So here’s a post I wrote a couple of years ago regarding infertility.  I stand by every word of that post 3 years later.

Now I find I want to tell some of the stories that shelter under that umbrella of infertility. I’ll warn you upfront, they’re going to be graphic. They’re going to contain adult themes and language that’s probably not safe for work and may make folks uncomfortable. So be it. You’ve been warned. But let’s face it you can’t discuss infertility and not discuss the anatomy affected, right? Right.

So maybe folks are asking “why in hell would you write this?” Fair question. I write this because Erin and I have always said that in life there is humor in just about everything. I figure this stands out as a prime example. At least I hope others will see the humor that Erin and I did and do. And afterall, if there can be a “Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy,” maybe there ought to be a “Guy’s Guide to Infertility.”

So in that other post I talk about realizing we may need to get tested for fertility.  Fast forward a year of trying to get pregnant naturally, we’re not pregnant yet. Our college friends are pregnant. Our high school friends are getting pregnant the second time around. The same sex couple living next door to us at the time got pregnant. My wife and I looked at each other and said, “maybe we need to talk to someone about this.”

Erin was the first to see her doctor. She had a basic ob/gyn check-up and kind of as a check the block procedure the doctor suggested I get tested. The basic theory was let’s eliminate the husband as a variable and ensure that we’re dealing with a female fertility issue. He literally sent her home with a specimen cup, brown paper lunch bag and a referral slip to the nearest hospital.

So I’m doing the math in my head. On doctor’s orders, I’m about to 1) Take a personal day from work 2) sit around and watch the playboy channel for a morning, 3) “test” in the privacy and comfort of my own home and 4) drop the sample off at the hospital lab within an hour after collecting. Sounds like a hell of a deal to me.

I’m reasonably sure that I actually patted Erin on the head as I assured her that “of course, for you, I’ll get tested. Just so we can eliminate any confusion and focus on the challenge at hand.” After all, I wasn’t confused. I knew I didn’t have a problem. I was wrong. I was so, so very wrong.

Anyway, on the assigned day, I do the first three things as I need to do. Place the specimen cup in the lunch sack and head up the road to the hospital. Remember now, I’ve got 1 hour here. Tick, tock, the clock’s running.

Three miles to the hospital, couple minutes to park and find the main reception desk, call it 10 minutes gone by. It’s all good.

When I get to the reception desk, the volunteer hands me a 2” binder of paper work that I’m now required to fill out before I can proceed to the lab. I’m thinking, “OK. I can do this. Hammer this shit out. 15 minutes. I’ll still get the specimen to the lab in under 30 minutes. We’re good.” I take the binder, a pen and my lunch bag and wander off to the chairs.

I set the bag on the floor between my feet and I start in on this paper work. I swear they wanted my medical history all the way back to my own conception! Every job I’d held, every place I’d lived. This wasn’t a hospital. It was the Secret Freakin’ Service. I’ve been an officer in the military. I had top secret security clearance. I promise you the paper work and history that they required for that shit was not this extensive.

After about 20 minutes of paperwork and half of my total time elapsed, it’s obvious I’m going to get all of this done. I mean, I’m on page 6 of 60. Plus, I’m sitting in the lobby of a major hospital at midday. People are coming and going all over the place and I SWEAR the plain brown bag between my feet is glowing! I can just TELL that every one of these people walking by me has x-ray vision. They can see in that bag and they KNOW what’s sitting there. I need to go to Plan B.

I walk back up to the reception desk and I ask the woman, “Is there any way you can point me to the lab, so I can drop this off first? Then I’ll hustle straight back here and take care of the rest of this.” She looks at me like I’ve just asked her if I can take a Sharpie the Mona Lisa, just to make a few tweaks.

“No, sir. It’s required that everyone receiving services here at the hospital complete that paperwork first.’

“OK, I get that, but circumstances are a bit difficult here.”

“Are you having a medical emergency? If so, you should have gone straight to the ER.”

“No. Not an emergency exactly, it’s just that I’m on something of a deadline.”

“A deadline?”

“Yes, I was told that it’s pretty important to get this sample to the lab…”

“Well, if you would complete that paperwork…”

“Lady. Look! I’m having fertility testing done and I was told this is a timed event! I’ve got to get this to the lab in the next…” I checked my watch, “15 minutes. If you don’t let me through now, screw it. I’ll just collect another sample right here and we can reset the clock.

“Ah, yes, perhaps it would be best, if you take that back then.”

“Yes, perhaps.”

“Straight down the hall behind me until it ends. Go left and the lab is the third door on the left.”

“That’s all I’m askin’, Darlin’. I’ll be back shortly. Thank you.”

What can I say? Some days it’s all about knowing how to make friends and influence people.

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