This month, my peak day landed right in the middle of the holiday season. Norse and I decided that we would inseminate at their mom’s house when the time came. We suggested that Norse’s mom take a long coffee break, or plan to do some last minute holiday shopping while we tried to make a baby in her guest room.
On the morning of my peak day, we visited Norse’ grandmother. I packed ovulation sticks into my winter parka and got a happy face while the family finished having tea and cinnamon buns at the senior’s residence. Norse and I quickly snuck home after the visit and the family ran some errands.
Since we had been at aquafit that morning (Norse’s favourite form of exercise), we took turns showering off chlorine while handing-off the many steps of sperm defrosting. In our excitement, and due to the pressure of inseminating mid-day at Norse’s mom’s house, we forgot a major step. After the sperm was defrosted, we realized that my fluid was not where it needed to be even though my luteinizing hormone (LH) had surged.
We forget to check my cervix before defrosting the sperm.
We lost our minds.
Another cycle gone. Another $1000 lost.
We actually lost our minds.
I may have said that there was as much of a chance of me getting pregnant that day inseminating as there was if we just threw the sperm on the ground. Ok, I did say that.
Norse and I blamed ourselves and each other for the misstep. We inseminated anyway because defrosted sperm have a short shelf-life. It was horrible.
Afterword, Norse left the room at my request and I practiced some mindfulness techniques our therapist taught me for dealing with my (new-found) anger and grief. I texted Norse to come back into the room, they put their hand in mine, and I cried. Well, I full-bodied sobbed until I couldn’t catch my breath. We talked about how awful this insemination was for both of us, how unkind we were to each other in the process, and then laughed at the possibility of having gotten pregnant from a fuck-show of an insemination.
Not everyone has romantic conception stories, right?
After our insemination, I decided not to chart my basal body temperature for the rest of the month in an attempt to enjoy the holidays. Instead of obsessing over pregnancy, I read fiction and watched movies with family. I ate shortbread cookies and something called “Hello Dolly” that involves three ingredients, one of which is condensed milk. I took myself to the gym (which has been a fear of mine over the past few months). I lifted weights and cycled. I ate bacteria ridden cheese and cured meats. I drank coffee. I even had a glass of wine. Maybe two.
The thing about trying to conceive is that it targets all the wounds people who assigned female at birth and/or socialized as women have about our bodies and our body ‘failures.’ Trying to conceive is a package of patriarchal fuckery that tells you that your body is not healthy (read perfect) enough to become pregnant and teaches you how to monitor, control, and govern all aspects of your “health” toward reproduction (solely, as if nothing else in your life can matter equally). For me, this apparatus is matched by homo and transphobic systems that make my imperfect and unworthy body a site of profiteering and exclusion. This is an incredibly difficult system to navigate on the best of days, and during the holidays, it is almost impossible. Something(s) had to give.
And so, we are working on balancing hope with reality. We kept our sperm tank under the Christmas tree for the holidays and opened a few gifts for our maybe gayby.
This week, we’re going to finally put together a bed frame for the guest room. I had been putting this off because I was sure we would be changing the guest room into a nursery sooner-than-later. But, our guests shouldn’t have to sleep on the floor and we have to keep living our lives the best we can during this process.