Wednesday, 19 August 2009

How to wish your life away

First, spend 15 cycles trying to conceive a baby. Make sure you have a few problems along the way (retarded ejaculation, necessitating a bit of DIY artificial insemination, for example), but get your hopes up every single month without fail, only to have them dashed to the ground every single month without fail.

Finally admit that you might have a problem and arrange an appointment at a fertility clinic. Wait a month or so for that, and fail to conceive another baby while you're waiting.

Go to your appointment, to be told your only hope of conceiving is IVF with ICSI, due to your husband's disastrously low sperm count - 0.6m/ml (should be >20 m/ml), motility 30% (should be >50%), morphology 3% (should be >30%), volume 1 ml (should be 2 ml), progression 1 (should be 2 or 3). IVF can only go ahead if your hormone levels are OK and DH's genetic testing (required because his sperm count is so low) comes back normal, so you...

Wait a few days, then phone for results of your FSH/LH/oestradiol testing. FSH is 13.2, LH 5.3 and oestradiol 156. A bit of googling tells you that this is BAD, but you...

Wait a few days for the next appointment and hear that DH's karyotyping and Y deletion tests came back normal - the first (and so far only) real bit of good news. The consultant agrees with you that the medical term for the state of your ovaries is probably "old and knackered", but is happy to go ahead with IVF, putting you on the highest dosage of drugs possible to kickstart your old, knackered ovaries, provided your AMH level is OK. So you get another blood test and...

Wait a few days for the planning appointment with the nurse, where she takes you through all the paperwork and explains what's going to happen next. Unfortunately, the AMH result isn't back yet, so you...

Wait another day, then ring her to see if the result is in yet. She calls back to say your level is 3.69, which is in the low fertility range. She thinks the treatment can still go ahead, as the consultant already knew your ovaries were old and knackered and this test has just confirmed it, but she needs to talk to him to confirm that, so you...

Carry on waiting for her to call back with the news that will either allow you to carry on waiting a bit longer for the treatment to begin or completely crush you.

And if the completely crushing answer comes through, the waiting won't stop either, because then it's a question of looking further into donor embryos, then waiting around for that, and if that's not a goer, looking further into adoption and waiting around for that.

I never knew how exhausting waiting could be, or how all-consuming - I CANNOT concentrate on my work today, and I know I'm going to suffer for that tomorrow when I'm standing in front of a class with nothing to say.

The real killer is that at the end of all this waiting and hoping and praying, there is absolutely no guarantee that we'll have a baby - by whatever means. I could be expending all this emotional energy in vain. And I'm so so tired already - how much more of this do I have to take?


  1. I sympathise so much - I remember so clearly feeling that despair at the end of every fruitless cycle. And the creeping horror at the thought that it might never happen, and the frustration I felt every time someone said that it just takes time, stop worrying so much, of course it'll happen... They didn't *know* it would, and I resented their thoughtless optimism so much :(

    All I can say is that I hope and pray it does happen for you, and I hope the waiting to know either way doesn't go on and on and on. Thinking of you XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  2. IVF babies born from embryos that are frozen and thawed are less likely to be underweight or premature than those conceived during fresh treatment cycles, research has shown.

  3. I'm not sure why you're telling me this on this particular post (to which it is almost entirely irrelevant), or why you came to my blog via a search on 'IVF ICSI', but I'm not sure I trust that link to click on it without knowing what it's actually about or where it's taking me to.

    If you're genuine and are trying to give me sensible advice, I apologise for being suspicious, but I'd appreciate it if you would give me the actual URL so I can judge what the site you're trying to send me to is about.