I’m not sure if it’s the mental clarity of going several days (7, not that I’m counting) without alcohol or just the thought looping through my head: ‘you have sperm in you,’ but I’ve been thinking a lot about my eggs. Or, I guess it’s just one egg. And I’ve been thinking about the little thing. I know listing sober living for 7 days as an accomplishment might make me sound like an alcoholic to some of you, but the truth is I like celebrating the close of a workweek by cracking a beer (like any good lesbian) when I get home on Friday. I enjoy sharing a bottle of wine with the wife while I’m cooking dinner and she’s watching bad television and doing craft projects (like any good domestic lesbian). I don’t, or OK fine rarely, go on wild tares anymore like I’m reliving college years of reckless abandon, throwing all my life savings at bartenders then waking up the next morning to find every penny in tips I’d earned waiting tables is now just lint in my pocket lining. Not that, you know, my existence was ever reduced to such recklessness for, say, the length of an undergrad program. Ahem.
Anyone privy to the news of insemination when it happened has been nothing short of caring and concerned, constantly asking how I’m feeling. But, it’s frustrating not being able to articulate those feelings, those sensations, of tiny, wriggling, y-chromosome-laced sperm swimming around up in your lady bits. Especially if the bits are those of a lesbian lady. And not that I’m one of those pretentiously elitist Gold Star lesbians. No, I’ve seen my share of peens, but the experiences were during a time where thoughts of sperm or eggs or conception or creating life were, well, obsolete. Lost in a haze of booze and smoke and late nights and sexual confusion. They were during a time of – you know, see paragraph above. But now, it’s all I can think about. I suppose it’s all I should be able to think about – this huge HUGE thing Meredith and I are doing and how every second of it is playing out day after day. And I’m not crazy enough to think I am literally feeling sperm swim around, but just knowing its in there is enough to make me question every spasm, pang and cramp.
So I’m driving to work one morning soon after the insemination and contemplating how quickly the sperm will reach the egg and what that first encounter will be like for my eggs. Those eggs who, for 10+ years have dropped out of my ovaries, tumbled around the fallopian tubes for a day or so then passed away, giving the uterus a heads up to shed its lining thus making life miserable for a handful of days every month. But then, this happens:
One particular Sunday morning, Meredith I show up in an exam room at Fenway, me with my knees up and legs spread. The nurse practitioner ever-so-gently slides that little catheter up through the cervix and expels this foreign matter all up in my little egg’s personal space. And I wonder what it thought of this evasive maneuver. But moreso, I wonder what the little egg thought of the actual sperm. I mean, Meredith and I spent our time sifting, sorting, reading, ranking and discussing profile upon profile before landing on the donor. I found him to be a nicely chiseled, attractive kind of guy. But I can only hope the egg feels the same way. I mean, what if the first sperm reaches my little egg and she’s all:
Who in the good f–k are you?
And the sperm, who is nothing if not confused as well, having been frozen, shipped speedy delivery, spun and thawed back to life and shot into some lady’s body cavity, but still feeling very attracted to the egg might have responded:
I want to insert myself into you.
No time to waste, you know? The sperm comes from a smart, highly educated guy who says he’s more rational and practical than a free-spirited conversationalist. And there’s a time constraint so they’d better just get right down to it.
But the egg, maybe expecting someone a little different, starts sizing up the sperm, and thinking to itself:
You don’t measure up! You don’t look like the type to stand out in the rain shouting about 365 love letters and then throw me up against a wall! You wouldn’t give me the come hither at the MTV Movie Awards and let me mount you on stage! And I can sure as f–k guarantee you’d never show up to Ellen wearing adult-sized footie pajamas. This is all wrong. This is not what I was promised.
And so, when I pee on the stick in another 7 days and inevitably feel my heart sink at the negative read (since I think it’s best to brace myself for the worst outcome), I imagine this will have been the cause. So I’m sorry little egg. I’m sorry for getting up your hopes, promising to post Youtube videos to Ryan Gosling, soliciting him to sire my firstborn. I’m sorry I gave you false hope of being fertilized by what can only be described as sperm perfection. I’m sorry you are left to settle for donor x. He probably won’t crouch at the end of a dock and feed ducks. He won’t rescue a pup and name him George. But, I hope you can forgive me and make a baby with this guy anyway.
Ten minutes later, I pull into work and start my day, trying to forget about my egg and its little encounters.