Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Coleman Cooler

Jeanine reminded me of the funniest story this morning... if you work at Berklee, you cannot read this.

I was taking her to work and we passed the Fenway building. Fenway Community Health is a fabulous organization that serves the LGBT community. When we first decided to get pregnant, we went there for an informational meeting. We learned all about temperature taking, speculum using, and timing for pregnancy.

According to my mother, it's was easy as sitting on a toilet seat. Not so.

We went there to pour through catalogues of sperm donors. It was hard to imagine we could pick the traits we wanted, but we did. After many months of charting, we were ready. We ordered through the Fenway and went to pick up our sperm.

Very expensive sperm, mind you. For two hundred dollars a vial, we were ready to go. They suggested using two, so we bought our two and waited for the right time. When we thought we had a green light, we were to go to the Fenway and pick it up.

Now, sperm comes frozen, at least the kind that's been 'washed' and tested and is available to purchase. We had to bring a cooler to add some dry ice to, that they would supply, and take our lovely little specimen home to make a baby.

All good, right? Well, no one told us how big of a cooler to bring. And I'm thinking, for four hundred bucks, it's gotta be a whole helluva lot of sperm. Buckets full. So I grabbed our big ol' coleman picnic cooler.

Big cooler.

We walk into the Fenway, with our enormous cooler and the staff starts to crack up. Yes, they are professionals but the sight of these two lesbians, with terror in our eyes about what we are about to embark on, with a cooler ten times the size needed must have been quite a sight.

They composed themselves and showed us to where the dry ice was- of course there wasn't enough there to fill even a quarter of our cooler. We took some and then got the two vials of sperm.

They were about an inch long and an eighth of an inch wide. Half full, I might add.

Now we knew why they were laughing.

We took our two little baby hopes home and the next day Jeanine purchased a much smaller cooler for the next trip. As we became pro's at this, we had the tank itself delivered straight to the house- which is another long story about the FedEx guy and dropping off the goods, which will be for another day.

Today, as I was driving Jeanine in, she said she'd been thinking about it because Berklee is buying the building, our sperm building, and putting offices, classrooms in it.

I don't know if I'll ever be able to keep a straight face, she said.

Of course, we still have the enormous cooler. It's gone to Maine and back for years.

Ready to carry anything.

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Anonymous lez zorba said...

Sara, That is hysterical!

2:24 PM  
Blogger Sue J said...

That's a great story -- thanks for the laugh!

2:59 PM  
Blogger Courtney said...

Our DD is just 3 months old. Sperm these days goes more for about 400 beans per microscopic vial. The vials now come in a time capsule like container with liquid nitrogen inside, which they advise to keep upright.

As I carefully buckled this thing into the back seat, and embarked on my hour long trip home (gas < shipping), I couldn't help but feel like a soccer mom on her way home with the kids. Well- maybe I was more of a swim team mom.

3:38 PM  
Anonymous Jeffrey said...

I'll bet that's why Ben loves Maine and the outdoors so much, ya think?

3:50 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

um, Ben does NOT know this story. He'd be horrified we did not have a perfectly sized, designer bag.

I mean... really.

400 bucks?? thank god I'm done having babies. yikes.

3:59 PM  
Blogger Christy said...

Oh Sara this is one of the funniest stories I have read in a while! And by funny, I mean it in a "that sounds about like what I would do" kind of way!

11:44 PM  
Blogger Suzy said...

i can just see the look on you face lmao. Hey and you could tell Ben at least it was a Coleman not a no name brand from walmart....

8:28 AM  
Anonymous Morgan said...

Between the music influence and the cooler, I'm surprised Ben wasn't named Cole.

9:06 AM  
Anonymous donald said...

too funny, can't believe i hadn't heard that story before! now every time i see that cooler i will have a good laugh!

9:25 AM  
Blogger Suzy said...

eww i just realized I probably ate sandwiches at the beach out of that cooler lol.

7:26 PM  
Blogger Rev. Bob said...

ROFLcopter! Beautiful.

Sara, publish the damn book. PM me on Facebook and I'll put you in touch with Kim Fellner, an old friend who just recently published a book, and maybe she can put you in touch with an agent.

1:53 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

Rev Bob, I'm working on it. I'm working on it...

Suzy.. um... yeah. you have. It's the maroon one, so we don't use it often except when you know, all of your clan and mine are there and we need the enormous, giant cooler.

yup. It has been washed since then, however. geeze.

7:46 AM  
Blogger Ulla said...

What's wrong with Jeanine arriving for class with a big smile on her face?
She should tell everybody and spread the fun around.
And wow, that's a good price. My husband used to be a donor, and he was paid the equivalent of 40 US dollars pr. delivery. I'll hasten to add that the couples who got "his" kids will have gotten very good value for their money, if the kids are anything like ours.

12:22 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

actually, Ulla, that's all the men usually get paid to donate. then it has to be washed, processed, tested, stored for 6 months, then tested again- quite a lot happens to the stuff.

that's the expense.

and bravo to your husband for doing it. it really is an amazing gift.

10:16 AM  
Blogger Ulla said...

You'll be shocked by this, I'm afraid: My husband was called in by the doctor when the woman was supposed to be inseminated. So he just came by and dropped off the semen, and then she was inseminated with it right away :-)
We have - or had - a trusting, pretty healthy society, so the initial screening was considered enough.
The money, by the way, was tax free, per special arrangement - to protect the privacy of donors, it was considered a private "gift" directly from the couple to the donor.
Later, the law was changed, the procedures you outline were introduced, and the money was taxed, and that ended the arrangement for my hushand, because he turned out to be "a bad freezer".

9:54 AM  
Blogger Ulla said...

We have had no tradition for the couple picking a donor. The doctor just chooses someone who looks like either the mother or the father. My husband has a very fair complexion and fiery red hair, so that made him not terribly sought after.
The possibility of choosing a donor based on personal traits was introduced just this month by our biggest sperm bank.

10:03 AM  

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