The story of Finn's conception...
Susan tells the story of Christmas, tears, insemination, wheelbarrows... and the best present they could ever have wished for!
It was exactly a year ago this week that our beautiful boy was conceived. As fate would have it, my one egg was ripe for insemination at 10am on Christmas Eve. It was our second attempt. Our first try we had spent weeks preparing beforehand and on the big day walked calmly and lovingly hand in hand into the fertility clinic. This one we squeezed in between a bit of last minute Christmas shopping and preparing for a Christmas Eve dinner party for 12.
Our other chore for the morning was to drop off the Christmas present we'd bought for Roxi's parents... a wheelbarrow. Roxi, being Roxi... and a Virgo, decided that morning to painstakingly wrap each of the wheelbarrow's handles in soft tissue paper so that they would not scratch the car windows during transportation. As far as priorities go, this did not seem like a very important one to me. Especially since we were running late.
Tears, tears and more tears...
Unfortunately for Roxi, when I started to look irritated, she looked irritated right back. This was not the best response for someone who was about to be made pregnant and had two days previously been injected with hormones to insure that they were ovulating timeously. I burst out crying. And then cried some more because, as I put it to Roxi, 'I'm supposed to be calm and relaxed otherwise this is never going to work and now look at me!'
I'd like to think it was the hormones that were responsible for the fact that I cried all the way to the fertility clinic and throughout the insemination, but I think it was the intense pressure to fall pregnant that caused my disintegration. Roxi's attempts at calming me by apologising repeatedly and stroking my head only made me sob more.
Along came Finn... in 26 seconds
And so Finn was conceived while I lay on a doctor's table crying my eyes out. Luckily, insemination is a quick and painless process, and literally took all of 26 seconds. Once done, I continued lying there for another five minutes with Rox at my side. 'Swim little fishies swim,' she encouraged. I just cried. After the clinic, while Roxi offloaded the wheelbarrow at her parents' house, I remained in the car, my legs hoisted up on the dashboard, listening to Sarah Brightman. By this stage I was whimpering, but I did have the distinct feeling, lying in the hot car sobbing along to the opera, that this was it. It had worked.
By the time Roxi returned to the car, I had managed to pull myself together enough to be able to prepare for our dinner party and celebrate a very special Christmas Eve with friends. So, even though last year we were unaware of his existence, this is our second Christmas with Finn. And if there are going to be any tears shed this year, it will be ones of deep gratitude.
Merry Christmas baby boy. You are the best Christmas present we could have ever wished for!
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Susan Newham is a journalist living in Cape Town with her partner Roxi Blake, who's a graphic designer. Susan fell pregnant after being inseminated with the semen of an identity release donor.