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“When a man and a woman love each other very much…”

I was four going on five when I heard those words from my mother. She was definitely prepared for the question after telling me I would soon have a little brother or sister. We sat in the chair and she opened a book to an artists picture of an egg that was the size of a silver dollar. She turned the page to an artists picture of a sperm that was about 8 inches long. She then said “When a man and a woman love each other very much, the man puts his sperm in the woman. The sperm then meets the egg inside the woman and that makes a baby.” It’s one of a handful of memories I truly remember from my childhood. I also remember looking at that big picture of the sperm thinking it must hurt mommy. And I know I wasn’t satisfied with my mother’s explanation, because that book became my new favorite. Trying to figure out how dad got that big sperm inside mommy was a rainy day hobby of mine.

Resisting the urge to join my wife scowling at the mother with one kid already, this memory crossed my mind. And I wondered…If this works, how would I answer that question? This sure is taking a lot longer and a lot more complicated than the story my mother told me. Do I tell him about how the doctor was so fascinated by my wife’s full bladder, that for grins he measured it at 66mm. Will she want to hear how we watched the doctor measure the lining to see that it was a healthy 8mm. Or the blood tests my wife had to take to check her estrogen levels, and how happy we are they’re normal. In the end, I guess the essence of the story is still essentially the same. Just instead of being vague to avoid talking about sex, we will be vague because it’s too flipping complicated.

I’m to give the trigger shot at exactly 11pm tonight. Egg retrieval is scheduled for 9 am sharp on Saturday. Yep, definitely more complicated.

© copyright 2011-2012

The verdict is…

…I make bad decisions when I get emotional. Sweetie you were right. All the advice on the internet was correct. Unless you have a condition where the doctors know HCG works to improve sperm production, it just doesn’t work for the rest of us. So there is $1200 out the door. If there had been a reasonable chance this might work, it wouldn’t bother me. The doctor himself said there was only a small chance this might work, coupled with the advice on the internet and from my wife, I knew this was a long shot.

Like betting on a 12 in dice where the rewards are big, but the odds are small; I was blinded by the chance of being normal. That maybe this might increase my production to a level where we could conceive naturally and forget all this IVF stuff. I’m looking at this simply as another lesson on why I need to stop making decisions when my emotions take over, and moving on.

The odd thing is I went from 4 to zero. The doctor wants me to wait a couple of weeks, then do another semen analysis. Except this time he wants me to go to the main office an hour away in a major city to have it done. That way they can freeze any sperm they find. He wants me to create a bank of specimens so when the egg retrieval takes place, he has some backup to go too if my semen doesn’t contain any on that particular day. I’m guessing another affair with a different folder chair.

© copyright 2011-2012

Boost the juice.

Great news is with the tax refund and financing we are giving IVF a shot. The high level outline of the process goes like this.

  1. Egg Retrieval
  2. Fertilize eggs
  3. Implant a few embryos
  4. Freeze remaining embryos
  5. Check for pregnancy

I’ll go into more detail when we get to each stage of the process, but that is basically it. The nice part is that we hope to have enough viable embryos so if the first round doesn’t result in pregnancy, we can try a couple more times at a much cheaper price.

However, we agreed that when the embryos were gone, we were done. I hate being the one to force this decision now. For starters, it gives my wife the false idea that I really don’t want to go through with this. She looks at the cost and understandably it scares her to spend all that money on something that may not work out. I absolutely want to go through with this. For me, the only failure is not to try. I think I would regret not trying a lot more than spending the money with nothing to show for it. It’s important to remember we are spending money on the attempt, not the result. When I look at it that way, the money is well spent, regardless of what happens. I also know that when I get emotional, I make stupid decisions. It is important for myself to set this boundary now, when I’m calm and thinking rationally. Cost is only part of the equation in this decision. Emotionally I don’t think I could handle another attempt. For now, that is the stopping point. We also agree she gets a dog at that point.

Before we start IVF, the doctor wants to try to boost my production levels using HCG shots. HCG boosts the level of testosterone in the testes in the hopes this will increase production. I take a shot 3 times a week for 3 months. After one month the clinic will draw blood to see if my testosterone level has increased, but it takes 3 months before they know if there is a sperm production increase with me having another rendezvous with Ms. folding chair and a cup. This means a 3 month delay before we can start, which the wife is not happy about. She has read these shots don’t work.

All I know is rich folks are somehow using HCG to lose weight, therefore driving up demand and the price. Since I’m using it for fertility purposes they do have a discount program, But I’m still spending a lot more than I probably would be before this weight loss discovery. I must focus on the positive that this might help me.

© copyright 2011-2012