Roller Coasters

I frequently have dreams about being pregnant.  Not every week, or even every month, but it’s
a noteworthy recurrence.

Usually, my dreams on the subject are shrouded in fear.  Something isn’t progressing properly. The
baby isn’t big enough.  I am 6 months
along and have no baby belly.  They’re strange,
disjointed dreams.

What’s odd is that I wake up with no sense
of the fear. I come to in that semi-conscious fuzziness wishing I could just go back
to sleep and be pregnant again.

I had a pregnancy dream the other night and all the usual
feelings that go along with it. Only this time, it feels a bit more real. 

I have an appointment with an Ob/Gyn on May 9th.  Hopefully, she will give me the all clear and
fill out the paperwork that the clinic requires to take us on.  From there, the roller coaster ride will
begin—and it may not end.  Ever.

Trying to conceive will be its own roller coaster full of
sperm banks, wishful thinking, and anxiety–of this, I am certain.  That loveliness is followed by
(we hope) pregnancy.  Followed by (we
hope) baby. Toddler. Child. Preteen. Teenager. 

It goes on and on and it scares the living daylights out of
me and Catch.  

Even so—I can’t wait to hop on and buckle in. I just need to remember that on the occasions
when I am suddenly paralyzed by fear.

I've been dreaming of this. I've been dreaming of this for so long. It's time to leave the safety of my dreams.

Leap of Faith

I had trouble sleeping last night.  It took me forever to fall asleep, and I woke
up around 3-something and tossed and turned forever trying to turn my brain off
and get back to sleep.  Too much on my
mind. 

This morning, an NPR article about the decision to have
children popped up in my Facebook feed
.  I
read it because it’s something that weighs heavily on my mind these days.  Most of the time, I am so sure of what we’re
doing, but sometimes the nagging doubts creep in.  The most nagging of the doubts being

Can we afford this?

and

What will having a child mean for our marriage?

So it was so fitting
when I read this quote from this blog post on CrookedTimber.org in the NPR article:

Choosing to have a
child involves a leap of faith, not a carefully calibrated rational choice…

Their argument being
that there is no way to make a rational choice about having a child, because
there is no way to know what having a child will be like until you actually
have one.  So what we think of as
rational decision-making is actually just us conjuring up a perceived idea of
how a baby will affect our lives, when we actually have no freaking clue.

At first, this made me
feel worse.  It goes against my nature to
disregard logic and act on faith.  I am
the queen of overanalyzing.

For example, just now
I read a single mention of someone using a fertility monitor on a TTC message
board, and I have spent an hour researching them to see if they’re worth the
investment versus the standard ovulation prediction kits in addition to posting
on the message board to see what others’ experience with them has been.  I want ALL of the facts before I make a decision.

But in this case—in the
question of “to baby or not to baby?”—there is no “ALL of the facts.”

There is the
perception that I will get less sleep than I ever have in my life, and the
vague idea of how that will affect me physiologically.

There is the abstract
notion of what it will be like to nuzzle our newborn’s peach fuzz hair as s(he)
sleeps in my arms.

There is the vision of
watching Catch teaching him(her) to swing a bat and run the bases.

There are imagined strolls through the neighborhood on a
beautiful spring day with wife and dogs and stroller—imagined camping trips
where Catch teaches them to fish and I teach them how to roast a perfect
marshmallow—imagined road trips to visit my sister in law at their ranch in
Colorado, and the fun to be had with her horses and ATVs and rolling hills and
green meadows.

There are fears of slamming doors, screaming matches, missed
curfews, and boys we don’t approve of—of not enough time for us to be a couple—of
how we will cope with no privacy and constant interruptions—and the biggest
fear—how we will make ends meet.

It’s all just perception. 
We really have no clue.  So, if we
are to do this thing—this major, permanent, life-changing thing—we must have
faith, and we must leap, and we must be there to catch each other when we
stumble.

Related articles

On Babymaking
Planning

Projecting

I tell Catch often that she is my favorite person on earth. It seems to me that if you’re going to spend the rest of your life with someone, that’s how it should be. I feel Ike I hit the wife jackpot when I met her. I am the hot air balloon, and she is my tether. I would be lost without her.

We count on each other for reality checks. When I am off in left field, she guides me home. When she is afraid to move forward, I take her hand and lead the way.

And so it has been with all of our talk of baby.

Two weeks ago, I emailed her a couple of donors I found that fit our distinct, but relaxed criteria. She says redhead. I say blue eyes (like her) and athletic (also like her). I plug it in, and have a bit of light reading. Seriously light. There are so few redheaded donors out there.

So I sent her three and heard nothing from her. The days got away from us, and I started to worry that she wasn’t responding because she’s not all in on the baby “situation.” (There’s a funny story there, but for another day…) My worry manifests and I try to take the subtle approach to feeling her out. I load my Pinterest boards with nurseries and baby books and Disney movies from our childhoods. She is a frequent pinner, so I hope she will comment or repin or like… Anything. But there is nothing. So my fear grows.

Finally, I am feeling hurt. I have not mentioned a word about anything to her, and yet I am holding her lack of action against her. Projecting. It’s what I do best.

Until last night when my mood bursts, and she looks at me like I’m a crazy person and tells me to calm down. She does work at a Catholic school–do I expect her to be researching sperm donors while she teaches? Hmm. Whoops.

So we sit together. I pull up the profiles. She reads. We eliminate one entirely, and we rank the other two in order of preference.

She sheds a few tears. It hurts her that we can’t create this baby without outside assistance. I understand. I reassure. We snuggle on the couch and talk about it all. From houses to little league and strollers.

Today, I bought a basal thermometer. Fertility friend, here I come…

We’re doing this… And there’s no one on earth I’d rather do it with.

The Baby Thing

We haven’t told very many people close to us that we’ve
reached a point where we’re serious about the “baby thing.”  My mom and dad know—mostly because my mom is
beside herself wanting a grandchild.  I
also told her because we’re close that way—we talk about these things.  I value her insight, and I feel like of all
of the people in my life (aside from Catch) that I should be able to talk to
about having a baby, my mom should be number one.

Catch’s parents aren’t going to agree with us about our
timing, I don’t think.  They want us to
buy a house as desperately as my mom wants us to give her a grandchild.  I don’t see the conversation going
particularly well, although I do believe that they’ll get over it.  This is OUR life after all, and I don’t agree
that there’s only one way to do this right.

Everything about this is so foreign.  (Other F words that also apply: frightening
& fantastic.)  No one close to us has
gone through this process the way we’re going to have to.  It’s a maze of options and timing.

As I was writing this entry, I was told that someone I
consider a friend has been diagnosed with lung cancer.  She just beat breast cancer a few years ago,
and now the cancer is back and in her lungs. 
She is about my mom’s age.

Life is short.  I want
our kid(s) to know their grandparents as we know them—that’s so important to
me.  Our parents are so important to
us.  There is something about this age
we’ve reached—this stage of our lives that we’re in—and suddenly, we are
surrounded by ticking clocks.

Commitment

So many people who are preparing for the insanity that is trying to conceive a baby start with the basics: Get healthy.  Eat right, cut out caffeine, exercise, take your vitamins.

But then, there are mornings like this.  Mornings where I take my prenatal vitamins with a BIG cup of coffee and a couple of chocolate chip cookies.

Is this an improvement over the days that I forgot to take my vitamins at all?

Maybe I should go grab a banana from the kitchen to balance things out a bit.

Photo

Babydaddy

Ever since we had the “serious” baby talk, I find myself
drifting to donor profiles in snippets of time here and there.  It’s a bizarre thing, when you really think
about it: Searching an online catalog to find the genetic material that will
someday make up half of our baby.

How times have changed.

Do we want him to have red hair?  Check the box.

Athletic?  Check the
box.

Height?  Check the
box.

Click that search button, and what do you get?  You get a sea of this:

Donors-01

And really, none of it means all that much.  I mean, my father was an amazing athlete, and
I can barely catch a ball.  He has no
real ambition, and my ambition is the only thing that keeps me going
sometimes.  How much of it is nature, and
how much of it is nurture?

On Babymaking

I am so glad we went to that seminar on Saturday.  I learned so much about what we’re going to
have to do to have a baby, but more than that, it was just so nice to be
surrounded by people who are in the same boat as us.

The first session we went to was about adoption, and I
learned so much about adopting through LA County.  We don’t plan on adopting, but you never know
what the future will hold, and it’s good to have that information floating
around in my head.

After that session, we sat in on sort of a Q & A session
with other gay parents.  There were moms
who conceived through insemination (like we plan to do), dads who did public adoption,
private adoption, and surrogacy, and a single lesbian mom who adopted through
the county.  I loved hearing their
stories.  One of the couples had the
cutest little redheaded baby—I so want a little redheaded baby.

Side note:  Catch has said from day one that she wants
little redheads. Fortunately, I’m in a position to actually achieve that since
a redheaded mommy plus a redheaded sperm donor equals a redheaded baby.  I actually had to look that up, though.  I thought we’d have a 50/50 chance of red
hair if we use a redheaded donor, but I was wrong.  It’s a done deal.  If we use a redheaded donor, we have a
redheaded baby.  Apparently, I didn’t pay
attention in biology class. 

After the panel of parents did their thing, we sat in a
session with an RE who works with a local sperm bank that caters to
lesbians.  Very interesting.  I learned so much, and she made it all sound
so—attainable.

We talked about getting our life in order, and possibly
starting this babymaking journey in June. 

I bought prenatal vitamins at the grocery store last night
because all of the web sites recommend taking them to prepare your body for the
TTC process.  I took the first ones this
morning. 

I am excited and terrified all at once—but honestly? Excitement
has the edge over terror.