The Things We Do to Try To Make a Family

embryoLeah and I are still in the fun and exciting phase of TTC-the phase I like to call pre-TTC. That time when it’s still new and exciting and the possibilities seem endless and easy. Despite my fibroids (did I mention that my largest sits on my bladder?) diagnosis we’re feeling pretty confident. My sister is super fertile so hopefully I get her genes and everything will be easy breezy.

We have friends who have gotten pregnant (Due any minute) on their first time, friends who tried three times (Due in October) and friends who tried six times (Due in December). We hope to fall in that range and are praying that we’re the lucky couple who only tries once or twice. We know, however, that it’s simply not the case and while I often think of this is a lesbian problem, I’m often reminded that this can also be a problem that straight couples face.

I read the following article on Kveller in earnest with the realization that fertility woes can be a uniting issue for women across the spectrum. As lesbians we know this, but it’s true of many women no matter their race, ethnicity or sexual orientation.

After Years of Failed Fertility Treatments, A New Plan-By Leora Elman

We were incredibly lucky and our first IVF cycle worked. I got pregnant with twins–a boy and a girl. The perfect instant family. We even had four embryos frozen, waiting for us. Everything was finally working out. But after 22 weeks of a perfect twin pregnancy, disaster struck. Our babies were born too prematurely and died. We tried to get pregnant with the four embryos we had frozen, but none of them worked. We did another IVF cycle and I got pregnant again. I miscarried at 10 weeks.

When our next frozen embryo transfer cycle didn’t work, we started talking about adoption. My mother was adopted at birth, so the concept wasn’t foreign. After a lot of long talks and grieving the loss of the idea of having a baby who was half me and half him, we dove into pursuing adoption. And almost immediately hit road block after road block. International adoption? Start with a check for $50,000 but know that’s only part of the cost. Domestic adoption in Israel? Seven year waiting list (the minimum age to apply is 25, so we’ve been on the waiting list since my 25th birthday–only 5 or so years to go!). Everything we tried, we ran into problems…. and we tried everything.

In the meantime, we continued with the IVF. As crazy as it seems, the IVF was the easiest, fastest, cheapest way to have a baby. I got pregnant with a second set of twins–boys who we named Micha and Asaf. Despite constant monitoring, I delivered via C-section at only 24 weeks pregnant. Despite an excellent prognosis after a few days in the NICU, we lost both of our sons, just a few days apart. We tried again. I got pregnant again, and miscarried. We tried again. I got pregnant and we lost another baby boy in utero at 18 weeks. We tried again and I miscarried again.

That’s a total of 11 IVF cycles and six pregnancies. Still waiting, with empty arms. That’s insane. And exhausting.

Read the entire article here.

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That Awkward Moment When You Have to Explain Lesbian Conception…to a Straight Man

Let me just start by saying that I’m not a man-hating dyke. I actually am quite fond of many men in my life-mainly my father and some of my male co-workers. There are a few men who we hold so dearly that we wanted them to be donors for our child (B”H). There are, or course, other men who I’m not so fond of, men who put all of the rest in a bad light and make me angry, frustrated and annoyed. The men who unabashedly cat call and sexually harass on the streets of NYC, the men who’ve forgotten chivalry, the men who cannot conceptualize how a woman can get sexual pleasure or a child without a dick.

Granted, the encounter I had earlier this week wasn’t one that was malicious or spiteful. This man, a colleague, is happily married with two children, but over lunch he just didn’t quite understand-at all-how Leah and I are getting pregnant.

Wait, how does it work? He implored over lunch on Monday

Generally in the same way that it worked for you.

Silence as he chewed.

But how.

Me blankly staring at him.

The. same. way

Silence again.

But you’re both women.

Well, I say setting down my fork. Yes we are, but you can buy sperm.

He of course wanted to know who was carrying, if it meant that I’m some how more feminine and Leah more masculine. And while I thought I could take the time to explain to him the birds and the bees from a lesbian perspective I was struck with the idea that he couldn’t understand, and possibly because he’s more religious,  that two women were more than capable of becoming mothers naturally.

Anyone else have problems or lots of questions when TTC?

November

Hello everyone out there in mamaland!

Apologies for the lack of posting. Honestly, there’s not much going on, but I wanted to write an update.

We’re planning on starting to try in November. Leah just started her internship year (she’s getting her PhD) and it won’t be finished until July of next year. While it’s unlikely that we’d get pregnant on the first try, although we have friends who tried during Hurricane Sandy and it worked for them on the first try, I know that it can sometimes take a while. We didn’t want to risk my getting pregnant and being due during her internship, so November is the month!

We’ve narrowed down the donors to 11-which is basically all of the multi-racial donors in the US and Canada. We’ll narrow that down to five contenders in September.

I’m focusing on creating a healthy body for a baby to live for 9+ months. My fertility doctor encouraged me to get as healthy as possible. Like the first doctor suggested, albeit less negatively, she said that losing a few lbs could help with the fertility process. I’m doing a cleanse this weekend and then will eat clean, organic and raw foods for the remainder of the summer and G-d willing, through a pregnancy. I’m currently going to acupuncture once a week and yoga twice a week to stay grounded, stress-free and focused.

Another thing? Leah and I are talking about getting married 🙂 We went to my favorite vintage jewelry store in Manhattan last weekend and looked at rings.

All in all, I’m doing well and am hopeful that things will proceed well.