The Value of Sin

Relax and have fun. This is a photo of two woman standing next to each other in a large space lit with neon lights. They have an arm around each other and their outer arms are raised in the air. It shows they are relaxed and having fun

We had no idea what was about to happen. I mean, we did, but also, we didn’t. Somehow we missed the whole part about relaxing. Relax and have fun is what we read all over the place. But those words were dead on the side of the road for us.

We were so excited and we went in with full gusto… 

Within the span of a couple of weeks we had piles of testing materials, spreadsheets, medical appointments and extensive travel plans. We had a blog, t-shirts and photos, and we were ready to sign deals with TLC.

Turns out, that level of exuberance is exhausting and after the first true round of insemination (or, I should say, inseminations, as in seven of them) we were out of gas. Emotionally, physically and physiologically. I told Tara, “this stress and craziness isn’t quite the ‘romantic’ or ‘instagram life’ experience that I’d pictured for us.” Not that I’d really expected it to be that perfect, but I also didn’t expect to feel so taxed by it either.

It was right about then, as we were headed into our second round of insemination, that our doctor said, “you’re not going to get pregnant that way. Just relax and have fun.” And I think that was the first time we really heard those words.

Relax and Have Fun.

We basically tried to forget about anything fertility related. Tara and I went back to eating sugar, drinking a little alcohol and/or caffeine and indulging in all of our old evil habits. We didn’t test, we didn’t blog or even really post on social media, but instead we skied, we laughed and we had sex. It was wonderful. It was what our souls needed to recharge for the next step in the journey.

The only thing we continued was the body work with Dr. Stefani and our planned time in Las Vegas for the next Destination Insemination.

Destination Insemination: Las Vegas, Part Deux

We had planned to be in Vegas for five days and crank out just as many inseminations. As luck would have it, Tara’s ovulation came three days early. In previous months we would have been aware of this shift but this month was different. Dr Stefani had suggested that we hold off on testing until we arrived in Vegas. She knew we already had flights scheduled and said there was no reason to stress ahead of time if things weren’t going along with our expectations and charting. She told us to fly there, test and then figure it out. This felt like the permission we needed to be able to follow her advice. You know, the advice to relax and have fun.

The morning our flight departed, Tara used the Clear Blue test. The result was the solid smiley face and that meant we’d arrived (estrogen peaked). Oh. Weird. This was three days earlier than we’d predicted. We used the PreMom test, which tells us what the luteinizing hormone (LH) is doing. (Luteinizing hormone is the precursor to ovulation). The test results read low but showed that it was still sensing the hormone.

Once we arrived in Vegas Tara re-tested with PreMom and it said high. Again, this was early. We then knew weren’t going to get as many inseminations in, before ovulation, as we’d hoped. (Health Class Refresher: The sperm travels up the fallopian tube to meet the egg as it descends during ovulation. Fresh sperm live up to five days, so it’s smart to get those bad boys moving in the right direction a few days ahead of time.) There was nothing we could do about it so we inseminated that night and again the next day before lunch. Just twice. That’s all we got for inseminations. The LH had peaked and we were done. So, with nothing else to do, we spent the next three days playing in the sunshine, dating and sinning our way through Sin City.

And Now We Wait

We quickly learned that after each insemination cycle is complete, we shift into a new mind numbing state… the dreaded wait…

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