Infertility, Endured Through the Prism of Race: A Cross-Post from NYT

photo from New York Times

I was sent this article from a biracial friend who’s TTC with her wife. I skimmed it quickly and sent a simple response, “Good article” and then asked about her IUI cycle. It’s only after a more thorough reading that I have more to say. While I found the article good, incredibly relevant, and necessary it also does a pretty awesome job of stereotyping women of color as uneducated, poor and uninterested in our fertility until it’s “too late.” Of course, it’s also entirely from a hetero-normative point of view, but we can’t expect everything to go our way, can we? I’m, of course, also a bit miffed that they quoted a doctor from Genesis Fertility as an “expert” on black women and infertility, especially since Genesis seemed blithely unaware or uninterested in the role my fibroids play in my fertility, they didn’t do a diagnostic test to insure my fallopian tubes were open and they didn’t notice the polyp in my uterus.

I know, I know it’s in the past and I’m now  working with a RE that cares and takes the time, but it annoys me that perhaps other women of color in NYC will go to Genesis for their fertility needs. Don’t! Don’t do it!

Thoughts?

 

 

 

#30DayFitnessChallenge

UPDATES:

I got my period while vacationing with Leah and my family over the weekend. I have one official offer and the other is 98% likely to come through, which is great. Both offer insurance better than I had before, which is also great. But the timing is off. Even if I accept the first offer and get on the insurance, it won’t start until May 1st, smack dab in the middle of my cycle. So we wait.

I’ve gained a lot of weight over the past few months, like a lot. I’m not sure if it’s my winter lbs, grief eating (mmmm, grief eating), the hormones, laziness (I’ve been quite lazy) or a combination of them all. I’m going with e; all of the above. Since we won’t be having surgery this month and I get a break from the fertility drugs, I’ve decided to do a 30 Day Fitness/Health Challenge with the goal of only eating fruits, veggies, whole grains and nuts and getting at least 30 minutes of exercise in a day. It’d be great to shed some extra weight too, but my focus is on health.

It’s no secret, though, that weight and fibroids and fertility goes hand-in-hand so I’m hoping that after 30 days I’ll be healthier and hopefully will have gained some better habits that can only help the TTC process. I dug out The Fertility Diet and am trying to stick to the advice there as well.

I’m on day 2. So far, so good.

Next Step, Surgery

Good l-rd, TTC is incredibly trying.

Frustrated with TWW, I decided to bite the bullet and do a home pregnancy test. I knew the trigger shot should be out of my system and I’d much rather know if we weren’t pregnant to start making plans about the next few cycles and truthfully, I have no clue what we’re going to do.

I tested negative and we have a few things to consider:

1-My last day of work is tomorrow which means I will not only have no jobs, I’ll have no insurance.

2-While I have two really good job prospects, I don’t have any offers on the table.

3-Leah and I could get married so that I can go on her insurance, but I’m worried that my infertility will be a pre-existing condition

4-We’ll most likely have to wait a cycle out for surgery to remove the polyp

5-Maybe we should just…wait.

Because I’m still grieving my sister’s death and worried sick about finding a job, I’m strangely calm about TTC right now. It’ll happen when it happens, right?

Anyone else out there going through an unplanned bump in the road? Does anyone have any success stories after hysteroscopy?

Three Fibroids, Blocked Tube, and a Polyp

I found out about the polyp during monitoring before we started this cycle and Dr. Trivax, our new and fantastic RE was, as always, matter of fact and optimistic. He told us that he’s had patients get pregnant and have healthy pregnancies with a polyp and that we’d go forward with this cycle since it’s small. If it doesn’t work (Please, G-d, let it work!) I’ll have a hysteroscopy to get it removed.

So, of course, I Googled a lot. Things like, “Can I get pregnant with a polyp?” “Can I get pregnant with a polyp and fibroids?” “Can you get pregnant with uterine polyps”

Google did it’s job of simultaneously scaring the shit out of me: “The inability to become pregnant or carry a pregnancy to term may also be signs that uterine polyps are present.”

and encouraging me:Many polyps do not interfere with the ability to get pregnant. However, large or multiple polyps can sometimes cause problems with fertility or result in recurrent miscarriage.” 

And for some strange reason, perhaps because my world already fell apart and really, what else could go wrong, I’m just going with the flow. Leah is shocked that I’m so calm, cool and collected, but as I said, I’ve already been through hell. This is nothing.

Or is it?

I’m trying not go go back down the rabbit hole of worry, because I’m in TWW and trying to stay stress-free, but sometimes thoughts do creep into my head. I have a blocked fallopian tube and fibroids and now a polyp? Is this supposed to happen or is this a sign that I’m not supposed to carry?

Anyone have polyps or fibroids? Were you able to get pregnant?

Oh, hello, acne!

…and constipation

…and cramps

…and bloating

…and exhaustion.

Sounds an awful lot like early pregnancy symptoms, no? Well, I have my progesterone suppositories to thank for all of my fabulous symptoms. Now, If I added nausea then I would maybe think that I was pregnant, but since I know that progesterone creates these early pregnancy symptoms I’m surprisingly, thankfully not an insane person this TWW. I’ve only Googled once three times.

Sending everyone lots of love and baby dust!

The Wonderful World of Jewish Baby Traditions: Very Superstitious

Evil EyeI posted this before, but Jews are a superstitious bunch of folks. Even though most of us would like to believe that we’re sensible, practical individuals the fact of the matter remains that there are certain things that some Jews will not and do not do. And while there is generally a bit of superstition and magic woven into the fabric of Judaism, there are a few superstitions that relate most often to pregnancy and having a child.

““You can trace the magic to the Babylonians, the ancient Greeks, you can see the common denominators,” said Michele Klein, an expert in Jewish birth folklore and customs. “But the Jews have a written heritage and have channeled it and processed it and turned it into a way to maintain Jewish identity, separate from other peoples.” So, expectant Jewish parents can rely on charms like the hamsa to ward off the evil eye or tie red strings around their wrists for good luck—or resort to time-honored tricks like not saying a baby’s name aloud before it is formally bestowed at the bris, eight days after birth, to avoid attracting notice from vindictive spirits.”

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IUI #4

Hello mamas and future mamas! Thanks to everyone who’s sent me love and kind words while I grieved the loss of my sister. While it’s been incredibly hard (fuck March, man!) April has been amazing!

1. OUR INSURANCE IS COVERING US!
I have no clue why and I don’t care. It could be because my fallopian tube was blocked, it could be that Dr. Trivax and team are 100% better and more invested in us than Genesis was. It could just be my luck changing. Whatever it is, we’re super pumped that we’re finally covered and only had to pay for sperm this cycle.

2. ALL THE DRUGS
This cycle I’m on Femera again and once again had a really good response to it. We had 3 good sized follicles; 16mm, 18mm and 23mm. We waited to try to get the smaller ones growing, but they barely budged and my lining was nice and thick so we made the decision to inseminate rather than waiting for them to grow more.  We still can’t find the left ovary so who knows what’s going on over there.
We also did a trigger shot for this cycle and because I was correct in my belief that I have a short luteal phase (I do) I’ll go on progesterone in the next few days.

3. I’M FEELING AMAZING
I really do. I feel hopeful, excited, and really confident in this cycle.

oh, and I HAVE A SECOND INTERVIEW FOR A NEW JOB!

I’m feeling really great and reminded that things happen for a reason and in their time.

Sending blessings of love and lots of baby dust to you all.

07.01.82-03.06.14

sisters2It’s been one month since my sister died and it’s only getting harder. The first few weeks at home in Ohio were easy to deal with because wrangling three boys under 7 years of age tends to keep your mind occupied. The nights and mornings were the hardest, and sometimes seeing my sister’s face so clearly reflected in her sons brought me to tears.

Back in Brooklyn job hunting helped to occupy the spaces of my brain that would have normally focused on the things I miss about her, the things I wish I could have said, the future that could have been. But as the days turned to weeks and my resumes seemed stuck in a limbo of their own, my mind became more clear and thoughts of my sister and all that we had and could have had came flooding back.

My sister was:
Hilarious with an infectious laugh.
Incredibly talented
Beautiful
Smart
A smart-ass

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A Sperm Donor, Uncertain of What It Is to Be ‘Bio-Dad’-Cross Post from NYT

This article was posted in the NY Times Motherlode section. I love reading about how we make families in the Times this weekend.

The author with Tori and Kelly. NYT

Travis Grossi NYT

“But … I’m so short!”

This, unfortunately, will always be the first phrase out of my mouth after my good friends, Tori and Kelly, asked me to be their sperm donor over a pizza dinner in Lower Manhattan. Not: “I’m so flattered!” Or a composed: “I’ll need some time to think about it.” Instead, I nearly choked on my pizza, knocked over my wine and uttered something ridiculous about my height.

Maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised. It’s not unheard-of for a lesbian couple to ask a close male friend to donate; but I’d naively assumed that my height — let’s just say I round up to five-foot-six on my license — would insure me against finding myself in this situation. Of all the men you know, my thinking went, why approach one guaranteed to ruin your child’s N.B.A. chances?

As a gay 29-year-old who has never wanted children, I’d spent about as much time entertaining the possibility of procreating as I had to purchasing an annual subscription to Maxim magazine; it had never crossed my mind, and I spent weeks stunned by the novelty of the idea. Me? A biological father? To a baby? A human baby?

Once the shock wore off, though, I started to appreciate the opportunity I had to help my friends. The two were having trouble conceiving with frozen sperm they obtained from an anonymous donor. Though not guaranteed, using “fresh” sperm might improve their chances. At the very least I’d be reducing their financial burden, with monthly trips to the sperm bank costing my friends hundreds each time.

So they just needed some free, fresh sperm. Beyond that sounding like some twisted promotion at a farmer’s market, why not help?

Plenty of reasons, it turns out.

Keep reading on the NY Times