Thursday, December 7, 2006


Let’s get caught up:

Last November I began the Bun Project: an attempt to get myself pregnant at age 35. The ingredients: a basal body thermometer, donor sperm, copies of The Essential Guide to Lesbian Conception, Pregnancy, and Birth and Taking Charge of Your Fertility, an overpriced and underperforming ClearBlue Easy fertility monitor, and a body that was in reasonably decent shape and showed no signs of reproductive inability.

If you think lesbians conceive their kids by either picking up a guy in a bar or sterilizing a kitchen implement most commonly used on Thanksgiving, your horizons could use some broadening. Yes, you could do either of the above. But the professionals would advise something called an intrauterine insemination, or IUI: first the sperm is treated in a lab to remove all that nasty semen, which your uterus doesn’t like (under other circumstances, this job is done by your cervix and something called cervical mucus – having fun yet?). Then the sperm is injected into the uterus with a very thin catheter. Some women find this procedure to be uncomfortable, but aside from the whole speculum/stirrups/lamp shining onto your private parts thing, I don't mind.

From there, you wait two weeks, constantly monitoring your body for signs of success – tender breasts, nausea, crankiness, the absence of blood. Pregnancy tests typically don’t go positive until shortly before your period is due, but if you are pregnant, they can still register a false negative if you take them too early.

A year later, my list of ingredients has expanded to include approximately 12 packs of ovulation predictor kits, two OB-GYNs, one reproductive endocrinologist, two acupuncturists, 21 IUIs, seven blood tests, one hysterosalpingogram, ten doses of Clomid, two estrogen patches, two HCG trigger shots, 12 unwelcome period arrivals, and one miscarriage. This is my story.

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