Filed Under (Infertility) by catharine on May-24-08

So far so good with the Lupron–I have not cried uncontrollably at Weather Channel commercials that imply children may be swept away in their school buses by uncontrollable floods, nor have I fantasized at length about taking my husbands golf clubs and pounding a hole in the livingroom wall (I didn’t do these things while on Clomid last year, but someone I knew did, and it sounds terrible, doesn’t it?  poor girl–I feel sorry for her.).  I’ve even managed to stick a needle in my stomach every day for the past three weeks.  It doesn’t seem to be getting any easier–it doesn’t feel “normal”–but I manage to do it without much delay, so I feel triumphant.  I could be an IV drug user if I wanted to be, and now that I know I have that option, well, it’s just one less barrier.

You see that I put quotes around “normal” above.  This is because I have learned that infertility (IF) treatment has probably forever altered my perceptions of certain things.  What I used to find romantic has been forever altered–or at least expanded to include scenarios that formerly would have solicited only pity.  An on-line acquaintance told a story about her husband’s recent experience in the “collection room” that brought this into sharp focus for me.  The “collection room” is probably the sole reason the Vatican denounces IVF, but I think others have explained it better than I could since it’s primarily a man’s domain, so if you’d like a first person account, I’d suggest this one.  In fact, I recommend the entire blog–but let’s not get off topic.  So, the collection room is the obstacle course all men in infertile couples must successfully negotiate, and apparently it’s not as easy as it sounds.  Actually, this makes me happy.  I like to think that most men’s sexuality has more depth and substance than a 6X6 dingy room with a few used articles of porn.  That entire scenario seems like a cross between thirteen-year-old boys finding a stash of someone else’s Penthouse magazines in the bushes of some undeveloped housing project, and what I imagine is going on inside those tin-sided, windowless XXX-buildings that are tucked away in the trees off the side of the highway, miles away from everything else.  I assume the boys and men in these scenarios are hoping for something more, someday, and since the men in infertility clinics have presumably achieved this for themselves, I can imagine their chagrin. 

This is partially why my on-line friend’s story struck such a romantic chord with me.  They had arrived at the clinic separately, and he had been ushered into the infamous room to do his thing when she got a series of desperate calls from him–was she on her way, how far off, could she hurry up, he needed her, Now!  She arrived and attempted to be directed to him quietly, but the nurses in andrology labs are a unique breed–they’re hardened, caloused if you will–in fact, don’t date an andrology lab nurse–they ask painfully blunt questions without lowering their voices or batting eyelashes–they don’t even blink–it’s scary.  Anyway, she was loudly and publically ushered to her husband, whom she found dressed, collection cup in hand, looking disgruntled but grateful for her arrival.  They only had one old magazine and he couldn’t do it like that. 

Are those of you in normal relationships still waiting for the romantic conclusion?  That was it.  I know, I know….we’ve been permanently damaged, or maybe our standards have just been lowered…or warped.  I don’t know.  All I know is that I was not the only one sighing romantically at the story’s conclusion–so sweet.  They got to be together in that 6×6 dingy porn room.

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