Praying to a God I Don’t Believe In???

CRISTINE:

I have never considered myself religious. My family is Catholic but I was never forced to read the Bible or attend church. However, I respect people for whatever beliefs they have and only hope people can offer me that same respect. As I got older, and started dating Claudia the topic of religion became uncomfortable. I had to hear people say being gay was wrong because the Bible said so. Homosexuals were going to hell because the Bible said so. Marriage was between a man and woman because… Well, the Bible said so. It pushed me further from Catholicism than ever before.

But now here I am. Wanting nothing more than to be able to have a baby with the person I love. And I find myself praying. Praying to who or what I’m not exactly sure. I pray for the chance to become a mom. Pray for us to be a family. Pray that it will happen soon. And pray that someone is just waiting for the perfect moment to send us our little one. I will continue praying because I don’t know what else to do. I lay here at night and send my thoughts, wishes and hopes into the universe praying that someone is up there listening and I find myself believing that in fact there is.

The SHOTS heard ’round the world

Time to try something new… the shots!!! The doctor suggested that we start off with only 112.5 units(1.5 vials) of Menopur. When we found out we would be starting with such a low dosage we were kind of upset, we were ready to go full force, balls to the wall…the doctor didnt agree though. She said Cristine is so young that her body might prepare and release too many eggs so, since she’s the boss, 112.5 unit it was.

We started to administer the Menopur on Wednesday October 5th. I would come home from work at 8am, wake Cristine up and go to the bathroom to do the deed. Our bathroom looked like a mini doctors office. Needles, alcohol pads, medication, wrappers and the needle discard container covered our counter. I would mix the correct units and right under her belly button I would insert the needle and inject her with this magical juice that would help Cristines eggs mature and prepare for the insemination. We did this for 5 days and on Monday we went back for a sonogram. Turns out only 1 egg was responding fast enough to the Menopur so the doctor up’ed the dosage to 150 units (2 vials) for another two days in hopes that a few more eggs would catch up to the 1 “smart egg”, as the doctor called it.  On Wednesday we went back for another sonogram and….no luck…still just 1 mature egg. It was too late to do anything about it so this was going to have to be the 1 egg to do the job for us. On Friday October15th we went in for the insemination.

We’ve done 12 inseminations at this point, 6 of them at the doctors office but for some reason this time was much more emotional for both Cristine and I. We’ve been through so much through this whole year and a half process, and I think we’ve finally grown tired of the emotional rollercoaster. We are finally trying something new, something more aggressive so all of our dreams, hopes and desires were invested into this one day.

The process went as usual. Doctor comes in, has us verify they have the correct donors sperm. He sits on this stool, adjusts the light,  inserts the speculum then the syringe with the $800 sperm we purchased and in go the little swimmers. We stayed in the room for 10 minutes giving the sperm time to swim to our 1 “smart egg”.

Now we wait. A VERY long 2 week wait before we can take the pregnancy test. Its now day 4 and theres nothing we can do but wait.Still waiting…….

Lesbian baby making 101

During our process of trying to get pregnant we’ve been reading a lot blogs to help answer some of our questions. We figure it would b nice to put our story out there too, kind of a way to give back. Maybe our story will help others the way others stories have helped us. So here we are giving this blog thing a shot. We’re both going to be writing so that u all can get both sides of the story throughout our journey…I’m Claudia and my wife’s name is Cristine. Before we really get into anything let’s rewind a few years and bring you up to speed….

We have been together for 10 years. High school sweethearts at the ripe age of 16. We live in California and were fortunately given the opoortunity to get married 3 years ago before the prop 8 debacle. January 2010, we started our baby making process. We had no idea what to expect or even what we were getting ourselves into. All we knew was that Cristine was going to be the one getting pregnant first. Other than that we went in a little naive but with hearts and arms open wide.

Cristine: I went in for the standard check up and tests. The doc said my insides were perfect! Next, picking out sperm!! This is harder then you would think. So much to consider and think about. Eye color, height, medical history, personality, hobbies, ethnicty and more. You start wondering what is ok to do without and what is important to try to pass on.

We both secretly chose our top three donors. Then we cross checked our choices to see if they matched one another. Usually we have the same taste and this time was no different. We had two matches. We decided to buy the baby photo and the more detailed donor profile. We easily came to a decision and just like that we had our donor!

Next, we had to start checking for ovulation. For the first time ever I was actually happy to get my period (this is also the last time happiness would be the word to describe my monthly visitor) and a few days later I was peeing on a stick to see that little smiley face pop up. Finally, 17 days later we got that face smiling back at us. To say we were excited is an understatement.

Off we went to our first insemination. I have never been so excited, nervous and happy to go the doctors office. A short while later I was laying on the table as we waited for the little swimmers to do their thing. Then off we went to a celebratory lunch at benihanas. Geez, this baby making stuff was easy. Sadly, we were about to get a huge wake up call.

Claudia: 2 weeks later the pregnancy test read “not pregnant”. It was disappointing but we figured it would take more than 1 try. We were prepared, we had 1 more vial of sperm at the doctors office! Surely that would be enough! See Cristines aunts and cousins all have at least 2 kids so we thought for sure she too was going to be extremely fertile, this was going to be a walk in park. A month later we did all the needed steps and we found ourselves back in our bathroom awaiting our fate.

We were in a hurry to get the results because it just so happened that our 2 week mark fell on the day of the 2010 SF Pride Parade. We were walking in the parade and our friends were waiting for us downstairs. We put a towel over the stick to cover the results so neither of us would peek and after 3 minutes we pulled the towel off slowly and there it was, “pregnant”. We couldn’t believe it, it worked! Easy, just like we expected! We hugged each other and stood there smiling with tears of joy in our eyes. I took a picture of the results so I could share it with everyone and off we went to celebrate our gayness,lol. The day couldn’t be any more perfect, it was just meant to be. We walked hand in hand in the parade down Market street, talking about how next year we would bring the baby to the parade and dress him or her in a cute shirt that would read “I love my two mommies”. This was by far THE best day of our lives.

Cristine: The next couple of days went by in a blissful blur. We were already picking out baby furniture and planning out our baby’s future. We had to go to the hospital for a routine blood test to check my hormone levels. The next day I got a call from the nurse informing me my hcg levels were low but it was nothing to worry about…yet. I had to go back in just to make sure that number was doubling every 48 hours. It wasn’t. They were really low. Our baby which we had loving called “poppy” because it was the size of a poppy seed when we found out wasn’t going to be able to be carried to term. I was informed most likely it was an ectopic pregnancy (tubal) but even if Poppy was in my uterus it wasnt a “healthy” pregnancy. I was rushed to the emergency because the risks of continuing the pregnancy was too high. It was the most tramatic experience of my life.

We were lead into an unwelcoming, cold room were the nurses started poking at my arms and hand trying to hook up an IV. My veins are very well hidden and didn’t want to cooperate so nurse after nurse came in trying to find them. As this was happening, I had the doctor between my legs doing an ultrasound. Overwhelming. I couldn’t stop crying. Oh and lets not forget about the two nurses that couldnt stop talking about the fashion show they had just attended as my wife and I were about to lose the baby we hoped and prayed for. Insensitive is the best way to describe the staff that day.

Finally, we were given some time to be by ourselves. They left us alone. We didn’t have much to say to each other but just held hands and cried. Our Poppy was about to leave us. Who knew something so small and a baby we had never met could mean so much to us in so little time. We have never cried so much in our lives. The doctor came back in to give me pills to numb the pain because the nurses weren’t able to hook up the IV after all that. And off we went to the surgical room. I was going to be given an MVA (manual vacuum aspiration) basically an abortion. They assumed the baby was in my tube but did the MVA as a precaution. A few minutes later it was over. Off they sent us with some pain medication and the promise of some discomfort and cramps. I had to go back in for blood work a couple of days later to make sure the baby in fact was in my tube. The results came back and I was still pregnant. So 100% sure it was an etopic pregnancy. Again, we were rushed to the hospital. This time I was given two shots in my hips. A mild form of chemo to shrink the fetus like it would a tumor. A few days later, it was all over. No more pregnancy hormones in my system. All traces of Poppy gone.

Claudia: This whole experience has brought us the best day of our lives and also the worst day of our lives. Needless to say the abortion day was the worst. That was back in July 2010, since then we have tried it all. We’ve tired 3 cycles of clomid (increasing the dosage each time), we’ve tried changing donors (frozen and fresh) and we’ve even tried doing multiple (2 or 3) inseminations per cycle. Here we are, October 2011, and still nothing. All we’ve gotten is a bunch of “not pregnant” back from those test strips. Each time gets harder. The hurt in my heart gets a little stronger, the knot my in throat gets a little tighter and the positivity in my soul gets a little weaker. 12 failed cycles later we’ve now changed fertility doctors and decided to move on to hormone shots. This process is a bit scary because we know we may end up with multiples but at this point I’ll take a 2 for 1 deal! Why not right?