Thursday, April 28, 2005

A Bittersweet Shower

We had a baby shower yesterday for one of my colleagues who is due in June. It was ironic that we had this shower in the middle of Passover for a Jewish woman, since she couldn't eat her own cake and showers are met with mixed emotion in Jewish culture. Superstition says that you don't want to tempt the evil eye, so you shouldn't even have babystuff in the house until you actually give birth. (I personally think some husband made that up to keep the women of the family from spending all their money on the baby that is coming soon!)

But, I digress. I had very mixed emotions during the shower. It wasn't so much that I wanted to be the pregnant woman, as I have now realized that I have such an exciting new chapter of my life starting that I don't want to have a baby until next winter or spring. It was really two-fold. I have sat through umpteen baby showers and bridal showers in the years I have taught in this school. (If anyone wants to get good presents, make sure you are teaching when life events like marriages and births are coming. Teachers LOVE that stuff, and love to throw a good shower.) And, I realized that I will not be part of this community when/if I get pregnant. I think it sunk in that I am leaving this community, and they won't be a part of my future children's lives.

The other sticking point was my anger and frustration that my upcoming wedding is being completely ignored by my colleagues. I am positive that when we have a wedding shower for the other engaged teacher, it will be solely for her, and my wedding will not be included. Homophobia, ignorance or just insecurity about how to handle it on the part of the administration and "sunshine committee"... I am not sure which it is, but it all sucks.

I would love to be part of the outpouring of love and support that surrounds people when they embark on transitions, but most people ignore that same sex couples move through the same milestones and would probably appreciate the same ritual support.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Pregnancy Dreams

I had a pregnancy dream the other night. It was really the first one I had that was related to having a baby.

I had one a few years ago that didn't take a genius to figure out. It had nothing to do with having a baby. In it, I was in labor and when I got to the hospital, a particularly demanding and selfish friend of mine was already in labor and the doctors told me that I had to hold my baby in until I finished being her birthcoach. When I woke up that morning, I had really bad gas pains and bloating, so I am pretty sure the point of the dream was our relationship and not having a baby.

I had one a few months ago which was also only nominally related to having a baby. In it, I was pregnant, and so was a good friend of mine. We both had our babies, only I was then stuck watching her baby too because she kept forgetting hers in weird places. I think that the births were only nominal in that dream too, and again, it was more about the intricacies of our relationship.

However, two nights ago, I had a dream that was clearly about me trying to get pregnant. In it, I was invited to a breakfast meeting between the members of the school board and my colleagues I have met through the education association. The meeting was happening on the morning after I had done an insemination. I was late to the breakfast because I couldn't find the meeting room at a local hotel and no one had told me where the meeting was. I was driving around the hotel and looking in various rooms. By the time I got there, the meeting was over, and everyone had left. When I raced into the room, there was one person left who said, "We had to have the meeting without you because everyone else had to leave for work." I was very distressed that I was out of the loop. The person left in the room offered to fill me in, and take me to the next meeting, which was going to be a lunch in one of schools. However, I knew that I was going to have to go home and inseminate again, so I couldn't go to the second meeting.

As I said to Dyke Two when I woke up, "It doesn't take Freud to see the symbolism in this one."

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Mixed Emotions...

I quit my job today. Of course, I will finish out the year, and have been planning this for over a year, but it feels really weird that I wrote a letter today saying I don't plan on working next year.

Two weeks ago, I was fantasizing about this day, and now that it has come, I am a little teary. I will miss all of my co-workers, even those who I have grown to hate. I will miss the rhythm of the middle school day, and the unpredictability of working with 11-14 year olds. I will miss the daily dose of rap and hiphop music and dancing each day at lunch. I will miss the Friday afternoon freedom that arrives at 2:30 each day with an early happy hour with my work buddies. I will miss my little guys who I have taught and will even miss their tempers and defiance.

I am excited to start a new chapter of my life, but I am surprisingly emotional about closing this chapter. I am sure that by July, it will really hit me that I am starting a new chapter, and I will be excited to be back at school. I am hoping that some of my student teachers that I will be supervising will be placed at my school. I am also hoping that I might be able to continue subbing at my school. baby steps, baby steps.

I am also a little apprehensive about the fact that I am going to be dependent on another person for my food, clothing and shelter for the foreseeable future. I am not good at giving up independence, even when I know that I can trust Dyke Two to care for me generously and lovingly.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Dyke Two Deserves A Medal...

Last night I had yet another moment in what is shaping up to be a long mini-series of whacky emotions.

In the past four days, I have dissolved into tears three times, all for pretty minor things. Two were wedding related. I can't find a dress that feels right for a lesbian bride who is most comfortable in sweatpants or soccer shorts. When I announced that I was going to be wearing my favorite sweats to the wedding, Dyke Two was very sweet, and simply said that she would invest in a new pair herself. I announced this in the middle of a bridal salon in Suburban Outlet mall. Thankfully, Dyke Two quickly steered me out of the store and into Old Navy, where I happily purchased three pairs of shorts, a tank top and a pair of capris. (I wore the capris yesterday to work, and now I don't like the way they sit at the waist, but you won't hear me complaining).

The second meltdown was last night at 9:15 when I went to submit my taxes on H&R Block Online, only to have Internet Explorer experience a type 2 error and crash. Of course I hadn't saved--did you even need to ask? This was made all the more frustrating because I had spent 4 hours clicking at buttons while doing other things because the server was so slow due to high demand. Again, Dyke Two saved the day by driving me to her office, picking up the paper versions from the help desk (she works in the county office building) and handing me a calculator. 20 minutes later (yes 20) I determined that I am getting back a refund just large enough to pay for our first month of sperm!!

But, the actual moment I wanted to share happened at about 2:30 this morning. I woke up and had to pee. I never wake up in the middle of the night. The earliest I will wake up is about 5:45, in which case I simply take my temp early and pee. I looked at the clock, and saw the big hand on the 6 (I normally temp at 6:30) so I popped the thermometer in my mouth. When I looked at it and saw a post-O record high temp (97.5), I nearly started to cry because I haven't had EWCM yet this month, and am a good three days earlier than last month and 7 days earlier than the month before. Then I looked at the clock again, and realized that it was 2:30, not 6:30. I jumped out of bed and peed, only to climb back into bed absolutely unable to fall back asleep. Dyke Two was snoring next to me, which normally doesn't bother me, but last night I was pretty harsh about it. She tried to get up and go sleep on the couch, but I wouldn't let her. She sighed deeply, and got back into bed. I promptly turned over, and fell back asleep.

My 6:30 temp was a nice and normal 96.7, apparently undisturbed by the middle of the night craziness.

I realize again just how lucky I am to have Dyke Two. I think I need to do something really nice for her SOON. In addition to the three full on meltdowns, she has been the recipient of some very undeserved snapping in the past week as well. I am beginning to get scared of what I will be like when I am actually trying to get pregnant. We both agreed that June will be the earliest we will try. This would allow me to start school next year without being visibly pregnant. Ideally, I will get pregnant in September, giving me a June due date so that I can get through an entire year of coursework before having a baby. We will start in June so that hopefully we will have the timing right by September.

In order to purchase the sperm, we need to have accomplished a few things:

1. My OB/GYN needs to open an account with them, which just involves filling out a form and getting put into their database.

2. We need to save up some cash in order to purchase enough sperm for a few months.

3. My schedule needs to be sufficiently clear to drive the two hours to the bank in order to save $110 a month on shipping.

Since May is historically the worst month in a special ed teacher's life, I can't imagine going through 2WW during IEP season. By pushing back to June, I will be out of school and completely moved out of my rental. (I already live in our new house, but my years of accumulated crud is still at the rental). I also can't imagine asking my principal for the day off in order to drive to Suburban Sprawl to pick up a tank of liquid nitrogen with sperm nestled inside, so being out of school for this endeavor is a good thing.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Onto Plan C

After waiting an extra week to hear from Dyke Two's doctors with additional names of potential known donors, we took matters into our own hands, and have pretty much decided to try frozen, anonymous sperm instead of waiting for a new PKD to reappear. After getting over the sticker shock, we realized that by the time we dealt with the legal documents and the testing costs, the price will probably not differ considerably if I get pregnant in the first three months.

So, after searching online for possible donors, we settled on one from a bank near our house (well--near is a relative term. Let's leave it as driving distance.) The bank suggests having three ranked choices, but this guy is the only one we really liked. Let's just hope that when Dyke Two calls the sperm bank tomorrow, we will discover that all is OK with using him. If he is not available for some reason, I think we both will be far more discouraged than we were when PKD backed out.

If the conversation with the bank goes well tomorrow, Dyke Two will probably order the whole package of background info for the guy we like.

Monday, April 04, 2005

And the Fog Lifts...

After writing that vent last week, life has changed. The next morning during work, I actually felt the switch flip in my brain, and the depressive cloud dissipated as my mood stabilized and improved throughout the morning.

I ran a couple of errands, including purchasing the materials to crochet a baby blanket for one of my pregnant co-workers, and stopping by the home of the family to get a signature from the parents on some special education paperwork. The older sister of the student had a baby two weeks ago, so I got to ooh and aah over a little teeny one. And, because the family are recent immigrants from Liberia, it was a definite cross-cultural experience to see how a wee one is raised and coddled in another culture.

After those sweet experiences, I went home from work, and checked the mailbox. Inside was a very thin letter from the University. I almost started to sob since, as we all remember from our high school days, thin is not desirable when talking about letters from colleges.

Inside the envelope were two sheets of paper, one on letterhead, and one a fluorescent yellow. The letterhead sheet was my ACCEPTANCE letter. I am in. The relief that washed over me was unbelievable. As I called Dyke Two on my cell phone, I flipped to read the fluorescent sheet. Together, we discovered that not only was I accepted, I also received a fairly generous financial aid package. Tuition and fees are covered, my health insurance is covered, and I will receive a $5,000 stipend for each semester. No loans, all grants.

Immediately, it felt like a weight had been lifted off of me, as I planned my resignation from my school division. I talked to my principal Friday morning, and he was extremely supportive. And now, I am on spring break. Sweet relief.

I have found that Dyke Two and I have moved back into discussions of wanting a baby, but that the discussions have lost some of their urgency and immediacy. We went to Babies R Us on Sunday, and had a good time looking at everything, but there was no tug in the stomach that it has to occur now. We have begun to talk about the possibility of using a sperm bank, but we feel like we are not in the stage of "Must make baby or die" any longer. Even sweeter relief.