… to a lesbian conception adventure!

Posts tagged ‘medicalization’


Off to the midwife appointment in a little bit and I have to say, I’m quite nervous. Nervous to meet new practitioners, nervous that I might not like them, nervous because the world of prenatal care is so vast and even with recommendations it seems like it’s pretty much a crapshoot.

The practice we are going to today has at least three midwives. We will not work with any one midwife more than the others, ideally, as they rotate your appointment so that you see all of them over the course of your pregnancy because any one of them could be on call the day of your delivery.

Although I do not want a super medicalized birth, I am realizing that it might be hard for me to not have a medicalized pregnancy. I may be bizarre, but I have had many good experiences with doctors and I generally don’t mind medical intervention. That being said, I do not want to head down the surgery route at delivery and my chances are far less with a midwife than with an OB where I live (the midwife practice has a section rate of 13%).  It is going to be hard for me to not have tons more ultrasounds and invasive investigation into what is going on because I so desperately want to know that everything is going well ALL. THE. TIME.

That being said, I really do want a more personalized experience and I think if there is anyone who is going to give it to me, it will be the midwives. I am, however, already missing having just my one RE who was present for everything (every meeting, every appointment, even my HSG) and I realize that I was incredibly spoiled in that regard.

Really, I’m just afraid of the unknown. I think that so much of giving birth (and pregnancy in general) is hindsight being 20/20 and there are so many things I won’t know until I’ve experienced them regardless of any other experience that others have had. I also have to remind myself that one visit to one provider does not mean that I have to stay with that provider out of some false sense of loyalty or oh-they-spent-time-with-me-I-feel-bad-for-leaving.

Outside of the nerves, I am excited and hopeful that we get confirmation that things are swimming along nicely. I took off today so that C and I can enjoy the day together and following the appointment we are going to go clothes shopping because my (super form fitting) clothes just aren’t cutting it anymore.


The Medicalization of Conception: Unforeseen Consequences

I first started posting about the medicalization of conception shortly after meeting with our RE. In that initial post, I focused on the questions one begins to ask when starting down any kind of medical ttc path. Other posts followed, focusing on the control (or lack thereof) that welcoming the medical profession into your home (or body) offers.

What I did not realize at the time, and what I failed to realize until our BFP, is that for me, the medicalization of conception had another surprising dark side.

You see, a long long time ago, back when we first started thinking about babies, I had a lot of concerns, worries, and, at times, reservations about becoming a parent. None were overwhelming or deal-breaking – they were just the product of a normally anxious personality with a little too much directed thinking on a process that could not be left up to the whim of unprotected love.

These concerns and fears, while totally appropriate to the life-changing nature of bringing a life into the world, were also totally incompatible with trying to conceive. Because as we quickly discovered, trying requires an unceasing drive in which normal worries have no place. Taking daily temperatures and prenatals, monitoring fluids and OPKs, trying fertility treatments, the actual insem all require setting aside normal fears and concerns and focusing intently and whole-heartedly on the goal: pregnancy. And when each pregnancy announced by a friend and each stark white test feels like a  tremendous setback to that goal, you push harder and more relentlessly than ever, so much so that even the idea of taking a much-needed break becomes ludicrous. With so many concerns about how to get pregnant, there is simply no space for any other worries about the impact of that pregnancy.

And then, suddenly (and even almost unexpectedly), there are two lines on that stick, the start of a second life inside your singular self, and the race is over (but not yet over) and the race is won (but not quite won) and you can relax.

For about ten seconds.

Or at least that was what happened to me. Excitement, joy, happiness, hope, all that is good rolled into a few moments. I faced you, medicalization, and with your help (and heartache), I won. I. Won. KING (Queen!) OF THE WORLD!

And then, as if on cue, all the normal concerns and worries of pregnancy and childbirth and changing my whole life and family began to resurface like a high school acquaintance you haven’t seen in a decade – recognizable, but confusing and awkward. And that awesome feeling of winning was challenged a bit with fears that I had suppressed months ago.

In a nutshell, medicalization and relentless focus on trying prevented me from coming to terms with any other concern and success brought those concerns to the forefront alarmingly quickly. Add that to the fact that medicalization (and participation in a community of women who have faced all kinds of challenges) makes one all too aware that two lines does not mean that you pass go and collect a baby and you have a recipe for some confusing sadness and uncertainty.

It was also briefly a recipe for a bit of guilt and resentment. Guilt because I felt like I should be feeling happier with all the good news and resentment that I was not having the elated, walking-on-air kind of experience that some women seem to have.

Since I started writing this post days ago (and half of it disappeared at one point), I am happy to say that a lot of the negative flood has receded and that I am in a much calmer place. I strongly believe that I was unable to properly prepare for the impact of a positive because I was so focused on getting the positive, period. I am grateful that I have a wife and friends who have listened and reminded me to be gentle with and accepting of myself and I am feeling much less overwhelmed, though I am still surprised just how many worries about the future hit me all at once as if I had never considered them at all.

Numbers game

Finally got a call from the doctor today at 1 pm. Less than twenty four hours after the draw? Yes. An eternity to C and I? Absolutely.

My original level was 106. Today, seven days later, I was expecting to hear numbers between 800 and 1200.

My number? 3562.

Quick (online) calculations tell me that’s a doubling rate of about 33.53 hours. Solidly solid. I said something like “wow” and the doctor agreed, noting that he would have been happy with 800.

So all is (very) well for now. We go for our u/s on the 16th at 7 1/2 weeks. While it is almost definitely possible that we could see something sooner, especially with those numbers, I have off on the 16th and I will feel more certain of whatever we see at that point just by virtue of being further along.

So we wait and hope for our appleseed to grow to pea status and then blueberry!

Medicalization + Conception = ?

One of the thing that frustrates me the most about the medicalization of conception is that every doctor does it differently. That is, ask three doctors how they handle a problem or how long frozen sperm lives in the uterus or whether temping is useful and you will get three different answers. I’m all for individualized medical treatment but the answers would vary just as widely if asking in reference to the same exact woman.

I realize that ART is relatively new compared to the whole history of medicine and I realize that there is trial and error and learning to be done, but man oh man do I wish I could 100% firmly rely on things I hear or read. It just seems like so much guesswork and so much luck and I am always surprised when I ask Dr.Google a question only to get fifteen pages with fifteen different answers in response.

(in other news, I’m not asking too many questions these days, just trying to be patient. FF decided that I did in fact ovulate on the day of the insemination and all other signs lined up so I am feeling pessimistically hopeful… or full of low expectations and high hopes… or wondering if I will be looking at sunny days or silver linings)

Inquiring minds want to know…

… what is your IUI experience like?

Not so much the step by step, but as you / after you inseminate, what goes on in that room?

For us, outside of the actual IUI, we are basically hanging out with the doctor. In general he is in the room the whole time and I would say we spend half of that time laughing and talking about all kinds of topics from medical research to old school reproductive medicine to the impact of having children on one’s life. Yesterday, the doctor brought out a plastic-wrapped sponge that was used in the days before IUI to keep the semen as close to the cervix as possible. Fascinating.

I think I am asking because in some ways, our time together seems almost irreverent. Yes, I am thinking fertile thoughts in between laughing at ridiculous conversation and yes, C and I spend a few seconds gazing lovingly into each other’s eyes, but overall we are, like I said, hanging out. I wonder if other folks are equally talkative / silly / “irreverent” or if it is just us being strange.

So what are / have been your experiences, if you care to share?

Go time

IUI yesterday and today. Timing seems just about perfect but then again, I never ever seem to be able to trust the timing and my temperature charts look pretty ridiculous.

I was pretty annoyed at the doctor yesterday, who first asked if we had tried last month ( uh, no, you put us on a break) and then sighed when he saw my (perfect! Fabulous! Damn near textbook!) chart from the skipped cycle. I am still glad we took the break – it was needed and healthy- but COME ON.

I wish I felt confident… it’s not that I’m not, entirely, it’s just that I won’t know how to feel until I see my chart in the coming days… and even then, I won’t know what to think. I am irritated that this is all so expensive and yet there is no sure fire way to know much of anything outside of an approximation.

I am really not quite as melancholy as this post sounds, at least not all of the time.

Anyway, time for work!

Just keep waiting, waiting, waiting…

CD 15, no +OPK, starting to go a little stir crazy.

To be fair, over my nine month charting history (seven of which have included OPKs), it has only recently been the case that my OPKs turned on or before day 15. Over last spring and into the summer, they sometimes did not turn until day 17 or, at the latest, day 19. And I do have a fairly strong history of cycle changes depending on the season.

I have had some color on a couple of them, but that seems to have faded in more recent tests (a byproduct of meds, perhaps?).

I think I will call the doctor today, see what he wants to do, get him prepped for a potential weekend of fun (which is okay with me – more time off to lay around!). Part of me wants to run right in and see him, but the one thing I do NOT want to do is jump the gun because we’re anxious. I think were early during our last try and that made the TWW much more blah than in had to be.

All I’m saying is last month, I got my positive OPK on day 13, a clear ovulation on day 14 and why-were-we-taking-a-break-again?!!?

🙂 Hope you all have a great Thursday!