A cup of sperm in my handbag was not how I pictured falling pregnant

Victoria Gloria Photography

By Jennifer Robertson

We ALL have that picture in our head of how things are going to happen when we make the decision to have a baby. 

We stop taking contraception, we start making hot passionate love with our partner, and then we fall pregnant……..right? 

For some that may be true, but for a lot of couples – 1 in 6 Australians, or 1 in 8 Americans, it doesn’t go down that way. Infertility is very real. We feel like we’re the only ones this is happening to, but the statistics say otherwise. 

I blame my addiction to romantic comedies for that picture I had in my head of conception. 

My husband and I decided to try for a baby on our honeymoon.  It was the perfect plan, and everything I’d dreamed of.  Except for the falling pregnant part of course.  After 6 months of negative pregnancy tests, we found ourselves in our doctors’ office, being referred to a fertility specialist. 

This isn’t how I pictured it.   

For the next 12 months I was poked and prodded, had my private parts on display in operating theatres, was prescribed copious amounts of hormones, tried Viagra pessaries (yep!!), had a failed IVF cycle which included injecting myself in the stomach daily, tried different diets, potions, homeopaths, acupuncture…..the list goes on.  I googled it, I listened to all the amazing success stories and did what I was told. 

And still nothing. 

Anyone who suffers from infertility knows that there are a LOT of moments that happen on this journey where you think……this is not how I pictured it.

For me, that picture came crashing down the morning I found myself travelling to work on the train with a cup of sperm nestled safely in my handbag to keep it warm. ⠀ 

How? It was simple really. 

We were undergoing IVF treatment and my husband had to provide a sperm sample to the clinic. His work was nowhere near the IVF clinic, however, I worked down the road. So, we decided that I would make the delivery and then head off to work, as if nothing unusual had happened that morning.  

For those of you who aren’t aware, there is a time limit between ejaculating (sorry) and deposit, so the clock was ticking. That morning I waited (not so) patiently for my husband to do his thing, begging him to hurry because I was going to be late for the train. Of course, in hindsight I found out that telling him to hurry up wasn’t the best way to push things along. Once the deed was (finally) done, I swiftly took said sample and after checking the lid was secure (several times), put it in my handbag and ran to the train. 

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