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Queer Trying to Conceive

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long time gone [Mar. 14th, 2011|11:28 am]
Queer Trying to Conceive


[Current Location |work]
[mood |sadsad]

It's been almost 3 years since I have been here and I had almost forgotten what this feels like.
My wife and I were incredibly lucky to have conceived our (now almost 3) year old daughter  using donor sperm- after 13 IUIs, inj drugs and more money then we ever had to spend on the process.

We decided in the fall to try again- feeling optimistic we launched only to find we had absolutely no insurance coverage for ANYTHING in reproductive endocrinology.  So we began this trip of doing the IUIs ourselves.  I am fortunate enough to have the knowledge to do the IUI safely and well in our bedroom.  

We are now 7 IUI cycles in and still no conception. 
So depressing. I was really fine and optimistic until this cycle- for some reason I feel awful this time. 

I can't reconcile my role in this and for the 1st time feel like being a transguy is reventing me from having something I want.  I feel inadequate as a man, partner, lover and even on some level as a dad.

What a shitty ride.......


[User Picture]From: billinaction
2011-03-14 05:54 pm (UTC)
First of all, are you still residing in Philly? (We are new to the area and looking for queer friends!)
Secondly, you are NOT alone! My transguy husband often feels that he can't knock me up just because it hasn't happened yet. On the flip side, as the one trying to get preggo, it's a jab to my womanhood.
We've been trying for 6 months and we did fresh sperm insemination and used the RE for IUIs in office. We had no luck with either route. We recently started with a new donor and we're hoping this time's the trick. I think that getting pregnant is one of the hardest things that queer couples will ever do. There is no exact science and it's a lot of work - charting, OPK, mucus, making your schedule work with ovulation.. you know the drill.
*hugs* for you. You aren't shitty just because this process is taking a while.. At least you are sticking with it! Good LUCK!
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[User Picture]From: phillyboi32
2011-03-15 02:08 pm (UTC)
Hey there-
thanks for the reply and words of encouragement. Yes, we are still in Philly.
drop me an email and we can chat more about specific locations. We may be in similar circles already.

We are sticking with it. I think what is so hard for us at the moment is that we have absolutely nowhere to go if/when this continues to not work. I am a prescriber and pretty cofident in my ability to manage things but once we move to infertility drugs we'll need ultrasounds every since cycle and I am sure we cannot afford that out of pocket.

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[User Picture]From: sandokai
2011-03-14 06:08 pm (UTC)

I hope things work out for you... do you feel confident about the timing of the IUIs?

If so, it really sounds like the challenge may not be one that you could ever have a lot of control over, even if you weren't a transguy...

I hope the next one works out!
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[User Picture]From: phillyboi32
2011-03-15 02:11 pm (UTC)
I feel pretty confident around the timing. I think we had been doing them too early but this cycle we waited until a full day later. We use OPK kits AND an electronic fertility monitor so we can see the run-up to peak fertility and then the disappearance of it as well.
the only way we could do it differently is if we were using ultrasound to confirm.... $$$.

Thanks for the kind words- it was much needed and appreciated.
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[User Picture]From: sandokai
2011-03-15 03:11 pm (UTC)

I think a lot of our cycles that didn't work were also a day too early-- I think I kept doing the day before ovulation rather than the day of ovulation out of fear of ending up too late. In theory that could work, but it didn't... (And I also think the SECOND day of peak on my Easy Clear Blue Fertility Monitor more closely responded to ovulation rather than the first day). Everyone's body is different but I think it does help to consider varied timing possibilities...
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[User Picture]From: darthtunaqueen
2011-03-15 12:00 am (UTC)
My fiance (in 26 days she will be my wife!!) and I are almost preconception. I say almost, because we haven't done paperwork with our baby daddy yet (who wants to be called Aunty Tim, I love it, and him). I would imagine that the whole trying-to-get-pregnant thing is pretty shitty on everyone's gender identity. I feel guilty for being queer, for not being able to knock my fiance up accidentally (which has happened to *everyone* we know right now who is straight, and it's so fucking unfair because some of these people should *NOT* be parents).

I'm pretty femme looking, and so is my fiance, and I'm an RN too (although I know you're an NP, which is so.fucking.cool), and my co-workers always look super confused when I talk about babies. In fact, when we were doing our engagement photoshoot, some lady walked by and said "oh, you guys are so pretty, you must be sisters?"........ *headdesk*

You are no less of a man, this is just shitty biology.

Also, are you able to explain how to do IUI at home? I work in neonatology, so my experience with using speculums is.... rather limited to say the least. ;) But still, I'm a nurse who knows her shit. We're doing home inseminations, because known donor insemination is not done by fertility clinics here.

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[User Picture]From: phillyboi32
2011-03-15 02:16 pm (UTC)

I am happy to talk to you about doing home IUIs but I should tell you I am a nurse practitioner and have lots and lots of experience in sexual and reproductive health. I do about 10 PAPs a week.
IUIs are sterile and you can do some damage if you don't do them correctly.
You'll need to buy:
IUI catheters
A spec Light
Long swabs and betadine

The technique is not much different from putting in an IUD if you have ever done that.

I understand the DIY need- I only do them because we too, have zero access to reproductive endocrinology. I have many friends who I do IUIs for as they are in the same boat we are. Most LGBT folks are really stuck in this arena and that SUCKS
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[User Picture]From: darthtunaqueen
2011-03-15 05:07 pm (UTC)
Awesome, thank you!!!

What are the success rates between using IUI and vaginal insemination? I have been running on the assumption that we'll be using that, since I couldn't figure out how to do an IUI (everything I see keeps saying that you have to wash the sperm...... can I just put them through the dishwasher? KIDDING).

We are using fresh sperm.

I saw that you're practice centers around LGBT people, that's really cool and I'd love to hear more what that means. I looked (briefly) into being an NP in BC, but I think it's more complicated than it is where you are (NPs here have to apply for the Master of Nursing, then 2 years of that, write a thesis, then write the big NP exam and clinical testing. Plus NPs don't have a variety of practice areas at the moment, they're mostly community and there are a couple in Cardiac Surgery at our big Cardiac hospital). I even looked into where I could take my practice and put it in context of LGBTQ community, but aside from explaining what transgendered means, and just general funding needs, I didn't really know what to do with it... so I went and became a baby nurse instead. ;)
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[User Picture]From: thisisnttheirs
2011-03-15 01:38 am (UTC)
I hear you. My wife and I are trying to conceive our first. Today we found out our 4th IUI attempt has failed. And that's a short-lived journey next to yours, but the pain is still crushing. My wife doesn't want to risk the possibility of multiples and therefore is opposed to taking any fertility drugs. There are no known fertility issues and we've done all the testing. All the necessary pieces are in place; it seems it should have worked by now. Today was the first time my wife mentioned giving up. I've always been the more optimistic one, but it's hard to keep the hope.

We've been using frozen sperm from an anonymous donor. On top the inadequacy I feel about the male-factor infertility related to my trans status, I'm angry with myself for not having more close relationships with men who I might could ask to be a donor, esp. when I'm reading so many success stories from couples who used fresh sperm. Part of it is being raised female, part of it is working in a female-dominated field (I'm a speech pathologist), and a big part of it is because I'm not my best self around non-trans men because I'm always comparing myself to them and second guessing my own masculinity. It's all internalized transphobia, though. I know you know this, but this pain is not unlike that which all men grappling with infertility go through.

For what it's worth, your success with your first child after 13 cycles really lifts my spirits. Hang in there.
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[User Picture]From: phillyboi32
2011-03-15 02:17 pm (UTC)
yes, it is possible--- good luck to you and your wife. It is a wild and expensive ride but it does happen.

Thanks for the encouraging words.
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