Amy had been referred to a Beverly Hills fertility doctor, who was so reassuring that I took him to calling him Dr. Mellow. His office had a wall of photos of smiling babies, as if to say, "This will be you."
We sat in his waiting room holding hands. We believed. We didn't know we had just taken our seats inside the Hope Factory.
Once inside, the possibility of getting pregnant never ended. If one technique failed, you tried another, and kept trying. There seemed to be an infinite supply of hope.
Dr. Mellow suggested we see again if we could get pregnant the old fashioned way—not completely the old fashioned way, as our once carefree approach was replaced by thermometers and sophisticated ovulation testing kits involved as well as alarmed phone calls and rushed assignations, all in hopes of striking at the perfect moment.
Like two lawyers before the Supreme Court, we'd argue the merits of this position over that position. There were even theories about timing, about behavior before and after (some of which involved pillows). On one occasion after a vigorous attempt at infant creation, my wife followed a friends' suggestion and lowered herself off the bed head-first, remaining upended for many long, awkward minutes.
When this didn't work, phase two involved assisted fertilization, "the turkey baster." A combo cocktail (so to speak) was created of fresh sperm and frozen ones that had been spun to weed out the weak. By now I mocked the shyness I once had for public bathroom self-love and specimen collection. I adopted the motto of Profiro Rubirosa, "toujours prêt." Still no luck. Male Masturbation Fantasies Exposed