I may be feeling a little down in the dumps tonight, but I’m fairly certain my friend, Jeanette, is feeling far worse. She found out today that her embryo has died. Please stop by and give her some love.
Why do they do this to us? Why do we let them fill our heads with hope and optimism, at least for a moment, before reality taps us on the shoulder and politely reminds us it’s not that easy?
Both Dr. C and Dr. S contributed to filling our heads with nonsense. Dr. C once told me it was “possible” Hubby could achieve a normal sperm count. Dr. S spewed some theory about newly minted sperm being superior and therefore likely to knock me up despite low counts.
In preparation for our upcoming IVF, Hubby had a test to look at the DNA of his sperm. It also documented the usual data: count, motility, morphology. While his count is still creeping upward, and his motility is actually pretty fantastic, nothing else about that test was exactly good news. The numbers:
volume: 2.75 ml
concentration: .87 (870,000/ml)
DNA fragmentation: 56%
For those of you not knee-deep in sperm knowledge, normal counts are 20 million/ml and above; morphology is 4%; and fragmentation is less than 30%. I know it doesn’t really matter. We were planing on doing ICSI anyway, and since we decided to go ahead with PGS, we have no choice about it. But, given these crap numbers, our IVF coordinator is now saying they’re going to need multiple samples from poor Hubby both the afternoon before and the morning of the retrieval. If we get that far.
I haven’t convinced myself yet that this $20,000 endeavor is going to be successful. I have my moments, but for the most part, it’s just too hard to believe.
If I’m being completely honest, I thought we’d be a lot further along by now. The hopeful part of my brain, back when I had easy access to it, thought we’d have our first sperm show up about March of this year, six months after beginning Hubby’s injections, and a mere three months after adding hMG. I wasn’t far off there; it was April when we discovered the first few swimmers. And then, I thought, we’d just go ahead and dive in. Why wait around, hoping for his count to go up, when we’d always been told IVF/ICSI was the only solution to our particular problem? But, of course, Hubby not having a job or any clear prospects at the time made that idea a little far-fetched. So we’d wait, just a little longer, for his counts to approach 10 million, maybe get a shot at IUI. That didn’t work out so well, either.
And now, here we are, the same place we could have been seven months ago. Still no closer to Hubby having a job, but plowing ahead anyway. It’s about the scariest thing I can imagine. Whether it works or it doesn’t, I’m terrified.