When Doug arrived home from work last night, I was in the shower. He came stomping into the bathroom and I could see through the frosted glass of the shower cubicle that he was in a bad mood.
My suspicions were confirmed when I didn’t get a hello darling, or any other sort of pleasantry. Poor Arnold the toy poodle, who is always terribly excited to have his daddy home, was also being ignored.
“Have you used all the hot water?” Doug asked gruffly.
It’s Melbourne, it’s winter, we live in a small house with a small hot water system. Sometimes the hot water runs out. Shit happens.
“No? Not to my knowledge.” came my response. “Are you ok?”
“I have the flu.” he said, shrugging off his work shirt. “And I’ve been at the physio this afternoon, I’ve pulled a muscle in my shoulder.”
Sure enough once my husband had removed his undershirt I could see the strapping across his right shoulder blade and down his right arm. It looked very sore.
I jumped out of the shower and began to towel dry myself, as he swapped places with me and stood under the spray of water.
“It’s cold!” he said furiously.
Oh goodie! I thought to myself. Doug is sick, he’s injured, and he’s in a bad mood. This is the perfect moment to bring up the fact the doctor has mandated we engage in ‘coitus’ tonight.
“Darling, what about sex tonight?” I asked ever so sweetly.
“Can’t we just use a syringe again?” he grumbled. “I’m tired.”
I felt like I’d stepped into the Twilight Zone. I was sure it wasn’t normal for a young husband to propose his attractive young wife stick a syringe full of his semen up her cervix to try and impregnate herself while he took a nap.
Besides, I’d spent the whole week fantasizing about making love the old fashioned way. About reconnecting with each other, and stripping away the layers of medical bullshit that have prevented us from enjoying sex for so many months. We were finally able to go back to basics, and start our family the way nature intended us to. Finally it could just be about us in the bedroom, and through our love we could create another life. It was that perfect moment I’d always dreamed of, and this was my one chance to have it. I’d never ovulated before, and it was likely I would never ovulate again. I’d be damned if my grumpy husband was going to stand in my way.
More importantly, I wasn’t going to risk another syringe accident like the one I’d had on Monday night. No more bloody syringes! Reluctantly, Doug agreed with me that sex was probably our best option.
So now, good readers of my blog, I am going to describe the special “love making” I experienced with my husband last night. Feel free to look away if it is too much information for you to stomach, though I will try to speak in innuendo.
Last night my husband and I decided to…..fly a rocket to the moon.
We had no problems with the, um, lift off. The journey into orbit was fine. I’d go as far as to say it was better than fine. But then it came time for the moon landing. And Houston, we had a problem.
Every time the Eagle got close to landing, my flu riddled husband would sneeze…or his injured shoulder would give out…or the dog would start barking in the yard….
The longer the process dragged on, the more performance anxiety built up in my husband’s mind and the harder it all became (no pun intended). Forty-five minutes passed quickly with no result.
Forty-five minutes! I hear you say. What a lovely time you must’ve had reconnecting with each other!
Well let me tell you, it was not a lovely time at all. It was fun for the first twenty minutes when I was happily on Apollo 11, coasting towards the lunar surface. But after that I found myself on Apollo 13, trapped in excruciating orbit and neither able to land on the moon nor return to Earth. Are you feeling me here?
They say if you shoot for the moon, even if you fail you still end up amongst the stars. But Doug had the flu and a sore shoulder. Meanwhile, I have vaginismus which makes sex painful, and I was on day 22 of multiple daily hormone injections. We certainly weren’t interested in savouring our time amongst the stars. The stars were for another day. We badly just wanted moon.
I also want to make it clear at this point that Doug has never been one of those guys who suffers from issues in the bedroom. His moon landings are never too early or too late, they’re perfectly timed. Except this time. And how ironic that this was the one time we really needed that perfect landing. The only time it’s ever counted for anything bigger than just our own enjoyment in each other.
I glanced over at the clock and noticed an hour had now passed. A whole friggen hour.
Gritting my teeth and smiling up at him I tried to allay his fears by promising that it didn’t even matter. There was no guarantee I was going to ovulate before Friday, and even if I did the chance of me actually getting pregnant naturally with severe endometriosis, adenomyosis and hyperprolactinemia was so ridiculously small there was hardly any point in bothering with the whole space program.
“No.” Doug insisted. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I want to continue. I want to get this done.”
Great. I thought. Now he’s become competitive with himself and won’t give up until he wins. I’m going to be here until Christmas.
Thinking quickly, I decided the only way to solve the problem was to take matters into my own hands and take a leaf out of Meg Ryan’s play book. I realise I’m mixing metaphors here now, but you’ll all understand what I mean when I pulled a When Harry Met Sally. I figured if I built up and faked a huge orgasm, it would resonate with his male ego and we could finally go for our moon walk.
But after a few minutes, he abruptly pulled away from me.
“My god Sadie what is wrong with you?” he gasped. “Why are you shrieking like that?”
So apparently Meg Ryan was wrong. Men do know when you fake orgasms. And they don’t like it.
And one hour and fifteen minutes into our space adventure, the mission was officially aborted and we finally re-entered Earth’s atmosphere.
I felt a little like Tom Hanks at the end of the Apollo 13 movie- supremely grateful to be alive and walking on firm ground again, even if I never got to experience the moon.
Well to be honest I was a little cranky. Fertility treatment is hard for women. I’ve had to endure two major surgeries, four minor surgeries, MRIs, dozens of injections that mentally and physically alter me, bloating, cramping, bruising, egg pick-up, ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome which had me convinced I was going to suffocate and die, early pregnancy, morning sickness, miscarriage, a D&C, regular invasive and internal ultrasounds…..and all he had to do was this ONE THING. A pleasurable thing! A thing that we enjoy doing on a regular basis anyway!!
But I didn’t dare tell him how I felt. I love my husband very much, and I am a patient and understanding person. I simply smiled and hugged him and told him it was ok. Then I went to cook dinner.
An hour later, he came downstairs with a sheepish look on his face, thrust a little sterile collection cup into my hands and apologised profusely for not being able to get the job done the proper way, before quickly disappearing again.
I had my second date with the syringe.