If you can even believe it I am in visiting my sister in Los Angeles during my prime ovulation days the following month.
I know that I am going to have to curb my jet-setting lifestyle once I have a child, but maybe I’m going to have to start keeping my ass at home, where the sperm is, if I want to get knocked up.
Like last month, I arrange for Quentin and Rhonda to visit the morning I fly to LAX, the hope being if an egg tumbles out while I am visiting my sister it lands in a cushy pile of sperms eager to make its acquaintance.
Quentin arrives sans beard, in a pair of pink knit leggings. He had to shave his face in order to portray Miss Piggy in a drag act! He still has his handsome moustache though, because he was wearing a rubber pig snout that covered it up.
It must be hard for drag queens to deal with their desires for facial hair, sort of like the desire of lesbianesque people for giant, jewel-encrusted fake nails.
Yes, I KNOW you can stuff cotton balls into the fingertips of a latex glove and then fuck your beloved without shredding their innards, but COME ON. That’s like popping in a diaphragm or something.
Speaking of diaphragms, my sister says that using a diaphragm is actually a great way to knock yourself up. Like, you put the sperm into the diaphragm and then pop that bitch onto your cervix.
“But if you don’t know what you’re doing with a diaphragm, forget it.”
I do not know what I am doing with a diaphragm. I’ve never even seen one. The closest I’ve come was squeezing a contraceptive SPONGE up there when I was a hooker and wanting to sort of triple-bag my lady parts for work. It was a frothing, ridiculous disaster.
I’ve never used a Diva cup for my menstruals, I’m just not adept at slapping suction-cup devices onto my parts, so that is not going to work for me.
It is totally amazing to sit at my sister’s kitchen table watching her intense fertility research skills in action. Any time either of us speak she pulls up an elaboration on the Internet. I am still wearing the winged menstrual pad I stuck onto my panties as I rushed out the door to catch my plane.
There was no time for an orgasm at this morning’s insemination, it was just some appreciative chit-chat about Quentin’s leggings (“I think they’re Diane von Furstenberg.”), a quick presentation of the new syringe (a squat, needle-less syringe used to give babies oral medicine, FREE at Walgreen’s!), insemination and then I’m off to L.A., drooling Quentin’s precious, precious sperm into a pad the whole way.
“It takes sperm 10 hours to reach the egg,” My sister reads from her computer, TEN HOURS! So my morning batch still has about three hours to go before they even approach my egg’s threshold.
The more I learn about pregnancy, the more I marvel at how any of us are born at all. And there are so MANY of us! This should make me feel good about my odds, but I don’t.
I’ve always been exceptional. I tend to beat the odds, or trend against them. It is easy to imagine that my body just won’t GET pregnant, though I try not to think of this because of everything we know from "The Secret."
My niece is running around the house in a half-bath-towel, half-bath-robe with animal head hood. It flies out behind her like a cape as she runs, and she’s laughing and singing a song about "wearing naked."
My sister is ovulating this weekend, too. We go to Rite Aid together and pick up a couple packs of pee sticks and the manager gawks at us while we use the Self Check-Out.
“Two friends getting pregnant,” he observes.
“We’re sisters,” my sister corrects him.
“Well, I hope it works for you.”
Last month, my sister went through seven pregnancy pee sticks in three days. “If you ever want to buy stock, that’s what you should buy stock in,” she advises. “First Response. They’re always going to do great.”
My sister is insistent that I have an orgasm after each insemination. She’s on some insemination web site now, reading the first-hand experiences of Berkeley Lesbians who made sweet lesbian love to each other before during and after insemination and totally got pregs.
“Orgasm helps the cervix dip into the vaginal pool and suck up sperm,” she reads, and we both loose our minds for a little over "vaginal pool."
I imagine something like a Mexican cenote deep inside my body, with stalagmites and stalactites sparkling around my placid Vaginal Pool, sperm like those cave-dwelling blind fish darting through the waters. My sister is still laughing.
She’s been very punchy for the past three years, raising a toddler, no sleep and lots of rhyming children’s books and sing-songs. Sometimes something strikes her as funny and she’ll laugh until she’s crying. It’s great fun.
The Berkeley Lesbians got the sperm up into the vag right when the women was ABOUT to orgasm. That’s what they recommend. But I don’t like the sperms to be out in the air, I like to get them into my junk ASAP.
Plus, I can imagine the pressure of needing to come while the clock ticks on the air-exposed sperm totally making orgasm impossible.
My sister clicks over to a list of methods women of yore used to try to give themselves abortions -- douching with a bottle of Coke, falling down a flight of stairs. None of them work. I take comfort in this. It seems like such a fragile thing, insemination, pregnancy, but if these hardy little eggs can withstand getting firehosed by a carbonated beverage, maybe it’s not quite so fragile.
Truly it’s hard to know how to regard this endeavor. Pregnancy seems elusive, yet here we all are. About a quarter of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, and still, people keep getting born. My sister skims through various pregnancy sites and I ask her to report on the font types and other logos.
“There are a lot of flowers,” She confirms, pausing to scan a message board. “Oh, ‘Cheeseburger Crotch,’” she reads, and collapses into hysterics again. “Do you know about Cheeseburger Crotch?” She wipes tears from her eyes.
My sister has a great monologue she occasionally launches into, called "They Don’t Tell You." It’s all the things no one tells you about pregnancy. Horrifying, grotesque things. She likes to share them, quickly following up each disgusting fact with, “But it’s amaaaayzing. Aamazing.” It’s like a Saturday Night Live skit about pregnancy.
“Oh yeah, the stuff that comes out of your vagina, they don’t tell you. It smells like DEATH, you have to wear a pad for a month, it just keeps coming and coming. But it’s AMAAAAAAAYZING. Amazing.”
Also how you shit yourself and how they snip your taint. But it’s amaaaayzing. Pregnancy. Totally amazing. Now - Cheeseburger Crotch.
“Michelle, your vag gets so big, it gets so gigantic, so I guess if you were looking at it sideways it’d look like a cheeseburger.” I just let that sit with me for a moment.
This whole getting pregnancy thing is a goodbye to vanity, I know. My body is already lumpy and out of sorts, I can’t fit into my favorite Earnest Sewn jeans with the cool gray-black rinse. The skirt I bought a few sizes big is already tight. I can’t get Botox while pregnant. Fine.
Now, Cheeseburger Crotch. OK. I accept this, and we move onto Vulvarvaricositis.
“Varicose veins in your pussy,” my sister explains. We both explode into diabolical laughter. “And,” she continues, “Your nipples get really big and really dark and you look like the women in 1970s pregnancy and labor books.”
My sister shuts her laptop and I follow up on some text messages with Rhonda and Quentin, arranging for more insemination sessions upon my return. I decide it’s time to invite Dashiell to the party. I want her to be part of it -- it’s too sweet and too important to not have her there. And plus, if I’m going to get serious about orgasms, I would appreciate her help.
Next Week: The Insemination Continues