All’s Well

So far everything is going well.  I just don’t feel 100% comfortable blogging about the experience of being pregnant when there are so many out there who wish they could be.  Just a few months ago I felt the growing bitterness when those that had gotten pregnant would talk about how joyous it was…or worse, complain about it.  Hence, my fairly quiet approach to this.

Perhaps I’ll start another blog to write about pregnancy.  Maybe I’ll hold off until the 2nd trimester to do so.

I just wanted to pop in to let everyone know that everything is going OK.

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It’s Going to be a Long Wait

Oy, this next 8 weeks is going to take forever.  I called the doctor today and scheduled by first appointment.  Which in and of itself was a little terrifying for some reason.

January 10 is my first appointment.  I’ll hopefully be 8 weeks pregnant.  I just want to get past that appointment as I’ve read most miscarriages occur before 8 weeks.  

I can’t even think that far ahead though.  I’m just racked with this overwhelming fear that it’s going to be ripped away from us.  That this excitement and happiness will quickly become sorrow.  

How do you not think about it every single second?  How do you not over-analyze every twinge or cramp?  How do you get over the possibility of such sadness and focus on the amazing, wonderful part? 

I’m speaking in terms of if.  If we make it, if we have a nursery, if we announce it to our friends…

I’m trying not to become too attached, and it’s been such a short period of time since we found out, but I still find myself placing a hand on my abdomen and whispering, “Stay with me little nugget, please stay with me.”  

Thank You

Thank you so much for your outpouring of love and support.  This is an amazing community and even if the worst were to happen I know I could find support here.

I told my mom yesterday.  Is it early, yes?  Would I need her if something happened, yes.  She miscarried with her first pregnancy (I was her second).  She was far from home in another state being the best Army wife she could be and had little in the way of support.  I know she won’t tell another living soul until we’re ready, and I know that in the coming weeks I wouldn’t have been able to keep my gob shut anyway.  We have a very close relationship and I don’t know if I would have been able to keep this from her.

Her reaction was very sweet.  I carted over my digital test (which in hind sight was really gross, but it had the cap on, so I’m making it OK in my head).  When her boyfriend left the room for a moment I asked her to speak in private.  When I showed her the test she looked  at it and said, “What’s this?  Is this you?  You’re pregnant!?”  She knew the inner turmoil I had faced with Mr. S’s results and how it weighed heavily on me.  She gave me a great big hug and told me she guessed that meant she had to be nice to me.

She’s concerned for me, in a way a mother would be.  I went grocery shopping with her and she had to check the sugar content of all the ginger ale before she was satisfied with me drinking one.  Ginger ale has been my saving grace since my stomach has been queasy and I’ve been experiencing waves of nausea for about a week but she’s already thinking about gestational diabetes (she had borderline g.d. with my brother).  She’s also worried that something might happen to the pregnancy, and I am too, but it’s something I’ll have to face if it happens.  I can’t live wondering when it’s going to happen.  

But that’s it.  We’re not telling anyone else until we’re given the second trimester green light.  Which seems too far away.  However, I know the next few weeks will pass quickly and hopefully the next few after that will as well.

I guess I should call and schedule an appointment with my OB right?  I almost want to just strut in there and be all “Biotch you were so wrong about my hubs’ swimmers!”  But, she’s a good doctor overall, apparently she just doesn’t know much about man juice.

So…this happened

Sorry I’ve been MIA lately, took a little blogging hiatus so I could try to get more zen with this trying for baby thing…and I guess it worked.

This happened yesterday:

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I woke up two days late.  I took my temperature and it was a little lower than it had been.  My heart sank, I just knew my period was coming.  As Mr. S got out of bed he said, “You snored last night, it was cute.”  So…maybe my temp was off?

I had to pee anyway so I rolled out of bed and made a decision, I needed to know.  I had thought about waiting.  If it was negative my hope was gone, and hope was better right?

So I peed in my cup and dipped the wondfo.  Knowing it would be negative I dumped the rest of the sample and crawled back into bed, starring at the clock for the next five minutes.  At exactly five minutes later I got back out of bed.  Ready to be deflated.

I saw that line immediately, and my heart leapt into my throat.  I was immediately sobbing.  It was a mixture of emotions.  Of holy crap, I’m so happy, I’m so scared, what did we do?  I had thought about lots of cute ways to tell Mr. S if this had ever happened but in that moment it all went out the window, and sobbing I went on knocked on his bathroom door.

He answered and looked at my tear soaked face.  I could see the panic in his eyes, he asked if I was OK, he wanted to know what happened.  I couldn’t speak so I just handed him my little pee tinged stick.  He asked if I was pregnant and when I nodded he finally hugged me.  We just stood there for a while, hugging while I sobbed and then we finished getting ready for our days.

I was a little disappointed with his reaction.  Later in the day he told me that he’s trying to be cautious because so much can happen.  And this is a direct quote, “I’ve seen lots of sitcoms where they read those things wrong.”  Seriously…this is not an episode of Friends Mr. S.

So today I took two more test:

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The wondfo line showed up after only about a minute, and the digital showed a result in the same time.  I took this picture before the five minutes on the Wondfo so it doesn’t look as dark as it does in real life.

I crawled back in to bed with the test and he said, “Oh, this one’s different than yesterday.”  I responded, “Well yeah, this one’s stupid proof since you didn’t have confidence that I knew how to read a pregnancy test.”

So for now, I’m gleeful.  I know it’s super early, and I know the statistics.  10% of pregnancies end in miscarriage.  But, I also know that there’s a 90% chance we’ll be ok.  And now we know that we CAN do it on our own.  We don’t HAVE to resort to IVF  like the doctor had thought (I’m thinking she just doesn’t know how to read a freaking sperm analysis).  Even if the worst we to happen, at least now we have some faith that we’re both operating like we should.

I’m also feeling a little sad.  Sad for our friends who start IVF next month, even though I’m so hopeful and excited for them.  Sad for those who try and try and can’t achieve this thing they’ve dreamed for.  Sad for those who struggle with the unknown and feel like sometimes this whole baby thing is like treading water for too long.  I was there, just last month.  I felt like my legs were going to give out and I was in over my head.

And now here I am.  Cautiously optimistic that this little nugget will stick around.  Cautiously optimistic that next summer I’ll be huge and uncomfortable in the heat, waddling around and glaring at women in their bikinis.

I’m also so hopeful that all of you will feel that catch in your throat as your starring at two lines soon.

Another One Bites the Dust

Looks like we’re out this month.  My temperature plummeted about 6 tenths of a degree, and I’m spotting.  It’s very, very little spotting, but alas spotting.  And AF is due tomorrow.

It pisses me off.  It pisses me off mostly because my boobs were so sore three days ago I was in tears.  Tear inducing boob hurt and no baby.  How is that fair universe?

If by some miraculous turn of fate that I don’t believe is going to happen, I don’t start tomorrow, I’ll test on Thursday.  I’ve actually been really good and haven’t tested at all during this TWW.  Shocking no?

Mr. S requested a THIRD SA, so in the likely event I’m not pregnant he’ll have to do that whole thing again.  I’m hoping that the third time is the charm and his numbers will come back like they should.

If not Mr. S has to go to a primary care physician to get a referral to go talk to the urologist.  Which is just ridiculous to me.  We know he’s likely got an issue that a urologist would treat, so why can’t he just go direct to the source instead of making a time-consuming pit stop with someone else.

TTC has got to be one of the most stressful, heartbreaking, gut wrenching things a person can go through.

Posted in TTC

When Will it End

I’m frustrated.

So, so frustrated.

Mr. S’s second analysis results came back.  Morphology WAY better, not great, but in the “normal/good prognosis” range.  Motility was OK, not great, but OK.  This time his count was bad.

What?

Last time his count was stellar, 86 million/mL and 2 mL, so roughly 172,000,000 little swimmers ready to go.  (Thankfully the count is still valid even if you murder all of your sperm like Mr. S did.)  This time…21 million/mL and 1.3 mL, so around 27,300,000.  Where did 144,700,000 sperm go!?

My doctor’s nurse called and said because of the low number they think Mr. S should go see a urologist.  “But what about the numbers from the last test?” I asked, “They were so much higher.  With those numbers we’d have a chance.”  She said she’d send a message to the doctor and get back to me.

In the meantime I researched what the nurse said Mr. S might have, a varicocele.  You can read all about it here.  Or you can take my quick explanation (from my limited understanding) that it’s a widening of the veins that hold up the testicle.  These can cause the spermatic cord to function improperly because of blood flow blockage or increasing the temperature of the testicle.

Awesome.

More awesome, the only treatment is surgery.  Better yet, it doesn’t always solve the problem.  Oh and there can be side effects and it can come back.

So now, I have to try to talk to doctor into ordering ANOTHER semen analysis, because I feel like we need more information.  If one test comes back super high, and the other super low, it seems like you’d try it again to get more data.  I also have to talk Mr. S into doing another test.  I have read that sometimes men under stress give worse samples, and I guarantee he was stressed at the lab.  If we did another I’d let him do it at home and I would take it in.

I still think that Mr. S might need to go check in with a urologist because his pH level was 8.5 and is considered a little high.  High pH can really screw with sperm too.  Maybe a varicocele would impact that too, I really don’t know.  However, I still think that the urologist would want another test done.  I would if I were a doctor.

So right now, I’m presented with 4 possibilities.  1.) Mr. S has another analysis and has great numbers.  2.) Mr. S goes to a urologist, has an infection or inflammation or something easily treatable and we go on our way with natural conception. 3.) Mr. S goes to a urologist and has a varicocele.  He had it treated with surgery and we maybe go on to conceive naturally.  4.) Mr. S goes to a urologist and has a varicocele.  He doesn’t have surgery.  We go right to IVF.

While I’m really pulling for numero uno, I’m not going to be too hopeful for it.   Option 2 would be great as well.

Option three is attractive because the surgery would likely be covered by insurance.  But, there are complications that could happen, there’s also the possibility it happens again.  Lastly, it might not work.  Studies have been across the board showing numbers as high as a 69% natural conception rate after 2 years, and as low as 22%.  Moreover, it may take 5-7 months and as much as 2 years to produce “normal” sperm after the procedure.

Option 4 is costly, but would avoid potentially negative outcomes to Mr. S.  It might not take us as long.  But, for my age bracket there’s a 50% chance it won’t work.

I’m not really sure what to think.  We haven’t even been trying a year yet, in fact we’ve only been trying for a few months, and yet all the sudden we might be dealing with male infertility.  I’ll admit that I am very conflicted even with this tidbit of information.

On the one hand, if Mr. S does have a real problem knowing sooner rather than later means we don’t spend as much time fruitlessly trying.  On the other hand, isn’t the definition of fertility not being able to conceive after a year.  Doesn’t it only take one sperm and one egg?  If Mr. S’s last test was for some reason a fluke and the volume and concentration levels from the first test are more on par, then he’d have over 15 million perfect sperm.

So tonight I get to tell Mr. S that his results were once again sub-par.  I’m going to have to talk him about potentially doing another test, or if he’s going to have to see a urologist.

F*ck.

Birthdays and Periods

So I’m 4DPO, really though I ovulated before 8:30 AM the day I ovulated so I think that should count for at least half a day or something.  But whatever, I’m grasping at straws here to move along this two week wait.

I will turn 26 years old 3 days before my expected period.  What a wonderful birthday present a BFP would be.  It’d be like a gift from the universe.  A “hey you’re on the wrong side of 25, here’s a prezzie!” type thing.

But I’m doing my best not to think about the TWW and pregnancy and possibilities too much.  Although our timing was pretty freaking phenomenal this month, and this is the earliest I’ve ovulated since I’ve began tracking, I’m still realistic that even in the best conditions there’s only that 25% shot.

Mr. S has his retest tomorrow.  He’s planning on voting then making his way to the lab to provide a sample.  Best outcome: I get a BFP and we don’t have to worry about his test anyway.  Second best outcome: his numbers are normal or excellent.  I’m hoping for excellent but would jump for joy over normal.

I suppose in the meantime it’s just a whole lot of waiting and patience…two things I am really not good at.

Doctor’s Review

So today was my ultrasound and review of all of my bloodwork.

My heart was pounding as I was called back by the ultrasound tech.  I had heard horror stories of transvaginal ultrasounds and techs that weren’t very gentle.  That wasn’t the case for me.

It wasn’t pleasant, but the tech was very kind.  She spoke to me about her own fertility problems.  They had unexplained fertility and tried for two years.  Finally she came to peace with the fact that without ART they wouldn’t have a child.  She threw away her thermometer, her books, her OPK’s.

The very next cycle she got pregnant.  It’s amazing to me how many people have fertility issues.  So much more common than I would have originally thought.

The tech also said she believed I had ovulated within the last 24 hours or so.  Which was strange to me as my BBT didn’t go up.  Maybe tomorrow though.

After the ultrasound I was seen by the doctor.  She said my blood work came back great, my lining was great, and my ovaries were fine.  She did say they were borderline polycystic, but some more weight loss should help.  She ordered a new sperm analysis for Mr. S and said she hoped the cold caused all of the issues.

So Mr. S scheduled his next collection to be in-clinic.  And now we wait.

I hope and pray that we caught the egg this month and that we will hear wonderful news in two weeks.  I hope that the results of the next analysis will be irrelevant to us.  And I hope that all of you get your positives soon too.

Hope

We were given a glimmer of hope yesterday in the form of a nurse named Jamie.

I was doing everything I could to keep my mind off of my grief when my phone rang.  I reluctantly answered to hear Jamie.  She began with, “The doctor was further reviewing your husband’s test…”  My heart clenched and I felt the tears beginning in the corner of my eyes.

“There was a note from the lab,” she said hesitantly.  “There could be something wrong with the sample your husband supplied.”  My heart began beating faster.  “The lab note says the cup was cold.”

What?  The sperm sample that is supposed to be kept as near body temperature as possible was cold enough that the cup felt cold through the tech’s gloves?  What?

I asked her what that meant and she told me that essentially the results were invalid.  The motility, viability and most importantly morphology numbers that had sent me into a whirlwind of depression could have all been greatly impacted by the sample being cold.  A retest is needed.

I hung up and felt a number of emotions.  I was scared, I was hopeful, I was confused, I was angry.  Upon confronting Mr. S about the cold sample the truth came out.

He had taken the sample in on a cold morning.  He had LEFT THE SAMPLE IN THE CAR when he ran back into our apartment for something.  Then as he drove his sample to the lab he left it sitting on the passenger seat, not near his body.

I think I could have murdered him.  We had discussed many times the importance of keeping the sample warm.  I begged him to collect at the clinic, which he refused.  Now he has no choice.  I might sound like a dictator, but I refuse to go through the emotional trauma again and have the results be invalid.

So again we wait.  I’m too gun shy to become too optimistic about the potential of good results.  I’m trying to stay positive until we have valid results, but keeping that balanced with the possibility that the numbers could still come back poorly.

I am very grateful for the kindness all of you had shown yesterday.  The concern and care was overwhelming and I cried at many of your kind words.  I appreciate it more than you may know.

Hopefully I can share good news with you all in the coming weeks.

 

Heartbreak

I’ve been absent again.  But this time I’ve been trying to cope.  Trying to deal with the heartbreak.  Trying to understand.  One little test has rocked out world completely.

My husband’s sperm analysis results.

Tears stream down my face while I’m writing this in the dark, my husband still in bed.  It’s not his fault.  If it were my issue I would be devastated.  I don’t want him to see my tears…because it’s not his fault.  I can’t let him feel any more guilt than he already does.

A shockingly low morphology result.  An initial diagnosis that says with those numbers IVF with ICSI will be the only way.  The only option is a costly procedure that might not work.

Suddenly the dreams of holding my baby disappeared.  The dreams of rubbing my hands over an extended belly, talking to the little one inside are gone.

I’m wracked with uncertainty, with longing, with desperation.  I’m fearful that my young marriage won’t be able to endure the strains of infertility.  I’m trying to understand.  I’m trying not to be so angry.  I’m trying not to let the fingers of depression get their grip into me.  I’m trying to be optimistic, I’m trying to tell myself the next test will come back with something we can work with.  I’m trying not to feel sick to my stomach every time I think about it.

I’m trying…and I’m failing.  I just don’t know what to do.