Archive for January, 2009

Unwritten Posts

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I’ve been off work ill for the last few days and in between sleeping and dealing with the nastier side effects of gastro, I’ve been reading some different blogs about lesbians at different stages of trying to conceive. Some of the posts I have read have made me laugh, some cry and some have reminded me what an awful never-ending cycle long term fertility treatment is.

I wish I started this blog 4 years ago. I wish I had used this as an outlet for all my grief and frustration and fear that we would never have our baby. I wish I had more carefully chronicled our journey, all our amazing highs and our devastating lows. I wish I could read back through posts and remember exactly where we were at that stage. I wish I had recorded things at the time rather than trying to capture it four years down the track – it sounds a little hollow when I tell it now.

We are heading towards the official half way mark of our pregnancy and little by little, the bitterness and hardness I developed over the last few years is staying to wash away. While I am happy to leave it behind me, I feel a little guilty because I know what it’s like to be one still waiting while everyone else moves on.

While the negatives of our journey are probably easy to anticipate – emotional and physical toll, huge financial burden, pressure on relationships and the unbelievable stress and damage to our mental health, there are also unexpected positives. This post is from a parenting forum I wrote about 3 weeks before we found out L was pregnant – it sums up how I felt really well.

I am at the point now where I resent even going to the clinic. I am sick of my weekends being ruined by long miserable waits at the clinic, sick of never getting enough sleep due to charting temps and blood tests and trying to fit everything around work. I am sick of people asking what’s happening – when truthfully nothing is. I am sick of people having their second or even third baby in the time we’ve been trying for one. And I am so sick of people telling me to be positive or it won’t happen – thanks for the added pressure!

BUT I am glad I have a better relationship with my partner because of this – she is amazing. I am glad we have an incredible relationship with our donor (my best friend) because of this. I am glad it has given us time to really prepare for having a baby. I am glad I am older, wiser, and more invested in this. I am glad that when our baby arrives, we will never take anything for granted.

AND I am glad I will be a better parent and ultimately a better person because of this.

I really believe that.

19 Week Scan

L and I went to see the Waifs and Ani DeFranco play on Thursday night with friends of ours – is was an awesome concert. They played outdoors at the Arts Centre which was so lovely in the summer night air. L and I joked that of course the baby’s first concert was “lesbians with guitars” music. We also have tickets to the Pink concert in May, but somehow I think I will be taking aunty T along, while an 8 month pregnant L stays home! After the concert we headed to the airport to pick up J, who flew home for a week. His plane was due in at 12.50am but we were still waiting at 2am! Needless to say I was a little tired and weary heading off to work the next day.

The next day we headed off for our 19 week scan – L and I and were nervous as usual, while J was quietly excited. It was a little disconcerting that the baby’s movement wasn’t immediately obvious like last time – although the sonographer explained it doesn’t have as much room to bounce around now. Results were all good – baby is big – in the 93rd percentile, and a total WRIGGLER (obviously not my couch potato genes). Everything looks good – and we were very relieved that there was absolutely no hint of gender. We definitely don’t want to know – but I was worried I wouldn’t be able to stop myself from looking at the scan until I saw something. Luckily for us baby was in the wrong position to see and sonographer didn’t try to get him/her to move so that we could see. We have to go back in 3 weeks to check the baby’s heart again – apparently it is harder to see it in detail if you are overweight – but purely as a precaution, sonographer said everything she could see was fine. We are more than happy to go back – 7 weeks between scans was way too long!

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An unexpected Bonus of Not Being the Tummy Mummy

My thoughts on advantages of not being the tummy mummy have varied from no morning sickness to worry about (apart from bringing L a glass of water while she is violently spewing in the bathroom) to enjoying sushi and fresh prawns without any concerns except shall I have them before or after brie and crackers. I had no ambitions to be the tummy mummy and so far what I have seen L go through only confirms that egg mummy was a far better option.

The one bonus I didn’t expect about my role in our baby making process is how easy it has made coming out. I mean, Ellen went to all that trouble to announce it on her tv show and then do the rounds of media interviews hashing out the same old “so how did you know you were gay” spiel. If she’d just hooked up with Portia earlier and had a baby, it would’ve been so much easier. Let me explain a little further.

I’ve been Acting Manager at work for the last 8 months while my boss has been on leave. The plan was always that she would return, but she has decided to resign, leaving the job available. Ninety percent of this role I have relished and I have learned so much during my time – but it was never supposed to be for this long, let alone permanently. It is not very family friendly, and especially not newborn baby friendly and for that reason I have asked to return to my previous role as Assistant Manager. This has been greeted with surprise from lots of my colleagues, many of whom didn’t know I was gay, because they assumed I would like to continue in the role. Not because I was hiding it – I am very open, but because I don’t have a lot to do with them in my regular position. I work in a different building and it’s never seemed appropriate in the brief interactions I had with them to say, “Hey can you sign this document for me, and by the way, I am a lesbian.”

BUT, add a pregnant girlfriend into the mix and all of a sudden it’s a new playing field – one with rainbow coloured streamers and gay boy cheerleaders shouting out encouragement. I officially have a new motto everytime I am asked why I am not taking the job permanently – “My partner is pregnant and our baby is due in June so it isn’t a good time to take on extra work commitments – I want to focus on my family.” Hmm, Ellen and her “new character called Les B. Anne” jokes are looking a bit silly now aren’t they?

Seriously though, I knew parenting and lesbian parenting was going to open up whole new worlds to me – I just didn’t realise how easy it would make opening up my world to others.

It is just the best thing ever.

A Picture Says A Thousand Words

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I know it has taken a long time but this is a post I thought I might never make.

Finally after a very long time in the making, our precious baby is on the way!

I still get chills typing those little words out.  I wish I hadn’t waited so long to post this, but really, it has been overwhelming.  L and I didn’t expect good news after out first transfer using my eggs.  She started spotting the day before the blood test was due and we accepted another miserable failure was just around the corner.  We sent J a message to let him know and told him we would talk more when he come home for a visit in a few days.  We resigned ourselves to the fact that there would be no “lucky 29th birthday baby” and we would have to start thinking about our next plan in the neverending cycle.

Instead of going to the clinic as planned for a blood test and to pick up more pessaries, instead we went to a local clinic and spent the rest of the day organising timber for our new deck – anything to keep busy really.  That afternoon while we were watching tv and making our christmas cards, L rang the clinic and was told to come in right away for more pessaries.  I hadn’t really been listening while she was on the phone – denial is a powerful motivator, so when I heard her say we’d be right in, I was slightly confused.  Then she said, “Our level is 83 – we’re pregnant”  My response was less than eloquent – something like, “What the f*ck?”.  Typical.

So we headed off for the clinic for more of the hideous pessaries and on the way there the though occurred to me that we were in the best position regarding fertility treatment we have been in since we first started almost three years ago.  I was ecstatic and terrified all at the same time.  At the clinic I paced up the corridoor while we waited for all L’s medication to be organised – our FS upped her pessaries to 6 a day and added extra pregnyl injections every 3 days.  When the nurse handed them over we had to ask – “So is 83 good, or just not really bad?”  She smiled and said, “83 is definitely pregnant” and I burst into tears.  Again.

L continued spotting and we continuously went for blood tests every couple of days expecting the worst, and yet somehow this little one was sticking around.  J came for dinner 4 days after the original postive blood test and L and I had agreed to tell him as long as the blood test that morning came back on target.  He of course, still thought it hadn’t worked.  So we sat at dinner listening to him talk about living in UAE and how he was finally settling in and he might stay for a bit longer, and I finally interupted and said, “I don’t care what you want to do, as long as you are home in June because L is pregnant!”  He didn’t say a word – he just stared in shock while we had ridiculously huge grins on our faces.  Then we all hugged and cried and laughed and revelled in amazement.  And of course, his plans of staying overseas longer went straight out the window!

So the 8 week scan came along and off we went, nervous as hell.  The blood tests had stopped at 6 weeks, the spotting unfortunately had not.  We were both convinced that we would get bad news at the scan, but didn’t want to admit it to each other.  L squeezed my hand tightly and we stared at that screen with fercocious intensity.  And there, in the corner of the screen, like a blinking grain of rice inside a jellybean, was our baby’s heartbeat.  And once again, I cried.  Are you noticing a theme here?

That night, it was L’s turn to crash and burn.  The scan had prompted some heavier bleeding and she freaked out that something was wrong.  I was annoyed because I was on such a high – I wasn’t going to let anything bring me down.  By morning, it was back to spotting only and we started to settle into a nice groove.  We booked in for our 12 week scan, we started talking about previously “blacklisted” topics like babynames, baby starsigns, pregnancy symptoms and other stuff.  We started to tell a very few select friends which was hugely exciting and although we were still terrified of something going wrong, we took The Muriels advice, and decided to enjoy our pregnancy at last.

Words can’t describe the elation of seeing our baby at the 12 week scan – it was the most amazing thing.  I had no idea that it would be so “formed” and that we would be able to see hands and legs.  Baby measured right on size -7.1cm and heartbeat of 150bpm.  We also saw it moving around, waving it’s arms and I also believe it was even sucking it’s thumb.  J told us later he sucked his thumb until he was 12 – I notice that never came up in conversations about what genes he could be handing down to our child!  We got pictures and a DVD of the scan and even threw the computer for a loop by having two different age of the mother when it was trying to calculate risk of Down Syndrome (all very low so we were happy).

Like I said, a picture says a thousand words – we are so very blessed.