Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Conception Chronicles, First Edition

This marks the first in a short series about baby making.

It is no secret that we're a lesbian couple or that we want a baby. It is sort of (kind of, not really, but sort of) a secret that we're working on it (so if you happen to be a reader who knows me in real life, lets not discuss this on facebook, OK?).

Getting pregnant is pretty easy. Egg, sperm, done. Lots of people have babies very day. People with and without adequate resources and/or stability as "required" by polite middle class society. We're more or less resourced and stable enough, so we started looking into the process in Summer 2009.

After lots of time on the internet reading people's stories via blog and message board, and some time looking into my health benefits, we decided to head to the doctor's. I have some guilt associated with this, since babymaking should (in my mind) be personal and intimate and all that lovely mushy stuff.  I had initially thought we'd find a nice midwife, use OPKs at home, and do some minimally interventionist cycles and see what happened (ala the not-not-trying approach commonly favored by newly trying-to-conceive couples). Alas, donor sperm (seeing as a second immaculate conception is unlikely) is $$$, so a doctor and monitored cycles seemed like a more responsible choice. And, my insurance (unlike my paycheck, but maybe it evens out in the end) is top-notch so most fertility treatment is just the cost of the office visit co-pays and the sperm. Not a bad deal.

So in August 2009, we trekked (the mile) to our local Reproductive Endocrinologist, a lovely man well rated annually who is part of a network of four doctors with several locations in our area. Really, we hit the jackpot with this practice. They're totally awesome, have great hours, are great at handling insurance, and just super nice all around. (Should you be in the Phila metro, I'm happy to make a recommendation.)  I had 3 liters of blood drawn - ok 9 vials or so, but I had to sit in the Scary Medieval Torture Bloodwork Chair for a while to stop seeing spots - and a transvaginal ultrasound (the one that surprises most newly pregnant woman at their first OB appointment). A few days later, I was given a stamp of good health and orders to call on CD1 when we were ready to start.

Then it occurred to us that besides some logistical issues, maybe having me pregnant for the last 2 classes of my doctoral program and my comps (first trimester fatigue potential and all) wasn't a good idea. So in January 2010, we decided to get moving with Princess Charming. Same bloodwork, scans, excellent, lets go.  At her CD3 baseline scan, our RE offered 50mg of Clomid. Super low dose, but can help with an iffy cycle. He said we can take it or leave it. Given the cost of swimmers (about $495 more/month than generic Clomid), we took it. And then the fun began.

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