baby making

Last week was a big week for me since making a baby was on my to do list. I had a date last night and the guy asked me what’s been going on since our last (and first) date a few weeks past. Brazilian food at dinner club, a birthday party, pool time, A moved to town and oh I almost forgot, my girlfriends tried to get me pregnant last week!  Pass the salt?

I had four of my dearest friends (I now fondly refer to as ‘my inseminators’) help me create this baby.  Here’s the newest chapter of my ongoing modern family love story:

The players:

M–the midwife

K–the dermatology nurse practitioner


E–the nursing professor at a local university.

(This, my friends, is the perfect team to have in your inner circle, if you plan to have a baby without a man.)

Last Wednesday, after my LH surge, M and K came over after work for the first of three inseminations.  We felt all bad-ass and excited, as you might imagine, prepping to potentially make a baby.  I had a big clanky tank Fed-Ex’d to my home earlier in the day with three tiny vials of sperm in it.  We read all the instructions, prayed, cried (happy, hopeful tears), laughed and got on with the task of getting me preggers! The vial was small, with only about 1/2 tsp of sperm, so if doing this at home, I highly recommend using someone that knows how to do a pelvic exam, exact a little specimen into a tiny syringe and is very familiar with the cervix.  Without getting too graphic, we made it happen. We thawed one vial of sperm in a warm water bath.  I laid on my bed as M inserted a speculum in me and K used a light to sort-out where the cervix was.   There was so much love and expectation in my bedroom it didn’t occur to me to feel awkward or self-conscious as my friends were examining my girly parts. Afterwards, both girls left and I elevated my hips for a bit, blissed out by all the love, hope and anticipation I was able to share with my girlfriends.

That night a guy that I’d been out with the previous Saturday texted me (different guy from last nights date), suggesting we hang out again.  I really want to see you again, he texed.  Hmmm.  Dear Guy, I just tried to get pregnant. Isn’t that amazing??  Too much for a second date?  What I really said was this: Sure, that’d be fun!

Still navigating the dating life  …

The next day S came over at noon.  My 11 AM client was late and, going to the restroom at 11:05, I noticed that I had ovulated since I’ve become somewhat of a cervical fluid expert.  I called S.  Can you come at noon?  S: I’m on it!  I switched my 12 PM phone appt to 1 PM, cancelled my 1 PM lunch and voila, 45 minutes after ovulation I had my OB bestie at my beside with syringe and catheter in tow, putting everything in its proper place.  We had a round of I love you’s, she left, hips up–take two.  I dreamt about pregnancy possibilities for 15 minutes and then my 1 PM phone client called and business as usual.  Usual, except I was lying on my bed with my hips elevated and sperm swimming up my cervix.   Surprisingly, I was totally present and focused with my client.  Because really, you can only think about potentially being pregnant for so long …

On Friday, day three, E and K showed up after lunch.  We were pros by then.  Almost felt prosaic to thaw the sperm, prep the syringes, yada yada.  E was amazing too.  Found the cervix, poked me with the syringe, Did you feel that?  (I did!) and performed the final insemination.  Hips elevated, I was texting friends and making evening plans.

That night I was laughing and toasting champagne, here’s to Baby H, with the same crew I broke down with three months earlier, over the challenges and stark disappointments in life.

Life is like that isn’t it.  It’s unbearably hard and then … time passes, we risk and we hope … and it gets better.

The reality is that I could not be pregnant.  For most people it takes more than one (or three) shots.  That said, even if it’s a bust, I’m grateful.  This is a burden of love and I’m not alone.  I have four (but really more) people that are in it with me, committed to getting me pregnant.  And when this baby finally comes, he or she will be born into so much desire, love, community and intentionality … I get chills thinking about it.

The Final (well, actually First) Countdown

I got my test results back and feel very blessed that they were all good.  Good progesterone (which means I ovulated last month) and good AMH levels, which means I supposedly have a good reserve of eggs.  I’m especially sensitive to these issues as I’ve become aware (through my new on-line community) of fertility issues and how challenging it is for many women to get pregnant.  I still don’t know my journey on this front, but gave a shout out to God for the favorable results.

This month is the first of a possible series of pregnancy attempts.

Will inseminate in about two weeks at home. My friend M said it best: So when are you going to uh, have intercourse with a needle?  Of course I quickly corrected her: I’m having sex with a syringe, NOT a needle.  

Many have asked how this actually works so here’s the brass tacks:

  • Tank with frozen semen is overnighted to my home.
  • I’ll time this with my LH surge, which indicates that I should ovulate in the next 24-36 hours.
  • My brave and supportive nurse friends K and E are my ‘baby making’ duo.   We’ll thaw the sperm and use a syringe to insert the sperm close to the cervix. Afterwards I’ll attempt to relax and keep my hips elevated for a while.

This will be the plan for 2 or 3 days in a row, I haven’t decided yet. I’ve opted out of any fertility drugs this first time, since my test scores are positive.  My plan is to get more aggressive as I go: Clomid next try; possibly an IUI (where a doctor inseminates my uterus, bypassing the cervix–what the sperms usually swim through to get to the uterus) in a few months.  And on and on.

And one of these days, or months, I may get a baby out of the deal.

Deep breath.

Game on.

(If anyone of my new virtual friends has had success with this route please share your story, or any tips you may have!!)