Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Best Planned Lays

This isn't going to be one of those well-made blog posts. This is one of those pissy lists. BUT: Before the ranting commences, Hello and Thanks for dropping by! to everyone, but especially to those of you directed here by the lesbian-lovin' Kymberli. It's a pleasure having you. If any of the rest of you don't read Kymberli's blog, you should certainly head over to read today's tale of accidental head-shaving.

1. LH surge: I can has one, pls? Still spending my days with legs crossed, still but the palest of lines on the OPK. Not yet out of bounds for my longest cycles, but getting close. Am secretly convinced I don't make LH.

2. Farewell, Mr. NMEBSI? It turns out he wasn't screened for a genetic disorder that I only just now got tested for. I won't know my results for at least another month or so. I had thought that no donors had been screened (so my own results would only be to help us decide about prenatal testing), but it turns out that some have. So we will choose a screened donor for September, at least, and maybe beyond (depending on my results).

(If you think I'm being over-cautious, please keep in mind that my father is a pediatric geneticist, who treats very small, very sick kids. This disorder is common, and although my parents raised me to be independent, he all but asked me to get tested.)

We were pretty upset about this, but we've since found some screened donors who also seem like good choices. Which means we have plenty of energy left to be upset that...

3. Dr. Baby Factory will not waive the $450 counseling session, nor will he allow us to see a counselor outside of the practice (who might take our insurance or just charge a little less than $9/minute). There are so many reasons this enrages me (and fills me with hopeless despair, but the anger is more interesting, I imagine) that it's hard to keep them all straight in my mind. I'll limit my rant to three. I'm realizing that they mostly come down not to the refusal to waive the counseling but to how it's been talked about.

a. There's equal ≠ fair aspect to the whole thing -- Dr. Baby Factory cannot or will not (as I find white men of privilege generally can't or won't) wrap his mind around the idea that treating all couples using donor-whatever in the same way may be equal but it isn't fair, in the sense that it is willfully blind to what brings each couple to this place. The best I can come up with is that this is like saying that it's fair that no employees get Jewish holidays off, when in fact that's equal but unfair. It bugs me that he won't acknowledge that our position is different from that of a straight couple using donor-stuff.

b. There's the giant fuck-you that is their counselors working with NO insurance. I don't think I'd be half as mad if they worked with some but not ours, though I'd still be pretty tweaked, since we chose this practice because it works with our insurance. But taking no insurance at all? So it's just an automatic "too bad you aren't normal" charge? Shitty, shitty, shitty.

c. There's the way Dr. Baby Factory distinguishes straight couples from us by referring to them as "married". GAH! I AM TRYING TO BE MARRIED, JERK-FACE. (How I wish we'd already eloped to CT, so I could tell him off properly for that one.)

As I see it, we have three options -- but please let me know if you think of any others, wise internet:

1. Suck it up, swallow pride, see if pooped-out pride sells on eBay, and pay for it.
Pros: Path of least resistance (except cost means less sperm means fewer tries before we have to store up money again).
Cons: Money, rage.

2. DIY at home, at least to start. (Assuming Dr. Baby Factory will still sign the home delivery release, as he said he would back at the HSG.) Reevaluate after a month or so.
Pros: No one involved who makes me want to spit nails.
Cons: Lower conception rate than IUI. Inefficient use of money, since we would be buying 2 vials/month and having to get them shipped every month (vs. getting 3 months' at once and storing at the clinic).

3. Change clinics.
Pros: I have another recommendation that my insurance will cover, with free sperm storage and no seekrit psych fees. Could work on details while trying DIY for a month.
Cons: Starting all over with intake, etc. More prodding of the vages. More theories. Sounds exhausting and like it will take forever.

Stay tuned, internet, to see down which path our heroines next gang agley.

Friday, August 21, 2009

What I Think About When I'm Not Thinking About Peeing

Trick question. I'm never not thinking about peeing these days.

In the interest of getting my act together re: ovulation prior to introducing pricier ingredients, I've been dutifully sticking a thermometer up in my business despite my morning grogginess (invariably poking myself something fierce) and peeing in cups and on sticks like it's going out of style. Hooray for peeing on things!

Is peeing not the definition of a simple pleasure? Maybe it's conditioning left over from potty training that makes the the characteristic sounds of micturition flood my brain with "new train set" endorphins, or perhaps it's more ancient than that. Even my memories of wetting my pants in public -- shame spreading across the seat of my corduroys in front of everyone, the wetness turning cold as the door handle that was in my hand, the injustice of not having been allowed inside to the bathroom sooner, the ugliness of the strange pants I was told to change into -- contain, if I am being honest, a sighing undercurrent of satisfaction.

I always enjoy home science projects, and peeing on sticks sounded so easy, until I read the part about holding for four hours first. Four hours may not seem like much to you, but I'm a two-hour girl. Just am. Rare is the night that I'm not up once or twice, which is a lot more fun now that I don't live in a dorm. I have shamelessly irrigated the shoulders of our nation's interstate highway system, and my college students get "some time to work independently" during almost every class. (Yes, I know pregnancy will be insanity.) The last several days have been a delight.

If only I could be more like the woman in the OPK instructions! Sure, she seems to be missing an arm and the finer points of her anatomy are troublingly Barbie-esque, but look at her confidence! She appears to be practiced at standing(?) with one leg cocked, like a dog with a chemistry project. If I tried that, the pee would run right down my leg, but hers droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the stick beneath.

Split-stream = Twice Blest

I bet the pee-stick lady never forgets, three-and-a-half leg-crossed hours into the wait, and just hauls off and pees in the toilet like a normal person. I've done that twice this week. I bet she wouldn't have to radically dehydrate herself to avoid Monday afternoon's near-accident, in which I ran back to the house, the whites of my eyes turning yellow, an hour after foolishly taking in liquid. I bet her pee is still lightly yellow. (Mine looks like fancy beer.) I bet if she has to have blood drawn, as I did Wednesday, it doesn't just d.r.i.p. into the vial, because she isn't congealing from thirst.

After that blood draw, I wandered, dazed, back to Grand Central, where my lone functioning synapse demanded I find food and fluid before getting back on the subway. The food court was packed. Everyone was in a hurry. In the midst of it all, a miserable looking pit bull squatted on a ramp while a river proceeded from her and pooled on the concourse floor. From the look on her face, it was evident this was not territorial behavior. This was dire need. And I know just how she felt.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I'm doing it right!

I just went to Minnesota to see an art exhibit and also to see some friends and family. One member of my family there is three years old. I hadn't seen her since Christmas. Suddenly she's not a cute, tiny, shy thing. Now she's a cute, tiny drill sergeant.

She discovered early in the visit that I would do things that she told me to do. I found myself stretching out on my stomach on the floor and flailing my arms (Swim! Swim!) and then standing up and sitting down a lot of times. (Now you're all dry! Stand up! Stand up!) She had small fleece blanket that was alternatively a sprinkler (or maybe a tsunami machine?) and a hair dryer. Sometimes I was supposed to hold the blanket, push invisible buttons, and then pretend the blanket was doing . . . . something.

While this was exhausting, I found it very reassuring. I remember games like this. I had an invisible mouse that lived in an invisible, knitted, spherical house. I was the maniacal director of endless games of 'Harriet Tubman and the Spaceships'. (Um, all I can say about that one is that rapid travel through time and space would have made Harriet Tubman's job a lot easier in my six year old opinion.)

Also reassuring was the fact that my tiny cousin didn't stare at me in confusion or give up on me when I pushed the wrong invisible button or sprayed the fleece blanket instead of waving it or whatever. She just shouted no! no! over there! over there! As long as she had my attention, everything was A OK.

Apparently I can still play pretending games and not be lame. Cool.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I'm A Lesbian And I'm Okay

I should really put my insurance on speed dial. Not a day goes by, it seems, that I’m not talking to them.

This morning, I finally got resolution on the “will you pay for this genetic test” question I put to them in…June. That’s 2 months of their losing letters, requiring codes they hadn’t asked for in the first place, requiring still more codes, and so on. Every fax takes two days to process because they convert them to microfilm before reading them. This makes the bureaucratic aspects of my health care sound more like a James Bond movie, but also seems to negate the speediness of faxing.

Now I’m on hold to find with a different branch of the company. Rather than the Mozart the main line uses, the mental health section favors silence punctuated by a firm voice saying, “Please wait.” Repeatedly. I’m calling the mental health division because apparently, I’m cruising for a nervous breakdown by being gay. News to me, but hey, I’m no doctor.

The above is an oversimplification, but near enough to the truth. Sugar and I had been thinking we’d skip the Barry White and vanilla-scented candles portion of the TTC journey in favor of the favorable if florescent-lit odds of IUIs at the Kips Bay Baby Factory. Mr. NMEBSI* has more IUI than ICI vials available, and we have been starting to think that we should face the fact that we don’t have baby-making equipment in the house, rather than let sentiment stand in the way of a better chance of conception. In the aftermath of my HSG, I had been feeling reluctant to encourage any more catheter-on-cervix action, but now I’ve had two months of the least painful periods since high school. Some private investigation indicates that I’m bleeding almost exclusively out of the side that was — to quote my chart — “perforated” at the HSG, which makes me think that totally tubular experience left my cervix more open and that an IUI was therefore less likely to require overwhelming force. So today I called the clinic IUI nurse to find out the procedures. All fairly straight-forward, except, oh, had no one told me I’d have to meet with their psychologist first? Everyone using donor sperm does.

Let me be frank: I’d rather we didn’t have to use donor sperm. I’d rather bring home a bottle of cheap champagne, line a roasting pan for Ray’s lucky Beer Can Chicken, and end up with a kidlet who looks half like me and half like Sugar. I’d also like a magical flying pony who lives in the apartment and doesn’t poop. I suppose I can see recommending a sit-down with the counselor for het couples using donor sperm, who perhaps haven’t spent more than a decade considering the ramifications of having a child who isn’t genetically related to both of them, but come on. We’ve been over this, trust me.

I find this requirement annoying if not discriminatory, but I also remember my grandmother telling me not to cut off my nose to spite my face, so I called the office psychologist and made an appointment for next week. Sugar must have been able to tell over gChat how pissed I was, because she didn’t say boo about having to miss more work. At the end of the conversation, the receptionist says, “By the way, the fee for the consultation is $450 and we don’t work with any insurance companies.”

EXCUSE ME? $450 because you’re worried that I might not have thought about being gay? $450 so Sugar and I can put on our Happy, Well-Adjusted Couple Show for you? No matter what anyone who’s known us for more than an hour might think of our parenting ambitions; clearly what you think matters most.

Since I started writing this post, I talked to a very nice woman at my insurance company, who tells me that they’ll reimburse for 80% of the fee, less my deductible, which is $363. So it would only cost me $380.40 to be gay. Bargain prices! Everyone will want to be gay now!

I say “would” because this pisses me off way too much, even if we had $380.40 we couldn’t figure out how to use (answer: sperm). I have a call in to the doctor. If he won’t waive this, we’ll go elsewhere or just crank up the Barry White after all.

*I love this name, by the way. Mr. Nmebsi sounds like he would get his oil changed by Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni and perhaps respectfully consult Mma Ramotswe about his suspicion that his neighbor was pilfering from his garden.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Word On The Street

Here's where we are these days, apparently (click for biggerness):


(Word Cloud courtesy of the very fun Wordle, which I found out about thanks to the even more wonderful starhillgirl.)

Clearly I need to be saying vagina more often.

i haz them

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Voice Recognition

Baby Mama and I are trying to pick a donor. Somehow I thought this would involve a lot of choice - huge numbers of profiles and audio clips to go through, baby pictures to order, etc. In reality, we have only a few donors on our list, since we are restricting to ID consent and also trying to find someone with my ethnic background. (In the WTF category - how come no one is eastern European up in here? I'm kind of from Chicago, so this just seems unthinkable to me . . . )

So we found this guy who is, in fact, partly of my ethnic background and even seems to have my interests - studying art, introverted. But his audio clip is intensely boring. It sounds like a high school essay on 'Doing the Right Thing.' Every time I hear it I'm like, really, that was your best answer?

Behind door number 2, we have Mr. Not-My-Ethnic-Background-Silly-Interests. There isn't as much to recommend Mr. NMEBSI, except that his audio clip makes him sounds like a sweet guy. What he talks about in his 30 seconds isn't very profound, but it's funny, and it sounds honest. I would rather go with him.

I have no idea if this is a good way to choose a donor. In fact, it's probably not. There's less chance that a child from Mr. NMEBSI will look like me and less chance that this child will want to major in the humanities (although, wait, maybe that's a plus . . .). The only logical thing I've thought of so far is that since we are looking for ID consent, there is less likelyhood that Mr. NMEBSI will be a tool when, 18 years from now, our child might be cold-calling him.

I just don't want to stick the sperm of some doofus who has learned how to give the right answers to pass the test (Morals and ethics my butt, you're like what, 20 years old?) into Baby Mama. Yuck. That's what we avoided by being lesbians right? We had coming-out anxiety and bizarre interactions with old friends, but not the sorrow of sleeping with some surface-y guy who later turns out to be arrogant and a little dumb.

The whole choice of donor thing feels so random. I wish it didn't have to happen at all. It seems both important and impossible. (I mentioned to Baby Mama my wish that we could just have Sperm Tuesday every month or so, when sperm would fall from the sky, but she said that would be gross . . . .) So Mr. NMEBSI here we come, I think.

Friday, August 7, 2009


Hello, internet. I'm feeling a bit blue today. No good reason, except that summer is winding down and the writing projects I've been supposed to finish remain undone. By the same token, I'm blue because summer is not done yet, and I'm impatient to start TTC in September. I've made the big decision, so how come I'm not pregnant yet? Baby, get in my belly! (I'm going to be a real picnic during that 2WW business, no doubt.)

Ages ago, the very marvelous Musings of A Fat Chick was kind enough to tag me for a wee meme, Six Silly Things. At the time, I was feeling too blue to think of anything, but I'm going to make an effort to pull myself up by my boob-straps and cheer the heck up. It's a beautiful day, I have a cookie sheet of perfect biscuits cooling on the stove, and Sugar and I are going to have a picnic in the park. There is no call for gloom!

Without further ado, here are the rules:

* Mention and link to the person who tagged you
* List Six Silly Things That Make You Happy
* Tag six of your favorite bloggers to play along

1. My very serious cat:


2. Making inanimate objects talk, puppet-style. I enjoy it more if the object in question is resolutely un-puppet-like, say, a salt shaker or a coat hanger. (This is why we have a house full of junk. Every time Sugar tries to throw something out, I make it talk to her. I am going to be so good at mother-guilt!)

3. Sneaking up to and petting the night toads that hang out near the beach on Fire Island.

Night Toad of Pine Walk

4. Nicknames. I rarely get them, maybe in part because my real name is uncommon in my generation, and I cherish the ones I do have. I also LOVE making up new ones for Sugar, but I'm sure she'll do me grievous injury if I share the best ones here. Most aren't...conventionally complimentary, though they aren't conventionally insulting, either. Maybe she'll tell you one if you ask nicely...but I doubt it.

5. Clothing that seems "circus-y" to me. Or piratical. Or both. Big stripes, big dots, overblown fishnets, black and white, bright red, fancy shoes and mismatched parasols. Japanese silk haori bound with an obi, tiered skirt, t-strap high heels, hair bound up in ribboned braids like Frida Kahlo. That kind of thing.

6. The soulful stuffed animals Sugar makes when she's feeling crafty

Sweater Bird and Monocle Pod Are Friends

7. Breaking the rules.

Speaking of breaking the rules, I'm not nearly bold enough today to tag individual bloggers, who could ignore my tag (entirely unlike how I've been ignoring Musing's) and prove my worst ideas about the world and my place in it all too true. So how about this: if you're reading this, and you have a blog, be tagged. If you put a link in the comments, I'll come check it out and love up on you for doing it. I can put you in my blogroll, if you want, too.


Monday, August 3, 2009

Happy Baby

Our friends have a very charming baby. She's about two years old now, and she's smart and cute and all that, but the thing that really amazes me about her is how freaking happy she is all the time. How does she do that, and where can I get some? Or at least, where can I learn how to bring up a kid like that?

Cause I got depression and I really, really don't want to pass it on.

I had extensive depression lessons as a kid. For example, when I was about four and my mom's rheumatoid arthritis flared up, I remember standing next to her chair and talking to her while she stared straight ahead and didn't answer me. When I was a little older she found a dent in a tea strainer that sent her off weeping. And about once a day for my whole life my dad took some perfectly normal occurrence to mean that the world was coming to the end of its inevitable downward spiral. It was a barrel of laughs around our house, for sure.

I learned it, and I don't want to teach it. Yikes.

So I'll act happy, right? I'll espouse concepts like 'the world is great', 'people are basically good', and 'everything is going to turn out just fine.' This seems like a solid plan until I remember myself as a cynical, irritable seven year old who was having none of it.

Like the time fifth grade some nimrod at my elementary school hired an inspirational speaker to come inspire us. Our class was marched down to the all-purpose-room to hear an old dude with stick-out ears chant 'life is good, good, good!' at us. Even at the time I wondered how much he got paid for that, and could we have our taxes back? Then in seventh grade we all had to take a course called 'Quest' aimed at making us love one another through planning our social and financial futures in unsupervised 'cooperative' groups. At the end of the quarter, when we were allowed to give feedback on the experience, I stood up and announced that the entire class had been unmitigated hooey.

wait, are pep rallies required?

What to do? Right now I only have a growing version of what one of my college students called 'the anti-list' (everything he wasn't going to do for his final project, including mediate the artistic process with his mind). So far I've got:

  • not say that child's behavior x will result in eventual doom
  • not say (or imply) that child is unattractive
  • not send insomniac child back to room with instructions to 'work on your breathing' (sorry mr. buddhist, but save that for the grown ups)
  • not insist that every single thing the child thinks is wrong is due to lack of sleep
  • not to announce that the world is becoming uninhabitable for environmental/economic/aesthetic reasons
  • not have inexplicable crying jags

I sent Mr. Artistic Process back to write me a new project proposal after reading his anti-list. Now if only I could come up with my own . . .

On Dedication

Stop what you're doing. I don't care what it is; this is too important. Stop it. (Oh, not you, sir. You just keep at that transplant surgery and come back when you've sutured.)

Go to (New! Improved!) Musings of a Fat Chick and read this post, now. If you're in the kind of office where you shouldn't be laughing out loud, take appropriate precautions. Close your door. If you're in a cubicle, gag yourself.

If you have a story to beat this, please post a link in the comments, because DAMN.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

You Might Be Disappointed If...

...any of the following searches got you here (and according to Google, some of you got here these ways.):

video speculum

bionic dildo video
When I have a punk band, this will be our sophmore album.

to buy bionic babies

baby your bionic and i dont think your

What? You don't think I'm (im?) WHAT? This is a frustrating elision.

bizar speculum female catheter play tube

This one shows up twice. TWICE. I'm trying to figure out what constitutes non-"bizar" speculum female catheter play tube.

In other news, we just spent a week at the beach. When the relaxation wears off, we'll find something to fret and therefore post about. Spermy plans now delayed until September, so I can get a better sense of cycles and how to pee on the stick rather than my hand.