Monthly Archives: January 2008

Crazy meter reading: vaguely dangerous

posted by Mel 

BC sucks. Since I’ve been on it (5 days and counting) my gastric state has ranged from “mildly queasy” to “coming out both ends.” I’m sure I’d find one that works better for me if I had to be on it long term, but I think it would take a helluva lot of commitment to a sex life– possibly more than I’m willing to make– to stick it out. As it is, I’ll be happy to kiss it goodbye on February 5th. Still glad I opted to go this way over the Lupron marathon, even though it seems counter-intuitive to take bc in the pursuit of pregnancy.

I’ve been googling donor egg IVF success rates– again. Counseling appointment made for Monday morning. Increased yoga to two days a week. Acupuncture next Wednesday afternoon. Don’t they make some kind of drug that makes you forget you’re pursuing ART but doesn’t make you forget to take your meds?



Filed under Gettin' Knocked Up

We got tagged

posted by Mel

tagged by CD & SP and  Sarah

1.) I loathe animatronics, which are everywhere at the holidays. What I hate even more, however, are those giant plastic yard snowglobes.

2.) One of my legs is 1/2″ shorter than the other. When I walk I tend to veer to the right and occasionally bump into my companion. It was never really a problem until last year when the physical therapist I was seeing for a back injury told me I now have mild scoliosis because of it!

3.) I knit. I just finished this sweater minus the sash (ran out of yarn). Yes, in my sweet young TTCer days I knit 3 newborn-sized baby sweaters. They are tucked away in Vanessa’s childhood dresser in our still unoccupied nursery. Now I only knit baby sweaters for honest-to-goodness on-their-way or already here babies.

4.) I can also spin my own yarn, though I’m not sure I do it often enough to justify the purchase of my wheel. For the last year and a half, pretty much the only fiber my wheel has seen has come off of these dogs. It’s a project for a friend. The dog hair is a big reason I haven’t been spinning much lately. It’s soft and pretty clean, but it flies away and gets into everything. Also one of our dogs likes to eat it. I prefer merino or alpaca (who doesn’t?).

5. Occasionally Vanessa requests that I select a great work of literature that she must read. I am always happy to oblige, but I can never keep my hands off the book once I’ve given it to her. So she reads a few chapters and I end up stealing it back. The most recent example is Anna Karenina. Before that, Slaughterhouse Five. I am contemplating re-reading Wuthering Heights now in anticipation of the next request.

6.) Left to my own devices, I would happily eat an entire pot of mashed potatoes for dinner.

To be honest, I always ignore tagging, but since we got tagged twice I felt the obligation to respond. It was actually kind of fun. I’m a party pooper, though, so I tag no one and everyone.


Filed under DogBlog, Domestic Goddess

Blog reading– more than just a time suck!

I kept thinking about it and, even apart from being a giant pain in the ass, something just didn’t feel right about having to be on Lupron for 6 weeks. It didn’t resemble any other donor egg cycle I’ve ever stalked followed. Come to think of it, every other donor egg recipient has taken birth control to sync up to her donor’s cycle.

Every time I’ve questioned Nurse Lunch Lady’s judgment, I’ve gotten some version of “we know what’s best for you,” but people I have really been dreading those hot flashes and estrogen deprivation headaches. So much that, a month out, I was researching natural remedies for them. So I screwed up my courage to question her one last time.

And this morning she called with the new plan– MY new plan! I now have a script for birth control. This will be the first time I’ve taken it in my entire life. Vanessa and I will be shooting up Lupron together in mid-February and then only for 10 days or so. Ladies of the IVP, I thank you for endlessly chronicling your IVF protocols. Because of you, I will be able to wear sweaters and drink hot beverages in February after all.


Filed under Gettin' Knocked Up

Who’s the Daddy?

posted by Mel


There are a lot of interesting discussions in the fertility/lesbian mom blogosphere around parenting roles, specifically whether a non-bio/non-birth mom equates to or should equate to a dad and how to navigate those dangerous waters. After all, most women are never going to see themselves as fathers, nor do they want to be called Daddy. In our case, should this next IVF attempt prove successful, Vanessa will be the bio-mom, while I will be the birth mom. Talk about confusing! There will be some trade-offs. Vanessa will get to look at our children’s physical characteristics and see her parents and her grandparents, her aunts and uncles. I won’t get that. Instead, I’ll get to know them much earlier than she does. I’ll get to sustain them with my own body. In a way I think our donor/surrogate model might alleviate some of the role confusion inherent in a same sex parenting relationship.

To date Vanessa and I have never felt the need to suss out who will be mama and who will be mommy, the separate names a lot of lesbian parents use. I can’t make myself believe that our kid or anyone else will be confused if our names are the same. When referring to one another around the dogs I call her MamaNess, and she calls me MamaMel— if two retriever mixes get it, surely a human child can. While we have made no moves to define our roles in terms of gender, I want to carry. Vanessa has no desire to do that. I want to breastfeed. Vanessa does not. That happens to fit very tidily into our plans/hopes for the begetting of children, but it never puts Vanessa in the role of Dad in my mind.

Since childhood I have been very uncomfortable with the idea of myself as a stay-at-home mom. From time to time I daydream about staying home for a while with our baby, but even the daydream makes me feel restless. My mom was a SAHM, and I always got a restless, even trapped, vibe off her. As I grew older, she frequently told me that she had given up her career to stay at home with me. It was clear that she was bored and a little bitter, and it was my duty to impress and entertain her so that she wouldn’t feel her sacrifice was wasted. So I have always seen myself as a working mom because I want to insure an intellectual life outside the home. I think that will be better for me and for our children, because I hope to avoid pressuring them to fulfill me. I hope that I will not feel different when the baby is actually here, that I will not resent needing to go back to work and being the stable one because I carry the health insurance. While Vanessa’s income potential and current income is higher than mine, my career is the one that provides security for our household. We’ve taken some significant risks with her career, and they’ve paid off. I’m happy doing what I’m doing right now and glad I can make it possible for her to do some exploration, and I believe Vanessa would be willing to do the same for me if I asked. Right now, though, Vanessa’s path provides a lot of flexibility for her to stay at home at least a couple of days a week with our children— pretty atypical for a non-birth mom who a lot of people would probably try to force into the Dad role.

So if no one claims the Daddy role, who performs all those functions specific to fathers? Providing for the family financially? Both of us. Taking out the garbage? Both of us. Driving on long trips? Usually Vanessa. Disposing of bugs? Usually me. Fixing shit that breaks around the house? We do it together—cursing each other the entire time—or we call somebody. Here’s a tougher one—providing spiritual direction. The Promise Keepers wouldn’t like this one, but both of us will, and we will encourage spiritual exploration. Lifting heavy stuff—here’s hoping Eric doesn’t move far away, but in a pinch we can do this together. Football games and navigating the men’s locker room—we will learn, and we have a circle of friends. We are not alone in this. I had a pretty good dad. With a little work, I think he will make a pretty good grand-dad. Our kids will not have a dad, but they’ll have two great moms and a village of both female and male trusted adults in their lives that can fill in the gaps that exist in any parenting situation, even the most traditional ones.


Filed under The way the world works, Young'n


posted by Mel

For over two weeks I’ve contemplated a post detailing all the ways in which 2007 sucked worse than any other year in my reckoning, but something has held me back. I think it’s that we just did such a good job of ending the year right after all that I don’t want to dwell on the bad. We had a genuinely happy Christmas Day (without going to my sister’s). We spent much of it at home doing nothing but enjoying each other and our gifts. After Christmas, Vanessa and I spent a relaxing 3 days at a charming B&B in Michigan. New Year’s Eve just the two of us spent watching Fried Green Tomatoes and enjoying a homemade antipasta platter and good coffee made in Vanessa’s new coffee press. I knit 2/3rds of Starsky in the month of December. We decompressed like nobody’s business. I feel ready for 2008 and all the promise it holds.


Filed under Home Swett Home

At it again– with update

posted by Mel

I cannot believe it. After 5 months on the bench, we have a new estimated retrieval date– March 1. We’re doing IVF again. And Bonus– because Vanessa and I are already cycling so close together right now, Nurse Lunch Lady says I won’t have to be on Lupron much longer than Vanessa is.* I hope our donor is still available.

*I spoke too soon. Nurse Lunch Lady called back for clarification on Vanessa’s cycle length. I have to be on Lupron almost a full month before she starts stimming. At least I’ll be hot flashing in February. I guess I’ll just get the short sleeves out of storage a couple of months early.


Filed under Gettin' Knocked Up