The Sperm Test

“What? Why? No! Really? Me? Why?” My Husband’s face was etched in aversion.

I wanted to laugh, but I was simultaneously angry.

My breath was tight. “Really? You think I need to go through EVERYTHING? Just cuz I’m the woman?” I hissed. “It’s a simple test, and they need that information before we can proceed with any fertility treatments. You’ll be fine. Suck it up!” I threw him a glare.

I took a deep breath. I was already on edge. Making an appointment with a fertility specialist made me feel…….well…..old.

He crossed his arms and lowered his eyes. I immediately regretted yelling. I just assumed that he would know the process involved in “fertility” treatments, but why would he? My expectations of him were unrealistic.

My husband gave me an apologetic hug and then proceeded to call one of his close friends who had recently been on a similar journey. His friend informed him that due to “average” sperm count and taking into consideration his wife’s condition, they chose to proceeded with IVF (in-vitro fertilisation). They now have a beautiful baby boy.

I noticed an instant change in my husband. “Oh, so you had average sperm? Hmmm.” he said. I shook my head in disbelief. Competitiveness runs deep in his family and even this situation was no exception for this embedded family trait. He now had this sudden desire to know what his sperm count was, when a few minutes ago he’d reacted with abhorrence at the mere thought of dropping off a “sample”.

A few days later we saw the doctor. My husband chose to “collect the sample” at home, instead of going into the fertility center.

The doctor handed him a small plastic container. “Three days without intercourse,” he instructed “and the sample must be dropped off within one hour of collection.”

It all sounded so straight-forward, so nonchalant…so medical. My husband squirmed in his seat. The awkwardness was palpable.

Three days later the sample was successfully submitted to the collection centre, or at least that’s how I would describe it.
My husband would describe the day as a harrowing experience of sheer undue stress. He stood at a locked door with a “fresh” sample that was quickly nearing expiry. After several frantic phone calls, someone finally came to the door to collect the sample that was on the brink of expiration. Crisis averted.

A couple weeks later we had the doctor’s appointment. My husband appeared visibly nervous as he got ready to leave the house. I’d never seen him so anxious to see the doctor. I hugged him and let out little laugh.
“Everything is going to be fine.” I said.
He didn’t laugh.
“I really want super-sperm. What if I don’t have super-sperm?” he said with intense seriousness.
I dared not laugh.
“Well, if you don’t we’ll still be ok. Regardless of the results.” I tried to reassure him.
He let out a sad sigh.

We walked hand and hand to the doctor’s office. I admired the hues of the setting sun and resolved to always acknowledge my husband in this journey. “We” were going through this together, it was not just my journey, and I needed to remember that.

My husband sat nervously in the office. The doctor rambled on about a few other things before finally checking the sperm results. I thought the anticipation would kill him.

“Wow,” The doctor said “You might want to print this out and frame it, or maybe even post it on facebook” he laughed.

My husband pressed his sweaty palms together. “So….are you saying I have super-sperm?” He asked in nervous anticipation.

“Well, you’re not off the charts,” the doctor replied “but pretty close.”

My husband cracked a wide childish smile and his demeanour changed instantly. He relaxed into the backrest and let out a sigh of relief.

“Men.” I muttered and shook my head.

The doctor laughed. “All men want super-sperm,” he said “in fact, I was shocked when my results came back as average. We all think we have super-sperm.”

I laughed at his confession.

When we got home, my husband immediately called his close friends and family.
There was no “hello”
Just a “Yep, I’ve got super-sperm…..”


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