IUI #1 (or #5, if you’re counting from 2012) happened last Wednesday, as the rest of the world focused on the PowerBall.
As I headed out into the snow that morning, it was impossible not to make comparisons to my last IUI, the one that resulted in Bingo.
Back then, Sea and I congratulated ourselves for getting out of the house so early, probably around 8am. This time, I was trudging through the snow at 6:40am, by myself. I had already been awake for two and a half hours, thanks to Bingo deciding that it was morning. I finally convinced her to go back to sleep, just as it became painfully obvious that it was time for me to get ready to go out into the cold. I’m not going to lie, I briefly thought, “If we skip this month, I could sleep for another two hours…”
Instead, I found clothes in the dark, hoping that my socks matched my shirt (they didn’t). I left Sea and Bingo to sleep, and I went to thaw one of the four vials of sperm that we had bought in 2013 when Lefty retired from his career as a sperm donor. Much like the sperm, the andrology lab had been frozen in time since my last visit, including the baseball player bobblehead. After signing a lot of paperwork and paying a lot of money, I left Lefty to warm up and headed across the hallway for my bloodwork and ultrasound. Both were quick, though unusually painful. Still much less painful than having a baby, I wincingly reminded myself as Diana tried to get the ultrasound wand out through my bellybutton. Much less.
Done with all of the poking, I was ready but Lefty wasn’t. I left the clinic, feeling like I was playing hooky, and went to get some breakfast. The ordering system used by the coffee shop, I noticed, was almost identical to the system used by the fertility clinic: a constantly updating screen of orders, numbers being called. Eggs being prepared too, I suppose.
Back at the fertility clinic, I sat reading and waiting for the other key players to show up: Sea, Dr Paul, and Lefty. Dr Paul showed up first, to tell me that Lefty was ready. I stalled, and Sea showed up five minutes later after a morning of toddler-wrangling. She was carrying a plastic bag with my lunch and a bottle of holy water, both of which I had forgotten on my way out. (“BRING HOLY WATER!!” I had texted Sea frantically, as I waited for the ultrasound. It worked last time, after all.) Facing the fishtank, I took a sip of the water before we headed into the clinic room.
Dr Paul showed us in, then left to get ready. We settled in quickly: Sea in the chair next to the exam table, me in the stirrups. Over the speakers, the radio played static-filled light rock. We wondered what would be playing this time: Bingo having been conceived to Call Me Maybe. Dr Paul came back in, knocking at the little door in the clinic room wall.
“Two pepperonis!”, he joked with the lab technicians hiding behind. Laughter, from people I couldn’t see from my position in the stirrups. Then Lefty entered the room, looking much like he had in 2013: a vial. A vial that contained 12.something million sperm we were told, a number that made us worry (previously, all vials had been 18 million +). Dr Paul reassured us that it only took one sperm then got to work, telling me that my secretions looked perfect (Oh doctor, don’t make me blush.), and IUI #2/#5 happened to the tune of tune of Rudimental’s “Lay It All On Me”.
So now we’re waiting. A wait that is, so far, infinitely calmer than any I remember from 2012/2013. I’m not Googling, obsessing over every twinge, or checking my breasts 1000 times a day to see if they’re sore. I’m not thinking about my uterus at every hour of every day: in fact, I keep forgetting. So far in this two week wait, I’ve scooped cat litter, lifted a lot of heavy things (not the least of which is a toddler), and eaten raw cookie dough. Somewhere inside, my obsessive 2013 self is cringing, but honestly? I much prefer it this way.
Total Ultrasound Count: 5