The Jack Shack

Yes, I’ll admit it, I am the one who named it that.

Well, okay, maybe The Partner first quipped the line – I have warned you about his sense of humour, haven’t I? – but I was the one to cement the name by putting the appointment for one of his early tests in his calendar as a visit to “The Jack Shack”, thus ensuring that’s what it will be named for ever more. So blame me.

Anyway, it’s where The Partner goes to do his thing. Other people, like the doctors and nurses and staff who work there, not to mention just about every other patient attending, refer to it as “Andrology”. You know. It’s where they collect the sperm.

You get there by going upstairs and around the corner from the main reception at IVFLand, and it’s where the men are all directed to go, often looking red-faced and mumbling, or occasionally grinning just that bit too broadly. There’s a little room with a television and magazines – so I’m told – and said magazines and the program shown on said television have not changed once in all the months since The Partner first went there. Or so he has mentioned (read: complained about) several times.

Well, the poor lad has had to do this a few times now, what with all the tests and repeat tests that had to be done in the lead up to actual IVF. And we know he’s a poor lad because my mother, when I was telling her about all the needles and hormones and surgery and internal ultrasounds and everything I have to go through, heard that as part of all this The Partner has to produce a sample on demand, remarked “Oh, poor Mark.”

Yeah, thanks Mum.

Anyway, the first time The Partner had to visit was way back in dark ages of fertility testing. It was a morning appointment. I know that even though I wasn’t with him (they don’t let you take help into The Jack Shack; nooo, you’re all on your own in there), because I was just walking into the office where I work when he sent me an SMS from his appointment. And not merely an SMS. An MMS. A picture message.

Of the television playing in the little sterile room.

Which came through right as I was standing in the office saying hello to my boss, my staff, my work colleagues. Ah, bless.

Here, I’ll show you – this is what my beloved SMS’d to me:

Yes, I have edited the image, in case you were wondering. It’s not like the internet needs me to add to its already vast picture collection of pizza delivery boys with bad moustaches. But use your imagination and I’m sure you’ll come up with something approximating the picture that showed up on my phone right as I’m standing next to my boss early one Monday morning.

To this day my boss still has no idea why I suddenly burst out laughing in the middle of discussing his IT strategy or what exactly about business planning I find so hilarious.

The second time The Partner had to visit The Jack Shack I was also in for blood tests, so we got to chatting to the lady at the reception and asked her if she’d ever had any complaints about the visual entertainment selection on offer. Only once, she said, when a pre-op transgender patient who was delivering a final sample before the big cut came storming out to complain that they only had heterosexual porn. “Big Tits don’t do it for me!” he wailed at the top of his voice, or so we were told.

I’ve no ideal of the validity of that story, but it is a marvelous tale.

Anyway, on Monday when I was getting ready for ze-surgery, The Partner had to go in again – this time for the real deal. To get something for the scientists to fertilise my eggs with, so we can grow our very own embryos in little petrie dishes in a lab somewhere.

The scientists have taken his little wrigglers and sucked them up in a needle, then injected them into my eggs, all under a microscope. And they did their job, all eagerly fertilising, now swimming around in their petrie dish, growing and becoming embryos. Hopefully.

Now we wait a few days until transfer time, we’re at least one of them gets put back into their natural environment – i.e. Me.

Kind Regards

The Patient

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Published in: on March 2, 2011 at 10:27 am  Comments (2)  

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  1. […] egg collection and The Partner had to go in to, *ahem*, ‘do his bit’? You know, visit The Jack Shack? Produce a sample? Get the wrigglers wriggling? You might recall it, because he was determined to […]

  2. […] 15.  The Jack Shack […]


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