Authors: Jessi Klein
At one, I am finally led to the sad little paper gown room. I am then guided to a dimly lit surgical suite where I lie on a steel table. I'm so scared I'm physically shaking. The nurses begin prepping my arm for the sedation IV as the doctor comes in.
“What are you giving me?” I ask. He tells me it's a mixture of morphine and Demerol. I ask if they can maybe crank it up a smooch so I'm knocked out. He says they need me to be awake so I can respond and move during the test. I explain that I have a very special cervix that's particularly sensitive and thus I should get double the normal amount of drugs, and as I am making my case, the drugs enter my vein and in about two seconds I am enveloped by a wave of joy. It gently smooths out all the anxiety and fear and depression I have been feeling about this test, and Trying in general. It's unlike anything I've ever experienced, this sudden rush of relief from everything in my life that doesn't feel like warm velvet.
The high also makes me completely silly, even though I'm not aware of it.
“Tilt your pelvis a little to the left,” Dr. Brady says.
“Do you guys smoke pot?” I ask him and the nurses. “We should all smoke pot together.”
They don't respond. I realize maybe there's been a misunderstanding.
“I don't mean now. Right now you guys are doing a procedure on me. But later. Another time.”
There is still no response. I think to myself,
I can't believe I'm bombing my own procedure
. It turns out I'm actually saying it, not thinking it.
“And tilt to the other side,” Dr. Brady says.
I tilt. Wheeee!
This is what heroin must feel like
, I think.
Maybe I should do heroin.
“Okay, we're done,” Dr. Brady announces. “Both of your tubes were open. You're fine.”
I look at his screen. I see the two black hair-like tubes. I am sad to leave this place. I feel so good. Maybe this is how Lou Reed felt?
I look down. There's blood on my paper gown.
I look up. Mike is there.
He holds my arm as I stumble back to my locker. The nurse tells me to sit for ten minutes before leaving. Mike hands me the banana pudding, and I eat it in the waiting room. As the high wears off, I think about the fact that my tubes have been open this whole time, and how annoying it is I had to do this test not once but twice to confirm that there was never a problem in the first place.
But there is a problem. Because the tubes are not broken, there is one more thing not to fix. But I'm still not getting pregnant.
I continue not to get pregnant through April, May, and June. I keep taking pills and getting once-a-month shots in my stomach, but nothing is happening. Much has already been written about the negative effect of Trying on your sex life, and I have very little to add except to say it is true. Before we started I had a fantasy that we would be different, that we would continue to have fun and romantic sex, but that notion was as immature as the one I had in junior high school, right when my hormones started raging, that being a prostitute must be super fun, because of all the sex they get to have! Having sex at a specific moment, as an assignment, is a drag. I wonder if there is a personality difference between people conceived spontaneously during hot, condomless one-night stands in Brazil, and people conceived by anxious married couples who schedule medically necessary intercourse in the brief pause between Netflix episodes.
By August, I need a break. I don't want to keep getting blood tests and taking pills and knowing when I'm ovulating. We go on vacation to Martha's Vineyard where I drink tons of wine and eat oysters and relax. We have sex if and when we feel like it.
This is the point in the story that well-meaning people tell couples who are Trying about how, once you stop worrying and just relax, you'll get pregnant. Please do not tell it to anyone you know. It's really annoying and also it's bullshit. I did not get pregnant in August. Or in September, when I also took the month off from Trying.
In October, I report back to Dr. Mukherjee. “Welp,” he says. “It might be time to bring in some bigger guns.” He thinks I should start doing hormone injections at home. This is the moment I have been fearing, the moment when I transition from Trying 101 to AP Trying.
There is one Hail Mary left,
I ask Mukherjee if he thinks we could maybe just try one cycle with an IUI.
He shrugs. “Sure, why not,” he says, in the same tone he might use if someone asked him if he was interested in a pair of free movie tickets. While Mike and I are in his office we schedule a date in early October to begin. Mukherjee tells us how we will prepare for the procedure, which is supposedly painless. I have to take my pills as usual and come in for my Ovidrel injection and my ultrasound the day before. Mike's only instruction is that for the twenty-four hours before the IUI, in order for his sperm to be at peak numbers when he “donates,” he should abstain from masturbating.
A few weeks later, it is the morning of the procedure. I have a terrible cold. In addition to Trying, we are in the process of moving and I have three Airbnb apartments to go see later in the day. I couldn't be more stressed. Then, in the cab on the way to the doctor's office, Mike confesses to me that he forgot his one instruction and masturbated the night before.
On the doctor's table, before I get basted, the nurse shows me the tube of sperm with Mike's name on it. “Confirm this is your husband,” she says. There has just been a highly publicized lawsuit against a sperm donor clinic by a lesbian who was basted with the sperm of a black man rather than the white man whose profile she had chosen. I confirm that this is indeed my husband's sperm, but can't help but think for a moment that perhaps some random dark-skinned stranger would have at least had the wherewithal not to jerk it right before the test.
I get basted with my husband's sperm.
Two weeks later, I take a home pregnancy test while Mike is at work. I'm so used to seeing the words
appear in the pee stick's window that I know their shape. Still, I stare for a long time at the test.
Fuck you, Dr. Bander.
Six weeks later, we go back to Mukherjee's office for him to perform the ultrasound that will confirm there is indeed an embryo. He is going to check if there is a heartbeat.
Mukherjee himself comes into the room. Up till now, all the ultrasounds have been performed by a nurse. But this is obviously his big moment. He flicks a switch. A ghostly little white thing appears on the screen. He flicks another switch and now we can hear it.
Baboom baboom baboom.
He presses a button and the machine prints out a picture. “Grain of rice,” he says casually. He hands it to us. The first photo. He saunters out of the room.
We clutch this photo, like millions and millions of couples all over the world have done before us. This little piece of shiny black paper with an abstract representation of a thing that is the nexus of thousands of people who used to exist, and don't anymore. My grandparents, our great-great-grandparents, Mike's great-great-great-grandparents. Jews on boats, Jews who didn't make it onto the boats, those pale serious sepia people who always look like ghosts in their formal brown gowns. All of these people forming a chain that goes back to the end of forever, to whatever Jews used to be when they were still amoebas in the ocean like everyone else. For the next three months I pray that all of these ancestors magically pass along their strength to the grain of rice, so he can continue to hang on tight to his little branch of the family tree.
We clutch our piece of paper all the way home. It's printed from a machine my great-great-grandmother could never have even imagined, even though the echo of her molecules is now pulsing through its wires, until they stain this piece of paper with the image of a future boy.
And as I write these words, he is five months old and in the other room. He is a happy baby but is having trouble sleeping. Mike thinks it's time to let him cry it out a bit. I'm not sure. I call him The Champ because he always comes through. He's such a good kid. I know he wants to sleep.
It's so exciting to be writing the acknowledgments for this book. First of all because it means the book is finished, and secondly because there are so many people I want to thank for their generous help in getting me from the first page to the last.
Giant thank-you to Jimmy Miller for believing, early on in my career, that I should be writing stuff at all. Emotional thank-you to David Kuhn and Becky Sweren for making me believe specifically that I both could and should write a book.
Eternal thanks to Emily Griffin for her steadfast confidence in this project and for championing the proposal before it even existed, and to Gretchen Young for taking the baton and getting me across the finish line. A confetti of thanks to everyone at Grand Central Publishing for being just lovely all around, and especially to the eternally kind and patient leader Jamie Raab.
There are a few ladies in particular who have given me more support and encouragement (book-related and otherwise) than I can ever properly thank them for: Kate Grodd, Rebecca Kutys, Maura Madden, and Zubeida Ullah. I love each of you tons.
Michael Lasker, Christie Smith, Tim Phillips, and Ali Waller all were the best of good sports about reading chapter after chapter and telling me to keep going when I really needed to hear someone say to keep going. Bless you all.
In the middle of writing this book, I got preggo and gave birth to my baby boy. It is very hard to write and take care of a baby at the same time, so I owe massive thanks to Bella Luz Antonelli and Lucy Sibrian for taking such incredible care of my son while I was working on this thing.
To the staff of One Girl Cookie in Dumbo, Brooklyn, where a large portion of this book was written: Thank you for letting me sit for hours with my laptop in your establishment and for not saying anything about the fact that I was ordering wine and cake at two in the afternoon.
Thank you to my brother and sister for being Kleins with me and for putting up with a sibling who writes.
Michael: Thank you for being the best and happiest story of my life, and for reminding me, always always always, that more heart is the way to go.
And to the Roo: Thank you for being the sweetest, greatest Roo in the whole world.
My parents spent countless hours teaching me to read and write. My mother was an English teacher who patiently taught me where to put my periods and commas, and my father, who loves books more than anyone I know, taught me from an early age that books are precious and should be handled gently, “like butterflies.”
This butterfly exists because of, and for, them.
is the Emmy- and Peabody Awardâwinning head writer and an executive producer of Comedy Central's critically acclaimed series
Inside Amy Schumer
. She's also written for Amazon's
as well as
Saturday Night Live
. She has been featured on the popular storytelling series
, and has been a regular panelist on NPR's
Wait Waitâ¦Don't Tell Me!
She's been published in
, and has had her own half-hour Comedy Central stand-up special.
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Certain names and identifying characteristics have been changed.
Copyright Â© 2016 by Jessi Klein
Cover design by Jay Shaw
Cover copyright Â© 2016 by Hachette Book Group, Inc.
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First Edition: July 2016
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Names: Klein, Jessi, 1975-
Title: You'll grow out of it / Jessi Klein.
Description: First edition. | New York : Grand Central Publishing, 2016.
Identifiers: LCCN 2016009270| ISBN 9781455531189 (hardback) | ISBN
Â Â 9781478936619 (audio cd) | ISBN 9781478983798 (audio download) | ISBN
Â Â 9781455531196 (ebook)
Subjects: LCSH: Klein, Jessi, 1975- | Women comedians--United
Â Â States--Biography. | BISAC: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Entertainment &
Â Â Performing Arts. | BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Women. | HUMOR / Form /
Â Â Essays.
Classification: LCC PN2287.K6725 A3 2016 | DDC 792.702/8092 [B] --dc23 LC record available at /2016009270
ISBNs: 978-1-4555-3118-9 (hardcover), 978-1-4555-6856-7 (int'l), 978-1-4555-3119-6 (ebook)