Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Time For The Prince's Quest...



WARNING:  THIS PARTICULAR POST HAS LOTS OF DISCUSSION REGARDING THE MALE PORTION OF THE FERTILITY EQUATION, SO IF YOU ARE SPERMAPHOBIC, I WON’T BE OFFENDED IF YOU SKIP THIS ONE.

We FINALLY have our retrieval day scheduled!  The donor has 15-18 follicles that will be ready for retrieval tomorrow (Thursday).  I’ve developed a peace with the fact that the follicle numbers aren’t what I had hoped for…and I’ve immediately replaced my new-found peace with a new-found worry - can The Prince complete tomorrow's quest on his own?

The Prince’s “contribution” needs to be at the fertility clinic at 7:30 a.m. tomorrow.  Only, The Prince has to bring his sample in, as he can’t collect at the fertility center.  I’m sympathetic.  He has “performance anxiety” around me when under pressure, so I can see how being in a strange room, in a fertility center, knowing that hundreds of men use that room for only one purpose, could ruin the mood. 

The Prince and I (and our fertility team here at home) are used to our “home collection system.”  He makes love to a clean catch cup, and then I keep it warm from the time of collection to the time it gets to the clinic.  It can’t be jostled, and (most importantly) you have 15 minutes from collection to when it needs to be at the center.  The Prince will never take it to the center himself, as he gets embarrassed (which he promises won't be an issue tomorrow).  So, I end up taking it in for him (handing over a little cup of sperm is about the least embarrassing thing I go through each cycle).  I can’t tell you how many trips I’ve made to our fertility clinic (which is a little over 15 minutes away if driving at the speed limit), with a cup of swimmers tucked in my cleavage (the ultimate incubator), thinking about how I would explain the situation to a police officer if I were pulled over for speeding.

The plan was originally for The Prince and me to leave at 9:00 p.m. tonight, after he returned from teaching his night lecture, to embark on the two and a half hour drive to the hotel near the fertility center.  I was really hurt when he suggested that I sit out this trip and that he just go alone.  I already feel so removed from this situation.  I need to feel like I’m a part of the conception process to the extent possible.  But it has occurred to me that: (A) it makes no sense for me to spend 5 of 11 hours in a car, getting only a little sleep and missing a half day of work….which is what will happen if I go, and (B) my presence in the hotel room will likely have the same effect on The Prince as using the room at the fertility clinic.  The truth is, fertility treatments have taken a toll on our sex life that I just couldn’t have seen coming (bad choice of words, I know).  Even with the help of Viagara, The Prince equates sex with our unsuccessful baby-making efforts and the pressure is too much for him, so he doesn’t even want to try.  

I’m sad that The Prince will be taking on tomorrow's quest on his own, but I'm also nervous.  As I’m sure we’ve all been told the ideal is that our partners will have “exercised the demons” no more than 7 days before retrieval and no less than 4 days before retrieval.  I know that I haven’t been performing any exorcisms with The Prince during this time, so I have to hope that he’s been doing a solo act.  Only…I can’t ask because he specifically asked me not to.  Apparently, I make things much worse on him by micromanaging his physical end of things (who, me?).  I get it…I just also know that if I asked him today what the proper window was, he would have no clue.  He can’t be trusted to get this stuff right, as awful as that is to say.  It’s not his fault…it’s just who he is…details are my things not his.  But combine the need to be detail-oriented to the concept of masturbation, and you are asking for disaster.  So…The Prince's mastrubation timeframe is yet another thing I am just going to have to accept as being out of my hands (Dear God, will the awful puns never end?).

The Prince has another task tomorrow, too… a gesture that is SO important to me.  He needs to bring the donor’s gift, card and letter with him to the clinic.  I am terrified that The Prince is going to come back with that stuff sitting in his car, right where I will have packed it for him (so he doesn’t smoosh it into his suitcase).  My plan is to call him at 7:35, when “his deed” should be done (God forbid that I interrupt that…seriously) but he won’t be far away from the clinic, so he can turn around the car and bring the gift back to the clinic if necessary.  When I explained his task to him he said “What?  Do you think I’m incompetent?”  I said that I did not “but…” and then I listed off about six situations in the last month where he has forgotten to do something important and I had to call, or make an extra trip somewhere, to fix his oversight.  I hate to be a mother hen, and I try to pick my battles, but the truth is, I feel like pinching his cheeks and saying “My little man is headed into battle…good for you…,” as I pin a reminder note on his shirt.

I am just going to visualize all of this going smoothly…or me writing an update to you tomorrow about how amazing The Prince did and how my fears were baseless.  I am trying to have faith that when he really needs to, my prince can rise to the occasion (UGH!  It happened again…I'm stopping this post before it gets any worse).


6 comments:

Kat said...

Whoa! Talk about high pressure. I really feel for you worrying about it. I tell my husband to 'perform maintenance' on himself more or less the correct number of days before. He was telling me that he was so embarrassed about doing it at the clinic that he had to turn the porn volume right down, in case the nurses at the reception could hear it.

Loss of sex life is something that I haven't read much about in the IF blogosphere, though I'm sure many people have problems. Our problem is that we were so terrified of having another ectopic that we kind of stopped having sex. We started using condoms, neither of us really liked it, so we just kind of stopped. At thr moment, with the IUI cycles, there seems to be only a very small window when it doesn't clash with anything, tho this time I'm not going to abstain during the 2ww.

I really feel for your prince, and you, and I hope that things can go back to normal, more or less, when you get your bfp.

My New Normal said...

There's nothing less romatic or sexy than going through infertility. We become sex drill seargants, do it here, do it today, do it now. My hubby hates it. Although he has no problems providing his "contribution" at the clinic. Especially if they have reclining chairs and videos to watch.

They really do have it easy compared to what we go though.

Wishing you (and your hubby) good luck for tomorrow.

S said...

I guess I'm still 12 years old, but I enjoyed the "awful puns" in this post! ;-)

You are not alone in IF adversely affecting your sex life. And The Prince isn't the only one with performance anxiety. We are banking a frozen sample ahead of our DE IVF cycle, just in case, even though my husband will be providing fresh (we hope) on the day of retrieval.

Lindsey said...

Keep the puns coming (haha) I love them! I know that we get poked and prodded and generally have a way worse time of it with IF than the boys, but I feel for them. We never have to rise to the occation, and honestly there have been alot of times when I was awfully thankful for preseed!

New Year Mum said...

Sorry that I'm a little slow commenting this week.... hope all goes smoothly tomorrow - this whole IF roller-coaster is not romantic at all !! I've made the trips to the clinic with DH's samples too - he finally agreed to do it himself at the clinic but says it took ages b/c he was so nervous. Thinking of you both xoxo

China Doll said...

Oops.. I didn't know that my man was supposed to only have week-old ones in there.. thing he's been holding onto his for a while because we weren't certain of timing. Oh well, too late now to do anything about it as retrieval is set for Saturday.
I empathise with your Prince's feelings and the lack of sex life.. But hoping everything goes super smoothly for you both on the day xx