Another day, Another ultrasound 

It’s probably a bad mental game to try to monitor your fertility and lose 15 pounds at the same time. I have to go several mornings a month, to the clinic to get tests done, but I’m also gearing up for two different dance performances; knowing I will be in sweaty dance attire in front of hundreds of people is a hefty motivator. 

And another part of me is aware that soon I might not be able to partake of spontaneous pints with friends, lights out dancing, and rollicks on the patio, so naturally that’s all I want to do.


The Inside Out film festival is on, and they’re visiting directors in town. On the heels of a great Women’s Gala – replete with wrestling, and a youth day with students, short films and panel discussions, I said yes to Monday night drinks. 


So last night we went out to show some Brooklynites the town. We went out for Ethiopian, laughed and told stories over drinks, and talked about the inspiration for the web series 195 Lewis, as well as debating, celebrating and lamenting the ins and outs of health care, filmmaking, polyamory and cannabis culture. We were quite the mixed bag and it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up in favour of sleep. 

Result, I’m sleepy, puffy and about to become a pin cushion. 

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Third visit down. Not enough action happening, so I’ll have to come back to the clinic Friday morning. It has been pretty quick and easy. The vein in my arm is feeling the fatigue of the repeat visits, but I’m lucky that I’ve been able to get in and out of appointments without missing much work time.

Things seem to be going well and the ultrasound, blood testing, and followup to talk to the doctor was a 20 minute, smooth-sailing appointment.

In a day where things went wrong all over the place, at least this morning’s visit was pretty calm. Counting the blessings.

And Sono It Goes

Remarkably, the road has been pretty smooth. I’ve never thought more about the inside of my body than in the past two weeks. I had my sono today; and all seems well. At the clinic, she literally said ‘looks great!’ And they got to skip going to the hospital for an HSP, because they were able to see my tubes which are totally clear in today’s procedure. Great news.

No major concerns, but have to go back next Wednesday to see how the follicles are looking. I have one polyp in my uterus, but it’s so small that unless I was experiencing infertility, as opposed to just being a big old lesbian, it isn’t even something they would be concerned about.

I even got my polyp’s measurements (more thorough than any shoe fitting or bra sizing I’ve ever had). Less than .3x.7 cm. 

So, cheers. Now it’s back to enjoying our patio and this sticky warm heat wave. And a glass of champagne while I’m still able. 
Xo your friendly, neighbourhood lesbian moms-aspiring, 

Classic Overachiever

I have always striven (?) for my absolute best. But after years of not worrying about getting pregnant accidentally, my own fertility is something I always assumed was fine; out of sight, out of mind.

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So, it was with great trepidation that I went to my first clinic appointment. After ten tubes of blood, my juicy veins were performing like champs. My bladder needed to be full for the ultrasound. It was MORE than full. Too full, said the nurse. I can definitely scale it back for next time. Way to go, me.

Then came the moment to review my uteran contact sheet… let’s look at the film, Doc!

“We typically like to see at least 6 follicles,” says the doctor. “You have 36.”

When I relayed the info to my wife she said: “Of course you do. You’re an overachiever.”

Now this could mean that I’m hyper cystic? Poly cystic? Hyper polycistic? I can’t remember exactly. But if this abundance is coupled with other symptoms, like irregular periods (sortof), weight gain (okay, like how much weight? And could that be tied to daily dessert indulgence?), hormonal acne (is my perception of monthly breakouts the same as actual acne?) and a beard or chest hair (if we’re being honest, the two or three renegade hairs hardly qualify as a beard)… it could verge on a situation that needs to be monitored

Ironically, it’s all about continuums. Some people freak out over one pimple. I feel icky when I have several… which does happen. But what qualifies as ‘bad skin’? My good skin day is my wife’s nightmare; she is poreless, glowing and flawless – with lit from within skin. Never a pimple in sight. So my good day, when a nice dab of concealer keeps me looking presentable is a day that might cause her some stress. More ironically, I was LITERALLY the poster girl for Accutane. When I was a teen model (back in the nineties) I was the girl ‘On the path to clear complexion,’ roller blading across the brochure cover, smiling like an idiot at a model named, Jamie, who was in architecture school and was into kickboxing. I had perfect skin… until I really hit puberty, moved to South America, and came back thirty pounds heavier and then needed to get an Accutane prescription. I was like the lady-version of the Hair Club for Men; I’m not only the president, I’m also a user!

But symptoms aside. We are always measuring ourselves against ideals, internalized scales and wondering: what would perfect look like? Am I there yet? And most of the time I don’t care about perfect enough to make the sacrifices to get there. And the rest of the time, I’m hitting it out of the park, because I’m naturally more motivated and energetic than most people. And the rest of the rest of the time, I am wondering, obsessively whether the things I never worried about before, and totally took for granted, are the things that will now bite me in the ass.

I never appreciated my long, lithe swimsuit body and muscles from 18 hours a week of dance … until I was 20 and didn’t have it anymore.

I never appreciated not having to use birth control or worry about pregnancy scares, until – at 35 – I’m looking down the barrel of a syringe full of semen, with a biological clock ticking.

I never appreciated… lots of things.

But it isn’t too late. Right? Whatever comes, I’m ready. Because that bubbly, cheerful, roller blading tween is still inside me somewhere; now I’ve just got better child-bearing hips, more laugh lines and way more to teach a baby –

the kind of stuff that turns a person into a tough, creative, brave, badass little individual. So bring it, 36 follicles.

I dare you to be a bumpy road. We’ve been through this before and as much as I’m feeling optimistic and unbreakable, I know that if the curve balls we’ve been thrown before are any indication, we will get through this, too.

Still laughing, still love-filled, still strong and resourceful.

We have had more joy in the time we’ve been together than most people get in a lifetime. Even with the heartache. Our life is charmed and I’m a believer in magic today.

I had a great day at work. Got a thank you card from an admin who thinks I’m doing great work to build empathy and support for our diverse students; played Improv Olympics with 16 year old drama students (with one very convincing student who played a chicken trying to cross the road); painted International Day Against Homophobia murals, with splatters of rainbow paint and Daft-Punk singing LGBTQ teens; saw the premiere of a music video that I’m in by a talented friend, Katey Morley;

And generally just love my work, my colleagues, my cat, my country, my family and my lovely, lovely wife. A baby; well, that would just be icing.

 

Ambivalence

She (x 20) tells me she is expecting.

I feel like the biggest jerk. Because yes, I’m so thrilled for her. But.

I struggle with the constant happy news of other people’s pregnancies. I have watched people who, as my wife and I – years into our relationship were trying to conceive – were lamenting their singledom, crying about how they felt their life was off-track… who have since gotten engaged, married and pregnant. Have had healthy bundles of joy.

Some have been pregnant not just once, but twice. To be so blessed.

Some are unexpectedly pregnant. To be so blessed.

Some have been trying, just like us. To be so blessed.

All while we have slogged through 2.5 years of miscarriages. We are on hold. Waiting for the timing to align, with career and performances (mine), to create the best moment for me to start trying. For US to start trying again. But pregnancy is everywhere.

I can’t be the only one who feels this way.

At work, maternity leaves abound.

My book club.

My extended circle of friends.

My cousins.

People have had first and second children who coincide with miscarriages 1 and 2.

At my dance company, most recently, the barely concealed bodies, changing and morphing from powerful dance machines to sweet, preciously rounded bellies gloat unintentionally – they are everywhere. The choreography is adapting to accommodate bodies that can’t bear weight as they bear life; lifts are altered, as are costumes. We are making room. I am so thrilled for all this change and growth, but heart-broken too, because other people’s journeys remind me of my own stunted path.

And I am nervous that when I take the next step, I may go sliding into the same mire that has held us, suspended, for the past few years.

I know I’m not the only one. But it feels like I’m both surrounded and alone.