So here it is. My debut into the world of blogging. Despite the fact that I absolutely HATE writing, I thought I would start this blog to share my story, my thoughts, and my feelings during this long and difficult process called "trying to conceive." Here is my (very long, sorry) story up until now:
I guess you could say my "journey" started in the summer of 2008. My husband and I had talked about having kids, but it wasn't until then that I actually got the "baby fever." I was thinking about kids all the time. I started doing all kinds of research online whenever I could. I found myself planning out when should be the best time to start trying, HOW to try (for specific genders), even down to what kind of birth I would want and what facilities in my city offer that.
I knew it was too soon for us to start trying, but I decided to get the ball rolling by seeing a neurologist. Background: I was diagnosed with epilepsy when I was 14, after having several "absence" seizures and 2 grand mal seizures. After that I was put on Depakote ER to control the seizures, and had been taking it ever since without problems. While Depakote is good for seizures, it is VERY bad for women who are pregnant. Every doctor I ever had highly stressed the importance of using birth control while taking Depakote. So I knew I needed to take some action regarding my medication before even trying for children. My neurologist ran several tests, and monitored my condition while weaning me off of the Depakote. I was officially finished with Depakote by early December, with no problems.
Now, the original "plan" was to officially start TTC in July of 2009. But at the very end of December '08 I just stopped taking my BC. It was kind of on a whim and I guess my rationale at the time was it may take at least 3 months anyway, and we will still be OK if I have a baby in late '09. Perhaps it was a selfish decision at the time, as I didn't really take a relaxed stance and instead started pressuring myself and my poor hubby.
That may have at least partly contributed to what happened next. It's a good thing I had learned how to chart my cycles so I knew exactly what was going on. First 3 cycles off BC were relatively fine but come April, all hell broke loose. I wasn't ovulating. Weeks and weeks and weeks went by without any clear temperature shift. Frustration city! And I couldn't even talk to friends about my frustration without an ignorant "Ooh! Maybe you're pregnant!" Sorry folks, you can't get pregnant without an egg. Even when I went to my doctor for help, she wasted my time doing a blood pregnancy test (which of course, turned out negative). Well that monstrous cycle finally ended after a very emotional 3 months. But it didn't get any better from there. It was obvious I still wasn't ovulating and on top of that I was having all kinds of unexplained spotting. I finally decided it was time to see a specialist when I had 2 cycles that were both exactly 16 days long....16! So tired of feeling broken, feeling like a failure.
September 15th was our first visit to the fertility specialist and boy was it overwhelming for a first visit. The RE (reproductive endocrinologist) went over all the plans and options for us, ordered a lot of blood tests from me, wanted DH to do a semen analysis later that week. After the nurse took several vials of blood from my arm, it was time for an ultrasound to make sure I didn't have any cysts or fibroids. The RE got REALLY excited when he saw 2 mature follicles; I guess he has a lot of fun when it comes to fixing wacked up reproductive systems. So it was a change of plan: they wanted to give me HCG to trigger ovulation, estrogen to build up the endometrium, and DH and I had a "homework assignment" for the next couple days. The s/a was put off until the week after. A few days later my temperature chart showed a clear shift; we were so excited to finally get in a real "try" after so long.
The next week I had to go in for a progesterone test to confirm I ovulated, and also had to bring in DH's fresh "sample." On the way there I just started bawling, thinking what if something is wrong? What if he doesn't even have any? I kept trying to tell myself Oh come on, that is very unlikely. Probably there is nothing wrong, and even if the count is low, it's not that bad. I was still choking back tears while I was at the RE's office and people kept asking if I was ok. I felt like an idiot for crying for no legitimate reason. That afternoon I got a call that my progesterone levels indicated ovulation (of course), but they did not have the results from the s/a yet.
September 28, I got what was possibly the worst phone call of my life. When the doctor started off by asking if I wanted to hear this over the phone or in person, I already knew what was coming. The words "no sperm found" kept ringing in my ears as he went on and on explaining the possible causes for this, and what testing/procedures they might do from here. Of course, DH was absolutely devastated as well. It really slapped us in the face even harder when I started a new cycle the next day, our would-be test date. We did a repeat s/a a few weeks later but the result was the same. Now the RE has referred DH to a urologist, which we won't start seeing until January. He will probably do some hormone testing to try to determine if this is obstructive or non-obstructive azoospermia. If there's a chance he has anything, they will probably do a testicular biopsy or some other type of sperm extraction to use for IVF.
So that is our story so far. Right now we are just hanging "in limbo." Waiting to find out if our problem can be fixed or not. This just might be the most trying part of our journey. Wondering: why us? Why are we cursed with this affliction when we love children so much? Perhaps it is because of our love for children that we are meant to do something greater. Only time will tell.