Behind the Scenes of Donor Insemination
What goes through your mind before and after the Doc says “please spread your legs”
The idea of making a baby… well I did not imagine it would involve an uncomfortably short bed, clinical white walls, a syringe full of sperm, gloves, and the smell of disinfectant. But here I am.
I have had years of indecision about going it alone and becoming a solo mum. I have been about 70 percent sure for the past few years. Usually I am a confident decision maker, and whatever big life decision that needs to be made, I don’t overthink it. I make the call, and then do everything I can to make sure it was the right one. Life is too short for uncertainty and to look backwards. Not this time.
I’ve been frozen for years. But 70 percent sure I want to give it a go is more than 50 percent sure I don’t, and I’ve thought it through at every possible angle. I’m almost on the wrong side of 40 so I figure... it’s time. I will never find certainty. I know if it works I will love my baby more than life itself. And if it doesn’t I’ll probably have an enormous mid-life crisis that will keep me occupied for at least the next five years.
The Doc tells me to spread my legs, and I grit my teeth as the clamps come out, and a lovely nurse smiles at me with sympathy. I look up the white roof as he goes to work. 30 seconds later and it’s over. Yep. All of 30 seconds. I wanted something more. Maybe some music, mood lighting… I doubt a cuddle from the Doc is something I can request. Celebratory shot of Tequila? Umm no. Not as I try to conceive a human…
I thought I would feel huge waves of emotion as those swimmers could be finding my egg. I feel completely normal like this is something I do everyday. What is wrong with me? I start to giggle. And when the doctor and nurse leave the room, telling me to stay there for the next 10 minutes the giggle turns into an uncontrollable laughing fit. I laugh at the absurdity of where I am in my life, and how my brain is NOT TAKING THIS SERIOUSLY ENOUGH. Maybe it can’t compute.
I hope my laughter doesn’t push the swimmers backwards. I imagine my perfect American sperm swimmers fighting a tsunami wave of my giggles on their adventure to find my egg. I picture some of them surfing my giggle waves with Kelly Slater finesse, and others falling off and getting dumped in the whitewash. I wonder if the sperms are holding hands as they fight my laughter together. My imagination needs a calm me down coffee. Oh that’s right… I’m off that, alongside Tequila.
10 minutes is up and it's time to leave. I put my jeans back on, and wander out back to my life and wait. And wait. And wait. Two weeks is a long time, and peeing on a stick over and over is the final straw in what has now become a comedy of my life. I have never thought of how ridiculous it is that thousands of women all over the world are aiming their wee on sticks every day, whilst holding their breath and pacing with anxiety for a heart-thumping three minutes.
As I wait the three minutes for my result for the tenth time, I know I’m not pregnant... the nine other tests had told me so. Regardless of only having one line on the wee stick I’m glad I was brave enough to spread em.