Tuesday, April 30, 2013

One week down, one week to go

A week ago tomorrow, we had what will probably be our last treatment at our existing clinic as well as our last IUI (at least on the IUI front for awhile). The visit was not spectacular, despite getting stuck in a traffic jam and my GPS stating that there were like 4 more coming up and that it would take another hour when I was 20 minutes away (I called the front desk at the clinic to let them know and they wanted to know when I would be there- I just wanted to scream- "It is a traffic jam! How the fuck should I know?" but I remained calm).

My ultrasound on Monday revealed great follicle growth and I had 2 that were 21mm and 1 that was 19mm (the 4th must have gone on vacation). That afternoon, I got a positive OPK, which isn't a bad sign for me, since I usually ovulate 2 days later. Nevertheless, I thought that this would be good information to tell the clinic, who acted like I had grown another head when I called- explaining that I was not sure if they change the protocol if you are having an LH surge on your own or not. Her (very comforting-ha!) words were "Well, we can never pinpoint ovulation 100%. But I guess I will tell the doctor that you called and we will call you if you shouldn't trigger tonight".

Soooo glad we are most likely not going back there!

After all of that, I stuck to my instructions and triggered with my hCG shot on Monday at 10pm and was there on time on Wednesday. The doctor (we got ours again) didn't seem as pushy with the IVF and I told him that if it didn't work, we would have to save up for awhile before moving forward. His "comforting" words were that he had another lesbian couple from our same city that got pregnant using IVF. When I asked him about progesterone (because I figure for the last try, why the hell not try it again?), he then told me to take 2 suppositories 3 times a day! Crazy, seeing how he doesn't have any recent blood work on me and his colleague had me take 2 suppositories at night.

Broom and I decided, that since my temperatures last time were so steady, that the dosage was fine with 2 a day as opposed to 6, and after confirming ovulation (which happened on the day I was there- woot!) had happened, I would ditch my thermometer. We don't know if I ovulated before I had the insem, or after, as I didn't have another ultrasound (fine by my book), but it didn't stop them from trying to bill me for it!

All in all, I am feeling good, oddly freed of the mismanagement and horrible treatment from our clinic. As I left, my long skirt and flowy top were swaying in the wind and I was humming, smiling, and giggling. I must have looked like a crazy woman- but I felt like we have reclaimed this process by making the decision to switch to somewhere that has service- and that feels good despite all of the sadness along the way.

It is my body, and we are deciding how it gets treated and by whom.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Last, but not least

On Friday, I got my follicles measured after being on clomid again from cycle days 5-9. My super-nice gyn said "Those look great! It has really got to work this time!" Turns out I reacted quite well and had 4 follicles, (2x 15mm, 1 14mm, 1 13mm). The clinic told me to go for another ultrasound on Monday and that I would likely have an insem on Wednesday.

Broom and I made the hard decision that this IUI will be our last due to frustrations with our clinic and the fact that the probability of us getting pregnant with IUI won't be going up with additional tries. We would rather put our money into IVF if this next try doesn't work due to the increased success rates.

It isn't easy setting such a limit for us, and I have to fight back the guilt and shame accompanied with it. Some days, it is easier than others- and I am trying not to get my hopes up too much for this next try. Luckily, I also know that my gyn is trying to support us the best she can and said it would be no problem to write me off sick for IVF.

Regardless of how the next try goes, we will most likely be dealing with at least an egg retrieval in our near-ish future, since Broom is seriously considering harvesting her eggs for use in me at some point. We are currently researching foreign clinics since egg donation isn't allowed in Germany. Only time will tell if they would even consider implanting the eggs into me (if we went this route, we would both harvest at the same time and use the same donor to make all of the embryos that we would use and freeze at once and possibly use a mixture of her and my eggs in one cycle).

If/when we start steps for that, we will probably have to take at least a 3 month break in order to save up for the process. It is a daunting sum of money, but I know it will all be worth it. Broom would like to save up longer- but waiting makes me uneasy since I feel like our dream is stagnant.

We will just have to see what the next few weeks bring.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Increasingly alternative

I couldn't exactly tell you when it started, but step by step ("nach und nach" just sounds so much better), I started to truly question everything I was putting in my body and how I can reduce how much trash I make. Undoubtedly, it is strongly connected to the fact that I am doing my damnedest to be as healthy as possible in order to get pregnant. I've purchased books (the last of which was really well written) that have really helped me slowly adapt a lifestyle that makes me feel good.

Now, for someone coming from a family of nurses and has a mother that in no way believes in homeopathic medicine and somehow always has a stash of meds for all ailments, it feels like unfamiliar territory. Sometimes, I am surprised how many steps I have taken, and am not sure how much further I will want to dive into a fully "crunchy" lifestyle. However, the biggest advantage about living more organically is that it can't hurt!

So far, I have started Biodanza (I am taking a break right now due to the financial strain of the fertility treatments), switched to full-fat, organic dairy, am buying as many organic groceries as I can, have started ear-acupuncture (with needles that stay in until they fall out- I am on day number 4 and on both ears, my weakest points were my ovaries), and have undergone homeopathic treatment to strengthen my ovaries. More recently, I have added self-massage with oil, alternate-nostril breathing, Castor oil packs on my abdomen, and EFT- tapping along the meridians of my body and repeating a positive affirmation about this fertility journey.

Wow. All out in a list like that, I sound like I am a little off my rocker (and, I haven't even gone into my excursions into cloth...but that is a topic for another time).

As "crazy" as it may seem, all of these things are a positive reminder that although I have no control over what happens each cycle, I do have control over how I react.

I think the moral of the story here is- I feel good doing what I am doing now, and it is keeping me calmer (although I am not sure if Broom would agree 100% of the time- but she does her best to understand where I am coming from).

All in all, that can only be a good thing.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


There is something about women being angry in our current society that is unacceptable.

Well, suck it up!

I am angry. And that is OK. You will have to deal.with.it.

I am tired and absolutely fed up with being a second class citizen in both countries that I could currently call home. Does my tax money count less than that of a straight person? Is it somehow counted differently to offset their distaste (either full-blown or subtle) for my lifestyle? Do they not want a well-educated woman ready to procreate producing another tax payer?

Well, in summary, not really.

Dear "Amerka",

What the fuck did I do to you?

I am a boring normal Ohioan who just happened to fall in love with a German woman. For some reason, this makes it OK for me NOT to be able to live in my home country with the person I love. I guess you don't want my bilingual abilities and tax dollars. I guess you don't want parents who so badly want a child that they will ignore discriminatory laws and high prices for any chance to have a child. A deep longing that isn't valued as highly as the longing that straight people have.

Maybe one day you will see the value of those that you shut out. And maybe one day I will forgive you.

Stop being such a fucking bigot,

PS: Germany, your letter will come later.

PPS: Not pregnant yet.