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Turkey-Basters Involved

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.

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.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff & Wayne Brady

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Maggie Quale