Grooooooooow babies!!

How 2 men + 2 women - sex + science = 2 babies!!

This is the funny, heart-warming, tearful, inspiring, and shocking truth about my journey to have a child.

How a man, another man, a woman, another woman, a couple lawyers, a few doctors, a psychologist, a couple social workers and some agencies make a baby.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Warning: Adult Content (Part 2)

A few days ago I got my results from the genetic testing. It was very good news. The donor and I were screened as carriers for a number of diseases and we both came back negative for every disease. There are diseases that I knew - like Tay-Sachs and Usher Syndrome - and diseases that I had never heard of - like Cartilage-Hair Hypoplasia, Hyperornitheinemia-Hyperammonemia-Homocitrullinuri Syndrome, and, my favorite, Maple Syrup Urine disease in which (I looked this up) your urine does smell like maple syrup because your body can't digest certain proteins.

Today, Tuesday July 13th, was my appointment at the fertility clinic to freeze my sperm. I was hopeful that the room would be a little better than the first time I had to "make my deposit." Let's go through my experience together, shall we?

I went to the clinic at 8 a.m. and the main door had a sign on it saying to go in a side door. There was construction in and around the office. So I go through a side door and the office was under construction and looked like a small war zone. I went around some corner and through a hall and the waiting room was in a tiny hallway where people waiting had to pull in their knees to let someone walk by. It was a little ghetto. I checked in and a nice woman gives me a form to fill out that asks me things like "have you shared needles with anyone recently?" or "have you had Mad Cow disease in the last 30 days?" I'm a vegetarian so that's definitely a "no."

After waiting a few minutes I get called to give a urine sample first. Easy. Then it's time for my blood draw. Now one thing you have to understand is that my veins are the easiest things to find. I don't think anyone has ever missed my vein on the first try. I'm pale and thin and wiry. I'm a nursing student's dream.

This nurse was frenetically looking in every cabinet for something but I'm not sure what. She seems new. She runs out of the "room" (it was like an alcove between the waiting room and the front desk and had no walls) and asks someone where something is located. She comes back into the "room" and opens the one cabinet she didn't open before and breathes a sigh of relief.

Again...I'm not panicking that she's new and freaking out because I know every nurse can find my vein!

The nurse wraps my arm with a tourniquet and hands me a large sperm to squeeze. Yes, you read that right. You know those squishy stress balls people use? Well, this was a white, squishy ball with a squiggly tail coming off of it. It was a sperm squishy ball. I wanted to take a picture of it because I didn't think anyone would believe me. If you don't believe me just Google "sperm stress ball" and you will find it.

So now that I'm squeezing Mr. Spermy my veins are popping out of my arm. No way she can miss because, once again, every nurse can find my vein!

The nurse pokes me with a needle and gets one vial of blood. So far so good. She switches the vial and no blood is coming out. Now she starts to panic by jiggling the needle around inside my arm. Hmmm...not pleasant. She decides to push and pull the needle back and forth inside my vein to try to get the blood to flow. Now we've moved beyond "not pleasant" to "my arm is feeling flush and has an inexplicable sensation." She calls another nurse over.

The second nurse pulls the needle out of my arm and wraps it in more tape than Ecuador uses in an entire year. I guess she thinks that 1 mm needle can sometimes cause a gusher so the pin hole needs to be wrapped up extra tightly. The second nurse then finishes up the job and gets blood from my other arm.

Now the fun part. It's time for the sperm donation. And this is the real one, not the practice one like a few months ago. I'm in a different office and I have high hopes for the room and the cup.

A man leads me into the room. (At least it wasn't a grandma handing me a cup this time.) There is good news and there is bad news. The good news is that at least this room is a little more spacious and the reclining chair can actually recline. It doesn't hit the wall like the other one did so I don't have to do this sitting up. The bad news is that there is no video or DVD player, just a rack of magazines with a sign that says "Do not remove magazines from husband room." And no magazines for me. I was at least looking forward to seeing some good movie titles like "Lord of the G-Strings", "Throbbin' Hood (Prince of Beaves)" or something sweet and romantic like "Sperms of Endearment." But I got nothin'.

I look at the cup and I swear it was smaller than the last one. Seriously people??? C'mon! I need a bigger target. These are not the easiest things to control!

Without going into the dirty details, I gave my specimen. I waited around for about 15 minutes so I could know the count. If the count is low I'd have to come back for more fun in the Husband Room and more small cups. The technician said I have about 60 million sperm which puts me in the 80th percentile. (Insert manly snort here.) The count is good but the real test is tomorrow. The lab will freeze my sperm tonight and thaw them tomorrow and see how they do. If they stay strong I might not have to go back at all. If they degrade it would be good to make one or two more donations to ensure I have plenty of strong swimmers.

It's almost midnight. I'm heading to bed. I might have a bad dream about cold sperm chasing me around a tiny cup.

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