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April showers bring hospitals, sperm tanks and firemen.

In light of my family history with bad hearts, my doctor decided to send me for an echocardiogram (ultrasound) and stress test. I have had no symptoms but she thought it would be good to do and give my mother peace of mind.

On Tuesday, I went for these tests. They did the echo which seemed to reveal a clot in my heart. They cancelled the stress test and sent me back to my doctor. She consulted the cardiologist down the hall who said he found it doubtful that they would be able to see a clot in the poor resolution of the echocardiogram and he would be happy to take me same day and redo the test. So the wife and I wandered down the hall to see him. He had gone for the day.

The wife, being ever vigilant, insisted I get this test result confirmed or denied that same day so we wandered off to the hospital. I was in the hospital for two days getting tested and re-tested. Subsequent ECGs, X-Rays, CT scans and blood tests all came up negative. They repeated the echocardiogram and it did indeed confirm the first test was wrong. I was completely fine. Phew.

Unfortunately, while I was getting my first echocardiogram, the wife was at the fertility clinic getting her hCG shot to trigger her ovulation. We had brought the tank home the day before so we would be ready to insert when she ovulated. Giving her the hCG shot meant that she would ovulate within 24-36hrs. We needed to do the first insemination Wednesday and the next one on Thursday. I was in the hospital at that time. This is not really a task you can call in a buddy to do for you. Feed my cats, yes. Inseminate my wife, no.

This meant that we had to do it in my semi-private room with a family of five chatting away on the other side of the curtain. Romantic. Thankfully, the wife has a sense of humour.

After all this excitement, we were looking forward to sleeping in our own bed again. Sleeping in a semi-private room is not easy, especially for the wife who was sleeping in a chair for two nights in a row. We were exhausted. We got home. We went to bed.

At 4am the beeping started.

We checked the alarm panel and called the monitoring company. No issues there. The alarm guy suggested a battery in our smoke detector. Can’t be that as it’s hardwired into the electrical. We check it anyway. The beeping does seem to be coming from the smoke detector. But there’s no battery to replace.

We call the fire department for guidance and they say they’ll send someone right over. Five minutes later we had three burly firemen in our house. Where were they on insemination day?

Anyway, it turns out my CO detector was telling me it was ready to be replaced by a new one. Why it couldn’t tell me that at 2pm instead of 4am is beyond me.

The firemen were really nice though. Very cheerful for that time of the morning. But bringing the big fire truck was overkill.

Can anyone lend me a turkey baster?

February 21, 2012 Leave a comment

As you know, we spent a good portion of 2011 trying to knock the wife up. We did a month of cycle monitoring, which included a whole whack of nasty tests (blood tests, ultrasounds and a hysterosalpingogram – not written tests, although we were asked to name the last 8 Prime Ministers in reverse order). That was followed up by 5 IUI cycles (each with a whole whack of nasty hormones, blood tests, ultrasounds and questions about international tax law). So almost a year after we began the process, the kittens are still only siblings.

In the group of same sex couples at our clinic, only three have gotten pregnant (one had the baby a couple of years ago, one is having the baby soon, and the last just became pregnant). Two of those pregnancies were done at home without clinical assistance. Consequently, the wife and I are going to give it a try at home.

And because we’re doing it at home, we decided to use American sperm. The donor is an engineer with a very high SAT score who also models (he looks like Benjamin Bratt) so both the wife and I are happy.

As per usual, we’ll keep you posted. I must go off and get some target practice now.

Baby for sale or rent

September 2, 2011 Leave a comment

Trying to conceive is very expensive. We have tried three times unsuccessfully and have started attempt #4. Dollar-wise – four attempts equals a compact car without air conditioning.

Since we still have kittens to feed and my Resident Evil habit to support, we took out a loan from my mother-in-law. When we got the money, the card accompanying the money said “This money entitles me to management of Scarlett Olivia Hope for one year at Toddlers and Tiaras competitions.”

I immediately took out a bank loan to pay her back.

PS: No idea where “Olivia Hope” came from…

Hope springs eternal

July 1, 2011 Leave a comment

When we started this baby-making process, we knew that although there were no fertility issues, there was less than a 20% chance the insemination would take on the first attempt. We had hope that it would be successful, but were trying not to be too hopeful – after all – 80% chance it wouldn’t work. It’s all about managing expectations.

On the day before insemination, the clinic was very excited about the wife’s two follicles. We were very hopeful that this was a good sign. We later learned that for artificially induced ovulation, that is not very many. Other people on the forums had six or seven! (But most of them also ended up with multiple births.)

On the first day of the insemination, her follicles had grown a bit and everything was happening according to schedule and the nurse was smiling and injecting and we had hope.

On the second day of insemination, we learned she hadn’t ovulated yet. We lost some hope. The clinic said not to worry as the sperm will last 24-48 hrs and sometimes even up to 72 hrs! They said she will likely ovulate the next day and everything will be fine! We later learned, that frozen/thawed sperm only last 24 hrs. Raw sperm, however, can last for 5 days! (Liquoring up the wife and sending her to a frat house is sounding better all the time…)

On the Monday, the wife felt like she ovulated. That was three days after the second insemination. We lost hope. The wife then read that the HcG shot forces ovulation within 48hrs. No exceptions. We gained hope.

On the following Monday, I learned that Dollarama sells HPTs (home pregnancy tests) for $1.25 and that they are as effective as $10 pharmacy tests. So I bought her 15 to play with. The first one was negative, which we expected. So was the second and the third and the fourth and the fifth… but on the fifth one, there was a bit of a line that then disappeared. That was hopeful, but not too hopeful. And it was early anyway. HPTs don’t generally work until after when you would normally have had your period anyway. But it’s fun. So hopeful.

On Wednesday, her period started… sort of. She was spotting. We lost hope. But then we learned about implantation bleeding. Hope!

By this (Friday) morning, she was having her full blown period. We resigned ourselves to the fact she wasn’t pregnant and we’d have to do this again in July. But she still didn’t drink any alcohol or take medication for her menstruation cramps. Just in case. Mini hope.

Today was also the day we had to go to the clinic for the blood test to see if she’s pregnant or not. We figured it was just a legality for the clinic’s satisfaction before they start her on another round of hormones for the second attempt.  We had lost hope. When we spoke to the nurse, she said that there was still hope and to wait until we got the results from the blood test. The wife was in full blown menstruation and the clinic still had hope that she was pregnant!!!!! We had no hope but we humoured them.

They called later in the day to tell us the test was negative. We felt bad for them. They really thought she may be pregnant.

 

Tit is not for tat this time baby.

June 29, 2011 6 comments

Sometimes the wife likes to enforce a double standard in our home. This happens when you date a beautiful, high maintenance femme. And sometimes, I’m fine with it.

On some very rare occasions, I fight the double standard. For example, the other day I told the wife that I was going to run her car through the car wash before I picked her up from her meeting so she’d get picked up in a shiny clean car (which she loves), but it looked like nasty rain was coming so I didn’t. I told her she should give me credit for trying though. She said that I only deserved credit for the execution, not for trying.

A couple of days later, we were driving to her mother’s and she was feeling a little overwhelmed by all the hormones and pushing/prodding she’s been through lately due to our conception process. She said, “I think you should buy me a gift for trying to get pregnant.”

I replied rather smugly, “You don’t get a gift for trying. I’ll get you a gift when you’re pregnant.” Take that tit for tat baby. No double standard this time!

She didn’t even hit me…

Meanwhile, I have been giving the wife her daily self-administered injection (she has to take anti-coagulants every day until week 27 of pregnancy or until we find out she’s not pregnant). She rates me on how well I do it, which isn’t usually well – I’m an engineer, not a doctor, damn it! I did get one 15 out of 10, but I generally average around 7 out of 10.

She would like to give me an injection so I know what it feels like, but as I don’t need an anti-coagulant, she cannot. She quietly fumes because she knows she should be on the injecting side of that needle.

And then it happened – As I have been experiencing severe endometriosis pain, my OB-GYN has prescribed a round of Lupron  for me, which requires monthly injections for 3-6 months starting today. Thankfully, it has to be administered by a physician.

Phew.

 

That’s a big 10-4 baby momma.

June 16, 2011 1 comment

As this conception process may take a while, I’ve been reading some fertility forums to get some first hand information. Most of the forums have posts like this:

I’m TTC and my RE told me and DH that BD at 12hrs and 24hrs after IUI is OK. I rested as much as possible outside that. Hoping for BFP after 2WW.

wtf?

I looked it up:
TTC – trying to conceive
RE – reproductive endocrinologist
DH – dear husband
BD – baby dance (ie: sex)
IUI – intra uterine insemination
OK – ok
BFP – big fat positive (opposite of BFN – big fat negative)
2WW – 2 week wait

This 2WW is a very stressful time for couples hoping to conceive. As the EM (expectant mother) was injected with HcG, any pregnancy test during the 2WW will give a positive result. So you have to wait to POAS (pee on a stick) to get an accurate result.

I’m getting the hang of this. Hopefully we’ll have a BFP before I’m D/B (dead or broke).

The evil twin is the wife’s…

June 15, 2011 2 comments

As many of you know, we have been trying to get the wife pregnant. At first we gave it a go on our own, thinking that if we tried hard enough it wouldn’t matter that we didn’t have sperm. Sheer force of will can sometimes prevail. Of course, that didn’t work, but it didn’t hurt to try – someone has to be the first.

Then we started with the official effort by consulting a fertility clinic. I blogged about some of that about a month or so ago.

Now we are in the home stretch. The wife has been pumped full of prenatal vitamins and ovulation-inducing meds and done all the cycle monitoring required. She has been alcohol-free for over a week. I have started to read “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”. We have told the cats they will be getting a sibling soon and not to worry because we will still have enough love for them.

Today the clinic had a look to determine what day we should make the attempt (which will actually be two consecutive days). The nurse was very excited because they saw two follicles (follicles contain the eggs). The wife was not excited because she’s hoping for a single birth. Carrying twins was not a desired outcome of this process – we only have one name picked out.

Although there is only a ~25% chance of this taking on the first attempt, and it will likely be a single if it takes, there is still a chance it could be twins. And the wife insists there is another sneaky follicle hiding in there so we get triplets (apparently she has sneaky eggs). We asked the doctor if that was possible but he just laughed. When we asked if it was possible that both follicles would take, he laughed and said, “That’s how you get twins!”

Very funny doctor, very funny.

Now I have to go think of another name… just in case… and if we don’t conceive, we will get more cats so the names won’t go to waste.