Fun with speculums

I know biomum has been waiting for this post for a while. The first attempt aka what not to do. I say that but it wasn’t that bad. We have agreed with donor to try to inseminate several times a month but so far it has been difficult to pin down the optimum point using ovulation predictor kits – the nice clear digital ones are expensive and the cheap and cheerful (and medically used) ones with the pink lines are difficult. Is that second pink line darker the first or not? Who knows. It all seems like a bit of a dark art.

Having agreed the contract in principle (though not yet signed and witnessed) we realised it was probably, maybe, just about the right time and given we had received a large box of goodies from Pride Angel that needed trying out we thought we’d give it a go. This was amusingly referred to as a dry run. Oh, what a misnomer.

This has also been referred to as the most unromatic night of ‘passion’ that we’ve ever had. Firstly we have instructions. My favourite part of these instructions in terms of the insemination process is that I am to be ‘careful not to place the end of the tip too close to the cervix’ and also to ‘not direct the semen directly at the cervix’. There are several issues with this – the main one being it’s dark and it terms of ‘directing’ once there’s a speculum and a syringe in there you can’t see a damn thing never mind what to aim at or in this case not. I refuse to wear a headtorch (flashbacks to a very awkward and ill-advised coil insertion where my former GP chatted to me about her upcoming caving holiday whilst wearing a headtorch and inserting said coil – really, just, no) and the only other way of seeing what the hell is going on in there would be some kind of elaborate fibre optic camera set up. Again, no.

The use of instructions does tend to kill any semblance of this being a romantic endeavour (though with practice the instruction can be left to one side) and it does feel a bit like a Blue Peter ‘make’ just without the yoghurt pot and washing up liquid bottle. Home insemination – you will need 1 pot of semen, 1 speculum, 1 syringe with optional syringe extender, 1 measure of sperm-friendly lubricant, cushions and an old towel.

Alas we did not know about the towel in advance. For optimal chance of success our instructions advised keeping biomum’s pelvis tilted using cushions for half an hour after insemination. It also helps the person doing the insemination (i.e me) to see what she’s doing during insemination so we dutifully stacked cushions under biomum. Here’s the thing, there is a degree of mess created in this process when things are removed post insemination. I suspect this is worse if you use a speculum and as such there was a least one cushion cover which needed a damn good clean. Old towels people, use ’em.

We did laugh a lot during this first attempt. Not least at me with a syringe in one hand and instructions in the other trying to read what to do next by candlelight – hey at least we tried to make this slightly romantic.

Nothing came of our first attempt in terms of pregnancy – though we have a suspicion that egg and sperm did indeed meet. I’m ever-so-slightly relieved that I don’t have to tell my son or daughter that whilst they were definitely wanted and planned for (it’s not like biomum can accidentally fall on a speculum and a syringe of spunk), they were in fact the ‘dry run’.


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