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The morning of my IUI, Friday January 27th, my husband, Mike, gave his sperm sample. Before I move on, I want to say “Thank you” and acknowledge all men out there who are walking alongside and with their wives on the fertility treatment journey. I’m certainly not a man, but I can only imagine the slew of emotions that occur within the psyche of males who have to masturbate when giving their sample for an IUI or IVF treatment. I have a feeling, far too often, our brave husbands go unnoticed or we don’t properly express our gratitude for their contribution for creating the precious lives that grow within our womb. Prior to Friday, my husband and I had a frank discussion about the challenges, both physically and mentally it was to give his sperm sample.
Mike explained there is a stigma that men can just “call it up” and perform like the snap of a finger. He noted that when he was young (in his 20’s), it was easy to “get on” but as he ages, it becomes harder. Not just that, but men who may have gone through a moral struggle or ethical dilemma with masturbation have a unique challenge when their spouses then need them to give a sperm sample. My husband understood the purpose and meaning behind giving his precious seed for my IUI procedure. Yet, when he “did the duty” the morning of the IUI, associations with the past, cultural taboos and the fact that he stopped masturbating once we were married, brought back a horde of feelings he wasn’t prepared for. I assured, comforted and kissed him and he was fine and went off to work. Nevertheless, I think it would be wise for us wives to show our appreciation and honor our husbands for sacrificing the way that they do during our fertility treatment journey.
Okay, with that being said, once he was finished, we quickly ate breakfast and I saw him off. I rushed to the clinic to drop off the sample. I was actually very nervous and worried, because the amount didn’t seem like much. Mike had even mentioned that, too. Before leaving our home, I glanced at the instruction sheet and noticed it said we were supposed to abstain from sex 2 full days before the IUI. My shoulders slumped and I felt guilty. I should have known, I thought. We’d had sex the previous three nights before. However, Mike swapped roles, and did the reassuring to me, reminding me that his little swimmers from the previous night were probably still alive “in there,” and that it was possible his sample was enough for the IUI.
In any event, when I arrived at the clinic, I apologized for the small amount of semen in the urine cup and asked her if it looked like enough. My heart was encouraged when she assured me it looked like plenty. She explained that some samples have only a drop in them. I felt a sense of relief.
I drove home and decided to take a walk around my neighborhood and listened to some of my favorite music. During that time, I had a solid time praying/talking with God. I felt strengthened by His peace and a knowing that things would work out.
When I arrived home, I received a call from the clinic noting they were actually ready for me earlier than expected. That was because I had actually dropped off the sperm at 7:45 am, 15 minutes earlier than requested. The nurses were able to wash and prepare it. She noted I could come early, so I confirmed I’d be right over. I jumped in my car and prayed the whole way.
The nurses were so friendly, welcoming and kind (they always have been) and ushered me into the exam room. The IUI itself is fairly painless and quick. I was simply told to undress from the waist down. The technician came in a few minutes later and explained each step as she went along. She inserted a device and noted she’d remove some cervical fluid. Then, at some point she inserted the sperm mixture. I actually didn’t even know when she did that, as I didn’t feel much at all. A little pressure, but it was minor. Before I knew it, the IUI was done.
Next, she had me lay on the exam table for 10 minutes. During that time, again, I had a solid prayer time with God. It was very good. Intimate, vulnerable, I poured out my hopes and prayers and noted if I became pregnant that I vowed to nourish and take good care of myself, my children and to love, treasure and honor them, myself, God and my husband with my whole being. I’d be the best Mom I could be and be grateful each day for the gifts they were.
Next, the nurse walked me to a sitting room and explained the post-IUI instructions. I was to start taking the Progesterone cream vaginally beginning the following day. I was to continue taking it clear through (and past if pregnant) when I would receive my beta blood pregnancy test on Friday 2/10. I was also to continue the Metformin as I had been. Since it was likely I had ovulated, the nurse also recommended Mike and I have sex both that night and the following day to take advantage of our window.
I left the office hopeful. Of course, I knew I didn’t know whether I was going to get pregnant. But I sensed a deep abiding “knowingness” that I couldn’t explain with words. Something in me, my intuition, told me the outcome was going to be good…that I just may get pregnant from this!
*Next: The Wait…
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Anything you can relate to with regards to what I shared here? Please feel free to comment or as questions as you wish.