In Fertility… Chapter Eight, Part One: Round Three

[NOTE: This piece includes mature content and may not be suitable for some readers. You have been warned.]

The time has come for us to learn the results of my sperm test, so we head down to Dr. VaJayjay’s office. He sits us down and proceeds to explain much more about sperm than I ever really wanted to know. I’m 37 years old but don’t really feel that much more comfortable now than I did when I first learned about sperm in grade school. The Doc even has visual aids: pictures of little spermy tails with two heads; pictures of little spermy heads with two tails; pictures of little spermy tails with giant heads. All kinds of strange-looking, but apparently fairly common abnormalities. Up to this point, I’ve imagined my sperm as being little Michael Phelpses complete with Speedo LZR Racer suits, but now I find myself conjuring things much more out of the Island of Dr. Moreau.

Finally, he tells me that everything looks okay with my swim team (this really seems like the thing he should have said first, but maybe it’s payback for all the torturing we’ve done to my wife). There are plenty of them, he says, most of them look like they’re supposed to and their stamina appears to be good. The only problem is that my numbers for something called progressive motility are a little low. From what I understand, this means my guys have a tendency to swim in circles, which seems somewhat appropriate, given that I often feel like I am too. Because of this issue, though, we’re going to take things up a notch. It’s time for AI.

At first, I get very excited, because, really, who doesn’t want to have a little artificial intelligence added to the mix (and there are many who would say that I need it). I have visions of tiny little micro-bots attaching onto my sperm and carrying them directly to the egg. Me being me, though, this fantasy quickly devolves into one where my wife has passionate sex with a super-studly iMan, while I stand in a corner and take notes. It is therefore with a combination of relief and disappointment that I learn that, in fact, AI stands for Artificial Insemination.

We are brought into the ultrasound room to check on the state of things. The iPhallus gets to work and I watch the screen. I realize I’m getting kind of good at figuring out what I’m looking for in the shadowy mess that is my wife’s (ultrasonic) insides. I now know which shadows the tech is looking for and can regularly recognize the round dark splotches that she seems most interested in. They’re called follicles (though, oddly, they have nothing to do with hair), and we’re told there are enough of them at the right size for us to do AI in a couple of days.

With everything recorded, we head back to see Dr. VaJayjay, who says he wants to take another, more direct, look at my wife. I’m still a little put off by this, simply as a matter of principle, but decide I’m going to man up about it and not let it get to me. We get her settled on the table, get her legs placed in the stirrups (yee-haw!) and Dr. VaJayjay takes his place squarely in between. He grabs a speculum, lubes it up a bit, and casually moves in. I, meanwhile, proceed to make what might possibly be the stupidest decision of this entire process.

I decide to be such a man… that I watch.

Now I’m not a religious person, but I’ve come to believe that there are certain things in life that I am just not meant to understand – or to see. This was definitely one of those things. It was like having the curtain pulled back to show the wizard behind. Except it’s not the friendly wizard from the story. No, this wizard reaches up and rips off his face, revealing an angry alien space-lizard underneath, frothing at the mouth and hungry for raw Dean. The Wonder-Place-Where-The-Magic-Happens looses a bit more of its luster.

I guess I black out a little bit, because I’m brought back to reality by the snap of Dr. VaJayjay’s latex gloves coming off. “Everything looks good,” he says. He tells us to come back in two days with a, ahem, collection for insemination. Oooooh! It’s sex without the fun. I imagine this is what it’s supposed to be like for Catholics.

We head out to the nurse’s station, where we’re supposed to get the prescription for our ovu-boost shot. It is to be self-administered at home, and my wife informs me that she would like me to do the shooting, which is not just a little weird. I ask how it’s done and one of the group says “I’m the expert – I’ll show you.” She proceeds towards a room down the hall and I dutifully follow. When we reach the door, however, she suddenly stops, turns and stares at me. “What are you doing?” “I’m, uh, following you.” “Why?” I turn to my wife only to discover that she is not behind me as I thought, but is still down the hall at the nurse’s station, watching me like I’ve lost my ever-loving mind. I turn back to the woman I was following, whom, it is now painfully obvious, is simply another patient. And, of course, it is only then that I realize the door we had just reached was, yes, the bathroom. “I… Uh… I thought you were going to show me how to do it. The shot, I mean.” I can see in her eyes she is contemplating legal action, but she just smiles politely and continues into the bathroom. I don’t follow.

Instead, I sheepishly head back to the nurse’s station, where my wife asks, “What were you doing?!” “She said she was the expert,” I reply. With a deep sigh, my wife turns back to the nurses who trade friendly, What-are-you-going-to-do? looks and hand her the prescription. We get quick instruction on how to do the injection and head out. As my wife settles us up with the front desk, I hang out in a corner feeling foolish. A door opens behind me and I realize it’s the bathroom, and that the person exiting is, of course, the “expert.” Perfect. From her perspective, I’ve just been waiting here the whole time.

Up Next… Shots and Loads

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