acupuncture, anxiety, dating, donor sperm, meditation, outdoors, pregnancy, running, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc, two week wait, writing

commence week 2

I assume I’m pregnant. But in a disconnected, almost blasé way–I seem to have merged being in the wait with being in early pregnancy: it’s all tentative until it’s confirmed. So, I perceive some symptoms and yet catch myself moments before plunging into the hot tub (thankfully, L keeps hers at 98 degrees). I find myself going over my food consumption in retrospect, when it would already be too late. If I’m lucky, I will remember not to have a margarita after work.

I like this new, disconnected merged feeling and hope it lasts. I feel like I’m right where I thought I’d be and wished I was on try #1, like, “Yeah, whatever, you know, it can take a while so we’ll see what happens.” Instead, I was myopic in the worst way, absolutely consumed with every minute detail, and now I think: yeah. Maybe sometime between now and the end of the year, *yawn*. I transported 3 vials to UCSF: one for October, one for November, one for December. And then we’ll celebrate a year since my big decision in the Grand Canyon and Rio-valuate.

I spent a lovely 24 hours in San Jose over the weekend, but otherwise felt kind of aimless. My acupuncturist recommended not running for a few days and just telling me that is a recipe for going stir crazy. I ended up doing a burly urban walk to the top of Twin Peaks:

Image

I find it intriguing that the photo is off-balance, because I was feeling off-balance. Stressed about work, mad and frustrated about my Good Match being so delayed, wondering when it’s all going to come together and make sense. Being on top of Twin Peaks makes me think a lot about one of my exes. The walk down made me think about another one. I passed my therapists’s house. It sure is a journey.

I got a mani/pedi. A hugely prego woman sat next to me and I vibed with her silently. I sat on the roof and wrote in my journal in the sunshine as the Blue Angels swooped around overhead. I bought veggies and made a delicious stir fry with quinoa.

I listened to Pema, who always says the right thing. This time, it was to remember to cradle your poor anxious self in gentle lovingkindness. I decided to do my tomorrow self the enormous favor of setting out clothes, packing a gym bag, getting the coffee ready and the oatmeal and the vitamins. It was a nice gentle favor and my day was full, ending with another lovely tea with T. Now I need to do myself the favor of going to bed.

I love this time of the month where my views start to skyrocket because you’re all checking for news. It makes me feel very loved and looked after, thank you.

I will end with one last piece of news for which I am profoundly grateful: totally totally totally randomly, gay bf J will be back in town precisely when I will be testing, for the 3rd time in a row!!!!!! This is just cosmic. You couldn’t plan it. None of this turned out the way I expected, but you know what? I’ll take it.

nighty night, peeps xo

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

my team of millions

Consistent with my stated mode of “not having my head in the game,” I forgot to call the sperm thaw hotline this morning. Fifteen minutes after the deadline, at 8:45am, they called me. My ringer was off. They left a message saying to call as soon as possible.

When I got the message several minutes later, I flew into a panic, of course. Where is the number? Why didn’t Olga resend it? Where’s my computer? Where’s my iPad? I called the general UCSF line and asked for the sperm thaw hotline. “The what?” Thinking I was speaking too quickly, I slowed down, “Sperm Thaw. Hotline.” She said, “I’m not sure what that is.” I said, “I’m sorry, I don’t understand. This is the UCSF Center for Reproductive Health and you don’t know what the sperm thaw hotline is?” I was not patient. She asked me who my doctor was and unhelpfully transferred me to Olga’s voicemail. Finally, after precious minutes, I found the sperm thaw hotline and asked them to call me back and confirm that I could still get in for today. A few minutes later, a nice embryologist named Will called to confirm they got the message and we’d go on as planned and I basically am in love with Will now.

I drove over at around 11 and checked in, reading Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott on my iPad in the waiting room, occasionally tearing up because her writing is so raw and honest and sweet. Encouraging texts flowed in. Thank you for all your good thoughts for my good egg!

Next thing I knew, 45 minutes had gone by. When I asked for an update, the same receptionist who greeted me 45 minutes before didn’t recognize me. (PS it is not a big waiting room and I was in her line of sight.) When she realized I hadn’t been seen in 45 mins, her eyes got big and she flew out of the room. Coming back, she apologized profusely, said it would be 15 more mins, and gave me a Starbucks gift card which 110% placated me.

Finally, I was called in. The same nurse Stephanie who has done all my IUIs and ultrasounds did the IUI today. I thanked her for doing an awesome job with me last time around. I told her I was in a good space now, kind of ‘whatever,’ not so high and low. She told me that sounds great–stay in the good space.

McPiercy had a nice showing of 11.3 million sperm after the wash. Stephanie said, “Now let’s get this team up there where they can do their thing.” I told her “my team of millions” would definitely be the title of my next blog post.

After they left me to my 5-10 mins of purely psychological laying-there time, the feeling was not ‘I love you’ or tearful longing or lightning bolts but instead a letting go. A release of trying to control. A whistle-blowing: “Listen up, Team McPiercy! You’ve got this! You’re on your own! Do your best! I’m rooting for you!” And to the good egg, “OK, pretty girl, be patient–they’re on their way.” And then I threw my arms up to the heavens, handing the reins over to the universe, to God, to Mother Nature, and the Buddha.

And then I got on with my day.

dating, donor sperm, meditation, single mom by choice, SMC

jumping the gun

I’m pretending today is a sick day so I can just stay home in my pajamas and catch up on my to-do list. Today’s innovative strategy for tackling the list is to integrate work and personal tasks so that it looks like this: “breakfast, meditation, email B re: gifts, write card to D and J, assemble work to-do list, blog, clean closet floor, install shoe rack, do symposium agenda… ” etc (that’s only half of it). So far, so good.

Yesterday was a really good day that ended with email drama. I came home from the date wanting to blog all-caps WE LIKE THE ARTIST! but I restrained myself since I was then off to a bowling birthday party (good lord do I suck at bowling) which pretty much took me up through bedtime. The drama was related to an email that followed the date, which resulted in the kind of email fail for which email is world-renowned.

After parking coincidentally adjacent to my sperm bank, I showed up at the appointed meeting spot to find that the Artist is tall and cuter than his single online photo in which he’s doing kind of a half-scowl. I felt comfortable right away, we settled on a brunch place and had such a good conversation in line that people around us were chiming in. We sat outside–it was absolutely gorgeous and hot in the sun. He’s interesting and earnest and whenever he touched on something personal he had this way of bookmarking it as such and then taking a step back from it and then asking more about me.

We finished up lunch and went around the corner to the Center for the Book street fair called Roadworks where they were pressing linoleum cut tiles with an actual steamroller, kind of a cool gimmicky thing to promote printmaking and the crowd gave a huge round of applause every time a new print was lifted up and displayed.

We strolled, I bought a journal and a card, he bought a gorgeous print of redwood trees for his parents for $200. Afterward, I walked with him to his new Prius he bought the night before so I could check out the differences with my 6-year old one (there are many), he drove me to my car, I gave him a hug and he said he’d call me.

Then he sent this cryptic email that I shared with C in the bowling alley in an effort to understand its point. It was about whether or not I’d looked at the art website he shared with me via email like a week before, with all of his paintings, sketches, etc. I had seen the site and been genuinely impressed with it–but between emails and our live conversation it just didn’t come up. I perhaps jumped to the conclusion that he was accusing me of committing a crime by not specifically addressing it, and that this was some type of nutso dealbreaker for him, which got my hackles up. So my last response was like, “I can’t believe you’re calling me out on this after such a nice time…what am I missing??” And then he just called.

Now that I’ve listened to his calm, rational voice on my voicemail it all kind of makes sense again and I feel like a dork. Probably I jumped the gun. C will tell you though–the original email was weird. He says he just wondered if I missed it originally because he’d sent 2 emails in a row–he wanted to share it, not scold me for not mentioning it. He tried to make it lighter and flirty in his next email (which actually made it worse), which is why he picked up the phone because I sounded upset and he wanted to explain. And see me again.

Sigh! Why is dating so complicated. Am I just going to jump on every hint of odd behavior, assuming there are mountains of oddities behind it? Is my baggage piled so high that it’s a fortress? Can we all just get along?

Even as I peer in on the woes of my friends in the kinds of long-term, committed relationships I aspire to be in, I see that even the best of them are full of really enormous challenges at one time or another. And sometimes it’s non-stop challenging. Just another one of those life arenas where you never really “get there,”and it truly is about the journey. (I’m feeling grateful right now to have separated the dating journey from the mama journey–theoretically, at least, it helps to simplify.)

So, in an effort to continue learning about myself, and maybe also him, I’m backing away from the keyboard and picking up the phone.

dating, donor sperm, IUI, pregnancy loss, privacy, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc

more guys

I’m in a t-shirt and yoga pants, listening to Aimee Mann’s new album (kick A), baking lasagna and peach cobbler for my long overdue rendez-vous tomorrow night with Ju and her three munchkins. I hear the littlest one is a cuddler.

The big headline in neon lights is that AF is back in force! After so many weeks of spotting, I had no idea when to expect her, and didn’t really think it would be so soon. I also didn’t know if I’d recognize her, or if she’d make a weak appearance and give me reason to doubt the true kick-off of a new cycle. I should not have second-guessed her. She reappeared like clockwork and set up house. I asked her if she wanted to guest blog and she glared at me, rolled her eyes, and went back to folding laundry.

Still–her arrival, oddly enough, put me in the best mood. It’s the end of a sad era and the beginning of a hopeful one and I’m out of limbo and back on cycle and I decided to get back into official trying mode this month.

I transported my latest guys from PRS to UCSF on Monday morning–a much different transport than the first time around (My Guys) where it was sunny and I was singing along to the radio and thinking about babies. This time it was foggy, I was listening to an audiobook about finances, and never once thought about babies until afterward when I remembered that both vials on the first transport got me pregnant, which gave me a burst of hope. This transport was three vials. Did I ever tell you that the SMC ladies call them “Pop-sicles”? I sort of can’t believe I’m getting back on this roller coaster.

This morning, I attended a networking event in which one of the panelists seemed to be speaking directly to me about my blog and my recent fears around the security breach and what would happen if everyone knew and was talking about this. The panelist said something along the lines of: “Speak your truth, and then stand behind it. As long as you say it with confidence and good intentions, it will never come back to haunt you, even if people find out who weren’t supposed to know.” I believe in this. This blog is my truth and my lifeline and I can’t tell you how reinforcing it is how many readers tell me, “keep writing!” “keep writing!”

I’m glad you enjoyed reading about the paramedic (with the exception of my dad who said it was a little more than he needed to know, understandable). This one is anti-climactic but I went on a date with a new guy on Friday night. I’ve been trying to find a nickname for him but am coming up empty-handed, mostly because I don’t care and he won’t be sticking around. But it was kind of strange–as you know from my last post, I wasn’t that excited to meet him beforehand. I started telling my friend M about him with, “Well, there’s nothing wrong with him.” which she took as not a good sign. He showed up, was good-looking, tall, polite, smiling, bought me dinner, and we had the most enjoyable conversation. There was actually a moment where we both threw our heads back and laughed and I thought–this is nicer than I thought it would be. We have a lot in common. After dinner we went to another place for milkshakes. Then I hugged him good night and heard myself say, “It was nice meeting you!” which in retrospect is not a super encouraging thing to say, or maybe it was my tone, or maybe I was thinking, “It was nice to have met you!” I went home and never thought about him again. Apparently the same for him as there’s been no communication. No spark! And no nickname.

The Adorable Disaster of many months ago inexplicably re-friended me on facebook one day last week. I can’t imagine what he’s up to beyond a game of passive-aggression and I will not be enticed into that game. I’m pretty sure he passed me on his bike while I was running through the park last week–our eyes locked for a split second and he was gone. Ignore.

On the bright side, I have a date on Saturday and I’m cautiously excited about it. This is The Artist. I think I’m excited because I know next to nothing about him and probably have filled in all the blanks in my mind. But we did trade websites (his art and my music) and admired each other’s work. He seems like a legit real artist who does paintings, sketches, fire arts, book arts, and also teaches and takes graduate classes. His students like him on Rate My Professor.

I should not blog and bake at the same time because I just scorched the top of the cobbler. Ah well… good thing I had leftover peaches and batter, I’ll make another one. Good night!

donor sperm, IUI, outdoors, pregnancy, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc

!!!!!

I woke up this morning at 5:30am, at first light, thinking ummmmmm do I want to test? Because I need to pee. Box says 99% accuracy on day of expected period. False negative is unlikely. I’ll want a day up here to process the result. I am or I’m not–the test just exposes the truth. Time to test. Just do it.

Heart pounding, hands shaking, peed on a stick.

Pregnant!!! (again!)

Image

I looked in the mirror at my pregnant self and smiled and said, “I knew it!” Because I did. Pretty much the whole two weeks, from the IUI lightning bolt onward. But since it’s hard to know what you know in this process, I didn’t want to say anything until now. Now I have the home test BFP and will feel more reassured when I cross the 5-day hurdle (which is far as I got last month), the likely day of my blood test (Monday), and even more reassured with each passing day. This is a tenuous time, as you and I already know all too well.

I had foolishly thought I could go back to sleep, but no such luck! I got up and had cereal, made coffee, and sat on the beach in the sunrise, feeling grateful.

When I went in, it was still very early. I could hear that someone was showering. I waited in the kitchen with my stick, ready to spring the good news on my parents. Imagine my surprise when my dad walked out buck naked! He froze in place when he saw me and said, OH! Well, maybe I’ll go put some clothes on! A good laugh in what was building to be a big moment. When he went back into the bedroom, I heard my mom say, “Did she pee on a stick?”

They came out, I told them the good news, they hugged me, and then we all were wide-eyed like, OK! One step at a time! And then we went about our biz. (Pretty much. My mom and I indulged a bit in re-looking at my donor’s photos, discussing first trimester symptoms, and watching an animated video of implantation. Have you guys seen that video? Fascinating. Here’s the link.)

I keep checking the stick to make sure a “Not” hasn’t shown up. So far, so good. 🙂

I feel happy and cautious and happy again. One less exclamation point in the title of this post compared to last time. Focusing on reducing stress, resting, eating well. Tomorrow I’ll go downstate to see Mrs. John and her family, including her brand-new 2mo baby boy. More baby time can only help!

Thank you for sending vibes of good health and gangbusters cell division! I love you all for being there.

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

23 million

Go, swimmers, go!

I got my smiley-face yesterday afternoon: sigh of relief. Called Olga. Fortunately, I don’t seem to have lingering angry feelings toward her. We’ve moved on. She cheerfully set up my appointment for 1:15 today, just 45 minutes after my IUI last month. I’ve duplicated every detail of last month to the best of my ability.

Today, I left work around 12:15. I thought about rushing home to get Mojo, but decided nah–Mojo is with me in my heart. I needed to grab lunch.

I had chicken pho and limonata Pelligrino at My Father’s Kitchen, a Vietnamese restaurant near UCSF. I wondered whether Dr. Tran goes there for lunch, and if so whether it reminds him of his father’s (or mother’s) kitchen back in Vietnam. As I was finishing, I thought I saw him walk in, in scrubs. My mind raced: what if it’s him? What if it’s not him? Am I thinking all Vietnamese doctors look alike? He was seated right behind me. After studying the back of his head as I got up to leave, I decided that my Dr. Tran didn’t have a bald spot and wasn’t that short and didn’t wear scrubs and wouldn’t slurp his soup like that. Still, it seemed like a good sign in a moment when I was looking for signs.

Then I sat in the waiting room enjoying my last moments of peace before the two week wait.

After being called into the exam room, I had some more time to think. This time, I thought, I’m going to focus on reducing stress in all respects, every day. Which is a good goal no matter what you’re trying to do in life, no?

Same drill on this fourth round IUI–the nurse practitioner was Dr. J and she was nice and ultra-efficient. We reviewed McPiercy’s donor number, total motile (rhymes!): 23 million, and overall motility “moving fast / hyperactivated.” I am not kidding you: from speculum to “great ovulation mucus, so bonus on the timing!” to “the sample is going in” to “take care!” was probably 3.5 minutes.

She left me in the room for 5-10 minutes to relax, and I thought, “I love you, baby.” I felt a symbolic lightning bolt strike down from the heavens.

And then, I went about my biz.

I’ve done a lot of thinking since my “heroine” post in which everyone was expecting details of my new drug addiction, ostensibly the latest method for handling the stress of trying to conceive. (Yes, the “e” in “heroine” is critical!) I was trying to put a positive spin on what was otherwise a somber post. First conclusion: when it came down to it, I really needed sleep. I slept 9 hours and the next morning felt like a million bucks.

Second, it’s OK to sometimes feel low. When I’m in that mode, I tend to focus on the things I’m missing in life, even while there is a huge abundance of wonderfulness staring me in the face. I read a good quote yesterday in someone’s email signature that said, “Pessimists see the difficulty in opportunity while optimists see the opportunity in difficulty.” Right on.

Third, the universe has sent me quite a flurry of evidence in the last 24 hours that I do, in fact, attract the attention of men. The universe also sent a PS that these men, while they do exist, are just wildly and hilariously inappropriate matches for me right now. These include the guy on the 38 Geary bus who introduced himself as a veteran in his 50s who finds me “very sweet,” the handyman in the line outside Kelly-Moore who started singing a song precisely as I walked by that began with “bonita,” and a guy who emailed me on OK Cupid to suggest that we meet for coffee followed by a “purely lighthearted best-of-five wrestle.” You know I’m not making this stuff up!

The fact is, there’s only one man in my life right now: McPiercy. He’s hot. He gives me my space. He provides me with millions of fast-moving sperm and lets me have my way 100% of the time. AND he’s helping me pursue my biggest life goal. I’ll tell you all about him once he knocks me up (again).

Meanwhile, I’ll be over here relaxing like crazy.

 

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

8 million

On Friday afternoon, in the midst of a hive breakout barely held at bay by Benadryl, I got a positive OPK after being super-religious about not peeing for 4 hours! I even had the coveted EWCM that day AND the next day, something I was never able to detect previously. Although the positive kit did take me somewhat by surprise a few days early, I was thrilled to prove the genuine falsehood of the earlier false positive and put the wheels in motion for IUI #3.

I called in my positive result to Nurse Olga, who congratulated me 🙂 and scheduled my IUI for 12:30 on Saturday. She also said that her hunch about the hives was that I was having an allergic reaction to the dye of the HSG test. After our call, I got an email containing my instructions:

Hi Katie,
Your IUI is tomorrow at 12:30pm with Dr. Rinaudo. Please call the thaw hotline tomorrow morning. Have a great weekend Katie!

§ SPERM THAW: The MORNING OF YOUR INSEMINATION please call the thaw hotline BEFORE 8:30am at 353-3039. The sperm will not be thawed unless you call. Please leave:
1) Full Name
2) DOB
3) Donor Name and Number
4) IUI Appointment Time

That’s right: if you do not call the “thaw hotline” the morning-of, your sperm will NOT be thawed for your IUI–way to hold the patients accountable! This actually struck me as kind of absurd, but I’m sure the policy was developed after expensive (?) thawing and no-show ladies. I did get stuck on the “Donor Name”–what’s his name again? Oh right, I never knew it. I suppose they’re referring to known donors in that case, but mine is anonymous. I’ve been calling him McPiercy but I do know his number by heart.

On Saturday morning, the hives were back in full force! I took 2 Benadryl and called the thaw hotline at around 7am. Then I spent part of the morning assembling all my baby project paperwork, creating a spreadsheet of all my cycle charting data, and adding up my expenses thus far. For the record, my average cycle lasts around 26 days, my average LH surge is on Day 13/14, my average (estimated) ovulation day is Day 14/15, my temp spike happens on Day 16, and my luteal phase is about 12/13 days. Crunching the numbers helps me feel a teensy bit in control.

I also tallied the amount I’ve spent at PRS: $3,860 for: 1 intro consultation, 4 vials, 2 IUIs, 2 ultrasounds, plus accoutrements (and a partridge in a pear tree). I could send these expenses in to be reimbursed now through my insurance but I’m holding off since I just transferred over to UCSF where all I’ve paid thus far for an RE consult, ultrasound, psychiatric evaluation, sperm transfer, and HSG test is one little $40 copay–they seamlessly bill my insurance directly. So I’m loathe to file a bunch of individual claims for PRS until I get pregnant; then I’ll cash in my chips.

While this is an expensive process, I know all too well that what I’m really paying for is the right to be a full-on solo parent with no one swooping in at the 11th hour to cause complications. I’m really paying for the right to have no man legally connected to this child (until I’m ready to connect one).

At 12:30, I entered the quiet Saturday halls of UCSF for the IUI, which was pretty much exactly the same drill as at PRS. It wasn’t Dr. Rinaudo after all, but a woman named Dr. P–nice to keep the continuity of possibly getting knocked up by a woman as long as it couldn’t be Ingrid. Dr. P. was very sympathetic about the hives and said it sounds very likely an allergy to the dye, considering that if they were stress hives they would have come and gone long ago. She also said I should stop taking Benadryl now since it could possibly interfere with implantation. Darn.

At the moment of truth, when Ingrid would have said, “I’m sending you blessings and love,” Dr. P. said, “OK, the specimen is going in.” 8 million of McPiercy’s swimmers with “excellent motility” were deployed in my uterus. I just smiled, and Mojo winked at me from where his head was poking out of my purse.

On the way home, I picked up the healthiest lunch I could think of: kale salad, rice and beans, and a carrot/ginger/lime juice from Herbivore. Then I took a long nap on the couch. I took a nap on my couch today too (and hopefully tomorrow!). The weekend has been so restful and I am grateful for one more day, which will include a SMC brunch and a date with a real-life guy (i.e. not from the internet) who asked me out for dinner.

Tonight, I accomplished one item on the weekend to-do list which was to begin looking at new places to live. I really do like my apartment (of 6 years!) and it’s fine for me right now…it’s a studio, probably 600 square feet, with south-facing bay windows, pretty views, old-school charm (read: nothing has ever been updated. I have an icebox), nice hardwood floors, great neighborhood, centrally located in the Lower Haight. But when I consider bringing a tiny roommate in here, I worry that it’s also a fourth-floor walkup with shared coin-op laundry. To me, the laundry is the dealbreaker, even if I was able to convert the walk-in closet to a baby room.

After searching around on Craig’s List for an hour or so, I started feeling my hives get itchier (I still have a few!)… The rental market is at its peak. The real estate market is ridiculous. The share situations are sketchy. Anything vaguely affordable is in a bad area. I went in circles until I remembered that I don’t have to do anything yet.

All I have to do now is get pregnant. I have faith that the rest will work itself out, whether that’s leaving the Bay Area to become a park ranger or joining a single mom co-op or getting someone to buy me a condo with no strings attached or falling into some other unlikely-but-perfect scenario I couldn’t have dreamed up ahead of time. I just try to remember how many women have done it with less.

donor sperm, IUI, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc, two week wait

your q’s!

I just wanted to quickly respond to a couple of questions that came up as a result of yesterday’s post.

1. Why did you have to transport the sperm vials in the first place?

I’m currently working with PRS (the sperm bank) but transitioning over to UCSF Center for Reproductive Health. Because UCSF is a “center of excellence” for my insurance, my money goes twice as far over there. Plus, the care is much more comprehensive. Actually, there is no comparison. One is a sperm bank where they do IUI’s but there are no other services and it’s a very low-budge experience. They’re like, “hi, we have sperm and we’ll inseminate you if you want. If you pay extra, we’ll also do an ultrasound.” That’s about it. UCSF is a hospital with all the resources you could possibly need or want. Care is comprehensive. It took me a while to even realize that I needed to be working with a doctor–once I understood that and got my appt, and did the testing, it was too late for May. I don’t know that they’re any more or less likely to get me pregnant but I do love having the next round queued up–it’s reassuring to acknowledge the possibility that this could take a while. Dr. Lauri Pasch had a nice idea on how to think about this–to focus more on the broader goal of becoming a mother vs. whether or not I get pregnant this cycle.

2. How big was the box? There was no point of reference in the photo!

It wasn’t that big. I realize that in the photo it looks like a refrigerator box but it was only about thigh-high. 🙂

I had a lovely day of hiking with my friend M in the Oakland Hills, one of my favorite places on earth. There’s something so timeless about those tall trees and dappled, golden light, and clear, sweet air. I return there again and again.

The supermoon is full and pouring white light all over my city! Good night, Supermoon. Mojo and I are going to bed ❤

donor sperm, IUI, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc, two week wait

my guys!

I checked many baby project items off the checklist today, starting with: sperm vial transport.

At 9:30 this morning, I showed up at PRS to pick up my “tank.” I put it in quotes because you don’t really know what to say until it’s happening, but that seems to be the term. “Picking up?” Yes. OK, just take a seat and we’ll bring it out.

I honestly didn’t know what to picture them coming out with. A little tank? Big tank? Tank on wheels with frosty air curling up out of crevices? But when the guy brought it out, it was just a box. There was another lady in the waiting room also waiting for a tank, showing her donor’s baby photos in the waiting room binder to a woman who seemed to be a friend (“ooh, so CUTE!”)–I averted my eyes in case the donor was mine. Anyway, hilariously we both went for the box at the same time, which generated a lot of laughter about getting the wrong box. “Good luck!”

I took it outside and took a picture of it so you could see what it looked like:Image

Yep, just a box. A cold-ish box, and there was a little curl of frosty air coming out of the handle holes. Then I put it in the back of my car. I got in and checked the photo on my phone since it had been too bright outside, and the first thing I noticed is that it says “Keep Upright”–DUH! I jumped to the back where it was laying on its side and moved it around to be wedged behind the driver’s seat. At that precise moment, the lady from the waiting room walked by with her identical box: “Didja put a seatbelt on it?!”

Driving over to UCSF, I kept forgetting it was there, singing along to the radio and spacing out on such a beautiful day. But then I’d think–wow, there they are! The eggs are in here, the sperm are in there, and one combo is hopefully going to make a person. I recently read a SMC blog who referred to the sperm as “my guys.” I love it–we’re a team, and I’m their driver.

At UCSF, I checked in at the front desk (“Dropping off?”) and got the paperwork from Nurse Olga. She disappeared and I waited, realizing I a) really had to pee, b) was parked in a 10-min passenger loading zone, and c) had a work meeting in a few minutes. She took a while and I sat there stressing, forgetting even to be self-conscious about my giant box of sperm. Finally, I took the box with me into the bathroom (you don’t really want to be apart from that box!), and of course that’s when she came looking for me. We finished up the paperwork and dropped the box off with a lab tech who took it away and brought the tank back in the re-taped-up box, ostensibly sans vials. So, I never saw the tank. (I was a little disappointed.) Got back to my car (no ticket!) and called into my meeting.

After calling in to several meetings from home, I drove over to PRS to drop off the tank (“Dropping off?”), then headed back over to UCSF for my psych evaluation, which is a requirement for anyone using a donor. To understand “the implications.” I liked Dr. Lauri Pasch. The first thing she said was, “This is not an evaluation,” which is the only thing I was worried about (as in, could the outcome of this be that she says I’m too nuts to handle being a parent?), so that put me at ease. She also seemed to feel I had handled every single thing well already: I’m at peace with my decision, gave the donor selection process careful consideration, I know how I’d like to handle telling the story to my child, I considered a known donor and ruled it out, and I have been blessed with an enormous community of support, from friends and family to the national SMC discussion board to local SMCs to my blog. I felt like the honor student of anonymous donor inseminations! Check, check, check. Good.

Back to goin’ about my biz. Have a great weekend!