The first time we tried insemination (“IUI”) was just after my birthday and right before Thanksgiving. Instead of Sam giving me a big ol’ expensive gift, he gave me a sperm sample. If life were perhaps like a David Lynch film, this might be considered romantic.
As is typical, I took 150 milligrams of Clomid for 5 consecutive days after getting my period. I’ve heard mixed reactions on how women have responded to Clomid. Some report no side effects, but others, like me, felt exactly like my 80-year-old Aunt Anna. I had hot flashes, I was nauseous, run down, my head ached and I was moody (or moodier than usual) and I was tempted to write angry letters to the NY Post.
Then, 3 days into taking the pills, I started having double vision at night. This is apparently another possible side effect. Every time I would turn my head, I would see a trail behind whatever objects I was looking at. My reaction to this new development was, “This is ok for a Phish concert, but not for my evenings at home.”
As I mentioned, this was our first time attempting an IUI and I should preface this next section by making it clear that we were anxious, a little over enthusiastic and new to this procedure. There. You’ve been warned.
My doctor gave me a specimen cup to give to my husband for the sperm collection part of the process. For reasons still unclear to us, our doctor wanted us to collect this priceless and vital component at home and not at his office. The trouble is we live approximately a half hour from the doctor’s office (give or take depending on traffic) and my husband was so nervous about having any delay between the time of emission and the time of insemination that he insisted we find a closer location.
On the day of my HCG shot, I stayed in my doctor’s neighborhood to scout locations near the office where Sam, my husband, could feasibly use a public bathroom. My mission was to find a place in walking distance to the doctor’s office, it had to have a private stall with a secure lock, and above all, it had to be discreet. I found two possible contenders: A pizza place and a Starbucks.
It was Saturday and time for the IUI. We arrived a half hour early and headed to the designated Starbucks. When I initially found this location, it was a Tuesday at a slow time of day. When we arrived on this day, it was a weekend at what seemed to be rush hour. The place was packed with caffeine seeking New Yorkers and that bathroom line was long.
Sam suddenly looked exceptionally nervous. Like most men, he had done this impending activity many times over the course of his life, but never in a public bathroom (or so he tells me). However, he was determined that this plan would give us the best chances possible so he waited on the line to the bathroom, letting people go in front of him and trying his best to remain calm and in the mood.
Finally, it was his turn for the bathroom and as far as I could see, no one was behind him. I decided to busy myself with a paper someone had left behind. I was so engrossed in distracting myself… that I somehow missed the homeless lady trying to break into the bathroom while Sam was in there doing his thing.
It was only after Sam came out of the bathroom (the cup firmly under his sweater and close to his body as the doctor recommended), that I found out about the bathroom obsessed bag lady. As Sam tells it, she was knocking the entire time and asking, “WHAT THE HELL IS TAKING SO LONG?!?! WHAT’CHOO DOIN’ IN THERE?!? HELLO?” This greatly challenged Sam’s imagination in terms of getting the job done but thankfully, he managed. So much for discreet.
As we walked to the doctor’s office, he complained non-stop about what he just had to endure. After listening to him for a full 5 minutes, I couldn’t help but think to myself, “That was very awkward for him and I appreciate that. However, I don’t think he realizes that I’ve been getting my blood taken every week, I’ve been taking pills that makes me see double and makes me feel like my 80-year-old Aunt, I’m overflowing with hormones, I’ve had more appointments than the most popular Plastic Surgeon in Beverly Hills, and in a few minutes, I’m going to be inseminated, then have to wait two weeks while I try and decipher whether or not I’m having PMS symptoms or pregnancy symptoms. The only thing he had to do was jerk off in a cup.” My compassion was waning.
Obviously, this first IUI was not successful and maybe that’s for the best. I don’t think I could bear the thought of our child being partly conceived in a public bathroom while a homeless woman tried to storm the place. Still, if we had been successful, we could have said, “A Starbucks was born and we named her Venti.”