GenRN45's TTC Story
Tuesday, October 20, 2009 1:24 PM
"As nervous as I am to take this next step, I’m also excited for the possibilities it
Someone to hold onto
My husband, Chris, and I have been together for three-and-a-half years. We met online, using one of those popular internet dating websites. We joke about the whole thing now, especially how I wasn’t even sure that I really liked him at first. We would go on a date, and I’d come home and say, "He was nice; I’d see him again."
Then, on our fourth date, we went to a Mets game (I later found out he is a Yankee fan and married him anyway), which would typically be an hour-and-a-half drive from where we live in central New Jersey. However, this day, in the rain and traffic, we were in the car for almost four hours. When we were ALMOST there, we heard on the radio that they were going to cancel the game, so we turned around and headed home, stopping for dinner along the way. I decided that anyone who could spend four hours in a car with me, still want to have dinner with me, and still want to see me again was definitely someone I should hold onto.
Starting to try
We started TTC months before our wedding. We were ready, and we knew we wanted a baby. We also knew that I was getting older, and we didn’t see a reason to wait. Right before the wedding, I started to get the feeling that something was wrong-- we weren’t getting pregnant, and we were doing everything right. I hadn’t taken hormonal birth control in years. I just knew deep in my gut that something was wrong. That being said, however, I decided to chalk it up to wedding stress, and I tried my best to let it go.
The big day
We were married in March, 2009, on a cool and rainy Saturday afternoon at a converted Victorian estate in Monmouth County, NJ. We were so grateful that the rain stopped for that one hour-- just long enough for one of our groomsmen to voluntarily squeegee off all of the chairs and for us to have a wonderful ceremony outside. We had a fantastic day, surrounded by family and friends. Our day was capped off by a thirteen-day honeymoon cruise to the Caribbean a week later.Trouble in paradise
While on our honeymoon, though, I had an episode of bleeding (and not the kind you might think). This brief episode involved bleeding from my left breast, which obviously had me more than concerned. My doctor thought it was nothing, though, and opted to let it go.
More than a feeling
A couple of weeks later, I realized that I could not shake the feeling that something just wasn’t right. We still weren’t pregnant. Even though my husband thought I was probably overreacting, he agreed to have a semen analysis done. We both knew that was the easiest place to start testing. He thought that if he at least did that, it would help me relax, which would ultimately enable both of us to just get on with our lives.
Time to take action
At that time, my obgyn thought it was ridiculous that we wanted to start looking into things just five months after we started TTC. I kept telling her about my gut feeling that something was wrong, but she kept telling me to relax. The more she told me to relax, the more stressed I became. Eventually I decided to change doctors. I was determined to find someone who would take me seriously and make my problems a priority.
My new doctor did just that. As a part of my medical history, I mentioned the bleeding that I had experienced, while on our honeymoon. It opened an ugly can of worms that I didn’t expect. All of a sudden, I was getting ultrasounds and mammograms. I even had an MRI. And while I was having all of this done to make sure I didn’t have breast cancer, my husband was having his first semen analysis.
While my biopsy eventually-- and thankfully-- showed that I didn’t have cancer, and my subsequent fertility workup showed I had no reproductive issues, our first semen analysis did not come back bearing such positive news. It showed Male Factor Infertility. We have no explanation for the MFI, other than the possibility that it could be a result of a surgery my husband had undergone as a child to correct a hernia.
Now, my husband likes to joke that his swimmers are just like him-- good looking but lazy. His morphology numbers (which tell us the sperm’s shape) have always been borderline normal, but his overall count and motility have been very low. We were hoping that the counts would be high enough for us to try IUI, but, after several consultations, we are now aware that IVF is our only hope of conceiving a child.
Here I am now -- I have a monthly supply of tampax intact,"Conquering Infertility," by Dr. Alice Domar, on my nightstand, a St. Gerard medal around my neck, and a Hamsa being hung above our bedroom window. I've done wiccan chants, burned custom candles and sage, and have had more theology discussions than my DH (an agnostic with twelve years of catholic school) or I (an agnostic with eight years of hebrew school) had ever thought possible.
I'm a cynic. I'm angry. I'm sad. I'm afraid. I'm hopeful. I'm worried. I'm bitter. "Male factor infertility"-- it's such a joke. The factor may be his, but infertility is OURS. I'm the one not getting pregnant. So, here we are, at the beginning of cycle twelve of TTC. I should be starting birth control pills again in the next week in preparation for our first IVF cycle in December. And, if all goes well, we will be celebrating our pregnancy when we ring in the New Year.
Taking the next step
Oddly enough, a small part of me is grateful for this experience. In dealing with it, I can say that I've learned how much we both actually want to have a child. Before, I guess a small part of me thought that maybe he wanted to have a baby BECAUSE I wanted to have a baby. Now I know that we are truly in this together. He wants this every bit as badly as I do.
As nervous as I am to take this next step, which involves needles and blood work and nausea, I’m also excited for the possibilities it brings. This next step brings us the best possibility of pregnancy. We're ready and waiting to make the next big leap. We can’t wait to be parents.