Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Swim Test

Kris Kringle and I finally did The Swim Test. You know, that super fun semen analysis that all the cool kids are doing!

My doctor recommended we do this after my last surgery, but because of logistics, we didn't get around to doing it until this week. The results have to make it to a lab within 30 minutes, and because of a really crappy experience when KK tried to get a SA done when we lived in Missouri, we didn't want to have the sample tested anywhere other than where PPVI recommended. Since our town is 30+ minutes from the preferred Omaha lab, we had to rent a hotel room and coordinate our work schedules so we could do the deed and get the sample in.

The condom-like collection device was so uncomfortable - I felt a little scratched up afterward. It was a small ordeal to get everything ready - we didn't want to mess anything up! KK drove us to the lab while I held the sample in the cup under my armpit. We got there in within 10 minutes of the sample being collected - not bad!

So at the lab, I tell the receptionist that we have a semen sample, and it's time sensitive. I know she would know this because this isn't the lab's first semen rodeo, but this was so important to us, I didn't want anything to go wrong. She kind of cut me off and told us to fill out paperwork - no greeting, just business. After we told her what time the sample was collected, she told us to put the sample (in a little white paper bag) in this little tray on the table. Near the tray, I found this hilarious fake flower display that begged me to take its pathetic picture.

Clearly someone had tried to use her fake flowers as a pen before. She has taken such care to prevent an another accidental this-flower-isn't-a-pen debacle. Why not place this somewhere else than exactly where one of those flower/pen pots would be in any other office?

After we paid for the test ($50, not bad!), she told us that they should be able to get the results to the doctor's office the next day. Right around then, it hit me that we might get news very soon that this cross is going to get even heavier. I said a prayer very quickly for God to please spare us from new disappointment and heartache associated with the results of this test.

I really dislike how this infertility journey has changed me from assuming good until proven otherwise to assuming bad until proven otherwise. Instead of thinking, "KK's semen is awesome, there's no need to worry," it is now, "KK's semen might be messed up too... I'm not letting myself think positive until I know there's something to be positive about."

As we left the lab, our sample was still waiting in the little tray on the counter. It was about 17 minutes old at that point - not bad! But, it felt like I was leaving a child at daycare, only I was very scared that the daycare would not take good care of my child. I know that sounds crazy, but I would have felt so comforted to see someone pick up the sample and take it away from the lobby. It just made me feel worse in the moment.

Back in the car, I asked KK to pray with me, and together we prayed that God not allow male infertility to be added to our cross. There are ways to improve male infertility, we know, but we are just fine with our plates full of booger-like endometriosis all over me and ovaries the size of golf balls, thanks.

My prayers have been very Matthew 26:39 lately, "My father, if it possible, let this cup pass me by. Nevertheless, let it be as you, not I, would have it." I have a hard time figuring out if I truly believe the last part, but I do believe it's part of the human condition to question yourself and your ability to trust in God. I'll deal with that part as it comes or as I have to, I suppose.

God, please please PLEASE, let the cup of male infertility pass us by. This cross is already very heavy, and I believe our hearts would break under more weight. Still, we trust in You, and we know that You are there to help us carry this load, even if it does get heavier according to your will.


  1. I remember waiting for those results. I pray you are crying the same tears of relief that I did, and your bravery in yielding to His will is beautiful.

  2. Your description of the morning drop-off made me laugh. I remember it well... the stress, the "perfect timing," the stupid collection device, holding the sample to your body to keep it warm, the general madness and scrambling... it's funny when you think about the sheer logistical nightmare it is, all to collect this sample in a way that is consistent with our faith. Well done, the hard part is over!!! :) Prayers for you as you wait, that God will hold you close, and remove all fear from your heart.

  3. Oh man, you really got me with that flower picture. Ha! How silly!

    Also, I remember how stressful the SA was for us. Sorry you had to do it too. Hoping you already have those results and everthing is a-ok!

    I completely with you on this right now -- "My prayers have been very Matthew 26:39 lately, 'My father, if it possible, let this cup pass me by. Nevertheless, let it be as you, not I, would have it.'" Those were my prayers last week before we heard about the birthmom not choosing us. I guess I had focused way more on the first part of the prayer (letting our childless days pass us by), because we were really sad about still having to carry this cross. Sigh. Not easy stuff.

    Hugs and prayers for you guys!