Hey Buddy, Can You Spare a Uterus?
An astute reader asked a while back whether we'd considered Cait's uterus as an alternative to mine. The short answer is, yes, we considered it, but it's not a workable option at this time. The longer answer is, of course, much more complicated. The most important reason is that about 4 years ago, Cait worked in the woods all the time as an outdoor educator. One day, a nasty little tick no bigger than the periods in this text bit her and she got a big ole bull's-eye rash. If you're reading along and you have more than three brain cells, you're probably jumping to the correct conclusion: Lyme Disease. Unfortunately, the doctors who saw her a week or so later when she had a fever, chills, aches, and an excruciating headache were not so swift. In fact, they said (and I quote) "Oh, no. It's not Lyme. We don't have Lyme Disease around here." Recognizing that she was, in fact, ill, they did give her antibiotics, but not enough. She took them, the symptoms went away, and we stopped worrying since her family physician back in Detroit (where they most assuredly DO have Lyme and know something about it) said, "Even if it is Lyme, the drug she prescribed should take care of it."
Two years later, when the various symptoms that had reappeared and disappeared in the intervening time had worn her down to the point that she could sleep more than 15 hours at a stretch without feeling restored, a better doctor ran a Lyme test. Lo and behold, that nasty bite WAS the root of the mystery aches, dizziness, breathing problems and exhaustion that had made Cait miserable off and on for years.
It's been over a year and a half since then, and she's been under the treatment of a Lyme specialist for 20 months. Unfortunately, the brief course of antibiotics back in 2001 probably caused more harm than good, as the remaning critters have proved VERY resistant to antibiotics. Cait has taken just about every bacteria-killing drug available, and the only one that has done a damn thing is the one our insurance stopped paying for after three months. It's outrageously expensive, so we can't just get it anyway (though we are trying to get it free from the manufacturer on a compassionate basis, and will appeal to the insurance company if the manufacturer won't help out). In the interim, she takes handfuls of supplements and pills and I give her penicillin shots in the hiney three times a week. (If I ever need injectables, boy will she enjoy getting to be on the painless end of the needle for a while!)
There's debate about whether or not Lyme can be transmitted in utero and/or via breast milk. Her doctor is of the opinion that it CAN be if the disease is in an active state -- which Cait's is right now. Furthermore, Cait feels a lot like a pregnant woman already: tired, achey, moody, and a bit unsure of her stomach (from all the meds), so why would we want to add to that? Finally, I'm 6+ years older and would like to experience pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, etc., so it's preferable that I go first.
During the months of uncertainty and forced TTC hiatus, we did say from time to time that we wished Cait could just take over as starring womb for the time being. And she's definitely in line to have Offspring V2.0, once we get the bugs out of HER system. But for the time being, her uterus remains a sperm-free zone, and like it or not, the pressure and the privilege rest squarely on mine.