Happy Valley

I’ve still got the school run to do before going home to greenlight the sperm disposal

Not paying storage charges at a Russian IVF clinic and throwing Alex’s sperm away is a big decision. But, wonders Charlotte Cripps, is it the right time to make decisions while half-staved on a juice cleanse diet?

Wednesday 23 June 2021 21:30
<p>I keep telling the clinic to go ahead and then stop them – like a jittery bride</p>

I keep telling the clinic to go ahead and then stop them – like a jittery bride

It’s a big day. I’m finally throwing away Alex’s sperm samples from a Russian IVF clinic’s freezer – before I’m landed with more storage charges. But I’m starting to wonder what throwing it away really means? Do they flush it down the toilet? Do they cremate it? Can I have it back?

It’s not like cleaning out a home freezer with random fish fingers and 10-year-old chips wedged into the sides of pull-out doors. For me, this is about letting go. It’s like waving goodbye to the last living piece of him. Of course, I have his two children – Lola, 3, and Liberty, 5 – who were both born via IVF after his death in 2014. But it’s hard. Other people cling on to clothes, sentimental items, things that we don’t want, like weight, but I’m hanging on to Alex's sperm for dear life.

That’s when I wonder if there is some way to preserve it and wear it around my neck in a vial like Billy Bob Thronton and Angelina Jolie did with their blood? But my mum friend Mel has a better idea. What about sperm jewellery? Lots of mums reward themselves with memorial breastmilk jewellery for their efforts at breastfeeding or pumping milk – so why can’t I get a solitaire ring or a pendant made with preserved sperm? I started looking at the range – it's extensive. I could split it in two and get earrings.

Why shouldn’t I reward myself? It was hard work driving tons of samples to Harley Street in my bra to keep it warm – and convincing clinics to use a mini ice pick to get more out of one vial rather than waste it in one go. But when I call a breast milk keepsake company to ask them if it can be done, they sound horrified and say: “Sorry madam we just don’t do that.” I’m like, don’t or won’t?

It’s hard to let go of such ‘good swimmers’. But the buck stops here; I have my dream – our two children – it’s time to stop the direct debit

I’ve just got to make up my mind and chuck it. I’m not going to have more children – so it’s a waste of money. It's mind over heart. The deadline is midnight unless I pay up. It reminds me of when I moved into Alex’s and had to put all my furniture in Big Yellow Storage – but at least I could get it back. This doesn’t survive unless it's frozen at very low sub-zero temperatures.

I keep telling the clinic to go ahead and then stop them – like a jittery bride. I call my sponsor to ask her to help me. She tells me to “Pray for the willingness to let go of his sperm”. But when she first heard me mention the complex issue, “I’ve got to let go of my partner in Russia”, she thought I had finally moved on from Alex, but of course, I haven’t.

It’s hard to let go of such “good swimmers”. But the buck stops here; I have my dream – our two children – it’s time to stop the direct debit. But I’ve still got to do the school run before going home to greenlight the sperm disposal. The traffic is so bad since they are digging up every road to install 100 per cent fibre broadband. I try to edge my way onto Ladbroke Grove when this Mini Cooper cuts me up.

This woman shoots forward, blocking me at the critical moment when I'm about to turn, and is refusing to make eye contact. She’s clinging to the wheel of her car and behaving like Russell Crowe in Unhinged. Then I gasp: “Oh my God, it’s Lola’s best friend’s mum!” She’s the type who looks like butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth – but I’m now wondering what's she going to be like at sports day? I really don’t want to get on the wrong side of her.

By the time we arrive at the school gates, she's looking sheepish. She puts it down to being “hangry” on this stringent juice cleanse diet – the very same one I've been doing all week. She’s a few days ahead of me and has clearly lost the plot. It makes me think. Maybe I need a little more than tumeric and lemon zest juice while making major decisions? Once it's done there is no turning back. But there’s always going to be an excuse. It’s like his holey cashmere jumper that I threw away after three years. He’s always in my heart – I don't need his sperm.

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