Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Christening of the Blog!

Blog... I christen thee!
Ah the irony; the whole purpose of this particular blog is to give me a place to vent about our infertility. And thus the lack of any baby to christen; funny that I have to make do with a blog ain't it?

The obligatory introductory post: this is the story of love. The love that I have for my husband. The love that he has for me. And the love that we so badly want to give to a child of our own. My story is a long one and rather convoluted. I'll tell it in steps I guess. From the beginning, seeing as that is where I am with this blog.

A Time in the Past
My husband was married before. And with his ex-wife, had two beautiful children. A girl (now almost 12 years old) and a boy (who will be 11 in February 2007). When he and his ex-wife had those lovely babies, they decided that two were enough and so he was gracious enough to offer to have a vasectomy.

In 1998, the deed was done, and so it came to pass that he was prevented from having more children. Well, a little later that year and early in 1999, hubby and his ex-wife called it quits, and when his little boy was only two, he moved out.

When We Met
I met him in December of 2000. He told me early on in our relationship about his vasectomy, so I can't plead ignorance. I knew what I was in for. "Oh, " I thought to myself, "no big deal, that can be reversed."

Yes, it's true, a vasectomy CAN be reversed. But unfortunately for us, when he chose to have that reversal in October 2003, it didn't work. The vas deferens on his right side proved to be far too short to reconnect properly. And on the left side, while it was reconnected, the surgeon felt that there may be scarring there to block the vas. So we waited, the obligatory three months before a semenanalysis could be done.

The results of that test in January 2004 revealed no sperm. None. Not even one. I got that wonderful news in a curt phone message left by the surgeon on our answering machine one cold January day. Lovely. I broke down in tears in our living room. In my mind, this stupid phone message was telling me that I was never going to be a mom. Ever. NO chance in h*ll that I could be. Nice. I was a mess. A great bedside manner is NOT what this man has... believe you me.

Now What?
During the reversal though, it was found that he still PRODUCED sperm. Bonus! At least his body wasn't rejecting them and the production gears were still working. That would come in handy.

Off to the fertility specialist we go. Testing was next on the plate. Let's see, we had the following:
Cycle day 3 bloodwork (me) -- normal
Cycle day 21 bloodwork (me) -- normal; that means that I ovulate normally, whoo hoo!
HSG (me) -- normal thank God! It was neat to see though!
Semenanalysis (him, obviously) -- still zero sperm

So our biggest problem was getting his little guys into me. Thus, the introduction of the IUI, or intrauterine insemination. They aspirate his sperm (Guys... this will be FAR too difficult for most of you to even think about, TMI incoming!!) with a needle. Then they wash it, separating the good guys from the not-so-good guys, and then they separate it into straws. Usually we get enough in one aspiration to last us for eight or nine months.

We decided to wait until after our wedding in August 2004 to commence with the IUIs. So with the fall season approaching, we gave it a first shot. In September 2004, we went for the "procedure" (as I've come to refer to it to those people who are not in the IF world).

As it so happens, we highly suspect that first time had worked. I didn't do any any EPTs or anything, but I had symptoms like nobody's business. And then... AF arrived. And with it, absolute, severe cramping, and oh so much more that indicated to me that it was a miscarriage. Early, but a miscarriage nonetheless. Well, my spirits were still up. Because that meant I could GET pregnant. So there was hope.

Month after month we went. Month after month we tried. And each month... with the dildo cam, we saw a bloomin' cyst on my right side. The same cyst, each month. I had no idea it was there in the beginning, but we kept tracking, and watching, and waiting, and we tried birth control pills to get rid of it, we tried all sorts of things. Nothing worked. And the pain became worse.

By the summer of 2005, the pain was excruciating. I remember being in the grocery store with my hubby and I had to double over, so bad was the pain. It was evident on my face too. Hubby was amazed. I often commented that something that was growing in a man that wasn't supposed to would have LONG been removed before then.

I saw two surgeons. One of whom absolutely refused to do surgery (laparoscopy) to remove the cyst. The second agreed. It was causing us to waste precious time and sperm!!

The Wait for Surgery
In October the surgeon agreed to do the surgery. It was scheduled for February 2006. By this time, I was on daily painkillers to manage the pain. Not fun. We took a break from TTC between October and February. Good enough; time to relax and put it out of our minds. Two days before the surgery in February... I get a call at work. "Doctor HandsomeBrit has to cancel because there has been a death in the family. He's been called away. We'll call you with another time." Dear God. I broke down. No one else could do it on such short notice. There was nothing I could do but handle the pain for another while.

The lap was rescheduled for April 2006. And while I am quite able to handle a lot of medical stuff, needles frighten the bejeesus outta me. (Long story; I'll write about that another time.) Anyway, I went in, the lap was done, I came out and hubby drove me home to recover. I was never so glad to climb in bed.

Another Wait... for IUIs
I was told by the surgeon that I had to wait for a "normal" cycle before we could begin trying with IUIs again. So I waited. And like clockwork, in May, my cycle was right on! Twenty-six days, as per usual. I called our fertility doc again. And back we went.

And wouldn't you know it but THAT cycle worked too? But the same thing as the September 2004 cycle; luteal phase defect. (More on health issues later. Jeez, I have a lot to talk about "later" don't I? If you get bored... shoo. Go away. This stuff is awfully tiresome to those who aren't in the know.) So I didn't have the progesterone to lengthen my cycle, and thus... implantation failed and another early miscarriage. I was crushed. Somewhat upbeat because of the fact that I knew it had worked again (although I didn't bother with POAS or anything), but back to the drawing board.

And we continue. This is September 2006. That makes two full years, with time off for surgeries, travel (when I'm out of the province and away from the doc's office) or when my doc is out of the country. So we've had about 17 or 18 IUIs and two "sorta" worked. Do we have hope? Yes. Are we tired? H*ll yes. Do I still want this? Oh dear God yes. And I'm seriously considering the next step.

Hold on folks. This is a h*lluva ride. I need as many friends as I can get on this one. And support? I won't turn it down.

Love to you all in blogland!

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