Tuesday, March 31, 2009

SA results

Here we go, from last week:

SA from 2 years ago:
Liquefaction: between 10-30 minutes (which is normal)
Sperm count: 5.90 million (should be at least 20 million)
Morphology: 8% normal
Motility: 40% after 1 hour, 30% after 2 hour (should bebetween 50-100% at each hour)
Ph: 7.6 (normal is 7-8)

Liquefaction: greater than 60 minutes (not normal)
Sperm count: 9.0 million
Morphology: 42% normal
Motility: Total motile is 18% (should be greater than50%) This test didn’t break down by the hour.
Ph: 9.0

So, the PH & liquefaction are off in today’stests, but I don’t care…he could have a virus or whatever thateffects those, those are very temporary things & I don’t care about them (unless someone thinks I should??). The count went up a lot & the morphology is perfect (they want morethan 30% to be normal). The motility decreased quite a bit….but….theway they break out the motility is a little different on the most recent SA. It says Rapid Progressive: 13%, Slow Progressive: 5%. Then, it says thesum of % of Rapid plus Slow should be greater than 50% OR the % of rapid aloneshould be more than 25%. If you look at rapid alone….it’s 13%and it should be 25%. Not too bad….it’s bad, but I don’t think it’s too bad.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I fully understand that infertile women have a particular level of insanity that is socially accepted among other infertiles. Yet, I wonder if I've gone too far. I dropped off our semen sample this morning at 7:15 a.m. at a lab I've never used before. I've been thinking about our little guys all day and praying they are swimming strongly. I couldn't help but call the lab on my way home from work to see how my little guys are doing. They couldn't tell me anything specific, but they were so kind to not yell at me for being a paranoid infertile woman. I am so grateful for her kindness. The great news is she thinks our analysis should be complete by Friday and we can pick up the results. So, we should have our results before we leave for vacation on Saturday and we don't have to wait for our doctor to read them...we can just show up at the lab at they will give us a copy of the results! Yay for us!


This morning, after some passionate lovemaking that we did to a plastic sterile cup, I rushed dh's sperm to the hospital for our first SA this year. When I arrived, I told the receptionist that I had sperm in between my boobs and I couldn't wait to register, they had to take the sample immediately. Luckily, we live about 10 minutes from the hospital and this hospital also takes our insurance and the SA's are covered 100%! So, I'm sure they'll be seeing a lot of me. Anyway, she looked at me like I was crazy, clearly she doesn't understand why someone would drive around with sperm in between their boobs. Thankfully, a supervisor was standing nearby and heard my request and immediately took me back to register and take the sample. She was very friendly and prompt. I was prepared for the inevitable "how long have you been trying" question, and I'm actually not quite sure how I should answer that, but she didn't ask. She did, however, say "good luck" as I was leaving. Her assumption being that we are trying to get pregnant. I'm relatively certain (although this is an assumption on my part) that she didn't assume that I'm praying for those sperm to be strong and healthy so we can use it to impregnate another woman. It made me think about all the incorrect assumptions I hold about other people. It is in moments like these that I realize, despite my passionate hatred for infertility, I am a better person because of it. I am, at times, a bitter, resentful bitch because of the struggles of IF. But in moments like these I realize I am a stronger, wiser, and more compassionate person because of it. Since exploring the option of traditional surrogacy, seeing a pregnant belly has become easier for me. Considering adoption has allowed me to have compassion toward pregnant teens because one day, I may need one of them for my own chance at motherhood. (Sidebar: I have compassion for most pregnant teens, excluding some, explicitly excluding Bristol Palin) Receiving thousands of dollars in medical bills in the mail from IF treatments, I have a deeper appreciation for my job and education that allows us to be able to afford the chance to try. There are few things in life I know for sure, but one is that the desire to become a mom is not limited by the ability to pay for it. Unfortunately, for many people the reality of becoming a mom is limited by fiscal restraints. That's bullshit. We live in the wealthiest nation on earth (is that still true?) and our citizens are left motherless because they don't have 25K to 'try' for a baby or another 35K to adopt. Bullshit. I digress.

Monday, March 16, 2009

I'm so over this

So, today was the big appointment. The 1st urologist a few weeks ago was a total prick, so onto urologist #2. Our appointment was at 3;15, we were called into the room at 4:30. Off to a wonderful start. The doctor comes in, very nice. I breathed a sigh of relief, at least there is a nice (hopefully knowledgable) doctor in front of me that will finally answer my questions. Just as I exhaled he told us that they scheduled us with the wrong doctor and he doesn't specialize in infertility so we need to reschedule. In the meantime, he'll order 2 SA's that we need to have done 3 weeks apart. I. Hate. Doctors.

We will do our first SA on Wednesday this week (if all goes as planned, which it probably won't). We have our appointment with urologist #3 on April 2nd. We leave for our cruise on Saturday. It can't come fast enough.

When was the last time you felt joy?

I was thinking last night about surrogacy and babies and how infertility has changed me into a person I hardly recognize. I had a faint recollection of joy. Do you remember joy? I wonder if I will ever feel it again. Will the day my baby is born via surrogacy be filled with joy or will my happiness be tainted because I'm not the one lying on back recovering from bringing life into this world? I don't know what the actual definition of joy is, but I've always considered it "happiness untouched". The experience of being happy without any aftertaste of sadness. There always seems to be an aftertaste of sadness in my life since infertility.

In anticipation of our urologist appointment in under 2 hours (it can't get here quick enough), I called our insurance company to see if they cover semen analysis. To my delight, they cover them 100% with no copay! Of course, they exclude millions of other infertility related procedures because our medical community thinks fertility treatment is a convenience not a necessity, but I digress. I thought for a minute that I was experiencing just a tinge of joy, we've saved a few hundred dollars for each SA we do, no exclusions, deductibles...there's no catch, just "Yes, we cover them at 100%". Definitely something to be joyful about. And then I thought that normal people who experience normal joy would never be joyful about insurance coverage for infertility treatments. 10 year ago, I would have never been joyful about such coverage but today I experienced it a bit. I didn't think about how I wish they covered uterine replacements or the entire costs of surrogacy (since they won't be paying for my pregnancy), I didn't feel sad that we're needing an SA to use my dh's sperm on another woman instead of me. I was just purely joyful for the coverage. I'm thankful I was able to experience that joy for a brief moment, although I see it only speaks volumes about how much infertility truly has changed me. Joy...over insurance coverage so someone can run tests on my husband's sperm? I've set a new, much lower, standard for joy it seems. Infertility causes us to create new normals. I no longer think of sex when someone says that she's "trying to have a baby". I think of IVF, ICSI, laboratories, IUI's, morphology, and no intimacy at all. That is my new normal. The same holds true with joy. Joy can no longer be happiness untouched because all my happiness with forever be touched by infertility. I must redefine joy for my new normal of a life.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

It's only a day away

Tomorrow is our appointment with the new urologist. Fingers crossed. Seriously, way more than fingers are crossed, I'm a little anxious and really not prepared for dissapointment. I've spent the better part of my time thinking, researching, and talking with dh about surrogacy. I want this and I want it with our sperm. I'm really not sure how I feel about using a sperm donor.

I'm still communicating with 2 potential surrogates. They both know we're not ready to start right now and it's been really nice just taking our time and developing relationships with each of them. I feel like I know them both really well. I've had a few others email me, but for one reason or another we've decided not to pursue eachother. M & K (the 2 surros) are really making me even more hopeful about this process. Truly, I know some people enjoy the security that a surrogacy agency provides but I love communicating directly with the potential surrogates. I'm not at all interested in pursuing an agency at this time.

My brain isn't working well, I can only concentrate on tomorrow. I'll be having sperm dreams tonight...swim baby, swim.

Monday, March 9, 2009

How much do you trust me?

I've spoken to the experts, two surrogacy attorneys in the 2 states that we're considering working in: Ohio & Indiana. Even in Ohio, where we can get a PBO, the law is just barely on our side. So, it all comes down to trust and really, I'm not a very trusting person.

In high school, I had the most brilliant English teacher. I simply adored him and he put so much effort into teaching us, it was truly humbling (it's humbling now, back then we didn't seem to show our appreciation as much as we should have). One of the greatest lessons he taught me was to always question whether or not we, as the reader, trusted the narrator. The classic example of this is the Great Gatsby, a story that I will always appreciate for its many lessons, one of which is discerning who is trustworthy. I've carried that skill too forcefully into the rest of my life and rarely trust anyone, sometimes for valid reasons and other times for less valid ones. In one of our appointments with S, she said that life would be so much easier for me if I learned to trust. True, but the risks are greater too.

I'm pretty content not trusting the average person; the skepticism keeps me safe and I don't feel like I'm missing out on too much. However, I'm beginning to believe that surrogacy is going to require more trust than I've ever been capable of giving to someone. To trust that I will give another woman my dh's sperm (assuming we can use it, we're still waiting for the big appointment on March 16th), and trust that woman to nurture and carry my husband's baby for 9 months and then just give us the baby. Just like that. No legal battle, no devastation, she just gives birth and says "Congratulations, mom" and I become part of the elusive Mommy Club in a single second of pure trust and generosity. Unbelievable. I wonder if I'm anti-trust more than the usual infertile person or if this simply comes with the territory? For any of us that must depend on another woman to make us parents, do we all fear trust? Does anyone trust so easily that this doesn't seem like a frighteningly ridiculous move to assume this lady is just going to give us the baby? I realize that I can ensure our TS lives in CA, or will agree to give birth there, and I can hire the best attorneys, read and re-read our contract dozens of times, require medical exams, pysch evaluations, and maybe even hire a private investigator, and still...I can never be too certain. I don't know if she's spending her evenings in a smoke-filled bar or filling her body with disgusting KFC not-real-chicken chicken, or taking pre-natal vitamins. I simply can never ensure our babies safety unless I trust that this generous woman is giving us her best.

This is, again why, my dh should not make me wait so long for a baby! I overanalyze everything and I'm going to be contimplating these types of notions for the next many months. I really wonder if I'm capable of giving someone complete trust. In this situation, I think the risks are too great not too.

Monday, March 2, 2009

March Madness

How is it March already? Although I feel that this year is passing us by too fast, I'm comforted by the quick passage of time. That will mean that our ridiculous date of 1-1-11 will be here before we know. Actually, that's unlikely, but today is making me feel a little better. Dh & I are living on different planets of reality about when we should start a family. I cry, scream, and make sarcastic comments that I want a baby now, I want to change a diaper now, and console a crying baby now, breastfeed now, decorate the nursery, go shopping at BRU, spend all my money on adorable baby clothes that they will outgrow before I take the tags off...I want all of that now. I've never been a fan of delayed gratification and I don't intend on liking it anytime soon. But, dh says "we'll have that honey, just not right now." He thinks that's a very appropriate response and he honestly doesn't think he's doing anything wrong-he's giving me exactly what I want just not when I want it.

So, March is here. And it's off to a shitty start. My FIL is in ICU, he'll be fine, but he had a close call with death due to some blood clots that have found a new home in his lungs. My SIL is at Children's Hospital with our newest nephew, the poor little guy just had a spinal tap. He has a fever and is screaming constantly. Still no news about what is wrong with him.

I've been emailing a lot lately with M, the surrogate who lives in Indiana. I have a call into the famous surrogacy attorney there to discuss all the legal implications of TS in Indiana. I know it's completely premature to be consulting an attorney, but I like to know all the details of what I'm considering and if I can have a free consult....the more info I have the better informed our choice will be. I'm really growing to love this idea. If our TS can live close (Indiana is close enough), I can attend every doctor's appointment, ultrasound, and even spend quality time with her during our pregnancy. I truly can't imagine it being any better than that. Unfortunately, the law isn't on our side, especially if we have to use donor sperm. However, she's been a TS before so she knows what it feels like to give the baby up. The likelihood of her changing her mind once she's done it before is slim to none. There are plenty of other odds we've faced that are slim to none and those have came back to bite is in the ass, so we're still being cautious. She's in school to be a nurse, and she graduates in May. She has 4 kids and her dh has had a vasectomy so no chances of his swimmers getting in our way. She's really nice and we seem to be able to talk openly & honestly about everything. She's completely against aborting the pregnancy for just about any reason except something that threatens her own health. I'm still afraid we'll sink all our money into this venture to end up broke & without a baby. I refuse to let fear get in our way of parenthood though...so, I'm going to keep chatting with M and hopefully things continue to go well. She knows of our ridiculous 2011 date also, she may have a pregnancy in between now & then, which is perfectly fine with me.

We have an appointment on March 16th with the new urologist. We leave on March 21st for a cruise...I'm counting down the days to the urologist appointment way more than I am the cruise. That's really pathetic.