All posts by Thirza Cuthand


So far it’s been nice, we’ve been going to Tilde Festival which is a Trans and Gender Non-Conforming Film Festival. It’s been awesome! We also went to the beach multiple times, rode a 100 year old wooden rollercoaster, saw a cockatoo being chased by some other birds, watched a jellyfish bloob around in a river, and five minutes after leaving the airport saw some kangaroos hanging out. Also I ate a kangaroo burger and we’ve spent lots of money on food because it’s pricey here. Tomorrow we go to Phillip Island to see some kangaroos, koalas, Tasmanian devils, and penguins. We actually did see one penguin by the pier, some people said it wasn’t but it was small and fat and looked like it was wearing a tux so I am pretty sure it was a penguin.
I still want to eat some oysters, we are gonna go to the UGG and Blundstone Outlet stores, there’s an old prison we want to tour because it’s creepy. I was in a haunted hotel having a pee and then we walked to Bourke street just a couple of hours before this guy did a terror attack there by running a ute filled with gas canisters into Target or something and then running around stabbing people. My Mom was like “You are getting close to danger I think you should come home!” but obviously I haven’t left. It’s getting fucking ridiculous my proximity to terror attacks and this is probably the closest I have gotten. To think if we hadn’t got tired and gone back to the hostel we could have still been there is so bizarre.
But like that time in London, no one here really cared about the attack. No one was doing hushed whispering or looking around with paranoid eyes. People just went on with their lives. Which is really all you can do.
It’s pretty amazing what the land and climate is like here. They have trees so unlike the ones we have back home. Like, just really fascinating land and flora and fauna. I feel pretty lucky to be here to see this place finally. I’ve wanted to come to Australia since I was a kid because it sounded like such a fantastical place. And it really is like, SO UNUSUAL. To my Canadian eyes anyway.
The festival is over now, we saw some good films. Tonight we saw Man Made which was about trans men bodybuilders and was so good! It covered a wide variety of life experiences of these men and didn’t just like, end with transitioning. Like it went into parenting and relationships and meeting birth moms and Black Lives Matter and homelessness and being trans and unable to access shelters, and top surgery, and lesbian partners and I really liked it. Some of the docs we had been seeing were like, trans 101 and I was disappointed by those, but this one was just really complex and lovely.
I’m sleepy. The flight here was so long. Two planes to get to Los Angeles and then a 15 hour flight from Los Angeles to Melbourne. SO LONG! We were taking ativan on the way here and basically passed out, but they kept putting food in our faces and we’d be like, all groggy trying to eat.
Anyway, I am having a good time. I’ve been trying to sleep in but we are staying in a hostel and if we wake up early enough we have the showers to ourselves. So yeah. The hostel life is not for me anymore. This one is a party hostel basically and all these youth from mostly Europe are like, drinking every night and being annoying and sitting in front of the front door drinking and smoking weed and being obnoxious. And running up the hall when we are trying to sleep. I’m glad we have a private room, small mercies. A larger dorm room would fucking SUCK! ALSO doors don’t lock from the inside, so every night after we pee before we go to sleep we stack our suitcases against the door to keep drunks from wandering in.
NOT ONLY THAT but we are the only butch dykes here for sure, and the only visibly queer people. So that’s always like a weird fucking situation to be in. But no one has said shitty things to us at the hostel, they are only interested in drinking and flirting and making pancakes and smoking. We are probably really invisible to them also, since we are older.
They walk on the opposite sides of everything compared to Canadians. Like we walk on the right and they walk on the left. They stand on the left on escalators. When we ask for cream for our coffee they ask “Do you mean milk?” They call an Americano a Long Black. Their paper money (actually plastic money) makes sense because smaller denominations are smaller and large denominations larger. but the 2 dollar coin is smaller than the 1 dollar which is way smaller than 50 cents.
Riki says their queer/trans community seems to have people who are very similar in appearance to people we know back in Toronto. Like there is a finite number of queers in the world that just repeat in different locations. She called it The Upside Down. Also the fashion here is not as hoity toity as queers in Toronto, which is kind of nice. It’s true, Toronto queers have some weird fashion thing going on that I don’t really mesh with being like, slob butch from Saskatchewan who dresses like an urban farmer.
Anyway there’s my blab for the day! It’s 11pm and I gotta sleep!


I’m trying to be cautious in what I write online, which kind of sucks. I mean it’s not like I have deep dark secrets I am currently harbouring or anything. It’s just that people like scaring me by reminding me how much of my life I talk about publicly. And it makes me wonder about my long thing about making personal things really public. I know there was a wave when people kept really personal blogs and I don’t know if that is still happening. And to be honest, I think maybe my concerns have changed since I started this blog. When I started I was living in Strathcona in Vancouver in a two room apartment filled with mice and eeking out some kind of post-psych ward existence struggling with addictions. And now I’m like, 40, and have eggs frozen to make a baby hopefully, and spend free time knitting sweaters for my dogs in my sometimes clean one bedroom apartment in downtown Toronto. I dunno I guess I don’t know what is so exciting about that. I kind of also don’t know what is so private about having frozen eggs and a knitting hobby. Like there are numerous women who have blogs about IVF. And knitting!

Anyway, I think it’s because I am still trying to date and get to know people and not scare them off by leaving this overshare blog where they think I’m gonna spill their secrets or something. And I guess part of me wants to keep some kind of mystery when really I just have like, everything laid out here.

BUT That isn’t always a bad thing. I’ve had some more professional writing gigs in recent times and in fact just got asked tonight to do another one based the writing I do here on my blog. Which always kind of surprises me. Cause it’s so much a personal blog and not really like, professional work.

I have Toronto Queer Film Festival coming up this week, on Thursday! Until Sunday! I’ve been involved for a couple of years now and I’m super pumped about this year’s festival because we put a lot of work into it and I think we are getting some good interest and the programming is really solid. And we’ve gotten some decent funding this year, and 45% of the films are by Indigenous directors which is pretty fucking amazing. I’m proud of that. I’m supposed to do intros and q and a’s for some of the screenings so be prepared to watch me be awkward on stage ha ha. Maybe I won’t be though. Sometimes I am fine.

Mom’s visit was good. A little crowded at the end, I have a very small apartment. But overall nice, and she helped me get a new Smart TV that has internet things like youtube and Netflix and Amazon Prime on it which is super sweet. And we saw so many good films at ImagineNATIVE, and people seemed to like my film. And I had some nice down time after she went home.

AND I bought a bowtie, which I struggled with because it’s not a clip on. I still haven’t figured out how to tie it. It’s fucking gorgeous. It’s also so fucking hard to tie and I don’t know why! There’s a loop somewhere I need to push a piece through and I can never find it. I’ve watched three YouTube tutorials and still have failed to get it together. I’m gonna try again in case I can wear it to the festival. Because that would be sweet. But yeah. I don’t know the length I need, I don’t know where the fucking loop is. Ha ha shit. I need a dapper gay man to show me, that’s really what I need. I always see them running around in bow ties and I dunno, I had never realized it was such a challenge ha ha. A skill! And I feel like as a butch I would be more handy and dapper if I knew how to tie a fucking bow tie!


I’m learning how to knit a sweater. It’s only the second thing different from a scarf that I have made. Scarves are so meditative to knit, so simple, just one big even chunk of fabric. BUT THIS omg. I had to measure Posey to fit it. And I had to learn how to knit in the round. I had to undo a few hours of work and start over when I realized it was different to do ribbing in the round than regular knitting. Anyway, now it looks better, even tho it’s still just at the beginning really. But it’s gonna look so cute on Posey. I think it will be her indoor sweater. Something for when the air conditioning is too much or there’s a draft in the winter. I still have to get through the chest increases and how to read this pattern. I hope it goes ok!

I’m flying to Melbourne next week, like not this week the week after, after TQFF. I’m going with my friend Riki and I’m so nervous! I’ve never been on such a long flight. On the other hand, I’m excited to get to Australia. I want to see some amazing things and animals. And then again I am scared of flying through the States, which I am doing. And THEN AGAIN I am legit going to Texas in February so I may as well suck it up and at least see what it’s like to fly through an American airport or two before going to the state with all the guns. I mean, the open carry people, not like I’m gonna be armed or anything wacky and creepy.

Yeah, it’s that thing again, where when Mom and I went to London we had to accept that there could be some emergency, and when we were there there was a failed terror attack. But again, I don’t want to let fear of current events keep me from living my life and doing my things.

Tattoo Done! Roboboot DONE!

SO I FINISHED MY TATTOO! OMG! I’m so glad, it was like an hour and a half to two hours of work. I had a rough time, especially doing the leaves at the top near my neck, I admit to making some pain noises while she did those. BUT IT’S DONE! I’m never getting my neck tattooed tho fuck that’s hardcore and not for me!

I think it’s beautiful and now I need to find more lowcut shirts.

ALSO (Dun dun dun!) I got my roboboot off! I went to the Fracture Clinic and they gave me a new X-ray and the doctor said the bone has finally united and I can go back to flat shoes. So I went home in a boot and took it off and put my shoes on to walk around the house because I’m still a little nervous. And it’s fine honestly. My foot is not used to moving in the way it moves tho, because it was immobilized and now it has the chance to flex. So that is gonna take getting used to. I went down the stairs just now for the first time to get mail from the postie, and it was so weird to realize I can walk down the stairs normally again. I started out doing my gibbled one foot next foot on same step routine and then realized there wasn’t a high boot preventing me from being more normal. WOW! It’s a miracle!

It didn’t heal perfectly though, I’d say there’s a tiny section that still needs to fill in. But for the most part it’s united, and it doesn’t hurt to walk on, and it’s so bizarre being whole in my body again and having this life back. I’m so relieved. I’m going to Australia soon, and I was just like “OH FUCK” I did not want to be in a roboboot over there or going on such a long plane flight. And even worse, I was initially worried I would need to do surgery and would be on crutches or have to wait until the new year. I dunno, I saw my life in this boot or healing for a long time and it was bumming me out. And honestly IT WAS a long time to heal, it took about 12 weeks. Which is twice as long as it should have taken. The last six weeks I was super cautious though which probably helped, I wore the boot all the time except for sleeping and showering. And I should have been more cautious initially I guess. But who knows. Either way, it’s off, it’s done, my bone is gonna do it’s remodeling stage for the next six months or whatever, and for now I can go on with my life. The doctor said I didn’t need a follow up appointment. SO AWESOME!

Anyway, today Mom is coming for a visit until the 25th, which will be interesting! We are gonna do ImagineNATIVE stuff. And I gotta clean the apartment before she comes, it’s my only only job and I only have four hours left to do it. So I should get on that!

Invisalign Week 3

So the very first day I was sick, I also went to the dentist to get my new Invisalign stuff put in my mouth. I have six attachments on the top and four on the bottom. The first two weeks my top tray got all shitty and kind of falling apart. I just moved to tray #2 last night and I am hoping I can be more careful with it when I remove it. I didn’t expect the first tray would get cracks in it from being yanked out so badly. ANYWAY yeah, this is gonna go on until August of next year, 23 trays! If my teeth move well, we might go from switching every two weeks to every ten days. But I don’t want to push it. It seems most of the movement happens the first three days, then it’s just letting the teeth settle.

I’ve been reading stories online from people who are doing this, and a main complaint seems to be massive pain. I have to say, I had braces as a kid and THOSE were fucking hellacious. Like I would be crying when they went on and every time they got adjusted. I couldn’t eat corn on the cob. It was sad times! This is more of a pressure and mild discomfort, not really horrible at all. And being able to take it out is nice. That being said it seems to need to be on 22 hours a day. I read somewhere 20 is fine but everyone else says 22.

It’s been weird brushing my teeth so much. Unless I am eating, my mouth is minty fresh. I’m trying to eat less just because taking them out is such a drag. But also the first week I was only eating three times a day and I didn’t have proper groceries and I was getting super hungry and I was just so fucking miserable. And also I was drinking a lot of sparkling water, because drinking things like cola/juice/etc stain the trays. So I got SO TIRED of water, and ended up doing this thing where whenever I get to eat, I’ll like chug a whole bunch of some other fun drink like coke or beer or flavoured pop or something. And it’s made life a little less miserable.

I honestly don’t see much difference looking at Tray #1 to my current Tray #2. But I was having trouble closing my lips over my teeth with the tray in last time, and now it seems to be easier. So possibly there is some imperceptible movement I am not noticing yet. I go back at the beginning of November to get more trays and also let the dentist see what is going on with my mouth and if it is working. I already found out about the “compliance” markers on my Invisaligns which are these blue dots that fade and are supposed to go clear if you wear them enough. BUT I mostly chew on one side of my mouth, and for whatever reason even tho the trays are out when I am chewing obviously, it’s only that side of the compliance markers that is fading. And also it never did get clear, I did have them out for a long time when I have coffee in the morning, and a couple of times when I went out to eat.

The beginning of the 2 weeks with a new tray seems to involve a hard time getting the top tray off. It’s where my overbite is obviously, so I guess that is part of it. Sucks to be me! Ha ha. I hope I can figure it out this time around without my tray falling apart.

I dunno, 23 trays! 21 left! And then possible adjustments. And then retainers for the rest of my life to wear at night. I had this procedure called “IPR” which is where they file down between your teeth to make room for them when they are overcrowded. I had it on my bottom teeth. It was fucking SCARY! She had basically a circular saw that was really tiny that she was using to cut between them. And then she would measure to see if she got the right spacing between them. I’d never heard of it before. I heard other people get all bloody when it happens but I didn’t. And I was so sick at the time. And it took like, three hours, so long. I was so sick omg.

I guess it sounds kind of self-involved to get Invisalign or something, I dunno. I know I wanted to get it last year when I got the REVEAL award, but instead we used that money to go to England and Scotland. Which to be honest, was more fun. I’ve just been lucky enough this year to get enough work to cover this and the egg freezing. And I had really liked having straight teeth in my youth, and as time went on they shifted back because I wasn’t wearing a retainer. I kind of ran away from my orthodontist to be honest. He was awful, he didn’t even wear gloves. And he was always so mean. OMG that orthodontist office was awful. There was one who was really nice, but of course I didn’t get that one. Anyway, yeah, I should probably figure out how to wear these trays more hours in a day. And I just might have to give up coffee for a while. I’ve gone from two cups a day to one. Which bums me out but it’s something at least.

ANYWAY yeah that’s the scoop! I have to clean my apartment today because tomorrow I finish my tattoo (HOPEFULLY!) and the day after go to the fracture clinic and then Mom comes in the afternoon. I’m nervous about the tattoo, I so want to finish, it would look so beautiful, and I want to finally have a break from going in until my next big tattoo idea. But it hurts so much. Last time I took a T3 when I went in, but to be honest it probably worked even worse than if I had gone in without a T3. So I’m just gonna go in without any painkillers, no numbing, back to my usual thing of having eaten and having some kind of sweet drink with me for breaks. She’s really good at talking me through the pain, so I am just gonna go as hard as I can and see what I can get done. I know it probably seems weird for someone with so many tattoos to say this, but they fucking HURT! I think it’s just that they are worth it when you have a good artist, they look SO GOOD! They make me feel like I belong in my body more each time. But yeah they fucking hurt. Definitely more painful than Invisalign. Maybe not as painful as two years of braces tho.

Cautiously optimistic

It’s thanksgiving weekend here in Canada and like a chump I didn’t line up a turkey dinner at all. It’s too bad. I know the whole politics around it and why would an Indigenous person celebrate thanksgiving and blah blah blah but I still miss the turkey and cranberry sauce.

I performed Love Is The Only Socially Acceptable Psychosis at 7a*11d this past week, and I had a HUGE crowd and a lot of positive responses. I was so sick this past week though, like if I could I would have just laid in bed all week, but the show must go on! I was worried I was gonna pass out on stage. And I don’t know why I am so honestly shy and socially anxious in “real life” yet still fine with stripping in front of dozens of Torontonians. It’s just weird.

I’m getting better, not so sick. Still snuffly though. I had a sore throat the very first night I got sick but it went away thank god, and turned into mostly a runny nose/sweaty cold. It’s been brutal. I miss my health ha ha. It sometimes feels like I’ll never be freed of it, even though I can feel myself getting better every day.

I finally walked the dogs today and my foot didn’t hurt. It wasn’t healing for the longest time, but something tells me it’s actually healing now. I have an appointment with the fracture clinic in a week and a bit, and I am hoping I get some good news. By then it will be just over 12 weeks since I broke my 5th metatarsal. I am so busy and out of town so much the next few months that I’m worried if we do have to do surgery it will need to wait until January. I’m going home for a month at Christmas, and I am going to Australia for two weeks in November, and generally busy with other things besides all of that. ImagineNATIVE is coming up and I am screening a video there. And TQFF is in the very beginning of November and I’ll be busy with that.

I still think about doing another IVF/egg retrieval cycle while I have youngish eggs. Like younger than they will be when I am 41 anyway. I don’t know. I know I have really unknown chances of making a baby with my eggs and part of me wishes I could just already try it and see what happens. But I don’t have a surrogate figured out yet. And I haven’t even taken the sperm donor to the clinic to leave a specimen and get it checked out. And I know they have to quarantine that for a few months still. It’s such an involved process.

I’m not really sure what my future will bring in terms of my family I want to have. I have noticed my priorities have changed in the last several months, especially in terms of what I am looking for in a partner. I’m still on OKCupid and someone liked me and sent a message but it’s the second woman to like and message me looking for a date who says very clearly in their profile that they are not looking to have children. So I’m not even sure why they are messaging me. Like it straight up says in my first paragraph of my bio that I want kids. I dunno, people are weird. Maybe they think they can squeeze some sex out of me anyway or something. I’m really into sex but also I am really tired of dating people who only want a good time. And I don’t want to get attached to someone who is gonna devalue me in the end anyway so they can dump me and move on to the next good time.

I’m finally I think having some decent realistic self esteem, which is good. Like I can see my good qualities and things. And when people treat me kind of shitty like they don’t see those things, it just really makes me shake my head and move on. I’m trying to break some old patterns. It’s hard, I have certain situations I keep falling into and getting really involved with. But I think I’m more able to see it and redirect.

I dunno, what else? The dogs are in a good mood. Little Mister has been dancing around a lot. He’s a pretty happy guy these days. Posey loved her walk today, she hasn’t seen the park in a while. I finally stopped crying over someone a couple of weeks ago and it’s been way better. I think I cried for like a year and it was intense and so ridiculous and I was starting to worry people in the courtyard of my co-op could all see me crying everyday. Ha ha omg. ON THE OTHER HAND crying is very healing and I guess I was going through larger issues. I’m feeling cautiously optimistic about life right now.

Performance, Workshop, Screening, OMG!

So I’m back from Queer City Cinema in Regina where I performed “Love Is The Only Socially Acceptable Psychosis” for the first time. I tried to put some pics on social media but obviously I had to censor them because fb and instagram hate nipples. ANYWAY here are a couple of photos of my performance:

Also this one:

I think it went well, I didn’t cut myself anyway which is what I secretly worried about. I had a giant knife I got from a witch store and it’s massively pointy and super sharp. And it didn’t cut me, so that was nice. The red candle did start burning me tho so I switched to my other action of putting oil and turmeric on myself. But then that ended and I went back to the candle. And the whole time audio of me reading parts of my diaries was playing, like the parts about love and chances not taken and rejections and hopeful relationships and failed relationships, all that stuff. It’s interesting to hear the readers digest version of your love life while doing basically some BDSM stuff. Anyway yeah it was good! And I got a positive response. I will be performing it again on October 3rd at 7a*11d here in Toronto.

I also did workshops, and had a retrospective. Sitting through the retrospective was bizarre cause it was like some funny stuff and sex stuff and trauma stuff and basically all the things that consumed my thoughts in my teen and adult years. I had a good audience for that too, which was nice.

And I got to see all my old Saskie friends.

It was really wearing on me though, just all the stuff I had to do, I was there a long time, it was really busy. I got home today and finally rested, literally just vegged out on the couch listening to tunes and eating a giant burrito.

My depression has faded away. My personal problems HAVEN’T though, but I’m hoping I’ll be able to deal with them better now that I don’t have pregnancy hormones in my body wreaking havoc on my psyche. It’s something anyway. I painted my nails tonight for the first time in months. It was a good sign I think. I need to find a ride to go get my puppies and I’m worried about that right now. It’s stressful. I really need them back here so I can feel complete, my family is broken right now without them. And Little Mister is getting so old and I don’t want him to die without me. I really love him so much and I think he might need to go to the vet soon to deal with his senior dog issues. And I have money right now to take him.

There’s a mouse in the house. I’m super tired. I had to wear my retainer in my hood piercing since just before the egg retrieval, and let me tell you it did NOT make masturbating fun. Like man that stuff scratches. ANYWAY tonight I got my regular jewelry back in and I’m a happier person. I also ran out of cabergoline while I was away, so I need to go tomorrow and pick more up. I am using up my prescription because it gives insanely good orgasms, and I’m no chump I’m not gonna pass that up.

Anyway I’m super exhausted. I just thought you might like to read something more updated and not about how depressed I was. I need to go make my bed now and get in it and sleeeeeeeeep.

Post Retrieval Depression

My Mom keeps telling me my hormones are still all crazy from the IVF/egg retrieval cycle I did, and it’s so goddamn true. That doesn’t help much though when I’m making grocery lists in my head of all the things wrong in my life and how I’m a disappointment to everyone. Like I just keep crying in the evenings, and in the days too when I’m not busy with things, and getting fixated on really small things and feeling enormously overwhelmed by big things. I’ve had some interpersonal catastrophes in the last few weeks and I don’t know how to fix any of those, maybe I shouldn’t, I don’t know. I know realistically my life is going well and there are more good things that outweigh the bad. But the bad seems so huge. And sometimes glimmers of light sort of burst through the clouds and I can laugh about some stupid thing. But it’s these hormones oh my god. I know my levels will get back to normal, this stuff is gonna go out of my body and I’ll be back to regular hormonal cycles that I can deal with. BUT FUCK it’s hard right now.

And my process is pretty much wrapped up now in a medical sense, like I could go for one more retrieval if I am lucky enough to scrape up the cash, and really I should do that in the next few months if I can before I get even older. BUT like the visits to the fertility clinic are finished for now. I’m not really getting more medical supervision at the moment. I’ve paid my thousands of dollars and my genetic reproductive materials are sitting in a storage lab somewhere. BUT I’m still stuck with this horrible come down off some heavy duty hormones.

I remember when I used to do ecstasy, REAL ecstasy not that fake speedy shit they sold in Saskatoon, there was always that day after when the inverse feeling of being on E happened. Like all your happiness had been sucked into the void and you were just listless and depressed. This doesn’t have that listless feeling, but the crash is similar. And sometimes I’m not thinking about it, sometimes things are okay and I’m just going through life. AND THEN OMG I just start thinking about things and they snowball into everything being horrible and tragic and omg my dog’s gonna die and I’ll probably have to quit that thing I love and omg. And that’s not even me thinking about the statistics being against my eggs becoming a human. Like it’s intense.

I will be fine, I think. I hope. I think too there are like, people not really checking in with me that I wish were, and like just feeling out of sorts and like I want someone to hug me and I don’t know who. And I can’t really handle this the way I thought I would. I guess I didn’t expect the depression to be this intense.

And it’s funny too cause it’s like what? I am on a journey to make a new life that I can love and nurture and help become the person it wants to be, I should be happy right? Like the hard part is over for me, right now I’m not getting shots in the ass, I’m not having to go every other morning for invasive transvaginal ultrasounds. BUT STILL oh fuck.

The trigger shot gives false pregnancy results for the two weeks after you get it. Which means I have until Thursday for these hormones to be mostly out of my system. And I’ve never been pregnant. But if this is my early pregnancy mood then FUCKING HELL I AM SO GLAD I’M NOT GONNA BE PREGNANT!

While I was going through old diaries I found the origin of me not wanting to be pregnant. I mean it always scared me when I was younger, the amount of pain involved, and what it would do to my body, and all that stuff. BUT I noticed in my early diaries that back then I always did talk about kids. Like I would be talking about wanting to have kids with my girlfriends or when I have a kid or having dreams about my kid. And then sometime after my second hospitalization reality set in and I knew I wouldn’t be able to be pregnant because of my bipolar. I’m on medications you can’t take if you are pregnant, and my version of bipolar is too intense to be without those medications. If I had been pregnant and gone off my meds I likely would have ended up in the psych ward for a few months. And by the time I had my baby I would probably be on the radar of child and family services as someone who was an unfit mother. I’d seen pregnant women in the psych ward before and I thought that would be the absolute pits. To have this baby come into your life when you are trying to recover from some kind of episode. Oh my god. And then also knowing I would be a super good candidate for post partum depression or worse, post partum psychosis. The idea of being able to be pregnant just kind of disappeared from my life.

But it wasn’t like I was fine just being like “oh shit guess I can’t be pregnant” but I think I kind of tried to nurture that “I don’t want kids blah who would want kids what a pain!” when really it was like “I know intellectually I can’t have children because of the above reasons.” People seem to be more comfortable with people who don’t want children than people who can’t have children. ANYWAY UGH. And then I like gave away any chances of being pregnant by getting my ablation. And I don’t really regret my ablation. I am super happy to not get periods anymore. But it definitely ended that option.

So this is honestly a good thing. Freezing eggs to hopefully soon fertilize and implant into a very generous person with a uterus who likes being pregnant anyway and has had good experiences with that. It’s the best way for me to have a baby that is genetically related to me. And I have a lot of specific reasons for wanting to carry on my family line, like we are a powerful Indigenous family with a history of medicine people and some really good talents and there are qualities in my family that I really love (even when they drive me crazy) and I would love to see someone looking at me who looks like us and is telling me some joke that is the same kind of weird sense of humour our family has. I don’t know it’s complicated. Anyway, like it is a good thing. And I feel so lucky that I’ve been able to do this and that this technology exists.

It’s still really hard to have these hormones coursing through my body and know I have a few more days to go. It’s a week exactly since my retrieval and life has gone on and I’m so busy I almost forgot about it but also omg I went through something major there. My ovaries felt like entirely new organs in my body for a while because they were so swollen. I’m getting back to normal. But also work demands go on and social demands and I’m really overwhelmed sometimes and I wish I was the kind of person who could take time off work but I’m an artist and I can’t. And I already deliberately slotted this cycle between two work trips and I made it and I’m okay, but I feel like I wish I had given myself more downtime after. Next time I’m gonna try making sure I have at least six weeks to find myself in the right part of my cycle and start IVF. Or just accept that these ten eggs are my only ten chances.

Ten Little NDN Eggs and THOUGHTS on Love

So I got a call when I woke up this morning that 10 eggs ended up being mature and frozen, which was the number I had been hoping for. It’s still really unknown how many of those will make it through all the development phases to become a viable embryo. And I’m likely not going to be fertilizing them for another year, so I’m not gonna know for a while. After this I need my sperm donor to go bank some sperm and get it checked over and quarantined for a few months (those damn semen regulations!) and then thaw eggs, see how many can be fertilized, watch them go through their development process, see how many make it to blastocysts, do genetic testing on them to get rid of the ones that would just likely miscarry because they are abnormal, THEN finally transfer to my surrogate, whoever that ends up being. Parts of this can be funded by the government, I’m not sure which parts and I should investigate that further. Really I need to make another appointment with my doctor in the next couple of months and talk about next steps. I’d like to do another IVF/Egg retrieval cycle if I can to increase my odds. If I could get 10 more mature eggs I’d feel a lot better.

It’s been a quiet day otherwise. My ovaries still hurt, they really hurt this morning and I took a leftover T3 from when I broke my foot. It helped. Did laundry, took out trash, puttered around and ate leftover sushi. I’ve lost my metropass which SUCKS and I have no idea where it could have gone. I hope I find it tonight, I’m not going anywhere but it’s a kind of freedom I enjoy having.

I couldn’t get one of my piercings back in that the piercer said would be fine. So that sucks. BUT my most painful piercing that I didn’t want to go through again still has the retainer in it, so this week I’m going to go to a shop and get them to replace the jewelry in it. I’m tired of my earlobe piercings so I’m just leaving them out for a while. They’ve been pierced for years and years and will be fine without anything in them. My earrings in them were too 90’s for me anyway, they were kind of boring me.


So I just kind of left this and didn’t come back for a few days. It’s Tuesday now, I wrote the beginning of this on Sunday. I seem to have made some kind of emotional breakthrough I wasn’t expecting. I’ve been going through old diaries finding stuff I wrote about love and crushes and things for my performance I am doing next week. I’m gonna make a monologue out of it that I’ll record and play over the performance. Pretty interesting patterns….

I’ve realized that there were ways I behaved with exes that I’m ashamed of now. I specialized in rejecting the rejectors. Women would try to get close to me again after our breakups and I would just be SO DAMNED COLD! And at least one of those exes, like yeah she was awful no lie I’m glad that ended. But another of them I feel super bad about because what we did have WAS meaningful, and still is, and I’m still really fond of her. But fuck was I ever mean when she dumped me. She hurt me so I wanted to hurt her back and act like I didn’t have any feelings for her any more. And she called me on it because I had been talking about a long term future with her and suddenly I was like too cool to ever love her again. And I think it was some kind of self protective reflex, like I didn’t want to get hurt again, for one thing. But also I didn’t think they could ever respect me if they treated me like that and I let them get close again. Like I didn’t think they could honour my heart again after they broke it. And I sort of understand that mindset, like in theory it looks good, if someone hurts you you don’t let them in again. On the other hand we were really young and scared and I wish I had honoured my original feelings myself which was that I really loved her.

And she and I have gotten close again as friends, she is married and lives on the coast still and we won’t be girlfriends again. But sometimes I can tell there’s still echos of those intense feelings and I wonder if things could have been any different if I hadn’t let my pride get in the way.

I think also I’m just disappointed in seeing how this pattern would play out in my youth (cause almost all my relationships happened in my youth) where I would be SO IN LOVE and then just seethe with hate cause someone broke my heart again. And I think resenting someone as a way to get over them did not do good things for my soul. I was just miserable and bitter and hateful and it was not good. I wish I had been more willing to examine my own sadness and vulnerability in those moments instead of getting so resentful. I guess I felt like the alternative to hating someone was to admit I still loved them and that seemed really pitiful.

But sometimes women tried to get close to me again and now that I think on it I wish I had let them, instead of being a resentful miserable bitch about the whole thing. I think I understand more now about what fear of intimacy does to people, and how most of the time when I was getting dumped it was because I wanted something serious and was talking about love and they were fucking terrified. And I mean yeah, I guess that can be scary for people. But it kind of makes me ashamed to think that I was lashing out at people who were scared of being loved, and that they were coming back because they were rethinking it. I guess none of us were ready to be loved at those times in our lives. I thought I was ready to love someone, but I kept choosing people who couldn’t handle it.

Anyway, I’m trying to think about how to deal with those situations in a better way today. Like I don’t want to lash out in retaliation for having a broken heart again. It’s not great, it doesn’t feel good, and it doesn’t help my healing no matter how many angry revenge songs I listen to. I don’t even really think that’s me. I don’t want to stay stuck in love with people who don’t want it either though. There must be some kind of honourable middle ground though, some kind of ability to let go and not be a massive cow about it. Like why hate people I once loved? That feels really shitty. And I know people sort of think you’re setting yourself up to be walked on if you don’t get mean and cruel and push back. But I just don’t have it in me anymore.

It’s a lot to think about. But I think it might finally help me break some toxic relationship patterns I’ve been in for decades. I’m mostly friends with my exes. Some people don’t talk to me anymore though, and I am sad about that. I know people don’t have to stay in my life if they don’t want to though. And maybe it’s good they are out. I feel like this is finally the loose string that’s going to unravel the whole thing that is keeping me back from forming a serious romantic bond with someone again.

Egg Retrieval Day!

I’ve been resting all day, taking it easy. I had a couple of naps and ordered some sushi and yakitori. I had oatmeal for lunch but I was super nauseous still so I didn’t feel well.

Anyway, this morning my procedure was going to be at 7:30. I got there about 6:50, they said to come at 7 but I was super anxious and wanted lots of time. Then my doctor was late. I had the IV in already and was getting nervous like “OMG what if my eggs start ovulating before he gets here!” Anyway, they took me into the OR. It smelled like a sandwich in there, like the bun part of a sandwich. I don’t know what that was about. You actually can’t have any scented products on during egg retrieval because eggs and embryos don’t do well with fragrances. So anyway I get onto the table, and there are these like, modified stirrups that sort of hold the entire calf instead of just the foot. They show me an image of the dish my eggs are going in with my name on it and made sure that was me. And it was. And I am laying on this table worrying the doctor is never gonna come. Then they said he was changing and they injected the sedative, and then put the oxygen mask over my face. And then I was basically out and came to back in the armchair I had started in.

I was pretty out of it still, I woke up long enough to send an incomprehensible message to my friend Terri who was coming to bring me home. And then I passed out again. And then I woke up and someone came to check on me and said they were sending my friend in. I felt pretty dopey but also I was coming out of it pretty fast. I remember telling Terri “If it’s a boy he’s gonna eat so much when he is a teenager.” And then she told me about when she had two teenage boys living with her and how much she was spending on groceries every month and I was like oh god!

The nurse came by and told me they retrieved 13 eggs. Tomorrow they are gonna let me know how many were mature, which is the real number we are looking for. I hope most of them are. 13 is supposed to be a good number, because it’s high enough that it has better odds of a live birth, but low enough that there is still good egg quality, which apparently goes down when you get into the higher numbers. So I’m pleased with that. Also it’s interesting that my antral follicle count was 10 and we still got 13 eggs.

I’ve been googling and lurking on all kinds of IVF message boards trying to figure out what is normal. From what I can gather there are a lot of variances and no one is the same, which I mean of course. But like things can be wildly different even among other 40 year old women. So I really don’t know. I have my fingers crossed for the mature egg count tomorrow. I really want a good number.

If things work out I would do a second cycle to have more chances, but that’s really unknown right now. It definitely wouldn’t happen until early 2019. My hormones need to calm down. My ovary needs to get back to normal. It’s pretty crampy today but the tylenol helps. I’m on similar hormones right now to early pregnancy hormones because of the trigger shots. It will take a couple weeks to clear my system. So I’m needing some time, and to be easy on myself in case I get all moody and sad again. AGAIN! I don’t have to do any more shots though, which makes me relieved. Unless I go for another cycle. But for now, nothing! YAY! Just back to regular life.

I’ve been filming video off and on to try and make something arty out of all of this stuff. I dunno how it will go, I was going to talk last night on camera about my feelings about egg retrieval day. But I went out for a bit and when I came home I was so tired I just went to bed. I do have some footage of shots, and a couple earlier videos of me talking about my feelings. But nothing really recent, I don’t even know if I have anything about being all hormonal and hopped up on FSH and LH shots. It’s been a journey that’s for sure. And it’s nowhere near being over, especially since the real conception and attempts at making a baby won’t happen for at least another year. So for now there’s some eggs on ice somewhere, and me recovering from this incredibly strange thing.

I have a good feeling though. And I’m a little scared to have a good feeling. I know all kinds of shit could happen, I know there are a million variables and all sorts of things that could happen between now and baby time. It’s hard because I want to be hopeful but not delusional. I know 40 year olds don’t have the greatest egg quality. But you never know. And even tho this is such a long shot, it’s at least brought my chances of having a baby I am related to up from 0% to 35%. Which is an improvement. Maybe even a little higher than that. I don’t know what is gonna happen, it’s exciting and scary and weird and strange. And I’m still totally single and doing this myself. That could always change though, someone could always show themselves to be a good potential partner and co-parent. I notice the things I am looking for in a date have changed, they’ve gotten more serious. Someone sent me a message on OKC and I was gonna respond but then I read her answers and one of them was that she wasn’t looking for a partner to have kids with. And that was really all I needed to know to not message her back. It’s time to find someone to settle down with. I feel really anxious about it sometimes like that’s just not gonna happen. But at the same time there are lots of single moms I know. I dunno life is weird and I’m sure there are some curveballs coming my way. I just hope they are good ones.

Nonunion Sadness and Egg Happiness

The doctor says my fracture isn’t healing. In fact, it looks almost exactly the same as when I broke it originally. I’m super bummed about it, I have to keep wearing this boot for now. I’ve got a referral to the fracture clinic now. Hoping they can give me some better advice than I have gotten so far. Apparently this is a common fracture to have trouble knitting back together. I might have to have a pin in there. What a drag. I hope whatever happens we can resolve this by the time I go to Australia, because I’m not into going on a long overseas flight with a boot.

I kind of felt it wasn’t there though, sometimes I can feel it move around in a way it shouldn’t. I dunno.

I’m making tacos right now. I’m trying to console myself.

LATER (ha ha ok the next day actually. I forgot I was writing this)

I had my fertility appointment this morning where the doctor did the ultrasound this time. For the first time I could actually see what was going on with my right ovary and it has A LOT of follicles. Like, I kind of lost count, it was moving around anyway so I don’t think I could have counted accurately. But the doctor was pretty pleased and said we had a lot of eggs. The left ovary is sad tho and only has one follicle. ONE! But the right one has so many, the doctor said it was compensating. I don’t know how many eggs we are gonna get but I have a good feeling again.

Last night I got all depressed and weepy and wrote a bunch of sad things in my diary. It’s been 11 days of shots now, the mood swings are intense. I don’t like them. I’m looking forward to being off these drugs. And I have weird feelings in my ovaries, more pain in my left one than anything, not all the time just on occasion. The right one just did that interesting thing a few days ago where it felt like a fairy wand touched it or something. It was interesting. I read a paper that right ovary ovulations have a higher chance of resulting in pregnancy. It’s not like a HUGE difference, but they do notice a higher number. So that’s promising.

My situation is so complicated though because I can’t carry a pregnancy myself. For multiple reasons even if I could have, it wouldn’t have been a great idea anyway. So I still have to figure out the surrogate thing. But at least I have bought myself some time by freezing some eggs.

Stats for IVF are really like, contradictory. Some people only get four eggs and still end up with a baby, while others can get 20+ and still have trouble. I really wish I could do one more cycle just to improve my odds. On the other hand, I also went into this thinking I would only get a couple of eggs and still wanting to try just the one cycle to have SOME chance.

The other thing is under “normal” circumstances, I really don’t know about my fertility. I never had any semen in my vagina to even accidentally make a baby, and for sure never really TRIED on my own at any point to have a baby that way before getting my endometrial ablation. So I might have been perfectly fertile in normal circumstances anyway and I wouldn’t have known. Although I did have a higher level of prolactin, which probably affected my fertility. So who knows! My point is, maybe I am going to respond favourably, I seem to be anyway on the right ovary. And I won’t know about my egg quality until it’s time to fertilize them and try to get them to become healthy embryos.

My butt hurts. I’ve been getting intramuscular shots in it every day for eleven days. It’s sore. I hate laying on my sides where it is. When the dogs wiggle around by an injection site it really hurts. I’m so used to doing the injections and it looks like I just get to do my trigger shot in the middle of the night tomorrow and that will be my last injection. I’m almost disappointed ha ha. Like it was kind of a nice routine, mixing my shots every other morning when the nurse couldn’t do it. I feel way more confident when I do them now. When I first gave myself a shot my hand was so shaky and I was so nervous. Now it’s not bad at all.

I dunno, life is going, it’s going! That weird line between being hopeful and being realistic is still there and I’m still on it. I know I’m 40 and the fertility timeline gets pretty bad around now. But also seeing how many eggs I seem to have today has made me more hopeful again. I’m looking forward to hearing how many eggs we manage to get.

And I’m still talking about this fertility thing using the word “We” instead of “me” or “I” which is funny. I don’t know if that is because I am already thinking about a future with an unknown partner, or what. Maybe I just like feeling not so alone.