My ex-husband and I had decided to wait five years before we started our family. After one full year of trying to conceive our first child, we were faced with the reality that we had an infertility problem. The closer that I crept to the “Big 30”, the more I began to panic.
My OBGY did the blood work and ran all of the necessary tests. I felt like a human pin cushion and went from passing out when having blood drawn, (And coming to, underneath the chair I had been sitting in) to taking every needle like a champ. I was so proud of myself even though I secretly cringed over every baby shower invitation that I got, as I fought to hold back my tears.
If you’ve been there, you know exactly what I’m taking about.
Then it came time to check if ex-husband’s reproductive system was functioning properly. The doctor explained that not only did my ex-husband’s sperm sample have to be driven and dropped off a lab 30 minutes away, but it also had to be kept warm.
At this point I wanted a baby so desperately, I would have done basically anything asked of me to make motherhood a reality.
What I didn’t consider, was that my ex-husband would have to go from the doctor’s office straight to work… and that would mean that I would be the one transporting the container of sperm.
“Okay, give me the address and I’ll bring it.” I said to the doctor.
She quickly scribbled down the address, handed me some paperwork and said, “Keep the container against your body, it has to stay warm. Go straight there and get there as soon as possible.”
I was as nervous carrying this thick, lidded plastic container as I would have been holding my fragile offspring for the first time… and actually, I somehow felt like I was responsible for transporting half of my unborn child.
What to do? I was wearing a short, tight T-shirt and a pair of size 3 jeans. I pulled out the front waistband and tucked, what could be my future child, snuggly into the front of my pants.
The container was rather large in circumference and was totally visible, protruding from my jeans.
Oh, well. I thought, I’ll just have to get it there as fast as I can. No detours. No stops. Straight to the lab.
My heart was racing as I buckled my seatbelt and began to drive.
At every red light I looked down to make sure that the container was secure and intact. A half an hour ride seemed torturous under the circumstances. I was a third of the way to my destination when I realized that I was lost. (These were pre-GPS and cell phone days and I was on edge every minute of the long ride.)
Breathe. Focus. Drive. Hurry. Get there. You’re doing great I told myself.
Until… I saw the flashing red lights in my rear-view mirror.
“Oh, God. Please tell me I am NOT getting pulled over!
Sigh. Yes, I am.
I pulled at my shirt.
Why did I wear this short, tight shirt today, of all days, I thought, as I moved my car to the side of the road and put it into park.
The officer approached the car as I slowly lowered the window.
“License and registration.” A deep voice ordered.
Just my luck. Why couldn’t it have been a female cop?
My hands were shaking as I passed my identification and registration through the window. Oh, God. I’m loosing precious time, I thought, as I rubbed both of my hands across my forehead.
I knew that the cop was just doing his job and running my license and registration, yet it seemed like an eternity.
I nervously re-adjusted my pants.
There was a tap on the window.
“You do know that you were going 35 in a 25 mile zone?” He stated and questioned at the same time.
“I’m not sure.” I stuttered, feeling like I was going to throw up.
“Ma’am, what is that you’re concealing in your pants?” He asked.
I froze and I could feel my face turning both hot and red. I didn’t reply.
“I asked you a question.” He said before adding, “Please step out of the vehicle.”
I complied as my heart rate accelerated and I felt my insides twist.
Is he going to arrest me? I thought. Oh, my God. Oh my God. Oh my God. How am I going to explain this to the cop, or worse yet, to my parents?
I slowly opened the passenger door.
“Stand against the car and remove the concealed container.” He ordered.
“I can’t.” I stated, while I refrained from saying, over my dead body!
“Ma’am, I pulled you over for speeding and I don’t think that you also want to be charged with refusal to cooperate with an officer.” He stated.
“Look. I know this sounds crazy… but I’m just trying to have a baby and… well, we’re having some infertility problems. My doctor asked me to drive my husband’s sperm specimen to the lab and get it there quickly. I am refusing to take it out of my jeans because I have to keep it warm. If you want to arrest me, then arrest me… but please do it after I get my husband’s sperm to the lab.” I pleaded.
An expression crossed over the officer face like my story trumped the ticket he was going to give me. I’m sure that back at the police station, the officers love to exchange stories to see who can top all of the rest for the most outrageous or original situation of the day. I’m just going to go out on a limb and say that my ordinary traffic stop propelled him into first place.
“What’s the address that you’re going to?” He asked with a new demeanor.
I retrieve the crinkled paper from my car and handed it to the officer.
“Follow me. ” He said with a smile.
I may be the first or only woman to have a police escort to deliver her husband’s sperm to a lab, but I honestly don’t know for sure.
But I do know this… it was all worth it and I would do it a hundred times over to have my son, Kevin.
There is no greater joy on this earth than being a mom!
This post is dedicated to a very dear friend and her husband, that I love deeply. They are struggling with infertility and enduring much more than a possible speeding ticket. I won’t divulge either of their names, but I ask that you take a moment and say a prayer that God blesses them with a healthy, beautiful baby in their near feature.
Erin Cooper Read
My Life, I Swear