Thursday, July 30, 2009


I realized this past weekend that my mother is possibly obsessed with my selection of a sp*erm donor. I don't know this for sure, of course, but the fact that she brings it up in almost every conversation we have, in one way or another, is a pretty good indication.

She hasn't (surprisingly) asked a lot of details; she was comforted that you can sort for things like height and eye color, and that seems to be more or less enough information for her. She's just very, very interested in when I'm going to select someone.

Now, I won't lie. I've played around online, sorting and selecting and reading whatever free information is available. But there's just no sense in doing anything else (and certainly no point in putting up money) until I know if everything is OK from the hysteroscopy. The earliest I'll know that is about a week and a half into my next cycle, and that's a couple of weeks away. (I'll need another saline ultrasound. OH HAPPY JOY.)

When I go for that, I'll ask for information on timing and all that stuff, and then I'll get serious.

Oh, and if you're interested: my base criteria are:
  1. Tall (counteract my short genes)
  2. Compatible blood type
  3. A bit on the skinny side (again with the counteracting)
  4. Medium complexion (match up with me)
  5. Straight or just wavy hair (give the child a chance!)
  6. A medical history that doesn't make me cringe
You're almost guaranteed that the donor has a college education, no learning disabilities, and a reasonable GPA; they do good screening on that. And I'd like a donor who's athletic (since I'm very decidedly not) and musical. I'm not sure you can really test for a sense of humor, but that would be nice too.

::shrug:: So much is nurture, not nature, but you want to give the kid whatever advantages you can.

Relative to anonymity, or a donor that they can find when they reach a certain age? I'm not 100% on either side. There are far, far more available anonymous donors, so that may end up deciding the issue for me. But I'm leaning towards an identifiable donor. I know so many adopted people that can't find one or both of their birth parents, and it's a gaping hole for many of them. I don't know that I want to do that to my child, should I have one.

** **

I actually went to the gym tonight. Since being at home, these days, means missing my little Vertigo Dog and feeling like my house isn't a home at all, I'm trying to find ways to stay out of the house. The gym is a good, healthy alternative.

I made it to the gym partly because I'm extra sad today, and knew the exercise would help. A good friend left today to move south. I'm so excited for her, and I know perfectly well we'll keep in touch, but her departure is just something else that I need to work through. My issues, let me show you them.

I feel it's time for popcorn now.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Mmm, spicy

Got out of the house this afternoon and met friends in an area of the city that has a large Indian population (continent of, not Native American). It's a little like taking a trip to that area of the world without having to sit on a plane for hours-- women walk down the street in colorful saris and salwar kameez, video stores are plastered with posters of various Bollywood stars, and the grocery stores have more pre-packaged curry than they do Lean Cuisines.

We all bought food at one of the grocery stores-- I now have masoor dal, split mung beans, fresh ginger, whole mustard seeds, and four different packages of premade curries-- 99 cents each! A good deal, as each is two meals if you add in a bit of chicken or a salad. (Look at me, being all budgety and stuff.) I was seriously tempted by an absolutely glorious pair of earrings, but due to the "being all budgety" (and also knowing that I've got a deductible to meet from last Thursday's fun and games), I walked away. Entertainingly enough, they thought I was trying to bargain, and by the time I left the price was about $100 less than it had been originally. When I go back, now I know how flexible prices are. Or aren't.

After shopping, we ate lunch; it was probably the best Indian food I've ever had-- fresh and delicious and perfectly cooked. We got four or five different dishes and shared, and all of us brought enough food home for at least one more meal apiece. Yum.

It was a gorgeous sunny day, and a nice escape from what has been a grim couple of weeks. This is a terrific city, and I'm ashamed that it's taken me so long to get to this particular neighborhood. It certainly won't be so long before I go back.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

I do not think it means what you think it means

I had my hysteroscopy on Thursday. I'd been warned by Dr. M that there would be some "discomfort."

To me, "discomfort" does not mean "doubled over, bathed in a cold sweat, going entirely grey, and wishing that some kind nurse would come by and put you out of your misery." Seriously, if someone had come by and offered to off me, for about 20 minutes I'd have taken them up on it.

Fortunately, that passed, but it's been an uncomfortable few days. The worst part is that there's a balloon in there (to prevent adhesions), and until that comes out on Monday morning, my body desperately wants to get the plastic the hell OUT of there.

Whine, whine, whine. I'm glad it's over. I'll worry about next steps when I have to.

I've had pretty good coverage, friends-wise, since I've been recovering. Tonight, though, is one of the first nights I've been home totally alone with nothing to do since my sweet Vertigo Dog left me. (I had an invite to go out, but given some of the equipment associated with having the balloon, I'm feeling less than festive. WANT IT GONE.) I am still not adjusted to not having her little face around. I still flinch when I drop something or make a loud noise-- she'd gone so deaf in her last years that sudden noises startled (and often scared) her.

She's not there any more to be startled. It's just so wrong.

I've had several people tell me that they "saw" or "heard" their pet around, after the pet was gone-- not a ghost, of course, but probably some kind of emotional memory. All have said it was very comforting.

I haven't seen or heard her; I wish I could, because it would feel less lonely around here. And maybe it would help me know she's all right. I know that sounds silly. But there it is.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

One of the blogs I've read for a while is "The Spohrs are multiplying" (link on my sidebar). It's tough to read, lately; Heather and Mike Spohr lost their beautiful daughter Madeline, and I don't know how they keep going every day.

They do keep going, though. More than that. Madeline was a preemie, and they've started an organization that will support families with babies in the NICU. It's a tremendous thing they're doing-- making something wonderful out of such a devastating loss-- and I post a lnik below. It's a worthwhile cause.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

End of an era

Friday morning, I took my sweet old Vertigo Dog in to the vet. I lifted her up onto a blanket on the examining table, and she fell asleep in my arms for the last time.

It doesn't seem that long ago, really, that I saw her sitting in the back of her cage at the city animal control facility-- tail thumping, ears up, eyes alert. We were constant companions from the moment we left the pound together; that was fourteen and a half years ago. I barely remember the person I was before she was part of my life. I barely remember what my life was like before her.

Pets are family. To a single person, they're even more important. Hers was the face I saw first every morning, last every night, and the face (and tail) that greeted me whenever I came home. I hate coming home now; it's all wrong. My house is empty and quiet and awful. It's all wrong, and the wrongness is a constant weight pressing on my chest.

I tell myself I did the right thing. I know, intellectually, that I did. As the friend who went with me said, she went while there was still a little bit of her left. But my heart can't quite catch up with my mind.

The vet actually asked if I wanted to be there for it. I am sure there are people who can't, and that's an incredibly personal thing that they have to handle themselves. But I knew, and know, that it was my responsibility to be there for her. It was my responsibility to tell her I loved her, to have my arms be the last arms she felt around her, and my face be the last face she saw.

She trusted me to take care of her for fourteen and a half years, and I just hope that, wherever she is now, she knows I did the best I could.

I know this terrible sadness will pass. I know it will. But right now, everything hurts, and I would give anything to have her back, no matter how selfish a wish that is.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Independence Day!

There might only be two people reading this, but I should still update.

First of all, my knee is annoying. Every so often, it hurts like a something-we-won't-name-here when I'm going down stairs; I went to the ortho last year, and there's really nothing to be done. I take the glucosamine, blah blah. I may call and see if I can get a couple of PT sessions just to teach me some good strengthening/stretching exercises.

Relative to the plumbing, cautiously optimistic news. I need a hysteroscopy (which is much like a more specific D&C, from what I can tell) to clean things out a bit, and after that my fabulous doctor doesn't see any reason why I can't get knocked up. My hormones are good and everything else seems to be in decent working order.

Of course, I'm not sure it's a good idea to have a baby when YOU CAN'T WALK ON YOUR KNEE, but hopefully that will clear up. :)

(God, getting old is sucky.)

Lastly, and leastly, an update on Vertigo Dog. She's definitely overall better than she was-- she's walking with what appears to be only minimal discomfort, her appetite is good, everything relative to digestion (if you get my drift) is fine.

But she's just less than she was, which makes sense given that she's around 100 in dog years. She still can't go down stairs (hey, something we have in common), and going up is difficult. She can't jump into her favorite chair. She still gets very agitated if she can't find me, even if she sees me leave. And she still has periods where she gets agitated and can't/won't settle down, which kill me.

I desperately want her to be happy and healthy for as long as possible, and as I look at her now, I wonder if I'm keeping her around more for me than for her. I guess I need to figure that out, and soon.