Six Week Warning

Holy Cannoli it’s getting close.  I still feel amazing, with the exception of a few minor symptoms that popped up.  I mean, small price to pay, and could be WAY worse but still, if you’re planning on doing this DIY baby stuff, you should know what you’re getting yourself into.  I’ll tell you about the crummy stuff but let me tell you about some awesome stuff first! 

I’ve only gained 13 pounds which makes me happy.  I was hoping the baby would take the fat from my arms to create its life, but it has not done that.  Good news is that the baby has not added any fat deposits to anywhere on my body except my protruding stomach.  Also, zero stretch marks besides two little ones by my giant emergency appendix scar.  I’ve been religiously rubbing my belly with this cocoa butter which my other pregnant friend suggested. It smells like dessert, so my dog follows me around sniffing me and I have to run away from her. 

Getting Bigger!

This may be TMI, but I have to tell you that my boobs are AMAZING.  Actually, I’m sure this is too much information, but I guess your nipples (Yes gentleman, I said nipples) get darker so the baby can find them.  That’s all I will say about that but, wow.  It’s too bad I’m going through this pregnancy single.  What a special gift to the dads out there during what could be a trying time.  Good for you dads!

The baby moves all day long. Loves when I eat, drink, and sit still. I can see it moving when I look down, but the second I put a hand on my stomach to feel the kicks, the baby stops. Same goes for anyone. No one has been able to corner the baby, including me. This baby will be really shy, very easy to soothe, or a ninja.

There’re many other lovely wonderful things but let me hit on some of the not so great side effects I’m experiencing.

Holy acid reflux batman.  I have never experienced anything like this in my life.  I spent my entire babymoon on the beach in Fort Myers, Florida burping out loud (my poor friend Sara) and chewing on antacids.  My chest and throat, the spot where you start to feel throw-uppy from, literally burned all day every day. You want to know what causes it you say?  Oh, just water, ice water, any beverage, air, any food, spicy food, bland food, no food, too much food.  That’s it.  My doctor told me to take omeprazole every morning which has helped tremendously, unless I forget to take it.  One time I took a sip of wine and it burned so bad I never want to drink wine again.  True story.

Burpin’ on my Babymoon

Then there’s this strange pelvic bone pain that happens any time I stand in one place for a length of time or walk for too long.  It feels like my pelvic bone is literally ripping apart. (I guess it’s called symphysis pubis diastasis (SPD)) So, then I have to squat for a while, unless I can find a chair, then I just sit for a while.  This symptom is hard for me.  I like walking.  And standing.  They are my favorite activities. Again, felt bad for my poor friend Sara on the Babymoon who has vacationed with me before and was used to long walks on the beach.  This time they turned into short walks on the beach followed by me crouching into a squat and telling her to just leave me and go on without me.  One time, I toured a client’s space for AN HOUR AND A HALF.  The pain started at 15 minutes into the tour and because I refuse to let pregnancy cause me any setbacks at work or allow anyone to perceive me as anything other than a normal healthy human, I grimaced my way through and then sat in my car afterwards screaming until the pain subsided.  I’m fine.  It’s fine. 

A new symptom that popped up last week that is blowing my mind is that I’ve developed carpal tunnel syndrome.  In my wrists and hands.  Yup.  WTF?????  Apparently, this is a thing that happens?????  I can’t even.  I woke up one morning with the tips of my 3 fingers on my left hand numb for a while.  Freaked out, phoned a friend, they said it was normal, then I hit the google research and can’t even.  This may sound like a “my dog ate my homework” moment, but it has severely delayed my thank you card writing from the beautiful baby showers that have been thrown for me!  I can only write a few, and then my wrist and hand are in too much pain and I must take a time out for a while.  I know.  You don’t believe me.  You’ll have to look it up but… yeah.  Wild.

I did a few flights in January and found out that congestion is a symptom.  Blew my nose on the beach in Florida for a week.  Blew my nose in Phoenix for a weekend.  Spent a week in Texas for work blowing my nose the whole time.  (Writing this now I see the upside is that I spent 15 of the 31 days of January in a warm climate) People would come up to me and sympathetically say… “Oh, you poor thing, you’re sick” and I would respond with, “No, apparently it’s just a side effect of pregnancy.  Lots of extra mucus.”  If you don’t like boogers, you won’t like being pregnant.  Thank God I love boogers. The congestion won’t stop event though I’m grounded now. It’s affected my sleep. You know how I love my sleep. I can’t imagine what my neighbors must think as they listen to 3 HOURS AND 7 MINUTES of snoring.

That’s too much snoring. It’s lowering my normally 100% sleep quality.

Well, that’s it for the symptoms.  Now I’m preparing for living my best alone life for the next 6 weeks.  This is my list of activities to do.  Feel free to give me suggestions that I haven’t thought of!

  1. Carry around only my keys, wallet and phone.
  2. Go to the casino and stay until the wee hours of the night.
  3. Sleep 14 hours strait every chance I get.
  4. Say yes to EVERYTHING without ever even considering I might have to pay for and arrange childcare to say yes in the future!

Wow, the possibilities are endless.  Thanks for being on this journey with me!

Vivid Dreams, Hormones and Loneliness

It can’t all be unicorns and rainbows, can it? I know I normally make you laugh, but today I’m going to give you a little story about a reality check moment I had last week. For 19 weeks, almost 5 dang months, I have been an absolute emotional rock star. I’ve felt joyous and excited and strong and ready. I spent a year before getting pregnant preparing my mind for going through this alone. And one vivid dream activated the hormones.

One of my favorite symptoms of this pregnancy have been the vivid dreams. Most of them have been… ahem… really nice. The other night though, I had one that shook me. Let me tell you about it.

I walk into a bar with the man of my dreams. He’s brilliant, sharp, hilarious, attentive, patient, gorgeous, ambitious AND successful. Along with every other box checked on my dream man checklist. We sit at the bar, and he orders me a water and a juice without asking because he knows the baby only wants toddler food and drinks right now. He demands a menu because he knows I get lightheaded and hangry when then baby is hungry. When the bartender starts quizzing me on why I’m not drinking at a bar, he comes to my side with pride and explains that I’m pregnant. I order the mac and cheese because they don’t have peanut butter and jelly. Toddler food or bust.

Next bar we go to, same song and dance. At this point we are having a blast. I’m not hangry anymore so I’m back to my wild and crazy self, which he loves. He eggs me on and laughs with me while we make friends with everyone at the bar and tell inappropriate jokes. When I flirt with the bartender, he pretends he’s jealous, but he knows I’m obsessed with him and don’t have eyes for anyone else. I knew the second I laid eyes on him in the Cermak produce department that he was the one. He knows it’s important for me to have fun and be a normal person, not a recluse.

Next bar we hop too, he’s leading the charge. He’s making sure I’m hydrated and taken care of; he’s proudly telling everyone we meet about the baby. I’m next to him filled with adoration and gratitude to have such a wonderful man by my side. The bartender tells us how lucky we are to have found one another and how compatible we are and how he loves how we make each other laugh.

We leave in an Lyft to get home, and we tell dad jokes in the backseat, having a blast, making the driver of the Lyft laugh and just being crazy and having fun, just like we always do. We get back home and I wake up from my dream.

You know that moment after you wake from a great dream? You lay in bed trying to make the dream keep going. That moment when it’s no longer a dream, but a fantasy. I fantasized of all the memories me and my dream man would have over the next few months. Feeling the baby kick for the first time together. Going to the ultrasounds and seeing the baby wiggling around. Footrubs when my feet start swelling up. A Babymoon in Grand Cayman or The Bahamas because those are the only places the doctor will let us go because of Zika. The drive to the hospital when the contractions start. The final moments of it just being us two while I push and he holds my hand and then…

I had to cut myself off. Because I was sobbing. Because it was just a dream and a fantasy. And I’m alone. Those dang hormones and a dream finally broke me.

I’m an eternal optimist who lives and breathes by The Secret (The law of attraction and the power of positive thinking) so I do believe my dream man is out there and will find me some day.

Until then, I have reached the point where doing this alone has become a little sad and lonely. I used to brag that I get to make all my own decisions and don’t have to deal with someone else’s input, but then I’m sitting on the sofa a couple weeks ago, feel the baby move for the first time, and look to the other end of the sofa and realize it’s just me and I have no one to share that special moment with.

I know all my friends reading this are shaking their heads and wagging their finger at me saying, “you can always call me, I’m always there for you!” But they all know it’s not the same.

I debated writing about this and sharing this story because a) you’re all used to hilarious stories and clever tales from me and b) I don’t want anyone, especially my future baby to think I ever had one moment of pause on doing this.

Someone reminded me though that I have to tell this story and share my emotions for a few reasons. 1) all the single moms and future single moms out there reading this have to know that this journey isn’t all sunshine and rainbows and that it can be very lonely. 2) my child will read this some day and I never want them to resent me for doing this alone. I want them to know that I always planned on completing our family and giving them a father figure but I wanted them so desperately and didn’t want to miss my biological window 3) To validate for myself how much I do crave a partner and that even though I’m getting what I always prayed for with a baby, I remain diligent in my journey to also find love for myself. I remain hopeful that I will find a wonderful father for my child and supportive respectful partner for me someday.

I also want you all to know that it’s all good. I read this excavator book to my best friends child 14,324 times while snuggling on the sofa and I’m back to being so very excited for moments like this with my own little nugget. I’m so grateful that this worked. I’m constantly filled with gratitude that the Lord blessed me with this incredibly special gift when women and men all over the world including very good friends of mine suffer daily with fertility challenges. I’ll never take it for granted.

The excavator book. If you would like, I’ve memorized it and can tell you everything there is to know about excavators.

Thanks for your support on this journey, and I promise my next post will be filled with laughs.

A 20 Week Baby Bump to make you feel better after reading that post. Halfway there!

How to Pick a Sperm Donor 101

“You don’t pick the sperm donor, the sperm donor picks you!”

Just kidding, I for sure had to pick my sperm donor. Been waiting for a live sperm donor to pick me for quite some time now.

Let me start by clarifying that I have no authority to consider myself an expert whatsoever on picking a sperm donor. I will contribute the success of getting pregnant to some great tips I got from people on how to pick.

Moral of the story, it’s all about the chemistry. Literally. In real life sperm chasing or the online form. As I’ve failed extraordinarily in picking or finding the right sperm donor in real life, I’m happy to say that I figured out the formula for picking the online version.

Here is my story.

When the doctor and I met to talk DIY baby making, I was surprised to find their was no manual, guide or best practices for how to choose a sperm donor. (All I knew was the version I was told growing up. Find a guy, any guy, marry him, and then make a family the good old fashioned way and then do his laundry and clean and cook for him as a thank you.) She showed me the Midwest Sperm Bank which was literally an excel spread sheet with the donors parents ethnicity, their blood type, age, job, some other rando information and then a spot for hobbies to which one donor had written, “Aaron Rodgers look alike!” Let’s just say while It did bring me a moments pause, my smarts kicked in and realized this was an excellent sales technique some dude was using and most likely my baby would look like Chewbacca and not Aaron.

When I started looking at the other sperm donor bank options, I was immediately overwhelmed before I even started. There are 135 sperm banks throughout the US, with hundreds if not thousands of options per bank. Along with that, human men, whether they were joking or not, for some reason started coming out of the woodwork and throwing their sperm at me when they found I was looking! (SUPER figuratively, not literally. Wow, that sounded crazy.)

I did a little internet research and found out the Seattle Sperm Bank had the best reviews. It also seemed they did a great job vetting their donors. There were baby pictures of the donors to look at, a full health profile, audio interviews, and more. It was WAY too much information. I prefer to be told what to do. Tell me which one is the best choice. All I want is a healthy baby, nothing else matters.

This process took me months as I had no one tell me how to pick! I hate shopping, and going through the list of donors was like shopping at TJMaxx. Lonely, confusing, hard to know what the good stuff is and what the filler items are. I had my sister in law attempt to help as well at first, but that was a lot of pressure to put on someone. Eventually I figured out how to navigate the process like I normally do. I wasted a few months searching through man profiles confused. Literally just like online dating.

I emailed the bank for help.

Based on advice from other women who had gone through the sperm donor selection process, there were only 3 things that were important in choosing a donor. And no. FAQ’s tells me you want to know the answer to this. I had zero cares in the world about what the baby looked like. Me, Denzel Washington, George Washington, or Lin Manuel Miranda, I didn’t care. I just wanted a healthy baby and to be able to get pregnant.

Here’s the list of MUST HAVE’S:

  1. Their blood type complimented mine. So this is important because it decreases your chance of miscarriage tremendously. Some blood types fight others and your body sees the sperm as a threat and not an adorable bouncing baby.
  2. They have no genetic preconditions. This was important to me as I didn’t want to spend the money getting my own genetics mapped. You both have to have the gene for the mutation in order to cause it, so if I have any bad genes, it wouldn’t be a problem because they didn’t have any genetic mutations.
  3. They had already had a live pregnancy. Many of the donors are first time donors and had yet to have their swimmers work in making a babe. Not that they won’t work. BUT because I literally had all my eggs in the IUI basket as I couldn’t afford IVF, this was important so I knew their little swimmers were as good as Micheal Phelps.

I sent this list of requirements to the Seattle Sperm Bank via email and they sent me back 8 choices. I was blown away. Because there were thousands of options to pick from, I couldn’t believe it was only 8 that fit these 3 simple things. And then I still had to pick 1. I wanted to narrow it down again, so I requested they narrow the list to include only the ones of those 8 who fit these requirements.

  1. 6 foot or taller (Because, why not? I could use some help on the higher shelves.)
  2. Smart (They will be rolling with me and I need them to hang. Because I’m sharp. As a tack. In the brains. Or they could help me graduate college. Shut up.)
  3. Athletic. (We be ballin’. I just want us to be able to play sand volleyball together like my mom and I do. Plus, scholarships.)

That narrowed it down to 3 choices. I was going to let my friends pick for me from those 3 options, but ended up picking myself because… let’s be honest, this isn’t The Bachelorette or an arranged marriage.

One of those 3 donors was out of stock, which helped me get it to two. Both of the two remaining donor options were amazing, but I recklessly (or… brilliantly) made the final decision because one of the sperm donors baby pictures had him in a Packers shirt. Where I’m from, being a Packers fan runs in the blood and I didn’t want to end up having to give my kid away because they turned out a Seahawks fan or something.

A picture of the sperm donor I selected as a child. Only a true Packer fan will understand that I had to chose this donor based on this picture. Packer blood runs deep.

Something interesting is that most donors now days are Open Donors, which means when the child is 18, they are allowed to seek out the donor. I’m guessing this is because with modern technology and DNA testing, they would be able to find them anyway. I struggle with this part of the narrative because my hope is that my child has a human father soon and never cares to know where their DNA came from. We will cross that bridge when we have to.

So here I am! Scientifically DIY pregnant with a chemically appropriate sperm donor. Hoping the next kid will be conceived by a sexually chemistry matched live sperm donor and the device to insert the sperm looks and feels a little different, but if not, I at least know the algorithm to get results.


Oh, and here’s a little about the lucky donor. Eric wants to be a commercial real estate broker when he grows up. He’s only 25 right now. (Sperm donors have to be between 19-29) He has a sister. His mom is half Filipino and half Irish. His dad is German. He got a 1710 on his SAT’s and considers himself an introverted extrovert. He loves animals and BBQ, and is an amazing athlete.

This is a profile of the sperm donor I chose. It is just a summary, I was also able to listen to him talk, read about his and his families medical history, and more.