… to a lesbian conception adventure!

Posts tagged ‘learning’

Me, Myself

Tonight I went and picked up a pizza for us (since it rained right as we were going to grill / we were both tired / I hate paying delivery fees).

On the way home (a whole five minute drive), I absentmindedly put my hand on my stomach.  And, although I’m almost three weeks postpartum, felt a jolt of separation from both the baby and myself as a pregnant woman.

And instead of the sadness I felt immediately postpartum, I instead felt more like my pre-pregnancy self.  And there was little in the way of value judgement that went along with it; just a strange feeling of being connected to a little being at home that I used to be connected to much more intimately… and at the same time a strange feeling of being very separated.  After recognizing the change, part of me felt lonely and part of me felt liberated.  I was glad for both; the loneliness because it signals my connection to my wife and daughter, the liberation because it reassures me that  even in the separation, there is a part of me that is glad to be just me, myself.

Book recommendation

If you and your partner are preparing for childbirth, I would highly, highly recommend “the bir.th par.tner” … it was hands down the most informative and useful book we (mostly C) read.

42 weeks (or 2 weeks, 2 days)

I can’t believe how quickly time is going now that K has arrived.  I want to document every second, but there is a baby, household duties, a baby, insurance coverage to take care of, a baby, visitors galore, a baby, sleeping, a baby!

K’s first two weeks were largely successful and wonderful. Let’s recap them, shall we?  🙂

The Hospital

Overall, I enjoyed my hospital stay.  C and I both felt like we could have left after the first night, but when the second night was super difficult with a constantly crying baby who did not seem to be able to be soothed, our awesome nurse who double swaddled her and got her to sleep for a few precious hours made the second night stay totally worth it.  Our hospital was super mother-baby relationship building friendly and the nurses did a great job of coming in only when they needed to (at times it felt like we were hanging out in a hotel room).  C took care of me every minute, grabbing ice water, fielding phone calls and texts from family and friends, and taking care of diaper changes and other baby needs.

Because we birthed the baby in the afternoon, we had family visits the entire first evening (almost as soon as we were in the room) and throughout the next day.  I can definitely understand why people recommend keeping visitors at bay (and thought I would feel the same way) as it was very tiring and we got little sleep, but seeing the love and excitement for our baby and getting the support from our families (all of the local grandparents visited, two more than once, along with the local siblings and our friend) was wonderful and re-energizing.  My mom also brought us a homemade Italian cold-cut, something I’d been wanting for ten months, to celebrate, as well as a beautiful card that makes me cry every time I read it (still).  We also received balloons and flowers and general congratulations.

One downside to the hospital was the food, for sure.  My meals were provided and were okay, but the cafeteria had some strange hours and the food was… interesting.. at best.  Neither C nor I really ate the day of labor until dinner time and by midnight, we were super hungry.  We ended up with very expensive, very stale tacos from the cafeteria, bonding over the grossness of it all (and eating them anyway).  We very much appreciated the food brought by others, but were also very excited to get to our own food.

The other downside was the staff (outside of nursing).  I was having woozy feelings when I would leave the bed and ended up with an OB resident who, it being the end of July, was brand new, and who felt the need (or needed to for her attending) to ask 7,000 questions and also wake me up the second morning after I had just fallen asleep.  She was trying to help, so that was okay, I guess.  What was NOT okay was the records staff who came to fill out the birth certificate (first at 9:40 pm, again as we were falling asleep) and who had no idea about having both moms on the birth certificate despite edicts from the state that they should do so and despite me completing the same-sex worksheet in advance for my midwives.  The first lady (the 9:40 pm lady), pretty much backed out of our room when I refused to sign her form and the next day I argued with her supervisor, who told me they could fill out the paperwork regardless of me signing it.  They eventually agreed to submit both pieces of paperwork (still a cop out) and she did pseudo-apologize when I e-mailed her the letter from the state.  Lots of undue stress, though.

K, meanwhile, did great in the hospital (except for her crying spell the second night, which isn’t not great, it just wasn’t spectacular).  We ended up going with all of the typical interventions and they all went fine.  Her bili levels were a little bit high, but were still in a range in which additional intervention was not required.  She also took somewhat well to nursing, though we did work with the lactation consultants three different times so that we could learn as much as possible.  C was fabulous with the consultants, getting hands on (haha) and learning the techniques right alongside me so that she could coach me later on.  I couldn’t have asked for more involvement on her part and it definitely came in handy when the LCs were not there.

My healing also seemed to be going well.  I committed myself to going to the bathroom as soon as possible after delivery (at the suggestion of the midwife) and was fortunate that things were in working order very quickly (I was also determined to avoid a catheter if at all possible).  I was in very little pain and only took a pain reliever once – and that was because of a headache.  The nurses and the midwife who checked me seemed constantly surprised that I did not want more in the way of pain relief – and looked at me doubtfully once or twice – but I was really okay.  I made sure to keep up with fluids (wasn’t hard as nursing seems to have a insatiable thirst kind of effect on me) and ate like it was my job (hunger more intense than I ever felt during pregnancy).

We were discharged a little over 48 hours after we arrived at the hospital, and probably would have left sooner had I not been nursing the first time they came to check on K.  C went to get the car while I was pushed out of the hospital in a wheelchair, baby in my arms.  I guess it was like the movies; in any case, it was definitely surreal (and fast – it was like they were throwing me out with as fast as I was pushed).  I marveled at the fact that I was holding this tiny being who was all mine (ours) and also took a good look at the reception area where I had been in labor just two days earlier.  The person who pushed me to the door left me (with my permission) while C was bringing the car around and I got to hang out as people walked by admiring the baby.  A valet person pushed me outside when C arrived, we loaded the baby into her carseat (surreal again!) and waited for a good fifteen minutes for a tow truck to get out of the way.  And then we were on our way home!

The first night

… was definitely about 15 kinds of interesting.  We stopped to get prescriptions filled and fast food purchased (yeah, more food greatness) before coming home (to “It’s a girl” lawn signs courtesy of my family) and introducing K to Wonderdog.  He took it well enough, sniffing the baby and going outside.  We took a nap, enjoying the AC that we paid for and had been left on for three days, and woke up super hungry.  Cue my mom, who we called and within half an hour was at our house making us delicious food.  After she left, we were on track to settle in and spend our first night at home when I noticed the smell of natural gas… and sure enough, our stove had not been turned off and had been leaking natural gas into the house for several hours.  So we ended up on our front porch with the newborn, calling poison control, who, despite C’s emphasis on TWO-DAY-OLD-CHILD assured us that as long as we didn’t light any fires, we should be fine.  Right. We smelled gas throughout the house and we weren’t taking any chances.  So we abandoned Wonderdog and spent the night in our friend’s house, who was thankfully awake when we called close to 11 pm and graciously invited us over.  Poor Wonderdog.  Poor us (definitely not the good introduction to home we wanted). Poor niece, who woke up the next morning and came downstairs to a baby that she “knew” was coming as much as an almost-three-year-old can.

We spent the remainder of that day going to the pediatrician’s office – LOVE HER, she was SO good with the baby – and then going to not one, but two different labs with our three-day-old to get her blood drawn for bili levels since the first lab (where we waited for half an hour) told us after our wait that they could not serve us because it was a “STAT” order.  And after I had promised C a nap, too.  So across town we went, got the blood drawn (heartbreaking to watch) and came back home.  I don’t know that we had any visitors that day – we might have – and I hope we napped, but I’m not sure that happened either.  It was definitely a hectic first couple of days!

… that’s about all I have time to write right now; will add more later!

NBNU?

No baby, new… unicycle?

Since we are theoretically about 10ish weeks away from our first go ’round of ttc and because I am a glutton for punishment, I decided to take on a new challenge!

Our dear friend August learned to unicycle shortly before conceiving 2 1/2 years ago and was able to get back on and ride this past week after a baby-carrying, baby-birthing, baby-watching hiatus. Which means that it is doable to learn at least. And might be good conception luck (I don’t really believe this, but it’s a fun idea)

It’s scary as hell but probably not as dangerous at it may seem – even with hundreds of on-and-off-after-two-seconds rides, I have only fallen once. Having only a wheel under you means you generally land on your feet! Woot!

I do worry a bit about breaking my face, but it’s neat to try something new. And it’s kind of nice to know if I fail at unicycling but succeed at conception, I can quit. It will be my first “I’m-having-a-baby-I-can’t-do-this” action.

Buckling down

Although we’ve looked a little, we are now getting into the “time-to-pick-a-bank, can-also-look-more-closely-at-donors” phase.

We definitely want an open donor, which is a PITA because there are way fewer of them. And then when you take into the factors we need (certain medical factors) and those we want (eye color, actually), it narrows them down. And then when you listen to their voices or see their pictures, it REALLY narrows them down.

Until there are none left.

Okay, it’s not that bad. But why did I think that we would just put in the qualities we want and WHAM, there would be the male image of C, ready to give us the closest thing to  C pumping out sperm herself? Okay, I didn’t REALLY believe that, but a girl can hope, right?!

I don’t know if it’s a product of waiting, of not being too close to decision time just yet, or if I’m just anxious, but part of me just wants to eeeny meeny miney mo this ridiculousness… after all, genetic background is only one part of the picture and really doesn’t say which swimmer will meet which fabulous egg.

CD1

Again! After a bit of a wait.

This past cycle was longer than my previous two (33 days versus 29 for each of the previous cycles), but I was solidly ill for several days (not to mention 32-34 days is much more normal for me  than this 29 day stuff!). Of course, those several days included a fever and were RIGHT AFTER I likely ovulated (based on CM and other temps) so of course FF gives me a ridiculously long range of possible ovulation but pinpoints nothing. Thanks, FF, thanks.

So in terms of getting-to-know-my-body-better, it feels like a wasted cycle. Except for the fact that I was fairly vigilant about checking CM this cycle (until I got sick) and I definitely got to experience the stretchy fun of EWCM, another sign in the midst of all the medicalization that my body is doing what it needs to do.  I also have a biphasic pattern on my chart, though several days of a low-grade fever during the luteal phase will give anyone that pattern.

This time around I ordered cheap OPKs and am planning on temping, checking CM, and using OPKs to see if the signs match up or not. While we all know that I’m at best skeptical about my body’s ability to regulate and report accurate BBTs, I’m going to keep on keeping on as sticking a thermometer in my mouth every day isn’t really bothering me and it feels just a bit productive to put little dots on a chart.

How much?

It’s been in my head for a while, so I have to ask:

Is there anyone out there willing to share (publicly or privately) about how much a total IUI cycle was for them? Including any labwork, etc. ?

Because our RE charges a flat fee, but it seems VERY VERY high to me. His rate includes whatever he has to do during that cycle, but I’m imagining he won’t have to do a whole lot (at least not at first) as so far, all fertility testing (which we had to pay extensively for as my insurance covers NOTHING) points to go.

So I’m trying to get an idea of a non-insurance cycle cost, not just the IUIs, which from what I’ve read of other people, seem to be significantly cheaper than anything we’d be about to pay.

This doctor gets rave reviews and is awesome-tastic but if it doesn’t work in 2 or 3 tries, we would be flat broke. And I feel like I’d rather have more tries at this point.