You’re Not New

You know the most common question about RR I get from other women? It’s “how does that work?” Not, my god how do you live with her? or, the more diplomatic, she’s so…spirited…isn’t she? Most folks simply want to know how she came to be in the first place. I suppose there’s room to be flip* but I love to be asked and find it much more respectful than idle speculation. The process isn’t exactly transparent, after all.

So it was that I found myself on a bench in the depth of the Indianapolis Convention Center earnestly explaining the fertility clinic cycle to a friend. We were knee deep in a professional conference, kids and partners at home, and discussing the pros and cons of getting pregnant (in her case, again). I didn’t MEAN to tell her we were thinking of having another child, but we’ve been friends since she and D got pregnant at the same time and I was curious about whether they’d be trying for another. Once the pregnancy door is open, the questions start and I find I’m not tired of them even after three years of answering.

And you guys, my friends are pretty awesome. They manage to put even the most delicate questions nicely. I can’t even paraphrase without bungling the wording. But here are the answers, in case you, too, were wondering**:

Q: Will you use the same donor?

A: Only for the first go round since we have one donation left. RR’s father is in retirement and, for the low low price of $1500 we could bring him out of retirement, pay for his travel expenses, and agree to purchase (at regular price) any donations he makes. We won’t.

Q: How did you pick?

A: We looked for a donor with similar features to me so that RR would look as much like me as possible. This isn’t how everyone does it – in fact, I’d say donor selection is a very personal process. This time, we’ll use D as a template.

Q: So what happens?

A: We visited the fertility clinic to set into motion a series of tests prior to insemination, things like RH factor and whether or not my thyroid is producing enough ovulation hormone. The doctor scoped out my uterus and ovaries with an ultrasound (using an internal wand) and scheduled one more test to make sure my tubes are free and clear. Barring any complications, we’ll do an IUI when I ovulate next.

There are more questions, of course, but those are the pertinent ones for now.  I was super excited to find that I ovulated (via a predictor kit change, I didn’t just know) right on schedule and that all of my anatomy seems to be in good shape. I’d never seen my ovaries on screen before and the doctor said there looked to be plenty of eggs (so. damn. cool.) One batch of blood tests is done with results in at the end of the week. After the next set, we’ll do an HSG (don’t tell me, D already wincingly explained that it hurts) and then undertake an IUI in May when I ovulate again. You guys, biology is so cool.

The best part of the day (aside from the part where the doctor didn’t say “Oh ho, I will never inseminate you, you have too many issues!”) was the receptionist at the clinic who saw us when D was getting pregnant. After a moment of helping us she said, “You’re not new right? I don’t think you’re new.” and we had several happy minutes of catching up and picture sharing and I remembered that this could work and there could be another baby down the line. No, we’re not new indeed. Not new at all.

* Just in case you were planning to ask someone else about their fertility process, know that not everyone like to blab as much as I do. Even I draw the line at meanies and drunken relatives. But if you want to ask questions, I’m happy to answer!

** No doubt you’ve read all the way to the bottom of this post and you’re wondering why on earth I’d discuss things like my ovaries in public. You’re probably wishing this disclaimer was up at the front so you didn’t have to read about my internal organs or things like wands. Next thing you know I’ll be discussing thing like the quantity of lube that goes into making this a smooth process. But here’s the disclaimer: things are likely to be more graphic than usual around here for awhile. Feel free to skip if you don’t want to picture ovaries. Or wands…or lube.

11 Responses

  1. I started following your blog recently, as I was looking for other couples going through the process we are just embarking on. I’m very glad there are others out there who are willing to put it all out there. I plan to continue following your journey 🙂

  2. Aw, man! You were in Indianapolis? Those’re my stomping grounds. next time you’re in town, come say howdy! 🙂

    Ps- I’ve totally had those conversations. Politely-worded, and not-so-politely. I think it comes with being a lesbian and having kids. And depending on the sincerity of the asker and the politeness (or rudeness) of the question, I have definitely given a flippant answer (wild night out at the bar, that damn stork dropped it off) or a detailed, honest answer. I don’t like answering the question when I feel like the asker is just asking to have something to gossip about.

    • Very good point. I’ve only ever been asked by genuinely curious friends. I consider it part of passive activism. And usually it’s straight female friends – they are often just curious to see the details of getting pregnant since they miss out!

  3. Between my father’s very reserved Midwestern family and growing up in the South, I can barely bring myself to ask people where they got their boots. However, I have heard that less-inhibited people do manage to ask rude questions! I mean, hell, I always WONDER if the 45-year-old woman I know with a 14-year-old and 4-year-old fraternal twins did IVF, but I’ve never ASKED. Anyhow. Repressed Southerner right here. But thanks for telling us about it – I’m glad your appointment went well! BABY BABY BABY!

    • I think it’s amazing how the whole fertility process works. We’ll be a safe space 😉 all questions approved!

      • Fertility is TOTALLY amazing. The more I know, the more I find it almost-miraculous (but not, because it’s biology) that my little microscopic egg is now kissing his baby brother goodnight (super cute; almost makes up for the tantrums). My spousal unit actually worked in an IVF lab for a year, which was pretty interesting too.

  4. Meridith, that is so awesome! I love that modern technology makes amazing children like RR possible. Btw, Julius the Baby of the World is my favorite book for preparing siblings for a new baby. RR reminds me of Lilly a little bit. 🙂

  5. 1. When a friend of mine (and then her partner) had theirs, I felt very protective over their information. As I broke the news to my friends and family (who all know her through me) I felt it was a little too invasive when the questions came. ‘How did they… Where did they … Who’s the dad’ (!!!) I suppose it depends where those questions come from; from a place of genuine interest about your personal journey or from a place of being nosey because they have never known any pregnant lesbians before. Sometimes, it just felt a little bit like the “How do lesbians have sex?” question, which follows coming out.

    2. I won’t ever complain about our National Health System, I find it barbaric that the US is still on a system of hierarchy when it comes to health …. BUT the fact that your doctors and drug companies are For Profit is awesome for those with the necessary insurance – you guys get all the tests and the treatments and the drugs without a second thought … I’d have to fail to get pregnant every month for a long long time before the NHS deemed it necessary to check my cogs are all in working order. You only get tests here, when ALL OTHER AVENUES have been walked up and down several times.

    3. I have EVERYTHING crossed for you guys being up the duff in May, wouldn’t it be awesome for RR’s baby sibling swimmers to come through for you!

    As you were.

  6. Thank you for this post. I had a few questions about how the process worked but wasn’t sure how to ask. And now I don’t have to!

  7. So excited for you. Having recently accepted that we will not be having another one, I am so happy to go along with you in your journey.

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