donor sperm, family, fertility, IUI, ovulation, pregnancy, pregnancy loss, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc, two week wait

the year in review

A year ago, I drove to the Grand Canyon to shake hands with the universe. An excerpt from my journal:

12/30/11: Here I am–end of the year, solo roadtrip, contemplating the New Year.

Once I arrived last night, I thought, Wow, OK, it’s really time to make a decision about having a baby. A little voice said, “I’ve already decided.” It’s true. It feels true and right and it’s my destiny. It doesn’t mean I won’t be fearful or stressed or lonely at times. But the decision has always been made, since I was born with my finite set of eggs. One (at least one) will become my child.

…So, My Baby, if you’re reading this one day, I made the decision tonight to bring you into the world. You who could be so many different people but who somehow is destined to be one and only one you. I’ve worked so hard to get here, and I feel proud and relieved and and scared. But tonight, peace.”

The decision was so clear. In truth, the decision was made implicitly as I extricated myself from my last relationship: if not x, then y. It took a couple of months to make it official.

It’s amazing how much time it takes to really get the process rolling, which is something I always want to point out to women contemplating this path–each step takes time, longer than you think. Do not delay!

Once the decision was made (after years of contemplation and several months of research), I was charting my cycles, did my paperwork at the sperm bank, had an intake appointment. I chose my donor, McPiercy, at the end of February (this was a whole process in and of itself that I will describe once McPiercy knocks me up for keeps). I missed my ovulation window in early March, unsure and hesitant about how to interpret a positive ovulation kit. Finally, on April 3, my dad’s birthday, I went for IUI#1. And I started this blog!

My blog is one of the best outcomes of 2012. Thanks to all of you who read it and encourage me in a million ways.

#1 didn’t take and the first BFN was rough. #2, same deal. In retrospect, it was so DIY with the sperm bank that I’m sure I had the timing off. IUI#3 in June was a hit! The poppy seed! But three days later I started bleeding just as the official blood test results came in: negative. There is nothing like the first BFP and telling everyone for the first time. I will use revisionist history to tack those first shares on to the pregnancy that yields the birth of my baby. 🙂

The chemical pregnancy was devastating and bewildering, but I had only 3 days of believing I was prego–I reverted fairly quickly back to trying mode. And it was good news that my body is able to do its thing.

I barreled into IUI#4 two weeks later, spending much of the two week wait on summer vacation with my family, blissed out by the lake, knowing intuitively the whole time that I was pregnant and that this would be it. I tested the day before I left: BFP. Happy and calm. I knew this time it would work because I had already paid my dues the month before.

Wrong. The 6.5 week ultrasound showed no fetal pole. It was inconclusive and they wanted me to come back in a week. Work travel prevented me from having another ultrasound until nearly two weeks later. It was a bad scene. I was stoic.

The moment I saw the ultrasound screen upon return to SF, I could tell the lentil hadn’t progressed. The nurse said, “I’m so sorry.” Numb. Discussion of next steps to remove the “products of conception.” Cried in the courtyard with A.

Fortunately, I didn’t go off the deep end about it. It was hard when I was in the middle of it, really hard. And then gradually I moved on.

That was four months ago. I went to Brazil and totally forgot everything for ten days–brilliant timing and a wonderful trip.

IUI #5 in the beginning of October, IUI#6 at the end of October, both BFNs. Emotionally disconnected and fatigued as I approached the end of the year. Took November off.

Which brings us to lucky #7. If I wait the full 14 days, I’ll test on New Year’s Day, 3 days from now. I am emotionally reconnected. I am present, alert to every twinge and tenderness, nothing to distract me while I”m staycationing. I am sleeping well, eating ridiculously well–today I had eggs w/ spinach and a smoothie of banana, frozen mango, frozen açai, blueberries, kale, coconut milk, and ginger. For lunch: a sandwich of leftover turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and cranberry. For dinner: salmon and quinoa with spinach. C’mon, that’s ridiculously healthy, right? (as I head to the kitchen for chocolate peanut butter ice cream…)

I also did a massive purge of my closet today–10 bags of clothes, cosmetics, shoes ready to give away! Pow!

2012 was quite a ride, and yet I have never wavered on the decision made one year ago. I wouldn’t change a thing. Thank you, 2012, for teaching me so much and for getting me to where I am now. Babies, are you in there?

2013: let’s get it on!




3 thoughts on “the year in review”

  1. hey I am reading this from rainy England!My sister in law put me onto this post because in June 2012 I gave birth to a healthy baby girl having gone through IUI. I want to send you much love for 2013 you are right it is all totally worth it and a rollercoaster of adventures !

  2. I just have to say I think you’re fabulous in about a thousand ways. I love you. I love your writing and this blog in particular. I love your indomitable spirit. I have faith in all that is to come. Happy New Year.

  3. We seem to be running in parallel… I got a new smoothie maker for Christmas and have also been cleaning out books and clothes. Brilliant luck with #7 . 2013 will be the year for all us SMC-wannabes!!

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