Saturday, August 29, 2009

Artificial insemination 101

This baby-making business (the A.I way) is not for sissies, I tell you. On the one hand, it's hectically serious, but on the other it's given many light moments, although you have to have a sense of humour to get through - that's for sure.

I've been through five A.I's already in the past two months and am currently waiting to see if any of the latest ones 'have taken'. I should know in a week's time. And while that has its own challenges and anxieties (the waiting), it has been easier this month. Last month was insanely intense. I spend days psyching myself up for it and also trying to be positive that at the end of it, I would get a positive result on that blood test. Alas, it was not meant to be, but it's been one helluva ride.

I have to laugh at the very first A.I. I'd taken the day off work for the occasion, as it was set for around noon and I wanted to be in a relaxed state of mind for it - something work does not induce. I had butterflies in my stomach all morning and by late morning they'd become slightly entangled. I set off on my Tom Cruise-like Mission just after 11am. First stop, the hospital up the road where my go-to sperm guy is based. I was to pick up the package, insert between breasts, drive 15 minutes up the road to another hospital where the gynae is based. As I arrived, the gynae's secretary called to ask if I was on schedule, as the gynae had to get into an emergency C-section asap. 'When will you be here,' she enquired anxiously. My heart nearly leapt out of my throat at the news. Holy crap - no pressure, I thought. Being a little early, I buzzed on the intercom to the sperm guys office (little more than a broom closet at first glance) and was told he'd 'be there in a few minutes'. Damn. No luck getting the goods early then. A guy arrived outside the office, clearly on his own mission for a female partner - and he was seen before I was. He emerged minutes later with the plastic syringe that is supplied and an envelope (which I later learnt has the specs of the sperm on it: basically how alive the little buggers were) but no telltale signs of any test tube. I still wonder where he placed it to keep it at body temp!

Anyway, I had my own transaction to get through, and my turn finally came and it was a quick exchange. The first thing I noticed was that there was practically NO liquid in the test tube at all. I mean it was less than a teaspoon worth. I couldn't stop myself: "Is that all I get," I asked him. Yes - he replied, no doubt having heard this question before. The second thing that alarmed me slightly was the colour of the 'specimen' as it's politely called. Pink. I wondered if he knew that I was a gay woman! Nah, impossible, I thought. Ok, best I get this show on the road - what with some poor woman poised and ready to have a C-Section and waiting for me to be seen to first.

I gingerly placed the test tube - upright as instructed - down my bra, hoping I had enough to hold it together. I zipped up my jersey (even though it was quite sunny outside) so those in the waiting room area I'd have to pass on my way out wouldn't notice the bulge of the test tube through my T-shirt. All you think of course is how obvious it is that you are carrying a vial of sperm, pink nogal, down your top.

I finally arrived back at my car, took off the jersey because by now I was starting to sweat, and set off on the drive. I took a wrong turn and ended up having to make a longer detour to get onto the highway; then when I did I got stuck behind two massive trucks - meaning I was stuck in first gear for about a kilometre. I was starting to panic by this stage. Next obstacle was a traffic jam as a result of an accident. Once past that, cursing and trying to relax myself all in the same breath, I had a clear run and arrived at the gynae's where, ironically, I then sat waiting for 10 long minutes. All the while I was worrying that the little guys in the plastic vial weren't getting any younger and may be starting to wane.

Finally it was time. The actual A.I was quick and painless, but the speculum inserted so he could see what he was doing was too large and was very painful. Hoo boy - I didn't expect that. I tensed like hell and was told to relax. Not very easy as anyone who's had the good ole speculum inserted will know. Turns out the next time he used a smaller one and it was painless and quick!

I lay alone in the room afterwards for about 30 minutes. I would have liked longer but they insisted this was enough. Then I got into my car and drive home, where I relaxed for the afternoon, channeling baby thoughts. The experience was - in a word: INTENSE.

I only started to see the funny side to the day that evening when recounting the story to a friend on the phone. What a comedy of errors and it's no wonder that it didn't take that time.

Wish me luck as the waiting continues....

1 comment:

anne_brand said...

The universe is lucky to have someone who shares their experiences so openly, dear. I've had great fun reading your blog tonight. And you've given me lots to think about (as usual). Thank you... And good luck with your baby quest. I hope it comes easily and naturally (and via a small speculum ;)