Saturday, July 19, 2008

Moving On Up

Okay, I am moving on up to wordpress this weekend. Everything should be set by tomorrow night. The URL stays the same: but the look should be more 'east side.' Please update your blogrolls if you need to.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The New Black

Yesterday was the day that we bailed out Freddie and Fannie. It was also the day that my new health insurance card arrived in the mail.

I've been dreaming about that day; wondering when the card would arrive. As you may remember, I've already received my meds for my upcoming IVF cycle from my UPS pal. But the missing link, up until yesterday, was the actual insurance card.

Yesterday, when I opened my mailbox, I noticed an envelope that had a special logo--the health insurance logo--the symbol of my recent dreams. And when I touched the envelope, I felt a little tingle inside. It's official: my IVF cycle will be paid for.

When I saw the envelope, I immediately dropped my bags along with the rest of the other mail, so that I could rip the envelope to pieces. My appetite would not be sated until I saw the actual plastic, replete with logo, and my new insurance number. When I was in my 20s I used to get excited about credit card plastic, now approaching 40, I am over the moon about health insurance plastic.

Under the neon light of my building lobby, I saw the speckled refraction of the shiney, sparkly white industrial plastic and it was beautiful. This triggered several emotions throughout the evening. Immediately, my face felt flush and I felt butterflies in my stomach which stemmed from a fear starting the whole mess again. But I have to admit that I also felt a strange sense of calm. I'm temporarily free because, I'm waiting a couple more months before I start again. I just started a new job and Nadia and I think it's best if we wait a little while longer. Even though I think the wait it difficult, it allows me to enjoy the summer without worrying about bulging out of my pants with injectible bloat and it gives me some time to lose the 15lbs (grr!) my doctor suggested I shed before I get pregnant.

When I arrived in my apartment a few minutes later, I felt another emotion--a bit of guilt. The TV was on and the news commentators were discussing the Fannie/Freddie bailout. I thought about that and the economic downturn we're in (gas at $4.40!) and I also thought about the 47 million Americans who don't have health insurance. That number represents 16% of our population, but those figures arestale, from 2005, so the actual numbers are much greater.

Additionally, that number does not represent women who are insured but not covered for in/fertility treatments. Stirrup Queen and other Bloggers have written about this. When Nadia and I were doing our taxes this past spring, we discovered that Iwe've already shelled out over $10,000 from IUI's, donor sperm, and meds--despite the fact that I had decent coverage, which is even more comprehensive with this switch.

I guess, towards the end of the evening, I was feeling yet another emotion: gratitude. I'm so damned lucky to have a partner who has a job that pays for IVF and that she works for a company that allows me--a same sex spouse--to join her health insurance plan.

Health insurance is the new black. It's 'in'. It's coveted. It's at the pulse of the nation, but the problem is that it shouldn't be a fashionable; a privilege that accessible only for an elite group of people. It should be universal.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

My One and Only

From time to time, I write about the quest of the perfect sperm. I have gone through about seven donors over the past 1.5 years. Unlike most of you, when I first began this madness, I did not have the foresight to purchase more sperm viles than I needed for a given cycle.

And what that means is that by the time I picked myself up after a BFN and tried to re-purchase vials of my chosen sperm, I would often discover that my donor had retired or that his sperm had been sold out. Nadia and I have fallen in love with more profiles than we can count on one hand, but we never thought that it would take us over eight cycles to get pregnant, so we never stored any viles.

When you store vials, you have to purchase a certain number of vials and then pay for storage on top of that expense. Being the eternal optimist, I never thought that that kind of financial outlay would be necessary. I was wrong.

The selection process over this past year and a half has morphed over time. Originally, we were interested in finding someone who looked like Nadia and, believe it or not, someone who shared our values. We found the perfect guy, Mr. South American. Oh, we were so naive back then and so in love. We only purchased two viles and when I needed more, we found out that he retired.

Bummer! What a let down on top of a BFN.

After that, with each new cycle, it seemed as if we had to pick ourselves up and move on to a different donors, which was crazy making at times. You would think that we would learn our lesson, but given the fact that I see the glass as half full and given the fact that Nadia doesn't like to waste money, we've had to regroup and review new donor profiles on numerous occasions. I'm proud to say that all of the donors had one thing in common though, high sperm counts.

Even though I compromised many of what once were essential donor traits, there was one attribute that I insisted on having: a history of pregnancy. Nadia and I vacillated on the open and closed donor decision, race, height, and even donor IQ, but we both agreed that we needed someone with a positive track record. During this past year and a half, I've had South American social justice activists, African Americans guitar playing smokers, White engineers and construction workers, but during out last cycle, Nadia and I settled the One, an East Indian donor.

Having been through the egg drop drama six times before, we decided to stock up on this one. So he is the One, he could very well be the biological father of our child. We will use him for our upcoming IVF cycle.

It's a bit odd because neither one of us is East Indian but we feel that we will add an extra dimension to our family. Our child will definately be raised as both South American and Caribbean American by virtue of her parents but s/he will also have a biological connection to a culture we no nothing about. It's going to be quite an adventure.

And I can't wait.

Photo Courtesy: &

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Happy, Happy!

Happy Dance for Vee and Jay!
You go girls!

Monday, July 7, 2008

More Egg Drop Drama: The TTC, A Romance Buster.

If you want to comprise the intimacy in your relationship and watch all romance fall by the wayside, embark on a TTC journey with your partner. I know that sounds a bit melodramatic, and I know that I am not speaking for everyone out there, but this has been my experience.

Nadia and I have been going through major changes. It’s weird because, as you know, I am taking a break from the TTC as I wait for medical insurance to kick in, but I am still as obsessed with the TTC as I have ever been, and Nadia has had it. And, quite frankly, in my more lucid moments, I don’t blame her.

It’s hard to sit on the sidelines for over a year and be supportive of every twinge your partner is feeling. It’s hard to support an obsession you don’t share. Nadia, as you know, is ready to move on and adopt. I think that she has been an excellent wife, all things considered. I think her position now is that the TTC has negatively impacted our intimacy and has really taken the romance out of the relationship.

The injectible cycles, my fertility surgery, and now the impending IVF cycle have made my hormones completely wacky, my moods unpredictable, compromised my body image, and caused me to withdraw from the world, to some extent. Friends and family have been divided into ‘those you know’ and ‘those who don’t’. And it affects my relationship. Nadia’s fear is that if things are this way between us now, if our life is framed between two week waits and/or defined by whether or not we are TTCing or not, now, how are things going to be when we have a child? And, I have to admit, she has a point.

This past week our relationship weathered a perfect storm, it was ugly--dripping with anger and tears-- but I am hopeful that the worst part is over. We did a lot of talking and, in true lesbian fashion, a lot of processing. The next time I start channeling my inner Christian S. from Project Runway, I need to think about how my TTC self-absorption is affecting my partner. At the same time, she needs to let me know asap when she is feeling like a prop in my high-octane- earth-mother-vision. We plan to institute romance into the relationship no matter the cost. We need to bottle the nirvana we felt in the Caribbean, despite the daily madness of our New York lives and we need to prioritize our marriage.

Oh, and we need to breathe. We are taking things one breathe at time.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Green, It Does A Body Good

I don't know if what I have been doing qualifies as 'going green' but it is so hip right now. And I wanna be hip.

Since I started the TTC, I've changed my lifestyle quite dramatically and I’ve been struck not only by how quickly I've done changed my lifestyle but also by how long it’s lasted. If anyone had told me two years ago that I would give up alcohol, I would have slapped them. Over the course of my egg drop drama, I’ve given up some things and I’ve added some things. Here is the run-down.

My Biggest Accomplishment

Since March 0f 2007, I’ve stopped drinking alcohol. This is surprising because I used to drink at least two glasses of wine every week, sometimes more. I love Malbec and Pinot Noir. I read that drinking alcohol can impact your fertility and at my age (as my doctor drilled into my head recently) I can’t afford to ingest anything that will slow down my egg production.

No Cow’s Milk
A few years ago, I gave up all diary products but I used to cheat all of the time, so it was very half-arsed; however, since October 2007—the month I had fertility surgery, I have successfully given up all forms of diary—for real! And I have never looked back. I don't think that this impacts the TTC so much but I am lactose intolerant and I feel so much better now that I don’t cheat.

No Sugar Orgasms
Oh, yeah, I no longer eat any chocolate. Why? My face was ‘hot mess’ I figured out that my chocolate intake used to make me break out all of the time. Chocolate coupled with injectible medication made my face look at a walking billboard for Proactiv. Just call me Jessica Simp.son.

No Caffeine
My favorite drink in the world used to be a soy cafĂ© mocha. They I switched to soy lattes but that all came to an end in March 2007. I don’t drink coffee. The caffeine ruined my sleep and made me nervous wreck. I had to give it up especially when I started the injectible cycles.

Okay, so the four things that I have stopped taking regularly within the last year are: diary, chocolate, alcohol and caffeine. I do drink green tea, though, and that does have caffeine in it but it also has anti-oxidants so that cancels itself out, right? My doctor said that if or when I get pregnant I can drink the equivalent of one can of coke a day, so I am not going to beat myself up to much for an occasional cup of yerba mate. For the most part, though I drink no caffeine herb teas.

Folic Acid
I take pre-natal vitamins. My doctor suggested that I take the pre-natal vitamins because it can help to prevent miscarriage.

I have also increased my vegetable in-take, especially green leafy vegetables which are supposed to be high in natural folic acid--good for baby.

ISO My Inner Om
Within the last two weeks, I have started yoga and I think I've lost at least two pounds. I am going to the gym later on to weigh myself, so I will let you know for sure.

New 9 to 5
Also, I started a new job this week and I think I will like it. The last one was waaaay too stressful and Nadia and I both think that it had a negative impact on my fertility.

Obviously, this new approach to my taking care of my body emerged from the TTC but it is taking on a larger meaning for me. I think that contemplating conception has forced me to consider what kind of planet I want my child to live in and how I want to leave the planet when I’m gone.

I'm going to spend more time writing about going green during TTC.