This morning began with the most precisely timed jack-off in all of history. I was scheduled to be inseminated with the best of my husband’s sperm at 10:15. Which meant our fertility clinic would need his sperm sample at 9:00 so that they could pick the best swimmers. And since my husband just started a new job and couldn’t exactly take the morning off to jack off inside a room at a fertility clinic, we were given a cup and detailed instructions to “collect” at home no earlier than an hour before the 9:00 drop-off.
With traffic, it would be about a 30-minute drive to the clinic. To complicate matters, my husband had an 8:30 meeting. But I was scared of “collecting” too early because my latest google search told me that the ideal window for sperm to be viable is 30 minutes. I was nervously watching the clock.
So, at 8:13, after informing me that his penis is not a spigot that he can turn on and off, my husband retreated to the second floor of our house to masturbate into a cup in peace.
At 8:26, he emerged victorious, handed over custody of his semen, and left for work. I placed the magic cup into the overly inconspicuous white paper bag the clinic provided, strapped it securely into the passenger seat of my car and started the most nerve-wracking drive of my life.
It started out fine, me cautiously turning onto the freeway as I contemplated the fact that I had half of my future baby in the passenger seat. Then, I must have made too sudden a lane change, because I heard the paper bag crumple a bit as the cup flipped onto its side inside it.
Oh shit, my half baby!
I reached over and placed the cup right-side-up, and then I remembered something. My sister – who has done several inseminations and transported several cups of her husband’s sperm – once told me that the sperm are more likely to survive the trip if you hold the cup between your breasts. Because it keeps everything at body temperature.
Looking down at the two tiny lumps on my chest that I sometimes call boobs, I knew that wasn’t going work. The last thing they successfully held together was the plastic front clasp on my 6th grade (okay 8th grade) training bra. So I came up with a plan B. Between the legs. Fortunately, I happened to be wearing a long cotton skirt, which meant that with a quick lift of fabric, I could get those little swimmers even closer to their final destination. So that’s exactly what I did. Cup, meet crotch.
It was weird. And it made it a little hard to drive, but it was working. So I pushed my foot down even harder on the pedal and soared on down the highway. Outta my way, people, I’ve got live sperm here! And it’s gotta survive until it gets inside my cooter!
Of course, I neglected to pay attention to the fact that I was driving through a construction zone, where the speed limit was only 55mph. I was going 68. Crap. I slowed down and looked around. All clear. No harm no foul. But two minutes later a police car switched into my lane, directly behind me.
Crappity crap, had he clocked me going 68 back there? Was he about to pull me over? Would he ask where on earth I was headed at that speed? What would I tell him? “I have a cup of my husband’s semen in my crotch and I have to get it to the fertility clinic so they can put it up inside me?“ Would he think I had made up the lyingest lie of all time to get out of a speeding ticket? Would I actually have to show him the cup and the semen? Would he confiscate it and take away my half baby?
We both pulled off the highway at the exit to the clinic. But luckily, he turned the opposite direction as me. I, and the semen cup in my crotch, was saved.
Once in the parking lot, I returned the cup of sperm to its white paper bag, and carried it across the lot to the doors, through the lobby, up the elevator, around the corner and finally to the door of the clinic with everyone looking and thinking, “that girl has a cup of semen in there.”
Finally inside the clinic, I delicately placed the white bag on the check-in counter like it was the world’s richest most breakable jewel, checked in with the receptionist, and looked on nervously as a lab tech nonchalantly opened the bag, pulled out the cup and then took my half baby away.
I turned around and saw an Asian man sitting in the waiting room. He looked at me knowingly. Like he was about to produce a cup just like that, but in the safety of the clinic. Where no traffic, police officers, or road construction could do its contents any harm.
I sat, relieved that the hardest part of the morning was over. But the relief soon left me, as I imagined nine months into the future: My husband and I are in the delivery room, exhausted but bursting with joy as we look down to finally get a peek at our long awaited baby. Who’s half Asian.