luteal phase

The charting continues. We've honed in on when Jen ovulates, and all seems properly in place with that phase of things. Next worry - the luteal phase. That is the phase in between ovulation and menstruation. This is the countdown clock on how long the fertilized egg has to implant itself and start growing into an embryo. If you have a short luteal phase, you might fertilize the egg, but not be able to sustain a pregnancy.

Jen's luteal phase decided to fake us out. She saw spotting and thought it was ending after 10-11 days. Shorter than 10 days is a sign of trouble. This may mean low levels of progesterone, which is fixable, with pills that make you crazy. But the luteal phase was just playin', and the indicator - a sustained high temperature, has not dropped, and she has not actually started menstruating. So her luteal phase is probably more like 12 days, which is in the range of normal. 14 would be best. Jen is very stressed right now due to work concerns, and stress makes adrenaline which basically eats up progesterone. So a new job for me. Bringing down the stress level when she's home.


life has been hectic for the past few weeks. I was the maid of honor in a friend's wedding. The wedding was lovely and featured the biggest buffet I'm likely to ever see at a private function, but there were those inevitable minutes of feeling left out of the hetro revelry. Smarda wasn't trying to make me feel left out or awkward, quite the opposite, but a straight person wedding (unless the straight people are extremely understanding...whatup frank and laura!) is a special hell, full of those moments. At a wedding, straight married people LITERALLY GET PRIZES for being married. Its just a million little jabs. The first romantic couples dance. Of course I wanted to dance with Jen. But would that make anyone else uncomfortable? Lets not draw attention to ourselves. We wanted to kiss, but didn't. Let's not draw attention to ourselves. Just like on the street, in the subway, best not to draw too much attention to ourselves. Its their day. Their celebration of heterosexual love. And great for them. I really had a terrific time. But it just sucks when you can't kiss your girlfriend when all the boys are kissing theirs.

Which makes me wonder about how it will be in these situations when we have a child. Easier because we'll be a family? Harder because we'll have to defend our family? My intern was raised by a mom who was in relationships with women for most of her young life, and she said no one really cared as much as you'd think. I wonder. And even if they don't care that much, even if just some people care a little, I'll still feel it. And what a peculiar feeling it is. The sting of a wet slap. Then a little woosh of breath, someone pushed hard on my sternum. A pinprick sting finishes it off. All different little hurts, and I'm a little sad and a little angry cause now I've got a sharp pain, a dull pain and lots of little scars that don't show.


Jen and I had a conversation with Kevin and he officially withdrew his offer to ejaculate into a cup for us. More than that, we had discussed some sort of co-parenting option, but Kevin just doesn't feel ready for a child right now and I totally understand that. We weren't surprised by this news, but it seemed necessary for everyone to get things out in the open. The way he dealt with this, the way he's dealing with other emotional issues these days, all show me that Kevin is a great man, and will one day be a great father, if he chooses to become one. In the meantime, he's a fabulous friend, and will be a great male role model for the kids that Jen and I have.

Jen and I have been enjoying putting the horse before the cart and obsessing over baby names. We feel good about girl's names, but boys names are harder, especially considering we're going to saddle the child (and ourselves) with a 14 letter hypenated last name. We went to MOMA recently and drooled over the Stokke Tripp Trapp Chair, a vast improvement both functionally and aesthetically over traditional high chairs. Stokke makes a bunch of other awesome children's furniture but the chair is the only thing we could realistically pay for. I played Mega Millions, attempting to win the record high 370 million jackpot but didn't manage to do so. How will I ever afford all the things my theoretical baby needs?


getting to know you

Jen peed on a stick this morning. This is a new addition to our charting routine. She has to turn on the incredibly expensive ($200 is the usual price for the machine, the sticks you pee on are $50 a pack) Clearblue Easy Fertility Moniter and when it tells her to, to pee on a stick that the machine then reads. The machine can understand your pee, and tells you when your days of low, high and peak fertility are. Today was the first time it asked for a stick of pee, and we were excited to see what it would say in response, but didn't expect to see a high fertility sign, since its not even near time for Jen to be ovulating. Reading the manual, we learned that the first cycle, the machine might give you tons of high fertility signs, until it learns what the baseline levels of hormones are for that particular user, and can read changes in those levels accordingly. So basically, my girlfriend and a machine have a little get-to-know you date every morning. I'd be jealous, but although she is indeed Easy, I know I'm way cuter than Ms. Clearblue.


a conceptual art

Making a baby is part of our life now. We're not planning it or thinking about it, we're working on getting it done. Since we've internalized what we need to do for the charting phase of this work, most of our adjustments are now smaller and more incremental than they have been in recent weeks.

We've called sperm banks and made preliminary decisions about which ones make us feel comfortable, but since we're not inseminating for months yet, we can't pink a donor right now; his sperm might be sold out by the time we needed it. If there were someone we absolutely loved, we could buy now and have it stored, but the only one we were obsessed with - a Peruvian/Italian/Chinese donor who enjoyed magical realism - was too crazily perfect. I am a Peruvian/Italian/Tunisian who enjoys magical realism; we would have been absolutely thrilled with this donor, and hearing the depressing news that he's no longer available made us skittish about getting attached to sperm before we know what's really going to be on the market when we need it.

We chart, and hope other Peruvian/Italian/something or others find their way to the sperm bank. We've got time to wonder where a baby would specifically, physically fit in our home, in our arms, in the space between us. Its good and exciting and the pace of things seems reasonable. Having envied straight people for their ability to just happen upon pregnancy, I now realize that this time for thought and conversation and planning is a true luxury.

How long will this luxurious period last? And will it stretch far beyond what we need, or what we can bear? I do not let myself think about this possibility. My imagination acts on me very strongly. Once, reading about girls with a psychosomatic rash gave me a psychosomatic rash. I honestly believe my imagination may have unintentionally played a small part in the death of Rose Kennedy. I cannot imagine we will experience a prolonged failure to conceive. I will not.

Instead, my focus is on doing my part to the best of my abilities. I take Jen's temperature every morning at the same time. If I am 2 minutes off schedule, I resolve to improve. I read up on how to defrost a vial of frozen sperm, exactly how fast or how slow the ideal release of sperm should be, exactly how close to the cervix, exactly what role an orgasm plays in conception, exactly when in relation to that orgasm sperm should come on the scene. These are things I will be mostly in charge of and in doing them I will most fucking definitely do everything I can to make conception as likely as possible.

Conceptualization of conception is an unexpected turn-on. I'm gonna fuck my girlfriend until she's pregnant. I find that insanely hot.