Saturday, April 2, 2011

Conversations No One Should Have With Other Human Beings

On Thursday, October 14, 2010, we traveled to the reproductive specialist that would hopefully knock me up.  After just a few moments in the waiting room, we were taken to the doctor's office where he introduced himself and the medical student that sat in the back of the room during the entire visit.  Our Doc looks a little like Larry King with a big forehead and glasses, so I'll call him Dr. Larry from now on.

He began reviewing all the paperwork and options with us that Dr. Mr. Clean had shared with us several weeks ago.  Then he started firing questions our way - questions that made us get personal very quickly.  He wanted to know how often we had sex and if either of us had any complications with the act.  I don't normally talk about quantity with anyone.  I am a female in my 30s, which is equivalent to a boy in his late teens, so you figure it out...  We sort of looked at each other awkwardly and tried to answer his questions.  I felt like we were in front of the preacher at pre-marital counseling.  Is this the answer that will get us in the least amount of trouble?  Not only were we sharing all this info with one Doc, who up until about 10 minutes ago was a stranger, but we also had a cute little med student sitting behind us taking notes.  I wasn't sure if I should turn around to see if she was accurately getting all the details of my sex life in her notes.  Did you get that?

Dr. Larry did suggest using donor sperm or donor embryos if my husband didn't wish to have surgery, thus saving us several thousand dollars, but Hubby quickly dismissed that idea.  We had already talked about that in great detail before coming to Dr. Larry, and had agreed that this was just not an option for us.  Can you imagine having to ask your Hubby, "Do you want to us to use a donor sperm if you don't have any?"  Hubby said that he wouldn't like having a child that was one of ours, biologically, and not the other's.  I felt like that was completely fair because I know I would have a hard time if it were the other way around.  Besides, I wanted to have a child with him.  We told Dr. Larry that we'd like to try the IVF with ICSI. 

Then we had to have the conversation that you never think you'll have to have with another human being.  What if we have embryos left over - you know, like last night's lasagna?  My Hubby and I both believe that once the sperm and egg are united, that constitutes a life and neither of us could justify discarding embryos.  Dr. Larry stated that it's a very clear process as to how they develop, and within several days, they will very clearly be deemed viable or not.  Like a miscarriage in a dish?  If we were lucky enough to have extra embryos and they were viable, we agreed that we'd have them frozen to try another time.  Babies on ice?  We agreed that whatever God gave us as viable, we'd have to resolve to use them in the future no matter what happens this time around.  Dr. Larry's ability to give us details about the process put my fears to rest.

Hubby then asked Dr. Larry about a timetable.  The Doc said that Hubby'd have to have quite a few genetic tests to determine if he was a carrier of the cystic fibrosis (CF) gene, since that was usually linked to men with Hubby's lack of vas deferens.  He stated that I'd also have to have the CF test.  Doc informed us that if either of us were carriers, it'd simply mean another test on the sperm/egg being used, which basically equaled more money.  Dr. Larry said that by the time all tests and prep work were finished, it'd probably be six months (SIX MONTHS!?) til we'd try our first round of IVF.  That was the quickest I'd ever counted up 6 months in my life - APRIL.  That was pretty far away.  I should have started this process in 1978 when I was born....I might have a child by now.

We left with a giant packet of info that went over every part of the process, including required bloodwork and counseling, cryogenics, and of course finances.  He told me to continue taking the Metformin and working at losing weight until we saw him again.  When we left, I was a bit unsure how to end our visit with Dr. Larry.  With all the info that we shared, I felt a handshake was not sufficient for such old friends who had shared conversations that no one should ever have with another human being...


  1. I enjoy reading your story and how you got to where you are now. I hope April brings you the baby you and your DH have wanted and prayed for for so long!

  2. I hate answering personal questions in front of doctors. Were you in the room when your hubby got examined by a urologist? That was by far the most uncomfortable I've ever been :)

  3. Marianne, I was in the room. I felt awkward at first, but then figured I'd already seen everything the doc was looking at! haha

  4. Saw your LFCA post. Wishing your hubby a speedy recovery and congrats on having sperm! Good luck with everything.

  5. Don't ya just love how IF takes away all of your modesty? I have decided to be open about the whole process. I find that after you have to be that open with your Docs and all the nursed and med students and whoever else the feel need to be in the room, why try to hide anything?

  6. Azoospermia really bites. Really!
    It sounds like you've been through the ringer already. But guess what? APRIL is here! and April has started off pretty freaking steller at our home! I hope that your april follows suite :)

    I have a page where I am tracking our costs too, and am going to include a link to your site. It think it is so helpful to be able to see what others are paying and negotiate with our dr.'s who otherwise can charge us whatever they want... at least it sure feels that way.

    Best of luck on your journey!

  7. Wow, they get right to the point eh? I don't remember my doc asking questions that specific, but I'm sure they have good reason, and it's just another day at the office for them!