Let’s Do This!

Ladies and gents I’m happy to report that we’re officially back in business!

I got confirmation from my OBGYN this morning (through online messaging no less) that the 3D ultra sound I had performed earlier this week shows 4, not 3 (eep!) fibroids within the walls of my uterus, but not in the uterine cavity! She said the area where an embryo would implant is not effected by the fibroid presence and that surgery is only necessary for reasons of pain or excessive bleeding. She also confirmed that both of my ovaries look normal, which is great because for the second time a tech couldn’t find my left one.

Which means, we’re in business!

I have a habit of creating extensive spreadsheets for important things, like Passover planning. These sheets are color-coordinated, well orchestrated works of art that help to not only organize myself, but create a sense of calm. So it only seems natural that I’ve created a similar spreadsheet for conception. When I shared the Google Doc Drive with my partner she told me it was a bit much, but I think not. How else am I going to make the craziness that is lesbian conception less stressful?!

Since the start of my current cycle I’ve diligently set my alarm clock for 6AM each morning to take my temperature, sleeping with both my cell phone and thermometer so as to limit movements that could alter my temperature. I’ve purchased a fertility lens and some ovulation pee sticks to confirm ovulation ( I don’t create much mucus) and have narrowed down our potential bank donors to about 8 gentlemen. I’ve spent hours on the phone with my insurance company to see what is and is not covered and have created a formula to figure out how much money I should put on my FLEX spending account for things not covered by insurance.

Not to mention extensive reading on what herbs, supplements and foods help optimize fertilization, exercising regularly, taking yoga, and researching how I can produce more mucus. My Pinterest has been inundated with pictures of things to knit and sew, and I’m contemplating starting a mom-to-be group for my Brooklyn gayborhood.

All-in-all, I’m feeling really excited, really motivated, and really determined to get myself into optimal health to conceive and carry a healthy baby. Which is, of course, a part of the wonderful spreadsheet. I think it’s apropos that we’re entering the Passover season. The story is about our people’s liberation from slavery, but it’s also about new beginnings, new growth, and new life. Both Christian and Jewish traditions use eggs as a symbol during this season. I won’t get into the pagan influence here, but will just say that I’m prayerful that this powerful (female) symbol of the ability to carry and sustain life will be manifested in me.

Wishing all of those who celebrate a Chag Sameach! Happy Easter to those who celebrate!

May have found the perfect donor :)

I’ve always wanted to have twins.

Even when I was figuring out my sexuality, sleeping with men, planning a hetero life-I wanted twins. Long before watching the Business of Being Born I knew that I wanted to give birth vaginally, I knew I wanted to nurse for as long as possible, I knew I wanted to experience all that motherhood entails. I always thought a two-for-one pregnancy was the best method of having two babes. Now that I’ve been with my partner for many years and realizing that both of us want to carry babies, the idea of twins is exciting!

We’d originally thought that we’d both carry once and adopt or foster children to create the large family we want. But, the more I read about pregnancy and motherhood the more I have an urge to have multiple births (who knows how I’ll feel after giving birth the first time).

I realize that most of pregnancy is unplanned, but I think I have a pretty good shot at twins. My father is a twin and his father’s sisters are twins. After some Ancestry.com digging I found twins on my mother’s side as well and this weekend after scouring hundreds of donor profiles looking for multi-racial or biracial donors we found the holy grail donor: biracial, Jewish and he’s a twin.

I feel like these are all signs

This donor is perfect in almost every way…except for the ways that he’s not. There are definitely a few red flags; this donor’s family has a history of obesity and all of the health issues that normally accompany obesity. This donor is also quite large. He’s tall, he’s big. Okay-he’s really, really (really) big. I know that television isn’t life, but I can’t help picturing that scene from The L Word when Marcus Allenwood goes to donate and the receptionist at the clinic tells Tina that she’s brave to use such a huge donor. Both my partner and I small and our families are too. We come from average-sized people, having a relative that hits 5″10 is tall for us. 6″4?! Holy Smokes!

There’s nothing we can do about the height, and maybe our short stature will even out our children. Or we’ll get the ball players my partner is hoping for. Perhaps I’m wrong, but the way I see it environment has just as much to do with how a person will turn out as genetics. I mean, we can’t help if we birth large babies, but the obesity and high blood pressure (and diabetes) that go with it? I think we have more control over those areas, no? Sure, having an obese mother and father with hypertension is a bit of a red flag, but neither my partner or I are overweight and we have really sometimes healthy eating habits that we hope to pass onto our children. I’m more drawn into his voice (a bit young, but endearing) his baby pictures (so stinkin’ cute) and the fact that he’s a twin and has twins in his family. Not to mention that his maternal mother is Jewish, which makes him Jewish which is a giant win for us. Believe me, finding biracial Jewish sperm is nearly impossible.

So I was wondering, how important are genetics in the sperm selection process for you?

An Offer I May Refuse

The other day a good friend of mine offered her brother to be a donor…and now, despite my conviction of using fresh sperm from a known donor for reasons of sperm longevity, viability, and cost-effectiveness, I think I’d rather use frozen goods from a bank.

All I talk about is sperm. Like, all of the time. If you’re in my life, you’ve heard me talk about sperm. You’ve heard me debate the merits of frozen sperm vs. fresh sperm, you’ve heard me pine over men in my life (well, just their sperm, not the actual men). It’s all that’s on my mind and therefore all that I talk about. Because all I talk about is sperm, it’s natural that this friend has heard me talk about my obsession with trying to find the perfect guy, with the perfect sperm count, perfect genetics and full head of hair to be at my beck and call for a commitment of 1-12 months, twice-maybe three times-a month until I reach the holy state of pregnancy.

This friend is a progressive, straight, Jewish woman very close to her family.

A few years back, some lesbian friends of theirs were on the same quest for sperm and she suggested that her brother should donate. These women were close to the family, they loved them, wouldn’t it be an amazing gift? she reasoned. He was single, what’s the big deal? Apparently it was a big deal, he couldn’t do it, as much as he loved these family friends.

Years passed and the brother got married and now my friend has three lovely nephews. Over Shabbat dinner two weeks ago she mentioned my name and my quest and the brother, nonchalantly said, “I’d do that.” My friend was shocked, one marriage and three children ago he wouldn’t consider it for good friends (who now have children of their own), but he’d shoot in a cup for a woman he’s never met simply because his sister is my friend? Stranger still, his wife (who also has LGBTQ friends in her life) is also fine with it, even more strange his sister, my friend is all for it.

She asked me to coffee last week to tell me the good news and I faked excitement for fresh semen from a wonderful guy, who’s clearly got good sperm count, a great smile and full head of hair. I told her I’d think it over and get back to her, and I still haven’t.

As much as this is exactly what I want, I’m not sure if it’s what I want any more. I couldn’t help but wonder what she’d think or say if I got pregnant with her brother’s sperm. Would she see the child as her friend’s baby or as a half-niece or nephew? Would her brother see the child as my own or his? What about his wife? their family? their children? our mutual friends?

The more I thought about it the more I realized what I tremendously huge ask it is. Asking a man, whether gay or straight, married or single, for his genetic material isn’t as easy as jerking off into a cup in our back bedroom. Which is, honestly, what I thought it would look like. Now, I’m not sure.

Anyone use a known donor? What’s the experience been like?