Yesterday, I had a slight twinge of nausea in the car. I thought, hey, maybe I’m not out of this pregnancy game just yet. Then, last night I woke up at 2:30AM and didnt get back to bed until, like, 5. This morning I came to with a headache and sure enough, nausea, headache and insomnia are all side effects of Lexapro.

That’s right. In honor of the end of this round of TTC, I started back up with a new antidepressant. The first three days have been wonderful. By day two, my little fog of guilt and despair had lifted. I am hoping that hitting on the right anti-depressant will increase my motivation and bring this steady stream of critical criticisms to a slow trickle. Not so far, though.

This begs the question, what if thats just me? What if I’m just a lazy wench? Except now, on Lexapro, I’ll be lazy, wench-y and happy about the whole damn thing. Guilt kept me from taking the plunge from lazy wench-i-tude into slovenly asshole-osity. But, what if the Lexapro takes away the guilt? Who will I become  when I don’t even feel bad about being dirty and mean?

Oh, hey. Wait a minute. Actually, now, that I think about it, that might be kinda nice . . .

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In an effort to make this last try as sad and lonely as possible, the fates have decided that the sperm will be free, but, in exchange, I must be fighting with my gay sperm man and have no confidence in anyone within thirty feet of my clinic.  Further, I must ovulate and inseminate not only on  a weekend, but on a weekend when Wifebian will be out of town. And working.

Thanks, fates, thanks a lot.

Turns out the fertility clinic — the one that specializes in gynecology, obstetrics and infertility, according to the sign out front, anyway — doesnt do semen analysis. Or rather, as Dr. Hugz said, they do more “qualitative“. (Apparently “qualitative” is a noun.) So, this lady, some lab lady, scribbled some stuff on a piece of paper and had Dr. Hugz stamp it. And I had to ask for that. For a signature, which turned out to be a stamp. When I asked for her signature, she got real squirrely and said something about talking to her supervisor.

So, anyway, I pick it up. This piece of paper is so poorly formatted, so lacking in any actual information, that it is an affront to science, medicine, the fertility industry and all common sense. I am appalled, but I scan it and send it off to gay sperm man. I can only do what I can do, I say to myself, and I am not asking anyone to do anything they can’t do. If he doesnt accept the analysis, I say to myself, then I will find out what he information he needs exactly and ask the clinic if they will re-do the report and hope that I can get it all done before I ovulate.

Gay sperm man gets the “analysis” and sends me a long email about how it is such an affront that he is under no obligation to do shit about shit. But, after three paragraphs, he takes an amazing turn, explains that he is changing his business model, that he doesnt want to sperm bank at all, and in his magnanimous munificence, as well as his desire to unload his jizzum inventory, he will deign to send me replacement vials.

Having read this email, I become very sad, tired and angry because everybody sucks. Knowing better than to write under these emotional conditions, I send a reply stating, “Thanks.” He sends a reply to my reply stating, “Thanks?”

And this is when I know things are really going to take a turn for the worst. Because he’s usually a little wordier than that.

I reply to his reply, stating that I am thanking him for the vials and ask how many vials he will be sending. He replies with the answer in one email and then with another email, in which he explains how he is awesome, how the clinic sucks and that he is “disturbed” that I haven’t “recognized” this. He also implies that it could even be the clinic that ruined the sperm.

Another turn for even worse worseness.

I reply to his reply, stating that if he would like a more thorough “accounting” of what I have and haven’t “recognized” about this situation, that a phone call is in order. He replies, stating that the clinic sucks, that he is awesome and that he would appreciate it if I treated him as though he is awesome. He includes phrasing like “serving the community” and highlights the personal sacrifices he makes in order to “bring children into our families”.

You didnt even think it could get more unprofessional, did you?

I reply, stating, again, that we have passed the point of emailing about this. He replies, stating that he doesnt call people from whom he does not have an “assurance” of “civility”. He tells me I have been meeting him with rudeness.

That was this morning.

Here’s the thing. He is mad that I’m not falling all over myself about how awesome he is. That I’m staying professional and not taking sides. That it’s not me and him against the clinic. That I’m not singing his praises. That I am not so thankful for his munificent magnificence.That I’m just trying to get pregnant without all the extra bullshit.

The thing is, he wants to be the good guy. But there can only be one good guy in this story and that good guy is ME with incompetence on one side and pomposity on the other. The thing is, somebody did something wrong, but IT WASNT ME. So . . . ME. I must be the good guy. It’s me versus alla Y’ALL fuckers! I don’t care if you ARE a gay man living in Alameda being a community activist for LGBT families — QUEER WOMEN ARE THE ONLY GOOD GUY IN THIS STORY.

Okay, OK, clearly, I jest. No one is good or bad, we are all just trying to do our best. I guess. And if I dont get pregnant, its no ones fault. I guess. But really, I’m just over here wondering: Why arent we doing this for ourselves? Where is the Good Vibes of the lesbian fertility world? Where is our non-profit, educational service and fertility co-op? I mean, I really appreciate gay sperm man, I do. That open donation thing and that gay donor thing are AWESOME and his prices are fair, I guess, it’s just that he ‘s lacking a little in the professionalism department and I can forgive him that. But really, I need to not be dealing with my sperm bank director’s emotions right now, or rich men with families and for-profits.

I remember when I first started emailing with gay sperm man about his gay sperm business, trying to get some sort of assurance that they were above-board. I couldnt find any reports at the Better Business Bureau and I asked if he had the names and numbers of any current or former clients from whom I could get a recommendation. He said something about how that would be a violation of HIPPA laws and I said something about how it wouldnt be if the women volunteered, as some sort of community-building, benevolent type set-up. He referred me to sibling registries and some book in which the author states that she used his service. I was surprised. That there was no sense of  . . . community. He had all the sperm and all the knowledge and the lesbians that used his service had . . . well, kids.

Maybe.

So, here’s the deal. After your wife has her baby and finishes with, like, whatever kind of education she’s getting, could these two just call her and start a fertility clinic? I’ll be the third party coordinator, the one who deals with the sperm and egg donors.

Who’s got the front desk?

The IUI That Didnt

May 11, 2010

This morning, my little OPK test failed. And I figured, what the hay, it doesnt matter. I had a shot last night and I’m getting an IUI this morning regardless of whether the OPK or positive or not. My fate is pre-destined. So, Wifebian helped me load the tank into the car and reminded me to unlock it. I left for the place and arrived fifteen minutes late.

Then, I talked to a lab tech about the tank. Unlike the first lady, yesterday, she said I could drive around back and bring it in. So, I did. Only one other patient saw me and she had the decency to avert her eyes. The lab tech said, Wow I’ve never seen one that big. I said, Great.

Then, I had to wait 2 hours to be seen and that only happened after I said, “Hey, I’ve been waiting two hours.” Then, the PA who would be doing the IUI asked if had questions. I asked how big my follicle was yesterday and she said 2.2 centimeters. Then I asked what she could tell me about the sample. She said she didnt know anything about it. I said could you find out? (Once I have to ask you to find out information for me that you couldve offered to find out for me, we are no longer on friendly terms.) She said yes. Then, she put the speculum in and told me to cough. Then she said, Did that hurt? I said, Yes and she said, The cough was supposed to help that. And I’m wondering how sending your body into a spasm is supposed to be a pain reliever. She said my cervix was closed “tight as a drum”. I was in a lot of discomfort. “Do you want me to go get the doctor or do you want me to do a vaginal insemination?”

I said, I am not the kind of person that makes decisions quickly and I have never made a decision with a speculum in my vagina and could she take it out so I could think clearly. Then, the PA asked the lady assisting her how much time was left on the sperm. I said, That’s a good question. The lady said 6 minutes. The PA took something off or out. In my head I thought, well, if my cervix isnt open, that means I’m not “fertile”, so we can wait until tomorrow. I was also really uncomfortable. And I felt pressured. I didnt want her to take it out and then have to go through the doctor putting it back in. I knew it was going to hurt.  I mean that’s what she was really asking, right? “Do you want me to get the doctor and have him hurt you? Or do you want me to just put it in and have it not hurt?” I asked what she was doing. She said she took out the tenaculum. I told her, Just do the ICI, just get it in there. The catheter was making farting noises and she said, That’s just air. I was laying there wondering how this all compares to childbirth and how if I can’t think straight during an IUI, then fuck me. And then I thought, maybe there is a difference between pain that is supposed to happen and pain that is not supposed to happen.

They were done and left the room and I cried.

Then the lady who was assisting came in without the PA, luckily I had moved on to reading a magazine. The lady told me that the sample had a motility rate of 20% which means 20% of 37,000,000 is only 7,400,000 living, swimming sperms inside me. She said that when I come in tomorrow I should have a male doctor do the IUI because they are rougher and they can get the procedure done. She felt guilty for saying that and explained that it’s just that females know how it feels and can’t be as rough. What was I supposed to say to that? I thanked her. She told me to come out in 10 minutes and wait in a certain area. Five minutes later, another lady, a third lady, came in and told me it had been 20 minutes. She told me to wait in the room.

Every member of their staff shouldve been incinerated by the white heat of my disdain by this point, but they werent. Maybe Wifebian should come with me to these appointments. I wondered if this is how my clients’ parents feel toward me.

Then I got dressed. And waited. In the room. Then, I left the room and said, Can I leave? Then, I was told to meet with the PA. I met with the PA. I asked her how much it would cost. She called a fourth woman. The fourth woman said it would be the same price as an IUI. I said, “So, I am paying $125.00 for something I couldve done myself at home?” She said she put the sperm in the cervix and that’d wouldve been tricky to do at home.

I went to pay. The lady had to talk to a fifth person to make sure I was paying the right amount. And I’m standing there, fighting back the tears. Three and half hours later I’m finally in the car, crying.

———————-

I don’t know why I didnt just do the IUI. I think I was afraid. I was trying to do body scans and breathe, but I was really uncomfortable. I’ve always prided myself on being pretty chill during pelvic exams, I’ve even had an uneventful colposcopy, but for some reason this was a little more difficult. But really, why didnt she just go get the doctor? Why did she give me the choice? Was it because of pain? Why didnt she just say that? You are choosing between a less effective procedure and less pain, or a more effective procedure and more pain. It also would’ve been helpful to know that I was paying the same amount of money either way. And what did she think of the connection between the cervix being closed and my fertility? And couldnt they do an ultrasound to see if I had ovulated? It was like nobody cared whether I got pregnant or not but me.

But the real suffering in this situation results from the belief that I will have control if I try hard enough. I occasionally succumb to the mindset that with enough information one makes choices that lead to an outcome. But this is not the case. There is no amount of information and no one decision that will lead to any given outcome, much less the one I want.

None.