The Journey with my wife into motherhood

Ferns in My Spit + Where We’re At

There’s little I haven’t done on my quest to get pregnant. Multiple rounds of IVF, FETs, IUIs, at-home inseminations — seriously, you name it. (If you want to know more about my wild and sometimes backwards fertility journey, you can check it all out here.)

I know my cycle so well at this point, that I could actually calculate the exact day a year from now that I’ll get my period. And I’m a faithful 14th-day ovulator. Without fail. At least, that’s what the ovulation predictor kits tell me.

You know, the “pee sticks.” Test your first-morning urine or a later-day concentrated urine by peeing on a stick. I first started with the expensive digital kits. But then I found a bulk deal online for simple paper strips that do the same thing — for way cheaper.

But peeing in a cup or on a stick every day for roughly a week or more month after month can be annoying. Really annoying. And messy.

So when I heard about a brand new product used to track ovulation — one that doesn’t require pee — I was all over it. But it does require a different bodily fluid: saliva.

KNOWHEN is this little lipstick-type tube with a magnifying lens that “tells” you whether you’re ovulating or not based on your saliva. More specifically, based on the levels of salt in your saliva, which increase when your estrogen levels rise at the time of ovulation. It comes with an informational DVD, a fertility “diary card,” a lens cloth, and a nifty carry case. It sells for $50, and considering it pretty much lasts forever (you will have to buy a small replacement battery at some point for the microscope’s mini light bulb), that’s one heck of a great price — especially compared to traditional ovulation predictor kits.

The product works like this: place a drop of spit on the lens, wait for it to dry, and view it through the scope. If what you see is just a bunch of dark dots, you’re not ovulating. If what you see has a fern-like pattern, you are.

At first, I was all I sucked at science in school, can I really do this? Would I really be able to see a difference in the pattern?

Not knowing whether I was cut out to use KNOWHEN (or if it even worked), I decided I’d first try it in conjunction with my usual pee sticks. Just in case.

My biggest challenge was getting just one small drop of spit on the lens. A single drop of spit is tiny, and the lens is tiny. So perfectly connecting the two was not easy. And while the instructions say to wait 5-20 minutes for the saliva to dry, mine always took close to an hour. But unlike the results of the pee sticks, which have to be read at 5 minutes, but not longer than 5 minutes, the results of KNOWHEN can be looked at anytime after the spit dries — so you don’t necessarily need to be available the minute it’s ready, nor do you have to worry about missing the right results. Dried spit is dried spit.

The first few days I used it, I saw nothing but dots. But on my 14th day, my pee stick, AND my magic lens revealed the same result. Hello, Ovulation!

I was amazed how “fern like” the fern-like pattern actually looked. There was no mistaking it for the ordinary dots I’d been seeing, that’s for sure. I turned the little dial to better focus what I was looking at, and — my, oh my — fern central!

I was definitely impressed.

We called up our sperm donor, and it was on. We inseminated three times this cycle, starting the day I got my positive results, and I’ll know soon if I’m pregnant. It could very well turn out like so many times before, but one thing is for sure: I’ve got ferns in my spit, and a great new ovulation predictor.

Read more of my writing at Babble!

The One Thought That Continuously Haunts You After a Miscarriage
After a miscarriage, everything is a reminder of what could have been. Since the loss of my twins at 17-weeks pregnant, I have tried five more times to get pregnant.
With each unsuccessful attempt, I have the same haunting thought.
This wasn’t how my life was supposed to be.
I know enough of the sayings about things falling apart so other things can fall into place, everything happening for a reason, being exactly where you’re supposed to be, timing is everything, creating your own happiness, counting your blessings, being happy with what you have, and blah blah blah. They’re great and inspirational. But you know what?
They’re also a crock of sh#t.
Sometimes, life is just hard. Actually, most times life is hard. Life is hard.
But it’s not just the hard times that make me think this isn’t how my life was supposed to be. It’s the great times too.
I was recently promoted at my day job after five months on the job. It’s a big promotion. I’m honored and excited by it. And it never would have happened if my twins were born. None of the recent big life changes would have happened if my water hadn’t broken in the 2nd trimester. Not the opening of our own business. Not the big move to Martha’s Vineyard. None of it would have happened. And they’re all amazing, wonderful things.
But.
Do you have any idea how hard it is to celebrate successes that were achieved because we lost our twins? Not that losing our twins directly resulted in any of this — but none of it would have happened if our twins had been born. Certainly not the way it has happened. As wonderful as life is right now, the huge emptiness where my children should be is the black hole I live in.
Keep reading here.

The One Thought That Continuously Haunts You After a Miscarriage

After a miscarriage, everything is a reminder of what could have been. Since the loss of my twins at 17-weeks pregnant, I have tried five more times to get pregnant.

With each unsuccessful attempt, I have the same haunting thought.

This wasn’t how my life was supposed to be.

I know enough of the sayings about things falling apart so other things can fall into place, everything happening for a reason, being exactly where you’re supposed to be, timing is everything, creating your own happiness, counting your blessings, being happy with what you have, and blah blah blah. They’re great and inspirational. But you know what?

They’re also a crock of sh#t.

Sometimes, life is just hard. Actually, most times life is hard. Life is hard.

But it’s not just the hard times that make me think this isn’t how my life was supposed to be. It’s the great times too.

I was recently promoted at my day job after five months on the job. It’s a big promotion. I’m honored and excited by it. And it never would have happened if my twins were born. None of the recent big life changes would have happened if my water hadn’t broken in the 2nd trimester. Not the opening of our own business. Not the big move to Martha’s Vineyard. None of it would have happened. And they’re all amazing, wonderful things.

But.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to celebrate successes that were achieved because we lost our twins? Not that losing our twins directly resulted in any of this — but none of it would have happened if our twins had been born. Certainly not the way it has happened. As wonderful as life is right now, the huge emptiness where my children should be is the black hole I live in.

Keep reading here.

REFLECTIONS ON MY 2-YEAR FERTILITY JOURNEY
Yesterday was my 36th birthday. Two years and two weeks ago, I had my first ever appointment at a fertility center. Tomorrow will be two years exactly that I’ve been writing for Babble.
When we first decided we were going to start trying to have a family, there wasn’t much information out there for us. Sure, all the medical info was available, but there were so few stories of how families like ours are formed, so few real words from other lesbian mothers — so I decided to blog about it.
I reached out to a dear ex-coworker of mine who had tons of blogging experience. I wanted to know which site she used: WordPress, Tumblr, what? I told her my plans to share my story, and — without it ever once crossing my mind — she asked if I would want to share it on Babble. Of course she’d have to speak to the editors there, and there were no guarantees, but sure! Why wouldn’t I want to? 
Babble decided to take me on. To be a platform for me to tell my story. I signed up with their Pregnancy Channel, then called Being Pregnant. 
Two years later, I’m still on the Pregnancy Channel.
No one from the original crew is with me. They’ve all moved on to Baby’s 1st Year, or what’s now just called Baby. Not only is the original crew gone, but so are the two other groups of women who came after them.
I’ve seen three cycles of pregnant women come and go while I’ve been writing my story for Pregnancy. The fourth group is about to leave, too. Their babies are due soon.
I thought I was going to rock 34 so hard. It’d be the year I start my blog, it’d be the year I get pregnant. It’d be the year.
Two years later, and I’m now 36. Still no baby. Still writing for Pregnancy.
FINISH THE STORY HERE.

REFLECTIONS ON MY 2-YEAR FERTILITY JOURNEY

Yesterday was my 36th birthday. Two years and two weeks ago, I had my first ever appointment at a fertility center. Tomorrow will be two years exactly that I’ve been writing for Babble.

When we first decided we were going to start trying to have a family, there wasn’t much information out there for us. Sure, all the medical info was available, but there were so few stories of how families like ours are formed, so few real words from other lesbian mothers — so I decided to blog about it.

I reached out to a dear ex-coworker of mine who had tons of blogging experience. I wanted to know which site she used: WordPress, Tumblr, what? I told her my plans to share my story, and — without it ever once crossing my mind — she asked if I would want to share it on Babble. Of course she’d have to speak to the editors there, and there were no guarantees, but sure! Why wouldn’t I want to? 

Babble decided to take me on. To be a platform for me to tell my story. I signed up with their Pregnancy Channel, then called Being Pregnant. 

Two years later, I’m still on the Pregnancy Channel.

No one from the original crew is with me. They’ve all moved on to Baby’s 1st Year, or what’s now just called Baby. Not only is the original crew gone, but so are the two other groups of women who came after them.

I’ve seen three cycles of pregnant women come and go while I’ve been writing my story for Pregnancy. The fourth group is about to leave, too. Their babies are due soon.

I thought I was going to rock 34 so hard. It’d be the year I start my blog, it’d be the year I get pregnant. It’d be the year.

Two years later, and I’m now 36. Still no baby. Still writing for Pregnancy.

FINISH THE STORY HERE.

Aside from the day I sat down to write the story of miscarrying my twins at 17 weeks pregnant, this is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write.
It’s taken me 15 months to come to terms with this idea, and to realize that I do actually believe it.
I think an ultrasound killed my twin babies.
I’m scared in sharing this with others, because I’m afraid it sounds so desperate. Desperate for answers when no doctor or specialist has been able to give me one. Desperate to find a reason why my water broke at 17 weeks pregnant during an otherwise picture-perfect pregnancy.
But this isn’t desperation. This is what I feel to be true.
Read the rest here.

Aside from the day I sat down to write the story of miscarrying my twins at 17 weeks pregnant, this is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write.

It’s taken me 15 months to come to terms with this idea, and to realize that I do actually believe it.

I think an ultrasound killed my twin babies.

I’m scared in sharing this with others, because I’m afraid it sounds so desperate. Desperate for answers when no doctor or specialist has been able to give me one. Desperate to find a reason why my water broke at 17 weeks pregnant during an otherwise picture-perfect pregnancy.

But this isn’t desperation. This is what I feel to be true.

Read the rest here.

WE FOUND OUR SPERM DONOR!
I told you last month how we did a 180 with our fertility plan so that I could take a much-needed break from all the drugs and hormones — but also so that we could try something a bit more “natural.” Our plan would take us from fertility treatments, appointments and medications to what is known as “at-home insemination.”
At-home insemination is not the same as IUI, which happens in a doctor’s office by a professional because the cervix is pierced. I realized quickly after I told you all about our plan that I should have clarified exactly what we were doing, because some of you thought we meant we’d be performing an IUI ourselves, at home.
We might be a little nutty, but we’re not totally insane. I’ll tell you more about our method in a later post, because before we can start any of that, we needed to find a sperm donor first.
And we did!
FINISH READING HERE

WE FOUND OUR SPERM DONOR!

I told you last month how we did a 180 with our fertility plan so that I could take a much-needed break from all the drugs and hormones — but also so that we could try something a bit more “natural.” Our plan would take us from fertility treatments, appointments and medications to what is known as “at-home insemination.”

At-home insemination is not the same as IUI, which happens in a doctor’s office by a professional because the cervix is pierced. I realized quickly after I told you all about our plan that I should have clarified exactly what we were doing, because some of you thought we meant we’d be performing an IUI ourselves, at home.

We might be a little nutty, but we’re not totally insane. I’ll tell you more about our method in a later post, because before we can start any of that, we needed to find a sperm donor first.

And we did!

FINISH READING HERE

10 Unusual Baby Names I Discovered While Walking My Dog (You’ll Never Guess Where)
My dog, like most dogs, enjoys going on lots of walks. And we’re generally very adventurous with the exciting and fun places we take her. But there are those days when time is limited and we simply have to get it done — the walk, that is. These are the days that our sweet pooch, Darla (pictured here), gets to take a stroll through the cemetery.
Yes, folks, we walk our dog in the cemetery. It might sound odd, but it’s right up the street from us, and it’s a wide open space. It’s actually kind of perfect.
This past weekend during our walk, I started to take notice of the tombstones. Specifically, I started to take notice of the really amazing and unusual names on them. I texted my baby-naming friend immediately to share my finds, and she agreed: These names are unusual.
Most of them date back to the mid and late 1800s. And, aside from a few of them, I’ve never seen or heard of these names anywhere.
Read the names HERE.

10 Unusual Baby Names I Discovered While Walking My Dog (You’ll Never Guess Where)

My dog, like most dogs, enjoys going on lots of walks. And we’re generally very adventurous with the exciting and fun places we take her. But there are those days when time is limited and we simply have to get it done — the walk, that is. These are the days that our sweet pooch, Darla (pictured here), gets to take a stroll through the cemetery.

Yes, folks, we walk our dog in the cemetery. It might sound odd, but it’s right up the street from us, and it’s a wide open space. It’s actually kind of perfect.

This past weekend during our walk, I started to take notice of the tombstones. Specifically, I started to take notice of the really amazing and unusual names on them. I texted my baby-naming friend immediately to share my finds, and she agreed: These names are unusual.

Most of them date back to the mid and late 1800s. And, aside from a few of them, I’ve never seen or heard of these names anywhere.

Read the names HERE.