Your good news is not always someone else’s good news. Don’t let that stop you from sharing your news with people you want to share with, but do let that knowledge influence your method of delivery. Sure, we’d all like to rejoice in other’s successes and delights, but sometimes we just don’t have the goddamn energy to be there 100%. Lately, when someone announces their pregnancy to me, you can be sure that my joyful congratulations are a product of my many years of theatre school. Send your children to theatre camp! It will give them tools to avoid being a dick later in life.
Since I started talking openly about trying to get pregnant, some of my friends have asked me about the best ways to talk about the process or, more specifically, talk about their own successes with the process. I want to say first that I really appreciate the thoughtfulness of that question, so thanks for asking, guys. It's definitely a tricky topic - especially considering many people don't talk about t...
Our lives are all segmented into multiple, invariable cycles. Monday’s minor depression high tides into Friday’s fleeting joy. The stress of paying bills by the 15th of the month leads straight to payday’s debauchery on the 31st. The colors of the farmer’s market in June fade to dull November stands that force you to get a little more creative with your menu.
The universe gifts you a new cycle when you are trying to get pregnant. Yes, most women’s bodies already adhere to cycle, but a new psychological cycle is added to the already infuriating physical one. It doesn’t help that you might be filling yourself with pretty potent hormones.
Everyone handles their getting-pregnant adventure differently, and your emotional responses can change month to month. That said, here is my guide to understanding the Trying-to-Conceive Emotional Cycle:
1.) The cycle begins on the first day of your period. Indeed, the whole emotional cycle follows the physiological cycle. On the first day of your period, t...
One of the questions that I had going into our medically-assisted babymaking adventure which I could not find on-line was what the actual insemination would be like. I figured it would not be a particularly romantic experience - especially since I do have any sort of white coat fetish. I spent three years of my life in a relationship with a woman in med school, and that pretty much killed any subconscious hot-for-doctor feelings I might have been harboring deep within my id. Three cycles in, I can now tell you that, much like homemade tomato gravy, insemination is a nuanced experience that varies subtly based on the person jizzing you up.
At my fertility clinic, you show up at your appointment time and sign in. At this point, the nurses start washing off your frozen sperm to get it ready for its journey into your uterus. This process takes about half an hour, so bring something to read while you wait. Finally, a nurse calls you in to an examination room. She (they are all women at...
Hello! Happy New Year! Welcome back to Queer Martha and, specifically, Buns in the Oven! We're still keeping on keeping on with this whole baby-making party.
When Rachel and I initially began our child-creating mission back on New Years Day 2014, we were a little baffled by the lack of pertinent information describing the process. There are loads of sites dedicated to the TTC (Trying to Conceive) community, but I found a lot of it to be more geared toward emotional support for folks already in the thick of it rather than basic factual information for people just trying to figure out what this whole thing was going to take. Some of my early questions that the internet didn’t seem to want to answer were:
I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome – can I even get pregnant?
What is the process step-by-step?
When do I buy sperm? Where do I buy sperm? How does the sperm get to my fertility doctor? Sperm is so mysterious.
My last Buns in the Oven is from May. Perhaps you are wondering what happened. “Didn’t you go on a babymoon, like, six months ago? Didn’t you decide on that sperm from that little donor who the sperm bank staff says looks like an emo lady? What’s the hold up?” I hear you. And I am here to say that everything is ok. We just had a funny detour.
As a side note, I am of the opinion that if I’m not pregnant one year after our babymoon then we get to go on another babymoon. A babymooniversary, if you will. Right? Doesn’t that seem fair?
Another side note – on a totally different side: wouldn’t it be funny if we decided to name our future babies names from the country that we visited before they were born? We were most recently in Ireland, so that would enable me to get Maebh. I’m dying to get Rachel to agree to Jadwiga, so perhaps I must trick her to agree to this setup and then plan a trip to Poland. Then we could be that weird lesbian family that lives in a shoebox with the funny-n...
To draw out the baking metaphor much farther than I should – we are still kneading the dough for the buns going in the oven. Maybe that is even too far into the process. We are still preheating the oven. We got a little distracted by buying a house, which I suppose merits its own blog post. We did, however, manage to choose the flour for the buns. Is that too far into the metaphor? Perhaps. In any case, this installment of Buns in the Oven will be exploring choosing a sperm donor. The first thing you should know is this: it’s weird as hell.
Choosing a sperm donor is basically online dating. You find a website you like, you check off your criteria, then you sift through the filtered results and find the best one on the list. The big difference is that you never actually meet the person you choose, and once you pick out the guy you want, you can never dump him. Also each date costs $750. The stakes are high. There’s no DTF. You’re in it to win it.
FYI – this post talks about “lady issues,” so if you happen to be my dad… maybe don’t read it!
Maybe you know that our Japan trip wasn’t just an amazing adventure for me and Rachel. We had been calling it our babymoon – the last hurrah of unfettered spending before all of our money gets funneled into my uterus. Interestingly, we spent a lot less than we thought we would which was a pleasant surprise. But now it’s full steam ahead into reproductive medicine!
These are the two candles we lit in prayer in Koyasan. I was praying for family with Rachel. Who knows what Rachel's candle was for. She's a nicer person than I am, so maybe it was something like an end to world hunger. Or it was that the next vending machine we pass would have Red Bull in it. She's a wild card, that Rachel. Anyway...
Medicine in general is overwhelming to me. Does anyone else feel this way? I am A-OK with seeing my primary care physician once a year. She’s adorable. But it starts to feel complicated to me when I ha...
In this series, we will explore Queer Martha's adventures in starting a queer family using love, humor, and artificial insemination. The series's title is super subject to change.
This is not our baby - it is my brother's wonderful baby - but don't we look goddamn adorable?
It’s strange to call this first steps because I started seeing a fertility doctor back in 2014, before I turned 26. I have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), and I had no idea what effect that would have on my baby-making capabilities. Rachel and I were not ready to fire up the baby engine back then, but we did want to take advantage of the law that allowed me to stay on my parents’ pretty comprehensive health insurance until my 26th birthday. So in January 2014, I met with Dr. Gutmann from RMA of Philadelphia for the first time.
This is RMA from the outside, though the offices are in the building's basement. I like the golden clock that does not tell the time on the outside. RMA, it seems, is basically Philly’s l...
I haven't yet written anything that has earned the "kids" tag, but I do hope to someday (perhaps in a few months), carve out a piece of this blog for queer kid-creation chronicles. There are a few beautiful places on the internet where the path to queer conception and the following nine months are detailed - I was so happy to follow Haley during her pregnancy - but I want there to be more! Without queer role models it is so easy to see having kids as this super heteronormative life choice and that doesn't feel comfortable, you know? The fact that I love themed dinner parties and eating croissants for breakfast doesn't help.
Though Rachel and I haven't actually hopped on the getting pregnant train yet, I think about our hypothetical family pretty much all the time. Mixed in with all the fun things to imagine such as future child names, future holiday traditions, and future trips we'll take are the scary things to imagine like the future of Philly schools, future s...