I never had any contact with semen before December 27, 2015. Not once.
I’m 29 years old and happily married (to a woman, if you haven’t guessed). I feel like my wife and I have been on our TTC (trying to conceive) journey for the whole seven years we’ve been together, but we technically just started a few weeks ago.
I have been educating myself about fertility for years and now that my wife, Dory, has finished med school and has a job, the time is finally right.
When we got married in 2011 we had some serious baby fever. We’re both pretty sure that if we were an opposite-sex couple we’d have a 4-year-old right now, but artificial insemination doesn’t exactly lend itself to getting caught up in the excitement and romance of the moment. If we were physically able to give in to the urge to make babies without a ton of appointments and financial investment and prep work, we probably would have.
Seven years has been a long time to wait but when we decided in November to start trying it seemed like rushing it. We were both so nervous and almost backed out. “Do we really want to have kids? Maybe let’s just not… This is so scary already.” But the closer insemination day got, the more excited and confident I felt. I was so relieved to have my gut telling me to go forward.
We are using a friend as a known donor (that’s a whole other post!) so the sperm is free. Because of that luxury, we inseminated four days in a row leading up to my ovulation. The tracking was stressful. I worked around the fertility apps asking if I “had sex” and didn’t actually track when my wife and I got it on for our own enjoyment but the times when she used a Amazon-bought syringe of fresh semen on me. The insemination itself was surreal. I was totally consumed with LH levels and Google.
As many of you know, the two-week wait is The. Worst. I can’t put into words the experience. Dory and I decided to go with the assumption that it had worked, since I had to act like I was pregnant anyway by not drinking and all of that. We got caught up in it — she talked to my belly three days post-ovulation to a hypothetical microscopic cluster of cells. She waited on me and we dreamed about the future. I was totally consumed with hCG levels and Google. I will admit I even started a baby registry.
After obsessively testing for days, unfazed by negatives because it was too early, I became sure I was pregnant when I had some spotting. It had to be implantation bleeding. It just had to. But a few days later I got my period.
I cried and ate chocolate. I took a day to mourn the pregnancy that (probably) never was. Dory had always told me when I worried about infertility over the years that she was sure it was going to work on the first time. Over the last two weeks I had finally allowed myself to believe her. So many lesbian moms in the Facebook group I was constantly in had gotten pregnant on the first try. I had done everything right. I knew that most of the time it doesn’t happen even if you get the timing right, but I wanted to be optimistic.
It’s a few days later and I’m ordering the supplies for another round of trying. It could take this month, it could take a year, it could never happen. We have no clue. I wanted so badly never to have to go through that two-week wait again. I couldn’t imagine having to do it again. Every minute passed as slowly as a river of molasses. Stopping thinking about whether I was pregnant or not was as hard to do as…getting out of a river of molasses.
After being a years-long observer of fertility/infertility forums, I finally understand what it’s like to start living your life in 2-week chunks… and it sucks. But it feels so much better to finally be in it instead of waiting for it to start. We’re really doing it! And I know in a much more sure way than ever before that I really, really want it.