Friday, March 10, 2006

*** Why We're Doing IVF ***

Here we are at the very beginning of our IVF process. My name is UtRus and I will be your guide because it's my 36-year-old uterus that will hopefully soon be occupied by a growing bunch of cells that will, with much luck, turn into a viable foetus and then a baby for us. I'm really just writing this to keep my own head in order and also because I know how much I've gained from reading other people's fertility-related stories out there on the internet.

Of course I never thought I would be writing this. I figured, like every other woman out there, that after years of trying NOT to get pregnant, that we'd one day pull the goalie and get knocked up right away. And I learned, like many other women who have thought these thoughts, that things don't always happen as you picture they will.

I am 36, my Hubs is 35. We tried for 9 months out of one year (not consecutive, took a 3 month break in there) to get pregnant the traditional way but no dice. There were good indications that I was ovulating on day 13 or 14 of a 28-30 day cycle - temps charted nicely, CM was nice and juicy at the right times, OPKs lit up with 2 lines when they were supposed to. We did all the preliminary tests:

his SA - normal. The second time, that is. The first sample, about 3 months earlier, was still considered normal but was much lower in count and not as healthy morphology-wise. He has a vericocele, this we know. The urologist wanted to correct it, the FE said that urologists always want to correct vericoceles and that it rarely makes a difference, especially when his SA (both of them, actually) was in the normal range.

FSH, E2, Inhibin B - normal.

HSG - inconclusive. Fertility Expert thought one side was great, the other side had one ovary & tube in a strange position with very little spill, said laparoscopy might be an option since I might have some endo on that side. Consult with Gyno thought ovary position was fairly normal and that since the tube had a nice thin line and then a little bit of spill (though preferential to the other side) that things were not abnormal, laparoscopy not indicated for me.

PCT - inconclusive. this was done by my Gyno, not our FE (it's not really protocol anymore because it's thought to be an unreliable test) which showed NO LIVING SPERM 2 hours after the deed. But we stupidly used Astroglide which might have snuffed 'em.* Either that or my CM hates Hubs' swimmers. In which case we need to bypass my CM!

and also... mystery cysts - 4 months out of this past year, I have been diagnosed with one very large cyst (corpus luteum, probably) on one ovary or the other at the very end of my cycle. Of course, what prompts diagnosis is pain which I fear is an ectopic pregnancy. Ultrasound then shows a giant cyst. They always resolve on their own. But... am I REALLY even ovulating? And these giant cysts tend to disrupt the following cycle, and I had at least 4 in the last year, so...

Hubs and I both suspect that we would eventually get pregnant if we kept trying. However, we'd like to have two children (in a perfect world, may we be so lucky) so we've decided to get aggressive before it gets less and less likely that this will happen. Why make the same mistake again - we already waited until I was 35 to start trying! I feel it's hubris to carry on "just trying" at this age. It would be so great if during IVF this time we can get enough 36-year-old embies to freeze for a stab at child #2 when we are a few more years down the line.

I realize we could be WAAAAY too hopeful here, but what the hell. If there's ever a time for "hopeful" to be healthy, this would be it. I know quite realistically that we'll be lucky if we can conceive, period. And luckier still if we eventually have a baby to raise. I know that for many beautiful people in this world it never happens. And I would like to state for the record that I will still have a good rest-of-my-life if it never does. I like the idea of adoption, always have (might do it in any case), and I can also picture being quite happy without kids. So with these things being said, I hope IVF works for us.

*Note, a fairly recent study came out that says most lubricants kill sperm pretty damn effectively (so does saliva, mind you). They tested many of the usuals: Astroglide, FemGlide, Replens. Only one, Pre-Seed, was not AS bad for sperm. We've basically used Astroglide every damn time we've ever had sex, except for 1 month when we tried Pre-Seed on a whim at the very beginning (before we saw the study). Didn't prefer it - too thick, not slippery enough. If we'd only known. I would have chucked the stuff out the window. I also would have at least tried the pasteurized eggwhites+medicine dropper thing!


Anonymous said...

Welcome, welcome to the land of the infertile blogger. You seem much too nice to be classified as a full-blown member of the Infertile Bitch Brigade yet... and I'm hoping that your journey is so short that you never end up there! chuckle.

Thanks for your comment on my blog as well... I'll go read the rest of your posts now...

YouGuysKnow said...

Manuela, you rock. I hope (no offence) that i don't become a full-blown member, either. (you're nice) but i tell you, the IBB is a bunch of kick-ass women and I am proud to be associated. period. (no pun intended there, ugh...)

Jen said...

Hi Utrus,

I've seen your comments on some of the blogs I read and wanted to come by and welcome you to the IF blogosphere. I'll be checking up on you as you go through your IVF, and will be keeping my fingers crossed that your IF journey is a short one.