller, next to which was a good looking, interested, happy wife. This shouldn't come as a surprise, that ALL of my peers are now living a life completely separate from the one I know. It's funny, though, because I never SEE these people! I guess they're all at home with the family! I go out, I try to meet people, and I'm always saying to myself, "this town just doesn't have any appropriate men for me." I had no idea they actually existed but they are all extremely, inextricably, totally, ultimately TAKEN.

And it hurt. I know in my soul, in my depths (dramatic, but true) that I am supposed to be there too. In my heart, I am one of them. But I'm not.

I guess I'm not as non-traditional as I thought.

I'm not going to go to work on Saturdays anymore. I prefer to live in ignorant bliss.