There's a marked excess of estrogen in our household these days. Tuesday at the bark park we noticed that Rosie was unusually shy around the other dogs. Then a fully neutered shaggy male dog took a special interest in her. We had to keep pulling him off of her– to the point that we actually gave up and just left.
When we got Rosie from the Humane Society, they said that they were 98% sure that she was already spayed. 98% is not sure enough. Our suspicions were aroused after what happened at the park, so we made a vet appointment for her this afternoon. At some point mid-day, however, Ness realized that Rosie's girl parts were now even more pronounced. I think the exact phrasing she used when she IM'd me was that they were "big as a melon" and that she had indeed begun leaving droplets of blood in her wake.
A little research tells us that Rosie has entered estrus or "heat," and that this is going to last at least 3 weeks. She can get spayed while she's in heat, but there are increased risks. We've been advised to wait until she's through it.
It's not all bad actually. After a false start with a jock strap (Ness read about this online), we opted for a pair of Scooby-Doo briefs (Boys-small) with a hole cut out for the tail and a pantyliner. This has provided some much needed comic relief. It looks as though Scooby-doo is erupting from Rosie's hindquarters. Perhaps I can persuade Ness to upload a picture later tonight.
Mel here again. Ness is busy writing a book and doesn't have much time to post at the moment. I should be busy finding authors to write books, but instead I am taking a little extra time out to talk at you folks.
Apparently in our zeal to make a baby, we have been neglecting some of the finer things in life, such as yarn, the quest for yarn, and the quest for blogs about yarn. I've just finished catching up on the adventures of Yarn Harlot, and I cannot believe that I am so unlucky in life that, even though I work for a major publisher, I did not attend BEA and so missed the opportunity to gush all over my favorite knitting book author in person. Not only that– I missed the opportunity to gush all over one of my favorite fiction authors– Margaret Atwood– who apparently stayed in the same hotel as Yarn Harlot.
Yesterday afternoon, after at least 6 phone calls, I finally got a chance to talk to the nurse practitioner who is inseminating me. She listened to the stats I've been reading and said that she really does believe the egg lasts considerably longer than Weschler's book claims. I'm going to follow up on that with a question to Weschler herself. She also said that she believes frozen sperm probably lasts at least a little longer than 24 hours, even though the 24 hour stat is repeated all over the Web. She says that the sperm looks identical to a fresh specimen under a microscope, and that makes me feel a little bit better. She's following up on that with a contact she has at a local sperm bank.
Anyway, today went faster and was a little less painful than Tuesday. I'm feeling less stressed now that it's officially out of our hands for the month. I'm hoping that tonight's sleep will be more plentiful and more restful. We're thinking about skipping next month because we'll be on vacation for the first prime inseminating day anyway.
I don't think there's anyone that I'm not making crazy with my obsessiveness about ovulation. Poor Vanessa groans if she hears anything like egg, ovum, or fertile (She's hearing it until 1AM these days and again at 6:30 to 7 AM when I get up to check my temperature. To tell the truth, she's being a trooper.), and the nurse at my gyno's office is about to put a block on my phone number.
I had a clear LH surge according to the ovulation predictor test I took this morning. That means I'm going to ovulate sometime within the next 24-36 hours. Historically, I have ovulated on this day of my cycle every month since at least January. I usually have a little cramping around mid-day to late afternoon on this day, which I take to be the moment of ovulation. According to Toni Weschler's book Taking Charge of Your Fertility, the egg lasts 6-12 hours. Regular sperm can live up to 72 hours, but I'm using frozen, which lasts only 24 hours. We inseminated yesterday at around 9:00 AM, so I'm assuming that sperm is no longer viable now. We inseminate again probably around 9:00 AM tomorrow.
Tell me if I'm doing the math wrong, but say I ovulate at 2 PM today– even if that egg lasts a whole 12 hours, it's going to miss its hook-up with any one of the million sperm that are going to be making their way into my uterus tomorrow morning.
I don't understand my doctor's day before and day after protocol for artificial insemination. It seems to me like if you're tracking accurately, that's usually going to be too early and too late and never right on time. It's one thing if you've got fresh specimens you're working with, but we don't.
The nurse at the doctor's office (not the nurse practitioner who inseminated me but my gyno's triage assistant) says that the egg lasts 24 hours (clearly different from what I've read- Who's right?) and that average sperm can last 72 hours (not frozen!!). I think she thinks I'm insane. Yeah, that might work for the "average" woman in the "average" situation, but I'm not either of those things. To tell you the truth, nobody is. Like I told Vanessa this morning, there's no such thing as the "average" woman. There are only averages.
We did it. This morning I (Mel) got inseminated for the first time. It was pretty surreal. Up until today I haven't allowed myself to think too much about the mechanics of the insemination. I'm not going to get too graphic here. I'll just say one thing. Other than the unpleasant last minute revelation that artificial lubricants interfere with insemination and so aren't allowed, it wasn't nearly as painful as I would have imagined had I allowed myself to imagine prior to today.
My doctor's nurse practitioner performed the actual procedure, and Ness and I both loved her. As she says, she's a "glass half full" kind of girl and she has gotten lots of women knocked up this way. So let's hope it took. And if this one didn't, let's hope Thursday's takes.
Vanessa says I have to blog this– I waited an hour and a half afterwards to pee because I was afraid something might fall out. I know that's ridiculous. I understand the mechanics of the female reproductive system and the urinary tract, but darn it.–There's $500 worth of sperm up there, and I'm not taking any risks.
For those of you who, like me, just can't get enough fiber in your diet, there's yet another Indiana fiber festival coming up on June 3rd: The Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival at the Johnson County Fairgrounds, just 20-25 minutes south of Indianapolis. Be there or be square.
Let me know if you want to car pool.
We got some unexpected good news Monday afternoon. It turns out that our donor made a sooner-than-expected visit to the cryobank, and some IUI units are available in time for this month's ovulation.
So we bought sperm!– just enough for two months of trying in the hopes that all goes well. If I've read all the signs right, I (Mel) am probably going to be ovulating next Wednesday, so we can inseminate on Tuesday and again on Thursday. Our doctor's office is open both days, so we can have this done at the gynecologist's instead of going to a fertility specialist– much more comfortable and less hassle. We already have the appointments set, but we got a 14-day tank (the goods arrive on dry ice) just in case I ovulate late.
If the planets and stars align, I could be just a touch pregnant by this time next week. Wish us luck!