October 17, 2009

The Story of Us

I was contacted by the bump the other day, that I'm being considered as one of their monthly featured users. They asked me to write about us, how we met, our TTC journey, etc. and to send it along with a few pictures. I wanted to share with you girls what I sent them. Some of it might look familiar, because I took a very small part of it from a blog post. Following is an abridged "story of us". ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My husband, and I have been together for three and a half years. We met online using one of the popular internet dating websites. We joke about it now, how I wasn’t even sure that I really liked him at first. We would go on a date; I’d come home and say, “He was nice; I’d see him again”. Then on our fourth date, we went to a Mets game (I later found out he is a Yankee fan, and married him anyway), which would typically be a 1 ½ hour drive from where we live in central New Jersey. However, this day, in the rain and traffic, we were in the car for almost 4 hours. When we were ALMOST there, we heard on the radio that they were going to cancel the game, so we turned around and headed home, stopping for dinner along the way. I decided that anyone who could spend 4 hours in a car with me, still have dinner with me, and still want to see me again was definitely worth spending time with.

We started TTC months before our wedding. We were ready. We knew we wanted a baby, we knew I was getting older and we didn’t see a reason to wait. Right before the wedding, I started to get the feeling that something was wrong… we weren’t getting pregnant and we were doing everything right. I hadn’t taken hormonal birth control in years. I just knew deep in my gut that something was wrong. I chalked it up to wedding stress, and let it go.

We were married in March of 2009 on a cool and rainy Saturday afternoon at a converted Victorian estate in Monmouth County, NJ. We were so grateful that the rain stopped for 1 hour… long enough for one of our groomsmen to voluntarily squeegee off all of the chairs and for us to have a wonderful ceremony outside. We had a fantastic day, surrounded by family and friends. Our day was capped off by a 13 day honeymoon cruise to the Caribbean one week later.

While on our honeymoon, I had an episode of bleeding, and not the kind you might think. This brief episode of bleeding from my left breast was very concerning to me, but my doctor thought it was nothing, and let it go.

A couple of weeks later, I realized I couldn’t shake the feeling that something just wasn’t right. We still weren’t pregnant. Even though my husband thought I was probably overreacting, he agreed to have a semen analysis done. We both knew that was the easiest place to start testing… and even though he felt I didn’t need to be tested, he thought that if he at least did that, it would help me relax and we could just get on with our lives.

My OBGyn at that time thought it was ridiculous that we wanted to start looking into things just 5 months after we started TTC. I kept telling her about my feeling that something was wrong, but she kept telling me to relax. The more she told me to relax, the more stressed I became. Eventually I decided to change doctors. I would find someone to take me seriously and make my problems, her own.

And my new doctor certainly did.

As a part of my medical history, I mentioned the bleeding that I had while on our honeymoon. It opened a can of worms that I didn’t expect. All of a sudden I was getting ultrasounds and mammograms. I even had an MRI. And while I was having all of this done to make sure I didn’t have breast cancer, my husband was having his first semen analysis.

While my eventual biopsy thankfully showed that I didn’t have cancer, and my subsequent fertility workup showed I have no reproductive issues, our first semen analysis didn’t come with the greatest news. It showed Male Factor Infertility.

We have no explanation for the MFI, other than the possibility it’s because of a surgery my husband had as a child to correct a hernia. Now, my husband likes to joke that his swimmers are just like him, good looking but lazy. His morphology numbers (which tell us the sperm’s shape) have always been borderline normal, but his overall count and motility have been very low.

We were hoping that the counts would be high enough that we could try IUI, but after several consultations we are now aware that IVF is our only hope of conceiving a child.

11 months ago, I imagined ditching the condoms... and a few months later, peeing on a stick and finding some cutesy way to tell DH that I was knocked up.

Fast forward.

Here I am. Monthly supply of tampax intact, "Conquering Infertility" by Dr. Alice Domar on my nightstand, St Gerard medal around my neck and a Hamsa being hung above our bedroom window.
I've done wiccan chants, burned custom candles and sage and have had more theology discussions than my DH (an agnostic with 12 years of catholic school) or I (an agnostic with 8 years of hebrew school) had ever thought were possible.

I'm a cynic. I'm angry. I'm sad. I'm afraid. I'm hopeful. I'm worried. I'm bitter.

Male factor infertility. It's such a joke. The factor may be his but the infertility is ours. I'm the one not getting pregnant.

So, here we are, at the beginning of cycle 12 of TTC. I should be starting birth control pills again in the next week in preparation for our first IVF cycle in December.

And if all goes well, we will be celebrating our pregnancy when we ring in the New Year.

Oddly, a small part of me is grateful for this experience. Through it I’ve learned how much we both actually want to have a child. Before, a small part of me thought that maybe he wanted to have a baby BECAUSE I wanted to have a baby. Now I know that he wants this as much as I do.

As nervous as I am to take this next step, which involves needles and blood work repeated ad nausea, I’m also excited for the possibilities it brings.

This next step brings us the best possibility we have to get pregnant.

We can’t wait to be parents.


Jen J. said...

You are one of the strongest women I know. Love you lots & lots DB! If TB doesn't pick your story they are CRAZY.

Obsessive Bud said...

You are so strong DB! Your story made me tear up. I'm so excited you guys have a game plan and here's to ring in the New Year with Baby DB! Its amazing how the hardest things in life can bring you guys closer together. It either will break you or make you stronger. I'm so happy you guys chose.. Make you Stronger! One of these days you will look back and think, wow we did that? We are awesome! Believe me!!


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