Breaking up is my least favorite thing in the world to do. How did something so good get so bad so fast? It boggles my mind. I toss. I turn. I emotionally vomit my pain on anyone who'll listen. I'm awful at breaking up, especially when the person I'm not so thrilled about breaking up with is famous. Why, you ask? Well, because then I take my wrenching pain to a whole new, obsessive level.
For years, I've heard horror stories of the Brazilian bikini wax. Getting down on all fours, raising a leg like a dog peeing on a tree, spreading my butt cheeks to allow a complete stranger to apply hot wax in the most private crevices of my body—these didn't seem like things I needed to rush out and experience (at least not in public) ... Summoning my courage, I decided that it was time to shed light on the truth behind the Brazilian.
We had been married for eight years. We had been trying to get pregnant for six of those years and between IVF and ICSI had gone through five fertility cycles. We knew we could get pregnant but we didn't know if we could stay pregnant. We had spent over $200,000, and all we had to show for it was a glossy photo of four egg cells. That photo still sits in the drawer of the night table besides out bed, buried there. We're unable to look at it—or dispose of it. Other friends who were on the IVF merry-go-round and got pregnant, had their children. Some had their second child while we waited and tried again. Every couple who had a child swore by their doctor, their method, their technique—success was its own affirmation.
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.
Without referring you to the many, many, medical sites, books and journals I immediately consulted on the subject, there is some belief that a certain vein that traverses one or both testicles can, in one way or another, affect the quality of sperm production. Operating on it may, or may not, improve sperm quality. In my case, a double varocelectomy was recommended.
I suppose everyone remembers their first time. I certainly do. I put on some mood music, dimmed the lights and proceeded to romance myself. Eager to please the laboratory (and myself), I marshaled my forces to climax, and then promptly fumbled the collection. Most of my contribution missed the container.
Gail Sheehy; best-selling author and veteran political journalist has another accomplishment on her resume: a 20-year-old marriage‚Äîone with all the right moves. She reflects upon her the long and winding road of her relationship with her husband; Clay Felker.