Saturday, December 31, 2011

BFN and biliary colic

In February of 2010, we were in Mexico. J wasn't feeling well, and we assumed, having eaten at a restaurant we had never been to, that she had food poisoning. She threw up all night and was in agony, however it passed and I chalked it up to what I thought it was: food poisoning. Done deal, it's out of her system.

A week after we got home, she started having periods of excruciating abdominal pain and cramping. I'll shorted the story, but it turned out she had a very distended and blocked gallbladder, resulting in pancreatitis (a stone blocked the pancreatic duct), cholecystitis and hepatitis. Fortunately she managed to pass the stone and no real damage was done (pancreatitis can be fatal). She wound up having a cholecystectomy (removal of her gallbladder) in April of 2010. She now has post-cholecystectomy syndrome, resulting in episodes of excruciating pain if she strays from a fairly low-moderate fat diet. She WAY overdid it at Christmas and was in agony on Boxing day, requiring me to dust off my acute pain management skills.

Christmas Day, DPO 13, we had a BFN and the start of a period. We had it, I know in my heart that we achieved pregnancy. Our hippy/granola/super energy sensitive RMT said that she was sure. We're pretty sure that her body knew what was coming though, and ditched the pregnancy.

We were so devastated. I was hard on Christmas day to carry on, especially since we were both SO SURE that this round had worked. I cried, the first time, over a negative pregnancy test. In a way though, I'm glad. If it had been positive, dealing with J in agony for hours at a time, worrying about the impact of high dose narcotics (plus all the drugs to combat the side effects) would have found us a trip to the ER department. Also, since we are getting on a plane on the 11th, I'm not sure I want to expose my tiny developing zygote to that much radiation (about as much as an x-ray, which is HARDLY NOTHING), but I am paranoid. My whole body says "stay off the plane" when we're pregnant. We will drive to our close family friend's wedding next summer in Calgary (14 hour drive, but we'll take it slow and actually SEE our beautiful province!).

January will be a missed month, because we'll be on vacation, but I have good feelings about February.

In the meantime, I found this beautiful and heartbreaking blog. Stella, the moms' 2.5 year old, is dying slowly of an untreatable brain tumour. They found out in June, and she's made it to Christmas (and seen the birth of her new baby brother), however she is most definitely dying. I feel utterly sick reading the blog, but I also take from it many lessons I put into practice in my job. One of the babies I cared for lost his twin brother when they were only 10 days old. I cared for him the day his brother died, it was so so so heartbreakingly awful. I still see the mom regularly, since the surviving twin is still around, and I try very hard to not shy away from talking about his twin. When his brother died, someone erased any reference to being a twin on his white board (we have white boards that we/parents decorate and write names and family and whatever on). I thought it was so sad, that his brother was just being erased out of remembrance. I cracked out my white board markers and wrote "My twin brother, XXXX, is my hero!", and there it stayed until he moved and his board was re-written. His mom thanked me for that.

I have had conversations with parents who have lost a twin, and read a couple of different blogs by parents who have lost a child (or more than one), and the biggest thing they are afraid of is that people will FORGET their child. I learn something new each time, and I am deeply grateful to the parents who open their hearts to share with me.

So, on that note, it's New Years Eve. We're not pregnant, but that's how the universe has deemed it. It will happen when our spirit baby is ready (or when it's patiently waiting for us to be ready!). Both of us had dreams last night about our baby. J was pregnant in hers, and I was watching the face of our beautiful daughter who was 8ish months old and looked exactly like her Mama.

Happy New Years to everyone, may 2012 bring you many joys!

Friday, December 23, 2011

DPO 10. Or 11.

I have always been the calm, cool and collected one toughing it out through these inseminations. J has been the one going a little nutty, wanting to pee on a stick CONSTANTLY, while I just stay chill in the background.

Well, it's a bit of a role reversal... except not. I've gone totally neurotic this month, and J is her normal post-ovulatory-two-weeks-of-waiting self. I couldn't sleep on Sunday night before my first day shift (typical), so I was just allowing my brain to drift, and I was envision the tiny little cell cluster digging its way into the side of her soft and squishy endometrium. I was impatient for a result, but a little voice said that I had to be patient just a little bit longer for my proof. That little voice was coming out of the ball of cells. WHOA. LIKE. WHOA.

We saw our chiropractor yesterday for our weekly adjustments and she mentioned that J's body felt a little bit different. Her RMT the day before (who does cranio-sacral therapy and is *very* tuned into energy) said "maybe", but J got the distinct feeling that she wasn't comfortable saying "YES" yet. Or that it was too early for an actual YES.

Anyways, we will find out Christmas morning if it's a positive, or negative, since J should start bleeding around there.

I'm not gonna lie, I'm gonna be pretty crushed if this cycle doesn't take. She's been feeling pretty crummy the past couple of days, so I'm hoping it's just the zygote secreting all it's fancy hormones to make it stick around and enjoy spring.

I FEEL different this month, my intuition knows something is up, so I'm really hoping it's not just intense wishful thinking. I did a ton of research this month too, research I somehow missed doing ages ago (seriously, what were we thinking, no wonder we couldn't get pregnant).

Anyways, it's crazy making with Christmas upon us. We're hosting dinner for twelve! :) It will be fun, lots to do in the meantime, and I'm all done work now for Christmas! Even better!!!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011


We are DPO 5 or 6 (depending on which chart you're looking at), I'm estimating conservative so we'll go with DPO 5.

J has been nauseous all day. Her sense of smell is super keen. Although she's eaten a lot today too. Yesterday she felt her uterus twitching.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Lucky round 7?

So this is our 7th TTC round. We set it up slightly differently, thus am hoping for a different outcome.

We did a yoga class before one of our inseminations, and the little voice in the last post (shavasana?) told me that tonight was THE night. Cool. And ever since then I keep having to remind myself that J is not yet confirmed pregnant.

She looks different to me in the past 2 days, slightly rounder, softer. Is this possible? Am I hallucinating?

We'll find out a BFN or a BFP right around Christmas, conveniently during the Winter Solstice.

In the meantime, I have a work set to finish off and sleeping to do!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Our naturopathic doctor sent J to get her hormone levels checked. Everything is perfect. Her egg retrieval score (which would be helpful is we were needing to do IVF) is 15 (anything about 11 is considered good, above 15 is superior).

Now that we're into our new schedule, I'm not sure why it took us so long to get to this point. SO MUCH LESS STRESSFUL.

My FIL sold his house and so we're helping to clean it out. A lot of J's baby/childhood stuff is there, so I got to see her childhood room for the very first time (she has aqua ceilings! Covered in glow-in-the-dark stars! NIFTY!). We rescued her Beatrix Potter collection, and there's some other cute kids stuff that we can hopefully keep (including a very cute red table and chair set, although I'm not sure *where* we would put it). Also lots of family heirloom furniture, that is in serious need of a makeover. However I think we should be able to get it sprayed or painted or something (I could do it, but lets be realistic, I can barely keep my chores under control AS IS!).
We're also in the spot of needing to deal with the very real possibility that we're going to get kicked out of our house sometime in 2012. Since we're hoping to produce offspring in 2012, I don't really want to be moving and packing when J is super pregnant/we have a newborn, so we're looking for a new place to live. Looking to buy. Should be interesting.

That's all for now.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


So, I totally ate my words with my last post. A lovely friend, one of my TTC buddies, who had been trying FOR A VERY LONG TIME, is now pregnant (although very early, so not sharing). I am not bitter at all for her. I am so pleased, we talked *a lot* about it. I'm sad to lose my TTC buddy, but excited that the potential always exists to become a about-to-be-mommy buddy.

Last May, when we started this whole thing, we decided to just pick a day and start, and then do every other day until a thermal shift.

I'm not sure how we totally ditched that plan and went into a stupid plan. We're ditching the stupid plan and picking a much more regimented system (start day 10, continue every other day until thermal shift, do no more than 2 consecutive days). BD also expressed concern about losing sperm viability during it's 30 minute transfer (sometimes longer), so he's now coming to our house so the turn around is somewhere in the neighbourhood of 10 minutes. Much better.

It also means less of me hanging around outside his building looking like we're doing a drug transfer. We've set him up with a Zipcar membership, so the he can just pop in a car and run down and then run back. So much easier for all involved.

I don't know if it's because I'm a NICU nurse, but I can't shake the feeling that we're going to end up in the NICU, or that something's going to happen. And I *need* to shake it, because if I obsess over it, I'll channel that energy and it will come to pass. I think it's because all the blogs I seem to read about new Queer parents involve a stint in the NICU. I will *LOSE MY MIND* if we have to stick around in the NICU.

J's naturopath has put her on a progesterone supplement to help even out her post-ovulatory hormones. Everything's looking better though, she's noticed a big change in the 4 months she's been on fish oil (I've been on fish oil for 3 years and notice a big difference when I stop taking it). Her hormones are a little more balanced. We're working *really* hard to tweak our diet still, and now we're onto the whole getting-more-exercise thing. She's not needing to see our chiro as often, which is good. We got a Groupon for a yoga studio that's sort of close to our house, but when I read the fine print it said it was only good for new clients, and both of us have been there before (but not for a LONG time), so we'll see how this pans out. I may end up selling them or giving them as Christmas presents to someone whose never been to this particular studio before. There's a really great online Yoga community, the fee is super cheap, and we'd only have to pay for 1 person. It can be done at our weird times (seriously, 8am doesn't usually work for me, neither does 5 or 8pm on my working days! And I like to do yoga in the daylight).

We're trying to hand onto stress, J's dad is on the mend now, but he had JUST sold his house, so that will be our week project, which I am honestly curious about. A lot of J's childhood is stored in that house, so I'm anxious to see it. She's sometimes very private about her pre-me life, which I have a hard time understanding, but I think I'm being oversensitive.

Anyways, I have to work tonight. Work has been busy busy busy, we have *very* sick babies and are chronically understaffed, so mistakes are starting to happen, which is *terrifying*. They're also trying to change a lot of things right now, which is not a good time to do that, not when we're just trying to keep the ship upright and on a relatively steady course. Teach people different knots when you're not in the middle of a huge storm... Granted this storm's been going on for almost 4 months now, with no signs of slowing down (although by the end of December/middle of January we'll have discharged something like half of the nursery...).

Crazy to think that life is just moving so fast.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

All over again

I just can't seem to shake my bitterness, the heavy emptiness in my arms. Another half dozen people announced their pregnancies on FB, someone I used to follow keeps bragging (in a round-about way "I'm so amazed at how my baby talks to me, anyone else's baby talk to them while they were pregnant", that kind of shit) about her pregnancy...

At least at work I don't feel totally alone in this, a lot of the parents I work with struggled with infertility (we had a set of twins who were their parents 8th IVF attempt). THEY UNDERSTAND the emptiness, the bitterness. I'm finding it harder to connect with my friends' kids, because I don't want to put forth all that emotional energy, I just get burned too many times (a family I was very close to moved to Australia, a good friend had a baby and we hung out a lot while she was on mat leave, but as soon as she went back to work her life got too busy to really do much). I want to be the only one, I want to be the one a baby cries for when I put her down, I want to be one of the only people who can comfort my baby, I want to be the one my injured child come crying to, I want to be the one they snuggle up to, I want to be the receiver of snotty kisses and drooled cheerios.

I think it's extra hard because of work right now, where we have a couple babies who are essentially dying, but their parents are unable (physically and emotionally) to come into the nursery to be with them. It sickens me (because I think "how can you leave your baby to die like this, alone and suffering?"), and my brilliant and wonderful and compassionate wife always reminds me that that is their journey, and not to compare mine to it. Also not to pass judgment on their ability or inability to do what I feel is right.

I know it's hard on J too. I have to put on my game face every month when she bleeds, and thankfully 90% of the time I'm OK with the situation we're in right now. I resigned myself at 16 when I came out that becoming a mother would be more complicated for me, but ultimately I didn't care how it happened (biological vs adoption).

I'm just weepy and angsty, and I know I'm not alone with these feelings. It's also hard when our parents desperately want us to produce grandchildren.

It's just that this empty ache hurts so much.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

C'est L'Halloween!

I'm finding blogging difficult, mostly because I feel like it's all been said before. I have nothing new to add to the conversation. I really enjoy my queer mommy blogs that I read (but only a couple are pregnant, and none are TTC). TTC is tough, but it's forced some fun changes!

J's dad had a big heart attack on Saturday. We were worried that she was going to ovulate when she was away for the weekend, but the stress of this should push it back again. I've had to really take over and run the house, which is tough, since I'm working so much, but it's getting there. The house is a mess, but who cares??

It's getting towards cold and flu season, and vaccines are once again the hot topic. To vaccinate, to not vaccinate. I think we will end up opting for a combination of both, giving MMR and DAPT (which provide protection against measels, mumps, rubella, diptheria, tetanus, polio, and the one that I can't remember is whooping cough), and skipping out/delaying some of the other ones. How easily we have forgotten the high infant mortality rate we used to have in the developed world, my generation never lived through the devastating effects of polio, or hospitals full of babies dying of the whooping cough. There was a mumps outbreak in Vancouver last year, terrifying for all of our sick babies, especially when ONE OF THE PARENTS BECAME INFECTED.

Something else no one talks about is RSV, a virus that causes cold AND flu like symptoms, but for small babies with their small airways can mean that they become very very very sick or even die (the virus causes a layer of mucous to build up inside the airways, and in babies who are already compromised because of short/damaged/extrememly fragile airways, this is a death sentence). Our respiratory compromised babies will all receive it, and I send many prayers for the babies whom we have cared for, that they will make it through the winter. We have one baby in the unit whose parents have refused all vaccinations. He was born at 26 weeks and was *so* incredibly sick, we thought he was going to die on at least a dozen occasions, yet he didn't. He has survived so much, it would be so awful if he died of RSV.

Anyways. J is now seeing a chiropractor. Her pelvis is all out of whack, which compromises the nerve function and blood flow to her pelvis. A couple of quick adjustments and we were out. She'll go back a couple of times a week for the next little while.

My cat is holding a dead bird, which means I have to go and bury the poor thing. My cat doesn't kill them, she steals them from the neighbour's cat who kills them. Sometimes she buries them under the deck.

Anyways, the weather is crummy here, but that's what happens in October. Peace out for now!

Monday, October 24, 2011


Sooo... we HAD been using what we thought was adequate fertility charting. But boy were we wrong. I got all concerned that J wasn't ovulating, and we were wondering when we were going to have to fix this, and then we plotted everything on the Taking Control of Your Fertility charts, and VOILA.

EVERYTHING IS FINE. Mostly. She has what would be considered a delayed reaction to her progesterone, which may make pregnancy difficult. We realized she's been having a pretty steady luteal phase (long enough to actually BECOME pregnant, a nice clean 11 days), but her temperature rise is slow and kinda dippy. This is *easy* to fix.

So we hit 12 days post-luteal, with only a little bit of spotting, no cramping, and still a high temperature. We got excited.

Day 13, heavy bleeding, temperature drop, much disappointment. J's sure she was pregnant, her energy changed, she had to pee OMG ALL THE TIME, things like that. So, it's a question of did we lose it because of her progesterone, because the embryo wasn't good, or because of something else.

We ordered an actual BBT thermometer (everything I had read up to this point had said that an actual BBT thermometer wasn't needed, just one that went one decimal point, but we need the extra decimal place). I'm going to pick up some progesterone cream and see if that works too (she's also on stuff to help her body process the hormones, thanks to our naturopath!).

I've been working a ton of OT, working to pay down consumer debt so we're in a good place to raise our kids (also because J carry's student loan debt, I don't want to be overrun with debt repayment when we only have 1 income! Yikes!). The OT is going fine, I find that because I work 3 days and 1 night, I have more energy and can DO more OT, which is nice.

That's all for now!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

More than this

I've quickly discovered that I'm in love with my job. I hit my 1 year mark September 15th as a NICU nurse and have only have small short moments of going "oh god, why am I doing this??" (almost exclusively during a night shift at 3 in the morning when one of my babies has puked all over themselves and their bedding and I have to pee and I'm in the room by myself because my buddy is on break and I realize there's no more clean linen in the room and my IV is beeping and etc etc etc).

I've cried ONCE, so that's pretty good!! I adore my co-workers for the most part. I had my yearly review done (my "boss", one of a dozen, but the one who works with me and knows me best, sits down and goes through EVERYTHING with me, it's actually really handy!). It was overwhelmingly positive. There was a tiny blip a couple weeks ago, but that was a totally stupid mistake (and it wasn't even a mistake, but it's a long story and involves a pee covered bed).

One thing my boss said was that she really admires and appreciate how open I am about my family, about who I am (read: sexuality). And I am open. Someone referred to my wife as my roommate the other day (????). My co-workers know we're trying to conceive, they ask questions about how we're doing it, I answer patiently and with as much information as I think they can handle repeatedly. Everyone is *so* supportive. I am the only queer female nurse (I think) on my unit, which is hard to swallow (SINCE THERE ARE 200 OF US), but that's how it is. My co-workers are awesome, since we're all a bunch of gossips. There is one other queer dude, but that's it (and he's not super out).

I feel very strongly that is it my job to be out, to answer questions, to be a resource to my co-workers. We deal with families in crisis every single day, and worrying about your sick/premature baby PLUS dealing with staff who don't understand your family is not something anyone should deal with. I can't imagine worrying that the staff's homophobia will interfere in your child's care, and it makes me sick to think that this is possible in other places. In general, Vancouverites are so laid back and accepting that nobody cares!

I'm debating whether to start another blog on NICU specific thing, I feel like I have a lot to share about how to survive the NICU, tips and important things like breastfeeding and so on and so forth. We see the sickest babies in the province, and sometimes they are there forever and ever, and there's just so much information I wish I had, that I can't seem to find on the internet... but we'll see. I'll ask some of the parents and get their feedback...

Friday, September 23, 2011

Taking a break

January never feels like the start of a "new year". I suppose my 13 years of public education followed by another 5 of post-sec (plus another semester to do my NICU training, that happened to start in September) has me pretty well trained to think that September is the start of a new year.

Because it's September, and because everything and their dog is starting up with activities, and we knew that our insemination cycle would fall DIRECTLY IN THE MIDDLE OF INSANITY, we opted to skip a month.

J is also finding it much more difficult than I am, I suppose because it's her body that isn't growing anything. There have been a lot of tears, but I expected that. I expected to find the start of each new cycle more difficult too, because it means that she's not pregnant and we're still waiting, but I find it's OK. I'm having fun guessing what our kids will look like, what sign they would be.

This month, if we conceive, will find J hugely pregnant or us with a very newborn at the same time as my childhood best friend/sister is getting married. I *almost* want to skip this month too, but I won't, and instead half-heartedly hope that it doesn't work, which sounds awful, but the wedding's in Calgary, and there's no way J is travelling that pregnant, and there's no way I'm leaving her side. So that would be really disappointing. We're still gonna try, because we're starting to get really good at it. We've enjoyed our month off, took time to re-examine why this is so stressful, and to try to reaffirm to each other why on earth we're doing this (seriously, it would be so much easier and cheaper to want to be child-free, but I just can't, the empty ache in my arms never goes away).

So here's back to the grind of cervix examining, spit ferning checking, daily 8am temperature taking (my wife is a night owl and will happily sleep until 10 if you let her!) and general obsessing over every symptom. HUZZAH!

Sunday, August 14, 2011


I'd also like to mention the amazing amount of support we've received. I never planned to tell people we were TTC, but it just comes out naturally. I'm not bothered when people ask how it's going at ALL, maybe because it's so new. Rather, I think that it's amazing.

My city is very open, we have one of the biggest pride parades in North America (500,000+ people every year show up just to watch). No one seems to care. There is still violence aimed at queer people, but it's not awful (Gender deviation still attracks a bulk of violence, which is sucky and shitty). My queer ancestors fought to give us rights to be, our generation's push is to do all the "normal" things while pushing boundaries, our children's generation will be forcing global acceptance (it's happening now, but I think they will fully push it through, and acceptance is not tolerance!!!).

So, to all my fellow queer mamas who came before me, thank you.


So, turns out J's last cycle we think was an-ovulatory. No biggie. 2 cycles of sheer confusion. This cycle was *so* much nicer. BIG RED FLAGS, clear signals. We inseminated on the PERFECT day. Our timing was impecable, so I feel pretty good.

We're using the following fertility tracking methods:
-speculum to examine her cervix everyday (so we examine cervical mucous, os opening and cervical position)
-the Fertile Focus (which is really neat!)
-pee sticks, which track lutenizing hormones.

It's a big crazy, but it's helped to narrow things down *really* well. We're using just dip sticks, instead of expensive mid-stream sticks, which has cut the costs down INSANELY.

We're 4 days away from testing again. J's temperature has actually stayed up, instead of fluctuating all over the damn place. Her cycle was it's normal length and nothing funny happened, which was re-assuring.

Part of me thinks suddenly going back to acupuncture after not going for over a year made her body do funny things, but the acupuncture was specifically FOR pregnancy, so our practitioner didn't move huge blobs of energy. Maybe there WAS a block and she did move it, and it just took 2 months for it to sort itself out. Who knows.

I "accidentally" bought an Ergo carrier.... ;) It was on babysteals and 50% off, and even shipped to Canada it was still $50 less than buying it in the stores. The damn thing is brand new. It's skookum!! I may have also accidentally bought adorable rainbow babylegs. I purposefully bought really nice cloth diapers though (srsly, 50% off. Normally $23 each, good for 7lbs to 35lbs, and they're super swanky! I hope they work!!).

Hoping for a positive update on Thursday/Friday.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Still confused

My wife, being the amazing and rock solid creature she is, has completely fallen apart over the last couple of days.

I said she was weird (in a playful, joking manner, which I have done MANY times before) and I made her cry!! I felt like an asshole.

She peed on a stick yesterday. BFN.

Her temperature dropped, but then came up again.


Her body is also confused. I thought this would be a pretty straightforward "yes" or "no"... but clearly it's not going to be.

I'm already planning next month, not having much faith that there IS an embryo at this point (if she is pregnant, then something is not right and her body is preparing to expel the embryo).

I'm fine with it, it's obviously not the right time.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I'm so confused!!!!

J's "period" abruptly stopped this morning. It was only 2 days and pretty light, although there was a fair amount of cramping and clots (tmi?). The other kicker is that her period was like, 4 days early, and it's only been 9 days since we last inseminated. She peed on a stick yesterday and it was BFN (big fat negative), so we're going to wait 2-3 more days and see what happens (which will take us to 13 and 14 days post last insemination, which was closest to when her temperature spiked). Her temperature hasn't fully come down, either...

Her boobs aren't sore anymore, although she slept for 2 days (although doing this post-camp is pretty normal). All she wants to eat is peanutbutter on toast.

Thus, we are insanely confused... My body intuition tells me that something is not quite right, and I was absolutely POSITIVE she was pregnant super early on, so I'm not sure what to think anymore. When we first started TTC, I felt our Spirit Baby hanging around a lot (the sex of it changed partway through too, there was very distinct male energy, and then it changed to female energy), but now I'm not sure.

However, the idea that there might still be a pregnancy has filled me with hope again, to the point where I'm actually giddy (although I did eat like, 5 spoonfuls of icing, since I am addicted to sugar).

Anyways. A stupid thing also is that the paperwork isn't QUITE done, so even if it's positive, we will remain mum until everything is signed, so I can't even put it on here...

Monday, June 13, 2011

Now that that's out of the way....

So we finished our first cycle, with J's body doing some very strange things (having symptoms of ovulation on a Thursday, not surging until the following Wednesday, then now having a temperature spike until the Sunday). Not sure what went on there, maybe it was feeling out of sorts? In any case, she went *super* moody and angsty, had PMS with *all* the symptoms times a thousand. I was feeling pretty confident, because we inseminated five times in total, and I felt the energy in her body change shortly afterwards.

And then at camp on Sunday morning, away from me, she got her period, plus super cramps. Coupled with not sleeping well due to camp and *really* bad seasonal allergies (and not really being able to take anything due to the possibility of being pregnant). I'm surprised at how calm I feel, but she was very very sad. I'm sad for her, that she had to deal with it all by herself. If it had even been a remote possibility, I would have picked her up and brought her home, but she was in charge and there was ratio to maintain.

I'm disappointed of course, but it's not interfering with my ability to be a functional human being. I'm confident that her body will grow us a healthy baby, but that it may take a couple of tries. I didn't expect it to happen on the first round anyways, mostly because we had *no* idea what we were doing (I did read up on the topic, but the actually putting-int0-practice is always a trial and error).

Our next cycle BD is away until the day after J ovulates (supposedly), so we'll probably only get 1 shot. The following cycle we're at camp until the DAY J ovulates, so there will be more mad scrambling!

It'll happen, I know it in my heart, but we have to be patient (and I am fairly patient!).

Since we're in full swing now for baby making, it's time to keep my eyes peeled for when the stroller we really want goes on sale: The Baby Jogger City Select! Seriously the coolest stroller I have ever seen, and a good friend has one and LOVES it!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Annd go!

So there have been a million things happening, which inevitably means there is rarely time left over to update the blog.

In fact, there remains so little time that I'm actually taking time away from doing other things to write this one quick update post.

I'm running a camp this upcoming weekend for Girl Guides, hosting 135 girls aged 5-18 and another 50 adults (plus 4 kids under the age of 5). It's going to be awesome, since I do this every year, but this year is my last, since next year I will be cuddling our baby, refusing to leave my rather pregnant wife, or struggling through trying to get pregnant. The camp is held a couple hours outside of Vancouver, but we have to take a ferry to get there, thus my extreme hesitation to go anywhere that makes it difficult or impossible to get home if she needed me.

That all being said, we got our shit together and got going this month. Paperwork is all but done, but we figured it would take a bit to get our stride going with the inseminations, and since we're possibly missing both June and July, it's kind of now or not until August.

There will be no peeing on pregnancy sticks until everything is completely done that's for sure.

There is something that no one really warned me about (except my wife, but I didn't realize believe her). Spunk smells disgusting. This is really my first exposure to it, so I nearly gagged when I opened the jar. That's saying a lot considering I'm a NURSE and have done things and been exposed to body fluids in states that would churn your stomach. Turns out the one thing that grosses me out more than sputum is semen.

So, we've done 2 now, one on Wednesday (where J was positive she was ovulating, even though it was a week early, turns out she wasn't, but whatever), and then last night. She's actually ovulating RIGHT NOW, so there is still viable sperm in her uterus (hopefully?), and there will be more tomorrow.

I have to say though, it's so... awkward? Weird? Uncomfortable? This is *not* for the faint of heart, and I could see a lot of couples choosing to go the clinic/frozen sperm route or adoption route after doing it this way. I'm really hoping it'll get better, since it appears I'm having trouble wrapping my head around actually DOING IT after talking about it for years.

Anyways, I will have more time for deep thinking after my camp. And after my set at work is done Tuesday morning.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mommy's Day

I still refer to my mom as "mommy" on occasion, mostly when I'm being cute, or grateful for something and feeling shy about expressing it.

In any case, happy self-identified as female parenting role model day! Mom, Mommy, Mama, Mummy, Momsies, Mother, Ina, whatever you call yourself, have a lovely day and may you be blessed every day!!

I asked my mom once why there wasn't a "kids day".

She said every day was Kids Day.

Really, you can't argue with that.

Hopefully next year we'll be celebrating Mothers Day with either a newborn or a fetus friend!

In the meantime, here's a picture of my beautiful mother and I on my wedding day!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Not alone.

I am deeply grateful that J and I are not going at this alone. We have incredible support from families, friends and co-workers. Strangers are supportive (Vancouver is a bubble, because friends who live outside of Vancouver don't find this). I find it difficult to put into words the feeling of finding other TTC or full out mommy bloggers of every shape and colour and circumstance, who look like me and feel the same way I do. There are moms who conceived easily, those who went through IVF, those with babies in the NICU, and those grappling with loss. Even those with self-identified genderqueer families, it all makes my heart itch with joy.

It's nice to know when griping about the whole Queer TTC situation, that I don't have to constantly explain myself (mostly because when I do explain it, I haven't figured out how to do it without having to reveal so much information, and some of it feels intensely personal and makes me feel very vulnerable, especially since I'm a Cancer and like to hide in my shell). Or feel worried that it will make me sound ungrateful.

I think I often give off the assumption that I think having kids is a time sucking, stressful thing, but mostly because if I speak of the joy of it, I might lose it. I glimpse it when I peer at my babies at work, or when I have one of them out with me for a cuddle. Even hospital babies smell good (a mix of baby, hospital and the disposable diapers we use).

It's spring here, which means a rebirth and new growth. We have a lawyer's appointment sometime this week, hopefully.

Am still reading my book, which will eventually tell me wtf I'm supposed to do with the sperm once T gives it to me... I have an idea, but I don't want to kill it all with my Gay. My Gay is very powerful.

One of J's families in her Girl Guide district have 2 moms and used a known donor. But they didn't do it in Canada, so the laws apply differently. Still, we want to talk to them. This whole pre-TTC timeline seems totally whack. But we'll have until August to sort everyone out, so I'm not worried.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Schedules, Lawyers and Google Calendars

One of our cats has lost her marbles this morning. She jumped up into the bathroom sink and was chewing on a hair elastic, and now she's having way too much fun chasing a tiny bit of paper around. Oh dear.

The lawyer part has been much less complicated than I anticipated. It is as expensive as I anticipated, though, but children are expensive, and it's worth it to give them as much legal protection as possible.

So here's a breakdown of the process, such as it occurs in BC:
-Find a known donor.
-Ask known donor to get tested for everything, plus sperm count.
-Make decision regarding whether you will keep this donor, based on medical tests and sperm counts, or if you want to try interventions to make the sperm count higher (ie, wearing boxers instead of briefs).
-Find a lawyer. Preferably one who has a clue about Queer Families. We are using barbara findlay, as she is a queer lawyer with a lot of experience in making contracts between parents and known donors. This was important to us!
-Find a laywer to represent your known donor (you need another one so that your donor is unable to use the excuse of "I didn't know what I was signing" in the event of a custody battle later on).
-We filled out a questionnaire about us and our donor and why we wanted a known donor and blah blah blah. From this, the lawyer makes a draft contract, which we will then go and see. If we are happy, it will go to BD's lawyer, where they will go over it. He will sign 5 copies of it, and then send all of them back to our lawyer, where we will sign all 5 copies, and then each person gets one (J and I each get one too).
-Once the contract is signed, it's a done deal, and we can start anytime.

The kicker is always schedules. Thank god for iPeriod (iPhone app!) and google calendars. By some miracle all three of us use Google Calendar, so J's cycle will get it's own google calendar, and thus everyone will know.

The huge bummer is that BD is away at the end of June visiting family, so we'll be missing a cycle. The following cycle, J and I are at camp with a bagillion people. We may not be ready in May, since it's already the end of April and we haven't finished with the lawyer stuff yet (in fact, I've hardly touched most of it because I'm so incredibly overwhelmed with everything else right now).

So, we're looking at August. Which is far away, and makes me want to whine, but I have to just suck it up and be an adult. Patience is a virtue, or something, right?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Another blog

One more blog today. See, I am hording them! I am a Cancer after all!!

Eeney Meeney Miney Mommy

You can go read it for yourself. But they have twins. Who are FRICKIN CUTE.

Ok seriously I have to go to work now.

Boobies for Babies

I've been doing some research about breastfeeding, not only for my own child, but also for work (because that's what breastfeeding resource nurses do in their spare time). I learned that adoptive mothers can breastfeed.

Ok, cool!

So this applies to non-bio moms whose partners/wives are the birth parent too, right?

Of course!

There's a really neat off-beat Mama article about lesbian mommies co-feeding, called How 2 Lesbian Mamas Share Breastfeeding Duty, written by the wife of the blogger over at The Middle of Nowhere. I asked a question in the off-beat mama article, and the author's wife, Melissa, responded on her blog, so you can read my questions and her answers here.

It is possible for the human body to induce lactation, but up until now I had only ever found information for straight women or adoptive parents, of which we are neither. My concern is founded in ensuring that my wife and birth mother establish a full milk supply, as working in the NICU, it makes me INSANELY paranoid to interfere with anything involving the ritualist emptying of the boobs and the making of milk. I do not doubt that our child will figure out how to breastfeed from 2 different people (in fact, in past, babies would feed from several different people on a regular basis. Crying baby = whoever is closest).

It's also bloody hard work on my part, on top of being the very supportive and loving wife to my pregnant and probably moody wife. It involves remembering to take birth control for 5 months to trick my body into thinking it's sort of pregnant, plus taking another medication that tricks my mammary glands into growing. Thus, I will be in a state of suspended pregnancy. It's like having 2 pregnant women living at home. Maybe not so much fun?

Once the 5 month are over, I have to keep taking the Motilium and stop the birth control, and start pumping. Pumping every 3 hours, every day, for god only knows how long.

It means pumping at 0600, 0900, 1200, 1500, 1800, 2100, 2400, 0300. It's the same feeding schedule we have in the NICU for our babies who still need help in meeting their daily caloric needs. Three hours goes by FAST. There are many days when you realize that a whole afternoon has gone by.

I have terrible pictures in my head of sitting in the hideous pump room at work, surrounded by the mothers of babies I am caring for, and here I am attempting to induce lactation. I can see myself getting a milk supply, only to keep soaking through my nursing bra pads because I'm surrounded by crying babies (maybe a seasoned mamma can confirm if this happens *all* the time, or sometimes, or what?).

Realistically it's a ton of work, it's hard, and in the beginning can be quite uncomfortable. I may never get much of anything, despite all my hard work.

But, I will get to feed my baby, and I will (hopefully) be able to supply milk to other needy babies, since my child will not need it all, and there is only so much room in the freezer. J does not have to be attached to the baby for 6 months, as I can do some of the feeding.

It requires a commitment from J as well, as she has to pump if I'm feeding.

The fact that my body can do this though, is utterly amazing. I am in awe that my body can nourish a child without having grown one.

I have sworn up and down that our children will never consume formula, for many many reasons, and this is one way to keep that promise.

Now I must get ready to take care of babies who are not my own. I am sorry for the dry spell. Things should pick up a little bit since the wedding is over and the real stress has begun!

More blogs!!

Our wedding is over, everything went better than I could have possibly imagined! A few bumps, but nothing major.

I put out to the interwebs a little while ago about wanting to find more queer family blogs. The Internet Gods have listened! But it comes with a really neat story, which I will touch on in a minute.

Blog list:
The Middle of Everything - written by birth mom, they are the same age as J and I, they live in Kansas! They also have to do with my next blog post.

Family Squared - Written by a mom of twins, whose partner is pregnant with their 2nd child. Very sweet!!!

Mama Karma - written by the non-bio mom of a very cute little one, I really appreciate her take on things because I will also be the non-bio mom of our first child!

First Time Second Time - A blog by 2 moms with 2 kids, 1 from each of them (our plan!). The kids are like 5 and 3 now, so it gives me an idea of where we will be in 5 years. Eep!!!

Equal Mommy - Written by non-bio mom of a new little one with her partner! Her post on adopting her son went right through my heart, because I will go through the same stupid bullshit with our child, and J will have to reciprocate once our second is born. Beautifully written though!!

I have to say, I really did squee and almost pee myself when I found not one but FIVE blogs all at once! Usually I'll only find one or two, but five! The number boggles my mind. I feel like I'm collecting them. I'm so excited I had to come back and edit my post due to vast numbers of spelling mistakes.

Monday, March 14, 2011

preconception madness

Preconception is madness.

It's an absolute zoo.

I know enough to be terrified, and enough to drive J absolutely mental. Every bottle in our house with an ingredient list has been scanned, and some J is no longer allowed to use (anything with "fragrance (perfum)" listed has been banned, as it causes reproductive damage in fetuses).

Resources on optimizing nutrition, preventing food allergies and wtf is a basal body thermometer are bookmarked. Blogs are read constantly, and furniture+baby are rearranged in my brain at least a dozen times a day. Strollers and carriers are researched, parents are pestered, plans are made.

The ethics of babies have been discussed, including several of my NICU babies. More plans are made.

Supplements are consumed, friends are notified. We even have a plan in place should J be pregnant by our big week long Girl Guide camp this summer, with 3000 other people (all girls and women).

Our baby daddy is wearing boxers.

It's actually happening..... am I old enough for this????

No, I'm not dead... and a follow-up on the Tiger Mother

For awhile, I didn't have much to say. We were waiting for T to arrive back from Oz, planning our wedding, researching donor contracts, J is trying to find a job, camp planning, etc etc etc.

Well, T is now back from Oz, he is still dedicated to the cause and wearing boxer shorts (HAHAHA), J is taking her temperature every morning (and it looks weird, so something to discuss with our MD when we have enough data), she's taking a prenatal vitamin and we're contemplating buying ovulation kits. We are searching new roommates, and J is actively job hunting, which is very stressful, because it's taking a long time (job market is not super great right now).

We are cleaning out our house in preparation for the new roommates (one of whom will be upstairs with us) and the eventual baby. I've sold a bunch of my motorcycle gear, we're getting rid of gobs of stuff, and I recycled 3 years worth of accumulated articles from school. It feels good, it feels right.

I follow someone on FB who is always posting these fabulous birth stories. I appreciate her views, but I take it as that, a view. I want J to read them, to get a sense of what *she* wants, since she is the one pushing out the watermelon. I have an idea of what *I* want, and I'm ok if it all goes sideways.

I've learned a tremendous amount at my job about babies, and birth, and when to just let everything go. The strength of these parents, dealing with having their entire lives walled up in an incubator set to 32 degrees Celcius in 50% humidity, with a baby that is small than a block of butter, is just amazing to watch. I see their exhausted faces, their blank eyes, but also the tiny spark of hope that keeps them going. It's amazing to see what parents are willing to put up with for their child.

It's also astounding (and not in a good way) to see what parents put their children through who are actively dying, but can't and aren't ready to face it.

I realize this is a particularly shitty, rambly blog post. I have a dozen other posts that I started writing, and then stopped for various reasons. I figure I just need to get the flow going again...

So, baby making is still ongoing, but on an almost hold due to financial reasons (half of my wants to just fuckin DO IT, but fortunately my more rational side kicks in and says "if you don't have money now, how the HELL are you going to deal with the baby?").

Peace out, yo.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Yet another new and super awesome blog!!

Slowly but surely, these queer parenting blogs are coming out of the woodwork!! And I'm SO FRICKIN THRILLED.

We Are Fambly (misspelling intentional).

I like this one A LOT. I like it ALOT too.

Article commentary

Recently, an article entitled "Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior" has made the rounds on facebook.

It has sparked a LOT of controversy about a variety of parenting topics, everything from authoritarian parenting, finding a balance, addressing racism (several commentors posted about how her belittling of her husband is abusive and race based)to Chinese nationalism, to everything in between.

My personal take on the article is two fold. First, I think she is exagerating somewhat. Taken within a North American context (where this woman and her family are living, and where she herself was raised) it's a little bit absurd.

Secondly, the title of the article further undermines all mother's abilities to exist peacefully, and further underlines the intense damage patriarchy has had on the collective female psyche. Not only does it pit every mother to mother, but also culture to culture, race to race. We know that by pitting people against each other and allowing derogatory comments to exist that we are weakening our entire culture, and by culture I mean human culture.

Motherhood is NOT a race, motherhood is about many many different things, all self-described by the women who bear that title. As a future mother, motherhood for me is about love, respect, caring, overcoming obstacles, sharing, and above all, Joy. If there is no Joy is motherhood, then it's not my kids who are doing something wrong, my perspective is wrong. I'm also not saying that Joy needs to be present ever second of every day, and if you think it does you need to go and spend some time over at Shit My Kids Ruined.

I am well aware of the need to push my kids to be the best they can be, but screaming at them day and night is equally unhealthy for their souls as it is for mine.

Some of the comments posted dealt with the high rate of suicide amongst Asian kids, and here, while others merely commented on the detrimental affects of authoritative parenting.

While I think addressing cultural child rearing differences are important, doing it in a manner that is respectful and thoughtful is MOST important.

Entrenched racism, homophobia and I'm-a-better-parent-than-you-for-xyz will not help anyone, especially the people we are trying so hard to raise to be good, hard working citizens.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Preconception: tooling in the garden

J found this amazing book in the library written by a naturopathic doctor in Toronto, and it's called The Hormone Diet. She's read it at least a half dozen times, and has found new energy inside of herself. The plan isn't just for weight loss, it's about rebalancing your hormones to make sure they work properly. My hormones are screwed, I have hair growing on my face which makes me think my progesterone and/or testosterone is totally out of whack. According to the book my stomach is not acidic enough, and my constant sugar cravings are a result of over-insulin production.

Ok, I can deal with that. So what does this mean for me? Well, not a whole heck-of a lot, since I'm under the care of a lovely ND whose got me mostly sorted out to begin with. I now drink hot lemon tea (no sugar) in the morning before I take my high dose probiotics and fish oil.

How does this affect the baby? Where do I even start?? Babies grow through a complicated network of hormonal relationships. Out-of-whack hormones can mean conception difficulties, miscarriage, preterm labour (and working in the NICU I am going to be a total freak show between 24-32 weeks anyways), and a whole host of other things.

We both strongly believe that it's important to prepare our bodies before we start to conceive. Good nutrition, change in lifestyle, adequate sleep, proper stress control, activity and exercise and just plain FUN is in the works! We are decreasing our sugar intake and increasing our leafy-green-veggies intake. There are delicious protein shakes for breakfast (which I was already drinking anyways to get through my 5am mornings!) and yummy soup for lunch.

I'm also reading a book, titled Slow Death by Rubber Ducky, which is a discussion of all the toxic chemicals that are released by household products. Most of them are hormone disruptors, or change our genetic material, meaning we PASS ON the damage to the next generation. Scary!! I don't think vaccines have anything to do with autism rates, rather I think that the 4 generations of hormone disruptors and toxic chemicals that have leached into our bodies are far more responsible.

It's also a very important step as we try to navigate the increasingly dicey waters of toy recalls and lead poisoning in babies.

Shortly after meeting J, I convinced her to give up tampons forever and switch to the Diva Cup. Have never looked back! We switched all of our personal care products to non-chemical based ingredients. I got my allergies checked out and stopped eating everything that makes me sick (with several relapses because I have sugar impulse control issues!). We started eating more foods produced close to home. I've given up eating peppers between October and July, because they're not in season and they are one of the heaviest sprayed crops. Organic peppers are cost prohibitive ($5/lb!). We are currently trying to find a balance between school, work, finances, Guiding, friends, family and downtime. There are some heavy handed changes coming up.

Also, in terms of pre-conception, we are physically cleaning out our house. We have to move everything out of my office (to become the baby's room) and into J's office. Both of us being water signs, we tend to hang on to more stuff than we actually need. I keep thinking "if our house burned down, what would I miss?", and then try to whittle it down from there. 90% of the stuff in my office I would not miss, although some of it is important.

It's just the little things, getting used to giving up time and space in order to accommodate a new tiny human, things we happily do!