Monday, October 27, 2008

Mommy, Where Did I Come From?


My husband had surgery for prostate cancer last year. I don't know if you know this (I didn't), but prostate surgery renders you sterile. As in, you can't have kids. Up until then, he'd never wanted kids, but faced with the knowledge he'd never be able to have them, he changed his mind. 

So we started trying. And lo and behold, I got pregnant just a few weeks before his surgery was scheduled. 

That was then. Now that we have Snookums, we've decided she should have a sister or brother. And we wanted to do it right away -- before we thought about it too much, as Snookums' dad put it -- so the other day I found myself in the doctor's office awaiting IUI. 

IUI is the new name for artificial insemination. (Sort of like ADHD is the new hyperactive, Latino is the new Hispanic, etc.) Here's how it works: I injected myself with Repronex for six days, then gave myself a shot of hCG, the hormone that causes ovulation, the night before I went in for IUI. (Note: You don't have to take fertility drugs to have IUI, but given my age and the fact that we only have a limited number of sperm samples banked, my doctor thought it was best.) 

On the morning of my IUI appointment, I arose, cursing, at 5:30 a.m., in time for my 7:30 appointment. Out on the street, I marveled at how many people were on their way to work -- already there were hardly any seats on the bus. On the way, I listened to a subliminal recording on my iPod. 

At the doctor's office, I waited in a tiny room while he defrosted my husband's sperm samples (which had arrived in some sort of liquid nitrogen tank). The procedure itself was clinical and totally painless. It's basically like getting a Pap smear -- he opened me up with a speculum and squirted the sperm inside me with a syringe. 

Couldn't he at least have played some Barry White?  

1 comment:

goody2shoes said...

The pictures accompanying your blog are great, Joan! They always make me chuckle. I didn't know how the process formerly known as artificial insemination worked, interesting...one woman I talked to told me about administering the sperm (this was from a donor) herself. Don't know how accurate her info was though. SO thanks for sharing, and Good luck with Snookums part 2!