Welcome back to Self-Care!

Hello All, Erin and Kelly here. Its been a month since Erin’s last post, but don’t fret! We’ve still be hard at work setting up the podcast and coming up with ideas for the blog.

In the meantime… we wanted to post about the topic that just kept coming up all month until we addressed it: SELF-CARE

Kelly: How many times do we have to remind ourselves that we are in charge of our own lives?  This week I went over Erin’s house to tape a podcast about self-care and there wasn’t any actual self-care going on for either of us.

 

So we decided that we needed to practice before we preached!

The universe has a way of reminding us that we committed to actually making things better not just busier. Who knew that when you were going to be taping a podcast you just end up moving furniture around? I had just happened upon a new free table in my neighbourhood to put in front of a carpet and create a new yoga space. Erin said “I need one too, but there is no room!”

Erin: We moved every piece of furniture in my livingroom around… it turned out that just one change (moving the TV, no surprise!) fixed the entire problem. Better, not busier, ok right I get it now!

I smile every day now when I look at the space even before I do yoga. Talk about small changes adding a large dose of positivity into life!

Kelly: The trick is to we were allow ourselves to be honest and say: I can’t handle this right now so what are we gonna do about it? It actually gave us energy, and when it was all done we both stepped back and breathed a hearty sigh of relief.

Self care works.

Moving forward

Hi there, Erin here!

I took a little bit of a hiatus from the blog for a few weeks. I decided to take this month off
of cycle monitoring at the clinic and just live my life for a while. Its been a bit of a roller coaster and I’ve been in and out of that clinic monthly for nearly a year now.

In the meantime we had Kelly’s lovely son’s birthday! He will turn 6 years old on Wednesday. Oh how time flies! I remember holding him at the hospital when he was less than 24 hours old with two proud mom’s looking over at me. Such a special moment!

At the birthday party I was getting congratulations from our friends. I was a bit taken aback and my response was “oh it was negative, there’s nothing to congratulate yet” but I was wrong. I made a big step and they were giving me love and support. I will be a mom, but this part of the journey is about me taking charge of my life.

As I was on the table being inseminated, I got the call for an amazing job offer! This job will provide the stability I was seeking for my future. I used to value travel and adventure over stability, but now the scales are balanced a little differently.

Putting the steps in motion to become a parent, even if it didn’t turn out this time, brought me awesome rewards.

Set those intentions, take the risks, the universe has your back!

The Verdict

Hello Again, Erin here.

I caved on Friday morning and did a pregnancy test. Friday was day 24 in my cycle, approximately 4 days before I’m due to get my period. Early days, but the First Response package promised 96% accuracy. Minutes later the answer: Negative.

Saturday morning I had a quick visit to the clinic to have blood taken, then the real wait began. Blood tests are true confirmation. They can detect a trace of the hCG hormone in the body that is stimulated by implantation. Home pregnancy tests check the level of hCG in the urine, which takes time to build up.

I went home, made myself a half decaf espresso with steamed milk, and turned on a movie. Into the Forest, a disaster film about two sisters who learn to survive on their own in their isolated woodland home after a massive power outage. Safe right? No babies or pregnancy reminders…wrong! I really hoped the test was positive.

Just before I took my dog out for a walk I got the call.

NEGATIVE

It hung in the air. I felt like I was in a bit of a fog for the rest of the day. Didn’t want to talk about it with anyone. But the questions came in, and little by  little, it helped. So many people care. My mom called, my brother sent me the most kind text message “We’re sorry. We love you.” And I got a three-way hug (and wine) from my girlfriends that eve.

I’m lucky to have so many amazing people in my life. I’m ready to be a mom. It will happen. But its still ok to be sad right now.

 

The Twelve Week Rule

Hello All! Erin here!

Tomorrow I will go back to the clinic and get the verdict! They will do a blood test to see if I’m pregnant.

If I am pregnant, traditional rules say that I’m supposed to wait until the end of my first trimester just in case there is a problem with the pregnancy and/or I miscarry.

 

But rules are made to be broken!

I totally agree with this awesome article from the UK: Why we must shatter this pregnancy taboo: We’re told to keep pregnancies secret for 12 weeks. But that just means no one shares your pain if something goes wrong…

Now, many parents prefer to keep things within a close network of support, I’m all for that too. Just not suffering in silence. So many parents are hurting out there, and they think they are alone because no one talks about the loss of pregnancy.

It is a loss, it deserves to be grieved. 

I plan to blog it all. So if this insemination doesn’t take, you’ll hear about it. If it does and then I miscarry, I will join the ranks of so many brave women before me. And if I’m lucky enough to have a baby, well there’s months and months worth of details!

Stay tuned for the verdict!

Insemination Day!

Hello! Erin here, recently inseminated with donor sperm.

That’s right, Insemination Day was yesterday, and my lovely comrade Kelly was with me every step of the way!

I received tons of supportive text messages from my amazing friends all morning. The love was fully felt! It really helped me to feel that I was making the right decision.

 

I have to admit, I was nervous. I thought I was SO prepared and ready, and that is probably still true, but this is kind of a big deal.

I went to the clinic on Saturday, then Sunday, each time checking my hormone levels with a poke in the arm and the number of follicles maturing in my ovaries with an ultrasound wand in my uterus.

On Sunday I was told to take a “trigger shot” which would stimulate ovulation within 36 to 48 hours. One small problem, I didn’t have one and it was a long weekend here in Toronto. Thank goodness for friends!  I have a friend going through this process at the same time. She and her partner gave me a shot of hormones, delicious dinner, and wonderful company.

And voila! Tuesday morning I was ready to receive some sperm. I was super slow moving in the morning. It was like I was in a daze. SOOOO grateful to have Kelly there. She met me at the subway and she was practically jumping up and down. What a great energy for my zombie mode. Kelly held my arm on the way to the clinic and bought chocolate and tea for afterward. Best. Friend. Ever.

 

While in the waiting room, Kelly took matters into her own hands literally, moving a chair into the middle of the room so she could perform reiki on me. She continued throughout the procedure. I’ve decided she needs to add this to her practice!! It was so helpful!

 

We first saw the sperm in a vial as I was signing the consent forms. The lab assistant made a point of showing me the potency of the sample. “It’s 28 million” she said with a smile. I had no idea if that was good or bad. “It’s very good!” she said. The doctor later confirmed that they are happy with 10 million. So I had super sperm.

The procedure itself took maybe 15 minutes tops. The doctor used the speculum, as all women are familiar from our lovely PAP tests. They attached the syringe of sperm to a long tubular catheter and shot it in, right at my cervix.

Job done!

Afterward the doctor reiterated “I told you about the risk for multiples right?” Apparently I have three mature follicles that could release eggs, and several more that could catch up and become contenders. Only time will tell!

And now the waiting game!

 

 

Dating and Insemination

Hey Everyone, Erin here!

I got an email this morning with a receipt for donor sperm. They verified that it has been shipped to the clinic. Next step, I go into the clinic tomorrow to see how my eggs are developing. So far so good! I got a voicemail this week from the clinic telling me “you are responding VERY well to the medication”, meaning my ovaries are producing follicles large enough to make a some eggs. Great!

 

Now, what do I do about my online dating profile? I’m actually curious what others think, so please feel free to respond in the comments!

Although I’m currently single, I’ve had some success with online dating. The last two men I’ve dated (both for about a year) have been from OkCupid and Tinder. Unfortunately, they didn’t work out. I don’t feel sad about this or anxious to jump into a new relationship. I’ve had great love! And I’m happy to build a family on my own. That doesn’t mean I don’t want a partner at some point. I just decided when my last relationship ended and I was 37, it was time to attend to that biological clock. But are dating and pregnancy mutually exclusive?

So what do I do now? I have no basis of comparison in my life. No one I know has done this before.

If I continue to date, at what point should I tell the prospective partner? Seems pretty full on to discuss on the first date. My experience has taught me that its not really a “relationship” until you are seeing each exclusively, and that doesn’t happen for a few months. My clock is ticking though.  Perhaps we’ll see how the insemination goes before I make any decisions. Once I’m pregnant I may have a few more insights.

Let me know what you think!

Valentines Day!

Kelly and Erin here! We’re celebrating V-day together and each taking our own special meaning from it. unnamed

 

Erin: I’m on my last day of a fertility drug called Clomid. So far my hormone levels are checking out ok, but this drug just boosts my chances of those lovely eggs making it to ovulation in about 7-10 days. That’s right folks… in just over a week its insemination day!

I’ll go to the clinic tomorrow to see how things are coming along.  A good friend asked me this week: “How are you keeping yourself not-stressed so your body is a baby friendly environment?” My answer: I have this new podcast I’m working on and its SO fun! I’ll post again soon with more details and give a full overview of how this all works. Get ready for menstrual cycle talk!

 

Kelly: Valentine’s Day Rocks! This has been a historic day for me and new beginnings. It was four years ago today that I started a blog to keep me sane after the death of my 35-year-old wife. However I did not write alone. In 2013 I created a Super Hero alter ego version of myself and laughed my way through the sudden onslaught of unexpected single motherhood, with a really rude side kick on The High Flying Adventures of Captain Grief (www.captaingrief.com).

Now I begin again on a new adventure with a new, and actually real friend. I am a single mother by accident and my long time friend Erin is setting out to become a single mother by choice so we decided to do a podcast called Fashioning Families. You create your family any dang way you want. Parenthood is the most challenging and rewarding job I have ever had and you definitely need a village to raise a kid!

Erin and I want to reach out to any parents-to-be, single, or partnered, as well as all the single and partnered parents to help ALL of us remember that we are not alone!

Happy Valentines Day!

 

 

Welcome to the Journey

Hello! Erin here.

I’m just half of our podcast called Fashioning Families. My vision for this podcast is to take you on the journey with me as I become a parent. In a matter of weeks I will be attempting my first insemination. I’ve been monitoring my reproductive care with a clinic for nearly a year now. When I first started I had NO idea what it all involved. I hope that sharing my story will help others get some information and feel supported in their journey. Its just so helpful to know that we aren’t alone!

So stay tuned and feel free to ask questions along the way! You can reach us on our contact page or just leave a comment.

Happy Parenting!