Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What goes down...

...must come up!  That's how the saying goes...right? :)

We've had a pretty crazy last few days. 

T was offered and accepted a new job last Friday.  I know this was a huge stress relief for him, as we were waiting to hear for about three weeks now.  Add to that to the stress of baby-making, and being around him was not full of roses.  The super cool part from my perspective is that he'll be working at my company.  So I'll be able to track him down and blow raspberries on his face in front of co-workers.

(What T? -- you are giving your resignation already?  :) :) )

Another super cool part for the job makes me still feel somewhat slimy.  But rules are rules.  And apparently if you take out $6,000 in flexible spending from your employer, use it all up in January, and then leave that employer less than halfway through the year ---- you don't need to pay back the portion that hasn't come out of your paycheck yet! Free money!

Oh -- and T is excited, too.  Something about career advancement, developmental opportunities, and other hoity toity things he thinks are important :)  Whatever.  RASPBERRIES!!

Other craziness has ensued as well.  T went in for another swimmer check on Monday, and his count has increased again.  Now, let's be clear --- it is still pretty horrific.  But now it is more like Shaun of the Dead horrific versus 28 Days Later horrific.  A few more smiles had by all.

After they "washed" his sperm on Monday and got rid of the ones that swam too slow or looked like this:

he had 4.5 million/ml left!!  Party time!  We froze that sample up in case we wanted it later. 

For some context, he had 3 million a few weeks ago (post-wash) and about 1.5 million the day of our IVF.  Before IVF, the sperm wasn't washed, so the numbers aren't totally comparable.  But the highest we had PRE-WASH in the past was 5 million, so that would likely be about 1.5 - 2 million post-wash.

For the doctor to consider IUI possibility, we needed to have a minimum of 4 million.  So we just eked past that. And we're hoping it continues to improve, which unfortunately keeps T off his bicycle for the rest of the season.

Given all this, we are going to try IUI a few times before we try IVF again.  Since I ovulate  regularly, we'll do it non-medicated (nothing to make my cycle artificial).  I just use the ovulation predictor tests you can buy at the store and will call the doctor when it is positive.  We'll go in the next morning to shoot me up with swimmers.

There are huge pros and cons to this decision.  The major pro is the cost.  A round of un-medicated IUI is like $300.  Chump change compared to IVF.  There are no shots or anything that messes your insides up.  It is just really a souped-up natural cycle.  I can do it every month if I want to.

The con is definitely that the chance of success is honestly not that great.  While our IVF had a chance of about 80% of succeeding, IUI is more like 10% or less.  However, we beat the odds by NOT getting pregnant in the IVF cycle.  Maybe we can beat the odds again?

Strangely enough, despite the odds not being in our favor, I'm super pumped with this turn of events.  Whether it is simply because it is different, or I can do it this month, or I just want to not deal with the drugs again for awhile.  Not sure.  But I'm excited and ready to give his swimmers their own shot:

 Have a great week!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

Easter is a phenomenal day to count your blessings.  And no matter what is going on in one's life, we can all always find a reason to be thankful.

We went to Easter service yesterday and the sermon (by Pastor Mike, so I imagine more than half of the people who read this blog know which sermon this would be) was one that really made you feel so full of life.  There was this string that was hanging all around the room, attached to the ceiling every so often, so it hung down like a string of lights would be.  The string then went outside the Worship Center, through the hallways of the church (and this is a LARGE church), even outside along the side of the building.  When it was all said and done, this string, if laid out straight, was likely in excess of a mile long.  The string was meant to represent life in total - not just our life here on Earth, but humanity before us and after us, as well as the eternal life we have when we die.

Pastor Mike, near the end of the sermon, pulled the string down by his head and made a mark about an inch long with a black marker.   This mark represented our earthly life.  He spoke on how small it was in relation to the string as a whole, and what a gift it was that God gave us eternal life.  It brought tears to my eyes, as I felt so extremely blessed and happy in my belief that my life is so much bigger than the struggles of any one period.

Now, no matter what your religious beliefs, I think we can all agree that life is short and limited here on Earth.  And while most people would also agree that actual immortality is not all that appealing, I think each of us wants to feel that we impacted humanity in some major way.  And I honestly feel that we do that through our children.   If we're not Steve Jobs or Albert Einstein, our most major contribution is the children we raise and nurture, who then continue the gift down the line.  And our ancestors will each make their mark in their own way, but they would not have existed without the parents that rose to the job throughout time (whether biologically or through adoption). 

So while his sermon made me happy, it also reminded me of why I do want children so much.  It is selfish; I want to live forever both here and in Heaven (ideally!) when I die.  I want immortality in as many ways possible.  Except the ones that involve me becoming a vampire or a zombie or something.  I can definitely pass on that.

So with all that emotion stuff out of the way, here is where we are sitting now.  T quit cycling after our WTF appointment several weeks ago.  He went in for a new sample last week, and his numbers doubled to 7.5 million!  Which still sucks in the world of sperm analysis, but is still a huge improvement.  The doctor was hesitant to call it a trend that could continue without further samples.  So T is staying off the bike through the end of this month, and will try it again to see if the number improved further.  It seems unlikely we'd get to a point where we didn't need medical help, but perhaps IUI would be an option.  If it isn't, then we'll start another IVF round by about the end of April.

We're a little peeved that the cycling issue wasn't pushed prior to our initial IVF, but we can't look backward and need to focus on our opportunities that are around the corner.  The good news is that they froze the last sample, so we're good to go on another IVF round should any issues occur between now and then. 

It is a fantastic, beautiful day here, and T and I are going to enjoy our new deck furniture, some leftover Soup from E!, and probably a couple of nice brewskies or glasses of vino.  No matter what is going on, it is certainly a great day to be alive :)
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