Third time’s a charm!

Hey All! Erin here.

Its been a busy few months for Kelly and I! We moved into the same house. That’s right, Kelly and I are co-owners of a multi-unit house where we each have our own space. More on that later ūüėČ

We’ve also been working on our podcast, stay tuned in 2018 for more updates!

And last but not least….. I’M PREGNANT!!!

The “little clump” as I’ve affectionately called her/him is now just over 9 weeks and canofficially be called a fetus.

On October 21, 2017 I went in for my third IUI. This time was different. I did not take Clomid, a drug that stimulates follicle production in the ovaries, with the side effect of thinning your uterine lining. So you may have more mature eggs, but not such a cushy landing pad.

I had one mature follicle, twice the amount of uterine lining as the other IUIs, and I decided to use the same donor I had originally picked in the first IUI.

The first time I had a sample of 28 million sperm (they are looking for 10 million so it was definitely enough!). The sample from that same donor this time yielded only 8 million sperm. I was disappointed, but still hopeful.

It felt right this time. Things were in place. As a good friend said “the baby knew you were home”.

So here we are! At the 6 week ultrasound we even got to see a strong flickering heartbeat on the monitor. And now the search for a midwife, planning, and all that jazz.

So phase one is complete… insemination!

Now on to phase two… pregnancy!

See you soon!

Strike Two

Erin here. Its official, my uterine lining is shedding and I’ve shed a few tears. No pregnancy this time. I think its important to share the humour but also the real struggles of this process. Honestly its awesome, and it sucks!

 

I feel like I’m¬†a bit of a trail blazer and that¬†can be both frustrating and isolating. All my straight friends who want to get pregnant have male partners who can deposit sperm on the regular. I get one shot. Mind you, its a medically supervised super shot… but its just one shot. And its an expensive shot, >$1200 each time. Now I’m not starting a pity party, cuz my queer friends are in the same boat as me, and I know there are plenty of people, queer and straight alike who suffer from infertility. And that sucks too. Let’s all give each other a big virtual hug!

I am so incredibly lucky to have my good friend Kelly. In many ways she provides the support I would otherwise get from a partner. She even sits beside me and does reiki while I’m getting shot up with sperm!

Single parents and prospective single parents, its tough to do this alone! We all need someone who is gonna tell us that everything is going to be ok. And I know it will be ok, one way or another, but its been a tough week.

Big hugs!

Day 25

Hello Friends! Erin Here.

Its been a while since we posted, but as some of you have seen on our instagram… things are happening!

I was inseminated on my cycle day 14, which was Friday June 23rd. This was a big week! It was my birthday on Wednesday and that same night Kelly and I signed papers to co-own a triplex! We will be each be living in apartments and are very excited to share our experiences as we move into communal living! More to come!

Check out the message on the calendar Kelly gave me for that day:

fullsizeoutput_158

Today is cycle day 25. Normally I’d been antsy to check in and see if I’m preggers… but there is a more somber tone to the day for me and I’ve decided to wait for my period and share this with you.

Eleven years ago on this day, also a Tuesday, I sat by my father’s side in a hospital room while he passed away. It was a life changing day for me, as I’m sure you can imagine. I’ve often been accused of being “just like your father”, usually when I’m late, silly, charismatic, and the centre of attention. He was a larger than life musician and I miss him deeply. I really hope I will pass on his genes to another little musician… but only time will tell.

Today I am being gentle with myself, as you do when grief is in your face. Both Kelly and I have lost our fathers. Its something that deepens our bond with each other. I am reminded even more today how grateful I am for her, and all of my wonderful friends and family who support me.

Please enjoy today!fullsizeoutput_157

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!