My Mom Shares Her Thoughts

Hi Everyone!

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I’m getting so anxious to get started! The waiting is killing me. I need to find a creative way to pass the time until my body is ready to create a baby. Is it too early to start nesting?!?! LOL! It’ll be at least another week before I will know anything more about the process than I know now.

In the mean time, I have asked my mom to guest blog so she can share her thoughts on my attempt to become a mom myself. I hope you enjoy!


Hi, my name is Cindy and I’m Rachel’s mother. I’ve decide to share my feelings with you about Rachel’s decision to become a single parent. As a mother of two children of my own, I know the joys and heart aches involved in raising children. Though I have a husband alongside me to share these experiences with, I can say that being a parent is a feeling that’s indescribable. One could talk about it with great feeling and emotion, but until you experience it for yourself you couldn’t have a clue. Yes there are ups and downs but that’s the thing we call life, and this is something I would love for Rachel to experience.

Rachel was in her mid-20s when she commented one day, “If I don’t find that someone when it’s time to think about children, I’m going to look into doing it on my own. I don’t need a man!” If you know Rachel you can hear the attitude that came with that statement. LOL! Upon hearing that I kind of just brushed it off thinking, “We don’t need to worry about that because that special someone is out there just waiting for you.” It’s every mother’s dream for her children to find that special someone to share their life with. No mother ever thinks her child is going to be the one to remain single. Which, by the way, I have come to realize is not a bad thing. Life is what you make it.

As the clock continues to tic along, Rachel now finds herself a single, middle aged woman, and she has revisited the option of becoming a single parent. When she brought up the subject again my initial feelings were, “Aww, poor thing. She is still alone!” Those feelings only lasted a nanosecond because at that point I realized that Rachel is a strong, independent woman. She lives on her own, has a steady career, and is financially stable. And let’s face it. She has always marched to the beat of her own drum! She always does the research any time she has a major decision to make, so why would this be any different? She is proving this to be the case as she starts this journey. Just as she has any other.

Will it be hard? Yes. Will she make mistakes? Absolutely, but it won’t be because she’s single. Every parent single or not has these issues. Baby raising and baby nurturing… it’s all the same. It’s just her means of getting there that’s different in this case. But I truly feel in my heart that she has the ability to be successful.

Rachel, you got this girl! Dad and I have raised you with the knowledge that family is top priority. We’ve always had a good support system no matter what the issue, and this will be no different. We support you 110% and are looking forward to embracing this wonderful adventure alongside you. I, for one, am looking forward to adding another grandchild to our family! You have two amazing men in your life (your Dad and Brother) that are ready to step up and become role models to your child. You also have a sister-n-law and two beautiful nieces that would love to have a new cousin.

Praying that you get to fulfill your dreams! Love you!


Thanks Mom! I love you too!

Coming Soon! The Ugliest, Most Uneducated, And Intolerant Reaction To My News So Far.

The Fertility Blessing

You know my deep desire for a child. A little one to love and to hold, to care for, to cherish. Grant that my body may conceive and give birth to a beautiful, healthy baby in Your holy image.

Guide me in all my choices so that this conception, my pregnancy and my baby’s birth are in line with Your will.

Heavenly Father and Holy Mother, hear this prayer of my heart, mind and spirit.

Amen

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Moving Right Along!

I want to start by saying thank you to everyone for the kind words and positive vibes! I really wasn’t sure what kind of response I would get, but I was overwhelmed by everyone’s kindness and support. You are all amazing and I appreciate every last one of you!

My initial idea for this blog was to post every Sunday. Obviously I didn’t make it last Sunday, but that’s because I wanted to wait for today. Yesterday marked a small milestone in my journey to becoming mommy. All of my baseline testing and every check box on my list of things to do before insemination is complete! Below, I will list each step, my cost for that step, and my personal experience with each. Please keep in mind that no two women’s needs will be the same. Not all doctors will charge the same either. I’m just putting my own personal experience out there.

1. New Patient Consultation – $175.00

I am seeing Dr. John Storment at Fertility & Women’s Health Center in Lafayette, LA. I don’t know what else to say except that the man is a wonderful doctor. He is very smart, courteous, patient, willing to listen and explain everything as much as needed to make sure that you are comfortable with the entire process. The website for his practice is fertilityanswers.com. The wait time to see him was about 3 months. He just got a new partner, Dr. Susan Conway. There is little to no wait to see her so if you are in the Lafayette area, and you are more comfortable seeing a woman, or if you don’t want to wait to see Dr. Storment, you may want to make an appointment to see her.

At the initial consultation Dr. Storment introduced himself and the student that was working with him that day. He is a teacher so he often has students with him. If you prefer not to have a student involved you are free to request that they leave the room. I personally don’t mind so she stayed. There was general discussion around what I would like to accomplish, what my concerns are, and what he would like to see me do before the first insemination attempt. Besides the general height/weight/blood pressure, there is no physical exam at the new patient consultation. I was basically given a list of instructions and a pamphlet of information with a request to call the office on the first day of my next period to get the ball rolling on some tests.

2. Weight Loss – $275.00

It was suggested that I lose 8-12 pounds. He suggested that I try a specific diet program called the Medifast Take Shape for Life Program. 8-12 pounds isn’t much. I decided not to spend the $275.00 and lost the weight myself.

3. Pre-Insemination Blood/Urine Tests – This must be completed sometime between days 2-4 of the period cycle. Day one is the first day you start your period. – $500.00-$645.00

I had to put a price range on this because I’m still not sure what the final total will be. I had to pay $500.00 up front on the day of the appointment to draw blood and give urine. Depending on my insurance, I may or may not have to pay an extra $145.00 or so. I did have to fast for 6 hours before the appointment so I scheduled it first thing in the morning. I didn’t see Dr. Storment for this appointment. I only saw the nurses. They are awesome by the way! Here is a list of everything that was checked through blood and urine. Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Blood Type, Antibody Screen, CBC w/Diff, Cytomegalovirus (CMV), Hepatitis B & C, HIV, Syphilis, Rubella Antibodies, Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, Varicella Zoster (the chicken pox virus), and an Ovarian Assessment to let me know if I have a lot of eggs left and if they are in good shape.

All tests came back with good results!

4. Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) – This is done sometime between days 5-12 of the period cycle. – $500.00 (Some insurances may cover all or part of this procedure. Mine didn’t cover anything.)

TMI ALERT: If you are not comfortable hearing about female body parts then you should probably skip #4!

Of all the things I had to do, this was the doozy. Different people have different experiences. First I will explain to you what the procedure actually is, then I will tell you MY experience with it.

In this short procedure you lie on an exam table under a fluoroscope (basically a live x-ray machine) while the doctor injects dye into your uterus and fallopian tubes. This test allows the doctor to see if there are any abnormalities in the uterus, and also to see if the fallopian tubes are open all the way through to allow sperm/egg travel between the ovaries and the uterus.

The nurse called in a prescription for me. It was 3 antibiotic pills. I was instructed to take one pill the day before, one pill the day of, and one pill the day after to prevent infection. I was also instructed to take 3 Advil or Tylenol about an hour before the procedure to minimize discomfort. My mom had to drive me to and from the appointment just in case I was cramping too much. After hearing all of this I immediately started researching the procedure to try to figure out exactly how much it would hurt. I can tell you from experience… Don’t bother. No two experiences I found online were the same, and you won’t find any definitive answer. Even so, here’s what happened with me.

I showed up to my appointment before the scheduled time (I was nervous. LOL). After paying for the procedure, I was shown to the room and asked to strip everything below the waist. I was instructed to fill out a short consent form while I waited. When Dr. Storment came in (friendly as always) he gave me a quick run through of what to expect and next thing I knew I was lying back on the exam table lifting my booty for him to slide a wedge under me to tilt my pelvis. He inserted a speculum (no big deal, every woman has had that done at their annual pap smear), and cleaned my cervix with a cotton swab. Next, he put a small catheter inside the opening of my cervix and began injecting the dye through the catheter. There was no pain during the actual procedure, only a little pressure. I was more mesmerized by watching the dye flow through my uterus on the screen than paying attention to anything else. I watched the dye flow all the way through one fallopian tube and spill out the end(which it’s supposed to do), but my heart sank a little when I didn’t see the other tube. It turns out that it was way off to the side so they had to move the x-ray machine and I got to see that my uterus is perfect and BOTH of my tubes are exactly as they should be! I was excited and it didn’t hurt at all. The procedure was very short. I don’t think it took much more than 10-15 minutes. There was some minor bleeding, so I put on a pad, but I figured everything was great and since the procedure didn’t hurt I could go on about my business. Yall… I was WRONG! About two hours later I was hurting pretty bad. I went home and laid down and didn’t get up except to go to the bathroom. My entire abdomen felt so sore. It felt like I had done about 800 sit ups. The next day it still hurt, but not as bad. It just felt more like gas pains. By the third day there was no more pain.

5. Annual Well Woman Exam – $0 (Covered By Insurance)

One of the requirements is to have an up to date pap smear. All women have been there so I’m not going to go into details. I will, however, share the picture I took of what is on the ceiling above the exam table at my OBGYN’s office. I have no idea how I didn’t see this until I was lying back on the table, but it made me laugh out loud at an incredibly awkward time when I shouldn’t have been laughing… Embarrassing!

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6. Meet With A Counselor – $225.00

The last thing I needed to check off my list was meeting with a counselor to talk through everything that I am planning on doing to make sure that I understood the short and long term effects that this will have on me and my future child’s life. Dr. Storment referred me to Najwa Dibbs. She was a little difficult to get an appointment with because she was on vacation then was attending a conference. I called twice a week for almost a month until I was on her schedule. I don’t know how long it typically takes to get an appointment, I only know how long it took me. Najwa is a very nice woman and easy to talk to. At the end of the session she gave me a couple things to think about a little more so that I could be prepared to handle them when they come up. Over all it was a positive experience and she is writing a good report to Dr. Storment.

So there you have it! My body is open for baby making business!!!  Up to this point everything has cost me $1,400.00 – $1,545.00, but at the end of the day… Being mommy will be priceless! Next, I have to call the doctor on the first day of my next period to start the steps leading to insemination.

Coming Soon! I have invited my Mom to write a guest blog of her thoughts on all of this!

The Fertility Blessing

You know my deep desire for a child. A little one to love and to hold, to care for, to cherish. Grant that my body may conceive and give birth to a beautiful, healthy baby in Your holy image.

Guide me in all my choices so that this conception, my pregnancy and my baby’s birth are in line with Your will.

Heavenly Father and Holy Mother, hear this prayer of my heart, mind and spirit.

Amen

Introducing Baby Babble & Making One of the Most Important Decisions of My Life

When I was a child, people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up. When it came to a career, I never really knew. Sometimes I STILL don’t know if I chose the right career. Even though the career part was never really clear to me, there is one part of my dream adult identity that I never wavered on. I wanted, with every part of my being, to be a wife and mother.

Unfortunately, the wife part never happened. The how and why of that part is not important to this story. The important part is that I realized that “wife & mother” doesn’t always have to be a package deal. That is why I decided to become a single mother by choice. Does this mean that I’m not still hoping to find “the one”, or to be married one day? Nope. Is this the way I dreamed I would be starting my family? Not at all. Does that mean I am any less excited to take this next step in my life? Absolutely not!

Now, I know what some of you are thinking… “You’re only 31, why not wait?” A few different factors come into play. First, I never wanted to be an older parent. If I got pregnant now I would be 50 by the time the child graduates high school. I want to still be young enough to actually enjoy watching grandbabies grow up one day. Second, there is a family history of very early menopause. Early enough to make me think that if I wait much longer I might end up completely unable to fulfill at least part of my dream. Third, I am in a very stable place, both emotionally and financially. Fourth, but one of the most important, is that I have the full loving support of my family.

Let me explain why I chose to document my experiences in a public blog for the world to see. I want to share my experiences with my family and friends. I also feel like there are so many people who could potentially learn from my blog. I am going into this process somewhat blind. There is a lot of information on how to get pregnant with a partner. There is also a lot of information on getting pregnant through IVF, or in vitro fertilization. What I haven’t been able to easily find is detailed information on IUI, or intrauterine insemination, using donor sperm. There are plenty of same-sex couples, couples experiencing infertility, and single women who are anxious to start families of their own. While no two experiences are alike, I hope that sharing my experience will help to shed some light on some things that can be expected during the journey to motherhood.

I’m going to finish off this blog with some of the frequently asked questions and comments I’ve gotten from people who I have shared this news with already. These are not in any particular order.

Q: Why don’t you just wait? The right man is out there!
A: See paragraph 3.

Q: Seriously, what’s the risk in waiting?
A: My fertility.

Comment: You have no idea what you are in for. Single parenting is hard!
Response: Did ANY new parent, single or not, truly know what they were in for? I am aware of the fact that there will be extra challenges being a single mom and not having a partner to rely on. That is a challenge I’m willing to accept.

Q: Why don’t you just adopt instead?
A: I have nothing against adoption, but if god has blessed me with good eggs and a healthy uterus then why shouldn’t I use them?

Q: What qualities are you looking for in your donor? And a very closely related question that I get very often. What race are you going to choose for your donor?
A: My preferences for a donor are a very personal decision. All anyone else needs to know is that the donor has a clear medical history.

Q: When are you getting the “Big Squirt”?
A: If all my tests go well, my first insemination attempt will be in September 2014.

Q: Don’t you think that you are cheating the child out of the experience of having a father?
A: Yes, I do think that a childhood without a father is not normal. I really wish that there was a special man by my side to experience the ups and downs of pregnancy and parenthood with me, but at the end of the day I’m not willing to risk my fertility waiting for the right one to come along. Luckily for me, if my child ever needs a good strong male role model they will have a wonderful grandfather and uncle who are willing to step in and be a great male figure for my child to look up to.

Comment: Oh… Um… Ok… Good luck with that.
Response: LOL! This is one of the most common, amusing, and completely acceptable comments I can get from acquaintances who don’t really know how to respond. It’s fine to not know what to say. I probably wouldn’t know what to say if I were in your position either.

Comment: (I was truly surprised by how many times I got this one from guys I know.) Well if you get to the point that you are ready to have a baby, but you haven’t found anyone yet, let me know and I’ll be a parent with you.
Response: I’m a little insulted by this. If I’M not good enough for you to date or have a relationship with right now, then YOU are not good enough to be the future father of my child. PERIOD.

Q: What if the right guy comes along one or two months after you get pregnant?
A: Well, now he has two people to love, and who love him.

I guess that’s all for now.

Coming soon! The Steps & Procedures I Have Completed So Far & Their Associated Costs…

The Fertility Blessing

You know my deep desire for a child A little one to love and to hold, to care for, to cherish. Grant that my body may conceive and give birth to a beautiful, healthy baby in Your holy image.

Guide me in all my choices so that this conception, my pregnancy and my baby’s birth are in line with Your will.

Heavenly Father and Holy Mother, hear this prayer of my heart, mind and spirit.

Amen.