If I am asked to open my legs one more time this week, I think I might just puke. As I make my way to the edge of the bed, appendages stretched widely apart, a probe maneuvers into position and the monitor lights up. Everything is in its place, and just about the right size, which shouldn't really surprise any of us because we've been in this position every 48 hours for the past week.
Looks like it's time to make a baby.
Bend over, she says. "Well, alright then," I reply.
The trigger shot is primed and ready to take aim. Left ovary looks the best at this point, and off we go! (I'd use some other football analogy here, but that would imply that I know anything about the sport, so we'll move right along). I whip my clothes back into place, tie up my shoes and head out the door. The real excitement happens tomorrow.
Are you ready? I am going to tell you what no one else tells you: Getting inseminated hurts! No amount of hand-holding from your beloved is going to help you with the gnawing feeling dilation can bring. The "moment," if one may call it that, happens instantaneously, and is rather uneventful. Still, let's not discount the elephant in the room here: Making another human life is a special time, and should not be overlooked. What should be overlooked, however, is how hormones have the ability to make you lose sight of all that is good and true in the world -- like coffee.
My full birth name should have been "Sarah Starbucks Toce" because I inhaled the bean like it was going out of style for nearly all of my life up until two weeks before this procedure. The moment the hormones started to kick in, I couldn't touch the stuff. That didn't stop me from trying, though. I attempted everything -- over and over again, wasting money like it was going out of style, and tossing perfectly good beans down the drain because I couldn't handle the taste. What was wrong with me?
The entire same-sex baby making factory process is terribly unromantic. There's a lot that happens between dreaming of the perfect bun recipe, ordering the ingredients, and baking the dough. Sometimes you end up with a burnt bun...or, in my case, a bruised bum.
After the two-week wait, we received the call. You know, that call.
"You're pregnant," the nurse said. "But we don't think it will be viable. The number is very low."
"What is the number supposed to be?" I asked.
"It varies, but we would like to see the number be around 100," she said.
My number was seven.
It didn't look good. I couldn't make sense of the message the nurse was trying to relay.
"Wait, so I am pregnant, technically, but not for long? Is that what you are saying? I'm not sure I understand what is next." I added.
"We're going to have you come in every 48 hours so that we can monitor you while this plays out," she said.
My wife and I had resigned to the thought of it not working the first time. In fact, we were fairly expecting that to be the outcome, so when the call came and the result was positive (sort of), we were thrilled...then devastated...then overwhelmed...before becoming 100 percent completely and utterly befuddled.
Forty-eight hours turned into weeks -- four weeks to be exact. Four weeks of being shot in the butt with progesterone on the off-chance that the pregnancy might work. Four weeks of blood tests every two days. Four weeks of ultrasounds. Four weeks of not being allowed to exercise -- or drink...Four weeks of undeniably feeling pregnant with clothes refusing to snap, cinch and fit -- send in the Clowns, Streisand.
By the end of it all, I have to admit something that will inevitably make me a terrible mother to a future child: I was relieved that it was over. It was not ideal from the start and every last ditch effort we tried -- collectively, as a medical team and as a wife-and-wife team -- only made the process more daunting.
I was free.
Fast forward to today: The trigger has been triggered. The bum is getting sore again. Time to make some dough.
Sarah Toce is an award-winning journalist and the publisher of The Seattle Lesbian online magazine.