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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Square Peg, Round Hole

About 9 months ago we began Operation: Baby Makin' (hereto shall be referred to as OBM) with a fertility center recommended by a colleague. Granted she is straight, but I decided what the hell it's Harvard and called to make an initial appointment.  I asked if the institution has a history of working with same-sex couples.  I was told yes.  I was then asked how long I had been attempting intercourse to get pregnant.  I paused... hoping there would be a guffaw and we'd move on.  Nothing.  I responded, "Ummmm, never?".  Let's just say the conversation went downhill from there and I declined to set up an appointment.  I then started researching alternative insemination clinics that knew that "gay" did not just mean happy.  I found one nearby in Arlington that seemed to be primarily for same sex couples.  I made the appointment and went in. Unfortunately, they weren't friendly (their nurse gave me the same
no skinny jeans, what heavy women should not wear, stop it, why are they in our size?!
look I give a heavy woman wearing white 'skinny' jeans- and I can say that because they are my people), compassionate or very informative (handing over a thick folder of pamphlets does not a consultation make).  It was the consultation equivalent of a "Wam, Bam, Thank you Ma'am".  And the award for making artificial insemination more awkward goes to...

Major Buzz-kill <salute>
After striking out twice, we took a break for a bit.  We had both just started new jobs, we had to buy a second car (ugh) and I was traveling a lot for work so it got backburner-ed.  We then started to see our friends begin their family-making journeys- through fostering or the AI route.  We had a good apartment, stable jobs with decent salaries, Batman's teeth seemed to be ok (you don't know financial debt until you have to have a cat's tooth pulled) and I wasn't getting any younger.  Side note: I had wanted to carry for a while and Meg breaks out in hives at the sight of an abnormal bug bite so growing a human inside her may push her off the Ativan charts. More on that another day.  I did further research into fertility clinics for same sex couples near Boston and came up with some options.  We, along with another same sex couple we're friends with, attended an orientation at the very gay-centric AI clinic in Boston, Fenway Health.  This was an amazing experience- to walk into a room full of lesbian couples/families and be able to speak freely.  It was there that we were informed that there was a restriction this individual place had that stopped our process.  BMI.  I'm not going into great detail about this here, as this blog is about our journey to becoming a family, but I want to touch on this for any women who are overweight and want to have a child who may stumble upon this blog.  BMI is a major factor in certain clinics allowing you to use their services.  BMI is calculated through height and weight.  Fenway Health requires you to have a BMI of 40 or less.  I have struggled with being overweight since I was 5.  It was never at the fault of my parents or for lack of trying to lose. By the time I was 18 I had reached a weight that was almost immobilizing.  After a long battle with insurance I was granted Gastric Bypass.  Over time I lost a little under 200lbs.  What I didn't know was that my body would plateau and adjust to the change thus causing me to gain back a significant amount of weight.  I've battled this daily.  My diet is restricted and my health, other than the # of lbs on my body, is phenomenal.  My weight had caused me to miss out on so much in life and this number was about to rule out our chance at a family.  I had been working with a weight management facility and I continue to, but I needed a place that would work with me and not just turn me down because there was a chance that I would sway their success rate.  Fenway Health is simply a gay friendly facility that offers insemination.  It does not cover midwifery, gyno or delivery.  Nor does it offer any preliminary services to "test the pipes".  Furthermore, it doesn't have assistance if simple AI doesn't work to get pregnant.  It is an amazing organization for our community and offers lots of guidance and support, but we needed a little more. This takes us to about a month ago.

Gold Star for Realistically Laughing at My Jokes
In my search I came across a fertility clinic close to where Meg and I both work- which is important since it would not be unusual to stop in twice a month once the process is underway. RSC - New England has a cheesy looking pride flag on their website- I excused the cheese and gave them points for the effort.  I sent them a message for more info and the response was beyond my expectation.  They were warm, open and (bonus points) funny.  The nurse even laughed at the terribly awkward jokes I make when I'm uncomfortable.  She broke down every step of the beginning process in granular detail which is fantastic when you will most likely not know what to expect.  They mailed me more paperwork than it would take to buy a house, but this started to make it feel real.  Baby steps. <see what I did there?

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