Monday night before the big Boston IVF consultation, laying in bed, super excited that they’re going to start the ball rolling towards IUI (intrauterine insemination)- it’s the least invasive, the urologist told us very easy, sure shot, it’s all going to be great! All of a sudden I can feel my chest start to tighten, my eyes are burning, and my breath is coming in quick bursts.
What if they say IVF is our only option? 30 years of my life and I’ve never had anything greater than super minor dental work done. IVF. IVF. IVF. That’s all that keeps flashing through my mind and every time I go to take a breath it gets stuck and (my poor sweet husband) next thing I know I’m sitting on the bedroom floor crying and just trying to breathe. I should totally be Madame Cleo.
Panic attack forgotten we find ourselves in the waiting room with the nicest nurse I have ever met, I’m not sure if she’s feeding off of our excitement to simply be there or if she just overall loves her job but I’m going to selfishly say it was a mix of the two! We are ushered in to the doctor’s office and find ourselves with one of the most handsome doctors I’ve ever seen IN MY LIFE and all of a sudden I’m blushing from head to toe (don’t worry, he’s not as handsome as my husband).
“What have you been told about why you’re here?” Dreamy-Eyed Doctor
“I’m fat and my husband has low and lazy sperm so they’ve placed him on Clomid.” Red-Faced Redhead
“I’m sorry for whoever told you that, not only is it rude but it’s bad medicine and it’s incorrect. Your weight is not an issue (booyah! told ya suckahs!) and I’ve seen 100’s of men place on Clomid and it hasn’t worked for any of them yet.” DYD
“Okay…do you know why we’re having a hard time getting pregnant then?” RFR
“Yes. (Whaaat! Awesome!) With what I can see through the tests that have been run on you and the sperm analysis that have taken place it is completely impossible for you to ever conceive naturally and we recommend you go straight into IVF.” DYD
IVF?! He did not just say IVF! I can feel the air being sucked out of the room. Impossible? Did he say IMPOSSIBLE?
Trying not to make eye contact with my husband because I know that I’m ready to do my ugly hysterical cry any minute I grasp for his hand like a lifeline.
“Thank you, it’s nice to have an answer and a direction. Can you tell us why or how?” my husband asks, I can tell that he’s spoken at a normal level but in my head it’s fluctuating between a murmur and a scream as it filters in through the blood rushing around in my head.
“Absolutely, an average male produces 20,000,000 sperm per ml, 50% of those are viable. Your analysis shows that you produce 8-10,000,000 ml and only 10-15% of those are viable. You could never conceive naturally and to try IUI you would have a less than 5% success rate. The amazing news (I’m slowly starting to breathe again, did he just say amazing?) is that you’re producing 7.99 million more than I need for a successful IVF procedure and your wife’s test seems to be great so we’re anticipating one retrieval round with enough eggs to freeze when you’re ready for the next baby.” Dreamy-Eyed Doctor.
After this DYD explained how IVF worked, the process, and more of what we should expect. Thank goodness for my husband because I had begun to fight he remnants of last night’s panic attack that was trying to restake its claim on me.
Walking to the car with instructions to call the office on the first day of my period so we can get the ball rolling I find that I’m still clutching my husband’s hand. I can feel the weight of what we’ve just been told start to sink in and the bittersweet feeling of knowing that we’ll never conceive a child naturally but we’re still going to get the chance to be the parents that we so desperately want to be is within our grasp starts to fill my heart and my eyes and overwhelm me. I desperately look to my husband not knowing what to say, how can I tell him that I’m so happy we’re in this together but I’m terrified of what’s coming next? That nothing that was just said in there changes how my heart grows and expands every day with all of the love that I have for him? How do I tell him that he’s the only person I’d fight this battle with because as much I want to be a mom he deserves nothing more than to be the amazing dad I know he’s going to be? How do I tell him that I’m scared but we’re going to win this war because I’ve got his back and I know he has mine? I look to him to tell him all these things and try not to cry because the girl who would boldly march out of the doctor’s office when any type of needle was produced is going to mightily and fearfully walk into many offices and face her fears he opens his mouth before I can even speak.
“…I’m kind of pissed that I spent money on condoms for all those years, what a waste!”
Slack-jawed I stare at him until I dissolve into a mess of laughter. This is my partner come hell or high water and to any one looking in from the outside that is the worst thing he could have said but to me- it was perfect. There will be plenty of time for sharing hopes and fears, today we’re going to laugh in the face of the impossible and I’m going to kick his ass at mini-golf.