Category Archives: The Beginning

The time of blissful ignorance when my folding chair fetish began.
Start at the bottom and work your way up for the proper emotional impact.

Do I dare hope?

It was 2 months before the fertility specialist could see us. Although my wife found this frustrating, it gave me a chance to recover. Plus it gave us time to read up on some of the options. Having my father donate appeared to be the best option for the both of us. Adoption and donor sperm from a stranger, are not for me. Every time someone would mistakenly compare the kids features to mine, would feel like a kick in the gut. Issues like do you tell the kid the truth, or questions about why the kid doesn’t look like me, these things just bother me. I know it’s irrational. I wish I was a stronger person to rise above this, but I’m not. On the one hand I know I would try my hardest to love and care for the child and raise it as my own. But there is this nagging feeling of uncertainty. Will I love him/her, or will I secretly resent him/her? Of course my every desire would be to love the child. But I’m not going to kid myself, I just do not know the answer to that question. For me, those options are off the table.

The other option we are considering is In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). But what we are reading says the costs are around $20,000 dollars. I make a decent living, but crunching the numbers don’t look good. Our insurance doesn’t cover it, so although I could afford to have the child, there would be no money left to raise the child. And we are not even sure if it would be possible with my 2 swimmers.

We meet with the specialist. A very nice man. Seems to be on the quiet side, much like myself. He goes through the list of options for us and the pros and cons of each. I bring up the subject of using my father as a donor. He explains that it is an option, but federal law requires donor sperm to be frozen for 6 months before it can be used to be sure it doesn’t have HIV or hepatitis. If we were using sperm from a complete stranger, I’m in complete support. But in this case, that is just stupid. So an unmarried couple wants to have a kid through sex, no problem. Unmarried couple needs assistance through IVF or other means, 6 month quarantine. So the federal government is forcing an unmarried couple wanting to have kids to either 1. get married, or 2. wait the 6 months. Where I’m sure they have been having sex throughout the 6 months. In my opinion, that’s just stupid.

But then the doctor directs us to a process called Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Where they take a single sperm and inject it directly into an egg. Used in conjunction with IVF this would allow my sperm to be used regardless of the very low quantity I am producing.

Cautiously I ask, “How much?”

As it so happens, this clinic’s prices are reasonable and something we may actually be able to afford. We have lots to discuss. Hoping the tax return is a good one this year. But I must be careful. There is still a chance this may not work. But do I dare hope? Yes, how can one not?

© copyright 2011-2012

And the walls come tumbling down

The wife and I are sitting in the waiting room at the Urologist’s office holding each others hand. I can tell she is nervous, but I’m a swimming cocktail of emotion. Hopeful the doctor found something to fix my condition. Worried about how some of those fixes might occur. (The antique tools around the waiting room are not helping. And I plan ahead with a response to ask the wife for some privacy if any further examinations are required.)  Scared the problem can’t be fixed. Grateful for the beautiful wife by my side. Angry at the picture of 3 handsome boys of the Urologist’s reminding me I’m broken. Sitting there trying to be strong for my wife for whatever news awaits us, the assistant calls my name and directs us into an examination room.

This doctor is very efficient and quickly enters the room before the emotional cocktail starts churning again. Unfortunately the arrangement of the seating doesn’t allow for me to hold my wife’s hand, as I am desperately wanting to do so at the moment.

“Hello Mr and Mrs. Jones (not our real name). I take it you’ve finished the tests I requested, so lets take a look at the results shall we.” as he flips open the folder to the first test result. “Well you sure are consistent. The semen analysis is exactly the same.” I feel a slight breeze from the paper as he turns to the next report. “The blood work I ordered to check your FSM and LH levels are higher than normal. The brain produces FSM and LH to tell the testicles to produce testosterone. The more testosterone in the testes increases sperm production. This tells me the brain is getting the signal that there is a production issue and is sending the right signals to try to correct it.” Realizing I’ve been holding my breath, I breath in slow and deep as he reads the final report. Stealing a glance at my wife, I notice her eyes are fixed on the doctor and her hands nervously clutched in her lap…”The only issue the ultrasound discovered is small enlargement in one of the veins. An enlarged vein in the testicles can cause the temperature to increase, and therefore decrease sperm production. However, this is a very small enlargement and I do not think surgery would produce any benefit to your condition. This is a very unusual case. Patients coming to me for fertility reasons either have none at all, or a low sperm count, but I haven’t seen someone having only a few. The other tests checking for infection, STD’s, cancer, etc., all came back negative. I’m sorry Mr. Jones but there is nothing I can do surgically or chemically to help you . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . refer you to a fertility specialist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .I wish you both the best  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . very sorry I’m unable to help you.”

“. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .”, my wife asks as her eyes begin to fill.

” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .”, the doctor responds with genuine sympathy.

Staring at a void of nothingness, I instinctively thank the doctor and shook his hand. I reach for the anchor of my wife’s hand, then head out to make the co-pay. Standing at the window, waiting for the receptionist to finish with another patient, thoughts and emotions begin to coalesce in the void. (“NO, NOT HERE”) Desperately I search for something positive to focus on. I turn to my wife and feel the flood rushing behind my eyes. (“Nope, that’s not going to work.”) Switching gears to see if anger will help. (“That doctor should not have gotten my hopes up last visit!”) But it rings hollow, I know in my heart the doctor did his best. The phone rings as the receptionist finishes with the other patient. Frantically I start erecting my internal walls to build my own void by focusing on the mundane. (“What an ugly wallpaper? My credit card is looking a bit rough, maybe I should ask for a new one? It’s a shame that young girl dyes her hair instead of leaving it natural, doesn’t she realize soon she will be forced to dye it?) I sign my name, reach for my wife’s hand and head out the door into the hall. I round the corner and see a guy down the hall, but the pressure is now too great.

Coming to a complete stop, I turn to my wife and said, “I’m sorry.” As we embraced my walls came tumbling down. A river flowed from my eyes. My chest began heaving in hyperventilating sobs that I haven’t felt since I was a child.

“Why are you sorry baby?” she asks through her own tears.

“I . . . I . . . I . . .”, could not speak. Every time I tried my body just wouldn’t let me. I could not tell her the devastation I felt for being the reason of shattering both our dreams of having a family. The initial shock that created the void just crushed me when all the thoughts and emotions started flowing back in. Eventually I did speak, but I don’t recall what I said or her response. I just remember her holding me and feeling a blanket of warmth and love surround me, that which I’ve never experienced before in my entire life.

I called in sick to work and headed home. We discussed the idea of adoption. It’s just not for me. I have the highest respect for those who do adopt. I know it’s irrational, but I fear not being able to connect with the kid. That isn’t something you can fake and wouldn’t be fair to the child. Probably the introvert in me. We did discuss having my father be a sperm donor. Even if in my head I couldn’t connect as a father/child, I could still connect as a sibling. We decided to tell no one for the moment except for my father. Who I called that night and graciously agreed to help if all other options were closed.

© copyright 2011-2012

Testing the testicles

Well the semen analysis went as expected. Awkwardly successful. Blood test is a blood test. Nothing special to report, but I do have an appreciation for someone who handles the needle well. I hardly felt a thing this time. But the testicular ultrasound, now there is a new experience.

My dream urologist (female that I do not find attractive) happened to be working as an ultrasound technician. She was very nice and considerate that this was a very awkward situation for me. She hands me a towel and explains how I am to cover my private area while leaving the testicles exposed. At first I found this very odd. Then I realized this was just to keep the fella out-of-the-way while leaving the testicles exposed. I followed the instructions and signaled that I was ready. The technician proceeded to slather my testicles with some sort of lubricating jelly. I was very thankful it was warm. As she moved the ultrasound device around my testicles she proceeded to take several pictures of the blood flow and of the testicles themselves. I was fascinated about what the images were telling her and couldn’t take my eyes of the computer screen.

Considering the debacle of my previous tests this one was rather relaxing. All things considered, I’d rather have a massage, but this wasn’t too bad. Now it is just waiting for the results from the urologist in a few days.

© copyright 2011-2012

Be nice to the Urologist

Well if you can’t be good, be consistent. The results of the second test came back and the only difference is the date the test was taken. I was referred to a urologist to see if they can find out what the problem is.

The wife and I are sitting in the waiting room at the Urologist’s office and this one seems to collect antique urology tools. Lots of long rods with strange ends on them. I would swear these were torture devices if I saw them anyplace else. We go in to meet the doctor and he is a really nice guy. Has 3 boys that he is proud to show pictures of around the office. As I beat down the flame of jealous rage that flares up because clearly his equipment works just fine…he explains the possible causes and orders a blood test, a testicular ultrasound and another semen analysis. He thinks I took the second one too quickly after the first and wants me to wait 3 weeks before taking the next one. Folding chair in the bathroom, here I come sweetheart.

Then with my wife right there he wants to examine me. Guy dilemma moment. Do you admit you are more comfortable if the wife left the room, or do you MAN UP and say “don’t bother me, she can stay.” I chicken out and ended up sitting in a room with my wife while another man handles my junk. I know he is a doctor, but it is still just weird. As expected, he asks me to turn my head and cough. Then he proceeds to gently squeeze and massage the testicles with his thumb and forefinger. It is the most vulnerable position I’ve ever been in. I would have quickly been in a world of hurt if the Doctor had any malice intentions. To take my mind off the fact my wife was watching another man handle my equipment, who could easily make my eyeballs pop out of my head at any moment, then reach for one of his long rods…I considered who would make the perfect Urologist. For me it would have to be a plain-looking female. She couldn’t be hot enough to cause any embarrassing reactions, yet it would still have a natural feeling of a woman handling them and not some guy I just met. Luckily after a few seconds he let go declaring everything “felt” normal. I’ll just have to take his word on that as mine are the only ones I’ve ever felt.

You can only imaging my relief when he pushed his chair back saying “That’s done.” Thank God that is over. “Now turn around for a prostate exam.” Slowly I turn around to face my wife. Bent over, staring into my wife’s eyes, feeling the wash of red flow over my face…I was forced to reconsider my earlier assertion as to the most vulnerable position ever being in.

Thankfully the doctor had no malice in him and there is hope whatever is wrong with me can be fixed.

© copyright 2011-2012

What does that mean?

The interesting thing about being the male partner going through fertility testing, is you are not the patient. The female is the patient. Well that is the reason the clinic gives for calling my wife with the test results of MY semen analysis instead of me. Basically I’m just an ejaculation machine, well don’t I feel special. The problem is that leaves me asking second hand questions that I know my wife doesn’t know the answer too, but I end up asking anyway because I’m not thinking in those terms.

Wife: “The doctor called and said your sperm count was very low. They want you to call and schedule another test.”

Me: “Very low…What does that mean?”

Wife: “I don’t know baby, they just said it was very low.”

Now after taking the test I did some research on what they are looking for in the sample I provided so I would not be in the dark when the results came back. I know they are expecting a sperm count of 20 million or more per milliliter. They check the motility (are they moving forward and at an active pace) expecting 50% or above. They check the morphology by checking 200 sperm and noting any defects they might have. Then they also check pH levels and white blood counts. Basically the test is more than just quantity, but also quality and concentration levels. Just saying a sperm count is low could mean any number of things. Then they had to qualify it with the word “very”. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

I called the clinic to rekindle my affair with the folding chair in the bathroom, and to get some answers.

Nurse: “The good news is your pH level and white blood counts are normal. The motility is normal at 50%. The bad news is they only found 4.”

Me: “4 what? 4 million, 4 thousand, 4…”

Nurse: “No, just 4 period. Only 2 that were actively moving”

Me: “…”

Me: “…”

Me: “…”

Nurse: “Sir?”

Me: “Is this because I masturbated too much as a teenager. I worked very hard proving it does not make you go blind.”

Nurse: “No sir, we just need you to come in for another test in a couple weeks. One test doesn’t not prove anything.”

So I’m off to see if I can duplicate my amazing feat of firing it into a cup once again.

© copyright 2011-2012

An odd request

The wife did several tests and passed them all. Before going any further checking her out, they are requesting I come in for a semen analysis. Apparantly it is a solo operation that must be done at the office, not in the comfort of my home. What an odd situation.

The nice lady hands me a cup and asks when I last had sex. I guess them telling me not to have sex for 2 days prior to the test wasn’t good enough, they want me to verify it in writing. I’m told to ejaculate into this cup, put the lid on it and record the time. Easy enough. As we walk back to the room I can’t help but laugh. Even if I suspected someone was masturbating in the room next to me at work, that isn’t something I would really want to know. Yet all these people know exactly what I am going to be doing in the room next to them. Creepy. I guess they just focus on their job and not think about it.

She opens the door and points to the folding chair with a paper towel on it in the middle of a bathroom. Then kindly shows me the drawers containing magazines to help assist me in my task. Let me repeat that. It’s a bathroom with a folding chair in the middle of it. Now guys are not picky, but this is pushing it. A cot, or one of those examination beds where I can get a little comfortable would be a great help. She leaves me to my duty as I read the sign above a little door asking me to mark the time I finish on the lid, initialize it, then place the cup in the door and ring the bell. Easy. I turn and lock the door and prepare myself for the task at hand.

I thumb through the magazines provided, 8 different issues of Playboy. With the internet they are still in business? Huh. I flip through them and they are all young hot women way out of my league. Maybe if the setting was more comfortable they might help, but on a folding chair in the middle of a bathroom they just don’t do anything for me. Adding to the stuggle are the voices I hear through the walls. I can’t tell what they are saying but it better not be how long I’m taking, because I DON’T NEED ANY MORE PRESSURE! Which leads back to thoughts about them knowing what I’m doing in here. For some that might be a turn on, for me, not so much.

Frustrated I put the magazines neatly back in the drawer. The last thing I want is to be the guy who caused a big crease in the middle of Miss July for the next guy to try and ignore. I give the imagination trick a try. I finally settle on a fantasy with the wife that seems to be working very well. Of course it’s all the things I like to do. What’s great about the fantasy is she is asking me if she can do those things and not me asking her. Allowing me to be selfish without the guilt of asking to be selfish does the trick. If you thought peeing in a cup was difficult, that is cake compared to this. I don’t know about other guys, but I’m not a very good multitasker. Trying to ejaculate into a cup while pretending you are not ejaculating into a cup that I’m holding with one hand and aiming with the other…I was pretty pleased I didn’t spill a drop. Yet disappointed there was no award given for accomplishing such a feat. Providing a rubber which I could then place into a cup would make this operation a whole lot easier.

I marked the time on the lid, placed it in the little door and rang the bell. After washing up I took as a consolation prize the ability to walk out the door without having to face anybody. And rewarded myself with a donut on my way to work.

© copyright 2011-2012

Welcome

I’ve decided to start a blog about going through the process In Vetro Fertilization (IVF) from the viewpoint of the male perspective. I wish I started this sooner, but to put it plainly, it was just too painful. So I’m just going to create the next few posts as if I made them a couple a months ago when I was going through the stages leading up to this procedure. I apologize now for grammar. For some reason it seems like I proof read a post 3 times and still when I look back on a post there is a face palm mistake. Maybe doing this blog will help me improve that. I doubt it.

This is a mature subject matter covering topics about the reproductive systems. I will avoid going pornographic, but there are certain situations that must be discussed and may be uncomfortable to read. If you find yourself uncomfortable reading about a situation, that is because I was uncomfortable living the situation. I want to be open and honest about my feelings. Which is hard for guys. Someday I may link this to facebook, but for now I’m staying anonymous. If you know who we are I request you please do not use our names in your comments. If you are reading this after I’ve gone public with it, sorry. This is really an outlet for me to record the journey.

Some quick background info about myself for starters to kick this off. Currently I am in my mid thirties and on wife number 2. I’d always hoped to have started a family by age 30, because I didn’t want to be going to high school games in my 50’s. Right now I would love to be in my 50’s going to a high school game. Funny how life works sometimes.  I was always curious why my first wife never got pregnant. But with her own medical problems I never pressed the issue. I’ll avoid the long story and just say she had an unexplainable abdominal pain that  required pain killers to function. Making her get off them would mean constant pain for her. So while we weren’t trying to have kids, we were not avoiding them either. The doctors did have a treatment to use if she ever did become pregnant. But it was not a scenario I was looking forward too. I figured the issue was with her and had accepted that kids were a remote possibility. Well after 14 years together, the relationship fell apart. As devastated as I was, the hope that a family was possible helped get me through the rough times.

Then I met my new wife. A beautiful southern bell that brings a smile to my face when I look at her. Who, as it turns out, also had dreams of a family. After a year of trying to have children and nothing happening, we decided to get help and find out what the problem is…

© copyright 2011-2012