Testing: Check

When I first realized that all our IF testing would happen during the holidays I was upset; what a shitty way to spend Christmas and New Years! But when CD1 came and I started counting out to when things had to happen, I realized it was actually a blessing in disguise. With all our tests falling in the two weeks when I was off I was able to schedule things easily and without the stresses of missing work or rushing to pick up Isa before 6pm. Another bonus ended up being the almost complete absence of traffic almost every time we drove to the hospital/lab/clinic (over five times in the last 9 days).

And now, it’s all over. And we have the preliminary results (as in we have the numbers but have not spoken with anyone about them yet).

My CD3 blood work came back with little fan fare. My FSH is dead center of normal, as are my thyroid stimulating hormone and prolactin levels. My E2 was the highest side of normal (72) but not in the borderline or abnormal range (at least as far as I could tell by googling “day 3 estradiol levels”).

My HSG today went well. I experienced very little cramping and both tubes were clear. The anticipation was definitely much worse than the real thing. I was worried the whole thing would bring on flashbacks of the horrific MVA I experienced during the 12 hour ER stay that diagnosed my ectopic, but the situation and setting were so different that I held up much better than I expected.

Now, two hours after my procedure I’m definitely experiencing cramping and perhaps that will get worse as the 800mg of Advil I took four hours ago wears off. Honestly, right now the thing that hurts most are my poor boobs, which have swollen to the size of melons after nine days of BCPs. Mostly I’m just very relieved the whole thing is over and that I can stop taking those evil pills.

Mi.Vida finally got his SA and his results were more worrisome. My doctor (who ordered his test) told him that all his results were borderline normal but when we got the results most of the numbers fall outside of the normal range (but I guess close enough to normal to be considered borderline?) Here are some examples:

spermatozoa, immotile — 65% {0-50% normal)

Sperm Count — 18.9 {>=20 normal}

*WBC Count — few {none seen normal}

*RBC Count — moderate {none seen normal}

Morphology — 25 {>= 30 normal}

She also said they found red and white platelets (blood) in his sample (starred above) and he’s supposed to make an appointment with a urologist to see if inflammation is causing that. It could be that whatever is causing the inflammation could be causing the borderline results.

So now Mi.Vida has to get his doctor to give him a urology referral and then wait for an appointment. I supposed until that happens we shouldn’t really move forward with anything, not even Clomid.

When I first realized we probably had a couple month wait before we would know how to proceed I was relieved. With our strapped financial situation I’m really unsure how we should proceed and having a reason to wait took off the pressure vis-a-vis making a decision.

Later I realized how long each step of this whole treatment process might take and how long it would probably be before we could even hope to get pregnant and I got really sad. I already knew there was no way we would be actually welcoming a baby in 2013 but the realization that we will probably not even get pregnant this year was a hard blow. I know one can never determine how these things will work out but it just doesn’t seem likely that much will happen without intervention. And right now interventions seem a long way off and probably sporadic when we do start (for financial reasons).

At this point I’m trying to be accepting of what is to come, of the uncertainty and lack of control that dictates this particular time in our TTC#2 journey. Between my cycle, which has to recover from 9 days of synthetic hormones messing with it and Mi.Vida’s wait for a referral (his doctor has been out for a week and doesn’t get back for quite a few more days) there is just nothing we can do right now. For the immediate future, this is a waiting game.

I do plan to start back up with acupuncture (which I stopped while I was taking BCPs) and both Mi.Vida and I plan to overhaul our diet some, cutting back on processed grains (trying to eat more rice and quinoa instead of pasta and bread), cutting back on dairy (hello Almond Milk!), upping our fruit and veggie intake. But at this point that is really all I can do. That and wait and hope and practice patience and acceptance.

And, of course, be grateful that our issues are not more serious than they are. I’m very thankful for the results we got back and I do have hope that we’ll find a way to bring home a sibling for our daughter… some day.

11 responses

  1. G went off his asthma meds while we were doing the IVF process. It really improved his numbers. I hope having the information leads to some peace of mind. Thinking of you. Sorry for the lame comment but I always find it difficult to comment on my phone.


  2. Waiting is so, so hard. But I’m glad the results of your testing seem good. Hope MiVida can get into a urologist soon and get his stuff straightened out. You deserve good things this year!!!

  3. As someone who has had to go through several enforced waiting periods, I totally empathize. I can say, though, that after a while, once the frustration wears off, those waiting periods can be a blessing. Because once things get going it’s pressure, pressure, pressure and the breaks can be kind of a relief.

    So try not to take it too hard, and hopefully the wait won’t be all that long in the end.

  4. What Betsy said. I find breaks to be incredibly liberating, and going back to treatments is its own mindfuck. I’m happy to hear your tests came back normal. SA can wax and wane – Charlie has had counts as high as 16 million and as low as 2 million, depending on a number of factors. Fingers crossed that the urologist has answers and that your wait isn’t too long. And, of course, culminates in #2. 🙂


  5. Your post brings back so many memories… We went through all of that testing six years ago, at the beginning of 2007. I too recall being surprised at times at how long certain parts of the process could take, especially that there was always a cycle on BCP in between each IVF or FET cycle. The control freak in me did not like at all that we didn’t get to “try” every cycle that year. I am so sorry that you are going through this and don’t have more answers to why you and Mi.Vida have not been able to have another child yet. I remember all the times we were TTC#2 that I realized we wouldn’t be able to have another baby in a given timeframe and how frustrating that was.

    I recall when my sister and brother-in-law were well into the adoption process trying to adopt their first child we were making New Year’s Resolutions together, a family tradition, and my BIL said that he wanted to try to practice “Patient Optimism” as they waited for a child to hopefully come into their life/family. I LOVED that phrase/concept and still do.

    Sending thoughts and prayers your way. xoxo

  6. I’m glad that this part is over, at least … one more step forward, even if it feels painfully slow. I remember projecting ahead and planning, then realizing I had to “unchange” my changed plans … because there would be no baby … and feeling desolate. I’m sorry that the wait is so long … and that it’s so hard to see to the end of this tunnel. One foot, one breath at a time: it’s all we can ask sometimes.

    And I’m amazed, BTW, that I’m one of your top commenters … I feel like I leave such little comments, compared to some of the people who write long, rich, deep commentary! But I’m glad to be among your supporters … keeping you in my heart.

  7. whoa, you guys have been really busy getting all of the testing done. I’m so glad the HSG wasn’t painful and everything looks normal for you! I’m sorry B’s numbers are on the low-normal end, but I really hope that the urologist can shed some light on what’s going on there and it’s treatable. This part of the process if really rough, you are SO READY to move forward already, get things going, DO SOMETHING, but you have to test, and wait, and think, and get the money together, etc, etc. It just really sucks and it’s aggravating. Thinking of you.

  8. I’m glad nothing truly horrible showed up and that the HSG went relatively easily. Not sure if this will be helpful or just assvice, but my husband had similar low-ish SA numbers (though not the inflammatory stuff) and we ended up conceiving with IUI (and Clomid for me, because we had “his & hers” IF)–the centrifuging of his “specimen” helped weed out the wonky sperm and improved the analysis. Also, like Serenity mentioned, the numbers did vary wildly each time they were checked. I was so freaked out that the low sperm counts meant we would have to do IVF with ICSI as the RE originally mentioned (holy $$$$), but thankfully did not.

  9. So glad to hear that the HSG went relatively well (yay for not being a trigger for flashbacks!) and that your numbers are good. That’s one big set of things you can cross off your list, even though I know that with Mi.Vida’s results you’re still waiting to see what’s up. My husband’s SA results were low, too, but they changed by the second set of tests. I think SA results are just so variable unless there’s a clear 0% sperm or other direct cause for problem.

    I wish you much peace and acceptance and am sending continued love and support your way. I mean this with all sincerity: you’re doing a great job of handling all this waiting and frustration, even if it doesn’t feel like it some days. One foot in front of the other…

  10. I agree that the SA numbers can wax and wane for seemingly no reason. The first time or two DH had a SA, his numbers were troublesome; a few years later at a different clinic with absolutely NO changes in food, vices, etc., numbers were fine. I think it makes sense to pursue the urology referral and see if that makes an improvement.

    I really empathize with your post because we have been thinking a LOT about a sibling for our child lately, and it is just impossible to do anything about it this year. I’m coming to terms with the fact that IF we are able to or decide to pursue a sibling, the age difference will be much greater than we hoped between our children. Of course, that assumes another surrogacy cycle works.

    You know, we had almost a year off from cycling before we pursued our surrogacy cycle. On the one hand, it was excruciating b/c I always wanted to be doing something to attempt our family. On the other hand, it ended up being a nicer break than I could have anticipated. Wishing you peace and abiding with you.

  11. I’ve been wanting to comment since you posted, but needed some privacy to do so since b doesn’t like me sharing our IF factor. Anyway, b was on the lowest end of normal for all things tested and my OB said it was fine. I disagreed and called the re. The re said they were “normal” by some standards, but not his. He retested and didn’t like what he saw, so we built an action plan.

    SAs can vary from week to week, so I would get another to see if its a trend or not. That borderline normal was the best one b ever had. Ha! But most men do a second SA and things come back great!

    Male factor is easy to treat. It’s great that your tests came out stellar! Much easier process if he really is the issue!

    Ball is rolling. This is great!

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