Saturday, December 31
Wow – so I think I’m going to have a baby (18 weeks into this and I’m starting to get the inevitable). Emily is a little worried about me because I made myself a “baby doll” the other night with one of the pajama outfits that D-Gina gave us. I don’t know if anyone else in the world has done this but I feel like its making the baby seem more real to have some sort of physical – outside representation of the little one who is coming (soon…). I sit and look at “him” (the t-shirt stuffed yellow duck pajama boy) and wonder what I should say to “him” – is this behavior somehow preparing me for parenthood? I have no idea – but I do feel an odd sort of affection for lil yellow pj guy.
I have been reading the Sears Birth Book (a present from some of my great work compadres) and folding the onesies that em brought back from Boston & it does feel like something is sinking in. Last night Em & I were at Ikea for storage options & we also looked at baby room stuff – I’m not into the Ikea options –but I do have a list of what I think we need – from crib to receiving blankets to vaporizer etc… It’s not too bad so far. I’m gonna ask some of the recent parent friends & family if its on target.
Emily is funny cause she kept getting mad at me for trying to carry stuff or pick stuff up at Ikea – she is concerned (suddenly) with my delicate condition.
Thursday, December 29
Week 16 Post Fertilization...
Growth continues, but no new structures form after this point.
Eyes are at final destination and face forward rather than to the sides and reflexes, such as blinking, develop. Ears move to final position and stand out from head.
Meconium begins to accumulate in the bowels. Meconium is the product of cell loss, digestive secretion and swallowed amniotic fluid.
Fingertips and toes develop the unique swirls and creases of fingerprints and toe prints.
The nerves are being coated with a fatty substance system (myelin) to speed nerve cell transmission and insulate them for uninterrupted impulses.
Circulation is completely functional. The umbilical cord system continues to grow and thicken as blood travels with considerable force through the body to nurture the fetus. The placenta is now almost equal in size to the fetus.
Wednesday, December 21
OB VISIT #3
Today we went in for our December appt. – and everything went great. My uterus has moved up higher in my belly and the babes heartbeat is 150 beats a minute (its really fast) - and my blood pressure is good – no sign of diabetes. All in all everything is looking good.
Saturday, December 10
Size hurts though... even before getting pg I was getting a little freaked out about the fact that after a childhood & youthful 20's of being a skinny stick guy I started to gain lbs and waist size every year since 30. Gone are the youthful days of the 28" waisted jeans of yore... and 10 years later at 40 I'm digging the baggy fit Lucky Jeans 38's that fit much closer to a 40 - and this is sinching the jeans on my low hips under where the tummy is actually making itself known.
So my initial maternity thought was that I'd just step up the jeans into the really big guy sizes - 42, 44, 46 etc but then when blasto started pushing out into my low guts I realized that in a month or so I'd be wearing jeans that would fall off my butt cause there wouldn't be anything holding them up.... This called for a change of plans - hence the trip downtown.
So the good folks at Gap and their sister stores make jeans & cords to fit the big belly - but they size them funny... there is no 38"x30" like Levis & Luckys and real jeans -- no now I am looking at S, M L and XL with a hard to find chart that says L = 12, 14 and XL is 16 etc - how hard would it be to add the inches to this chart????? Too hard to do clearly. Long story short - after the humiliation of trying to pull on a pair of med's and a pair of Larges - Yup I'd be an XL. - Fuck!
Humiliation suffered I am now the proud papa of 2 pairs of roll front pants that better get me through the next 6 months. On a happier note - the Manifesto Mens XL shirts are PERFECT dude maternity shirts & I snagged two beauties at their sample sale a couple weeks back (plus I got two really cute shirts for the lil dude when he gets here).
Wednesday, November 30
Em and I snuck in another pm ultrasound.... She mainly got to see what was going on - I was laying at that weird angle where you can't really see the screen at all. So Blasto was dancing around like crazy in there & he's got the thumb sucking down already - which is about two weeks before my "your pregnancy week by week" book says he'd have it figured out - what a bright boyling he is.
He's supposedly around the size of a peach or my fist - I can't feel him moving around yet & when I put em's stethescope to my belly I don't hear anything but gas... but he's growing right on target with the numbers that the photo machine prints out. He's in there resting his head on a nice little cyst thats growing along with him... my contribution - the doctor says its nothing to worry about at this point & will stay out of the way of the pregnancy - all the extra hormones give everything more of a growth spurt.
Developmently he's still a big headed boy with his head being one half his entire body- but its sitting on his neck now and not just rolling about on the shoulders. The hearts in there beating crazy fast (pumping 25 quarts of blood a day!), and he's practicing breathing by sucking in & out the amniotic fluid - yuck!!!! His arms are proportional at this point but he's still got stubby legs - although on the last scan they looked pretty long & lean to me so I don't know.... and his liver & spleen and all start functioning so that he's starting to pee into that amniotic fluid that he's drinking (yuck!!)
As for me - I am still feeling sick in the afternoons & evenings more often than not - & I finally got sick for the first time when I took a new prenatal vitamin- it stayed down for less than 5 minutes. Made me pretty glad that although I am getting crampy stomach aches & feel like I am on an extended boating trip I am not actually throwing up.
Friday, November 18
Ok - here's the photo from the Super High End fancy schmancy Ultrasound that they use when they are doing the CVS Testing.
I went in for the exam on Dec. 17th in the afternoon... I had to go alone cause Em was up in PDX for an interview. The bus ride to CPMC sucked which made me realize I better learn how to drive or something before the last month or two when I am going to have to get out there EVERY week. The genetick counselor lady was okay... I had already read up so she didn't tell me much that I hadn't already read about or thought through - except she assured me that the Dr. who would do the CVS was one of the co-founders of the dept - Dr. Goldberg & he's done tons & tons of CVS tests (which is one of the biggest factors in lowering the risks of complications!!) So that made me feel better. Then I went back to the waiting room & then in for the test... oh Did I mention that EVERYBODY ELSE who was there had there spouse with them... okay - so we went in & the Ultrasound Tech TOTALLY ROCKED - she was so cool - I felt like she spent a good amount of extra time getting lots of good shots of blasto from almost every angle - close ups of his hands & feet - I could see the bones in his hands - a good shot of the back of his neck & she told me that the neck is thin - a good sign from the genetic standpoint
and he was kicking his legs all over the place and rolled around for us - his place is actually pretty roomy in there right now - I hope he enjoys it cause its gonna get a lot more cramped in the near future.
So the placenta is between me & blasto which means they had to do the CVS with a needle through the belly - The big Doc & a nurse came in (she also rocked) and they gave me the numbing shot & then the Dr. went in & pulled out some cell samples - they showed it to me in the bottle it looked kinda like honeycomb --- all very fascinating. The Doctor was also great - I felt good about the whole experience & didn't have any pain or cramping or bleeding or anything. Shari came & got me after & I laid on her couch while she & Emma made holiday cookies. Then a had to lay around and not do much of anything for a couple of days... Doctors Orders!!!
Developmental Update .... his jaw has sockets where the teeth are growing. His brain structure should be complete & his face is pretty much human - he's got vocal cords and may be in there talking to himself. His intestines should have moved inside where they belong & out of the umbilical cord & the gall bladder, pancreas and thyroid are all good to go - the pancreas starts making insulin. His skin is "sensitive" and he's getting reflexes - fingernails are growing as are genitals. Go Blasto Go!
Thursday, October 6
Well I am six weeks now (4 weeks developmental) and I'm feeling kinda crappy. At Rosh Hosh services I kept going wow I feel kinda yucky each time we stood up & sat down & stood up & sat down ... and that night I could barely sleep - just felt super yuckers - and I was like "am I having cramps - no not cramps" "Is this gas? - nope not gas" and finally I realized I felt like I feel when Emily makes - ok encourages me to do something like whale watching or deep sea fishing & I'm like Oh... I feel totally naseaus.... that's what this is.
So I took a long bath at 3 in the morning and finally got to sleep.
Here's whats going on with Blasto.... there are limb buds where the arms & legs are gonna be & a layer of skin is forming.
The brain is seperating into 3 sections - "the forebrain, midbrain and hindbrain. The forebrain consists of lobes that translate input from the senses, and will be responsible for memory formation, thinking, reasoning, problem solving. The midbrain will serve as a relay station, coordinating messages to their final destination. The hindbrain will be responsible for regulating the heart, breathing and muscle movements".
Blasto is making eyes -
"Retinal disc presses outward and touches the surface ectoderm. In response the ectoderm proliferates forming the lens disc. Specific parts of the eye, such as the retina, the future pigment of the retina and the optic stalk are identifiable."
Organs are all developing & the heart & liver combined are the same size as blasto's head. Blood is somehow circulating even though there aren't heart valves yet. The lungs are just starting.
The embryo is folded up into a three dimensional shape & the somite pairs are going to start turning into bones & muscle.
Sunday, October 2
Thirteen to Twenty Somite Pairs, Rostral Neuropore Closes, Optic Vesicle Appears, Two Pharyngeal Arches Appear
2.5 - 3.0 mm
23 - 25 days post-ovulation
Thirteen to twenty pairs of somites are present in Stage 11 and the embryo is shaped in a modified S curve. The embryo has a bulb-like tail and a connecting stalk to the developing placenta.
A primitive S-shaped tubal heart is beating and peristalsis, the rhythmic flow propelling fluids throughout the body, begins. However, this is not true circulation because blood vesel development is still incomplete.
At this stage, the neural tube determines the form of the embryo. Although the primary blood vessels along the central nervous system are connecting in Stage 11, the central nervous system appears to be the most developed system. If twenty somites are present in the embryo, the forebrain is completely closed.
Tuesday, September 20
Tested Positive this Morning -
Got up at 8 am and took my temp like I am doing every damn morning (or at least every morning when I remember) – then went to pee & decided that even though its early – a few days before my period is due – what the hell we have a few extra clear blue sticks around since they are coming as a freebie each time I buy the ovulation testers. So I peed on the stick and then sat & waited, and waited, and tried not to look, and waited – and well, you know what the outcome is going to be cause you already saw the title of this page – I looked at the stick and saw a +. I ran into the bedroom and showed it to E., and she said yep she can see the plus sign too. So now the real ride begins. I hope I can keep some semblance of sane over the next few weeks while we try to get past the early developing weeks.
Tuesday, September 13
0.1 - 0.2 mm
4 days post-ovulation
About four days after fertilization, the morula enters the uterine cavity. Cell division continues, and a cavity known as a blastocele forms in the center of the morula. Cells flatten and compact on the inside of the cavity while the zona pellucida remains the same size. With the appearance of the cavity in the center, the entire structure is now called a blastocyst.
The presence of the blastocyst indicates that two cell types are forming: the embryoblast (inner cell mass on the inside of the blastocele), and the trophoblast (the cells on the outside of the blastocele).
Friday, September 9
1 Oocyte, 300 Million Sperm, 24 Hours
0.1 - 0.15 mm
1 day post-ovulation
Fertilization begins when a sperm penetrates an oocyte (an egg) and it ends with the creation of the zygote. The fertilization process takes about 24 hours.
A sperm can survive for up to 48 hours. It takes about ten hours to navigate the female productive track, moving up the vaginal canal, through the cervix, and into the fallopian tube where fertilization begins. Though 300 million sperm may enter the upper part of the vagina, only 1%, 3 million, enter the uterus. The next step is the penetration of the zona pellucida, a tough membrane surrounding the oocyte. Only one sperm needs to bind with the protein receptors in the zona pellucida to trigger an enzyme reaction allowing the zona to be pierced. Penetration of the zona pellucida takes about twenty minutes.
Within 11 hours following fertilization, the oocyte has extruded a polar body with its excess chromosomes. The fusion of the oocyte and sperm nuclei marks the creation of the zygote and the end of fertilization.
We got the chance to try again this month. Sept 8th was our go day - Lucky that I’ve had a really clear cycle for awhile. We picked up our supplies in the morning and then went to work. The plan was to shoot for a 9pm insemination. I wanted to have the chance to chill out, get in the water, bathe & rest – before we did the insemination. It was a sweet evening – made me feel very optimistic about our chances. I hope so because if we make a baby now then she’ll be born at the end of may or early june – our last chance before residency starts – which really makes this our last chance to get pregnant. If it doesn’t work then I suspect that we would wait about a year and Em would be the one to try after that. At 41 I don’t think that’ll it be me trying beyond this round.
I suppose I am scared in so many ways right now - scared it won’t happen, scared that if it does we may still have to face losing the pregnancy like earlier this summer, scared that even at 41 I am really not ready to be a dad. And I am also strangely compelled to share my thoughts and musings with an anonymous world.
Sunday, August 28
Tuesday, August 23
Sunday, August 21
Wednesday, August 10
Sunday, August 7
I think I am crazy
Thursday, July 28
So I don't think I have ever been happy to get my period. But there is something uplifting about the fact that about 28 days from the D&C I am bleeding what seems like a full on regular period. This would put us in line to be ovulating again around Aug 11th - of course thats the day we are supposed to be flying out of town & going on vacation but I am surewe will work things out.I am feeling proud of my body for recuperating quickly & actually feel optimistic about trying again. Of course if it had been up to me I would have wasted a shot last week since I had been convinced that when I bled again it would be back on my pre-pregnant schedule. I miss how it felt to be pregnant & at the same time I don't feel devastated at the fact that it didn't progress all the way through. Sometimes I am not sure if this is denial or if its healthy acceptance. I've told a few people that I am more amazed that any babies actually get throughthose early weeks of fetal development - it seems so incomprehensible that something can go from a couple of cells to becoming all these different types of tissue, and bone, and brain ... at every point it seems like a million different things could go wrong
Tuesday, June 28
They get you really high when they are giving you a D&C – that’s a good thing. When Jean and I were walking from our parking spot to the dr’s office I realized that I needed to pay attention to where the curb was because my feet felt like they were very far away from my body. Then I think I pretty much did everything I could to just be out of my body for the next chunk of time. It wasn’t too hard while I was yet again ½ ass naked on the exam table – I leave my body pretty quick in that position. The procedure itself didn’t hurt to much – and it did go really fast although it felt like it was taking forever. The longer she went the more I was cramping so by the end it was pretty owwy. This is such a crap bad way for things to go. After the doctor left I took a look under the cover at what she had “evacuted” – it was pretty much all fluid, bloody fluid – a lot of it more than I expected. Maybe I shouldn’t have looked. I don’t know. There’s a part of me that wanted to know what’s inside me. Jean brought me home after and I laid down (thanks Kathy for cleaning the room for me) and slept for a few hours. By early afternoon I didn’t have anymore cramping and wasn’t really bleeding either. A lot better than I had expected.
Wednesday, June 22
Today was our first ob visit and ultrasound. By the title on this you can probably guess what is coming. It was not a good outcome. E & I met up came out to a café near the Dr’s office where we had a yummy lunch and talked about what we were expecting with the visit. Lunch was good – we were both excited and nervous. I think we are both pretty much terrified by the idea that we are having a baby. I got set up in the exam room – they took my blood pressure and my weight and I had to get ½ ass naked and put on the paper gown – once again my favorite (!!!!) Then e. and I started to get into it about how much weight I put on already – only 8 weeks into this adventure. Buggin’ me about my weight when I am in a paper gown is not the best…. I was starting to get pretty annoyed and ready to get into it with her, but then the Ob’s NP came in to do the ultrasound, so we quickly made nice.
So she put the probe in and we are all watching the little TV screen and I’m waiting to see something that’s supposed to look like a dancing gummy bear- but all I see is a lot of black – no gummy bear at all. And at this point E is really quiet, and the doctor is moving the probe around and its starting to sink in to me that something is probably pretty wrong here.
The NP says something about it not looking right & being really sorry and I am just going ka-ching shut everything down. She wants us to go across the street and get another scan on the super machine to confirm that there’s nobody there – but it’s pretty clear that the pregnancy hasn’t progressed (for awhile). I think that e. was crying – I don’t really remember. I was paying attention to the NP’s manner more than the actual words that she said. She left us alone & I got dressed & e. was freaked, and they sent us across the street. The fancy ultrasound lady was great – she was business-like without any of the fake I’m sorry stuff. Her brusque manner made me feel safer than a soft sympathy manner would have. She confirmed that there isn’t a baby & there hasn’t been for awhile – probably since about the 6th week – I think that it never got a heart beat.
We left there and went home & to bed. The doctor’s office called later & said that if I don’t miscarry in the next week I will need to schedule a D&C. I didn’t sign on for this.
Friday, May 20
Wednesday, May 18
Tuesday, May 17
So today is Deb's Birthday & in honour of that I decided that I would pee on stick #2 first thing this am. Of Course E. is gone since she has to be at the hospital by 5 am or some god awful hour, & I don't return to the living until sometime after 7 at the earliest.
Anyway I digress ---
so I get up - pee on yet another stick - wait almost the full number of minutes & then am confronted with A STRONG PINK line - WOW ---
So I couldn't breath for like 5 minutes & then when my heart calmed I tried calling E. & left a message for her to call me. Then I called Deb (happy B'day) & Rina --- This is so weird - like I shouldn't be surprised but I am
Sunday, May 15
Last night was the big NCLR dinner - getting dressed sucked cause I don't feel right in any of my "dress up"clothes - I want to just live in ripped up jeans. Finally after I took on a bit of an attitude adjustment we had a pretty good time. I'd like to just bleed & get it over with -- I really can't stand all this 2 week at a time counting.
Thursday, May 12
Sunday, May 1
gonna be alright
---Took my last hot tub for awhile...and then it was time for butch dyke baby makin'.Of course Em & I had to fight a bit to get some of the stress out - but then wechilled & were able to get down to business. Thank god for dating a dr. It was great to be able to do IUI at home & not in a clinic. All in all it was an incredibly sweet & intimate experience ... & here I was expecting it all to feel really clinical.
Monday, April 18
Friday, April 8
Well this really does have to be one of the strangest experiences that you can have. E & I headed on down to our neighborhood sperm center were we checked in & had a seat in the waiting room with a quiet nice looking young guy -(a donor perhaps??). They have 3 or 4 binders sitting out which contain the long descriptions & in some cases photo's of all the current available donors. We have already pretty much picked our guy from the short descriptions offered on-line but we go ahead & take this time to read through the catalogues & see if there are others to consider. There isn't a photo of our guy as a kid which is too bad, cause it is cool to see the baby photo's of some of the other donor-guys.
We have a fairly long wait so we each wade through a complete binder before being called in for our intake appt. The meeting goes ok - but I don't really feel like they told us anything that wasn't in all the registration paperwork that we already went through. I want to be present & remember what was said & ask the right questions but I really just zone out a bit. E asks some questions - and then we head back out to the waiting area & reception/accounting desk.
So this is the good part --- we have a mini-in cause we sorta know one gal who is working here. She comes out to sit with us as we are looking through all the dudes & helps rate our prospects -- Our number one choice gets high marks from the spy in the house of sperm - both for his looks & personality and also for the quality of his seed. Our spy tells us that he's already been quite successful in the pregnancy dept.and he has good handwriting e&I both think so .... Maybe its weird to be picking the genetic co-creator of our child based on his handwriting but hey its what we have to go on - so that’s that.
We do have a minute when we look at the price scale & wonder if we should pick another donor cause factors make him a bit more of a bargain & then I get a really strong feeling that this is not the moment to be working my thrifty shopper persona & we drop it.We put 3 vials of mr. donor on hold & head for the parking lot feeling really .... strange .... this is an unfortunately not intimate moment in our road to baby making. & its tinged with some real sadness because for both of us in our hearts of hearts we want to create a child that is hers & mine - not mine & some dude who's got the right body type and eye color.
Monday, March 14
Sunday, March 13
For E. and I it just kinda came together. I think I realized that I want to be a parent sometime 5 or 6 years ago. I think as I got to see some of my friends who are good parents I realized that I would be capable of parenting – a concept that hadn’t necessarily occurred to me before that. And as my relationship with Do & Allie grew as well as the relationships with my Nieces & Nephew. E. was a bit further behind but then earlier this year she had some back to back lectures that covered aging and fertility & she pretty much came home & announced that my eggs are dying faster than dinosaurs. So we walked to Walgreens & bought a bottle of prenatal vitamins and officially agreed to suspend our fears & disbelief and to just go forward and concentrate on being excited about trying to make a baby.
STEP ONE – Check
So how do two gals in the big city make a baby…. Steps two and three call the sperm bank and go to get a medical check up.