Unfortunately, This Is Not A Pregnancy Announcement

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19 days ago, Sarah and I walked in to Wisconsin Fertility Institute to be inseminated.  It was the most amazing day!  We sat in the waiting room with excitement and anticipation as we awaited our sperm to thaw!  We giggled at just how funny, and clinical, the situation was but above all that, we were so excited to finally be on our way, to growing our family.

After about 45 minutes, the nurse finally called us back, and we excitedly made our way in to the little room, where we were asked a bunch of questions to which we knew few of the answers (we’re not exactly over-informers).  But mostly, because we didn’t know we had to understand things like sperm counts, and swimming directions, ect.  We’re two women!  What do we truly know about sperm?!  We were blissfully naive to the entire process.

As the nurse left, and Sarah undressed, we nervously exchanged some banter.  This was it!  We were going to try to make a baby!  Our doctor helped to lighten the mood as she came barging in, sperm in hand, waving it around as if it were some Greek God of procreation!  (I was secretly hoping that was in fact the case).

Within minutes, Sarah was inseminated, and I cried.  Big uncontrollable tears.  I was so happy!  Sarah was so happy!  We spent some time in the room together just kind of relishing in the moment and then she dressed, and we walked out…full of sperm.

Funny right?

Still elated, I dragged Sarah around the building to take a selfie, then proceeded to send said-selfie to anyone I could think of that would care.  I’ve never been one to keep hush when I’m excited.  It’s the reason Sarah opens up Christmas presents in November and why I’m not allowed to be around secret information especially when I drink.  IT JUST BLURTS OUT!Were Trying

We had an hour and a half drive home so we mostly talked about things like gender and how I thought she should be the passenger sitting upside down to help the sperm swim the right way.  You know, normal things.  And for the next two weeks, everything became about protecting her egg.  Spazzo moms.  That was definitely us.

And then, just 13 days after that initial appointment, Sarah peed out a positive pregnancy result (a few times actually) and the tears of sheer jubilation just ran out again!  First try.  Pregnant.  How did we get so lucky?!

We weren’t.

Remember, above, when we really knew nothing other than a sperm fertilizes an egg and 9 months later we get a baby?  Well, having a little more information probably would have helped us feel less blindsided when the words “your levels didn’t double” were uttered. What does that even mean?  And so what?  Sarah’s small.  Maybe the baby is small!

I guess it doesn’t work like that.

Our pregnancy test didn’t lie.  Sarah was in fact, pregnant, for a very brief moment in time.  At least according to the hormones in her body…and my private Pinterest “Baby A #2” board and the 6 baby apps between the two of us.  Unfortunately, while insemination happened…the egg wasn’t so lucky and didn’t survive long past that moment.  Sarah and I now know more now about hCG levels than we ever thought we would (or needed to).  And in all honesty, it feels nice to be a bit more informed on the things to consider when going through this process.  And while we’re sad, we realize that there are downfalls to finding out IMMEDIATELY that you’re pregnant.  Occasionally, it’s just too early to start planning.  And this next time around, I’m hoping I’ll be able to take a few breathers, and just relax while we await our levels to increase…before jumping on the horn to tell the world.

Introversion. Read: Boring.

Introvert.  It’s a word that gets thrown around a lot these days.  Don’t like people?  Introvert.  Consumed in your own head?  Introvert.  Social anxiety?  Introvert.  For the first time, there’s a widely accepted term that we can use to describe our desire to simply be with ourselves from time to time.  As a pronounced introvert myself, it
feels good to know that I’m not alone in my feelings.  Facebook has almost made it “cool” to be one!  When I was little I was just “shy” but now I have a scientific label to describe me, and I know there are many like me out there!  Science tells me there is!  And we proudly stand with our introversion.  Because it’s okay.

We can’t help the way our brains are wired.

But in that acceptance and self-understanding, I believe, that I have used this fact about myself, as a crutch.  A crutch to be boring, to not talk to people, or to be lazy.  I’ve avoided conversations with people, cancelled on social engagements, and spent all day in my
pajamas doing absolutely nothing productive.  Part of this, is just me, that’s true.  As a legitimate introvert, I derive my energy from my solitude: a good book, a meditation session, a Saturday at home after an intense night out.

But part of this, is me using this well known, accepted fact about myself, as an excuse to not do things.  I don’t believe I did it consciously, but I’m fairly confident in many occasions I just didn’t put the effort in to do something, or to know someone, and I was at peace with that.  Because…I was an introvert.

It’s me, it’s how I’m wired.

I couldn’t help that I had nothing to talk to someone about, or didn’t want to be somewhere.  Us introverts, it’s in our DNA.  I shouldn’t feel bad about that should I?

But if that’s true, if I truly am using my introversion as a crutch, then I am missing out on a lot of amazing things, experiences and people!  That cold reality hit me this weekend as, through my tears, I sat in a church filled with people who were speaking truths about an amazing woman that was taken from this Earth far too early.  A woman I knew and loved on a professional level, but not much deeper than that.  A woman, who touched the lives of so many people around her because of her intense courage, joy, and love.  A woman, who was so amazing, so kind, so faithful and confident in her relationship with Jesus that
she stood in death’s face and welcomed it…as long as her son and family were taken care of once she was called home.

On Saturday, I celebrated the life of this absolutely beautiful, courageous woman; a woman that I never took the time to get to know.

Because small talk is exhausting, and I was an introvert.  It’s okay that I don’t reach out in that way.  My brain isn’t wired to desire relationships in that way.

But that’s so unbelievably far from what I truly believe!  I believe in the love and beauty of our world, far more than I believe in the ugly hatred!  I believe that personal, fulfilling relationships are the key to long-term happiness.  So why am I hiding behind my crutch
of introversion and denying myself the opportunity to know and love women like this?  Kind, good, love-filled people?!

This weekend, I believe that Sandy continued to do her God’s work by filling my heart with love.  I truly believe she was there, loving every person in that room as she did fully when she walked the Earth.  She helped me to see, that while I may be a certain way…that doesn’t have to be the author of my story.  I WANT to open up to people more.  I WANT to experience more of the world and life.  I WANT to be better.  Sure, maybe it’s a little more work for me, but it’s worth it.  IMO.

To Sandy, thank you.  I didn’t know you the way I could have.  But I’m
honored to have learned from you.

Procrastinating Our Family

You may delay, but time will not, and lost time is never found again.  – Benjamin Franklin

Gosh if that isn’t true, is it?  Being a procrastinator since birth I have lived my life putting things off later and later, letting time continually pass, while the “stuff” just piles.  I’ve delayed cleaning my room, studying for tests, finding a “real” job, paying bills and most recently…having a child!  And that most recent procrastination just hit me last night,  hard.  And I was frustrated with myself.  Frustrated with who I am at my core.  If I would just DO THINGS right away, we wouldn’t have missed the glorious window we had last night.  We wouldn’t have missed our opportunity to finally get our family started, when we saw that blinking smiley face on the ovulation test.

Let me back up, as there is plenty more procrastination that I have to bring you all up to speed.

About a year and a half ago, Sarah and I decided that we were ready to expand our family.  A was getting older, we were getting older, and our eggs weren’t going to be this fantastically fertile for long.  Time really does start ticking and we became more and more aware of it as we drew closer to 35.

Unfortunately, Sarah and I are collectively flawed when it comes to making big decisions.  Sarah, is not a self-starter.  I love her to death, but she’s not one to just do something on her own, without being prompted.  And me…I procrastinate.  I wait, until the very last minute and then I get overwhelmed and stressed out and my solution is to just not do that thing anymore.  SO, you can imagine how far we got initially.  That’s correct, nowhere.  We didn’t call any banks, we didn’t look through any catalogues, we just sat and talked about starting a family, but never actually did anything about it.  Meanwhile, everything just kept on getting older.

As 2016 began we swore that would be our year.  I finally called a fertility clinic, we had our initial consultation and she made the whole process seem incredibly easy!  We went home that night, and began researching…and researching…and researching.  And yep, you can guess where we ended up after all that.  Nowhere.  I got overwhelmed by all the options and all of the THINGS we needed to think about!  What does donor #4456 like to eat in the morning?  What does donor #8892’s mom do for a living?  What does donor #9783’s voice sound like?  What does donor #1539’s genetic history look like, 4 generations back?  If I considered every single option available I was literally left with nobody.  But when I went broad I ended up with hundreds of donor options.  HUNDREDS!  So I shut down, overwhelmed.  And our search continued to stall.

But at the end of this year, I finally had an “enough is enough” moment.  We had officially made it through an entire year and had nothing to show for it.  Not a sperm receipt, not a negative pregnancy test…nothing.  And I was frustrated, although still very overwhelmed.

And here’s why.

When I met Anderson’s father, he was a very pretty boy in a bar.  That’s it.  I didn’t know his genetic history, or what his mom did, or whether he ate eggs or cereal in the AM.  All I knew, was he was pretty.  And a few months later I stared at a positive pregnancy test.  Now you could argue if he HAD a genetic history of say cancer that I was aware of and if he ate cereal instead of eggs in the AM or if I didn’t like the sound of his voice that maybe I wouldn’t have continued to date him and subsequently I wouldn’t have had my son after all.  Which means maybe those said attributes, on paper, really are important when determining the sperm I’d like to use.  But the reality is, I had a hard time looking at sperm in a catalogue!  I didn’t want a designer baby.  I didn’t care about any of the attributes on paper.  I just wanted to find someone that I’d date.  And I then wanted to have their baby.

I’m of course being incredibly casual but I hope you get what I’m trying to say here.  I couldn’t just stare at pages upon pages of information anymore.  I needed to find someone that I would want to procreate with.  I needed to find someone who felt like a real human being.

So I called up the sperm bank we chose to use, talked to the woman on the other end and said “If you were in a bar, and your catalogue of donors were all in the same room, who would you want to grab a drink with.  Who would you want to get to know better?”  She laughed, but she knew exactly what I was getting at.

By the time our conversation ended, I had four dateable options in my inbox and I hit “purchase” on the one who fit some of the high-level criteria we were looking for.  I likened it to walking in to a bar, and leaving with the cute bartender.  The blonde haired, tall bartender.  Not the brown eyed, shorter bartender.  I wrapped up the receipt for the cute bartender, and gave it to Sarah for Christmas.

Yes, I bought my partner Sperm for Christmas.  Sperm that I just equated to a one-night-stand.  Just let that sink in a bit.

And so now we’re up to last night.  We FINALLY had our Sperm.  After over a year of procrastinating we were finally really ready to start our family!  We had all of the pieces at our disposal!  Except for one, small detail.  I procrastinated actually sending the sperm to our fertility clinic.  And our bank is in Seattle.  So that means, no go on having access to it at a moment’s notice…like last night.

Last night, as we stared at that positive test, I wanted to cry.  Because in that moment, my procrastination forced time to move without us.  Another month will pass without us being able to try for a baby.  Another month we all get older.  Another month A doesn’t have a sibling on the way.  I have nobody to blame but myself.  But my god is it depressing.

And so, January was a bust.  But here’s hoping for a better outcome in February!  And maybe, just maybe, I’ll finally learn my lesson.

21 Day Detox – Day Zero

4 years ago, my son was born.  And for the last 4 years, my metabolism has progressively declined while my desire to exercise and eat healthy has followed the same downward trending slope.

Part of this, is because prior to turning 30, I could eat whatever I wanted.  I was a whopping 125 pounds, 5’9″ and had a metabolism that allowed me to eat absolutely anything I wanted.  It was amazing.  But it also meant, I never really learned how to take care of myself.  Because I didn’t have to.  I was young, skinny and invincible to calories.

Fast forward to 34 and it’s a bit of a different story.  I’m 35 pounds heavier than I’ve ever been in my life (excluding my last month of pregnancy) and I feel sluggish.  Not a way to be when your 4 year old’s energy levels mimic that of…well…a 4 year old.  I’ve been sick a lot, my clothes don’t fit, and I’m tired of seeing crappy food in our pantry.  We’re grown adults.  It’s time we start acting like it.

And so, this year, I vowed to get my health back in-line (among many other resolutions).  And yes, I fully realize this resolution of mine is absolutely not unique in any way.  But it’s necessary.  And we’re ready.

I spent all day today grocery shopping, and clearing out our pantry and fridge, ready for our 21 Day Sugar Detox that we’re starting tomorrow.  I’ve done these types of things in the past, and I’ve failed miserably.  I can’t promise this won’t be another failure.  But I’m hopeful that this time I’m serious enough, and committed enough to complete this.

A is going to make it tough.  He refuses to eat anything other than buttered noodles and broccoli lately which means Sarah and I are going to have to have some serious self-control to feed him 4-year old approved healthy food, while we choke down another salad.  But maybe, just maybe, with enough willpower, we’ll be able to get him to enjoy some of these meals, and he’ll grow up with a much better attitude towards food than I did!

Here’s hoping!

The Beginning

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I’ve been planning this post, in my head, for a very long time.  How I should introduce myself, and my family, and the reason for starting this blog in the first place.  Every single time, I’d have some different angle, something different to say but ultimately…no real way to introduce this.

I don’t have a clever quote, or a funny anecdote, or some sort of philosophy that will promise you I’ll change your life if you read this blog.  I just have the truth.

I suppose that’s a good place to start.

My name is Christi.  I have a son who I loving refer to as “A”, a bulldog named Prince, and two cats (Egon and Marshmallow – yes, after the Ghostbusters).  I maneuver this life with my partner, Sarah…and our village.  We’re a pretty basic family.  And by basic, I think I really mean boring.  We work 45 – 50 hours a week, we come home, we eat dinner, occasionally clean (thus, the messy part), and we go to bed.  It’s about as basic as it gets around here.  But, we’re two women – raising a family – so that tends to make us stand out just a little bit, no matter how boring we really are.  Life can get a bit messy and complicated but it’s incredibly beautiful, and I’m really excited to share our story and our journey with you all!

I refer to Sarah not as my partner because that’s how you refer to your Gay Partner.  Honestly, whether she were a man or a woman, I’d refer to her as my partner.  I don’t do “Husband” or “Wife” or “Girlfriend” or “Boyfriend”.  Those titles are too constricting, in my personal belief system.  I prefer Partner.  It defies gender, and defines the relationship perfectly.  So for the purpose of this blog, you will hear me reference her as “partner”.  It is an honor to her, and our relationship.

You see, Sarah and I started dating while I was still pregnant with A.  Now before you go all “What the Hell?!” on me, understand this one specific piece of information.  Regardless of what happened between me and my son’s father (which you will not get the gory details of – sorry), Sarah stepped in to a role she definitely did not have to take on.  And she did it willingly, and with a smile (most of the time) and because of that – “A” loves her whole-heartedly.  I love her whole heartedly.  She is as much of a parent to “A” than I am.  She is my partner.  A description far greater than “wife” or “girlfriend”.

And soon, we’re hoping to add “Mother” to her repetoir of amazing roles she plays.  And this blog, is meant to document that journey of ours.  Our plan, is to get pregnant – to get Sarah pregnant.  Hopefully this year.  We’re excited to take our little family of 3, to a family of 4 – although Sarah would say that we’re hoping for a family of 6.

We’ll see how this next one goes.

And so there it is, the introduction to my blog and your sneak peek in to my life.  In to our life.  Let me know you stopped by.  I’d love to say hi!