Thursday, February 28, 2008


As they say on the boards. I know you're eager for news, so I'm posting from my conference (sshh).

How could I have possibly forgotten to pick up a test, you ask? Honestly, I was pretty sure it would be negative, so my subconscious must have, surprisingly, preferred taxes to bad news.

I'll try again soon, and you'll be sure to hear all about it.

Thanks again, all you darlings!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


You're all going to hate me.

I had to prep my taxes last night, and I forgot to buy a pregnancy test.

Right now I'm catching a train to New York for a conference. I will try to remember to buy a test in Penn station or somewhere, so as to have news for you all tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

And now for something completely different

While I've been writing about Very Serious Things, "living life explicitly" and perhaps Sharing Too Much, the interwebs have continued to churn out the funny. The past few days have been particularly rich.

So herewith, a selection for your amusement:

Echo Park Time Travel Mart, Barbarian Repellent

Star Wars according to a 3-year old

Monkey Star Wars

Official happy Sex and the City trailer #1

Longer, sadder, Sex and the City trailer #2

Stuff White People Like

I love New England

Jimmy Kimmel loves Ben Affleck (I point you to Gawker because they've got links to the whole history and lead-up of the gag)

For the Somervillionaires, TomCat Champion warns you of Snow Emergency

Okay, okay, and one that is related to current events, but still funny:
Handy forum abbreviations


During the night, the period/spotting/whatever it is stopped.

This morning, my temp was elevated again.

I checked the chart again, and I talked to my nurse friend, who thinks it's impossible that I would have gotten my period so early. Math is hard!

Tomorrow, I will pee on a stick. I think this is why normal people don't go public with their baby drama until the second trimester...

PS: I've been doing lots of editing and rewriting of posts, and adding of images. If this is wreaking havoc with your feed reader, I apologize. If, on the other hand, it has *not* been wreaking havoc, you might want to go back and re-read for updates and new photos. But give me a few minutes; I have a few more to add...

Monday, February 25, 2008

Hit the spot? Not....

Wednesday, I felt stirrings.

Thursday, I saw a sign, right on time.

Friday, I was still seeing spots, which was still okay.

Saturday, I started worrying. By Saturday night, the spots should have been tapering off; instead, it was continuing, maybe even increasing. (come on, if you can watch CSI, you can read this.) But only a little; I still had hope. Anyway, Saturday was just WAY too early for a period, right?

Well, sure, if you presume that I ovulated on Tuesday or Wednesday, which is what we figured. But what if I'd actually ovulated Sunday, when the pee stick first went dark?

It is also worth noting at this time that, due to my erratic sleep habits, my temp charts are consistently an inconsistent mess. Here is what a normal temp chart should look like:

That little blip on Day 10 is what happens if you don't sleep the same number of hours every night or wake up at the same time every day. But overall, that sample chart shows lower temperatures pre-ovulation, and elevated temperatures afterwards. See that big leap on day 14? That's ovulation. See that big drop on day 28? That's the beginning of menstruation. If you're actually pregnant, you don't have a drop, you stay in the hot zone.

I have the worst sleeping habits in the world. Consequently, my temp charts are on crack, all over the place. So, though my temp did rise on the morning of the insemination, who knows if that meant anything?

Whatever, I'm babbling, and prolly giving TMI for some of you.

The point is, by Sunday it sure looked like my period, complete with cramps. I curled up crying and achy on the couch all morning...

This morning? My temp plummeted. No hot zone for me. As I said, my temps are ridiculous and oscillate wildly, so I'll still pee on a stick on Wednesday -- might as well. But it looks like I'll have to keep trying. One down, three to seven more to go!

I'm not going to lie; it sucks. I've been weepy and moody and short-tempered. I'm worried about racking up the continued expenses. But I knew, barring some miracle of beating the odds, that this is what I signed on for, probably for a year or more. And so I'm prepared to stick with it.

Thank you all so so much for your support, your involvement, your excitement. Blogging cannot express what it means to me, I swear.

I probably won't Twitter hourly as Nina requested, mostly because I still don't understand how to use Twitter. But I will keep the updates coming, promise.

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.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


For all this talk about how no one knows how to use it, how it's falling into disuse, how no one understands it anymore, I seem to know a lot of people; in addition to myself, who have a hearty appreciation for the semicolon.

So what's the problem?

(Yes, I know you want to know how my insemination went, but I am late for dinner. For now I will tell you two things: there was a lot of cramping and spotting, and yet I bought a bib this weekend.)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Thrown for a loop

Warning --stream of consciousness ahead. I'm rushing between meetings and if I have to take time to write this nicely, it will never get posted.

Remember the J. Crew Catalog? And the lovely pics of my uterus? You may have noticed a dearth of news about this lately. Sorry about that. But here's the thing -- every time I try to choose a donor, or do anything else to move towards the goal, I start to hyperventilate. My lovely red-headed step-intern (actually now a fully fledged coworker who ROCKS) gave me a copy of Choosing Single Motherhood, and every time I try to read it I start to cry and have to put it down. Sometimes I look at the donors and no one is good enough, other times I like them all and want to take them all home. I even started a last-ditch effort of asking a new round of friends if they wanted to help out, with no takers.

And then there's the Boyfriend, who sometimes would love to help out, and sometimes is totally freaked about the whole thing. With him on the fence about babies and me on the fence about our long-term future, I keep deciding that it's not a good idea. And yet, I keep deciding that, as in, the decision is never final, we keep rethinking.

Every year on February 13, my mother calls me to remind me of the anniversary of my conception. Yes, she has no boundaries, but if I dig any deeper into that, I'll have to start a whole new blog. A few weeks ago, I was looking at my temperature chart/calendar, and I realized that it looked like I would be ovulating on the 13th myself this month!

How exciting! Share the anniversary! Share a birthday with my child! How wacky, how fated, how perfect! But then the waterworks and conflict started, and here we are one the 12th and I have not procured any sperm.

Honestly, I thought it didn't matter. The Jolly German has me peeing on sticks, to more precisely pinpoint ovulation than the temperature chart can, and it looked like I'd gone early this month, over the weekend.

Last night, with the long weekend approaching, I suddenly decided that I really wanted to see the boyfriend, that I couldn't wait until next month when we go on vacation. Also, I really wanted to have the sex with him.

Don't get me wrong, I adore him. It's just that I can usually deal just fine when we're apart. But last night, if I could have jumped into a plane right then to go be with him, I would have. And that kind of transcontinental urgency? Yes, that is atypical.

I booked a flight for Thursday night (aww, Valentine's Day).

This morning, I peed on another stick. I usually do this for a day or two after ovulation, just to confirm the waning end of the pink stripes.

Holy God.

There resulted the widest, darkest, deepest pink stripe I have yet to see in three months of stick-peeing. There have been months when I couldn't tell a difference at all in a week's worth of stripes. This is definitely NOT one of those months.

I have never seen a clearer sign. I was right, I am ovulating on the 13th. (The sticks give you a day or two heads-up, here, read about it.)

So, now the questions:
  • Do I have time to choose a donor?
  • Will the bank be able to deliver in time?
  • Will my doctor be able to see me tomorrow?
  • Can I schedule this around the Big Important Meeting tomorrow?
  • Is this all just a sign that I should try with B Thursday night?

Please note that if I don't try this month, then B is my only option for next month, as we will be in the Caribbean during the critical time, away from the Jolly German and any easy way to receive cryogenic deliveries. So if not this month, then it's either B, or wait until April.

AND now I have another meeting...

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


You are breakfasty, like a pile of pancakes on a Sunday morning that have just the right amount of syrup, so every bite is sweet perfection and not a soppy mess. You are a glass of orange juice that's cool, refreshing, and not overly pulpy. You are the time of day that's just right for turning the pages of a newspaper, flipping through channels, or clicking around online to get a sense of how the world changed during the night. You don't want to stumble sleepily through life, so you make a real effort to wake your brain up and get it thinking. You feel inspired to accomplish things (whether it's checking something off your to-do list or changing the world), but there's plenty of time for making things happen later in the day. First, pancakes.