Arriving at the clinic for our WTF meeting I was surprisingly calm. I thought I felt calm. Maybe I’m just emotionally numb by now, because according to my bowels I was feeling really stressed. They threatened to force me into canceling this appointment. Thankfully the wife keeps a pharmacy in her purse for common ailments.
What I really like about our Doctor is how he explains the process for anyone to understand. He restated how our situation is mainly due to very low sperm count. How we tried to increase production and it didn’t work forcing us straight into IVF and ICSI. Yada yada, rinse repeat…heard all this already…same info you said last time. Unfortunately this need to explain the process leads to repeating himself.
Finally I interrupted asking, “How low?” I’m tired of guessing what my count is based on a couple of reports I’m not sure I’m even reading correctly.
“A few thousand.” Wow! Here I was thinking it was a few dozen. Maybe I’m not as bad off as I originally thought. Maybe it might be worth trying IVF again. Maybe I might actually have a kid that is mine. Maybe…
“The most likely reason for this failure is the poor quality of sperm.” Nice kick Doc. Right in the balls. Right square in the balls. Just after I let down my guard too. Well played.
“During fertilization the egg itself has everything it needs the first 3 days to grow. After that the embryo requires the information from the sperm to continue growing.” Basically not only am I producing a low number of sperm, but the ones I am producing are worthless. Great! And here I thought I couldn’t feel any lower about my reproductive ability.
We discussed another IVF cycle which he did agree my wife could stay on her anxiety medication during it. A big win that right now I’m in too much pain to enjoy.
We talked about the options of donor sperm and donor embryos. Both of which I have reservations about. We discussed using my father as a donor and what requirements would be needed to make that happen.
Then he brought up the option of a split IVF. Once they retrieve the eggs they would fertilize half the eggs with my sperm and the other half with donor sperm. This option would allow me to still have a shot of being a father with my lackluster sperm, and still increase our chances on a successful IVF with a donor who has better sperm.
It’s an interesting option. The wife and I have a lot to discuss. Which feels a lot better than just waiting around. Pardon me while I go put ice on my groin.
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.
- Egg Retrieval
- Fertilize eggs
- Implant a few embryos
- Freeze remaining embryos
- 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.