Here in Charlottesville, you get to have a sperm parade. Oh yes, you have been missing out. But don’t worry, come here and you can walk the sperm promenade just like we did. Jealous?
We tried to get knocked up for the first time this month. I don’t think we knew what to expect, really. I’m pretty certain I didn’t expect to personally bear the sperm into the waiting room of the office. First, we went to the lab where they asked us thirty times whether this was our number, the right number, for the other half of the gene pool. Yes, we said. This is the one. Yes. Yes, still. Yes. Give me the vial.
Then we marched down the hall to the doctor’s office where we waited alone until the gene pool thawed. Did you know that all 17 of the Best Sex Secrets You Didn’t Know involved getting your breasts groped and waggled? Well, now you do. And, incidentally, Screech did write a tell-all. But nobody will publish it. When the frost faded the receptionist (I think we’re her favorites) dispatched us back to the lab and they verified again that it was our number. Yes. Really, yes.
Then, without another word, they passed a tiny vial in a clear bag through the window and said “Keep it warm”. Wait. WHAT?! You are telling me that I’m responsible for keeping the little tiny beacons of hope from dying a freezing cold death in the hall? In the hall? The hall I’m going to walk down brandishing a tiny tube of human secretion? In a CLEAR bag? Hi, yes, we’re putting this into my wife’s vagina. Yes, this. Don’t worry, it’s our number.
So back into the waiting room we go where we sit, alone again, cautiously holding a tube of a substance we both have steered clear of at every opportunity. You’d have thought it was radioactive, the way we gripped it without moving, faces twisted into that grimace that says “Oh god, what am I doing in here…with this” while simultaneously trying to convey to each other, “I love you honey, it’s not you that’s freaking me out.” I’ll let you guess how successful we were.
Soon enough, we were ushered into a room, my wife divested of her pants and installed under a sheet, and our sperm tucked into a toasty drawer in the table. We waited nervously. Her hands were cold (they are never cold). I worried the precious harbingers of life were dying by the second (they were, but there are millions of them). We joked nervously about how our only topic of conversation was the release of the Pan Am terrorist. God, we’re brilliant.
Our doctor arrived and warmly shook hands before asking us if this vial was ours. Is this your number? This one right here? Is this the man you want inserted into the sacred vessel of your womb? Yes. Yes. And, yes. And in the next five minutes he used a syringe-like device, a speculum, a large lamp and the tiniest tube ever to get the blessed man critters into my wife. Then he left us alone to marinate.
I’ve never been more terrified than I was in the moment I looked into her eyes. I’d been holding her hand, watching the process (I admit it, I was making sure it was still our number) and then we shook hands with the doctor, exchanged niceties with the nurse and got back to looking at each other. I didn’t cry, well, not outright, but that was mostly because we were both locked into that point just before MacGyver disarms the bomb and wondering who brought the bobby pin. It was intense, and weird, and wonderful and it’s over.
On the way out, we remarked on how grateful we were that the waiting room packed full of sour-faced, conservatively dressed couples was empty when we waltzed though with our number, all gay and fancy-free. Lucky, I guess. Now we wait.