Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Anniversary

Anniversaries are wonderful, right? Well, not always. Yesterday marked a year since Jason and I found out that we would not be having children without some drastic intervention. The progression has been intense over the past year, but I'll give you the easy to read "large print" version of our emotions that first year and to our current place in the baby game.

Jason and I had some slight (very slight) reason to believe that we may not be able to conceive as easily as some. He had a routine physical in late December 2006 at which we asked his physician if we could have Jason's sperm count done. The doc said "sure" and that it was an easy test with same-day results. He gave us the order to go down to the lab and have the test done.

On a Friday afternoon, we went to the lab and they told us that the portion of the hospital that performs the sperm analysis accepted their last samples at 2pm, but that Jason could come back early Monday morning and she would rush the sample over to he hospital so that results would be as accurate as possible. She gave us the sterile cup and everything so that it could be done in the privacy of our own home as long as she had it within an thirty minutes.

Monday morning, January 8, 2007: Jason drops the sample at the lab at 8:30 am sharp. At noon, we still have not heard anything. We called the lab and they told us results had been faxed to Jason's doctor. Jason gets the call from the doctor, who will not discuss results, but simply tells us that we need to see him and he can't see us until the following day. I break down. We go to the lab, pick up the results and read for ourselves: "no spermatozoa detected in sample." We sat in the parking lot of the lab in Jason's car. We read it 100 different times, trying to find a different explaination for what we already knew. I expected a low count, that's all. Low count is fine, lots can be done. But I did not expect that there would be zero.

We both cried. A lot. We made love. Then we got ready: we had family coming over that night for a football game and we had to pretend that everything was fine. Jason and I got an early start on pretending everything is fine. Just hours after hearing the mind blowing news, we were doing it. We're absolute pros now, and it comes pretty easy most of the time. It's kind of a theme now. Calee and I trade advice on the best ways to either appear real at it.

The next afternoon, I called Calee and told her the news. She was shocked. She also told me that she was going to skip class and drive to be with me. I didn't let her, but the fact that she offered was enough. Over the next couple of months, she told me how great I was holding up and that she didn't think she could do it as well as I had if it was Ryan..... wow.

I became obsessive about researching Jason's condition, possible resolutions, and options on financing fertility treatments. I spent at least six hours a day on the internet. Over the next five months, we made and cancelled a few appointments at fertility clinics. Jason wasn't ready yet, and while it broke my heart at the time, I probably wasn't either. Finally, in June, we went to a doctor who specialized in reproductive urology for males. He did some genetic testing that ruled out cystic fibrosis and other chromosomal issues, but did not find a physical reason for Jason's infertility. Even all the hormone testing had come back normal. So, after ultrasounds, ten or so vials of blood, a doplar and five months, we knew little more than we did before.... except for this: we DID definitely want children, and we were going to find out what it took to have them.

When Jason and I first discovered our problem, the idea of donor sperm wasn't even something that either of us were willing to consider. Why have children, if they can't really be yours??? But we were missing a key piece of the puzzle that should have been more obvious to both of us, who had wonderful families: family is not about genetics at all, no one bit. I thought about what my reaction would be if I found out that one of my parents wasn't really my parent. I would be shocked, but it wouldn't change anything major in my life at all.

We planned on doing artificial insemination at home, but had a set back with my OB/GYN's office. Fortunately though, this setback resulting in the realization that the stress of trying to predict my own ovulation when I can't even reach my own cervix was a little too much to handle for me. So, I began the research again. I called three different fertility clinics and chose one with Jason's help. We had our first appointment on December 6th of this year and things are looking good so far (I'll update that in another blog about our plan). I actually just cancelled the appointment we had a another clinic today because I feel so optimisic about this plan. We're doing IUI and it could be very soon!!!

Sometimes even really shitty anniversaries can be good.

And believe it or not, that is the SHORT track to how we got to where we are today.

1 comment:

Calee said...

Great job, my friend. Impressive summary. That English major coming out in you I see. I am glad you posted your story first because your story began before ours... yeah, I should probably not even go back to before the news when we had been trying for over a year thinking it was me...