Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Testing begins.

It’s amazing how familiar I have become with my cycle! Testing for fertility is much like testing for pregnancy, in that you pee on a stick and wait. It’s vast difference, however, is that it doesn’t really precipitate any celebration. When you get a positive result on a pregnancy test, you have a baby to get excited about. Testing positive on a fertility test just means your body hasn’t malfunctioned. Anyway, I was staying at my sisters at the first day of fertility testing. I wake up in the morning and go to pee (which is standard operating procedure anyway). However, my sister is already in the bathroom, so it becomes a group activity. (I am fairly certain that I informed all of you that I was raised by hippies, so no freaking out that I peed with my sister standing there!!!) I then go let Shadow (the dog) out. This is the only time he’s better at holding it than me! When I come back, the requisite 3 minutes have passed and I brace myself for either a blank circle or a smiley face. Being that it was the first day of testing, I should have expected the blank circle, but I will admit I was disappointed. I stayed at my sisters again that night, repeating this process the next morning.

As an aside, my brother-in-law travels for work, so frequently I will stay at my sisters to help with the kids when he is out of town.

The third morning, I am in my own house, and have gotten used to the blank smiley face. So pee on the stick and go to let Shadow out, not really expecting much except for the long day at work I know is ahead of me. When I return to the bathroom, I take a cursory glance at the “stick” as I’m getting ready to get in the shower. There is this little smiley face just looking at me. I was surprised at the surge of joy that overtook me. I started to smile, and looked around for someone to celebrate with. Shadow is the only one there, and he’s already back in bed, which is his normal pattern for the morning. I think that’s when the sadness creeps in a bit. Despite my fierce independence and rigid stance about my ability to do this on my own, there is sadness that I don’t have a partner to share this experience with. It doesn’t last long, however, as I’m very good at compartmentalizing my emotions. I then realize that I don’t really have anything tangible to celebrate. When you have a positive pregnancy test, you get to make announcements and make plans. What am I supposed to announce??? Oh well, I choose to be excited. I grin throughout my shower.

Insemination Day:

The anticipation is strange. I wake up in the morning with this odd mix of excitement, fear, joy, apprehension, probably the spectrum of human emotions. Thankfully, I have an extremely busy morning at work training, knowing that I have to leave the minute it’s over. My coworkers are aware of this process and feed into the nervous excitement. I can’t even imagine what the trainees thought was wrong with me. I’m giggly (which I’m normally not at all!), fidgety, and am checking the clock every 15 minutes. Finally, it’s time to go and tell my boss I’m leaving. She gets this enormous grin on her face and says “I feel like I should give you oysters or chocolate or something!” I tease back…”Could you just call me baby and tell me I’m hot?” We both laugh and I go to get my stuff to leave for the clinic. It’s only a 10 minute drive, but it feels like it takes hours. My stomach is flip-flopping and I feel like I’m floating. I have no idea what to expect! I doubt it will create the same emotions the second time (if there is a second time).

I arrive at the clinic, where I have been instructed to check in with the andrology lab. This is where they store the frozen specimen. It strikes me as quite funny that we use all kinds of slang terms until we get to a dr’s office. She tells me that she needs to unthaw my specimen, which will take 10-15 minutes, gives me some paperwork and sends me upstairs, where I am to pay for the procedure. The financial representative is in a room smaller than most closets and his demeanor reflects it, so there is little conversation beyond telling me the total and asking me the check number. He then hands me a receipt and I tell him thank you. Funny how politeness is so ingrained in me! This transaction was much like paying a parking ticket and served to dampen my mood for a couple minutes, but I choose not to focus on his bitterness as I walk back down to the lab. I then sit in a large, open waiting room as I had been instructed, looking around to see if every person in the room knows why I’m there. I feel like I’m 16 and have gotten caught having sex in my parents bed! (This never actually happened, but it’s what I imagine I would feel like.) She then calls my name and I go down a hallway back to the lab, where there aren’t any observers. She hands me a tiny vial wrapped in brown paper (how funny is that!!!), tells me to keep in warm and upright. She checks my ID, confirms my donor number, has me sign that I have received my specimen and tells me good luck. I now have to walk back out the lobby elevators and go back up to the Ob/Gyn floor. I am acutely aware during the entire elevator ride that I am carrying sperm. And I can’t stop smiling! I’m a dork. Have I mentioned this before? I wonder what my fellow elevator inhabitants were thinking.

I check in at the reception desk and wait some more, all the while cupping my vial of sperm in my hand like my life depends on it. You would be surprised at the number of things that run through your mind. Am I making it too hot, not hot enough, what if I tip it, or drop it? It’s sperm and I’m treating it like a newborn. The nurse comes out and tells me to come back……

I have to run to a mtg, so I will finish this with a new blog post.

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