One of the requirements before moving forward with fertility treatment is the inevitable sperm analysis. Ryan and I knew this before staring treatment and knew Ry would have to give his sample. Nothing has been more awkward and hilarious than Ryan’s sperm sample stories throughout our fertility journey. It definitely opened the door for some awkward conversations and moments that became pretty comical on this journey.
It was just days before Ryan’s sperm analysis and I thought maybe it would be helpful if I took some sexy pictures that he could take with him to his appointment… So, of course, I find it in me to ask him.
“So, do you maybe want me to take some sexy pictures for you to take with you?”
Ryan stared at me blank in the face. I was dead serious. I thought maybe it would help the process. From the way he was looking at me I could tell he wasn’t really feeling it.
“No honey, I think I will just think about you.”
Okay. Shut down. Haha
The day had finally come. I drove Ryan to our clinic and waited in the car. Before I left I asked “Do you think maybe after you could ask them how long it will take for us to get results?”
“No honey, I’m going in, giving my sample–no stops, no questions, just leaving. I’m not going to ask how their day is or validate my parking…I’m gone”
Ryan finally got back to the car. I think he was relieved…and so was I!
“You will never believe what happened. I go into the clinic and it’s like a quinceanera in there–everyone decided to come for my big moment. I head to the “naughty room” with a tray full of tools and the lady is giving me direction after direction of how I have to clean my fingernails, sanitize everything and use this sponge to clean the GENERAL. And of course all I could think is…yeah…yeah…get out of here. All I wanted was to get in and get out as soon as possible. The lady ends up leaving and I go to open the sponge in the package and as I do so, the sponge is like a slip and slide and in slow motion flies out of my hand and into the air. I see it coming down and reach for it, but it slips through my fingertips onto the mysterious floor below. Of course, there’s no going back! All I could think of was #1, I’m not going to ask for a new one and #2 there’s no way I’m going to pick it up given the history of the room, so I just went on the rocks, straight up with no tools and gave my sample.”
I was dying. And hopeful that Ryan’s sperm count would still be incredible regardless of the minor sponge mishap.
We got the call within a few days. Ryan’s sperm analysis came back with A+ status: 91 million sperm . “I’m employee of the year!” Ryan cheered. They told us his number was nearly 3 times the amount they normally like to see on the high and everything looked extremely good. We were so pleased. Ryan, of course, embraced his sperm count and 91 million became an on-running joke.
As we moved forward with treatment, Ryan began to refer to “the room” only as The Naughty Room. During our second IUI, we had to have two IUI’s back to back. It was not something we prepared for. So Ryan had to give his sample two days in a row. The samples at our clinic were usually taken in the early morning. However, since we had to last minute schedule a second sperm sample, there wasn’t much availability that would work with Ryan’s work schedule, so they asked if he would be up for giving his sample at home and dropping it off before work. It sounded like it might be a better idea. “Okay, let’s do that.”
“Just make sure he keeps the sample between his legs when he drives to keep it at temperature. You also cannot provide any help to prevent from germs. And make sure he is here within 30 minutes of giving his sample.”
Alrighty. I thought I would at least be able to help. But No. I knew we would be cutting it close because he would have to get down to La Jolla in the midst of morning traffic, but it was what it was.”
The next morning came around. It was around 6:30am and I was in the kitchen throwing some breakfast together.
Ry comes around the corner. “I am going to be in the bathroom. Do not come in. Do not come near the bathroom. I will come out when I am done.”
Ryan is my husband who is the closest person to me in my life, but this…this was awkward. Obviously I knew what was going on behind those closed doors. He finally came out with his goods. We put the sample in the bag they gave us and Ryan headed to the clinic. Traffic was a nightmare and he was swerving all over, while trying to balance his sample between his legs so that it didn’t spill. It took him a total of 45 minutes to get there. Ryan was stressed. I was stressed. The most humiliating part for Ry was walking to our clinic holding his sample in his hands. As if the people in the waiting room had no idea what the special cargo he had in his hands was, not to mention the fact that he was a man by himself in the clinic. All in all his sperm still well exceeded expectations and the experience turned out to be one we can laugh, A LOT, about now!
As I said, Ryan certainly embraced his analysis. This was a song my brothers-in-law, Ryan and Rony made for Ry fir his 30th birthday. it was just days before my egg retrieval. Ryan, You are just Too Beautiful
The fertility journey for a man is so emotional, as well. It’s tiring and stressful. There were times when I needed to be the rock for Ry that he was for me day in and day out. Fortunately, for us, Ryan’s sperm was always achieving the top marks. However, for some men there are issues with motility, morphology, etc. It is difficult and devastating and as I can imagine, hard for them to process and work through. I know the feeling of blaming myself for our own infertility, which eventually I worked through and I know now how unhealthy that was for me, but I still felt it. It is often where most people think infertility is caused by the female, however, sometimes it is male factor infertility, and it is just as hard to work though…