Thursday, February 26, 2009

It's Getting Serious

I can't believe this is really happening!

My husband and I have been contemplating IVF dates and costs, and I've been doing a lot of explaining about the IVF process to the small amount of curious friends and family members who actually know about our somewhat secretive situation. I've even updated my blog to show some IVF LINGO for the confusing terms that will fill up future posts, as well as a link to a site that explains-mostly in english-all about IVF. I'm finally starting to absorb everything, soak it all in. This is officially becoming real to us!

So far, the only thing standing between us and IVF-besides the ridiculous cost-is a series of CD3 blood work tests that I will need to get early next month to check my ovarian reserve (the status of my eggs and hormone levels). When the time comes, these results will let the Doctors know the appropriate medication to put me on to help me to produce a good amount of high quality eggs for the retrieval process. These meds are super expensive, but fortunately God has been blessing us and I've had some incredibly generous "nesties" offer to donate their unopened and unused meds to our cause, saving us a lot of money. It's amazing to watch God use these amazing ladies to step in and intervene on our behalf; even before we've started the IVF process.

We are fully aware that IVF holds no guarantees for us, but so far we have a really great prognosis and we're confident that God is leading us in the right direction. We're taking a huge risk here, but we know that if God brings us to it, He'll certainly bring us through it, just as He always does. We may be taking a long shot and reaching for the stars here, but our God created those stars...

So what have we got to lose?

"When you reach for the stars, you may not quite get one, but you won't come up with a handful of mud either."
-Leo Burnett

Thursday, February 19, 2009


So, do you want the bad news first, or the good news?

Let's start with the bad news: low count, motility (37%) and morphology (2%) have officially pushed us from the "unexplained" category to the diagnosis of Male Factor Infertility. What the heck?!?! This basically means that it's still *possible* for us to conceive on our own-anything is possible with God-but it's highly unlikely, since our sperm is slightly sluggish and mostly, well...morphed. Our best chance at conceiving would be with IVF and ICSI.

Now the good news: after 25 months of wondering why we were unable to conceive, we now have an explanation. Even though being diagnosed with MFI isn't ideal, and having to go to the extremes of IVF to conceive our child is disheartening, at least we know what direction we need to go. And that's more than we've had in a long time.

More bad news: when I do get pregnant, these Doctors-the same ones that looked at our SA's over and over again for the last two years and said they were normal, continuing to do IUI's with inappropriately low post wash counts-are going to be delivering my future children. Scary.

More good news: Our new RE from down in Sacramento is great. He spent several hours with us after the appointment analyzing our situation with optimism and sensitivity that made us feel very comfortable, and we knew that God had sent us exactly where we needed to be. I also love Dr. Greene because he is a minimalist. He actually believes that most couples can achieve a pregnancy with little or no treatment just by eating healthier, exercising, and stress reducing. Once your body is healthy, and your hormones are balanced, a much better prognosis is likely to follow.

So there you have it. For the last few weeks leading up to this appointment, I found myself pleading with God to make whatever happens with our SA obvious, so we would know what we need to do. Out of 4 levels of MFI-MF1 being normal and MF4 being severe-we are MF3. I guess I got what I prayed for when God gave us what we needed to hear, loud and clear. We don't just have a problem that can be corrected with expensive vitamins, we have a problem that even after being on expensive vitamins for 3 months, can't really be solved.

Luckily for us, it's hard to feel so disappointed and defeated when everyone around us is thrilled-not about the diagnosis, but about what this diagnosis means. When I finished telling my mother all the details of our appointment, she didn't ask how I was holding up, what I thought about our situation or tell me she was sorry. She simply said without pity, doubt or reservation, "aren't you excited?!", and it was exactly what I needed.

We're not going to let this bump in the road get the best of us, we're going to fight back, letting God take something potentially dark and depressing and turn it into something worth celebrating!

"Opportunity... often it comes disguised in the form of misfortune or temporary defeat."
-Napoleon Hill

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Tomorrow morning my husband and I will meet in Sacramento with an Reproductive Endocrinologist for the first time. We'll give our Sample at 8am and then find out the results of our third and final SA an hour later.

Until yesterday, I was really excited about this. Not nervous, anxious, or worried, just...excited. Hopeful. Ready for some answers.

Until Today.

As I was packing my bags this morning for our weekend trip, the doubt started to creep in. I became aware of the obvious truth, and it hit me like a ton of bricks. Whether or not our SA results come back normal, we still have a problem either way. Good sperm or bad sperm, we're still not pregnant after more than two full years. Why didn't I think about this before?

I immediately began examining the possibilities of tomorrows endeavours, one being that after 3 long months of ConceptionXR vitamins our SA shows excellent volume, perfect morphology, and speedy motility. The Dr. tells us we have amazing sperm and everything checks out great for both of us, but after more than two years of unsuccessfully trying to conceive, our odds of getting pregnant on our own are pretty much slim to none. He then proceeds to give us the IVF speech, since we've already had two miserably failed IUI's.

Then there is scenario two. The Dr. informs us that our volume is inadequate, our morphology is mutated and our motility is sluggish. So we've got plenty of sperm, but what we do have is lazy, retarded, and unlikely to penetrate through to my eggs. Assuming I have good eggs, of course. And he then proceeds to give us the IVF speech, since what we've just learned tells us that IUI's would do us little to no good at this point.

So there you have it-all signs point to IVF.

And realizing that my excitement for tomorrow has turned to disappointment- before we've even seen the Doctor-is a sad revelation to me. How did I get to this place? What happened to the God-Is-In-Control part of me that usually kicks in right about now?

But thankfully, as I type out this entry, my thoughts and feelings are slowly changing. That's one of the things I love most about blogging; it seems to put everything into perspective. Makes me refocus on what really matters, making me accountable for my thoughts and actions. And as I reconsider the possibilities of tomorrows events, I'm feeling a peace and joy that only God can give creep in. He is in control. He knows what He's doing. And He has us here in this place for a reason, no doubt with our best interests in mind. And despite my freakish need to be in charge, this is what I know. What I need to believe.

Suddenly, all the questions don't seem so important. My husband may or may not have great sperm. I may or may not have great eggs. Infertility isn't fair, and it's expensive and painful and extremely difficult. But for some reason God chose us, and now we have to make a conscious effort choose Him every day.

I know I'll have kids some day. They may come naturally, or with medical intervention, or possibly through adoption, I don't know. But what I do know is that when I have them, I will love them so much more deeply because of this whole mess. All of the fear, worry, pain and unanswered questions will fade away, and all that will matter is the "now". And no matter what news we hear tomorrow, it will bring us one step closer to that "now".

And that is something to be excited about.

"The richness of the human experience would lose something of rewarding joy if there were no limitations to overcome."
-Helen Keller