Pregnancy after Infertility

february-30

I checked three times before I saw it. The last time, I stared at it for a heartbeat, then another, then another, wondering, wishing, willing. When I saw the line, I thought I had willed myself into seeing something that wasn’t there. I stared and stared, set it down, came back, stared again.

Numb. Was there -? No. Could there -? Maybe. But how many times had I done this dance before, willing an extra line into existence in the pre-dawn hours, tile cold beneath my toes, cats creaking open the bathroom door, breath caught in my throat? How was this different?

But it was different. I took a picture. The camera would see what I could not. The camera wouldn’t lie, not to me. And sure enough – adjust contrast, adjust color, enhance, enhance – more substance than ghost: a line.

Numb. My heart raced. My palms sweat. I stank of adrenaline and fear. Not the response I had envisioned and dreamed for myself. None of the expected elation, the cry of joy, the sudden and thorough Knowing. Just numb, and, this can’t last.

 

 

I checked too soon next day. No line. My chest squeezed tight, resignation set in. I drifted through the morning before remembering to look again. No, wait, there it was. A breath of relief. My pulse picked up. Then numbness, fear. Tomorrow. I’ll know for sure tomorrow.

 

 

The blood test came back positive. The doctor sounded so excited over the phone. Yes, yes – thank you, yes, I said through deadened lips, pressing the phone close so I could hear over the rumble of engines. The shade cut cold as I huddled next to a building, the sun just out of reach. The doctor’s words should have made it real, instead I received the news as if it were for another.

Congratulations, I told myself over and over and over again, retracing my route. This made it all worth it, didn’t it? The years, the pain, the crying, the depression, the waiting. If only I could go back and tell myself it would be okay, it would all work out.

But if I did, she wouldn’t believe me.

 

 

Second blood test. Still positive. Something inside me loosens, unfurls. A tension I didn’t realize I’d been holding inside. I look up dates for the first time, repeating to myself that jinxing isn’t real, but I don’t believe it. I speak in if’s and probably’s. I hedge my sentences. What had seemed so simple to me two years ago turned out to be the hardest thing I’d ever done. I won’t make that mistake again.

I tell my friends. Justified, because I might need a shoulder to cry on.

 

 

Slowly, slowly, I stop expecting to see blood. I stop expecting cramps and the end of another dream. I unfurl further, testing myself. The waterbear has a neural tube today and I breathe again. The waterbear becomes a dot snail and grows a tail and I am so relieved that we have another day. Every new cell division brings us closer to another goal post, another chance at safety.

 

 

I look at clothes. I look at books. I look at timelines and expectations. I assemble a horde of images and knowledge. For someone else. A friend. A relative. Not me. I am so good at disassociating.

I remind myself: this is for you. This is me. This is real. This is happening. This is possible. This is possible.

 

 

I tell my wife that she’s a mom. I remind her to remind myself. We drive in silence, both nervous, hesitant. She puts her hand on me and we whisper stick, stick, stick.

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Week 5: Starting Stats

Player One Starting Stats
28c795e4db4c71da104642b271964c3a
Player Two Starting Stats
522a9e630c6c0a25d8f921ed5b688f7f
Level 29 Human Bard/Fighter
Height: 5’9″
Weight: 162
Shoe Size: 10
Bra Size: 34A

Str: 18
Dex: 12
Con: 19
Int: 12
Wis: 14
Cha: 18

Highest skills: Bluff, Gather Rumors, Knowledge (Folklore) (History), Athletics
Feats: Natural Immunity, Iron Will, Run
Diseases/Curses: Sore breasts

Level 30 Human Warlock/Ranger
Height: 5’8″
Weight: Redacted
Shoe Size: 11
Bra Size: 36B

Str: 17
Dex: 12
Con: 12
Int: 20
Wis: 16
Cha: 16

Highest skills: Heal, Knowledge (Science) (Arcana), Spot, Listen, Swim
Feats: Alertness, Diligent, Spell Focus
Diseases/Curses: None

Player Three Starting Stats

Level 0 Human NPC
Height: 0.118″
Weight: >1g

Str: 1
Dex: 2
Con: 10
Int: 1
Wis: 1
Cha: 12

Highest skills: Grow, Swim, Hide
Feats: Self-Sufficient, Stealthy
Diseases/Curses: None

Player Three is no bigger than a dot snail, and about as fragile:

9164905

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Second Beta Results

314 or 334 – I don’t remember because I was too relieved to hear it was over 300!

Now I have an ultrasound scheduled for the end of February and that’s SO FAR. I’m tempted to keep peeing on sticks to reassure myself, but at some point I have to just trust my body. So. Breathe.

No symptoms, really, aside from occasionally being walloped by exhaustion. Not surprising, because it’s still only, what, 18 DPO? Jeez, it feels like so much longer.

Passing time by looking at dates. I’ll be 8 weeks beginning of March, 12 the beginning of April – which makes me want to announce on April 1st, but that is probably not a good idea. Internet’s estimation for due date is October 10th.

I wonder when it will actually sink in that this is happening. Until the first u/s? Until I start showing? Until the baby actually shows up? Never? How long did it take you?

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Beta Results

169!

From what I’ve read, that’s a good, solid number for 14DPO. Of course, the important thing will be the results from tomorrow’s blood draw.

RE also checked my thyroid – still too high, so back on the thyroid meds. Yay.

Honestly starting to feel excited. I’m still very aware of all the MC possibilities and how precarious the early days are, but I’m taking each day I’m still pregnant as a gift and I’m just so, so grateful.

My brother and sister-in-law also welcomed their girl into the world yesterday, and the timing couldn’t have been better.

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Call for Pregnancy and Non-Pregnant Mother Resources

january-73(Dr Lady in her natural habitat)

Never been so excited to call the doctor before. This is pretty silly.

It’s sinking in in bits and pieces. I’m transitioning to the gather-all-the-information-ever phase right now, and I realized that I honestly don’t know much about pregnancy itself. I can teach a class on how to get there and all the hormones involved, but what comes after the BFP? Nope.

I mean, I read a little bit when we first started this whole process so I know the basics – 40 weeks, 3 trimesters, don’t tell anyone until 12 weeks, also lots of barfing – but not much else. I was a little afraid to dig deep like I usually do, because it might/probably not happen.

But now it did and I need info! I don’t even know where to begin. Like TTC, this affects like 90% of women and therefore all the info out there is all over the place. So I come to you, especially my fellow lesbian TTCers – what are your favorite pregnancy resources? Blog/book/website? What to Expect is the supposed Bible of pregnancy, but I’ve heard it’s full of every. single. thing. that could go wrong and I’d rather not with that just yet.

Anything that is queer-friendly and doesn’t sugarcoat would be awesome, and I’d prefer if it doesn’t push an agenda, like vaginal over C-section or breast over bottle or home birth over hospital. I have preferences myself for those, but honestly I don’t know what’s going to happen or where we’re going to be and I don’t have time for shaming.

Also also any resources for the non-pregnant mom? Throughout TTC we’ve made sure Dr Lady had her own duties to perform to be a part of the process, but now I know it’s going to get harder. Also she’s so cute and she’s been reading all your comments and tearing up and that helped me realize just how much we need to make sure she’s still involved.

Anyway, here’s (probably) the last HPT photo to prove this is still real:

january-77

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IUI Beta, 13 DPO: How I Got a BFP

january-72

By god, that second line is still there. I’m starting to believe it won’t be blank the next time I test. Thank you thank you thank you to you who have reassured me that the chances of keeping this outweigh the chances of losing it.

I’ve been thinking back on what was different this time around that could have helped, because there were more than a few things. I decided to make a list.

(Probably) Why This Finally Worked

  • The planets were in alignment. No, seriously.
  • Mercury came out of retrograde.
  • I bought a new bra on Wednesday.
  • I was convinced this IUI didn’t work.
  • I had a dream that it did.
  • I ate half a pan of gluten free brownies.
  • The gods accepted no France as a suitable sacrifice.
  • I made a haircut appointment for the first time in 1.5 years.
  • I PR’ed my squat clean and my number of consecutive double unders.
  • My coworker gave me a cold.
  • I committed to doing the Crossfit Open.

or really

(More Honestly) Why This Finally Worked

  • Luck
  • Chance
  • Different donor
  • Really good timing, thanks to the letrozole
  • Addressing and treating my PCOS

Two years TTC, guys. I’m not the longest by far, but that was long enough to believe this couldn’t happen. I’ll have some thoughts on that later. But for now – thank you for sticking with me, through the naively hopeful and the thoroughly confused and the darkly depressed and the simply okay times. <3

I hope you continue to stick with me because it's not over yet, not by far, but I understand if you don't. I know there are times where it hurts to see another BFP and everything that comes with it and there is no shame in taking care of yourself any way you can. Trust me, I understand. Just know I love you and I'm rooting for you.

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IUI Beta, 12 DPO: Holy Fuck

Wow. Thank you for the outpouring of love and congrats yesterday. It feels like this is happening to someone else. I had to keep checking the HPT to make sure I wasn’t imagining things. Doublechecked five times that it says HCG and not LH (lol). I was half convinced it was a fluke and the next HPT would be dead white again. But nope:

january-71

That is definitely definitely positive. Not even a squinter.

I’m still hesitant to even think it’s possible. I kind of want to hold out really believing it until that line keeps getting darker for a few days. So worried about it being a chemical, but even if it is – holy fuck. I’ve never seen two lines before. I can implant! Yes! Now I just need that sucker to grow. If all goes well, I’ll be calling the RE on Monday and we’ll get a beta test sometime this week.

So, so hard not to think about all the worst case scenarios. I’m just trying to breathe and accept and take each day that I have a positive test as a gift. Thankfully, I have a massage today.

I’ll update with more stuff about symptoms (or the lack thereof) if it’s still darker tomorrow.

In the meantime, here’s my strangely fortuitously timed haircut:

january-53

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Filed under gaybies, PCOS, TTC, two week wait