If you haven’t read part 1 of this series, you can read it here.
Part 2 of 4
Now that I have done this a few times, I certainly feel more relaxed about the process in one way, and more anxious about it in another. The first month I inseminated, I freaked out because I had some cervical mucus happening and I thought I had missed my chance. People with menstrual cycles only surge with the lutenizing hormone (LH) for around 24-36 hours per cycle, so you have a small window for pregnancy to happen each month. So when I had excreted some of that precious egg white-like cervical mucus, I was so scared I had missed the boat. I called the clinic in a panic, and when they returned my call, I rushed out of a meeting to answer the phone. They called me in the next day to ultrasound me and take my blood, and discovered that I was surging and I would inseminate the next day.
It was truly an exciting and wonderful feeling that I hadn’t missed the boat and was ready to physically and biologically start the journey of becoming a mother. More than this, I was so ready – I had read The Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy for Lesbians front to back, I had gone to a Queer Parenting course at the 519 Community Centre and I had talked about it with anyone (whether or not they were into listening, at times!), so I felt ready. I felt beyond ready! I was ready for the process of donor insemination.
What the process did was so much more than its intended purpose of trying to get me preggers. It brought up a lot of things for me: my issues and baggage with my parents and how they raised me, my financial situation (now and in the future), my relationship with my partner and the security we felt as a couple, my living situation and my desire to nest on my own terms (nesting means the idea that you are getting ready to have children and so you prepare your surroundings and body for the child). This pre-conception rollercoaster was a doozy! It wasn’t just happy days filled with the hope that I might be pregnant; it was also filled with so many questions about my own safety, security, my existing relationships with my family and whether my partnership was strong enough to hold this stuff for me, and the stressful and overwhelming process itself.
My partner and I had fights. We fought about our living situation. We fought about her telling me to drink water and eat better all the time. We took care of each other. We held each other in moments where we didn’t know what the other needed, but also always tried to ask.
One of the hardest parts was the disappointment on Day 1: when I got my period after the first insemination. It was hard on various levels. Obviously it was disappointing that all the work, money, and rollercoaster of hope and emotions resulted in a negative blood test and the nurse at the clinic saying in a squeaky voice “I’m so sorry, you’re not pregnant, I’m so sorry.” That part is hard. At the same time, it can take the average heterosexual cis couple 6-12 months to get pregnant. And for intra-uterine insemination (IUI), it is about the same rate*.
But the great thing is that the hope and desire to be a mom is still there after a negative pregnancy test, and I’m lucky, since there are many possibilities for me in trying to get this Queer Brown Girl Pregnant!
Join me for the next in the series: Let’s Get Emo(tional) about Trying to get Pregnant.
*However, recently I read a statistic that says women/trans men who inseminate using IUI can be up to 30% more likely to get pregnant.