The title is a lie. The sperm itself wasn’t stolen, just the IUI. It’s been quite a day.
Sea is recovering from the flu, and this morning her hacking cough woke us up before the alarm did. As she coughed and I stared at the clock, we decided that attempting further sleep would be an exercise in futility and we might as well get up and go for an IUI instead.
We left our house smug, congratulating ourselves and each other for the early morning that, we assumed, would translate into arriving at Clinic One before the morning rush. Then, cutting through a park to get to the bus stop, we saw the man lying on the cement path– glasses broken and blood around his head. A woman stood over him, on the phone with the emergency dispatcher, but she was the only other person there. Of course we stopped to help. As I sat on the ground next to his head, rubbing the shoulder nearest me and encouraging him to stay still, Sea ran to the ambulance bay conveniently located about twenty feet away from where he had fallen. She came back minutes later, now on the phone with an emergency dispatcher herself. “But I can see the ambulances!”, she said, exasperated. “I’m at the park immediately behind Station #123… What do you mean what’s the nearest intersection?” Sea continued to go through the same questions that the dispatcher had just gone through with the other woman. I kept talking to the man on the ground, encouraging him not to move, still rubbing his shoulder. Finally, fifteen minutes after Sea’s call, an ambulance drove up to the edge of the park and two men in bright yellow jackets appeared. They simultaneously helped the man up and flirted with the woman who had been there when we arrived: “Are you okay sir? Oh, uh, that’s a nice coat, ma’am.” The woman smiled briefly at the compliment before kicking snow over the blood on the path and hurrying away, explaining that she was late for the first day of a new job. We followed behind her to the bus stop, not explaining what we were now late for.
We arrived at Clinic One almost at the end of cycle monitoring hours, stopping at the andrology lab first to request the thawing of our first vial of Lefty. As the nurse teaching me how to inject myself had said during our visit, “They won’t thaw the sperm until they’ve seen the whites of your eyes.”. As I signed the waiver, I pointed to a machine steaming in the background: “Is that the machine that thaws the sperm?” Sperm Thawer laughed and replied no, it was just a humidifier. Oh, okay then.
Having missed the early morning lull at Clinic One, Sea and I walked into a crowded waiting room. We sat watching other people being called for blood draws and ultrasounds, aware of how far down I was on both lists. The blood drawing miracle worker was on shift: I anxiously watched every time she came out to call another name, hoping that she would call mine. She didn’t, and the back of my hand suffered yet another puncture wound.
I was soothed from the injustice of my bloody bad luck (Ha, get it? Bloody!) by my ultrasound. Granted, the wait was long enough to prompt Sea to ask, “It still hasn’t happened?!”, but while I stood by the closed door of the ultrasound room I ran into a couple who I had met years ago in a gayby making info session of sorts. I couldn’t remember their names, but in the context of a fertility clinic still felt comfortable enough to compare sperm counts and procedures with them. They’ve been trying for about as long as we have, and together we marvelled over the fact that you could put 20 million sperm right up next to a just-ovulated egg and still not get pregnant. I was finally called in by the same sonographer who had performed Saturday’s ultrasound. The room was, clearly, the room where they do pregnancy ultrasounds. A screen was placed at eye level with the exam table, and I watched as my uterus and ovaries appeared, ghostly in black and white, on the screen.
After the ultrasound it was a long wait. Sea and I began to name the fish in the aquarium. We used my phone to read every website we could think of, twice. I began texting The Doctor. I had pulled out my knitting project and Sea was attempting to stifle a coughing fit when Dr. Text finally called us in for the IUI. He seemed pleased with the timing of the IUI which, compared to his usual confusion with my chart, was a nice change. As Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” played over the radio, Dr. Text reviewed Lefty’s sperm count with us. 18.9 million: a fine count that still managed to dash my dreams of Lefty being a much more virile donor than Mickey had been. Dr. Text performed the IUI as all three of us chatted about how our parents had shared, or not shared, our conception stories with us. Sea and I may or may not have high-fived at some point during this process.
Dr. Text left after the procedure and, a few minutes later, so did we. We didn’t just leave the room, we left the clinic. Without paying for the IUI, or picking up the additional progesterone suppositories Dr. Text had ordered. To be fair, our sperm-fueled equivalent of a dine and dash was entirely accidental. We were several blocks away from Clinic One when I turned to Sea and said, “Um, we forgot to pay.” We debated going back, but we were far enough away that an awkward return to the clinic we had just accidentally fled was too unappealing to contemplate. So we just kept walking. Tomorrow morning I’ll go back to Clinic One to pay and get more progesterone, but right now you are reading the blog of an IUI thieving fugitive. May that one day be the search term that lands somebody here.
The pregnancy test is on Sunday, March 2nd. I can only hope that Clinic One hasn’t issued a warrant for my arrest and put up my mugshot next to their liquor licence and collection of baby photos by then. Stay tuned.
Total Ultrasound Count: 28