It would take another 3 months before my thyroid levels were OK to finally do the insemination. I was so thrilled when the nurse called to tell me. It was summertime and Judah and I were at the pool when she called. Now all I had to do was to wait for my next ovulation surge which I knew would be in two weeks. That was the joy in having a regular cycle. I always surged on the 15th day. Knowing that, the first thing I did was check out the calendar to see what day that would be. I was happy to see my 15th day was in the middle of the week. That was a relief. I was NOT going to take any chances that this one was going to be over the weekend. Because my experience was so bad the first time I liked the idea of going to the infertility clinic while other people were there (during business hours). Plus, it meant there was no chance my doctor would not be doing the insemination. I have to tell you, though, their facility was not like it was when I went five years earlier. This go around their facility was newer. Instead of doing the inseminations in a different location than their main office, they now did them in the same place. No dark wood paneling or old carpet. Instead everything was shiny and clean smelling. It was definitely nicer and more professional. I never understood why when I had mine it had to be in two different facilities and how they allowed the insemination to be done in what seemed to be a storage facility (and I don’t mean for just sperm). But, it was what it was and I was thankful this time the facility was different. Well in appearance that was. The intelligence level I still questioned.
OK, so I started doing the ovulation pee test on my 13th day of my cycle. Even though I knew I surged on the 15th day, I wanted to be sure. And like clockwork on my 15th day, I surged. As I was directed to do I called the nurse to tell her. She instructed me to go to their office by 8:00 the next morning for my insemination. Listen, having gone through all of this already, I was well familiar with the routine. I was excited that morning but a bit more apprehensive than I was with Judah. I don’t know why I wasn’t as confident. Maybe because I knew a lot more than I did the first time? Maybe. But, I think there was something else that made me more unsure. The thing was I was older. I was 37 which did place me in a category that would be harder to get pregnant. Listen, I wasn’t being a dooms dayer like our doctor. OK, maybe I was but there was something in my gut not so sure about this go round. Listen, at least I could be certain this go round that the damn insemination nazi doctor would NOT be doing this one.
Carol told me to stop being negative and to think positively. She reminded me how easily we had gotten pregnant the first time and told me there was no reason for that to not happen again. Oh sure, that was easy for her to say. I’m Jewish for G-d sake! It was in my blood to worry! The day we headed to the clinic for our insemination we first took Judah to preschool. He could tell something was happening. He didn’t like it when we were worried. Neither of us could eat breakfast because of our nerves. I found out later Carol was nervous because she had discovered the infertility clinic didn’t want to file our insurance which she kept pushing them to do. She was worried we’d show up and they would demand payment in full for our very first visit (which insurance would pay if they had filed).
When we arrived that morning the receptionist was prepared for us. Oh, no doubt we were quite know by this point. Meanwhile, I did find it interesting that they supposedly took other lesbian couples but not once did we see one. I’m not accusing here but just saying. Anyway, the receptionist had our file already in front of her. As we were signing in she said, ” You have a balance on your bill and until that is paid you can’t do your procedure today.” It was amazing how she told us that in a calm voice and with a smile on her face. I could just see her looking at herself in the mirror rehearsing it. Now here was the other thing. She had not once contacted us to tell us. Never a letter in the mail, a phone call…NOTHING. Instead she waited until the day of our procedure where if we can’t do it we’d have to wait another month. FOLKS IT WAS CRUEL and so unnecessary. Holy shit people! Can’t anything go smoothly at this damn place? Carol was furious. I could see the steam coming out of her ears. Carol told me to go sit down and she’d take care of it. She knew I was already nervous and she didn’t want that situation to make me worry even more especially before my insemination. Now Carol was certain we were back to our first visit again and having to get them to file it with our insurance. And so Carol asked the receptionist what we owed and why. From where I was sitting I heard the receptionist say, “You have a $500 balance on your storage fee and until that’s paid you can’t do the procedure.” I jumped out of my chair and went to the receptionist’s window. Carol held up her hand to tell me to stop, she had it under control. However, she knew I wouldn’t be able to sit especially with the crap we were dealing with at this facility. Both Carol and I started to argue with the receptionist telling her we had already paid it. Meanwhile, it wasn’t $500. It was only $200 but we weren’t going into all of that with her. It was incredible how this facility made every aspect of our infertility journey stressful. Nothing was easy which was SO frustrating. Folks, Carol did leave the receipt at home which she was going to run home to get BUT the receptionist told her it wouldn’t help. Receipt or not, it was the computer she had to go by. This is NO joke folks. That was what she told us. The receptionist told us she was sorry but the computer said we owed $500. Now for those of you who aren’t familiar with the British Show, “Little Britain” there is a scene where a man (who’s pretending to be a woman) is sitting at the computer. A customer comes in and wants something. No matter what the customer asks for the man (pretending to be a woman) behind the computer types stuff in and then replies (in a very monotone voice), “Computer says no.” Well, that was what it was like at that moment.
After the woman told us that was what the computer said, she just sat there looking at us as if it were our problem. She gave us no other options. I don’t give two shits what the computer said. Someone inputted the wrong information. After a few minutes of going round and round Carol asked her how we could have it resolved so that we could have the procedure that day. Our concern was we’d run out of time before getting this resolved. And let me explain, I had to be inseminated before noon or I would no longer be surging. AND on top of that they had to have at least an hour to prepare the sperm for the procedure. I was freaking out. And I was FUCKING MAD!
OK, now I’m sure some of you would feel we did this to ourselves for returning to this facility. And you’d be correct to say that. HOWEVER, ten years ago we had no other options. We had to use what was available to us and more importantly what we could afford. And for myself I was willing to do what was necessary (no matter how maddening it was) to have a child. Now, I’m sure you’re asking why didn’t we adopt. Well, very good question. I actually wanted to do that and I still do. But, the problem is there are very few agencies who will allow same sex adoptions. And the ones who do it is well beyond what we could afford. It kills me to say that because I wanted nothing more than to give a child who needed on a loving home. Also, the small town we lived added to the complications. And so, this was our only option.
As I stood in front of the receptionist I was blown away by her lack of compassion. And more so I was shocked by her lack of concern to resolve the entire thing. I suppose for her there was only one way to get it resolved- hand them over a check for $500 (which like hell were we doing). You would have thought the receptionist got commission with as hard as she pushed getting payment. It was crazy! Finally after a lot of rounds of arguments, the receptionist told us we’d need to go next door to settle it with their storage facility. Um, folks remember where I said the the storage place was? It was in their same building but there was no way to get to it without going outside and walking to the back of the building. Meanwhile, why couldn’t she have called them herself? Why did we have to do all of this shit right before my procedure? Why was it necessary to have gone around and around for so long waisting time and making us worry? Surely, if she would have taken a moment of her precious time from arguing with us and simply called them to have gotten it all cleared up. It seemed very clear to us she only wanted us to pay up. OK so as we start to leave to walk over to the storage place, the receptionist tells us they won’t be open for another 15 minutes (9:00am). Folks, I kid you not! And so we waited.
When it was 9:00 Carol told me to stay in the waiting room at the infertility clinic and she’d walk next door to take care of things. Surprisingly, I agreed. Luckily by this point people were filling the waiting room. I hated the thought to be alone with that damn receptionist. By the time Carol returned it was 9:30 and the waiting room was filled. We had already been there for an hour in a half. Carol had a copy of the proof of payment from the storage facility and showed it to the receptionist. The receptionist put on her happy face and joyfully told us she was happy to get this resolved. YOU WERE HAPPY TO GET IT RESOLVED!??? Bullshit, lady! WE GOT IT RESOLVED not thanks to you!
Anyway, once that was resolved the receptionist asked for payment for the insemination which was $500 and some change. Carol gladly gave her a check. After Carol had taken care of those things she came over to me to sit. She was very stressed out but she wasn’t going to share that with me at that moment. However, Carol did say the lady at the storage place reprimanded her for not carrying her receipt with her to the clinic. OY VEY! Really lady?
After that excitement was over, we waited and waited and waited. It was a killer. After waiting 3 hours I started to get worried. I knew I had to be inseminated before a certain time or my surge would be over (declining). See, at the time a woman surges that is the time of her highest chance to get pregnant. Knowing that we had only one vial from the same donor as Judah I wanted the highest possible chances to get pregnant. Finally at 11:30 they called us to the back. By then we were the last ones in the waiting room. The doctor told us he knew we were down to the wire but as soon as I got undressed we could get started. I didn’t have a good feeling about it. Before the doctor left the room we challenged him to make sure we weren’t too late to have the procedure. He assured us we were not.
Once I was undressed and on the table the doctor and another gentleman came into the room. My doctor asked me if it would be OK if the other gentleman did the insemination. He was a student who had already done that procedure a number of times. My doctor assured me he’d make sure he was doing it properly. Well, you know at that point I was so panicky with the time, I just wanted it done. I didn’t care at that point who did it. I trusted my doctor. Funny, what the brain does to you when you are feeling desperate. So, the gentleman showed us the shot that contained the sperm and asked us if it was the correct number (the number given from the sperm bank). And sure enough it was.I signed the sheet stated it was. He told us the sperm count and activity was very high. In fact it was much higher than the time of our first insemination which made us very relieved. Attached to the shot was a long tube. It was that tube that was inserted into my vagina and went into my cervix. My doctor reminded the gentleman to go slowly which he did. Once that part was over they told me to stay lying down for the next 15 minutes. They turned out the light in the room and walked out. Carol and I looked at each other and took a deep breath. That morning had been a world wind up to that point. Carol rubbed my tummy and said, “Come on donor XXXX. Make us another beautiful baby.” And then Carol stood there next to me as I lied there silently until our 15 minutes were up. When the doctor returned he told me to get dressed, wished us luck and told us to contact him in two weeks if we were pregnant.
And so it began all over again. THE TWO WEEK WAITING PERIOD.