Sunday, December 31, 2006


It has been a pretty good week. Ju and I have had some time alone, and also some time to talk about all that has been going on. The holiday timing of all of this and the fact that we have been surrounded by family for what felt like forever has made it hard to have a chance to figure out what to do/how we feel, etc.

Unfortunately, I had a major hormonal/emotional breakdown on Thursday. I basically cried for about seven hours solid (sorry, Ju.). If I ever needed proof that I have a great wife, the fact that she didn't get visibly angry with me while I completely lost it, clearly says a great deal. Anyhow, my breakdown seemed to strangely facilitate our talking about all this. We talked and talked and talked.

We decided that we both desperately want to have a freaking life beyond trying to have a baby. We are not ready to throw in the towel, but IVF is scary, both financially and physically. If this round of IUI doesn't work, we are going to shelf the baby project until school lets out. Then, we can have a chance to reconfigure our lives and focus on some other stuff that we have put on the backburner while we deal with what has become a freaking fertility hell.

Okay, so having said that, I think that I should probably give the details of our current project. We are doing a dual insemination on the 2nd and 3rd using unknown donor sperm. I am a little sad that this is the last chance for IUI . It feels like the end of the "easy" stuff and moving onto IVF seems to indicate that I might have a major fertility issue (can you tell I am really scared?).

The donor we are using this time around evidently has a pretty good thaw rate (over 60% on average) and has 19 known pregnancies. This gives me a bit of hope. I called the sperm bank and bugged the lab techs until they spilled the beans about each of the donors and who was frequently getting folks pregnant. In the end, we chose a guy who had both the most pregnancies and who seemed to actually have a brain in his head. I wish I had known that the sperm bank would give out this info when I started because I would have done so many things differently. Oh well, live and learn.

On a totally different topic (sort of), I saw my college roommates and their 1 and 1/2 year old baby on Friday. Some people hate to be around kids while they are trying to make this baby stuff happen, but I am really happy to be around kids because it reminds me of why we are doing all of this and what the payoff will be. Additionally, my friends are obviously wonderful, super-devoted parents who have a terrific kid. It was nice to see a really happy family.

Friday, December 29, 2006


Okay, so this is the last round of IUI (probably)... OY! Just to bring everyone up to speed this is the 6th cycle in 10 months. All cycles were done with oral medication, except for the first one. And all have been with frozen donor sperm.

We will do two inseminations this month, one on Tuesday (Jan 2nd) and one on Wednesday (Jan 3rd). Both will be with Dr. No-personality, who we essentially "fired" about nine months ago (just great). My wonderful Dr. A is going to the beach with her kids and hubby, thus will not be available. By the time we have results, it will be time to see the IVF doctor (we see him on Jan 15th).

I went for my ultrasound today (I refer this to as "egg day"). This is day 11 of my cycle and while my doctor seemed to feel okay about the results (two follicles measuring at 17 and 18) and the uterine lining measuring at six. She insisted that this was okay, but I was not impressed. I wanted to die and crawl under the table. I am pissy and very difficult to live with at this point. I feel sorry for Ju. I know that she wants me to buck up a little bit, but I seem to be incapable of this and am pretty much inconsolable.

The good news is that Christmas is blissfully over. I would like to point out that I managed to not cry publicly the entire time I was with the family, which is one small accomplishment.

Ju keeps telling me that she still believes we'll be okay, that we can get pregnant and that the IVF guy may have some real ideas (he's a reproductive endocrinologist, so she says he'll know more about hormone stuff). I have MUCH less enthusiasm for this. I am just afraid he is going to tell me my eggs look like crap or that I am just broken. This evening Ju said "aren't you tired?" and the answer is yes, I am really, really, really tired and frustrated and hurt and a million other things. I just don't know what to do.

If I knew how to fix this, I would. I am pretty type-A and hate to "fail"/give up. Ju says that I am freaking out way too early (because we haven't even met the IVF guy and already, I'm expecting the worst) and that we just have to hang in there for what the doctor actually has to say. I am sure that she is right; I am just not good at not worrying.

I really hope things look better tomorrow. In the meantime, it is our/my New Years resolution to have a freaking life beyond fertility!

Thursday, December 21, 2006


So as we all now know, I am officially very un-pregnant. I am almost feeling okay about this. I'm super-annoyed, but glad it is over.

I talked with my doctor yesterday and she told me she simply did not have a clue why I wasn't getting pregnant, but that she thought injectables with IUI was not the way to go. She says I stimulate pretty well from the 150 Clomid. The problem is not quantity of eggs. She seemed relieved that I had made an appointment with the IVF doctor. He was her mentor and she trained under him. She's also discussed our case with him a few times. She told me that she really felt like it was time to have a different set of eyes look at my files and talk with me. She said she thought that he would suggest IVF and frankly, at this point that sounds pretty darn good.

I would love to be able to move forward with IVF quickly, but the money is a pretty big obstacle. I am sure (hopefully) that we can figure it out and I think that there are some potential grandparents who might be willing to kick in some additional cash. Anyway, we went ahead and started this cycle with the same drugs and a few additional tests that I will go in for next week (don't even ask me what they are). By the time that we go to see the IVF doctor on MLK day we will know if this round has worked. I don't have very high expectations for this round, but we basically are going forward b/c the insurance will cover most of it (All drugs except Clomid, all diagnostic tests/procedures, and the IUI. We still have to buy sperm.).

Sitting around trying to figure the money out without ever having a chance of this working sucks. Plus, we have all of these friends who keep telling us that we just haven't tried long enough and that we should give it a few more months. Our regular doctor has additionally suggested that the IVF guy might change the way we do the IUI insemination. I am really excited to find out what our options are and how expensive all of this is going to be.

By the way, Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Anyone out there on MySpace? Lemme know and we can add you to our list!


Yesterday, when R first started bleeding, it was light and spotty. I had secretly hoped it was just some implantation bleeding. I'd read somewhere it can happen as late as day twelve from insemination, and according to our calendar, we were still in the window. But my wishes were only just wishes, as R's period became more intense overnight. More than anything, I just really want her to be happy and I know that for this to happen would make her the happiest ever.

Me - I just feel helpless. I'm disappointed and my spouse is so very upset. She cries and I can't fix it. I can try to comfort her the best I can, but it drives me crazy to see her like this. I just want everything to work and I'm worn out. I know R's worn out, too.

R made an appointment with a doctor who is well-known for IVF and with whom our insem-doctor studied under. We'll go for a consultation in mid-January, but we won't be able to do any IVFs for a while due to R's teaching schedule. In the meantime, we'll continue to do a couple more rounds of IUI, since our insurance will now pay for it starting in January. Maybe we'll get lucky and one of those will work.

A strange thing happened to me this afternoon. R had scheduled a telephone call with Dr. A. Because I'm work, I didn't get to listen in or participate. I realized I had a couple of questions which R didn't ask, so I attempted to call the doctor's office myself to speak with Dr. A. Well, she had to run off to a delivery, so she had a staff-person call me back to let me know that's why she didn't return my call. But, she also had that staff-person tell me that any conversation we had, R needed to be present for. WTF?!

You see, for nearly a year now, I am the one who almost always deals with the doctor's office. I coordinate appointments, ask questions, schedule this or that, get medicines called in, pick medicines up, etc. I deal with the doctor and the staff far more than R ever does and certainly, I've had conversations with Dr. A before. But, now she's having someone else tell me that R needs to be present? Who knows, maybe someone is buckling down on her about privacy acts and such. It just threw me for a loop is all.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

JUST A FEW MORE DAYS (Edit at 3:19 PM)

EDIT: R's period started this afternoon. Back to square one.

We have only a few more days until we know anything for sure about the results of this last insemination. Until today, I was feeling pretty confident that everything was a go, but I seem to have lost it a bit now that R's freaking out and doesn't seem to think it's worked anymore.

For days on end, R's boobs have been the size of Texas and really sore. She's also been tired a lot and complaining of a sore back, as well as having hot flashes. All are classic signs of what one might experience when first pregnant, at least from everything I've read. It's been pretty convincing.

I've managed to keep a really cool head, mostly because I've prepared myself for disappointment. I'm used to being disappointed in my life; if I want to, I can block it all out. And that's what I'm doing. R, on the other hand, isn't so good at doing that. In fact, she's had herself pretty worked up and convinced that we'd be expecting multiples. So, I can only imagine that her disappointment will be even worse than usual.

This morning, R woke up and basically started crying right away. She's gotten herself worked up because her boobs aren't as sore and our pregnancy test came up negative, even though it's probably still too soon to test. Her period isn't due until Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. (what a gift, eh?)

Of course, it could all be fine, too. We could wake up on Christmas, take a test, and get the results we want. But the uncertainty is maddening and R's crying is hard for me to swallow because I simply don't know what to do. I just want to do all the right things.

On another note, R bought a small Christmas present for me. She's a horrible secret-keeper though and couldn't stand it; she had to tell me what it is. It's a 1/32 size (very tiny) violin for a baby/small child. You see, I play violin and I've always talked about doing Suzuki method with my kid one day. When R found this small violin, she said she had to get it for me. Her mom fussed at her for doing that, saying it would curse us. Nevermind the fact that she (my mother-in-law) bought baby booties and a blanket while she was in Paris. Hhhmmpph.

Friday, December 08, 2006


I am feeling okay about the KD; a little annoyed, but it is okay. I just wish we had known earlier. I am glad that the guy bailed early versus after we were expecting. I can't imagine what it would be like to have to fight to keep full custody of our child. That is not a hell that I want to explore.

I really wanted to give this baby try the best shot I could, which to me means that we do at least two insems. I will say that the amazing quanity of meds I took did the trick and we do have two or three (hard to see exactly how many on the ultrasound) good-looking and mature eggs, and a few others that were smallish. At least that is something, plus we have the high count sperm guy as our donor. The reality is I am trying to convince myself that we really do have a chance of this working. I want this to work so badly, and it is a huge disappointment every time when we find out that it just hasn't worked for us.

Being pragmatic, I am already thinkng about next month's try. I have set an internal number of 8 tries. I know that this is a lot, but the idea of trying to get up the cash for IVF is just so scary for me. We are very average folks, and just don't have $30,000-plus bucks laying around, and if we did I am pretty sure that we would prefer not to spend our money in this fashion. We are having a hard enough time with paying for all of this stuff every month, much less mortgaging ourselves to the hilt for the purpose of having a baby.

I know the reality is that if we needed to, that we would do IVF or lie to the foreign adoption people and pretend that I am not gay, or frankly, whatever we needed to in order to have a child that we raise. I just hope that it doesn't come to any of that!

I have been looking into embryo adoption, mostly because unlike traditional adption, there is no birth mother to contend with and there isn't a foreign adoption official to lie to, plus we would (obviously) get a newborn baby, which is important to us at this point in the game. I don't know if that will ever become unimportant to us, but I don't think either of us would really be able to say no to the opportunity to be parents if the child was older. Who knows what we will do in the end.

If anyone knows anything about embryo adoption outside of the super-Christian snowflake people, LET ME KNOW!!!

Maybe we will just get lucky and have an amazing Christmas... and we will be able to just move on to the next thing.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


The last time we did an insemination, we used a donor with an extraordinarily high sperm count. Some of you may recall my artistic renditions of what it looked like under a microscope. Anyhow, prior to our plans to use a known donor, we'd really wanted to buy more of this donor's sperm. However, when I called to put it on reserve, he was already "sold out". We went on a pending list with nine other folks ahead of us. Well, a couple of days ago I got a call while at work and it was now our turn to purchase high-count-sperm-guy. The timing seemed like a sign and after talking it over with R, we decided to buy some. I even arranged to pick it up for this round of insemination, just in case we'd need it should something fall through with our known donor.

Well, it's a good thing we followed our gut and bought it because tonight we found out things aren't going to work out with our KD. Even though we planned all of this weeks in advance, he suddenly has other obligations. Yeah, right. His story changed probably three or four times about what it was he had to do. He could be telling the truth; he doesn't have a history of lying. Or, maybe he just didn't want to do it and was trying to keep from disappointing me, although that didn't work. I am upset, disappointed, and mad. Mad, mostly because I feel like he lied to me, even though I have no proof.

Also, I am frustrated. I have spent weeks coordinating medicines and scheduling stuff. We even rigged R's meds so that we could time it for this weekend, rather than just letting it fall when it would on its own. All that and now, we have to just use our donor sperm from the bank. At least we know that he's got good swimmers. I'm just terribly upset to learn that we're going from having two in-office insems and one at-home insem to just having one in-office insem. I feel like our chances have just somehow been diminished greatly, even if they haven't.

Anyway, we have our insemination tomorrow morning. Wish us luck! This is try number six and the bank says that's their average of how long it takes. Let's hope there's some truth to that.