Friday, February 22, 2008

In honor of J. Lo

.... and all my other peep-ettes who are currently baking, or have recently produced, a sweet bun in their respective ovens:

Seriously, I know so many pregnant women and already-birthed babies, that I'm knitting baby hats non-stop these days, and I'm still way behind...

And what of my own oven? Hmm... well I guess I can't put it off anymore with talk of grammar or celebs, can I?

Reader, I did it. I went and got inseminated.

In answer to the questions posed last Tuesday:
  • Yes, I had time to choose a donor. To be honest, I had been dragging on this decision for weeks, and the only way I was ever going to make up my mind was under deadline pressure anyway.
  • Yes, the bank was indeed able to deliver in time. Though that depends on what you mean by "in time."
  • Yes, the Jolly German was happy to see me on Wednesday.
  • Yes, I was back in the office well before the Big Important Meeting. And fortunately, the cramping and spotting didn't start until later that night.
  • No, I did not try with B Thursday night.

Now for the details...
I spent last Tuesday running around like a crazy woman. Somehow, between meetings at both offices, I spoke to the sperm bank and confirmed that they could deliver to the Jolly German's office on Wednesday morning, as long as both I and the doctor faxed over some paperwork. I got the forms to the JG, confirmed that he had time to see me and that everything was in order.

Only one problem: even though the LH surge happens before ovulation, it's still preferable to do the insemination on the same day you see the pink line. Reason being, idle sperm can stay viable in the uterus for around 48-72 hours, whereas an unfertilized egg only stays viable for 12-18 hours. So it's much preferable to have the sperm already there, hanging out waiting for the egg to arrive. And there was no way the sperm would arrive on Tuesday -- I hadn't even chosen the donor yet! That said, the JG still thought it was worth a try, so we forged ahead with plans for Wednesday.

But how on earth was Ms. Paralyzed by Indecision going to choose a donor?
I had been combing the donor catalogs at two different banks for months, and I could not make up my mind. Some days I liked them all, other days none were good enough. To make matters worse, one of the banks lets you build a "favorites" list for further review, but that list was not working properly. So I had been saving donor profiles for weeks, and ended up with nothing saved to review.

In between meetings, I logged on quickly, and saw that Donor of the Month had been updated. Amid all those baby pics, one sweet face leapt out at me. I checked his profile, and he sounded cute, funny, and clever. He even reminded me a bit of B in the personality department, and he was a film major! A quick call to the bank confirmed that his specimens were available for rush delivery.

The JG's office said that they would call me as soon as the package arrived Wednesday morning. My schedule was clear until the Big Meeting in the late afternoon, so all that was left to do was breathe deep, get some sleep, and wait.

Gosh, I was wishing I had someone to go with me, hold my hand, just Be There....

Remember the baby hats? I'd just finished one for my three-year-old neighbor, so I stopped by after dinner to drop it off. Her mom had the day off on Wednesday. Her mom is an Ob/Gyn. Her mom offered to come with me and hold my hand.

This was EXCELLENT. Not only did I have company and support, I also had a second set of trained eyes to make sure all went well.

I also had a FedEx tracking number. Wednesday morning, I may have brought down FedEx servers with the force and frequency of my page refreshing.

At 10:30 I got the call from the doc's office that my shipment had arrived. I told my boss I had to step out for a bit and hightailed it out of there, picking up my neighbor on the way.
As we waited for the JG in the exam room, the nurse came in with a huge shipping carton. Unopened. I had asked them to save the packaging, because I was curious, but they hadn't even looked inside!

Neighbor and I looked at each other, at the nurse, at the box. Nurse handed me scissors and said, "Here, you can do the honors and open it yourself!"

Neighbor said, "Um, you know it's frozen. You mean he hasn't defrosted it yet?"

Nurse explained that no one in the office had ever dealt with shipments of donor sperm before, so this was all new to ALL OF US. I opened the box.

It was a big liquid nitrogen vapor tank, with lots of instructions on how to safely handle the contents. We defrosted the specimen in a coffee-cup water bath, prepared a slide to check out the little swimmers, and we all went over to look at them.

Cute little swimmers! Swimming all over the place! So many! So motile! Yay!

I'll leave out the details of the moment of truth, because I know that some of you are already past your squeamishness threshold. Let me just say that I was very glad to have a friend's hand to hold on to. Definitely more pleasant to do this the traditional way. (every time one of these procedures causes my uterus to seize up in pain, I wonder how on earth I'm going to ever make it through labor...)

In the days that followed, I didn't feel anything particularly special or glowing going on. And to be honest, I wasn't surprised. When my tag-team docs reviewed my pee sticks and temperature chart, they exchanged some very serious and none too encouraging looks. They both really wished that I had arranged all this at least a day earlier, and weren't too sure that we had caught the window in time. It was very likely that the whole adventure had been a $650 dress rehearsal. Even if we had gotten the timing right, there's still only a 10% success rate for women my age, and it usually takes four to eight attempts before I should expect to actually conceive.

So I was prepared for a lack of baby magic. (This is also why the "B on Thursday?" issue turned out to be a non-issue. If I was borderline too late on Wednesday morning, then I was definitely too late by Thursday night.)

But then, during the lunar eclipse, I started to feel a little ... magical. And I started to think...
How incredibly cool, if I do indeed have a baby on my birthday -- which is Election Day, which one way or the other will definitely be historic -- to also be able to tell him that I first had stirrings of his presence during a breathtaking celestial event.

I know, call me sentimental, call me crazy even, but it's good to have hope, yes?

Yesterday, eight days after the insemination, I got a sign that sounds terrible but is actually good news:
Implantation spotting.
Right on time!

I'm not running out to order birth announcements; I still remember the odds. But I'm hopeful enough that on this Lenten Friday, I am following these guidelines that my 5-months-pregnant co-worker forwarded my way.

Per doc's instructions, I'll be taking a test next Wednesday, and I promise to let you all know how it goes.


Nina said...

Maggie, I am friggin' hysterical over here. I am living your two week wait with you every damned second. this is so exciting and terrifying and awesome that I am damned near hyperventilating.

Can I persuade you to Twitter hourly updates on all your thoughts and feelings and temps and charts and pee sticks? Because this is more excitement than OH MY GOD PLEASE BE PREGNANT!!!!!



I am going to calm myself down now. Perhaps a dark and stormy is in order.

Big hugs to you, Duchess. You rock.

Julie said...

I can NOT wait until you POAS!! OMG this is so exciting I can't stand it. I'm ok, really. Ok, no I'm not...