I keep teasing Jen. She's tired. "Its because you have a baby inside." She's nauseated after a grilled cheese sandwich. "Its because you have a baby inside." She doesn't want to watch American Chopper with me. "Its because you have a baby inside." I figure if I just make fun of it, constantly, to a ludicous level, it will negate any disappointment we might feel if/when its proved that she does not, in fact, have a baby inside.

I hope she has a baby inside.

I know she probably doesn't.

But I don't know for sure.

I hope she has a baby inside.

I know she probably doesn't.

But I don't know for sure.

Jen is simulaneously pregnant and not pregnant. Its kind of like Schrodinger's cat.

nov. aftermath/ 2nd insem.

The day after our first november insemination, we expect to see an egg eyeball (its just a picture of an egg, but it looks like an eyeball, we call it the egg eyeball) on the fertility monitor. The point of inseminating on the night of the 11th day of jen's cycle is to catch the egg that should be released on the night of the 11th day/morning of the 12th. The fertility monitor reports no egg. We see no more fertile mucous. The OPKs are no longer strong. Ferns are gone. What?

We have a fight on the subway. Jen insinuates that I pushed her into inseminating when she felt it would be better to wait. I am confused and hurt, I though we had decided together. She apologizes. I apologize. The rest of the subway cringes, disgusted by the way we throw around the term "cervical mucous."

We decide to hold off on our second insemination. Maybe its just a glitch. Maybe. Maybe. We'll wait as long as we can. Its tuesday. We can wait til friday. Maybe saturday? We'll wait and see.

We wait. We see...confusing, conflicting things. We have thanksgiving dinner. We wait some more. Friday, Jen has STRONG OPK results. Stronger than ever before. Ok. Ok. This is it. This is the surge. We'll inseminate on Saturday. Do we see fertile mucous? Some. Ok. Saturday.

We inseminate again on Saturday. We expect the egg eyeball the next day. No egg eyeball. No egg eyeball. She's on day 23 of her cycle now and fertile mucous has come again and gone again and still no egg eyeball.

I have no idea what's going on. The monitor says she didn't ovulate and other signs say she did except not conclusively enough to say exactly when, so don't know if either of inseminations was at the right time.

First november insemination

We inseminated twice this month.

First insemination. Jen picked up the tank on friday before thanksgiving week. Two straws of semen. Approximately 16-30 million sperm ride home on the subway with Jen.

We wait for signs of ovulation. Things seem to be progressing normally for Jen to ovulate on the 12th day of her cycle. Two especially good signs - we're seeing ferning when we examine Jen's spit in the ovulation microscope and her OPKs are showing a darkening second line. We feel confident this won't be one of those longer cycles. We decide to inseminate late at night on the 11th day and during the day on the 12th day, covering as big of a window of time when an egg is likely to be present as possible.

One thing continues to trouble us though - a lack of fertile mucous. Every book and pamphlet and bossy lesbian on the internet says that fertile mucuous is the KEY element in conception. Without fertile mucous the sperm will never make it up to the egg. But we see none. What the FUCK?

On the 11th day, Jen sees some fertile mucous. Tiny fertile mucous, but it thrills us. We decide to go ahead as planned, go into the bedroom and attempt to get Jen arosed. That fails miserably. We sort of get her there, she gets exhasperated, and tells me just to stick the semen in. A few weeks ago, we ordered "Pre-seed," lube that is specifically formulated to aid in conception, or at least not kill sperm like other lubes do. I break out the Pre-seed to assist in this situation.

Hilariously, Pre-seed comes prepackaged in these large pointy plastic applicatiors that you are supposed to insert into your dry vagina and use to squeeze the lube into the vaginal canal. Eschewing that extremely uncomfortable route, I just squeeze some out, apply it with my much more comfortable and less pointy fingers, slide the sperm applicator in, and uh...applicate it.

Jen chills for a full hour with a glass of wine and an elevated pelvis, rotating every 15 minutes to get the sperm to coat the cervix.

"I feel something." she says "I feel movement".


This month we try again. I am feeling pretty good about our chances, even though a minor flurry of potentially major issues erupted over the past few days.

First, Jen's mom has been dealing with some health issues. She's not actively sick, but potentially quite sick. Its been a lot of tests and waiting and Jen being frustrated that maybe her mom wasn't giving her all the info and me trying hard to comfort my sad, frustrated baby.

While that was happening, some old debts reared their ugly heads. They are being dealt with in a practical and managable manner. But this coming out of the blue was insanely stressful, especially for Jen. And we've had to cancel a Valentine's Day vacation we were planning. It was either that or use less sperm. To which I said I was more than happy to spend a frugal Valentine's day at home with my (hopefully pregnant) baby.

THEN. At some point Jen used my phone to call her phone, to find it in the house. When she did that she saw a call to someone in my phone book identified only as "A". A past horrible experience with a girlfriend who cheated came crashing back to her, and she was terrified for days that I was cheating. She didn't say anything, but was extremely sensitive and sad. I thought it was due to the stuff with her mom and the money, but eventually weasled it out of her. I was horrified to think that she had been miserable for days! And over absolutely nothing. The "A" was just random shorthand I had used to store the number of an administrator at one of the library programs I was applying to. I felt kind of awful that Jen had thought I would cheat, but I know she was just feeling extremely low, and this experience was a lot like one that HAD ended badly, so I see why she would be quick to jump to hideous, nauseating conclusions. I felt kind of awesome that I could clear it all up and make her SO much happier so quickly. But on the whole, ugh. I can't even enjoy writing about that. Its gross.

SO>We were planning to order sperm on Monday to pick up on Tuesday. That is when Jen SHOULD be ovulating but that way we could be confident that we are right about that. On occasion Jen has elongated cycles, ovulating a full week later. And if its one of those and we bought the sperm too early, we'd be screwed, having wasted both money and sperm...So we wanted to get as many signs as possible pointing toward yes before we ordered. But then today we were going to call the sperm bank to give them a new credit card, and realized they are CLOSED for ALL of next week. So if we wanted to have it on tuesday, we had to decide that TODAY and pick it up on Friday. So we don't get those extra days to watch for signs and be sure sure sure even though things ARE looking good from the signs we have seen (ferning beginning, opk showing a line beginning to darken). We went for it in the end, but ordered less straws than planned. Also, when we did that, we realized that someone else is all up in our donor. They must have ordered 4 straws this month. I hope they get pregnant because a)that means the sperms' got juice, b) I wish them nothing but success, c) then they can stop buying MY sperm.

Through all that though, my enthusiasm has not dampened. I am very excited about this month's insemination(s). And I am more sure than ever that Jen and I are a great couple, and that one day we're going to have a great kid.

So. The temple of dendur returns tomorrow.


the truth

Our friends Frank and Laura are having a baby! This is very exciting news. Frank and Laura are terrific people, they'll make an adorable, smart baby and raise it up to be a great, bike-riding, philanthropic, theater-going member of society. There should be more people like Frank and Laura and now there will be!

Of course I was a bit jealous when I heard the news. They have tons of free sperm, and they just had fun free sex and whoop, baby! It made me wish life was just as easy for us. Just like I'm jealous when my friends with corporate jobs get giant bonuses for christmas and I get the flu. I'm just as smart and great of a person. Why should my life not be equally awesome and easy?

But I know that's silly and non-productive. I love my life. I love Jen. I wouldn't trade ANYTHING about our life together for money, or sperm, or even a baby. I love going through this process with her and learning about myself and about what she thinks and about ovulation and about sperm banks and saving money and fertile mucous and cracking her up while I stick a pipette into her vaginal canal. I'm really happy with how we live and how we live together. And having a baby isn't an end to race anyone to, or some final peice of a puzzle that has to be in place before my life can be considered complete. Trying to have a baby is an element in the larger development of my life. Actually having the baby and raising a kid will be another element. The fact that I get to share these things with a woman I am completely capitvated by, obsessed with, crazy in love over, means that no matter what happens, I am growing in a positive way, I am happy, I am satisfied, I am with her.

Doth I protest too much? Am I trying to stamp out the tiny green monster tugging on my pant leg? Am I trying to stab a stick through the yawning maw of expectations? Maybe. PART-ly. But its also the truth. I'm really happy for Frank and Laura, and I'm really happy for me and Jen.

This month we try again. Jen's probably going ovulate over thanksgiving weekend, which will be good in terms of our free time, but awkward since her great but extremely uh...inquisitive mom will be visiting. We'll be sleeping in the office on the futon, fending off the dogs, quietly attempting to achieve orgasm while her mom pads to the bathroom in the middle of the night. I swear, sometimes its It's like we're trying to concieve in a french farce or something.