Category Archives: Infertility/InVitro

In-Vitro attempt 1.0 (Saga Continues…)

When we last left our heroine….

She was getting pumped full of hormones every which way, and then some!  While driving all those around her equally insane!

Ok, I’m exaggerating….slightly.

I think my husband and I were probably unofficially known as “That Couple That Fights All The TIme” at church ūüôā

Everything seemed worth fighting over.  Loudly.  And involving plenty of other innocent bystanders, as well. 

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God Bless the wonderful brothers and sisters at our church, for putting up with us, and for all those who very generously gave their time, their patience and their hearts trying to help us sort things out.  We had quite a few church members on speed dial who gave a tremendous lot of emotional and spiritual support over the past few years since we moved to Florida.

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Ok, moving right along, I guess you’ve gathered from the above, that my husband and I are rather religious.¬† So you can imagine it was quite a dilemma when my husband was ordered to give “samples” for testing, etc..

Typically, the husband goes into a little private room, where he is supplied with “motivational media” and a little cup.

Except we had a problem.  Our beliefs are FERVENTLY against extra-marital-whatever! 

We thought and prayed about this, and decided that since we were trying to create a child who could be fully embraced by God (known in our church as a Blessed Child, or 2nd Gen), this did not include tainting the process with questionable “media”.

So we told the clinic staff that I would be joining my husband in that little room and would¬†“motivate” him myself.

They fussed, and my husband practiced what I like to call: ‘Talk softly and marry a mouthy Jew.’¬† He stared at them with incredibly sad puppy eyes, while I fixed my beady eyes on them with my best grim stare and explained that their “media” wouldn’t be very motivational at all.¬† They gave in.¬† I think¬†we intimidated them.

Next obstacle: trying to keep my ovaries from getting snarled.

The Saga Continues…

So…to continue…

Since there wasn’t much in the way of jobs in Oregon, and since my mother had moved quite far away, we got the idea into our heads to head back east and move to Florida where my father lived.

After a two-week car-trip (which deserves a post all on its own), we got settled in the Miami area and my husband got a job with ADT Security as a salesman.  As providence would have it, the health insurance that came with the job covered In-vitro. 

We got a referral from our doctor to the South Florida Institute for Reproductive Medicine and a Dr. Ellen Woods.¬† After some more tests on¬†my husband’s ¬†‘guys’, they told us the news.¬† IUI (Inter-Uterine Insemination – think “In-vitro lite”) which was *WAY* cheaper, was out of the question.¬† Even regular In-vitro was out.¬† Nope, what we had to do was called “ICSI” whereby they inject his sperm directly into the egg, and if the egg survives that process and becomes fertilized, THEN they implant it into the female’s womb.¬† Kinda sounds like some plot from a Ridley Scott movie, huh?

So to get started, we both had to be tested for STD’s, which meant more blood being drawn.¬† Oodles of it.¬† With sharp needles.¬† Oh joy.

Then it seemed like every other day I had to head into the clinic, get more blood drawn (the way my inner-arms looked could have rivaled a hard-core junkie.) and take hormones.  Lots and lots of hormones.  Mind-altering hormones. 

I was taking hormones in every way it was possible to ingest them!¬† I had hormone patches for my stomach, injections for my legs, injections for my belly, hormone pills, hormone vaginal suppositories, and my favorite….drumroll please…. a BIG FAT NEEDLE in my butt – daily!¬†

My husband had to help me with the latter.¬† We weren’t even allowed to use numbing creams, just an ice cube.¬† We also had to hit a target area the size of a quarter with enough force so the needle would penetrate deep enough.¬† It was unnerving to say the least.¬†

My husband had a difficult time of it.¬† Every morning he had to plunge this huge honkin’ big ol’ needle in my hindquarters and somehow manage NOT to hit a vein, depress the plunger slowly enough and pull the whole thing out carefully so as not to hit anything bleedable on the way out.¬†

(By the way, get the one with a sesame oil base if you’re not allergic to sesame.¬† Supposedly it disperses easier than the one based on soy or other oils and doesn’t lump painfully under the skin upon injection.¬†¬†¬†Also, draw the amount you need into the needle at least about 15-20 mins before injection if it’s been refrigerated, so it can warm to room temp.)

He had to inject me for three months.

Oh, what fun times those were…

I still fondly remember the time he pulled the needle out and a strong spurt of blood shot out and hit a nearby wall, with both of us staring stupidly at it in shock for a few moments before our brains got the signal to “cap the gusher”.¬† After that we were even more freaked out when we had to do that particular injection.

And then there were the effects of the hormones…

Think extreme PMS on steroids, and you still won’t come close, though severe psychosis is a bit overstating it.

And things peaked every three days after the trans-dermal stomach patch really got going and I went sorta looney-tunes.

I was the Uber PMS Queen to end all PMS Queens.

There definitely needs to be a support group for husbands whose wives are undergoing this process.

Our pastor was flummoxed as to how to deal with this, as it didn’t quite fit under the heading: “Demonically Possessed”.¬† He sorta felt it was a medical problem, and as such, was out of his jurisdiction.

And oh, the things the clinic DIDN’T tell me!…but you’ll have to read the next post for that ūüôā

Bye for now,

Lara

2002 The Saga Begins…

I think it was some time in 2002 when we realized that after a few months of seriously trying to get preggers, that nothing was happening.¬† I had bought those spit-test ovulation kits, the pee-on-a-stick thingies, read Nona Aguilar’s “No Pill, No Risk, Birth Control Method” (which actually helps you establish when you ARE fertile), but there were no pitter-pattering little feet on the horizon.

So we sat and talked about it.  We could go see a doctor and have them do invasive and expensive tests on me, or we could use that niftly $40 test kit from the drugstore by FertilMarq for my husband. 

He didn’t like that idea.

I said that after taking the two tests, if things were hunky dory on his end, I would cheerfully go see a doctor to have me checked out.

Two tests later and we were making an appointment with a male infertility specialist.  Mike had a very low sperm count, what few that were moving, were mostly shaped wrong and moving slowly. 

They also decided to check me out as well in case it was a two-sided thing.¬† Luckily I checked out fine.¬† But the doctor was sorta kinda maybe sure that my husband had varicaceles.¬† Those are enlarged blood veins in the testes that were possibly giving his ‘guys’ a jacuzzi.

During this time, by the way, my husband was on a strict no-coffee, no jacuzzi, no swimming in cold water regimen.¬† He’s Japanese, they LOVE hot baths!

So my husband agrees to surgery so they can tie off the varicaceles.

After he came home from the hospital for two weeks of bedrest, I was sort of reminded of a pet cat I had had when I was in high-school after she had gotten spayed.

Anyway, I catered to his every whim, set him up with a pot he could bang on with a spoon if he needed something, we had a large soda bottle for when nature called, and Ifed him nourishing soups.

Three months later, when his guys should have recovered, we got the results of the latest spermanalysis:  no change.

Then we moved to Florida and the saga continued…

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