My wife and I began trying to get pregnant in June of 2011, although our journey began long before that. When we first got married, the joke was that I was going to want a baby soon, and it was Michelle’s job to be strong and make us wait what we deemed was the necessary amount of time- 5 years.
A year and a half later, she reneged on her duty and we started planning. =) There was so much to consider and learn! Did we want a known or unknown donor? Anonymous or open? A local or distant sperm bank? Did we want to do the insemination at home or in a clinic? IUI or ICI? And so much lingo to learn… IUI, ICI, CMV, RH, TTC, CM, OPK, etc. etc.
We were armed with our copies of “what to expect before you’re expecting” and “The ultimate guide to pregnancy for lesbians”, and after months of planning and saving, we were finally ready to begin. We decided on a sperm bank an adequate distance away (we were a little freaked out by the local donor pool being perhaps too incestuous for our area), a donor who agreed to be contacted by the child once they turned 18, an at-home insemination, and ICI – intra-cervical insemination. We bought four vials, two months worth; the buy-one-get-one “donor of the month”. =) We figured two months would be enough. I didn’t expect to get pregnant the first try, but definitely by the second… Ha. So we ordered our sperm and had it delivered.
At the time, my mother-in-law was living with us, and since the “package” was being delivered during the day, she was the one who would be there to sign for it. We tried to warn her that a package was coming without telling her the contents, but when the giant mushroom (I’ll post a picture later) showed up, and the UPS guy asked her if it was for her, the gig was up. Eeek!
We had just bought a house, and were in the process of renovating and moving in when the first “smiley face” showed up. Over and over we tried to solve the twisted arithmetic problem… “If the positive ovulation test result showed up at ___ (insert time here), and ovulation is supposed to occur 12-36 hours afterwards, the frozen sperm live for about 24 hours, and it takes anywhere from 30 minutes to 8 hours to swim to the egg, what time do we inseminate?” We tossed around every possible scenario to try to pinpoint the best timing, but every insemination we’re still a little unsure.
The plan was perfect. If we got pregnant in June or July, I would have enough maternity leave to take me from birth to the end of the school year, have the summer off, and then I would return to school myself online and be able to stay home with a baby for two years. However, the best laid plans…
After our two months’ supply ran out, we considered whether we would want to continue with the same donor or even the same bank, since the BOGO offer on our donor had expired. =) But when my mom broke her leg and needed surgery, we headed straight out of town before the decision had been made. I wasn’t supposed to ovulate until after we would be back home, but we would need to order the sperm soon so that it would ship and be there in plenty of time. We made our decision on a new donor at a different bank, and placed our order just under the wire. My body, however, had other plans.
The next morning, much sooner than expected and the first day of ovulation testing for that cycle, I had a positive result. We had no idea what to do. I didn’t want to miss an opportunity to try, but the sperm was being shipped to our house (we were still at my mom’s) and wouldn’t arrive for a couple days, and we didn’t have any of our supplies. We called the sperm bank we had used previously, which was in the area, and they were able to process an order for us the same day. They had to sell us a vial of our donor that was prepared for sale in Canada (apparently they have much more stringent requirements!), as the BOGO offer had cleared them out. We drove the hour to pick it up, leaving my parents under the impression that they would be doing the insemination at the clinic, and brought it back, smuggled it up to the guest room, and did our best with no catheter, speculum, or any of our usual tools. Then when we got home, we had to deal with sending back the unused sperm that we had ordered. So complicated!
And now, here we are, 9 cycles later with two or three inseminations and $1000 per cycle, in yet another two-week-wait, with a room full of baby furniture (silly, I know now), and still not pregnant. It gets harder and harder to see that negative every month, and I feel more and more hopeless. I wanted to create this blog in order to connect to those of you in a similar position – to share your journey and ours.