dating, fertility, IUI, outdoors, ovulation, pregnancy, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc

game on

Last night, AF arrived and I said “thank you” and greeted her warmly. Her timing was perfect: I’ll have my Day 10 ultrasound the day after I get back from NYC, and I’ll do my IUI a few days before the UCSF office shuts down for three days over Christmas. I made it into the magic window. I’ve been doing calendar math for weeks now, and I’m super relieved that all the timing has worked out. This month is a go.

I’ve read through all the medical documentation and consulted Dr. Google and it looks like I can actually drink while taking Clomid–which means I don’t have to be a teetotaler at work functions, which takes a lot of pressure off. I will sip on an ever-present single glass of wine.

It feels good to be back in the game. Last night I had Indian pizza with 3 SMC friends: one contemplating IVF, one 8.5 weeks pregnant after 1.5 years of trying, and one 10.5 weeks pregnant on the first try. Grateful for these friends and the sharing of the journeys we couldn’t have predicted when we started. Oh, and the dating stories–this is where I’d link to their blogs if they had them, because you really can’t make this stuff up.

Here is my dating story. I sent the incredibly studiously-written birthday email and it had its desired effect: he wrote back and invited me to Hawaii in the new year and promised to do his best to make it an amazing experience.

Which conjures quite the colorful showreel of fantasies as we visit picturesque beaches, hike lava-spewing volcanoes, lay around in spa sarongs, and…other stuff–of course I want these things. Eventually. I would really like these things eventually.

Even with this headlining development, which of course is flattering and indicates some level of interest, I really haven’t seen him bring it. He’s still not driving the bus. In fact, he’s proposing that I drive the bus to him. So I’m not paying for a 3,000 mile booty call when he has a free ticket. Not yet!

I haven’t responded. I’m waiting to hear from my friend M’s friend who she calls the Heterosexual Yoda–a lesbian whose  dating advice about men is spot on. Every time. It’s like she’s so disconnected she can be objective. Usually her advice is, “Don’t respond,” and this non-action usually brings to light the true nature of the relationship: are you in or are you out?

Right now he’s out. I make this way too easy when they should be working for it. My impulses are always to be available and nice and complimentary and write in skywriting just how interested I am just in case they missed all the other cues. These impulses are great for friendships, not so great for dating.

If he inquires later about my trip, I’ll tell him my friend canceled so it’s postponed indefinitely, and he can do the calculations on what it would take to see me again. At least that’s my pre-Yoda plan. Thanks for keeping me posted, M!

I’d like to give a shout out to my friend A who is live-blogging her labor today (no joke) from Colombia and she’s doing an incredible job–she’s got salsa playing, her lipstick on, her mom by her side, and probably 20 friends following her updates online around the world. So inspired by this powerful woman and thrilled to virtually meet her baby boy. ❤

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breakup, dating, fertility, ovulation, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc

new cycle

Monday night, under a blanket on the couch, post-sushi with I (“get in there and write a blog post so I can read it!”), drinking my new favorite tea ever: Mighty Leaf Mint Melange.

We have reached the end of a news cycle. Everything is winding down just in time for Day 1. According to my spreadsheet of averages, Day 1 will be tomorrow (or soon after), and then I will start on the Clomid on Day 2 and then I will get cranky while my estrogen is suppressed and my ovaries go on overdrive producing follicles.

The synchronicity of events recently has been intriguing: the peak of my mystery illness coincided with ovulation on what turned out to be an eventful “month off.” Morocco left town just as Hawaii arrived. I will take my last antibiotic tonight and my first Clomid within a few days. I am finally, finally better and rounding the corner in more ways than one.

Morocco came back a few days after my last post, after I had filed him and moved on. But he came back strong, just a couple of arm’s lengths away: hey I’m at a bar in your neighborhood, stop by. Hey, come see live music, I’m at a club. Unsure whether I actually wanted to see him, I suggested we plan ahead and he said then you plan it–I’m not a good planner. (Is it Maya Angelou who said, “When someone tells you who they are, believe them.”?)

I texted him that I sense he’s not available for a relationship and so our timing is off and he should focus on getting his life in order right now. He texted back, “Sounds good :)” Which I take to mean he concurs and/or didn’t understand and/or is a texting robot. (Texting is seriously the worst thing to happen to dating.) Either way, he’s back in the file. 5% of me believes that once he gets settled he’d be a good boyfriend but the other 95% knows that guy never gets settled.

Dr. Hawaii is another story. A brief story that also also involves the texts always ending in a smiley-face. Which is fine. But when I feel a connection like that I want to throw open the doors and windows, fire up the skype and the gchat and the (gasp) telephone and start fanning the flames of passion across the distance!

Not so with this one. When I said “he disappeared into the moonlit night,” he actually did. We’ve exchanged a few texts. He liked something I put on facebook. I went through an initial phase of dying a slow and tortured death with the waiting and the hating of my phone until I realized that the distance and the circumstances have taken us off the usual dating script and now I don’t know what to expect, if anything–maybe we’re on Hawaii Time or maybe when he said he wanted to come back to visit me he was speaking poetically and not literally.  Who the F knows what’s going on over there! Maybe he’ll reappear, maybe he won’t, maybe by the time he does my emotional window will be closed. Maybe (just maybe!) I’m a bit of a complicated case to take on right now. Our second date would be more than dinner and a movie–it would be a weekend requiring strategic logistical and emotional planning with a maybe-pregnant lady who lives 3,000 miles away.

For the record, he sent the last text and he will drive the motherfucking bus or else we’re not going anywhere. (Except on his birthday, which is Wednesday, for which I will compose him an Email, which will rock his world after all the texting.)

Meanwhile, I go on with my fabulous life, which is always the right answer no matter what the question.

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

going with the flow

Second dates are a huge tossup. They are the swing states. Remember when my most recent second date was a big No from the moment I saw him? Last night, I was texting the Moroccan from outside Jupiter to say I had arrived and asking where he was (it’s a big place) and I got his response “sur la terrasse” and was finishing an email to KC about hiking the Lost Coast when he walked up. And he was a big Yes.

I noticed after my last post that I described him as a “mysterious man of mystery,” so something in my unconscious and sleepy mind’s description of him revealed a perceived double mystery and wanted to know more. I said that I was feeling “go with the flow” on this one, not wildly excited but with a pleasant feeling. Last night, my heart skipped when I saw him. He gave me a big smile and a hug and walked me back to the table where he’d been waiting.

On the whole BART ride over, and really the whole previous two days, I was feeling AF was imminent, and I was starting to wish she’d just show up already so I could at least have a beer with my pizza. But she was still MIA, so I settled on hot tea given that we were technically outside and under a not very hot heat lamp.

To describe him: he’s tall, maybe 6’2″, dark, and…handsome. He has a gentle voice and a big smile. Speaks English flawlessly with only the tiniest errors in pronunciation and many Americanisms like “taking one for the team” (to explain his drinking beer when I wasn’t–I told him I was detoxing), and telling me about a friend from Idaho who was always teased with, “Who da ho?” and she’d have to answer, “I da ho.” He came to the US on an internship for Hilton and has worked seasonal jobs all over the country (including Mackinac Island, twice), was married to an American for a while in Salt Lake City (thus the green card), and when they split he was ready to move to SF, which he has always bookmarked as where he wanted to end up. He got here eight months ago, waits tables and works on his computer science degree, saying that all his previous jobs/cities were fun in the moment, and now he’s ready to stop being seasonal and build a future.

He’s solicitous, kind of mini-waiting on me as he confirms I’m happy with the table choice, the menu, the heat lamp, serving me my salad. He congratulated me on Obama (I congratulated him back even though he couldn’t vote). He wants to go running but doesn’t know where to go. He’s been researching meditation groups and exploring places around the Bay Area. He drives a ’97 Honda Civic. He plays guitar and jams with friends at his favorite bar in North Beach.

I felt myself leaning further and further forward in my chair as if I were eventually going to pounce on him. He paid the bill while I was in the ladies room (no AF still). We stepped outside and I assumed I would take BART home but he offered to drive me, claiming to be meeting up with friends later in the city. Whether or not this was true, I accepted. On the way to his car it was really freezing and he put his arm around me. In the car, he put on nice acoustic guitar music, blasted the heat, and then kissed me. It was the kiss I have dreamed of. We made out for a while, parked under a streetlamp on the Berkeley campus. He said he enjoys every minute with me.

I did not expect my going with the flow to take me to such a sweet and unexpected place! He drove me home. He tried, gently, jokingly, all possible angles, as guys will, to get me to invite him in, knowing that I wouldn’t but that I wanted to. I left him there and walked in to my building, feeling powerful, and where anxiety might rush in (what happens next? what if…? etc.), I instead remembered that, for now, I’m just looking for a guy to hang out with, and found one, and felt glad and grateful. I’ll see him again over the weekend.

Went to bed and woke up at 7 to use the bathroom, feeling AF had landed. And there she was. Going with the flow ends in flow.

Quoting from a poster photographed next to Obama at the Chicago campaign office, “The definition of hope is you still believe even when it’s hard.”

And it IS hard, made harder by the fact that I now have to skip a month while I’m out of town. Yes, I can make a case for it being a good idea–I haven’t taken a month off yet in 6 tries including 1 chemical pregnancy and 1 miscarriage. Yes, I’m about to start a medicated cycle and need to take a class first on how to give myself a shot (a class that isn’t offered in time for this cycle anyway). Yes, the next 6 weeks are stressful with work deadlines and holiday travel. I just can’t believe it will be Christmas before I can try again. It’s getting old. I’m coming up on the anniversary of my trip to the Grand Canyon where I shook hands with the universe. Even my dear readers seem tired. This isn’t how any of it was supposed to turn out.

But this is my story, this is my flow, this is my lazy river. This is it, this is where I am today. What can I do but keep floating along and trying and hoping and believing and enjoying my precious time on this earth, greeting all of its surprises with equanimity, all the disappointments and all the loveliness…

I will be Buddha in a kayak, breathing it all in.

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

fantasyland

1. We Barack-ed it!!!!!!!!!! Go America!

2. I worked until 9:45pm tonight. It wasn’t awesome but it had to be done. Thankfully, I had the presence of mind to pack running clothes this morning, so I was able to go out around 6 down the Embarcadero and around the ball park, pitch black. The air was cool and my body felt strong. Afterward, I picked up California rolls and fresh fruit and went back to the office for more number crunching.

3. Working late pushes my buttons because I enter this terrible vortex of space where it’s just me and the sound of the janitor’s vacuum cleaner and I keep plowing through work with intensity punctuated by facebook checks and pretty soon am resenting the hell out of all of it. But, tonight, I got shit done. The run really helped.

4. I’m reading a book called Wild which is about a young woman who hikes the Pacific Coast Trail which runs from Mexico to Canada. Just reading about the outdoors makes me long for it with some desperation. Why am I leaving my cubicle at 9:45 when I should be sleeping under the stars? Did I make a wrong turn somewhere?

5. Next thought is: sure, I could become a park ranger in Yosemite or hike the PCT but wouldn’t I become unbearably lonely? I must have people. Specifically my people and my people are everywhere but I’m afraid that in the wilderness there just wouldn’t be enough of them and I would long for the city even worse than I long for the wilderness now.

6. Next thought after that is: maybe there’s a compromise where I could have access to both. My fantasy situation moment: I have a little cottage in Marin. I think it’s the same one of my imagination where Annie Lamott was living when she wrote Operating Instructions. The sun is coming up and I’m sitting on a little deck drinking coffee and most likely there’s a baby sleeping inside and I’m a writer with a flexible schedule, nowhere to commute to, and enough money to feel serene. Everything is dewy and clear and fragrant. The city is 23 minutes away.

7. I have no idea why I’m making this a numbered list.

8. Tomorrow night I have a second date with the Moroccan. I met him over the weekend for lunch in North Beach, sitting outside in the warm sunshine. I did a pretty spectacular job of being in the moment and truly enjoying myself. Look: I’m out for lunch on a beautiful Saturday with a mysterious and attentive international man of mystery. Tomorrow night, I’ll meet him in Berkeley for dinner and live music–he’s a musician too. I feel go with the flow about it.

9. I emailed a bit with Dr. Hawaii and was getting really excited about his visit and then he suggested “lunch or early happy hour,” which disappointed me, thinking that’s what I say to someone I don’t really want to make time for, until I reminded myself that we have never met. I have a fully formed idea of him and we haven’t as much as spoken on the phone. Not to mention that if he’d suggested a late-night drink I would have been offended. So, I’d say his suggestion is appropriate. I have another fantasy which is us living together in Hawaii in a spa. That’s it: we live in the spa and lay around in sarongs drinking tea and looking out at the most gorgeous view imaginable.

10. According to my spreadsheets, my most average period is due tomorrow, and I really can’t tell you what’s going on in there because I don’t know. If AF is on her way (picturing her flying in like Mary Poppins with an umbrella and a suitcase), I hope she is at least a few days late, pushing my next cycle further out. Otherwise, my next ovulation is going to fall smack in the middle of a 10 day trip to the east coast. And guess what I’m not going to do? Ship McPiercy out for a rendez-vous.

11. I just finished a bag of gluten-free crispy snacks called margherita pizza flavored “Plentils.”

12. Stay tuned because any of these fantasies might deploy at any moment.

13. <yawn> good night

acupuncture, dating, fertility, IUI, ovulation, pregnancy, pregnancy loss, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc, two week wait

I heart Dr. Tran

Today I saw the doc to discuss next steps, in the event that IUI#6 doesn’t pan out. He was handsome as usual in a wool sweater today, no doctor coat. He has such a warm and understated personality and always manages to work into the conversation how hard he’s working, but that he can’t complain because loves his job. (How often does your doctor tell you that??)

He mentioned at least every three minutes that I can get pregnant, and that I did get pregnant, 2 out of 4 tries (he doesn’t count the first 2 tries at PRS since he didn’t oversee them). I’m “batting 500.” Nothing is wrong, nothing is worth testing now. He also said at least 4 times how much he wishes that his patients didn’t have to go through miscarriages, but they don’t know how to prevent that yet, and it’s really nature’s way of selecting. He looked concerned and paused on the topic of miscarriage and I thought I might cry but then we moved on. I hadn’t thought about the lentil in a little while.

So, what does he recommend? He thinks we’re ready to move on to Clomid, which is a pill I’ll start taking on Day 2 to grow more, fatter follicles, like 2-3 would be great. 4-5 and we might wait until the next month to be sure I don’t have millions of babies. On Day 10: ultrasound to check the follies. Day 12: trigger shot to trigger ovulation (I’ll need to learn about how to give myself the shot), then IUI the next day.

The idea is that we’d have multiple embryos and hopefully end up with one normal one. Of course, I could end up with two, in which case you are all hired. I’m sure I would go ahead with twins and it would ruin my life in the best way possible. How many cycles does he recommend with Clomid? Only 3. Then IVF, but he feels strongly that we won’t get there (and if we do, I have high ovarian reserve, so it would be a slam dunk (my words)). I said that I liked this plan, and he smiled and said, OH, I have a plan for you and I always did!

It looks like I should be able to wrap this up one way or another by my 40th birthday in July, which is a nice goal. Dr. Tran walked me out and touched my arm as he said good bye and to hang in there. I wonder if there’s any ethical way for me to date him? (This crosses my mind every time we meet.)

Meanwhile, I could be pregnant now. But I’m only 5 days in, thought I was feeling mild cramping last night but it turned out to be gas (doesn’t it always?). Today, my digestive system is not happy with me and I’m on the couch feeling achey and cold under a blanket while the cleaning lady cleans and the city erupts outside in celebration over the Giants winning the World Series exponentially intensified due to the fact that it’s Halloween (supposedly there are a million people out there–my acupuncturist called to cancel because he can’t even get to his office).

I realize that ending yesterday’s post with a potential guy-atus was a bit incongruous after listing all that I have “going on,” even it’s a lot of dating busy work and no real results. I think a guy-atus is my way of pretending I have control (now I’m on! now I’m off!) even though I don’t, and of course I would be open to meeting someone great whenever. The question is how much energy do I invest. Maybe dating Dr. Hawaii long-distance with romantic visits here and there throughout the coming year would be the perfect mix?

As MMcL emailed me yesterday, perhaps it’s about accepting the pace of where things are at. If I think Baseball Guy should have called sooner than five days after a first date, maybe that’s arbitrary. Maybe now that I’m not seeking a babydaddy it’s time to slow my roll and just see who shows up–we’re not under the gun anymore!!

Two shouts out: The Solo Mana Project got two recent mentions:

  • On the SMC site it is the featured blog post this week! It’s from the summer, when I was prego, which is a blast from the past now but what an honor to be featured there, thank you, Jane.
  • On a virtual friend’s blog, Return to Go, I was nominated for a Liebster Award, which, from what I gather, means that I answer her 11 questions and then nominate 11 other bloggers to do the same. Cool! I’ll do this soon.
biological clock, dating, donor sperm, fertility, IUI, ovulation, pregnancy, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc

potential

I’m in the hours between a promising first date and an IUI.

Fascinating, isn’t this? Here is a window into my thoughts, “But when he finally came around, would he be able to love the child as his own?”

Even I know I’m getting ahead of myself. But I did pause in the bathroom thinking, “Should I tell him tonight?” (When I got back to the table, he had outed us for being on a match.com date to the girls at the next table over. They giggled and wished us luck.)

Then I remembered there’s nothing he could do to talk me out of it. I got to this point, age 39 with waning fertility, because of waiting. Waiting and bad matches. And: chances are actually pretty high that things won’t work out with him AND I won’t get pregnant. Not to be pessimistic, just helpfully realistic. I don’t have to start juggling a baby and a boyfriend tomorrow. Unless I get really, really lucky.

I was talking to L on the phone just moments before walking into the bar. She said, “Are you excited?” and I said, “My mouth just went dry. I think so.”

He walked in, instant rapport. He lives up the hill, plays baseball, works in tech, and considers himself a lapsed Buddhist. Somehow, he pulled off a royal blue sweater vest. I didn’t realize he was ambiguously ethnic until he mentioned his dad is Sri Lankan. He has three older sisters. When I asked about his career aspirations, he said he just wants to make enough money to be able to hang out with his kids. (follow-up question: do you have to be the bio dad?)

Intriguing how they all want to be babydaddies now that I have McPiercy.

He paid for my beer at The Page and my dinner and beer at Fly Bar (yes, I bent the no-alcohol rule since it’s IUI eve). He fired many thoughtful questions and listened intently as I answered. I noticed early on that he brought out one of the best versions of me. He kissed me on the cheek and gave me a hug and…it was nice. (Dad, was that too much?)

Then I drove up to Marin to visit D and J and borrow one of J’s zillion Halloween costumes. I landed on Cinderella. It would be too easy (and nauseating!) to make this a sign that I’m headed for a fairy tale ending, and plus I don’t think I believe the fairy tale anymore, which makes my costume choice a bit problematic. I just want a nice guy to hang out with. If he turns out to be a Prince Charming who loves to hang out with my kid, so be it.

Finally: He asked me to think it over and let him know if I want to see him again. I said, “Ask me out again!” (Was I supposed to play it cool? I’m thinking yes. Sigh.)

Tomorrow is big. I *will* call the sperm thaw hotline before 8:30. I will put forward my best effort to begin a new life. Then I will party till the clock strikes midnight.

biological clock, dating, fertility, IUI, ovulation, parenthood, pregnancy, running, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc

on the eve

It’s that one night a year in San Francisco when I wish I had a fan. The whole city is officially Way Too Hot, and we don’t deal at all well with this. Our tolerable temperature range is anything between 60 and 70 degrees, and that’s about it. On the street outside, people are stumbling around in confusion–it’s simply shocking to not need a sweater. I’m sweating and eating ice cream up in my stuffy apartment, hoping for a breeze through the open window.

Can I just say how grateful I am that my cycle has kicked back in like motherfucking clockwork on Day 15? Smiley-face today. I called Olga, and I go in tomorrow for IUI #5. At 11:15am PST, in case you want to say a little prayer for my good egg.

I had the perfect evening to mark the end of my TTC hiatus, including sushi and beer and catching up with a dear old friend with whom I hadn’t caught up in many months, so I didn’t even know she was having fertility dilemmas of her own. I knew I’d be telling her my story, and my story was that much more relevant since it resonated. Her story made me remember my own long and difficult road to the big decision, what a process it was; whereas now it’s such a solid fact that I could hang my hat on it. I savored her questions and hoped she’d read the blog.

It got me reconnected a little to retell it. Mostly, I’ve felt like “my head’s not in the game.” I had to set my alarm in Outlook to remember not to pee, and again to remember to pee four hours later, on the stick.

It was kind of a rough weekend. The Moroccan chose a weekend in Santa Cruz over our coffee date–touché. I decided to “quickly” sign up on match.com, forgetting the existential process of creating an online dating profile (an hour later, I had a screen name). Also: I discovered that I had forgotten my car in a downtown lot for 4 days ($160), tripped on a curb and fell on the sidewalk in front of an uncaring crowd, and worked alllll day on a Saturday. Wah.

Predictably, when I finally got myself to run from the Beach Chalet up past the Cliff House to Lands End, all the way up that staircase, all the way down the other side to Sea Cliff and all the way back, I felt fine again. Can I please remember from now on that I always always always feel better after a run?

Today is Monday but I’m drunk on two beers and contemplating my remaining hours of peace.before the two week wait. I don’t know how I feel really… still a little disconnected, and I hope that turns out to be a good thing when the crazy train pulls up a week from now. I keep finding myself listing out my trifecta of goals: to be promoted, to find a guy I like, and to get (and stay) pregnant. I’m trying my best in all three categories, and my new mantra is: SOMETHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN.

Stopping in the corner store tonight for ice cream, I came upon a dad and his 4-year-old picking out ice cream flavors. The dad was reading them out and the kid bursts out with, “VANILLA!” like it’s absolutely the most exciting flavor ever created. His dad handed him a pint, which he carefully put into the basket of his bicycle with training wheels while his dad went to pick out a bottle of wine. Then, the little boy walked up to the cat sitting on the check-out counter and said to him quietly and meaningfully, “So, how’s your night going?”

My heart swelled as I remembered why I’m doing this.

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.

 

acupuncture, dating, ovulation, parenthood, pregnancy, pregnancy loss, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc

heroine

It’s Tuesday night. (and my sister’s birthday, happy birthday B!) I’m camped on my big yellow couch in sweats watching the last rays of sunshine light up the north-facing buildings stacked between me and Buena Vista Park. The sky is so clear and the days are so long…and I know from so many years of being a San Franciscan that big summer fog is right around the corner, as is, fortunately, my escape to real summer in Michigan. This Sunday!

I woke up feeling so tired… the weekend in Sebastopol was fabulous, the best kind of therapeutic girl time, and I returned feeling something like jet lag after keeping slumber party hours for two nights in a row. On top of that, last night I splurged on two cocktails which seemed like a good idea given that it might be my last chance for a while. I don’t know if it’s age or weeks/months of sobriety or my new focus on fitness in recent years, but drinking multiple cocktails once in a blue moon generally makes me feel some shade of terrible.

After a lackluster work day followed by acupuncture, I feel totaled. I had planned on seeing Beans at meditation followed by a drink with Ms. R (who is inspiring me with her optimism), but I just had to come home. At this point, I’m working to stay awake until a reasonable bedtime, like 9:30.

Three more days of work, and I am out of here for two weeks.

I found myself remembering vacation of a year ago, traveling to Alaska with D., meeting tons of his family and promising his brother that when we came back this year we’d be married and pregnant. Then the trip to Michigan where I took him around to all the beautiful sights and he was nonplussed and I was going out of my mind with aggravation.

Acknowledging that dating is not my priority right now, tonight I wish I had someone here with me. Someone who would give me big smiles and attention. Maybe it’s that I’m about to ovulate, but I’m suddenly noticing all the affectionate couples on the street, thinking huh. Remember that?

One SMC friend was saying how right after her BFN her impulse was to go online dating, and I said, “That makes total sense–you want to create love in your life, either this way or that.” Me too. What a waste that I am spending so many years as an impatient single lady when I have piles of love for the guy of many plusses. . But I am seriously out of ideas on how to find him.

The baby love, on the other hand, is a lot more under my control, although still not under my control. I’ve noticed that now, having once been pregnant, I feel like mentally I’m a bit more prepared for it to happen again. I can talk about “when I’m pregnant” and not feel like a total fraud. Still… I’m on Day 14 and so far negative OPKs, seemed like tonight it was beginning to change color (yes, I’m testing twice a day), EWCM (not that I’m checking), and I’m hopeful that the positive will be tomorrow. Perhaps it’s later since my body is probably reorienting itself a bit.

All this raging feminist debate online about “having it all” also has me furious–good, important debate, but disappointing that it leaves out single moms (who, ps, are the majority of families) and those of us who are resigned to not having it all and wouldn’t even tease ourselves with that notion. Add on top of that SF and crazy rents and me in a studio still doing a 1040EZ… You guys, how is this all going to work?

Over the weekend, I found myself peeing on a stick in Samuel P. Taylor State Park on a hike, telling my friends, “Please tell my kid how much I went through for this.”

I appreciate this quote of Nora Ephron, who died today, “Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”

OK, Nora. After an ice cream bar and some sleep, I will.

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.