Bionic Mamas

you're not losing a vagina, you're gaining a son




  • I have to admit they look more bullet-like than I’d imagined.

Meds are here!

  • …almost. Can you spot what’s missing?
  • How about if I name them? Pictured:

  1. Progesterone bullets
  2. Sharps container
  3. Alcohol swabs
  4. Syringes I hope I won’t need (for PIO)
  5. Gonal-F
  6. Ganirelex
  7. Prednisone

  • Not pictured?*
I had figured I would write one of those peppy, everything’s-moving-forward!, I-am-gonna-get-a-baby! posts when the meds arrived. Like ya do. Instead I spent the next several hours trying to decide whether to hide under the covers and cry, or drop everything and join the Russian circus. (I opted for just plain crying — too hot to get under the covers today.)
So! Peppier bullets!

  • The mind reels at her fashion choice, though. Satin tie-blouse? C’mon Jane. Go butch or go home — this shirt falls into the uncanny valley between butch and femme formal wear.
  • But then the heart warms at the thought of a big famous star wearing awkward wedding clothes. Clearly no stylist was involved. They’re just folks after all. Group hug!
  • (But seriously, Jane, at least ask a friend next time, ‘kay?)

*If you said HCG trigger shot and antibiotics, you win! Apparently HCG is a controlled substance in NY, so more hoops to jump through. At least if my cycle gets canceled I can sell it on the street.

OMG UPDATE: Kym says in the comments that HCG is used for body-building. So does this mean that if I do get pregnant, I can sell my pee? ‘Cause I could really use the money. And I have plenty of practice peeing in cups.



I woke intermittently this morning, beeped awake by my dying cellphone, but not awake enough to want to go put it out of its misery. (Confidential to Motorola: What is it with you and the insistent beepery? One death-beep would be enough of a courtesy announcement for my taste. And your insistence on beeping every minute for eternity after a missed call? Friend, it borders on the pathetically needy. This is the kind of behavior that pushes people away. I missed that call because I am busy, not because I don’t esteem you highly. I’ll check the message when I am next at liberty to pick up the phone, okay?) From this, you can tell that Sugar is not home, as she thinks clearly enough even in the morning to know the phone won’t stop on its own. She would have tracked it down, turned it off, and returned to bed after the first beep.

Alas, she rose even before the beeping began, graciously only half-waking me for a kiss, and rode off to a conference in a near-enough city that she’ll be home late tonight, her department sparing the cost of a hotel and sparing me the wakefulness of a night alone.

I would make a terrible single person. On Sugar’s longer trips (She is sent to Africa from time to time, which is very glamorous in principle and sometimes in fact.), I start out well enough. I decide that living alone is no reason not to live well. I keep the house clean. I assemble fresh food and make a first dinner worthy of serving to guests, just for me. This state lasts for one day, maybe two. After that, it’s Annie’s Mac and Cheese, late night cereal, books and computer strewn across the bed. I always sleep on her side to pretend she’s here and I’m gone.

A Saturday alone is not much better, it seems. Already I’ve burnt the toast and my fingers. I should be vigorously striding home from the farmers’ market or pottering about our community garden bed or at least beginning my Great American Novel, but instead I am in slippers, my braid still rough from sleep.

I love her, that’s all, and I’m not myself without her.

Under Cherry Trees


That’s no ladle, that’s my knife

I have an old friend who is a real planner. She’s great at planning. She’s got at least a 2 year schedule for every possible job move, life decision, and each associated emotion. And that’s cool – it works for her.

I am also a planner, or I used to be, but since I’m also a morose depressive, attempts at long range planning often lead me down a dark road with the utter futility of life waiting at the end of it.

The other night my planning friend decided to take me to task over Baby’s lack of A PLAN (read lack of money) regarding possible parenthood. Although I started thinking in internet acronyms (OMG, WTF? That’s my wife you’re talking about! That’s just not done, IMHO!), I didn’t say anything much. Then after I hung up the phone I got progressively more and more steamed.

But I’m not going to call my friend back and try to explain that I’m angry because I don’t think she would understand. Instead, I am going to list here some reasons why Baby’s drive to follow her bliss, consequences be damned, makes me happy:

First off, Baby would not be my partner of twelve years if she hadn’t jumped on a train and moved across the country to be with me before we’d even had a first date. (Yes, we are really lesbians.) If that is not a positive result of a spontaneous action, I don’t know what is.

Baby loves dogs, I mean REALLY loves dogs. She will rush up to a stranger’s dog and talk directly to it, regardless of the owner in question. This has not only gotten me over my fear of dogs, but has made us some friends in the neighborhood.

Along the same lines, Baby is friendly to everybody and expects that they will be friendly back. And mostly they are. So I end up living in a friendlier place too.

Baby has patience to wait out unpleasant aspects of what she sees as a positive situation. For instance, she balances the irritating aspects of our food coop against the good food and occasional cool people. She balances my crying jags against the times I’m NOT being a nut job.

Basically Baby is just good at loving stuff. Which is very nice to be around.

There. Thanks for reading my sappy post. Now I don’t have to bite my friend’s head off.


Tylenol — Let Me Be More Clear

It occurs to me that my last comment on Tylenol not actually doing anything could be read two ways.

1. “Tylenol won’t hurt the theoretical cell-bundle.”
That it not what I meant.

I meant:

2. “Tylenol is basically a placebo (that gives you liver damage).”

I’ve given up taking it, as it doesn’t seem to make a damn bit of difference one way or another. Whining seems just as effective at making me feel better.

In other news, Sugar has sweetly offered to make red beans and rice, which I had planned to make for a Superbowl party today. (I’m not particularly a football fan, but I am a huge New Orleans fan, which makes this the first year ever that I’ve cared who wins the game. Plus, I’d far rather cook and eat in honor of New Orleans than Indiana.)

My wife. She sure beats Tylenol.


She’s Learning

From time to time, I chide Sugar for not having much in the way of the gift of the gab. It’s unfair of me. After all, she’s Polish. Our ancestors may have had in common their unrelenting diet of cabbage and potatoes, but while my Irish forbears were spending their winters thinking of something suave to say to the girl next door (and starving), hers were busy staying out of the way of commuting armies (and starving).

But let it not be said that I withhold credit where it is due.

Last night, while I was performing my evening ablutions in the bathroom, Sugar made a remark from the other room to the effect that the wedding had been a stressful experience. (Stressful? Why, all of our parents were here to help! And we got to organize every little thing they did!)

“Excuse me,” I reminded her, “That was the HAPPIEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE.”

A pause.

“No,” she replied, and I waited to pounce. “Being married to you is so much better.”

My wife: I think I’ll keep her.


At The Last Minute

This has to be quick (and therefore long), because I want it done in time for Mel’s Show and Tell, but I promise I’ll get you more wedding stories sooner or later. Tonight I want to show you our bouquets.

A devoted and determined and diligent friend I met at the community garden — let’s call her the Plant Whisperer — made them. The Plant Whisperer is no amateur in this department. She works as a celebrity stylist, and her portfolio has like every famous person I’ve ever thought of in it. Her apartment is stuffed with amazing things, from bajillion dollar silk curtains a rich client tired of to a Louis the something-or-otherth vest that Andy Warhol tossed her way. I call her the Plant Whisperer because however impeccable her taste and impressive her client list, her skills in the garden outstrip them. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden just traded 90 year-old peonies to our garden in return for her fairy foxglove seeds, because, frankly, the alpine garden she’s established in the corner of our old building lot is better than theirs.

Months ago, she asked me to send her a list of flowers I like, and I did nothing about it, in part because I’m lazy and would find a way to postpone breathing if I could, in part because I was determined at that point that the legal business was no big deal — the real celebration will come in the spring, when our friends can come to a big party. Three days before the wedding, my mother just happened to forward me an email she’d sent to old friends, telling them we were getting hitched:

I hope they’ll carry flowers.

Mama always has been good at finding that B in subtle. She checked in via phone to be sure I hadn’t missed it.

Sugar and I had invited our parents and two friends from our respective early childhoods who have ended up living within blocks of us, hundreds of miles from our hometowns. I called my “womb buddy,” who’d offered to help with flowers, but it soon became clear this was asking a lot. Womb Buddy is a Soil Engineer and terrified she’d screw this up. I wasn’t expecting much — a grocery store bouquet with a ribbon from home? — and I thought the Plant Whisperer could at least supply the name of the flower I don’t like. She did (alstroemeria), and immediately took charge of the whole project, sending me home with ribbon swatches to hold up to our dresses, enlisting another garden stalwart and all-around prince to drive her to the flower market at 5:30 am, and ultimately coming up with this:

Bigger here.

I still can’t believe we had something so beautiful to carry. They were stunning. I couldn’t have even imagined something so lovely. The roses came from an established bush in the community garden, so we’d have something “old.” The heather made me feel less bad for forgetting the Scottish tradition of a silver coin in my shoe (though Mama says my blood was Scottish enough). The dark red peonies reminded me of Sugar’s grandmother, who grows them and who couldn’t travel for the ceremony.

The leather box in the photo is from the Plant Whisperer, too. We carried our rings in it. It’s a replica of an opera glass case belonging to Napoleon’s wife, Josphine, and so it has Sugar’s and my shared first initial J embossed on it.

And as if all that wasn’t enough, she’s insisting on naming the new peony at the garden — the one she got in return for her seeds — after us.

It all makes me think about grace. Grace is like all of this: something you get despite the fact that you could never deserve it.

1 Comment

What We’re Weeping Over, Sunday Edition

Have you already watched this? I’d seen it pop up on friends’ Facebook pages, but hadn’t taken the 4 minutes to watch it for myself until today. It’s from testimony in Maine concerning marriage equality.

“What do you think our boys fought for at Omaha Beach?”

For me? You fought for me? Oh, man, I’m tearing up all over again.

The old folks are all right.


Best Planned Lays

This isn’t going to be one of those well-made blog posts. This is one of those pissy lists. BUT: Before the ranting commences, Hello and Thanks for dropping by! to everyone, but especially to those of you directed here by the lesbian-lovin’ Kymberli. It’s a pleasure having you. If any of the rest of you don’t read Kymberli’s blog, you should certainly head over to read today’s tale of accidental head-shaving.

1. LH surge: I can has one, pls? Still spending my days with legs crossed, still but the palest of lines on the OPK. Not yet out of bounds for my longest cycles, but getting close. Am secretly convinced I don’t make LH.

2. Farewell, Mr. NMEBSI? It turns out he wasn’t screened for a genetic disorder that I only just now got tested for. I won’t know my results for at least another month or so. I had thought that no donors had been screened (so my own results would only be to help us decide about prenatal testing), but it turns out that some have. So we will choose a screened donor for September, at least, and maybe beyond (depending on my results).

(If you think I’m being over-cautious, please keep in mind that my father is a pediatric geneticist, who treats very small, very sick kids. This disorder is common, and although my parents raised me to be independent, he all but asked me to get tested.)

We were pretty upset about this, but we’ve since found some screened donors who also seem like good choices. Which means we have plenty of energy left to be upset that…

3. Dr. Baby Factory will not waive the $450 counseling session, nor will he allow us to see a counselor outside of the practice (who might take our insurance or just charge a little less than $9/minute). There are so many reasons this enrages me (and fills me with hopeless despair, but the anger is more interesting, I imagine) that it’s hard to keep them all straight in my mind. I’ll limit my rant to three. I’m realizing that they mostly come down not to the refusal to waive the counseling but to how it’s been talked about.

a. There’s equal ≠ fair aspect to the whole thing — Dr. Baby Factory cannot or will not (as I find white men of privilege generally can’t or won’t) wrap his mind around the idea that treating all couples using donor-whatever in the same way may be equal but it isn’t fair, in the sense that it is willfully blind to what brings each couple to this place. The best I can come up with is that this is like saying that it’s fair that no employees get Jewish holidays off, when in fact that’s equal but unfair. It bugs me that he won’t acknowledge that our position is different from that of a straight couple using donor-stuff.

b. There’s the giant fuck-you that is their counselors working with NO insurance. I don’t think I’d be half as mad if they worked with some but not ours, though I’d still be pretty tweaked, since we chose this practice because it works with our insurance. But taking no insurance at all? So it’s just an automatic “too bad you aren’t normal” charge? Shitty, shitty, shitty.

c. There’s the way Dr. Baby Factory distinguishes straight couples from us by referring to them as “married”. GAH! I AM TRYING TO BE MARRIED, JERK-FACE. (How I wish we’d already eloped to CT, so I could tell him off properly for that one.)

As I see it, we have three options — but please let me know if you think of any others, wise internet:

1. Suck it up, swallow pride, see if pooped-out pride sells on eBay, and pay for it.
Pros: Path of least resistance (except cost means less sperm means fewer tries before we have to store up money again).
Cons: Money, rage.

2. DIY at home, at least to start. (Assuming Dr. Baby Factory will still sign the home delivery release, as he said he would back at the HSG.) Reevaluate after a month or so.
Pros: No one involved who makes me want to spit nails.
Cons: Lower conception rate than IUI. Inefficient use of money, since we would be buying 2 vials/month and having to get them shipped every month (vs. getting 3 months’ at once and storing at the clinic).

3. Change clinics.
Pros: I have another recommendation that my insurance will cover, with free sperm storage and no seekrit psych fees. Could work on details while trying DIY for a month.
Cons: Starting all over with intake, etc. More prodding of the vages. More theories. Sounds exhausting and like it will take forever.

Stay tuned, internet, to see down which path our heroines next gang agley.

Leave a comment

I don’t have a kid yet…


No gay marriage for us in NY, because an embezzler, a domestic abuser, and a plain ol’ liar just had a coup of the state senate.

Don’t worry; they didn’t do it over any real issue. It’s just about money.

From the NYT:

But money also played a major role. Mr. Espada said he was angered that a top aide to Mr. Smith had threatened to hold up his legislative earmarks, known as member items.

Fuck you, New York. Guess Connecticut will get our money after all.