Can I Just Have a Glass of Wine? Make That a Bottle. I Am Way Too Stressed.

(One of us hates the long waits at the clinic.)

“Aunt Sarah let’s race our cars now. Right now” said my three-year-old nephew beside me.

Everything was happening so quickly.

My Dad was rushing to put things into a backpack, my sister L was packing up food so my parents could eat something, my Mom was heading out the door to go to the hospital.

“Aunt Sarah. We need to play” said my nephew having absolutely no idea the emergency that was happening around us.

I pretended to race my car but what I really wanted to do was to run into a room and cry.

Minutes before, my Mom had told us that she had passed out the night before but didn’t know why. She could see that her heart rate was getting too high and had finally decided it was time to go to the hospital.

That was on Sunday and thus began events that nobody could have expected.

This week was A LOT for everyone. Because of her heart defibrillator, the team at Toronto General, and my Mom’s strength, she was able to get out of the hospital by Thursday evening.

My parents had come down to Toronto for a Jays game and my Mom was planning on attending two appointments with me this week – my 20-week anatomy ultrasound on Monday, and my OB appointment on Wednesday.

What was so odd was that she was so close by – just across the street at Toronto General. She explained how sad she was at missing the appointments and I just stated over and over again that I didn’t care. I just needed her to be healthy.

Because my Mom couldn’t make the appointment, my sister J came with me. Throughout the day, J had been to Toronto General to see Mom, went to my appointment at Sinai, worked an eight-hour shift, and went back to Toronto General in the evening. I told her that she didn’t need to come to my appointment but she was so kind and was there by my side.

Because I was so stressed, I had no idea how the anatomy scan would go. To be honest, all of my thoughts were on my Mom and it wasn’t really registering that I was having my ultrasound.

Throughout the ultrasound, I tried to talk to both the nurse as well as J. The nurse was too busy and didn’t want to chat. J would talk to me for a bit but I could tell she was also tired and stressed about Mom.

I wasn’t able to see the monitor either so I was just laying down, sitting in a dark room, and trying my best not to be too stressed out.

After about ten minutes I knew I had to ask a question.

“Is he there?” I asked the nurse.

“Yes” she said.

“Does he have a heartbeat?”

“Yes” she said.

That was pretty much all of the small talk I could get out of her.

I could feel my anxiety increasing as I sat there.

“Is he moving around a lot?” 

“Yes” she said.

After that, I gave up.  We weren’t going to be friends and I would just use this time to breathe deeply.

“You are done” she said. “But we need to look at your cervix.”

My sister was sitting at my feet and upon hearing that, jumped out of her seat.

“I am moving” she said.

The nurse left and I took off my pants, hiding so my sister couldn’t see anything.

(A pic of the ultrasound of baby boy. He looks still here, right?)

“You know that you are going to have to get comfortable with me seeing things” said J. “I am going to be there at your labour so I’ll see a whole lot more of you. Be prepared.”

The nurse came back in and after about two minutes I was done. Overall, the anatomy ultrasound took about 1 hour and fifteen minutes.

“You will have to come back” said the nurse. “I couldn’t see much.”


(I took this picture from her screen. I guess Baby Boy did move around a lot.)

From there, I was asked to sit in the waiting room until about 20-30 minutes later, when I was given a new date and time to come back.

On Wednesday I had my ultrasound for the research study that I am in at Mount Sinai. 

“I’ll try and get what the nurse didn’t get in the anatomy ultrasound” said the physician.

This time I could see the monitor and watched as baby boy flipped around and kicked the entire time.

“I am trying but I just can’t get pictures of him. He is one of the most active babies I have seen.”

“What?” I asked. “I have no energy. Why does he have so much energy? Why can’t he be more like his Mama?” I laughed.

“When they are like this in the womb, they are like this when they come out of the womb” said the physician doing the study.

“What?” I asked.

(Baby Boy at the research ultrasound. This is the only time he was still.)

After my research ultrasound, I was off to meet with Dr. Snelgrove.

While in the waiting room, I watched as a man spoke on his cell phone.

“It’s a girl Mom. She is in the washroom and I’m not sure if I am allowed to tell you. Actually, here she comes. She can tell you herself.”

I can’t even begin to express how excited I was at watching this all unfold. 

“Congratulations on your girl” I said. Before long, we were chatting about a variety of things including how much we loved Mount Sinai Fertility Clinic and how much we loved Mount Sinai.

“Sarah?” asked the nurse.

I couldn’t believe how fast the two-hour wait went because of the kind couple I had met. I made a mental note to talk to everyone around me next time.

Dr. Snelgrove welcomed me, asked how I was doing and looked over my anatomy scan.

“Wow…thanks a lot guys” he laughed. “They were only able to measure the head” he said. “Your baby was moving around way too much.”

“He is a soccer player” I said.

After that, we discussed my health and how I am still not gaining any weight or keeping any food down. I asked if something was wrong with me because I was sleeping 12-16 hours a day. I also discussed other gross pregnancy symptoms that I won’t write about here. Every time I talk about it my Dad says “TMI.”

So through all of the events of the week, baby boy made it through this week with his mother being completely stressed out. It’s so hard going through such a stressful time knowing that you have to remain calm.

This week got a lot better because on Thursday night, Mom was released from the hospital.

I felt really bad because I wanted to be with my Mom 24/7 at the hospital, but my body wouldn’t let me. I would start getting sick and knew it was time to go home and to rest. It was really hard to find a balance.

Now that she is home, I am resting and have cancelled everything so I can just be in bed. This week took so much out of me emotionally and physically.

My Mom is everything and it was amazing watching her strength through all of this. The whole time I just kept thinking “you need to get healthy. You need to be with my son.”

So now if anyone ever asks me where I get my strength from, I’ll always be sure to say “I got it from my Mama.” 

If I can be half the Mom, my Mom has been to me OR if I can be half as strong as my Mom, I know I will have made it as the most incredible Mom. 

I love you Mama.

(Mom leaving the hospital.)


I Totally Know That I am Having a Boy

Just after M found out the sex of the baby

“Are you hoping to have a boy or a girl?” 

I’d get this question at least once a day and my response was always the same.

“As long as it is healthy and happy, I don’t really care.” People would just roll their eyes – they wanted to hear “boy” or “girl.”

Then I started to really care.

For two months people kept telling me that I was having a girl so then I became attached to having a girl. At night I’d talk to my little girl “Hey Girl! Hope you had a great day today. Mama is super tired.”

Earlier this week, a friend sent me a direct message on Instagram about a study she was doing regarding the placenta. She asked if I would want to possibly be part of the study and as a result, I would have an ultrasound every four weeks and I would get more ultrasound pictures.

Helping out with medical research and getting extra pictures of my little one? It was a win/win!

Before long, the forms were signed and on Thursday I went to the appointment.

“Please don’t tell me the sex” I told the nurses.

“Thank goodness you told us because we would have totally talked about the sex in the ultrasound.”

My friend M was with me at the appointment. She was close by, knew I was at Sinai, and wanted to meet. As a nurse practitioner, M could look closely at the ultrasound screen and began speaking in what I could only describe as “nurses talk” to the other nurses in the room.


Then came some words that I finally could understand.

“So you can see right here the gender of the baby” said the nurse to M.

She zoomed in and printed out a pic for M. I still haven’t seen the picture that M has. I don’t even know if anyone wants an ultrasound picture that has been zoomed in on the genitalia.

“Oh my gosh. It is a boy” I said.

Both M and the nurse laughed.

“Why would you say that?” asked the nurse.

“Who zooms in on a pic and says that ‘you can tell by looking right there?’ It is a boy. You two are busted and now I know the truth.”

I watched their faces looking for a sign.

“I have the best poker face” said M. “You won’t find out from me.”

Just before I had my appointment for the study, I messaged my family and asked them what everyone was up to on the weekend. I explained that I was taking part in the study and was pretty sure they would be able to tell the sex of the baby during my ultrasound. My logical sister had planned that we would have a gender reveal party during Thanksgiving weekend (since we were all going to be together anyway). I knew that Thanksgiving would be WAY too long to find out and WAY TOO LONG for me to keep a secret.

My entire family was crazy busy. Everyone had at least 3-4 important things going on during the weekend. Somehow we all agreed that Sunday at 11:00 a.m. we could have our little gender reveal party.

Once M knew the sex, I realized I needed to know. When we walked out of the appointment I kept quizzing M and kept trying to get her to slip up on identifying the sex.

No luck.

Instead, she walked away with the picture and said she would tell my brother-in-law (who I am sure doesn’t care about the sex of my baby). From there, he would get a box and there would be both pink and blue balloons. He would put the corresponding balloons (pink = girl, boy = blue, super stereotypical) in the box.

Since Thursday, I have totally thought I am having a boy. On Thursday night I headed to bed and said “hello boy?”

Over the past couple of days, I have totally gotten used to being a boy Mom. I’ve started to envision attending his hockey games and being a hockey Mom early to the ice on the weekends (yes, again, totally stereotypical). Other women have told me about their connection to their sons and how there is nothing better than being a “boy Mom.” 

I also had a girl’s name picked out for my baby girl and was about 99.9% sure of it. Have tossed around a couple of ideas with regards to boys names but I just can’t settle down on one. Since Thursday I have been taking in every boy’s name. When I went to a restaurant on Friday, I started to listen closely to the different male names of the servers looking for some sort of inspiration. 

As a teacher, you are blessed with some incredible students and other students may be a bit more challenging. You also usually remember the names of the best kids and the kids that have given you a tough time. When I hear a name, I instantly think back to that student. So many beautiful names are out for me because of the connection to the good/challenging student(s).

As you know, my pregnancy hasn’t been the easiest (currently off work which I will get into another time) so this news has totally made me all excited about being pregnant again. To be honest, Thursday was one of my most favourite days being pregnant. As soon as I saw the little one, I felt this intense love.

It was so crazy to get such an in-depth look at all of the body parts. This is a picture of the foot of the baby that the nurse took.


“Are there two feet?” I asked completely frazzled.

“Yes,” said the nurse with a laugh. “I could only get a picture of the one.”

“Look at the cute face” said the nurse as she zoomed in on the face. “Would you like a picture of it?”

“Oh no” I said. “The baby looks like an actual alien. Maybe next time?”

I can’t wait to have so many ultrasounds and to see how much this baby progresses month to month. I also can’t wait to find out the sex because then I might start thinking about what to buy him or what to name him. There are so many exciting things ahead.

On next week’s blog, I will share the sex of the baby with you and will be sure to take some pictures at the gender reveal party. Right now I am 99.9% sure it is a boy so we shall see! What do you think – boy or girl?

What Is Really Going On?

There have been so many times where I’ve had questions during the process of being a single mom by choice and I’ve reached out to friends, family, and the Instagram community.  Everyone has been there for me and I decided this week I’d give back.

Below are a series of questions that people messaged me on Facebook or Instagram this week.  In fact, I received so many questions (30 thus far) that this is going to be Part One of questions and next week I will answer Part Two. Some questions deal with topics related to becoming a single mother by choice. Other questions are just things that people are wondering about regarding my pregnancy or pregnancy in general.  Please know that I am such a huge fan of learning and of being open. Feel free to ask me anything and if you would like your question featured on the blog next week, just send me an email.

Now for the fun part….

  • You said you love your donor. Is it someone you personally know? Just curious.

It is not someone I personally know yet somehow I feel like I know him. I felt that using sperm from a friend might really complicate everything and was worried that the donor might change his mind once the baby was born and want to become part of the child’s life. Yes there are court documents to ensure that you are the sole parent but my social worker suggested that these documents don’t always hold up in court.

As a result, I decided to find a donor from a sperm bank. It was so hard choosing a donor and I even had a little breakdown while finding one (am I really that horrible that nobody wants to have kids with me?) After my little pity party (which I think everyone is allowed), I was very limited in my selection. I always thought I’d get a book and could select a donor from the book. Instead, I got a few matches online that I got to select from. After seeing a baby picture of the donor, reading the essay he wrote, hearing him in an interview, reading his genetic health history of his entire family, and seeing a current day silhouette of him, I knew he was the one. 

When I saw his baby picture I actually cried (only donor I cried about) because he looked so much like my sisters and I when we were kids. His voice and calm demeanor just drew me to him but it was hard to get him as a donor. In fact, I only used him as my donor on the second IUI (sperm inside the uterus) because I was on a waiting list and the timing didn’t work out the first time.

  • How and when did you commit to being a single mom by choice?

There was not a specific moment where this happened.  There were a bunch of key events that made me realize that this was something that I wanted to do.  Some of these events include: my grandma saying she was sad I was never going to have kids, a boyfriend who (during our relationship) told me he didn’t want kids, a motherly instinct that I have always had since I was a little girl, two friends that decided to become Choice Moms that inspired me to begin the process, my 37th birthday and realizing that time was not on my side anymore, spending time with kids and realizing how much joy they brought me and how my life would not seem fulfilled without children in some way.

I always wanted children and I’d say that if I had to pick an age where I started to think about it, it would maybe have been at the age of 34 (and it took me three years to talk about it with my doc).

  • Baby names?  Have you picked them?

I am terrified of coming up with a name this early in the process. I am so afraid of having a miscarriage because it is so common.  After 20 weeks, I feel as though I will really think about this.

In the meantime, I will tell you some names I feel a connection to right now.  As a child, I loved to write stories and every protagonist in my stories was named Abigail Jenkins. Have always loved the named Abigail but who knows.

As for a boy, I keep being drawn to the name Finn. The only issue is that it is a lot like my sister’s married last name so it may not work in the long run.

  • What will you tell your child?

After seeing both a social worker (because it is mandatory as a patient of Mount Sinai) and my counsellor (because I love keeping my mental health in check), I have made a decision to be open and honest as much as possible.

I will be creating a book for my little one with all of the info from his/her Dad. It will contain pictures at the fertility clinic and will include his/her dad’s essay, etc. I’ll follow what my counsellor suggests (when looking at appropriate age/language to use). I also plan to invest in many books about kids with single parents/kids with donors.

There is also a sibling registry where my child will be able to decide if he/she wants to get the names of his/her siblings and meet them. My child will also be given information about his/her Dad at the age of 18 and the Dad has agreed to have contact with him/her.

  • Did your doctor tell you to lose weight before you were pregnant?

According to the BMI, I am considered “obese.”  Through tears I asked my fertility doctor if I should try to lose a bunch of weight before getting pregnant. I asked if I should put everything on hold.

She informed me that studied show that when a patient puts a hold on the process and tries to lose weight, this almost never happens.  She indicated that we were against timing already (with my age being 37 at the time) so she determined that we needed to start right away.

I did try and lose weight but I have such a complicated relationship with food.  When I start restricting food I binge. I also eat when I am stressed, and have been stressed and challenged more through this process than with anything in my life.

I am also reminded that women all over the world with a lot of different sizes get pregnant every day. They even have healthy pregnancies.  I have no idea if weight will become a major issue during my pregnancy but I will keep you posted.

  • How do you handle the judgement? Has everyone been kind to you online and in real life?

I would say that I am VERY surprised that most people (about 99%) are positive.  I worried about hater/ people responding negatively to my blog.

There have been a couple times where I have been hurt by the things that people have said but I think over time I am building a tougher skin (which is crazy to say because anyone who knows me knows that I am an overly sensitive person).

When I started the process, I was totally embarrassed at the doctor’s when the receptionist told me that she couldn’t fax my form to the fertility office because I didn’t have a partner. After indicating infront of everyone in the waiting room that I was using a donor, she finally faxed the form.

About a month later when I called Mount Sinai to see what the hold-up was in becoming their patient, they explained that the didn’t process my form because under “partner info” it read “N/A.” Once again, I had to inform them that I was doing it on my own.

I also had a “friend” on my Facebook write something really negative about how I shouldn’t be writing any of this because my child wouldn’t want any of this to be published.  For the first couple hours, I didn’t even do anything. In fact, I didn’t even know she had posted that. My other friends started protecting me and came to my defense. They started writing things under her post and I realized that I really did have an army protecting me.

Eventually I gave her about six different reasons as to why I was sharing this info and reminded her that I thought long and hard about publishing this type of info. My child will know his/her story and I can remove everything if he/she wants me to. I just feel like this is such an important topic and one that should not be ignored. If I could help someone else out, I would try my best.

Have also had people that won’t talk to me about it or say that they aren’t interested in any of this which is TOTALLY fine.

  • Will you stay in Toronto? It is crazy expensive there. What is your plan?

Plans make me very nervous so I *think* I have a plan for the first year. As of right now, the first year of the baby’s life will be spent in Toronto.

After that, I will most likely be moving.  Everything really depends on my job and if I were to go somewhere new, I would lose all of my seniority as a teacher. It sounds a little crazy to leave a full teaching contract position of 15 years to start somewhere new.

That being said, I plan to give my child the best life he/she can have. If it means taking chances and moving to somewhere much more affordable, it is not out of the question.

  • How did you tell your parents?

This seems like so long ago! I feel like I started by making little jokes about it to see the reaction on their face.  That lasted for a couple of months. From there, I called my Mom up and explained that I was seriously thinking about it. I knew she was going on vacation and I wanted her to tell my Dad. I figured they could talk about it while they were away.

When they came back from their vacation my Mom told me (infront of the entire family) that she asked my Dad about it. She announced that Dad had said that “if your baby makes you as happy as the three of my girls have made me, it is worth it.”

It was very sweet and reminded me that you never know how people will take the news. I was so worried about what he would think of me and I didn’t need to worry at all.

  • No one is supporting me. What do I do?

I am so sorry that this is happening to you and know that it is totally normal. I’ve been VERY lucky to have this much support. I would suggest you invest in a good counsellor. A counsellor will be your biggest supporter and fan. When you start to doubt yourself, he/she will be there to help you.

A counsellor will work on all of your fears with you. He/she will help you process the feelings of others as well as any feelings you have yourself.  I have also heard of many people who didn’t support the single mother until she had the baby. Once the baby was born, she received a lot of support from people who were against the whole process.

  • How did you tell people you were pregnant?

Well everyone knew when I would find out if I was pregnant (I posted the date of my second IUI). They knew it would be a two week wait.

I told my family over Facebook messenger and recorded their responses. You may remember that a little while back, my Mac died and I haven’t been able to afford a new laptop. As a result, I was storing all pictures and videos on my phone but before long my iPhone storage had reached the limit. I emailed the videos to myself and just assumed they would always stay in iCloud. It turns out that videos are only stored for 30 days. I have now lost all of the videos I made with reactions I received when telling my closest fam and friends about my pregnancy.

I am sure there will be some sort of video made before the baby is born but I might just interview fam and friends about the arrival of the baby and have my bro in law (master of technology) put something together.

  • How are you feeling?

I am not feeling well at all. Morning sickness/all day sickness has been A LOT to handle. I am now in week 11 and can barely keep food down. I have one random day out of about seven where I feel okay and able to do something.

My days have been spent taking diclectin (now up to three a day), sipping ginger ale, avoiding most foods, having to cancel plans with friends/family, and watching a lot of Netflix.

It is totally worth it but in the meantime, people have given me A LOT of tips to help with the morning sickness. These include things such as taking meds at night, taking ginger gravol, eating ginger candies, eating jolly ranchers, carrying bags with me, acupuncture, eating a variety of small meals every day, talking to my OB, etc.

I also need to keep saying “no” to things and to not feel guilty about it. Right now, I feel like that flaky friend that always bails. I keep having to remind myself that I am doing the right thing for me and my little one.

  • Have you received your results for the Harmony test?

Yes! My baby has tested negative for Down’s and for a couple other genetic abnormalities. I found out on Friday.

I also want everyone to know that I have two friends who have children with Down’s and they inspire me every day. Their kids are the absolute best and bring them so much joy.

I just wanted the information to have the testing done. Wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it but I wanted to know.

Some of you also know that you can find out the gender by doing this test. Personally, I don’t want to know the gender until later. As someone who is constantly worried about pregnancy loss, I am just not ready to know yet.

Thanks for sending in your questions and please know that next week I’ll be answering more. If you sent me a question that hasn’t been answered yet, please know that I’ll answer it next week.

Wishing everyone an amazing and healthy week ahead!

Change of Plans?

I was once someone who always needed a plan.  A plan made me feel secure and made me feel like I was doing the right thing.  Go to school, go to University, get your first job, take no time off.  As a people pleaser I did what everyone expected of me and making them happy, in turn, made me happy.

In high school I proudly wore my promise ring from my high school boyfriend of three years.  I honestly thought that I’d end up marrying him and build a life in the small town where I grew up.  My parents met in grade ten and stayed together so why would that not be my fate?

When I went to University, my high school boyfriend and I broke up.  I dated a bit in my 20’s and always remained a happy and committed partner to whomever I was dating.  When I met my ex-husband, we were great friends for about three years before we dated.  He proposed on my 30th birthday and I had a plan. Sure I had wanted to get married at the age of 25 and had a mini meltdown on my 25th birthday when I was not engaged to be married, but by 30, I knew that I was sticking to a plan. 

We moved into a beautiful house, both had jobs we loved, and even had a bulldog named Hudson.  Things were going according to plan until they weren’t.

One year after getting married, my ex-husband and I spilt and it shattered my world.  In life, if you did everything right, you would be rewarded. Right? If you created a plan and worked hard to follow that plan, everything would work out. Right?

Looking back, I can’t believe how naïve I was back then. Having a plan made me so secure but it also sent me into anxiety mode when the boxes weren’t being checked off perfectly. With a plan, I was expecting way too much of myself as well as expecting too much of everyone around me.

After my divorce, I wanted to get a tattoo so I got the word “change” on my wrist.  The purpose of the tattoo was to constantly remind myself that change was a good thing.  There was a time where anxiety filled my stomach when someone mentioned the word “change.”  In going through my divorce, I realized that change was actually a blessing. 

It’s funny how often I’ve looked at my tattoo because change has been such a prevalent part of my life. For someone so scared of it at one time, I feel as though I have really been tested to accept that change can and will occur and the best way to deal with change is to be open to it.

In fact, my tattoo of “change” has never been as meaningful as it is right now – in being seven weeks pregnant as a future Choice Mom.

There is this commercial on television for a car and when things don’t go as planned it just says “recalculating” and I have to laugh at it because I feel like this describes my life. Another person once told me to just yell “plot twist” when something unexpected happens. Instead of getting mad at myself or anxious about my life I just try to say the words “recalculating” or “plot twist” and it tends to make me feel better.

In telling people that I am pregnant, they really want to know the “plan”. When will I leave work? When will I return to work? Will I move in with my parents? Who is going to help me? Will I stay in Toronto? Where will I live? Can I afford Toronto as a single mother? Should I leave Toronto and try to get hired by a new school board?

So many questions and unfortunately, I don’t have the answers.

If a couple people ask me these questions, I can usually just breathe through the questions.  It’s almost as though I need to help their anxiety because they are worried about me and are searching for some kind of plan. 

The issue is that I don’t really have a plan.  The old Sarah, would have never have been able to deal without some sort of “plan.” I would have had a plan as well as five back-up plans and I’d be checking off lists making sure that everything was going according to plan.

When I planned to have a baby in the past, I always just assumed it would be in a detached home with two extra bedrooms – two babies (the perfect family). 

Now I live in a beautiful condo but it is small and I am not exactly sure where everything is going to fit. But it is okay. I am okay and baby will be okay.

Things are going to change.  As of right now, I think I’ll be staying in the city but I have no actual idea what will happen between now and one year from now. Do any of us, really? When I had a plan in life, nothing went according to my plan.

A couple summers ago, I went on a wine tour and about ten of us were sitting in a bus.  My friends were kind enough to humour me in a game that I always love to play.  Instead of the game “truth or dare”, I created a game called “truth 1 or truth 2.”  Truth one is full of silly questions such as “what is your favourite food?” while truth two questions are often very deep such as “what is the scariest moment you have ever had in your life?” As someone who prefers really deep questions, I always hope that someone will say that they are willing to answer a “truth 2” question.

One of my friends said they’d like to tackle a truth two question that was later open to the entire group. My question to my friends was “do you feel as though your life has gone according to plan? Did you ever think you would be where you are right now in your life?”

Every single person said “no.”

I was absolutely shocked.  On that drive I listened to friends discuss how they weren’t where they thought they’d be when it came to relationships, work, finances, children, etc. 

So my question is, if nobody’s life is really going according to plan, why do we all feel like we need to have a plan?

My “plan” is to try to bring this baby to term.  All I am trying to do right now is to have a healthy pregnancy.  Unfortuantely I can’t share the logistics of where I am living, where my baby will go to daycare, what sort of support system I am going to have, etc.  I honestly just want to live each day as it comes.

You know who has a plan? The universe.  I know that sounds a bit crazy and my sister absolutely HATES when I mention the word “universe” because she thinks it is so bizzare but I really feel like we are all being taken care of.

When you see a pregnant Mama or hear that someone is pregnant, maybe we lay off the questions because it can be too much.  Maybe we just ask “how are you feeling?”  That’s a great question to start with. Don’t get me wrong – this is the pot calling the kettle black. I ask so many questions to people but I am going to start trying to check myself.  I am going to ask myself “is this a question to help the person or is this just a question because I am nosy? Do they actually need my “help” in bringing up this question?”

Sometimes questions can just really add up and for me, it is starting to feel like a lot. I feel like I am not able to please everyone and that maybe I am doing something really wrong because I don’t have a plan. 

Then I have to stop and remind myself that I am okay. Things will work out and no matter where I live, which daycare my child will attend, or where I will work, this baby will be so loved. In the end, all that really matters is that there is a whole lot of love.

Wishing everyone a great week and if you don’t have a one, five or ten year plan, join the club! We are all just trying to get by and sometimes living without a plan can be the most rewarding thing you can do for yourself.

Am I Pregnant?

Having dinner with my friend Sarah during the two week wait

I could be writing this blog post as a pregnant woman.  AHHHH! In one week I will know if my second IUI (sperm inside the uterus) worked. 

After my first IUI, I had a feeling in my gut that it didn’t work.  I really wondered how I could possibly get pregnant when I spent days before/during/after trying to avoid panic attacks. 

My thought patterns went something like this:

Positive Inner Voice: I have a pain in my stomach. I must google it.  I could be pregnant.

Negative Inner Voice: There is no way that you are pregnant or that you are ready to be pregnant.  How much money have you saved?  Do you really think you can do it on your own? If you are obese the chances of you getting pregnant reduce.  Why didn’t you lose some weight before trying to conceive?

Positive Inner Voice: I will take each day as it comes.  I feel like I am having signs of pregnancy. I will make sure I am active as possible during my pregnancy.

Negative: Those are not signs.  The chance of you getting pregnant is so small.  You are not emotionally or physically ready for this.

Every moment would be an internal battle and I couldn’t catch a break. 

Why is it that most of these conversations took place in my head just before trying to sleep?  I’d keep the television on trying to drown out the sound of my thoughts but nothing was working.

I also wanted to just be by myself.  I stayed inside and read as many psychological thrillers as I could get my hands on.  I’d look through the summary of the novels making sure the novel didn’t involve pregnancy or a baby because I just couldn’t deal with the subject matter.

During the two week wait the first time, I didn’t have one sip of alcohol and checked google to make sure I could eat certain things (“can I put goat cheese in a salad” or “can I eat babybels?”) If google suggested I avoid it, I completely eliminated it from my diet.

In that two week span, I was so hard on myself and promised myself that if I were to ever have a two week wait again, I would do things much differently.

Enter my two week wait this time.

This has seemed like a honeymoon compared to the last IUI two week wait.

The negative inner voice still appears but does so at a less alarming rate.  My positive inner voice is usually louder and can really challenge the negativity. 

So far I have had two glasses of wine and one can of cider during my two week wait.  I am also trying my best at staying in the moment and enjoying the process as much as I can.

I’ve also gotten out of the house.  When I am not out with a friend/friends, I have forced myself to get outside.  I’ve been walking a lot more and have seen A LOT of movies over the last bit.  In fact, I have seen “Booksmart”, “Aladdin”, “The Hustle”, and “Rocketman.”  The movies have allowed me to escape my own thoughts and to rest. Plus, if I do become pregnant, I have a feeling I won’t have as much time to go to the movies by myself.  I am really embracing these special moments.

Last time when I found out I wasn’t pregnant my eyes became a little teary for a moment but I didn’t cry.  This time I have a feeling that if the news is negative, it will be a lot harder on me. Everything just feels so right this time.

The next blog entry promises to be very emotional.  It will either be a very exciting post or it will be a really honest post about what it feels like to go through two IUI’s without getting pregnant.

Some have asked “what will you do next if you don’t get pregnant this round? Will you go for your third IUI?”

I am really torn when answering that question because thanks to my period tracking app, I know I’ll be ovulating on the exact date that I will be away with my girlfriends for a cottage weekend.  Everything in me tells me that I need to get the hell away.  I have worked so hard to make money for fertility and then have gone through a lot emotionally through these two IUI’s.  All I want is some time with friends two hours away.

One of my friends suggested just coming back on the day that I am ovulating but it is not that easy.  Unfortunately just before each of my IUI’s (which can be different for other people), I have spent every morning at the fertility clinic for a couple days straight waiting to find out the exact date of the IUI. I don’t want to keep leaving the fun with my friends (and driving two hours there and back) so that I can be monitored.

So if it doesn’t work, I will most likely take a break. 

I am going to allow myself time to just feel everything and I know that my gut will tell me what to do next.

Why am I thinking like that because everything in me is telling me that it worked and that I am pregnant. Now I may look like a fool next blog entry and I am prepared to admit that I was wrong if I need to.

Fingers crossed I can share some really exciting news next week!

Not Pregnant….Now What?

Not Pregnant…..Now What?

After waiting thirteen days after my IUI (sperm inside my uterus), I decided it was time to take a pregnancy test. Yes I know that I was supposed to wait fourteen days but I was too excited and anxious.

When my sister was expecting, my sister and brother-in-law filmed a video of everyone’s reactions when we found out that E was pregnant. The video features every family member being told that there was a new addition to the family.   I love watching the video because it just shows how excited we were and how much we loved my nephew before he was even born. Before I took my pregnancy test, I messaged my brother-in-law and he promised to make a video for me. All I would have to do is to start recording reactions.

Maybe it wouldn’t be as surprising as my sister/brother-in-law’s announcement (since it was totally unexpected) but I wanted to have something to look back on and show my future baby. That’s why I filmed my reaction when I took my pregnancy test.  For whatever reason, in the moment, I didn’t think I was pregnant.  Perhaps it was a coping mechanism that helped me feel better when the test result showed that I was not pregnant.

On the Saturday morning after my pregnancy test, my amazing sister J met me at the clinic and I had my blood taken to make sure that I wasn’t pregnant.  Friends kept telling me that tests are not always 100% accurate and that I should wait to get a blood test before fully admitting defeat.

The nurse did not need to call to tell me my news because my cycle returned while I was out for lunch with J and we celebrated with mimosas.  We celebrated that I could drink again and my sister helped me stay sane and helped me to have fun/laugh when receiving my news.  We both wished that we were celebrating my pregnancy but we also enjoyed drinking mimosas, wine, champagne and rose.

When the nurse called to tell me that I wasn’t pregnant I expected to cry and to feel sorry for myself.  Anyone that knows me knows that I am very emotional but for whatever reason, I didn’t cry. I think this was because of a variety of reasons:

  1. A couple of days before I got my result, I received an email from a sperm bank stating that my first choice in donor was available.  I had my name on a waiting list for months and I was so delighted that my first choice was available. For IUI #2 I am using a different donor.
  • All of my Etsy orders had not arrived.  Yes I ordered things on Etsy to announce the arrival of my future baby.  It’s been a weird week when everything has arrived congratulating me on my pregnancy when I am not, in fact pregnant.
  • I missed booze.  Specifically, I missed sitting on a patio and now I was able to do that.
  • I had J there to make me laugh the entire day.  We even danced to Beyoncé with her husband later on in the afternoon and a little Beyoncé can put a smile on anyone’s face.
  • My other sister E and I kept having these incredible phone conversations and I loved being able to chat with her and to hear her advice on everything Mom related. She helped to give me strength and helped to make me see that having kids was the best but that I should appreciate the time to myself (especially my current sleep schedule) before a future baby arrives.
  • I knew that IUI round 2 was gearing up and this time I didn’t feel as nervous and scared.  This time, I feel like I CAN get pregnant (fingers crossed).

The same day I found out I wasn’t pregnant, was the same day that I needed to call in to the fertility clinic to report my day one and start the process for another IUI.  The prep for my second IUI has been a little different because I am taking medication for this IUI.  My fertility medication is called Letrozole and is taken starting on day three for five days.  When I picked up the medication at Shoppers, I was a little scared as the pharmacist said “be careful with this medication.  There are a lot of side effects.”  So far (knock on wood), the only side effect that I have seen is that I am currently going through issues with acne at the age of 38.  Amazing.

Letrozole is used because it increases my chance in releasing more than one egg.  Studies show that it is less expensive than other fertility meds and there’s less of a risk of multiple pregnancies (Today’s Parent). According to the National Institute of Health, of the 374 women who received Letrozole, 27.5% experienced a live birth. Multiple pregnancy with twins occurred in 3.4% of the groups.

So here’s the big debate – do you take fertility meds to increase your chances of getting pregnant OR do you just stick to your natural cycle?

For me, I relied on my doctor to give me stats and from there; she helped me to make an informed decision.  Fertility is expensive.  A woman connected with me today and wrote that she had 15 IUI’s and six miscarriages. I can’t even imagine.  It just goes to show that women are strong AF.  If she can go through 15 IUI’s, I can gear up for round two without an issue. I also can’t begin to imagine how much this affected her emotionally and financially. I’m planning of having a maximum of three IUI’s and that is going to cost me a minimum of $5000.00. 

The big worry (I pretty much worry all the time now), is that I could have multiples.  While J was with me at the fertility clinic we started looking at the pictures on one of the fertility doctor’s wall.  It was hundreds of birth announcements and thank you’s complete with the world’s sweetest baby pictures.

“Do you see what I see?” my sister asked.

“The cutest babies?” I asked.

“Take a look at the number of twins” she sister said.

Then we started counting twins and soon realized that it seemed that every third baby announcement contained a picture with twins.

At this point, I don’t even want to think about having twins on my own and every time someone asks me about it, a chill runs through my body.

So now it is go time round two.  I think I am ready as I can be and my IUI will be taking place in the next week or so (as long as everything is in order).  Bring on the blood tests, ultrasounds, and waiting in lines for 1,000 years.  I am ready and have a feeling that I will be pregnant VERY soon.

The Two Week Wait

I just purchased a pregnancy test – actually I purchased two.  

When I went into the pharmacy I had no idea where to find pregnancy tests.  When I finally found the tests, I stood there shocked at all of the different tests I could buy and the range of prices for pregnancy tests.  Friends have told me that the pregnancy tests from the dollar store work just as well but I decided that this first time I wanted to have the experience of going into the pharmacy to buy the test.

While searching for the perfect test a couple came up beside me and started discussing which condoms they should buy. Yes – pregnancy tests are located just beside the condoms.  The whole situation felt so odd – the couple was trying to use something to prevent pregnancy while I was searching for a test that would hopefully tell me that I was pregnant.

When I went up to the cashier I thought she’d give me a smile or do some sort of price check on my pregnancy test.  Isn’t that what happens in the movies? Instead, she just scanned the tests and asked me for $25.00.

It has taken everything in me over the past fourteen days not to purchase a pregnancy test because I am currently going through the dreaded two-week wait.  The two-week wait is the time between my IUI (sperm inside the uterus) and my period.

For the past two weeks, I have felt everything from anger, frustration, anxiety, sadness, and pure joy.  Basically, I’ve felt like I was on a rollercoaster watching my emotions from afar.

Sure I am going for blood work tomorrow to confirm whether or not I am pregnant but the thought of a nurse from Mount Sinai telling me whether or not the IUI was successful makes me too damn nervous.  I want to feel like I am somewhat in control and won’t be as sad if the nurse calls and I already know (according to my pregnancy tests) that it didn’t work. My goal is to take the pregnancy test tomorrow morning just before I go for blood work.

Plus, my sweet sweet sister is meeting me at the fertility clinic tomorrow.  By then, I will know my fate. After I get my blood test she has promised me an afternoon of drinking (if I am not pregnant) or a celebratory lunch (if I am pregnant).

So I’ve learned a lot over the past two weeks and I want to pass on that information to you. I’ve made A LOT of mistakes over the past two weeks and I can’t help but laugh at them.

Here are some of my favourite moments from the past two weeks:

  1. Morning Sickness

The day after my IUI I was feeling really sick to my stomach.  Because I am so freakin’ silly, I googled “morning sickness” and believed that it could be possible that my pregnancy symptoms were already happening.

FACT: Morning sickness usually starts at week six.

2) The Perfect Announcement

I spent hours trying to craft the perfect pregnancy announcement.  How would I tell the people that I love the most that I am expecting (if I am)?

It all started with Pinterest which quickly moved into Etsy.  I have spent $100.00.

FACT: I write a freakin blog and post everything on Instagram.  Anyone who has been following the blog/Instagram knows the exact date I am going for my blood tests.  Plus, my family knows when I will know that I am pregnant. How the hell will this be a surprise?

Please also note that everything I ordered from Etsy did not show up in time.  If I find out that I am pregnant tomorrow, I am screwed.

My brother-in-law was also kind enough to say that he will create a movie of me telling people.  How exciting will this movie be? Everyone knows that is happening. If I hold up my phone, everyone will know what I am about to say. Why did I start a blog and Instagram again?

3) Physical Symptoms

Six days after my IUI, I thought I had a UTI (urinary tract infection).  I googled “UTI after an IUI” and google told me that this was a symptom of pregnancy.  I started crying because this could be a sign.

FACT:  What in the actual hell?  Google should not be used at any time.

4) Leading Other People Into Your Madness

Ten days after my IUI, I started spotting.  I quickly messaged a friend who just had two kids.  I asked her if she experienced spotting and she did with one of the kids.  She said it was called “implantation bleeding” so I started thinking that I could be pregnant.  I got her so worked up and excited that we were both trying to figure out if I should just do a pregnancy test on day 10.

FACT:  Day 14 is the only acceptable day for a pregnancy test. It is best to leave everyone else out of your crazy.

5) Act Like You Are Pregnant

I cut all caffeine (also did this because of anxiety), stopped drinking, and started googling everything.  

Before long, google started figuring out my pattern which was “Can I eat _____ while pregnant.”

FACT:  Calm down.  Just take each day as it comes because you don’t need to become a pregnancy expert overnight.

6) Signs

This is a HUGE one.

The following “signs” have happened this week.

  1. I received a call that my number one choice for sperm donor had finally become available and I was off the waiting list. Sign: This must mean that my IUI didn’t work.
  2. My Etsy packages did not arrive.  Sign: This must mean that I am not pregnant.
  3. Two friends told me that they were pregnant this week.  Sign: This must mean that pregnancy is somehow “in the air” and will happen.

FACT:  Stop looking for signs.  If there is supposed to be a sign, you shouldn’t have to go looking for it.

7) Fertility Clinic

I called the fertility clinic twice this week.  What on earth? The first time I called to find out when I could start my next IUI and if I needed to take a break trying to take fertility meds.

The second time I called was because I was spotting.  Please note that they said this could “mean anything.”

FACT:  Nurses at the fertility clinic are BUSY.  Just wait until your appointment to ask all of the questions.

8) Plans

Somehow I thought it would be best to cancel all of my plans and just be by myself.  I didn’t know if I’d be anxious or sad.

FACT:  Get outside and out of your head.  On Monday night I reconnected with friends to watch the premiere of the Bachelorette (don’t judge) and had the best night in a LONG LONG time. Why are you hiding?

9) Distractions

I read two books over the past two weeks – both psychological thrillers.  They allowed me to escape my own world and forced me to solve a mystery.

I also become so invested in a variety of shows on Netflix.

Fact: “Watching You” by Lisa Jewell is great, “Bring Me Back” by B.A. Paris is not as great.

Wine Country, Dead to Me, Brene Brown’s Special, Amy Schumer’s Special, and the new Ted Bundy Movie are all great.

*Please note that these are not actual facts but to me, they are facts.

10) I am One Strong Badass

I have not had a panic attack over the past two weeks and have been able to sleep again at night.  My anxiety has been A LOT to handle but I have somehow been able to make it through the past two weeks.

I was especially worried about how I’d feel over Mother’s Day and I made it through the day.

FACT: I am a badass and have the best friends and family members who have continuously sent me the sweetest messages. Everyone is so kind and wants the best for me. I am a super lucky woman.

So next week, my goal is to share the news with you.  Please also know that only 10% – 20% of IUI’s are successful for women over 35. You will either hear really exciting news or will see a series of pictures of me drinking on patios in Toronto.

Thanks again for all of your support!

It’s Go Time

This week has been an absolute blur in the craziest, most emotional and beautiful way.

Tuesday April 23rd 7:00 a.m.

I called Mount Sinai Fertility Clinic to report that it was my day one of my cycle.  From there, a nurse called me back and asked me to come in on day nine of my cycle for blood work.  The time? 7:00 a.m. What in the actual hell?

Wednesday May 1st at 7:00 a.m.

I was joined on the elevator by six other women all going to the same floor. That gave me some insight as to how busy the clinic would be.  I’d say there were about 20-30 women all lined up and checking in to have blood work. Everything ran so efficiently and seemed a bit like a factory (in the kindest way).

Wednesday May 1st at 3:00 p.m.

A lovely nurse named Megan called me and asked me to come for blood work and an ultrasound on May 3rd.

Friday May 3rd at 10:30 a.m.

I went for blood work and then the nurse pointed me to the ultrasound room.  There were four women all in hospital gowns sitting on chairs waiting to be called in to the appointment. In the dressing room there were no instructions so I didn’t know what to do.

“Can anyone tell me what to do?” I asked poking my head out of the dressing room curtain.

“Take off everything from the waist down” instructed one woman.

“Wear two hospital gowns one for the front and one for the back” suggested another woman.

“Leave your clothes in there and take some booties to put over your feet so your feet don’t get wet” said the third woman.

“Next time, wear a dress so that you only have to wear the gown one way” suggested the fourth woman.

“Thank you so much” I said.  “This is my first ultrasound here and I had no idea what to expect.”

“They don’t always give you instructions” said a woman.

“But we are here to help and you have got this” said another one.

This moment was one that I will remember forever – the room was silent before I entered and then every single woman wanted to help me out.  We are really in this together and everyone was there for one another. Who runs the world? Girls. Women.

The waiting was excruciating and finally the nurse called my name.  She then led me down a hallway where I had to wait with three of the women I had seen earlier.

“Oh my gosh” I said.  “There is another line”?

“You can use the washroom right here” said the nurse.

“It’s okay, I don’t have to go” I said as I sat down.

One of the kind women who were with me from the start, looked at me and said “she is actually telling you that you have to empty your bladder.  It’s not really a choice.”

I started to laugh and thanked the two women for having my back.

When it was my turn, my fertility doctor, Dr. Jones was there with two nurses.  They were so sweet and within two minutes my ultrasound was done. 

“Wow. Look at that beautiful left follicle” said one of the nurses.

“Thank you so much” I said to the nurse unsure what in the hell this meant. At this point, I was ready and willing to take any compliments – even compliments that I didn’t understand.

From there, I was told to get changed and wait for the nurse to give me further instructions.  It was now 9:30 a.m. and the nurse came to get me to discuss next steps.  She talked about peeing on a stick to see if there is a “surge” and gave me a pamphlet.

“These strips cost $40.00 and if I were you, I’d wait until 5:00 p.m. to buy them. I have a feeling you won’t need them” said the nurse.

Friday May 3rd at 12:00 p.m.

Nurse Megan calls me and tells me that I am ovulating and that it is time for my IUI.  She tells me that my appointment is for Saturday at 10:45 a.m. and asks me to come back to the clinic to sign some forms.

Friday May 3rd at 1:00 p.m.

I meet with Megan and she has me sign consent forms so that they can begin the procedure tomorrow.  She also suggests that I enjoy a nice meal with a big glass of wine. She says that it may be my last glass of wine for a bit.

Friday May 3rd at 1:15 p.m. – Saturday May 4th at 10:30

Worry about everything.

Can I do this?

Should I do my IUI on my own?

Am I ready to be a Mom?

This may not work so don’t get your hopes up.

Do I tell people? Yes. I need the extra support.

Saturday May 4th at 10:45 a.m.

When I arrive at the clinic it was empty – it felt so peaceful and still.

Empty Fertility Clinic!

Then the administrative assistant came in and had me sign some forms.  From there, I was charged $500 but they said I avoided the extra $750.00 fee because of the funding that Mount Sinai had received (thank you Jesus!)

A woman who had a procedure (not sure which one) came out with her husband and she sat on a chair.  She looked like she was in a lot of pain and then I started to panic.

“Sarah?” called a lovely blonde nurse with an upbeat personality as she entered the waiting room.

“Yes?” I asked.  There were so many emotions that I couldn’t even comprehend anything. I felt as though I didn’t even know my name at this point. One thing I did know was that I didn’t want to end up like the woman sitting on a chair after her treatment, completely in pain.

“I am Caroline” said the nurse. 

When I walked into the room I expected to see an operating room full of nurses along with my fertility doctor.

Instead, it was just Caroline and me.

“I didn’t know if I should bring anyone” I said.  “It felt weird to have my Mom in the room while sperm was being placed inside of me.”

“I totally get it” Caroline laughed.

Caroline sat me down and told me what to expect during the procedure.  I also had to place my thumbprint on a machine so that they could tell I was the correct patient (apparently this is new).  We looked over some forms and then she explained that it was time.

“Are you okay during a pap test?” Caroline asked.

“Totally” I said.

“Well I have a feeling that this will be no problem” she said.

And that is exactly what it felt like – a pap test.  It was just Carolyn’s voice telling me that she was inserting different things into me and within 3-5 minutes I was done.

“That’s it?” I asked Caroline.

We both laughed.

I expected to have a panic attack, a total meltdown, etc.  I didn’t even cry.

Instead, I told Caroline how much I loved her company and said that she was so kind, gentle and fun.

“Good luck Sarah” she said as she hugged me.  “You are lovely.”

Before I left, I was given more forms and told that in two weeks I need to take blood tests to see if the IUI procedure has worked.

“How was it?” people texted right about my procedure.  Everyone was so kind.

“Good” I wrote. 

The truth is – it went way better than expected.  I had honestly worked myself up so much and it was a simple procedure.  Although the procedure is simple, the emotions aren’t simple at all. 

I have no idea what to expect over the next two weeks but I am so freakin’ proud of myself for going through with this.  I didn’t fall apart and I went in there – strong, brave, and alone.

But I didn’t feel alone and most times I don’t actually feel alone at all.  I have my family, my friends, my colleagues, and the people that keep sending me messages through this blog, Facebook, and Instagram.

Thank you for being with me every step of the way. Thank you for being my village.

Ready, Set, Impregnate?

As of Wednesday, my sperm vials are all officially at the sperm donor clinic in Toronto.

Buying sperm reminds me of how there is always that one product at Christmas that everyone wants to buy.  People fight over it, go to the store to buy it, even try to buy it online and it eventually sells out. Who knew sperm was one hot commodity? I can’t believe I am comparing sperm to a Christmas toy that everyone wants.  What is happening to me?

Maybe sperm donors should be paid in Canada.  They are paid in the United States but are not paid in different countries around the world.  I was lucky to have a bit of choice because some women from other countries have mentioned on Instagram that they have had 1-3 choices. THREE. Luckily I had about ten options and that was after I refined the search (Open ID Donor, CMV negative, etc).

So now I am just waiting.  I have one vial of sperm at the Mount Sinai Fertility Clinic and I have two vials waiting for their “shipping dates” from the sperm donor clinic in Toronto to Mount Sinai (where I get the procedure).

I am just waiting for day 1 of my cycle and will call into Mount Sinai.  Fingers crossed that they have funding. If so, I have to wait until day 15 or something to have my IUI (sperm placed inside my uterus).  After that, I will wait two weeks to find out if I am pregnant. PREGNANT. Gosh, that word feels great to write.

If everything goes according to plan, I’m going to try three IUI’s total (one in May, June, and July.)

Stats show that only 20-25% of women get pregnant from their first IUI.  Fertility stats are absolutely terrifying me right now. In having an Instagram account, I have become part of this amazing group of people who write about their fertility experiences.  I see the numbers. I see that so many of them struggle so much. Perhaps I am just protecting my heart and preparing myself for the worst but hoping for the best.

My social worker and my fertility doctor both say that three is the lucky number and that many women get pregnant on their third try with IUI.

So even though I may get pregnant on try one or two, I have paid $2,490.00 for all three vials. At Can-Am Cryservices they will buy back sperm but I ended up choosing Repromed because they had a vial in stock of my donor and knew they could get the other two vials quickly).

So it is now all up to the universe.  

I am also trying to understand what is making me so emotional these days (and I am an emotional person to begin with).  I don’t know if it is stress or excitement (maybe both) but I can cry at a random song playing, a child walking down the street, and/or a baby that I see in his mother’s arms.  The bottom line is that I am a mess and I am not even on fertility drugs yet.

Friends around me keep getting pregnant and it is making me more and more excited.  Maybe I will be off on maternity leave with them. Time will tell.

I also don’t know if I will be emotionally prepared to have all of my IUI’s in a row.  It seems like it may be a lot to find out that I didn’t get pregnant and I may have to lean on some of my amazing friends and family (with some wine and ice-cream) when/if this happens.  This may start to be too much and I may need a break.

Overall, I’m also so freakin excited.  

I could know by the end of summer if I am able to get pregnant through IUI.  Can you even imagine?

No matter what happens though, this experience has been a blessing.  It’s helped me to connect to people I haven’t talked to in a while who have reached out when they saw my facebook status saying that I was trying to have a baby on my own and starting a blog.  It’s honestly been like a public school/high school reunion complete with both my peers and the teachers that I have adored.

It’s also been a University reunion as so many kind friends have reached out with stories of their own supporting me in every way possible.  

Friends and family have also been there for me so much and have provided so much encouragement. They ask thoughtful questions and also say the most beautiful things.

There have also been people who have said some hurtful things but it keeps making me stronger. I have to thank them because each time I hear something negative, it only makes me want to pursue this more and only makes me better able to handle negativity in my life.

I just feel really lucky.

I feel blessed because of science (lucky that this is even an option).

I feel blessed that I am lucky enough to be able to afford the fertility fees.

I feel blessed that I am becoming emotionally stronger every day.

Thank you for reading this and for being there for me.  Even reading this shows that you support me and this decision. I REALLY hope I have some exciting news to share with you really soon.

Can I Please Start This Process? No? Okay. Cool.

So now that I have my sperm donor, I am ready for my first IUI (placing sperm inside the uterus).  Well, I’ve been ready since January.

As part of the process in becoming a Single Mom by Choice you need to meet with a social worker.  When I told my social worker that I’d be finding my sperm donor in December and starting my IUI in January, she explained that Mount Sinai Fertility had run out of funding and that it probably wouldn’t come back until March.

Please note that with funding, the process is probably going to cost me $6000-$8000 (if everything goes according to plan). Without funding, it is going to cost A LOT more. Funding is ESSENTIAL.

When I explained this issue to my sister over Christmas, she took charge and helped me to figure out finances.  She totalled up her monthly costs for daycare. She then showed me that depending on when I had a baby, it would greatly affect my daycare costs.  If I were to have a January baby, I would ultimately have to pay more for daycare because the child starts school later.

Then we took the daycare costs and added in the amount without funding to see if I should just go ahead and start in January. Turns out, it was less expensive if I just waited until funding came back.

Please also note that nobody really has that much control over when they get pregnant.  It’s like a game of chance. As much as my sister and I could write out figures, in the end, I don’t really have that much control in picking out which month I get pregnant. As a control freak, this whole being patient thing is really getting to me.  I haven’t even started the process yet and already my patience is being tested.

In the meantime, I decided that I would just have fun.  I’d date a bit and enjoy myself until I was ready.  Who knew?  Perhaps I’d be able to meet a wonderful partner and I could just end up eventually having a family with him.  Haha!  Didn’t happen.

When March hit, I checked in with Mount Sinai and was told that funding would be coming back in April.  My cycle hit at the end of March I was so excited!  I called on Day 1 because it meant that by the time I was ready to have my first IUI it would be in April which would mean that they would have funding.

Everything in me told me that the time was right.

Everything until the administrative assistant called to tell me that there wasn’t any funding but that I was welcome to proceed with my IUI if I paid the fees without government assistance.  AHHHH!

When I got the call I was in my office at work and my work friends could tell something was up.  After telling them what happened I found myself blinking back tears of frustration. I wiped my tears and went on with my work day but when I came home I cried more.

I know it is only a month but I feel like something goes wrong every single time the process is *supposedly* ready to officially begin.

Now I am waiting until my next cycle in late April which puts me sometime in mid-May to begin my first IUI. I am doing my first round without fertility drugs which means my chances are LOW (20% low). My fertility doctor suggested doing the first round without drugs followed by two rounds with fertility drugs.  She explained that there have been a lot of cases of twins with fertility drugs and if I didn’t want twins right now, I should try one round without the drugs.

I have also decided not to worry. I am not going to stress myself out by reading books about my chances of getting pregnant or reading about how I should eat/exercise, etc., to increase the likelihood of getting pregnant.  My friend who is a Choice Mom told me that the first two times before her IUI she tried to do everything “right” to get pregnant and it didn’t work. The third time before her IUI she had pizza and drank a bit of wine.  The next day, she was a lot calmer and the IUI worked.

For some, reading about all of these things (stats, ways to help your body get pregnant) helps women feel in control.  To me, facts and numbers make me feel completely stressed out.

So now I am playing a waiting game.  I’m hoping my cycle does happen at the end of April and that I get my first IUI sometime mid-May.  After that, I have heard you wait two weeks to find out if you are pregnant.  This is such a test of patience and God only knows how I’ll be doing at that time.

As for right now, I am trying to breathe, stay calm, and think positive thoughts. I’m also about to enjoy a glass of wine and a damn good piece of pizza.