Gettin’ Older… Nah… Only Better

So…

Monday was my 37th birthday.

Yup. That happened.

It was a REALLY good day. Super lowkey, filled with rain and sweets… Just like I like it!!!

I think I’m actually ready for all the change we are preparing for!

Usually, I… don’t dread my birthday… But I’m definitely usually not excited for it.  Not because I’m not grateful to be a year older… I always am SO grateful for that. But usually I just look at all the things I haven’t accomplished (yet) and I start hearing that clock tick, tick, ticking away… I usually feel like I’m running out of time to… be a successful adult.

But this year, I looked forward to my day a little more.

Am I exactly where I thought I would be at 37??

NOPE, no where even close…

Am I where I am SUPPOSED to be at 37???

YUPPERS!!! I really think I am!

Somewhere along the line, I finally stopped (or mostly stopped) comparing myself to others.

I mean… My life is completely different than most of the friends I grew up with. So, while they all own huge houses, have 3 1/2 kids and 2 dogs… Kenni and I are all… “Ummmmm… Sure… why not start trying to have a baby at 37 and 38 years old!! So what that our kid is going to be 8-10 and in some cases 14 years younger than most of our close friends’ babies. We have built in babysitters!!!!! *insert unbothered shrug emoji*”

2018 has been SUPER good to us so far so I think the decision to wait (which really wasn’t a decision but just happened) was the absolute right one for us.

So. It seems as though everything was in place as I rang in my 37th year. Hopefully by my next birthday we will be celebrating with Juju in one way or another… And I say that completely prayerfully. We will see…

And Juju Update:

I have an appointment with a new midwife in 2 weeks. I am REALLY trying to go the midwife route for my IUI, at least try it out for a couple of cycles, before we go the RE route. This one really gets in your ass about your diet and all the things that promote successful IUI… which is what I need. My blood work came back really good but I don’t want to leave anything to chance.

Anyway…

Here’s to my 37th year!!!!!

*I would say my wish out loud but we all know that’s a no-no*

 

 

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Let’s Take It From The Top…

Yo…

It’s been a crazy couple of months…

I know I’ve slacked off on the posting but life has been… full of surprises.

We have finally made a decision on what to do moving forward with Kenni’s fibroid surgery…

Since apparently the doctor doesn’t recommend attempting any fertility treatments for at least 3 months after her surgery… and she probably won’t even get into surgery before September/October… which pushes our timeline back to AT LEAST January/February…

We have decided that I’m going to go ahead with iui/ivf while we wait on Kenni to have the surgery and recover.

Yup… That’s happening…

A TOTAL change of plans!!!

We just figured… since we both planned on carrying at some point (we have a very optimistic plan to have 2 before we’re 40)… why wait if we don’t absolutely HAVE to. There’s 2 of us, so let’s just keep the baby train moving!!!!

We’re headed to Vegas next week for a work trip but once we get back I have to make all the appointments with the RE to see my options. My AMH is really good so I’m still leaning toward at home iui with the midwife we’ve chosen but if an RE can get me preggers faster… we may have to go that route. Its honestly like starting all over again because we thought we had time for me *insert laughing and shrug emojis*, but… Nope.

I do feel a little bad for Kenni because she really wanted to go ahead and try for it. And she knows I’m a little nervous to do this… I think she feels a little guilty.

I keep trying to reassure her that her health is SO important. These fibroids have been taking over her life for WAY too long. I just want to see her completely healthy and happy, without having week long hospital stays every couple of years for blood transfusions. That is the WORST.

I also want to see her not dread her period so bad that she’s in tears because she knows she’s going to lose soooooo much blood and may need a transfusion after. That is NO way to live and I want more for my wife than that. Much more.

So… Lets get that bullshit OUT!!!

It’s not cool to have random things in your abdomen just chillin’ there and stealing your blood. If you don’t have to… why live that way???

So… I’m going to woman up and take the dive first!!!!

I’m excited and nervous at the same time.

I have a few pregnancy phobias that I’ll tell y’all about later… But I’m not about to let those stand in our way.

Once Kenni is healthy and given the go ahead then we will go ahead and finish what we started with her.

That’s one of the advantages to being in a lesbian marriage. We got 2 uterus (what’s the plural of uterus???? Uteri??? Uteruseses??? *shug*)!!!!!!

Anyway… like I said… Vegas in 10 days, so we will not think about this and relax by the pool with a drank and eat out, gamble… a little.

Then we will come home refreshed and hopefully a little less stressed about this!

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Random Ramblings on a Friday…

Sigh…

Another day… Another temp reading and another day of fertility dieting…

This having to document your temperature in the mornings has proven to be a pain in the ass.

Either we can’t remember or the thermometer goes wonky. There’s always something. But I’m proud to say that we’ve successfully monitored Kenni’s temp for about 2 weeks now.

We’re still not sure of how to read the damn chart (what is a baseline and where and when do we put it on her chart?) or really what we’re doing at all but I guess practice makes perfect?????

And let’s be real. We really just plan on sending them in to the midwife when her cycle is over and let her translate it for us… Because… Kenni and Toya…

Oh! Mental note to buy an ovulation kit today!!!!

Fertility dieting is actually going smoothly.

When I do things I kinda go big or go home with them. So I quickly realized that I needed to back off of Kenni a bit. I think I was a little too intense for her and started to stress her out. Now we’re mostly sticking to the plan all week and having a cheat day midweek. And by cheat day I mean a snack or meal that is still healthy but may not be exactly on the diet.

Although for Mother’s Day we COMPLETELY cheated. We went to visit Kenni’s mom in the Bronx and well… Let’s just say that anything she cooks will definitely not be on the diet!! Like.. at all. And I baked so we (obvi) ate cake! But other than that it’s going well! I’ve even been able to just have 1 lonely ass cup of coffee a day… And I don’t bite anyone’s head off during the day!!!! So… Definite progress.

While we wait to be able to inseminate, Kenni and I have been having some serious talks about how we want our Jujubee to grow up. We’ve had these talks a million times over the 16 years we’ve been together but now its even more important because it’s not just random conversations and daydreaming. These are talks, that in a few months (hopefully) will be things that we will actually be putting into action!

One of the long talks we had the other day was that we both agree that we are leaning towards homeschool for Jujubee. At least for a while. And least while we are still in NYC.

There’s a few factors that made us come to this decision.

For me… It’s mainly because I’ve been living in NYC for a while and there are no public schools here that I would trust my kid to. Not to say that there aren’t some really good schools here… There are… I just had SUCH a good education during my elementary, middle and high school years that I’m verrrry picky.

There are also certain things that are important to me that my kid be exposed to. The arts, is of course, one of them. Now… I would LOVE my child to be a dancer, but we all know that you just never know. So really I don’t care that they BECOME artists (if they’re super book smart or into sports that’s good too) but I want them to appreciate art, performing and visual, and have education in them. I need my child to feel free to be as creative and imaginative as possible. I know we could do that as parents and still send them to public school but I want it as their education. Not as an extra curricular or side note.

I feel that homeschooling will let us be a little more hands on with what Juju is learning and how they are learning it.

I’ve actually been researching different homeschool curriculum. We have LOADS of time right now but I’m just want to be prepared when the time comes.

For Kenni (and really both of us)… All of these school shootings have gotten out of hand.

Kenni’s mom is a retired teachers’ aid for special needs children. Last year Kenni went to visit her mom at school and while she was there, the school has an active shooter drill. She thought it was a fire drill at first until teachers started barricading the doors. She came home a little emotional and said she can’t imagine having to go to school and that be a part of your schooling. She said right then that we should think of homeschooling. And I didn’t argue.

We had fire drills and tornado drills. But…Really… Active shooter drills??????? What on Earth has our country come to that this is necessary??? And I do understand that it is necessary. But it really is heartbreaking.

We know we won’t be able to protect Juju from EVERYTHING but… At least this is a choice that we can make that we think would be best for our family. Once Juju is old enough to be like… “Ummmm… I’m over this whole homeschool thing”, then we will revisit our decision and update it. Bit for now, this is how were feeling. Only time will tell though.

*shrug emoji*

Ok. I think that’s it for now. Trying to think if I skipped anything…

Oh!

We’ve been spending time babysitting our friends kids!!!! Getting a little practice in!! We ROCK at babysitting… But then we just spoil the kids and give them back so… That’s but saying much but it’s good diaper changing, batheing and feeding practice!!!

So I’ll leave you with this RIDIC cute pic of Kenni and our close friends baby boy… Now our God Son.

I can’t even with the sweetness of it!

First Consultation Down. Another To Go!

So…

We had our first IUI consultation on Wednesday! Finally!

I got the date and time correct this time, so yay!!!

It went well!

Kenni had an exam and we went through our options as far as IUI is concerned.

Kenni has no known fertility problems and we have been told that the fibroid shouldn’t be an issue so we’ve decided to go the non medicated route with a midwife first. So the goal is to monitor her ovulation for the next couple of months… Then once we establish a pattern we will, hopefully, do the first insemination around August during whatever week she’s most fertile. We’re going to try this for 2 cycles.

So fingers crossed.

We do realize that this route may take a little longer but that’s fine. It still matches up with our timeline so we’re good!

And, of course, we have a backup plan. C’mon… We wouldn’t be Kentoya if we didn’t!

So… Not only did we have the IUI consultation but we also went to a fertility seminar at this super fancy fertility clinic in Midtown Manhattan. It was super informative with seemingly really good doctors with really good advice. We took lots of notes, got to ask lots of questions and have an appointment for a consultation with them also. It’s complimentary because we attended the seminar so why not go see what the fancy place has to say. We had always planned on a second opinion and it helps that we get a $350 valued consult for free. (I’m kinda nervous we’re going to end up loving them and want to go to them if we need ivf… Then we have to figure out how to pay for it!!!!)

They’re going to give Kenni another exam including her fibroid and tell us what they think. Hopefully it matches up with everything we learned at the clinic we plan on using for iui.

The one we plan to use is lots less medicated, which is what we are looking for. We’re kind of natural girls at heart. Kenni doesn’t even like taking Advil, so the thought of injections… Well she would rather not if she can help it. We know this can totally be done without meds and that’s what we are hoping can happen for us. Only time will tell I guess. I’m learning that they’re are so many ways to do this and that every woman’s journey is completely different. It’s actually really encouraging!

But… If the 2 cycles of unmedicated iui end up being duds then… We’re on the road to IVF. No need to waste money and time on something that’s not working. And this will be the point where we switch clinics if we really like this new place when we go check them out.

I’m also thinking of doing my fertility workup now so that we have a super clear picture of what’s going to happen in the next few months. Just in case I’m needed to step up to the plate. We want all of our ducks in a row.

I know all of this sounds crazy complicated but we don’t have the luxury of amazing insurance that covers all of this… We’re paying mostly out of pocket so it makes things more complicated.

Ok… So that’s the update. Not super interesting, I know. But we’re on our way.

Now on to things I’ve been reading/thinking about…

#1

I’ve just started reading Taking Charge of Your Fertility, and I’m mad that I’m just discovering this book! It has some really good, clear information in it about your menstrual cycle and ovulation.

We’re going to start charting Kenni’s cycle, temps and cervical fluid in an effort to see when she’s most fertile and this book helps SO much.

When I first read about charting, it seemed tedious and unnecessary but after reading only a little of the book I can see where that is so helpful! Especially when trying to conceive. Although this book is not just for those trying to conceive. I really do recommend it for every woman who is still menstruating.

#2

Co- Breastfeeding…

Like…as in the non- gestational parent also breastfeeding.

Is a thing and I had NO clue.

I wasn’t even aware that you could produce enough breast milk to norish a baby if you haven’t given birth!

Mind completely blown!!!

Some adoptive mother’s have chosen to do it for their new baby’s. And it works.

Not without a lot of manipulation, some medications AND LOADS of patience but it can be done.

I don’t think it’s for us but I definitely understand why couples consider it.

There’s a bond that comes with breast feeding that you don’t have if you’re the non breast feeding parent. Not to mention that if you produce enough milk then you can help with all the feedings that need to happen.

I’ve read some beautiful stories of women who shared breastfeeding with their wife. Some for actual norishment and some just as a comfort to the baby. All say they were glad that they did it. It seems weird when you initially start to think of it. But the more I researched the more it see why couples consider it.

It’s definitely worth the research of you’re as fascinated by it as I am. I’ll probably do a more in depth post on this at some point. It really is interesting

But beware if you’re research includes YouTube.

When I was researching, I did come upon video of inducing lactation… Not for baby but… For your partner…

REALLY read the YouTube description before you click play on a video for it.

Not that it’s bad if that’s your thing. This is a judgement free zone. I just was expecting a mom describing her experience… The more more I watched the more I was like. OOPS wrong video!!!! *Facepalm emoji definitely needed right here*

** If this post is full of typos FORGIVE ME! Totally doing this on my way to the studio… Of course *shrugs*

Jujubee Update… Kinda…

So… Here’s a wifey selfie.

That’s all you’re gonna get from yesterday’s Dr. appointment.

Why??

Because I apparently can’t read and didn’t see that our appointment is NEXT Wednesday.

My wife is not the best organizer, so I write most of her appointments down in my calendar so that I can remind her. So, she took my word for it because… I’m never wrong *sideeye* and she didn’t catch it until we were getting ready yesterday. *Facepalm*

So… There is absolutely no update… Sigh.

I’m so ready to just get this process started already!!

Anyway…

We’ve been looking at donors and are trying to decide which cryobank we’re going to use if we decide to go anonymous donor…

We found a cryobank here in NYC that is looking like the winner. It’s definitely more along our financial lines because we can eliminate expensive shipping fees. The only drawback is there is little to choose from by way of black donors. But… We think we’ve found a donor that is pretty close to what we’re looking for, so that’s hopeful.

The other place we we’re considering has MANY more black donors but… With crazy shipping costs. One cycle could easily run up to over $2000 in just sperm costs. Which is fine if we get pregnant from 1 cycle… But… That’s (unfortunately) doubtful.

We could of course get rid of all of this if we just went with our known donor. Which we still may. We are just the types to exhaust every option before we make a decision.

Donor Sperm shopping is weird. And harder than I thought it would be.

I mean… You’re basically shopping for your future kid! Or the traits you want them to have. More than likely traits that are close to the non-gestational parent…

Like.. take us:

We want a donor who is artistically inclined, so we look for that in the bio (that we don’t know wether or not to trust but hey, it’s all we got to go from). What did he major in in school? Accounting??? Ummm sounds boring… But oh! He plays the piano!!!

This one is a liberal arts major who has an “entrepreneurial spirit”… Does that mean he’s currently unemployed?? Oh! But the bio says he looks like Idris Elba! *Sideeye*.

This is basically all the info you get… Along with eye and hair color, blood type, race, height and weight (which Kenni pays attention to. She’s got an irrational phobia of having to give birth to a really large baby as small as she is. This cracks me all the way up!) and a few other things depending on the bank.

Then… You pay a subscription fee that allows you a little more info, some pics and maybe audio.

Then its like… Out of the 6 men that you’ve favorited… Which one most likely fits what you would be looking for as “baby daddy” material??

Yes. It’s just as hard for us to decide as it sounds.

Luckily we have until fall to make a decision. Although, like I said, we are eyeing one donor in particular. And… He seems to have a lot of “inventory” so… More shots at conception and siblings. And by siblings I mean ONE other. We’re thinking 2 is the max for us.

I’m fine with having an only child. I grew up as an only child (I have an older sister but from the time I was around 6 on, I was the only kid in my household) and I’m fine… Ok… I may be a lil bossy and lil all about me… But hey, I’m also a Leo so… That’s neither here nor there.

Kenni doesn’t want a lonely child. But, again, I was an only child and never felt lonely. I think my creativity came from me being an only child. I had to make up stuff to do for myself… So again, I don’t see the problem but Kenni has her heart set on there being 4 of us so… If all goes as planned with her… it’ll be my turn!

So there you have it… Our (Lack of) Juju update.

There will be an update next week for sure… I’m making Kenni keep up with her own damn appointments from now on…

Choosing a Baby Daddy/ Donor Sperm Dilemma

Sperm.

I’ve never talked about sperm so much in my life.

As a badge wearing “Gold Star Lesbian” (meaning I’ve never had sex with a guy… Ever. And I’m just kidding, we don’t have badges, but how dope would that be?? *Insert crying laughing emoji), sperm has never been my go- to conversation ice breaker.

But as we start solidifing components of our TTC journey, EVERYONE is asking…

Most of our straight friends are intrigued by the whole concept of donor sperm and have soooo many questions.

Are we using a sperm bank? Are we looking for a black donor? Do we want someone who looks a little like whoever’s not carrying so that the baby looks like both of us? Are using a friend’s sperm?

And my personal favorite…

“So, how are you going to do this??? Are you going to have sex with a man? It’s the easiest way!!!”

Yup… Was definitely asked that… We laughed it off and were like “Ummmm… Hell to the naw!”, but yes… We’ve gotten some unique questions.

Each and every person has meant well and all want to see us successful at this whole Jujubee thing but… Let’s think about these questions before we ask them, shall we people?

So here is where we are on the donor tip…

We have been looking into and toying with the idea of using a known donor. We have 2 friends who definitely want to “help” us out. Both we’ve known for a really long time so it’s not completely off the table. There are just a few issues that concern us.

The first is the legalities behind the whole thing. We definitely know that one of the guys would want to be like D-A-D and we’re not too into the idea of having to get third party input on our parenting decisions.

So for him… Well we haven’t brought it up to him again yet. Not because we are putting in a hard no… But because we’re not sure how we feel and how to go about bring up the subject.

What do you say??

“Yeah, we want your sperm but you’re going to be more of an uncle figure than a daddy… Sorry, homie.”

Ugh. That’s awkward. Yes. I know, I know… We’re not going to say it like that but… Sigh..

The other thing is all the testing and time. I’ve done some (very) preliminary research and known donor sperm has to have a 6 month quarentine period, which pushes back our ideal time period to start iui. Not to mention the cost of all the testing and legal paperwork! It could end up being more than sperm from a bank!

So we’re leaning towards using a sperm bank. That way everything is already done and there should be no medical surprises or anything.

We’ve opened accounts at a couple of different cryo banks and have been window shopping a bit.

One is a little less expensive than the other but has only 4 black donors. Yes… I counted. Looks like black men ain’t trynna give up the stuff for some reason!!! *Shrugs* (And that’s totally a joke… I don’t know the reason but the reality is that there’s not as many black donors as other races) Probably because of that… All of them have really low inventory. So that one is more than likely out.

The other is more expensive (like by a few hundred dollars) but definitely has more melanin men to choose from. We’ve already favorited some. We need to make the leap and pay for the packages so that we can see photos and all.

More than likely we’ll be going with this one.

Bit this is one thing I never really thought about.

That since both Kenni and I are black, that when it came sperm donor time… It may be hard to find melaninated sperm.

We, like I’ve said before, are totally open to a non brown donor so we’re not too annoyed, but if it mattered a hell of a lot to us, I would be a lil discouraged and a lil stressed out to be honest. A black donor is ideal for us but not a deal breaker. So we’ll see what happens.

We’ll be narrowing everything down in the next month or so.

Sigh… So I guess the sperm convo will continue. Be expecting more posts about it!

Doctor’s Appointment on Deck

So… first post…

And first real day of planning Jujubee (that’s what we’ve chosen for a nickname, its so…us)…

We are in the VERY beginning stages of this whole thing. We have decided that since Kenni is a year older and has a rough history with her periods that she would try conceiving first. She has been in touch with a midwifery clinic here in Brooklyn to #1 get a well woman appointment to make sure the equipment is working how it should be. She has fibroids that landed her in the hospital 2 years ago, so we just have to cover all our basis. If, God forbid, the fibroids are going to make things go a little slower for her, then I’ll step up to the plate to be Jujubee’s home for 9 months.

#2 To have our first IUI consultation to see what the exact process is and basically scare us and have us anxiety ridden until we actually have a Jujubee safe in our arms.

This has been a LONG time coming. After 16 years together, (I was 20 when we met, she was 21) we’ve put this off for years. Why? Fear.

Not fear of having a baby, we have always known that we wanted to raise a family together. We always speak of our future little one and we’ve discussed how we want to raise him/her. But yet, we were both scared.

In our 20s it was being scared of giving up the life we had already created together. We went out a lot. Drank… A lot… Kenni smoked a lil of the green stuff and we lived like typical 20 somethings living in NYC… just together.

In our 30s the fear comes from not feeling like we have our shit together enough. Like, we still feel like kids. We have an apartment, pay bills, go to work, eat organic, the drinking is VERY minimal (a bad night of Fireball made that cease), the smoking is COMPLETELY non existant and a lit night now is ordering sushi and watching 3 or 4 90s movies in a row before passing out with the Buddy (our 4 year old chihuahua/husky mix) between us. So we are pretty good 30 somethings. But are we together enough to take care of another human being???

We just felt like things weren’t perfect enough.

You see, the blessing and the curse of being lgbt, being married and starting a family is that you can plan EVERYTHING out. You HAVE to plan EVERYTHING. From when you start, to who provides sperm (or eggs), who is going to carry… Most of the preliminary stuff to get started having a baby is in your hands. It’s not like your most straight friends who just up and one day are pregnant.

A control freak like me’s safe place…

or is it?

In my control freaky mind, everything has to be perfect. Our life had to already be perfect. We have to have a house that resembles Stef and Lena from The Fosters or we have to be making as much money as Bette and Tina from L Word (really, maybe I need to just lay off the lesbian television).

But really, none of that matters I guess. Sure we would love to be more financially blessed… who wouldn’t, and we would love to have a huge home with the kids’ art work everywhere… but we live in Brooklyn so the huge home is more of an apartment… but we can still have the kids’ artwork everywhere.

Point is… nothing is going to be perfect. But we have to trust that the life we have created is perfect for us and the love that we have for one another is perfect. And that the love we have for and going to give Jujubee is perfect. Living and leading through love is something Kenni and I strive for everyday of our lives. We try not to act on or say anything that is not from love. So… That’s how we are going to approach this. Through love and faith.

So… Kenni’s doctors appointment is still pending but will probably be next week or the week after. Just waiting on confirmation from the midwife. For now I’ll just keep reading lesbian parenting blogs and researching iui’s and ivf and everything needed for lesbian baby making.

This feels right. For the first time… things feel right…

OH! P.S. I just realized while proof reading this that this may be the first time some friends and family have heard that we’re going to start this journey… well… SURPRISE HOMIES!!! We told y’all that we would really do it one day!! Better late than never, huh?? *shrugs*

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