Thursday, 9 May 2013
Present and Accounted for...
"Do you want me to come with you?" asked Husband on the night before our first IUI. I paused a second before answering. Of course I wanted him to be there. I know this isn't the "natural" method of procreation, but it still felt logical that we both should be present for the moment of possible conception. However, I wanted to know how he felt about being there. "It's up to you." I told him. That morning I wasn't sure if he was going to be present for the procedure until he texted me from a Starbucks after the emission was accomplished to report that he was getting a coffee whilst he waited.
A few days after the insemination, we were invited over for dinner at one of Husband's hockey friends. It was an uncomfortable evening for me, as I don't know him nor his wife that well and I couldn't drink as I had a swim meet the next morning (oh, and could possibly be implanting at that moment). Meanwhile, Husband enjoyed a few beers, and naturally I was the designated driver. Once we were in the car, Husband revealed that many years ago his friend engaged in extramarital relations, but he and his wife managed to restore their marriage. "Now, I would never cheat on you..." he garbled, "but if I did, I wouldn't expect you to forgive me..." We were stopped at a traffic light, so I looked over at the drunk boy in the passenger seat. Not that I didn't have full faith in his fidelity, but the possibility of him having an affair just seemed like an unlikely scenario. The light changed and I shifted the gearstick into first position. "Well, technically, you've had sex with [my RE]" he informed me. My foot struggled to find the biting point and I nearly stalled as I proceeded through the intersection.
Many, many years ago, I did in fact sleep with someone who shares a lot of similar physical features with my RE. It's an observation I have never shared with Husband as I didn't feel it was relevant, and I've worked really hard to repress that memory. Anyone who has been through an IUI or embryo transfer acknowledges that there is nothing remotely titillating about this situation. It tallies one more aspect to the list of fertile resentment. Not only is their process natural, free, discreet and intimate; it hopefully is sexually satisfying and yields an orgasm or few. In addition to the socially awkward nature of the clinical setting, some women find the IUI or ET procedure physically uncomfortable.
I replied that technically, it's not really cheating, since we're using his sperm. I know he was only making a joke, but I'm keenly aware that Husband often uses humour as his primary defense mechanism. I have never asked him what he really feels about being an obsolete observer in this process and that his actual presence is in fact optional?
I've heard that some RE's will invite the partner to push the syringe and thus feel more responsible for the possible impregnation. Mine has never offered, but I suspect Husband would find it far too nerve-wracking and would decline. Co-worker's RE took it to a whole new level. As her Husband is an orthopaedic Physician Assistant, her RE commented "You've had some ob/gyn training, I'll talk you through it and you can do the entire procedure" as he handed over the speculum. "NO!" exclaimed Co-worker. "This" she said motioning her hand toward her VG "is to remain sexy for him. It is not part of his clinical experience." She later shared that her husband only attended the first IUI as it happened to occur on his day off . He was unavailable for their second, so her mother accompanied. On the third and successful attempt, she went by herself as she described the procedure to be as routine as having a Pap smear.
Well, here's the TMI for our IUI #2. My left ovary decided to be an active participant this time and boasted the dominant follicle at 21 mm, as well as a 15 mm companion. Not just along for the ride, my right ovary also produced two follicles at 15 and 13 mm respectively. My endometrial lining recorded it's thickest measurement at 11.2 mm. Fortunately, Husband had his best sperm day ever. His pre-wash total count was 27 million with 66% motility and we ended up with 8 million for the insemination. A bit immature, we high fived in celebration. When my RE had finished, I looked over at Husband and asked,
"Was it good for you?"