No Turkey-Basters Involved

In their latest step toward conception, writer Maggie Quale and her partner visit the bank (not Wells Fargo). After the insemination, there's nothing to do but think positive.

BY Maggie Quale

March 11 2008 12:00 AM ET

Last week I was
an egg-producing psychopath. Seriously, I knew my big
ovulating moment was fast approaching. I must have taken
three pee-tests each day to pinpoint the exact moment.
I was nuts. My eyes were spinning like a cartoon
character’s on crack. Thankfully, when I finally
thought I might spontaneously combust if I had to wait
another second I was blessed by two blue lines beaming
back from my First Response stick. Salvation, or
rather ovulation, at last.

It was time for a
sperm road trip. This was my first time visiting the
donor bank because, thanks to modern technology, Kim and I
conducted all of our research and registration via
phone and email. Fortunately the place was nothing
like I imagined a sperm bank might look. I found no
nervous, yet soon to be satisfied, males loitering in the
lobby. Nor any fundamental Christians parading past
the building with picket signs. I simply handed a
friendly front-desk person my credit card, signed away a
thousand bucks and home we headed with our ambiguously
packaged nitrogen tank and its frozen nectar.

Retrieving the
stuff was quick and painless; however, the inseminations
were another story. It’s ironic. Out of all the
things I’ve stressed over and contemplated the
past few months, the moral and philosophical dilemmas,
the family dynamics, finding the perfect match, and so on,
it never occurred to me that the procedure itself
might suck most of all.

Performing the
actual insemination was easy enough, especially since Kim
was in charge. Following the clinic’s instructions,
she thawed our specimen and was solely responsible for
helping our little swimmers find their way as quickly
as possible. The lab provided us a needless syringe,
kind of like a liquid medicine push-dispenser, which Kim
used to inject near my cervix. My job was to relax and
think hospitable thoughts for the next two hours as I
lay with my legs cranked in the air.

Fast forward to
the next morning. I awoke with bad cramps in my uterus.
At first it felt like a sharp pinch that just
wouldn’t go away. By the end of the day, when
we were scheduled to perform our second insemination,
it felt like someone had carved out my innards with an ice
pick. But we had purchased two samples, twice the luck, so
we had to repeat the performance that night.
Afterwards we said our best baby prayers all over
again, with Kim chanting, “Swim faster little fellas,
swim, swim” until we both fell asleep.

So the sperm
retrieval and injection missions were successful, but do you
know that those darn cramps lasted for three days straight?
After a couple concerned calls to my OBGYN, who
informed us that my experience was “not
entirely abnormal,” we’ve settled somewhat
anxiously into waiting mode. We plan to sit down with
my doctor to discuss what might have caused my
reaction and how we can prevent it in the future, if
necessary that is.

Kim is fully
confident that for us the first time will be a charm.
Personally I’m just tying to remain in the present
and not overanalyze every little pelvic twinge or mood
swing. Who knows? A couple weeks from now we may be
sharing Easter dinner with our families–two happy
dykes gobbling down grandma’s glazed ham with a
big secret. Or perhaps we’ll end up poolside at
the Dinah Shore weekender, trying to relax, regroup
and prepare to start the whole routine all over again.

Tags: Commentary

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