S1E18 - On Using a Known Donor - w/ Elaine

Episode 18 May 24, 2023 00:35:46
S1E18 - On Using a Known Donor - w/ Elaine
Start to Finish Motherhood with Aisha
S1E18 - On Using a Known Donor - w/ Elaine

May 24 2023 | 00:35:46

/

Hosted By

Aisha Jenkins

Show Notes

In this episode, we dive into the fascinating world of unconventional family planning and the diverse paths people can take to create their own families. Our guest today is Elaine, a Single Mother by Choice (SMC) who embarked on this unique journey using known donor sperm. She also happens to be the founder of a thriving Facebook group that connects aspiring parents with sperm donors. Get ready for an honest and supportive conversation that challenges traditional norms and celebrates the power of choice.

 

Check out the video of this episode here on YouTube!

 

During this episode Elaine mentioned Sperm Donor USA which is one of the FB Groups she admins.

 

Some of the resources Elaine mentioned during the episode:

Books I have used and feel comfortable sharing my affiliate link: 

For additional resources and to join the Start to Finish Motherhood membership visit: https://starttofinishmotherhood.com

Join the mailing list: https://starttofinishmotherhood.ck.page

You can download my free Conversation Prep to help you prepare for any tough conversation you will be having: https://starttofinishmotherhood.ck.page/c2ed0deb89

Check out my Wall Street Journal profile: https://www.wsj.com/articles/sperm-banks-struggle-to-recruit-black-donors-and-other-donors-of-color-11645887602

View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] So, hi everybody. I'm here today with a guest this is going to be an exciting conversation. So just as there's no right time to have a baby there's no single right choice when it comes to sperm source. my guest today is a Single Mother by Choice, who used donor sperm to create her family. But instead of using sperm from a commercial sperm bank, she use sperm from a known donor. today's guest also runs a fairly large Facebook group that connects people looking for sperm with sperm donors. And so, welcome my guest. Hi, Elaine, please introduce yourself and share a little bit about your SMC [00:01:00] journey. Hi, I am a mother of two. I'm blessed enough to have one son and one daughter. When I first had a few failed long-term relationships, I had. Moved in with my boyfriend and I thought, I'll just get pregnant and I'll go on about my life. And he'll never find out. I did not know that single moms by choice really existed. So I thought I'll turn this relationship into my sperm donor journey. Long story short, he really wanted to be involved later on down the road. He has really made us more like a family and we co-parent very well together. It is kind of hard for some moms. They will say some things because he has put his self on child support, and I do get the, the financial benefits of child support, but I also get the. The splitting of the time with him, and he does have, you know, visitation. And so that is the negative part that I didn't want to share. And after thinking about that and how I felt about it, I decided [00:02:00] that I would go the real donor route the next time , I started working with my known donor and I produced my son, alright. So I just gonna go back through and unpack some of that, Because it's really nuanced, So some people who have not been on the Single Mother by Choice journey will think that, okay, you woke up one day. I mean, they know that you think about becoming a Single Mother by Choice, but they think that you, you somehow arrived there and you're on solid footing, There's a lot of wavering back and forth, right? And so, even before I knew that Single Mother by Choice was a thing similar to you, and I think similar to a lot of women. You say one day I wanna be a mom. And then Right. You assess, right. The men in your life, in your orbit. And it's just like, okay, if I had to choose, who would I want to co-parent with? Right? Right. And that's before. The title even exists. It's like, okay. So I think that that is a natural progression. A lot of [00:03:00] us will start there, and I started there. And that's, that's exactly how it happened for me. I will say that honestly, when I was a young child, I knew that marriage wasn't one of the things that I was into. My parents have had a long 40 plus year marriage, so not because I saw some horrible marriage. My dad is very involved in my life, my parents are still married. I just kind of consider myself like a boss. Like I knew I was gonna go to law school. I didn't want to share my income with anybody. I was like, everything is going to be mine. I always had a hard time sharing and being told anything. Mm-hmm. And so as I got older, I just felt okay with, I can do this by myself, but. It didn't just unfold as I'm going to do it by myself. I really did try the relationships. And so I jumped into it and I found out about single moms by choice, maybe a backwards kind of way by looking for donors. Mm-hmm. And I ran into donors and I started looking for women to help me through it. They were the ones [00:04:00] who told me at first. The only people were telling me about it were my lesbian friends. Mm-hmm. And they didn't necessarily have the single mom by choice issues that I was having because they had a partner, most of them per se. But it just kind of spiraled into looking for donors and then, Who can I use as a support, because I still wanted people to talk to. I mean, my friends today, for the most part, still don't get that I'm a single mom by choice. Mm-hmm. They think that I'm somewhere crying and sad. Right. It's just very unfortunate because I feel like. Our kids can succeed as well. So it's like, it has just been this long spiral of, I've just randomly met people, one after the other. My lesbian friends have told me different things that have been beneficial to me making two soft cup babies and mm-hmm. Donors have been the ones who have told me, Hey, you know, there's other women like you and they have this community and I've just grown and learned along the way, so, a lot to unpack there. I'm still at the, I consider who I would co-parent with and similar to your [00:05:00] story you mentioned, I wanna have a baby on my own. They're like, okay, cool. I'm on board with that. At least my friends were like, cool, I'm on board with that. Without you Uhhuh. Then the pause, it's just like, Huh. And then they move past that point without them, then it's just like, yeah. And all the plans that they have for the kid, and it's just like, mm, without you. And at some point you realize there's that disconnect, that whole without you. So eventually I decided to go with a sperm bank donor. But also similar to you, I was on the internet. I think I started on baby center, and I'm just like, where do I get started? How do I get started? And the, the women there were just like, they're Single Mother by Choice communities. You need to get an re. And I'm like, what's an re? And so this might have been back in like 2010. And so then it was actually the community helping you along. Right. So, so, yeah. And, and still I don't think that my friends, I mean, they've seen and witnessed me being a Single Mother by Choice. I don't think that they [00:06:00] are like poo-pooing thinking that I'm in a corner. They've actually gotten involved and it's just like loving on my kids. All right. tell me about the known donor group that you admin. I admin about five groups. My largest two have probably over 20,000 members, of course, the majority of which are men. And I always kind of wanna guide women when I first started the journey. I had women who were helping me, but what I noticed is the women leave, but the men stick around because it's beneficial to them. The women get pregnant, they get their family, and they move on, and there's no one in the group to help you with the process other than your donor. And I started meeting donors who I would consider safe, reliable, ethical, They're AI only, meaning artificial ins, intimidation only. Mm-hmm. They have their s t D paperwork. Maybe they've gone through I V F and I u i with other recipients, and so, because I got so much information from them on everything from how to read a semen analysis, what should be [00:07:00] happening during my I U I I V F process, I decided to write it down and share it with others. Groups that don't have female admin and moderators are at a disadvantage. Where the donors are allowed to say whatever they want, , and lie and tell women that n i or natural insemination is the best and fastest method. And I always say I'm 40 and I've had two soft cut babies. It is very possible, I don't want women to be lied to. I don't want them to be given misinformation. I keep up I read these medical journals, I share them. I offer classes to women to show them how to use the soft cup. I just try to be that voice for women in the groups. Mm-hmm. I mean, no group is a hundred percent safe. You have to do your due diligence. Find a donor, see his id, they run a soft background check. You have to do as much legwork as you can because we're not the police. We're just a platform to kind of get you started in the [00:08:00] right direction. , okay, so let's take a step back because that's one of the questions that I have. you said that you had two soft cup babies. Now I know what you mean by that, but can you explain to our listeners what do you mean by soft cup babies? So a soft cup is a female menstrual cup, and the soft cup is also similar to the soft disc, but it is very different from a Flex Cup. a Flex Cup looks more like a condom and has a little nipple at the end. I always suggest that they don't use the flex cup if you use the soft cup, it's flush and you can actually take the plastic and push it up towards your cervix and rub the semen around the cervix to help with the process. And then you can leave it in for about 12 hours. It is a menstrual cup that many women use to catch their menstrual fluid and it's bought over the counter. I order mine in bulk from Amazon but it's one of those kind of things where. It's over the counter, maybe $10 for a box of 12 to 15 or so. So he always says, Hey, I [00:09:00] saved you, you know, thousands. You made a baby for a dollar. And. I'm very grateful for that. I actually do not use the soft cup alone. I actually would take his sample and suck it up with a syringe that I just got over the counter at Walgreens or wherever. And then I inserted with the syringe and then I put the soft cup in. But if you are more flexible or more sure of yourself, cuz I'm so nervous that I'm going to spill it but you can squeeze it closed and slide it in and then let it open itself up. And women do that all the time. I'm just not, as secure with that. So I do use a syringe along with the soft cup, but you can do it without, so tmi. So, okay. I'm assuming that when you, you use the syringe, you're in an inverted position with legs. toward the ceiling. You use the syringe and then you put the soft cup on like a cat. Yes. And I should be, but one of my babies was produced in the bathroom and I was for, in a seated [00:10:00] position, but it still worked. Okay. Uhhuh, I mean, that happens often with the donors. They're like, can we meet at a Starbucks? My donor is known for saying, can we meet at Target? Mm-hmm. It's just, you really don't know them, so you wanna meet in a public place. Mm-hmm. And so they will give you the sample. They should not sit it on a counter or cold or hot surface. They should sit a napkin or something down most of the time. Okay. So now, you took us through a high level overview of what the process is. Yes. Now let's, go through the different steps. Okay. So you you wanna meet in a, safe place, right? Mm-hmm. So, safety first, right? Mm-hmm. Meet in a safe place and. I would want to see a copy of their ID, at least with their name, so that you know that that's the right person. Many of the donors are trying to stay as anonymous as possible because they are afraid of child support. But you should zoom with them or FaceTime with them. You need to make sure they are who they say they are. I will tell you, it's been some funny time. I mean, I think it's funny. I'll get [00:11:00] someone who has maybe a Caucasian profile picture and it's some guy who appears to actually be from Africa when I get on FaceTime with them and then he is like trying to close the camera off really quick or they've downloaded a video from somebody else's Instagram page and they're playing the video over and over again. And what I will tell women too is don't pay anybody any money. They do this for free. If you wanna try the nightclub, try the nightclub. But you're talking about men who have had semen analysis, s t D tests and everything, they will do this for free. At most, you should. as a courtesy be reimbursing them for gas. I don't think that food should be reimbursed because they were going to eat that day regardless. But you do wanna FaceTime with them make sure they are who they say they are. Ask to speak to their previous recipients. And it's even better if they have a picture of them with the recipient or with that child that you are pretty sure is their child. You want to search for them in the donor group, [00:12:00] see who has tagged them in thank yous and things like that. And if you are going to pay someone, because some donors do ship, you need to reach out to someone who is an admin of the group because shipping is so specific and I have. I would say basically trained on how shipping should work. I am very versed in it. I can tell you whether or not a donor can ship and give you a successful pregnancy or not. There's very few that can, and I will tell you now, shipping is expensive, Be prepared to spend somewhere between three to 500 for shipping success. But the donors who are good at it and are successful and trustworthy are highly successful at it. One of the donors that I actually vetted had a success from his home in Georgia to a woman in Puerto Rico. And he still talks about that to this day. And he is the one who taught me long before he had that success, how shipping works, this is what should be done, all the ins and outs. I mean, I could go all day explaining shipping. [00:13:00] Elaine, is it. a shipping kit that you get? like with dry ice. Yeah. So it definitely needs to come to you on ice and they need what you call a yolk buffer. So when you get your kit, it usually comes with a styrofoam box if you're buying a full kit. Mm-hmm. It's gonna come with one of those little styrofoam ice chest looking things like you buy at the convenience store, except it's very tiny and it's going to have an ice pack in there. And the yolk buffer. And the yolk buffer needs to be a one-to-one ratio so for every one milliliter of semen, you're gonna have one milliliter of yolk buffer. And, and that's the fluid that the semen is in. Exactly. And they have to keep in mind that it's only going to live 24 hours from the time it leaves their body. And that's if they put it on ice and mix the yolk buffer and do everything perfectly. So now we have the, sperm sample. If it's being shipped, we have all the, the verification [00:14:00] procedures before you meet up with the donor. Now we Skyped, we've met up with the donor, and then what happens? It depends really on your comfort level. I would suggest taking a friend along, if you can find one. I wasn't lucky enough to be able to find a friend to come along. I also, as another added measure of protection, the very first time I met my donor, I did not meet him in the city where I lived because I also didn't feel comfortable. I met him out of town you know, just for more anonymity and to protect myself. And then we met at a hotel, so many people do that just so they have the comfort of being able to lie down and things like that after the fact. Okay. you, go with your soft cup. your, I had a whole kit because I had actually bought a kit on eBay that this lesbian couple had told me to get. So I had my whole kit. I hadn't even opened it up, even though the donor said, make sure you're trying everything out before you do it. Oh, let me tell you, I, I, I support the L G B T Q Y A folks that are out there because when I was [00:15:00] looking for a midwife, when I was looking to even get started, those were the communities that I went into or that Google sent me to at first before I knew what to search for. I'm like, have a baby on my own. Uhhuh have a baby, And so, but you know, the resources that I found in those communities kind of also gave me the resources I needed to support the SMCs who were, thinking if there are less expensive methods, right, go to a midwife. and typically if there's a midwife that is focused on servicing the L G B T qia a community, they probably will do iui, right? Yes. And so I've, I've run into issue with OBGYNs. You have to be careful of their religion and their acceptance level My ob, g y n, who was, a natural holistic is not accepting of anyone. And that's a whole nother ballgame in itself. Because the clinic I was using for my i u i with my son, they did not have any rules or [00:16:00] policies They just wanted to know if you were using a donor and they wanted him to wait six months, but mm-hmm. Other than that, they were very accepting. I would've thought it was the reverse, right? Because you typically hear that your GYNs won't do it, or they're not, specialized in doing it, right? So they send you to an re and the re is usually like freeform. Like they don't care. They just want your money, right? Right. And so, so it's interesting. All right. So, now we've got, our kit, and so take us through somebody puts a sample in the cup. And then they, they hand it to you. How does that work? And you said don't sit it on a temperature sensitive surface. Right, right, So you want them to actually either hand it to you or put it on a surface with a napkin or a tissue underneath it because you don't wanna do anything to shock the sperm. Cuz once they have that extreme temperature change, they're going to start to die. Of course you want to insert it as fast as possible and keep your, hips elevated to help with the process of tilting the pelvis and to try to get the sperm as close to the cervix as possible. You're gonna have me hop off this phone. [00:17:00] When I hop off the call. I'll be like, what? Right. No, I knew this was gonna be a fun conversation. So, okay, so you got your, hips tilted, you've got your sample. take us through a little bit more about the temperature change so you could go through all of this and not know you had a temperature change, right? So you've got like dead little float. Right. I mean, I worry about everything even as far as like making sure, like when you have your kit, if it's the summertime, don't leave it in the car just sitting in the window. Because if you're using a syringe and it has gotten to a hundred degrees temperature, it is in the car. That's a problem as well. Mm-hmm. If it's in the winter, you don't wanna leave your kit outside. I'm notorious for having my bag with me. You know, we have met up at public locations before. Everybody thinks it's funny that my son is a natural museum of history baby, because that was the closest bathroom. Mm-hmm. And for a wonderful story. Go ahead. Yes. And I had my little [00:18:00] bag and I got all my stuff in it. But you can't leave it in the car, you know, it's hot or it's cold. You have to make sure that that temperature is right. Just basically like when you go into the hospital, they've got their instruments sterilized. And I prefer to have brand new stuff every single time where my syringe comes in. A little plastic wrapper where I peel it down. Right. Because I don't even wanna take the chance that having cleaned it with detergent could have residue in there that could also play as a buffer and an adverse effect. I mean, we're really talking about. You can buy kits of everything online 10 syringes for $5. You know, other things you might need the urine specimen cups for when you're testing your lh. Okay. All right. So temperature change. We don't want any dead floaters, so, okay. No bacteria. Yeah. Yep. then we go through the process of inserting, either using a syringe or putting it in a soft cup and then inserting it. And then how long do you wait? Like typically when you get an IUI at the clinic. So they will have you wait for like, it's, [00:19:00] they set the timer for like seven minutes cuz they're like, you gotta go. But so how long do you wait after you insert everything and you've inverted your pelvis? Typically just 15 minutes. You know, if you wanna do an extra and say 15 to 30 minutes, but typically the, the swimmers are going to do what they're supposed to do naturally, even if you stand up and walk around. But a lot of women want to use different things to try to help with cervical mucus, and so you wanna make sure that the swimmer's can live through the acidity that is in our cervical mucus. So this is an added help for that, especially if you're lacking cervical mucus or you may have too much, you really wanna help them get through that cervix. All right. And then, the whole process picks up with the two week weight. Eating the pineapple core. I did that. Drinking, is it pomegranate juice? Like you, there's some raspberry tea and I still ate french fries, even though I think that's for I V F, but I'm just like eating [00:20:00] look. Right. I look with my one, pregnancy, there was a McDonald's across from my OBGYN's office, and I had shakes and french fries every time I had a, an appointment. Anyway, good snack. I know, I know. All right, so now let's go back into the Facebook group, So what are, some red flags you should be on the lookout for? What should people do to protect themselves? Two major red flags. Are they asking you for money outright? First red flag, no one should be asking for money. Second red flag is someone else is speaking for them. The, I want my brother to become a donor, so I'm gonna help him PM me. This is what my niece and nephew look like. So these are the kind of kids that can produce, it's his first time. So we really think, you know, if you could just kind of give 'em a hundred dollars or a couple hundred dollars to let 'em know that you're real or you're honest, that's you know, gonna be really good. And then to me the biggest red flag are lies. If they are telling you that [00:21:00] ni is the most effective method and that they need you to do anything other than have a soft cup, they're lying to you. If that's your choice, I never knock women for doing it. That is okay. That is not what I'm saying at all. What I'm saying is very specific. If they are telling you that that is the only way that you can conceive, they are lying. That is not how this process works. Now, if that is what you feel most comfortable with, because a lot of women, myself included, are afraid of the soft cup. I told my donor that when I first met him and he was very forthcoming and honest about this situation and saying that it'll work. Just use a soft cup. Just use a soft cup, and me being a heterosexual female, I felt much more comfortable doing it the old fashioned way. And like I said earlier, I was like, here I come with this kid that I hadn't even opened because I was convinced that I was not going to use this kit because I thought. Surely he'll buy into this and just do it the old fashioned [00:22:00] way. And he was like, no. He went in that bathroom, put his stuff in the soft cup, and he, you know, reassured me that it would work that way. Okay. So yes, it's an effective method, but it's not any more effective. There's no data to show that it's more effective than just using a soft cup. All right. So in the commercial sperm bank industry, there's not enough lack, sperm. Do you see those same trends in your Facebook groups? Yes, if you want a black donor, you have to really go to a black sperm donor group, unfortunately, and the size of that is very small compared to, the regular population donor group. It's just unfortunate. I'm not sure if the black male is afraid of the legalities or what, but they are just not playing the part that we need them to play to help us make families. The black donors that we have stay busy and are very, very active. Okay, So, I know when I [00:23:00] started looking, I used a particular bank, And when I search for black donors, based on my criteria, I ended up with six donors. And then when I put in open id, I got two. So what's the order of magnitude when you say small is it 30? Is it six? I couldn't really give you numbers, but if I could name donors off of the top of my head, African American, reliable donors, I could probably give you five. Okay. So then it's, it's pretty much comparable because I think people who are not familiar with the known donor groups would assume that the known donor groups with it being. less regulated and less tied to, F D A That there would be more of a willingness to donate, Because the sperm banks will be like, you have all of these hoops, That you have to go through. so then people would think, well, in the sperm donor groups, you are not going to get that. So we should see more black donors. You know? I honestly think that part of [00:24:00] it is in our community, just the lack of healthcare. Because when I have run into African American donors, one of the complaints that I will get from recipients is they don't have a semen analysis. They don't have s t D testing, whereas a lot of. The Caucasian donors, they have those things immediately and they're readily available. And so I thought maybe that's part of the issue. So I tell my friends or recipients who come to me offer to pay for their testing, suggest the health department suggest places for them to go. I said, you know, especially if you go into the public sector, you could pay for them to have an account and everything could be billed directly to you because you might have to pay for their semen analysis or s t D testing. And I highly suggest that as the safety measure as well to pay for those things for them or give them a reimbursement because you wanna be safe, you know, with your, health and everything anyway. But I thought maybe that was one of the factors. [00:25:00] Okay. So what are the requirements for people to join the known donor group? Well, we do have a list of questions that we want them to answer and to be, forthcoming. It's of course on an honesty system. We don't police anybody or check their IDs. We do try to do a Zoom call with as many of the male donors as we can. The female recipients, we really don't ask anything of them except that they answer the questions. When we do have issues with them, that's when we do more with the women. The main issue we've had with the women, there's been several occasions, is the advertising for the donors and asking for money. . But for the most part, women who join are desperately trying to have a baby. The men, that's who we become vigilant about. Hey, some things have come into question. Can we, FaceTime with you, you slip through. Sometimes if we see that they're already in several groups and have been advertising, we may not, you know, get a chance [00:26:00] to do a, a messenger meeting with them. So, that's really what we do to try to, stay on top of things. We have had women come to us and say different things and we start putting their names into Google searches and finding things out and we have to boot people. And you would be surprised when how many people do things in different groups that aren't even sperm donor groups. And it gets back to us and we're like, what happened? And we see screenshots and conversations. Even different platforms like K D R, things will happen in K D R and people will bring it to the donor group and say, Hey, you know, this guy who was in K D R is also in your group and this happened and that happened and we've had to deal with issues. And what's K D R K D R is known? Donor registry. Okay. And that is a website where people try to find known donors as well. To me it's a little harder to use. Well, J.A.B just a baby is really hard to use to me, but Kdr isn't that bad. Okay. To me it takes away from [00:27:00] the middle part that you get with a Facebook group. Everybody is in a community talking in front of you and you see everybody's messages in the comments. Whereas with a website, that person can say anything to you and it's private so you don't get that public hey, you need to be honest because somebody else may see what you've written that might know that you aren't reliable or you know, you aren't who you say you are. Now, do you run into issues with people going into other people's dms? Yes, they go into your messenger we get women who complain about it and other women who are like, well, I probably would've never actually said I was looking for a donor had he not come into my box because they're, you know, shy and timid. But yes, if you come into the group, you need to be prepared they are going to say, Hey, I see you, made a post. You got, you know, a moment or whatever. All right. So this should be an interesting one. both of us have been in the Single Mother by Choice communities long enough to know it's full of acronyms. Right. So BFP, I U I I V F. So what are some of the [00:28:00] acronyms people should be aware of when they go into the known donor groups? Definitely ai, artificial insemination, which could be anything from you buying a Mosie baby kit, soft cup syringe, but anything other than physical contact with your donor of any kind. Then the exact opposite is going to be in I natural insemination, which is your sex or intercourse. And then another one that's really big is PI partial insemination, which I never suggest it, but there's a range But basically what the men will say is, I reach my climax when I'm ready to ejaculate, then I'll insert it into you. And so I don't suggest it. I always just say, I feel like it could lead itself to tearing and rough intercourse because if you did natural insemination, a woman would become naturally aroused. It would have vaginal fluids. So I really don't suggest that one. But the donor suggest it, because they think, it sounds like it's [00:29:00] not as intimate. So, hey, you know, you, might wanna have sex with me, but you don't feel as comfortable. So therefore I'm going to make this suggestion. It's like a middle point, But I always say just either have sex or don't, because I feel like it leads itself to a lot of questions. How do you know he is actually climaxed? How long are you going to allow him to be inside of you before you say, well, it's been 10 or 15 minutes and nothing's happened, and if a man is nervous, he could have been close to Climaxing and then not been able to perform. So I feel like you should really go into it and have a decision made. Either we're going to do it or we're not going to do it. I don't feel like there's really a middle ground, right? PI is. Middle ground. Right. So it's like no judgment, I mean, do what you feel. No. Right. Right. But it's like, if I, if I'm gonna do it, I wanna be as effective as possible, or I wanna see the sample. Right. I don't want to be like, [00:30:00] okay. So what are some tips and tricks? obviously you've been successful using the soft cup. You have your, backpack that you travel with. What do you think is the secret to your success? And then what tools do you use? Okay? Knowing your body, the L B G T Q I A community is going to be very beneficial in helping you learn about your body. If you aren't already self-aware, you need to go ahead into your O B G Y N, get that pap smear. Have an ultrasound, have them look for fibroids, polyps, anything that could be going on. Don't be afraid to get yourself. Tuned up, cleaned up. I had a myomectomy before I had my son. They removed a two of three fibroids. There were many cysts that were removed, and when they told me I could try on the third cycle, I had immediately conceived. I also had my tubes checked for blockage. And I will say this, my insurance didn't cover anything, but many insurances will cover, at least for you to get your tubes checked and to get, a pap smear, get fibroids [00:31:00] removed, those general things. So yes, start drinking as much water as you can. I'm drinking a gallon of water every day. get on your vitamins, and I don't mean prenatal vitamins because there's a big difference. You really need to get with an re and get a list of vitamins that are good for menstrual health because you need to be working on your cervix and your menstruation and making sure you have a good thick lining. So before you even go to the doctor, start on some sort of vitamin regimen, even if it's just prenatal until you get in there and start drinking as much water as you can. I've heard so much about how good it is for the health of your lining. Some of the ones I would suggest after you, have talked with your doctor and everything are like, coq 10 I've heard is really good for egg quality. Vitex is very good for menstrual lining. Vitamin D in A D H E A are very good. And I took all of those and. Literally three cycles after using them and having my myomectomy, I conceive. Whereas it had been [00:32:00] unsuccessful three cycles prior to trying. So once you go to the doctor, you're on your vitamins. The very last thing you really need to do is download an app, Premo Ovia, some sort of app where you can actually urinate on some strips and start knowing when are you ovulating? You have to line up everything. It's basically a numbers game. You've got 24 hours to make it happen. In a healthy woman, it is going to live 24 hours. And of course we know that the timeline diminishes the older you get. So once you get your vitamins, get to a doctor, you start testing on those. Everything should line up correctly. And I swear by the Premom app, but I know a lot of women who use Ovia and I'm pretty much well versed in all of them. But for me personally, Premom has been the cheapest, but the most effective for me without breaking the bank because some of them have internal thermometers. Whereas I [00:33:00] just test my B B T and use the premom thermometer that I've offered like 1499. But you put your, there's two, there's a 14 99 1 and a $20 one there. The one you put the B b t, your basal body temperature in yourself into the app. The other one, it bluetooths it to the app every morning. So I. Literally, you're still gonna open the app as far as I'm concerned. Mm-hmm. But that one actually bluetooths it right to Premom. I highly suggest knowing your B B T because once it's over, I mean, once it spikes, you know, the egg has been released and everything has happened. Mm-hmm. And there's only three ways to know if you ovulate it. And that is with B B T ultrasound or with labs. So knowing that B B T is the cheapest way, you really need to be on top of knowing your temperature every cycle and keeping up with that. And of course, women say, as long as your temperature stays elevated, you're in there, you know, there's a chance that you have conceived. I can go on on about [00:34:00] all of that. The body is just so wonderful to me because like I snore so Uhhuh. That the women in, in my groups, they were like, oh, you need to start taking your temperature in your vagina because if you sleep with your mouth open, then the temperature's not really your real temperature. So when I had my son, I was just sticking the thermometer down there. Nobody wants my thermometer now, but I mean, you really have to be so comfortable with your body. It's like, yes. I was like, I'm trying to make this baby, and I'm literally taking my temperature in my vagina. I would not have believed that 10 years ago. It's no, it's no different from wandy. Right. Why you don't get an iui? You, you know, wandy, you see wadi three times in a cycle. Right. thank you, Elaine. Okay, so where can people find you? Where can they find your groups? What other resources do you wanna leave our listeners with? They can find me pretty much in any sperm donor group. Mainly sperm donation, USA or sperm donors are my two largest groups, and they can always look me up [00:35:00] Elaine Bird on Facebook. Okay. All right. Well, thank you so much. I have enjoyed this conversation.

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