donor sperm, fertility, IUI, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive, ttc, two week wait

my team of millions

Consistent with my stated mode of “not having my head in the game,” I forgot to call the sperm thaw hotline this morning. Fifteen minutes after the deadline, at 8:45am, they called me. My ringer was off. They left a message saying to call as soon as possible.

When I got the message several minutes later, I flew into a panic, of course. Where is the number? Why didn’t Olga resend it? Where’s my computer? Where’s my iPad? I called the general UCSF line and asked for the sperm thaw hotline. “The what?” Thinking I was speaking too quickly, I slowed down, “Sperm Thaw. Hotline.” She said, “I’m not sure what that is.” I said, “I’m sorry, I don’t understand. This is the UCSF Center for Reproductive Health and you don’t know what the sperm thaw hotline is?” I was not patient. She asked me who my doctor was and unhelpfully transferred me to Olga’s voicemail. Finally, after precious minutes, I found the sperm thaw hotline and asked them to call me back and confirm that I could still get in for today. A few minutes later, a nice embryologist named Will called to confirm they got the message and we’d go on as planned and I basically am in love with Will now.

I drove over at around 11 and checked in, reading Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott on my iPad in the waiting room, occasionally tearing up because her writing is so raw and honest and sweet. Encouraging texts flowed in. Thank you for all your good thoughts for my good egg!

Next thing I knew, 45 minutes had gone by. When I asked for an update, the same receptionist who greeted me 45 minutes before didn’t recognize me. (PS it is not a big waiting room and I was in her line of sight.) When she realized I hadn’t been seen in 45 mins, her eyes got big and she flew out of the room. Coming back, she apologized profusely, said it would be 15 more mins, and gave me a Starbucks gift card which 110% placated me.

Finally, I was called in. The same nurse Stephanie who has done all my IUIs and ultrasounds did the IUI today. I thanked her for doing an awesome job with me last time around. I told her I was in a good space now, kind of ‘whatever,’ not so high and low. She told me that sounds great–stay in the good space.

McPiercy had a nice showing of 11.3 million sperm after the wash. Stephanie said, “Now let’s get this team up there where they can do their thing.” I told her “my team of millions” would definitely be the title of my next blog post.

After they left me to my 5-10 mins of purely psychological laying-there time, the feeling was not ‘I love you’ or tearful longing or lightning bolts but instead a letting go. A release of trying to control. A whistle-blowing: “Listen up, Team McPiercy! You’ve got this! You’re on your own! Do your best! I’m rooting for you!” And to the good egg, “OK, pretty girl, be patient–they’re on their way.” And then I threw my arms up to the heavens, handing the reins over to the universe, to God, to Mother Nature, and the Buddha.

And then I got on with my day.


12 thoughts on “my team of millions”

  1. Ahhhh can’t wait to hear how this two week wait goes! I remember that feeling all too well. Will you be testing with HPTs or wait for the blood test?

    1. Wig, the sperm vials come “washed” or “unwashed.” Imagine 2 situations: one is that you’re doing an at-home insemination i.e. turkey baster, and you’re inserting it the simplest way: vaginally. You would need unwashed because it would mimic actual sex. However, if you’re doing an IUI, it’s inserted directly into the uterus. Little known fact: no seminal fluid gets into the uterus naturally (it’s all filtered out when sperm move through the cervix and count on cervical fluid to be the river they’re traveling through). if seminal fluid got into your uterus, you’d go into shock. It doesn’t belong there. So they “wash” the specimen so that there’s no seminal fluid and the sperm are basically floating in some kind of neutral fluid. It took me a LONG time to figure all this out.

  2. It’s funny that you should mention Anne Lamott in this posting, as I’ve often thought that your writing reminds me of hers…raw, honest, hilarious.

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