Friday, October 23, 2009

Makin' Love to Dixie

Ok, so as you can probably tell by the title of this entry I had an interesting experience yesterday.

First a little bit of history; my Mother took a fertitlity drug called DES in order to overcome miscarriages, of which she had had 3 before giving birth to me, her first born.

A side effect in male offspring can be fertility problems, and while I have always known this, I never had it checked. To be honest, only recently did I actually realize that having a biological child was a possibility. When I came out (over 20 years ago, yikes!), gay guys simply didn't have kids, unless it was the traditional way, and I didn't see that happening :) so it wasn't that important.

Fast forward to present day; as the love of my life and I are now looking at having a family, it's become a little more important. I visited my doctor and briefed him on what we were thinking about, and since he was already aware of the DES thing he referred me to a clinic to have my sperm checked.

I'm not sure how it works in the rest of the world, but in Canada, at least in this case, the test is 'conducted' in a lab where all kinds of tests are run, blood tests, urine samples, etc. It was a little unsettling thinking about saddle up to the counter and presenting my health card and requisition; the lady behind the counter's first language was not English and she was very loud and I had just watched her berate some guy for 5 minutes for not having his proper health card.

While I was in line waiting, I saw a guy come out from behind the curtain, well dressed about my age, holding his bottle of "stuff" in his hand. He didn't seem to even notice or care and simply dropped it on the counter, the receptionist looked back and yelled "3 weeks, 3 weeks". He walked out. Strangely I felt some kind of secret bond with him, and even though he didn't even see me, it gave me a bit of confidence.

Now I am in front of her, she asks for my health card (which was luckily the proper one) and the requisition. She keys me into the computer then hands me the bottle (aka Dixie), kindly leans in and under hushed breath says "Go into the bathroom behind the curtain and come right out". Phew. No big scene, I was past the first hurdle.

I don't know what I expected to see, maybe a quiet room, a bench or even a chair, the possibility of porn (even straight) had entered my mind, a magazine, a TV if I was lucky. Nope. None of the above.

It was a tiny bathroom with paper thin walls right next to another bathroom. Only a toilet and a sink. Not even any paper towel, only a hot air hand dryer! And dirty. I mean it was where everyone went to give any kind of sample, the floor was crusted and it was lit with tubular fluorescent lights. I could hear everyone in the waiting room, the lady at the front desk berating her latest victim as well as the toilet flushing and door opening and closing in the bathroom next to me and all I could think was, 'Make this one quiet Todd'!

The idea of pulling up something on my iPhone did cross my mind, but I thought, you can do this!

Well it wasn't too long before I was able to finish the job, remarkably. Truth be told, I've done worse things in worse places so it wasn't all THAT hard, but bizarre just the same. And all in the name of medicine and the pursuit of a little one?!?

I firmly placed my sample inside the palm of my hand and dropped it as far behind the desk as I could reach. She was on the phone, so I waved my hand and said "Yes, 3 weeks!". Phew!

So who knows what the results will be, and to be honest I think I'll be okay no matter what. And even though we haven't decided who will be what, it's still good to know whether I can or not.


  1. I am so glad we girls don't have to do that. Those places, all over the world, are renowned for crusty floors and bright lighting. Are they trying to help you NOT be able to do it?

  2. Been there, done that. And done that. And done that again! Get used to it!

    We had our first "love in a cup" experience before India last April. The clinic we went to was in the Texas Medical Center in Houston, one of the largest such medical centers in the world. It was in an ultra-modern glass-clad building that houses a large infertility clinic here. I was expecting, "hey this looks nice, it can't be THAT bad!"

    Well, was I surprised. The "collection rooms" were in the non-descript, obscure "Andrology Lab" which was down some hid-away narrow hall that I had to ask two different people directions to. So much for outside appearances. The rooms themselves were just as bad as what you describe -- dirty, garishly lit, and only equipped to inspire a straight man. There were people talking away out in the hall... don't they understand our job takes concentration!!! Anyway, obviously we made it through too!

    I guess us male clients aren't as lucrative so we don't get the fancy digs reserved for the female of the species (but deserved since they do go through so much more than us guys).

    Enough about that. Best wishes for your test results! Remember, it only takes a few good ones, millions are only needed when trying to do this the natural way!

  3. I think its everywhere the same; only in movies men get a room with magazines or a video haha. My experience was similar to yours, except that the restroom which had to be used was the main disability restroom in the lobby... I mean in a hospital it is bound to happen that especially these restrooms attract a big line up. Opening the door was as passing the arrival sliding doors of an airport: everybody cheers LOL.
    Todd is right, with the icsi method only a few good swimmers are needed!

  4. Good luck! At least my clinic had porn albeit Mature Latina Ladies Volumes 1-6. Oy.

  5. Our clinic in Toronto has cleanlieness husband said its immaculate. Atleast they appreciate this! Ugh, your story.