Wednesday, June 12, 2013

well, boo.

Yesterday we had another follow-up appointment with our MFI specialist. Matt's having analyses done every 9 weeks or so (approximately the length of each sperm 'generation') to monitor his progress since surgery. Our first post-surgical follow-up was in March and it was pretty encouraging. At that point, Dr. W put him on two new medications that should have helped support things even more, so this was our next check in to see what was up. 

I had high hopes, I'm not going to lie. I don't know where all this hope suddenly busted up from, but sure enough it was blossoming deep in my heart over the last few weeks, whispering optimistic thoughts into my head...you know, crazy stuff, like maybe you'll get pregnant this month!!!...stuff I haven't really contemplated in a solid year, really. Stuff I didn't know if I'd ever actually think again. 

Although at every. single. one. of our appointments with the REs over the last year their #1 recommendation is IVF (shocking), they've also been pretty consistent with telling us that if we weren't willing/ready to do that, then timed intercourse was our only other option. Because of the severity of our MFI, IUIs were a worse option than timed intercourse because none of our sperm could survive the wash process (please see Exhibits 1, 2, and 3: My first 3 IUIs). So as far as they've been concerned, we're either low/no-tech (old fashioned baby-making-attempting) or IVF. No middle ground.

Butttttt...somewhere along the way I got my hopes up that if our sperm survivability rates could go up, then maybe we could try IUIs again. And in the last two weeks or so I've pretty much convinced myself that that's what was going to happen. A nice IUI cycle, right? A teensy fraction of the cost, physical trauma, and emotional drama of IVF-- and sure, a fraction of the odds it'll work, too-- but jusssst a little something to make me feel like we're doing something, right? Right. I was really excited. All we had to do was get that survivability rate up and I'd be signing us up for IUI on my next cycle. We were totally pumped.

And then...yeah. No. Not so much. Not at all.

For your pleasure (and my record-keeping) I made a lovely chart:

 Right, so...that's a big boo hiss.

Let's take a moment and be thankful that LOOK!!! Our penetration count is actually in the GOOD RANGE!!! YAAAAAYYYYY!!! At least one thing on the chart isn't getting a failing grade. So I am definitely thankful for that, because it doesn't matter if you have a zillion sperm and they all survive-- if they can't penetrate an egg, they're all useless. So at least now 84% of ours are not useless!!!! I am super happy about that, don't get me wrong.

I am not happy about: Total count DROPPING??!?!?! (and the dr wasn't concerned at all and I KNOW it's normal for count to vary wildly, but still...not cool); survivability still unchanged and terrible.

Just because I'm a glutton for punishment, I decided to ask about IUI anyway. Predictably, Dr. W said NO. Same story- not enough would survive the wash to make it worth their time (which is saying something, since they get paid whether or not it works, and it only takes about 10 minutes...). He said our success rates will be higher at home or (you guessed it!) with IVF (really? you don't say.).

He's letting Matt stay on the 2 current drugs for another 9 weeks to see if another life-cycle of sperm will show any improved survivability. He added in a 3rd drug (serophine, which some of you would recognize by a different name...;) ) that will hopefully help to boost the total count. His thinking is that if we can't improve the survivability rate, if we could at least boost the overall number, then we'll still end up with more surviving (even if the rate stays unchanged) and could maybe consider IUI then. Makes sense to me, so we shall see.

When I type it all out it doesn't seem as bad. That's good. I must admit, I was pretty crushed during/after the appointment, though. I just thought it was going to be all good news. I wasn't prepared for mediocre...or bad. I was ready to move on, to do something. But there's nothing to do, now...except watch Matt take pills and pray that his pills work faster than my endometriomas grow. Isn't that a fun game?

God, I could really use some miracles right about now.

Infertility sucks. Having both male-factor AND female-factor infertility double sucks. And with that, Suzie Sunshine is signing out. Have a lovely day. And if you have cute kids, keep a close eye on 'em. I'm in a kidnappy mood.

29 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry. Infertility does suck. Big time. Praying peace over you guys.

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  2. Wishing I had a handy chart to show you our results prior to IUI's 11 years ago (and 9 yrs too), but I don't. If my memory serves me correctly our sperm count was at a record low and motility and morphology were in the toilet. My doctor (as he finished the IUI) handed me the card for an IVF referral and said or 6th round would never take. (worst #'s ever, yada, yaya, yaya). Two weeks later and a ton of crying, I was pregnant.
    Moral of this story...I've been there and I get it! There's nothing like infertility...it sucks and makes me angry! I wish you weren't going through this and I'm sending you virtual hugs xoxo

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  3. Ugh ugh ugh ugh UGH! That's all. Oh, well that, and the fact that I hate infertility!

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  4. I'm so sorry. This does really suck. I will keep on praying for your miracle. And for better results in nine weeks.

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  5. Ughh! I already knew this and I STILL hate reading it! My heart hurts so much for you and Matt! This is just SO UNFAIR!!! One minute I think "I'm over it. Over trying to figure out the why or the fairness, and then I read this, and well, I'm right back to, "God, did you know this isn't fair?". UGHHHHH!

    I'm with Dr. W though, I'm hoping that if numbers go up, survivability won't matter that much. That seems to be our case. The fact that they killed 97% in the wash doesn't seem to bother them too much as long as we've got the numbers. Praying BIG prayers for STAGGERING, UNBELIEVABLE, IT'S A MIRACLE type numbers next time!

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  6. I'm so sorry about the disappointing numbers. :( I just hate that for you guys. Saying an extra prayer today for increasing numbers AND some peace as you deal with another appointment that did not go as you had hoped.

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  7. I wasn't going to comment because since I haven't yet secured a man (boo hiss)I have no dog in the infertility fight, but after I read this post I hopped on over to Kelly's Korner where she just happened to blog about her miracle today! I hate that you got bad news, but luckily God is bigger than science, and he is in the Miracle business! I know it probably sounds cliche, but its true, and I hope it gives you some peace! Praying!

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  8. Sweet girl!! Even though I would KILL to have your numbers, I understand the position your in is frustrating!!! Interesting that my doc says we need 2 million for IUI. So that has been our hope!! As hard as it is, don't let the doctors words discourage. Yes, he believes only IVF is the option. But, God is SO much bigger than that! And God's word is never void! He is capable of anything, even a miracle baby or making enough health sperm for IUI! Prayers for you!

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  9. Blah, sorry the news wasn't better, but glad some of the numbers went up! And I have a friend whose husband also took "Serophine"... so interesting!

    Regardless, continuing to pray for that miracle, however it may come about!

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  10. Oh my gosh! Just.. UGH. That stinks. :( I'm so sorry! Praying for peace to find you quickly.

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  11. I'm so sorry. :( Praying for you and Matt today.

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  12. I'm super bummed for you. I mean, I don't totally understand all your lingo and what not, but I did catch "I'm in a kindappy mood" and I would say that means your doctor's news could have been better. :( I'm sorry.

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  13. I'm so sorry :( It just doesn't seem fair sometimes at all. Praying that you get your miracle however it happens :)

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  14. Boo. I am still looking for a babies r u that gives away cute kids. Ill let you know if I find one. In the meantime, please accept this hug

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  15. ugh... I am so sorry!! I know how hard it is to get your hopes up only to have them dashed time and time again. I hope things turn around for you soon... sending you a big hug! xo

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  16. Lame. I'm so sorry. I'm praying that God will give you the desire of your hearts regardless of what the numbers say should/shouldn't happen.

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  17. Oh, Erika.
    I know you don't know me at all* . . . I am just some stranger from CA who reads your blog and occasionally posts . . . .

    You and M will be in my prayers for the the solace our good Lord can give.

    *note one day I will get around to having a blog of my own so you aren't like, "who is this invisible Nessa chick that is so interested in my life".

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  18. Oh, boo is right. This really, really sucks and I wish I had some words of comfort or wisdom. Just know that you're in my thoughts and prayers. I had to smile that you found the silver lining - the penetration count - which is superb, by the way. I hope that the next round goes better and that in the meantime you don't for one second let go of that little thing called hope. You're an inspiration to so many. And we like you a whole heck of a lot!

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  19. [big sigh]

    What a bummer. I'm so sorry to hear this. You both must be so discouraged. How troublesome that your only option is the biggest, most expensive, most invasive option. Nothing like having absolutely zero middle ground. Again, so sorry.

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  20. That is a big bummer but I truly appreciate your positive attitude. Infertility does suck! But I need to take a page out of your book and start looking at the bright side of my own situation. You gave me a little kick in the pants...which I needed so thanks for that.

    But back to you. I truly hope that Matt's pills do the trick and those numbers start to rise so you can do IUI. Hoping for you!

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  21. Boo. I hate this for you. I am now sending you a virtual hug.

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  22. Ahhh another serphine prescription. ;)

    Praying, girlie. Praying hard!

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  23. Infertility does suck! That is all there is to it! My husband and I are going through our third round of IUI. I will continue to pray for you guys; I can tell you will both make great parents! Hoping that we both get our miracle soon! God IS so much bigger than infertility, doctors and numbers!

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  24. Infertility sucks so much. I am sorry that the latest numbers weren't more encouraging. Still praying. I know how annoying it can be to hear, but miracles really can happen and I am holding out hope for you two!

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  25. Boo is right. MFI is always a bummer. But, there is still a chance! We have been seeing between 0% and 1% motility...so I feel your pain. IUI is most likely not an option for us either. Lots of prayers are coming your way. God is in the business of miracles.

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  26. Seriously boo. I'm so sorry it wasn't better news this time around. The women's Bible/book study I'm in for the summer is dealing with fear and anxiety and last night we got to talking about how God shows up in BIG ways when we least expect it. Not to say He doesn't do small things, of course He does, but it's the huge blessings that come when we're fearful and trying to trust in His timing, etc. And that's what I'm praying/hoping for you guys. That however the Lord redeems these years for you, that is a GIANT miracle that knocks the socks off all who know you. :) Love you!

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