Thursday, 4 June 2009

Operation turkey baster

My sex life plumbed new depths last night after I inseminated myself with a turkey baster.

Hubby and I had done really well by having sex every single day around when we thought - based on the last two months of clomiphene experience - I'd ovulate. We assumed I'd ovulate on Monday, as it was day 14 and for the past two cycles I've ovulated relentlessly on day 14. So we did the bad thing Saturday, Sunday AND Monday. For us, this is an Olympian achievement. Hubby even went to the doctor and got the viagra. And it worked.

But ain't life a bitch. I had some ovulation pain Sunday night/Monday morning, but nowhere near the level I've had the past two months. I thought perhaps this was due to my system being more saturated, it being my third month, and tried not to worry.

Wednesday dawned. Day 16. Way past ovulation time, you'd think. No. At 11am I was suddenly, out of nowhere, racked with low down, one-sided stabby pain so bad I thought I was going to be sick. I spent much of the afternoon either biting my own face to keep from yelping or trotting to the toilet to sit bent over my own knees in despair.

I went home - inconveniently, to my mum's rather than actual home, as she is on holiday and we're catsitting for my beloved and increasingly decrepid moggie - and informed hubby that the diary had changed, all our hard work had been for nothing, and today was the day.

He acted as if I'd suggested he donate me a kidney. "But I'm not in the mood," came his initial response, met with the riposte of a hollow laugh and the truthful assurance that I have not been in the mood for nigh on two years.

We left the argument and had dinner, with me seemingly secure in the knowledge that he knew what was expected of him and wouldn't baulk at the last hurdle after all our effort, and after I'd spent a day at work in insufferable pain.

Hmm. We got into bed and he turned decisively away and switched off the lamp. The following conversation ensued:

Me: What's going on? We need to have sex.
Hubby (petulantly): I'm not in the mood.
Me: My ovaries feel like they are rupturing. Do you imagine I am in the mood?
Hubby: We did it on Monday. Maybe there'll be some sperm still alive from then.
Me: I have been in mortal agony since 11am. I have now gone through this three months on the trot. I'm not prepared to take the risk that your sperm - which, let's face it, if they take after you are not exactly go-getters - might have survived my poisonous vagina for a period of days. Let's be having you.

A dismal attempt at sex ensued. It didn't work.

Hubby: I can't do it. It's too hard.
Me: On the contrary...
Hubby: Oh, just fuck off!

He then went to look at porn. (On my stepdad's computer. The shame of it.) I lay there and pondered how my life had arrived at this juncture. I heard him typing frantically and assumed he was either writing his own erotica or emailing one of his friends to complain about what a nagging bitch he'd married.

He eventually sloped back into the bedroom with a semi, and mounted me with the enthusiasm of a dead slug. It felt not dissimilar to shagging an overcooked piece of penne pasta. Eventually he dismounted with a flourish and wailed "This is so fucking awful!" before retreating back to his online porn. I followed him.

Me: Yes, it's awful for you. Now, if you can, imagine for one second what it is like for me. Sort it out.

I then went downstairs to assess whether my mum had a turkey baster of her own. (Inevitably, we'd left ours at home, still in its wrapper, so I figured if she had one we'd use it for the deed and then replace it with our own unused one.) She didn't.

One more diabolical shag attempt later, and I began to dress.

Hubby: What are you doing?
Me: I'm going home to get the turkey baster.
Hubby: Don't be ridiculous.
Me: I'm being far from ridiculous. Ridiculous is taking a horrible, side-effect-ridden fertility drug for three months and not having sex at the right time. Ridiculous is knowing for a fine fucking fact that there are eggs in me RIGHT NOW and not making ANY effort to fertilise them.

I didn't have my car - we'd come in hubby's - so after dressing in jeans with no knickers and a completely incongruous smart work jacket (the first things I grabbed), I snatched his car keys. As I was making my final preparations to leave, donning shoes and unlatching my mother's Fort Knoxian front door system, hubby appeared at the top of the stairs, in his pants, hopping ineffectually from foot to foot.

Me: What the fuck?
Hubby: You won't be able to work the steering lock.
Me: How hard can it be? (Then, unable to resist) Sorry, you're not best placed to answer that, are you?

A few minutes later I was back, having wrestled with the aforementioned frigging steering lock to the point where I considered attempting the drive with it still engaged. Hubby looked what can only be described as triumphant - that is, as triumphant as a man in his pants who is unable to sustain an erection in order to impregnate his desperate, sore wife can look.

Hubby: You couldn't work it, could you. It takes ages.
Me (hurling his car keys at his feet and snatching my mum's from the rack): Life's too short. I'm taking my mum's car.

And I did. It's new and she'd go bananas if she had any inkling I'd driven it, but hell. At this point it did occur to me that if this were a movie, the song playing during this scene would be "Ain't No Mountain High Enough".

Arriving at my darkened home it occurred to me that now might be a good time to cry, but I staved off the urge. The car clock read 11.33 and I figured that by midnight I could be horizontal, in the dark, weeping silently into my pillow. I sustained myself with this thought and grabbed the turkey baster from our kitchen drawer. It occurred to me to grab hubby's viagra at the same time - at this moment I was still envisioning an eleventh-hour reprieve in which we'd manage a shag and not have to resort to the plastic. However, the chemist's paper bag in which the tablets had previously resided was empty.

Back at mum's, I unwrapped the turkey baster and noted with dismay that it was not as I imagined it. Despite appearing to all intents and purposes like an oversized science class pipette, the plastic part was really hard and unyielding, and the implement itself extremely long (about 30cm). I began to wonder how I'd get the sperm into it, never mind into me. The packaging also said "WARNING: Contains latex!" and I had in my head that latex was a spermicide, so I washed it in warm, soapy water while hubby looked on in dismay.

Eventually I dispatched him back to the study with a cup. I busied myself looking for Vaseline with which to smear the end of the turkey baster. After the penne experience, I imagined I was in for a long wait. Soon hubby reappeared.

Hubby: How will you get it in?
Me: You worry about getting it out, I'll worry about getting it in.

Could I find Vaseline in my mum's toiletry cupboard? Instead I had to make do with a fingerful of her tiny pink pot of "magic fairy cream", which she used to use to rub on my grazed knees when I was a kid. It looks and smells like Vaseline but she somehow decants it into this tiny, battered Oriflame pot which I swear she's had for 25 years. I bet she never imagined it'd be used for this purpose.

Hubby emerged from the study brandishing aloft his glass of sperm. I say that. I've done more voluminous sneezes.

Me: Is that all? For fuck's sake.
Hubby: That's all there ever is!
Me: And we wonder why I'm not pregnant.
Hubby: How will you-
Me: Just piss off and leave me alone.

I took off my jeans and unscrewed the bulbous end of the baster and tipped the glass into the tube, careful to keep the implement horizontal for fear the sperm leak out too fast. I slightly misjudged the viscosity of it, but got most of it in. Then I covered the narrow end with my thumb and did my best to keep it relatively flat while I rammed the bulb back on the end. Everything in place, I lay on the bed, spread 'em and tilted my pelvis up. All the while, a lyric from a Tori Amos song kept repeating in my head: "This is not - this is not really happening".

I gingerly inserted the thin end of the tube into myself and pushed it as far as it would go without hurting. This was less than easy, because as you might imagine I was less than aroused. Never has George Clooney featured more prominently in my mind. When I decided the angle was as good as it was going to get, I tilted the tube more vertically and hoisted my hips higher, the better to allow the sperm to trickle in a downward trajectory.

I then made a fairly serious mistake. Without thinking the action through, I squeezed the bulbous end of the baster, exactly as if it were a pipette. However, at 30cm in length and with a bulbous end the size of, well, a bulb, I misjudged the strength of the air gust that ensued. (I also misjudged the fact that the baster was in my fairly sensitive vagina and not a fucking inanimate test tube at the time.) Never again, is all I'll say.

Hubby arrived just at the point when I had decided that as much sperm as was going to dribble into me had now been given the opportunity to do so, and extricated the device.

Hubby: How's it going?
Me: Fucking swimmingly. This is every girl's dream. Get my pants.
Hubby: Which pants?

Me: The pants I put on the nightstand when I assumed we were going to have sex, before I realised I was actually going to have to fuck a plastic tube!

He passed me them, and we switched off the lamp and curled up for the night without another word. Except for this:

Me (in the dark, after a few silent minutes of contemplation of what just happened): I have a question.
Hubby: What now?
Me: Where the fuck's your viagra? I was going to bring it.
Hubby: I already have it.
Me: And yet, when I got home and said I was ovulating, it didn't occur to you to take any.

I lay there, on the one hand strangely satisfied that, against all odds, I'd managed to get sperm inside me; on the other, fuming and sad that it had actually come to this. Nearly 24 hours on, I don't know what to feel. The ovulation pain has gone so this really is a waiting game now.

But never let it be said that I didn't try.


s.e. said...

You definitely deserve an award.

Have you thought about artifical inseminations yet? It all became so much easier when we made that step.

Rambler said...

Wow, that's quite a lot you had to endure. It's disappointing when a DH isn't quite on the same track as you, especially for something as frustrating and gut wrenching as IF.

The other commenter makes a good point about IUIs. DH would still have to perform on demand, but might yield better results. Don't know how much they cost in the UK or if there is a wait to have one.

Anonymous said...

Wow- thank you for your honesty. I may need to read further into your past to understand, but why is your sex life not where you would ideally want it to be? I understand that sex life gets affecetd by infertility- trust me! But to be that anti-sex for him is troubling.

Anonymous said...

I think there will be so many people going through infertility reading this latest blog who think "hurrah, we are not the only ones". Myself and a friend (both going through infertility) have both experienced a great deal of what you describe. It is soul destroying and has the power to rip couples apart. I can understand your anger and frustration with hubby, I truly can. Be careful though not to alienate each other too much; it would be dreadful if your marriage couldn't survive it all. Best of luck, I really do wish you all the luck in the world. On a separate note, I think your blogs are so well written and witty, they are worthy of publication......

Anonymous said...

What a palaver, but at least as you say you got some up you. Just a word of advice - Vaseline isn't good for sperm, and I shouldn't think the pink ointment (Germolene?) was either. You should only use pre seed or egg white - everything else is harmful to the sperm.

We had lots of sex around ovulation and I have just come on. It is a year since we started trying this month. Sometimes I wish I could just give up hope.

Anonymous said...

So?? Come on! Don't leave us hanging! What is the result?!


Anonymous said...

Oh, dear, I fear this long silence is not a good sign... What is happening with you?

Anonymous said...

I just stumbled across your blog but dare I say that the problem is the porn. May I suggest you watch "Fireproof"?

Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD said...

Most people have no clue what infertile couples go through.

The hunger and longing for a baby – and the frustration and pain of having to deal with failed IVF cycles is something which most infertile couples learn to deal with in the privacy of their bedrooms.

This is why many people end up saying stuff to infertile couples which is inaccurate and unhelpful – and they often add insult to injury by saying hurtful things, even when they don’t intend to cause pain ( for example, “ Just relax and you’ll get pregnant ! “ )

In order to bridge this gap between the fertile world and infertile couples, we have produced an animated cartoon film called, Making Babies – Everything you wanted to know but didn’t know whom to ask ! You can watch it free at

Feedback is welcome !


Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD
Malpani Infertility Clinic, Jamuna Sagar, SBS Road, Colaba
Bombay 400 005. India
Tel: 91-22-22151065, 22151066, 2218 3270
FAX ( India) 91-22-22150223.

Helping you to build your family !

PS Watch our infertility cartoon film at

Read our book, How to Have a Baby - A Guide for the Infertile Couple,
online at !

Read my blog about improving the doctor-patient
relationship at

Alison said...

I hope you're ok. Haven't heard from you in a while. Starting to get a little worried! :S

Barbara said...

Hi, I'm Barbara from Fairhaven Health ('Fertilaid Amy' in the blogger world). Hate to bother you- this is not SPAM. I'm with Fairhaven Health. We manufacture natural, products to help couples conceive. We offer supplements, teas, diagnostic tools, etc. including products such as FertilAid for Women and Men.

I've been reading your blog and you've got some great content! If there's interest on your part, we'd be happy to send you product samples for you to review or to use as giveaways. Just fyi, we're by no means a large pharmaceutical company and are committed to helping women conceive safely and naturally.

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Alison said...

I've been nominated for my first blog award! Now I'm nominating you and passing along the award since I follow your blog! ;) Come by my blog and receive your award!

Natasha said...

I cried reading this....thank you for being SO honest about how hard this can be! keep writing.
I hope things are well.

Lynn said...

I have just stumbled upon your blog and I can completely relate to your struggle! My DH and I have been TTC for almost 6 years with no luck. We've tried Clomid and several other treatments so far with no BFP. His SA came back fine, but I have PCOS. We have had nights very similar to the one you blogged about! I don't think there necessarily has to be anything wrong with your sex life as a PP had said. I think its just a struggle when you've been at this game for so long to be "ready to go" at the drop of a hat. Having said that....when you're Oing, you're Oing and your DH needs to get on the same page! GL!! I really hope your long silence means you got your BFP!

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