Weekend pick me up

After the week and bad news we’ve had, it was decided to kick off the weekend with a picnic date. I love spending time outdoors which is probably why Candice suggested a picnic at the Mount Cootha botanical gardens. We packed a blanket, a backgammon set, some delicious sandwiches, fruit and chocolate. After all the rain we had yesterday, the weather couldn’t have been more perfect this morning. It’s been a while since we have taken our camera out and about with us so today it joined us on our picnic. We even saw adorable baby ducks and were also lucky enough to witness the budding friendship between a lonely turtle and a lonely duck.. Here are some of the snaps from our day!

After our picnic we drove up the mountain until we reached the lookout. While gorging ourselves on ice-cream and sorbet we were entertained by a group of international tourists jumping as high as they could in an effort to achieve the best (Toyota style jump) holiday picture.

Pretty awesome day all in all!

Now for the bad news

Yesterday we had a follow up appointment with the fertility doctor to discuss the results of my blood tests and find out my AMH levels. She started listing off a bunch of hormones (some of which I have never even heard of) and told me they were all with in the average range which was good. She was even able to tell me what day I was at in my cycle when I had the blood drawn. All just by looking at the level of a particular hormone. I did a quick count in my head and she was spot on – Day 21. Oh science, you never cease to amaze me. All was going well.

Then came this news.

My AMH levels recorded low. Take a look at the graph below and you can see that for a woman of my age of (close to) 30, I should be between 15 – 50 pmol/L. The average being about about 25 pmol/L.

I’m all the way down at 5.4 pmol/L. Our doctor doesn’t know why my ovarian reserve is so low but unfortunately it is. What is worse, is there is nothing I can do to change it. A reading of 5.4 pmol/L is what would be expected of someone the age of 40.

I’m devastated. It took all of my control not to burst into tears in the doctors office. We knew that conceiving wasn’t going to be really easy and most likely take a little while but now I’m afraid of just how long and if at all. What if my ovarian reserve continues to rapidly deplete? I really thought this whole process was going to be exciting but now I feel a bit sick at the thought of only really having 2-3 years left to start a family.

As we left our appointment I could feel my chest tighten. I barely made it 2 metres out of the office building before tears starting to fill my eyes. I felt like a failure. I sort of held it together until we got home but I really needed to cry. You know, the serious type of crying. Or as I”ve come to know it – ugly face crying. Candice laid with me for a bit until I said I was going to sleep. As soon as she left the room I let my ugly face cry itself silly, I even threw in some loud sobs. Candice came back into the room about 10 minutes later and laid back down. I’m so glad she gave me those few minutes to really get it out.

Today I am trying hard to be positive and look on the bright side. At least I have found the one person that I want to actually start a family with. At least she is also ready right now and also wanting to start a family. At least I still HAVE some eggs, even if they are acting 10 years older than they are. I mean, it could be worse. My AMH levels could have been lower. I think the main thing I have to remind myself is that all it takes to get pregnant is ONE good egg. So I’m going to focus on that for the time being.

Before we left our doctor had given us the monitoring schedule for our donor inseminations. On Day 1 of my cycle (first day of period) I have to give her office a call and let them know I am starting a donor IUI cycle. “Oh hello there, just calling to let you know I’m totally bleeding from my vagina. Cool?”. Then on day 11, I need to have a blood test before 11am then wait further instructions after 1pm (??). The same thing happens on day 13, blood test and awaiting more instructions. I’m assuming these instructions may just be someone letting me know whether or not it looks like I’m going to ovulate. Ovulation is expected to happen around day 14 but could be day 15, depends what my blood tests indicate. That’s the day we do the donor insemination. Lastly, day 29 – either I get my period and start the process again from the beginning of my next cycle or I wait a further 2 days and take a pregnancy test. If by some miracle it’s positive then I’ll need to go in and have it confirmed through another blood test.

Day 1 of my first cycle is expected to start in 7 days. I’m nervous. Please people, can you do Candice and I a big favour and cross all your fingers, toes… and why not any other appendages that have the ability to cross?

Something gay to read

About a month ago we ordered a bunch of books to try and prepare ourselves for the appointment with the psychologist. Luckily for us that appointment was nothing like we had anticipated, as the books only just arrived in the mail yesterday. Only 3 of the books are actually intended for adults, the other 5 are children’s books aimed at kids in same sex families. 
This book is written by a same sex couple that have been together for 10 years and have 3 children together. You kind of get the idea that they know what they’re talking about. I’m looking forward to reading this one, although as they’re American most of the laws regarding raising a family aren’t applicable to us here is Australia. This book covers a range of topics from starting a family (adoption, surrogacy, artificial insemination), through to baby, toddler and teenage years, and the hurdles we may face during those times.
The Lesbian & Gay Parenting Guide looks pretty full of useful information. It addresses same sex, bisexual and transgendered families; the medical procedures, adoption process, legal, emotional and practical issues. The author is also a lesbian mother which clearly provides some level of credibility to the contents. Good old Rosie O’Donnell reviewed this book as “both deeply serious, and belly-laugh funny, while remaining filled with useful advice and heartwarming personal stories”. I hope she is right.
This book looks great and I can’t wait to read it and neither can Candice. It’s a bunch of non fiction short stories written from the perspective of the non-biological mother. I think it will be pretty interesting to learn more about that role and how it really feels to be the other mother. Jill Soloway, producer of Six Feet Under reviewed it as “bringing together hilarious, heart-wrenching, painfully honest tales of mommy-hood. Not only just for mothers or other mothers – but for anyone who has felt like an outsider at the playground. Funny, warm, sad, beautiful – and even sexy – this book is not only from the heart, but for the heart”.
Obviously this is a children’s book. The story line follows a little boy at the beach who meets two other kids who don’t understand how two mums are his parents. Like, if he has two mums, which one fixes things, which one teaches him to be polite, which one bakes cakes, which one is scared of snakes, etc. It’s a cute book and shows just how honest and innocent kids are.
Oh The Things Mommies Do! What Could Be Better Than Having Two? Well, that is pretty much the theme of this whole book. All the awesome fun this kid gets to do with his parents – building blanket castles, making crafts, playing baseball, bedtime stories, jumping on the trampoline. Kinda makes me wish I had to mums.
I love this book so much! It a true story about two penguins, named Roy and Silo. They live at the Central Park Zoo and have been a couple since 1998. They never had any interest in the girl penguins and when all the others would be nesting and waiting for their eggs to hatch Roy and Silo would take turns sitting on an egg sized rock and would be sad when it didn’t hatch. When the zoo keepers gave them an unhatched egg they tended to it and finally it hatched and they became Daddies. They fed, cared and kept the baby penguin warm just as all the other penguin families. Such a sweet story!
This book isn’t specifically written for children of same sex parents. It’s a book about all the different families that there can be and how special each one is in it’s own way. The last line in the book “There are lots of different ways to be a family. Your family is special no matter what kind it is!”
Lastly, this little gem – Mommy, Mama and Me. This book is probably aimed at a toddler audience. I like that it has hard pages and simple lines – “Mommy puts me in the tub. Mama bathes me. Scrub, scrub, scrub!” Pretty cute illustrations and I can imagine reading this to our child and it being their favourite book.

Our big gay wedding

In our very first post on ladyladybaby we mentioned that we were a few weeks away from getting hitched in New Zealand. So I thought even though this isn’t baby making related, we would share some photos, a little bit about our day and all the awesome people who helped us celebrate.

We chose to exchange vows on Sunday, 25th of August in Queenstown, NZ.
Why not in our own country of Australia, you may ask? The reason is because we are actually still campaigning for marriage equality in our country. It sucks but that’s the way it is. Instead of sulking about it (though I must add here that we are still strongly campaigning) we jumped on the plane and crossed the Tasman Sea! Coming close to seven years together we were so tired of being denied the right to a legally binding ceremony.

We chose to get married up on the The Remarkables and I’m pretty sure we couldn’t have chosen a more perfect backdrop. There was a perfect mix of family and friends! To begin with Candice and I had planned an elopement… just us, private and uncomplicated. Then a cute couple we are friends with asked if people could come and attend. Um, hells yeah. Then before we knew it there was a whole crew of people we loved flying over to share the day with us. Pretty fucking magical I have to say.

Here we are back at home, all married and stuff. Not too much has changed…My little heart still beats for Candice and I’m pretty sure I’m still her everything.