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hello to everyone! my name is ashley, I'm 26 and my DH is 26. my DH is in the marine corps. we put off TTC for 7 months in 2012 because he was deployed. we were so excited to start trying when he came home that we jumped right on it. we were so giddy and excited. we have been trying for a year so i decided to go to the doctor. i knew and had a feeling that everything was okay with me. but you never know so i wanted to get checked out. my doc asked me some questions and everything seemed to be fine. she then of course asked if my DH had a SA yet. i said no. so she ordered one. my DH went in to to the test and we waited for the results. he told me the doctor called and said that there were no sperm. i felt as if someone hit me with a ton of bricks. i mean i thought maybe it was low or there were other issues but never did i think that there weren't any!!! since then he had to have another to make sure and yet again there weren't any sperm. so he went to urology and had some blood work done and then scheduled an appointment to discuss the results. at the appointment the doc says that they needed to do more blood work as they didn't do some of the tests that they needed to before when he had the blood drawn. and basically there were no answers at the end of that appointment which was last week.
the doc was talking about possible testicular failure, maybe it could be a genetic issue, a blockage……..
my DH is starting drill instructor school 10/1. we live in san diego and he will actually be going to school in south carolina because that is where he will be a drill instructor when he graduates. the school is 3 months long. we told the doc this and thankfully he was very understanding about our lack of time. and he trie to schedule him for a biopsy mid september. but with the recovery time it would put DH right at the time to be leaving. when he gets to school he is going to be hitting the ground running. so that wasn't an option, but I'm thankful we have a doc that is willing to try to squeeze us in. it meant a lot to me. theres a chance that when he graduates he can get the biopsy done in-between graduation and when he needs to report in. but of course his brother is getting married 12/27 and that will be taking place in our home state of maryland. DH is a groomsman and really wants to be there for his brother. which i completely understand.
I'm sorry this is so long. I've been putting off coming on here and actually posting. what makes this so hard on us is the timing. we don't have the time to do what needs to be done. and with him being a DI its going to make it extremely difficult to get anything done! each cycle of boot camp is 3 months long. so for 3 months at a time we won't be able to move forward. in between each cycle we might have time. but really it depends and he might have stuff to do in between. being a DI is for 3 years or a little more depending on the needs of the marine corps. i am so happy and proud of my hubby that he gets to do this. and it will look good for him when he wants to re-enlist. but goodness it breaks my heart with the timing. we will have 4 times a year that we might be able to do something in order to move forward in getting our miracle.
as soon as we found out the news we talked about our options. we are both okay with going the donor sperm route if we have to. we would love so much to be able to have a baby with both of our genetics but we know that that might not be possible. DH is so great about donor sperm and i am so thankful. i was having a bad weekend dealing with all of this. i felt and feel so alone. only my mom and sister know. and while my mom has been amazing to talk to its just hard because she has no clue how it really feels. and all of this is a load anyways to deal with but the fact that we might have to put it on hold for 3 years devastates me. and i feel bad because its not DH fault, he got orders. i just am praying that somehow we can get the ball rolling. somehow he will be able to do the biopsy in December and at least then we will know if there are any sperm at all.
i sooooooo appreciate anyone for taking the time to read and reply. i found it so comforting to find this group of woman being so strong and supportive of each other. i know that i can talk to my hubby and my mom and sis but to come on here and see people who know what i am going through is a relief. i have felt so alone and don't want to make DH feel worse about the situation. does anyone else feel like it is a huge weight on your shoulders? its so hard when no one knows. who have you ladies told? i feel like i want people to know, but then at the same time i don't because it is so personal. and the fact that its DH infertility makes me not want to tell either. i feel like woman who have infertility issues talk about it more freely than men. so it makes it even harder to deal with this burden.
seriously thank you to anyone who has took the time, and I'm so sorry that its so long.
I'm not a member of this particular board, but wanted to make sure you were welcomed and that you got a big hug this morning...sounds like you need it!
Sometimes this board is kind of slow, but the TTC with Medical Assistance board is a little more active. We have members whose husbands have few or no sperm, lots of military wives (I am one), and lots of knowledge about procedures, tests, etc. We also have ladies who have used donor sperm and/or donor eggs if you have questions about that. Feel free to come on over and join us if you'd like!
Melissa & DH
IVF babies Claire (3), Abigail (1) and George (1)
Wanted to add: It really, really stinks that the military adds to the stress of fertility issues. We put off starting our family, too, while DH was deployed all the time, and scheduling procedures has not always been easy with his job.
The great news is, though, that once you complete the testing and any needed repairs/procedures (like if there is a blockage or if you need to harvest sperm through TESE), you can do the rest on your own. IUIs, IVF, using donor sperm, etc. don't require his presence. I actually got pregnant with our twins while DH was TDY So hang in there! Once you determine the actual problem and come up with a plan, it might be easier than you think (scheduling-wise).
Melissa & DH
IVF babies Claire (3), Abigail (1) and George (1)
Hey there... sorry about your situation. It really does come as a total shock when you learn about MFI... I mean, I feel like I was raised to think that all it took was to LOOK at a naked male and you could get pg, so imagine my shock when I found out that DH and I never really stood a chance of getting pg on our own. It's a huge mental adjustment.
We were diagnosed with severe MFI about 7 years ago. We, too, were on a rushed timeline because we were going to be moving, and my ovulation was pretty irregular, so even before TTC I set up an appointment with a reproductive endocrinologist (RE). While I waited for that appt, we TTC on our own, but that didn't work. Then I had the appointment and got the full workup, and the RE suggested we do a SA since we were on a crunched timeline with our move and all. 3 weeks later when I go in for the results, imagine my shock when I learned that DH had VERY poor sperm... they were there, but the count was REALLY low, and they were non-motile, non-progressive, and the morphology was messed up. The RE basically said that with IUI, we'd only have a 2% chance or so of conceiving. So we jumped to IVF. First cycle was a bust. Then we tried a frozen IVF cycle, got pg, but it was a chemical pregnancy and I miscarried 3 days after getting a positive pregnancy test.
At that point, DH became very leary of using his own sperm. With how messed up his sperm was, he was concerned that it was a genetic problem or something and that it could be passed down to future kids, if we had any. He also blamed himself and his bad sperm for my m/c. He had gone to a urologist, who ran all the tests, but didn't find any explanation for DH's poor SA. No obvious genetic issues, either (we had some genetic testing with the IVFs).
Anyway, the IVF cycles were hard on me, and DH was nervous about trying another, so we did opt to go the donor sperm route. Let me tell you, picking out the biological father to your child through an online catalog is just WEIRD. But that's what we did, and we did IUI with the donor sperm. Got pg our second cycle, now have a 5 1/2 year old son. We ordered extra vials of sperm from the same donor and kept them frozen. 3 years later, did IUI again using the same donor, conceived on the 2nd cycle with our now-2-year-old daughter. 2 years after that did it again... suffered 2 miscarriages, but finally got pg again and I'm now 34 weeks pg with another little girl. The great part is that all 3 kids are fully related to each other, since we used the same donor for each of them.
As far as telling people, that's always tricky. I feel like it would undercut DH's masculinity (or at least he'd feel like that) if I told people WHY we have to go the medical assistance route, so I usually leave that part out. But I do often tell people that we need help getting pg--usually they don't ask for more specifics than that! Our families know we used a donor, but only a few of our closest friends know about it. Most just assume that DH is the kids' biological father. The crazy part is that my son is SO much like DH that even I am surprised sometimes that they're not genetically related!
I also plan on telling the kids when they're older, because I feel it's important to know that there's part of their medical/family history that they don't know about, and that DH's family history (medically) is NOT their history. I'd also hate for them to find out through some other way, and then feel like I lied to them.
Anyway, sorry that's so long! But I just wanted you to see you're not alone, and there are options. First is finding out WHY your DH has no sperm, and whether it's something that is fixable (through meds, surgery, etc.) or something you can work around (e.g. through IVF). Then you can figure out what options you have. When we first got our diagnosis, I was in such shock and felt so horrible about everything. I felt like we were just doomed. Now I have 2 (almost 3) wonderful kids and I have never regretted our decision for a second. There are options out there for you, so keep your head high. It will probably be a long stressful road, but there are tons of ladies here to help.
And I agree with KMH that you might want to post on the TTC w/ MA board, since that one is a lot more active. The ladies there are great and have helped me get through all of our TTC and miscarriage struggles. Good luck!
KMH- thank you for the hug!!! they are always welcome! i will have to get onto that board as well. I'm actually surprised this many people responded. i can't tell you how thankful i am for this board and you ladies. thank you so much! and you are so right about the military adding stress! haha i know that eventually we will find out whats going on and eventually it could get fixed it just feels like its gonna take so long. its hard when you've been waiting and putting it off and then you find out that that didn't even matter and that you have to wait even longer. thanks for understanding. it would be easier of course if we dint have to deal with him leaving soon and the busy schedule he will have but I'm trying to take it as its the way its meant to be for us. i believe that everything happens for a reason, sometimes its hard to be patient. thank you so much!
Daisee- i think i was raised that way too! DH and i even waited till we got married to have sex. which I'm still happy that we did. but yeah definitely a total shock. and its so more common to hear about female infertility than men. so it makes it hard to talk about with anyone. I've also thought that there could be a chance that this could get passed on to a biological child if we were able to have one. and thats hard to think about too. so i understand your decision. it makes me feel better knowing that it will happen. thats amazing that you were able to have your babies! i think it will make it that much more worth it and make us truly appreciate our babes. thank you for sharing! and agreed on the hubby's masculinity. its so hard. its like i want people to know what we are going through but i don't want to tell them. i was just at my neighbors who has a 1 1/2 year old and they are trying for #2. at the time that she told me i had no idea about DH sperm. i had just booked the appointment with my doc to talk about it all. and so i had told her about the HSG that i was scheduled for and i had really no problem talking about it. i ended up not getting the HSG done because i was late for my period by like a day and i had a feeling i was gonna get it but they wouldn't do it. got it the next day and then the following monday we found out about DH sperm. since then my doc told me to hold off on the HSG because i might not have to get it done depending on the route we will have to go. so since then the neighbor and i haven't talked about any of that. and today she was like oh did you get that test done. and i told her no and that its rescheduled. and she had said that her and her husband were talking about how they wanted us to get preggo so bad. she said that they were saying that there are some people who are meant to be parents and that they could tell that we are, and she wants it for us so bad. and i almost cried. its this kind of stuff that i don't know how to handle. i steered the topic away but it kill me that people don't know. so i really appreciate your advice of telling people. i guess thats a good way to go with just saying that we need some help. and all our family practically knows that we are TTC because we were so excited in the first place. so it just makes it hard to have to tell or decide when we want to tell.
you have a beautiful story and I'm so happy you shared. it gives me hope that we will get there eventually. congratulations for all your babies! thats a great idea in having them all from the same donor. do you mind me asking how much that route costs? i haven't found too much on it. i think if we do donor sperm that we will tell them too. i think that i would want to know and def for medical reasons too. thank you so much and I'm sorry if this is typed poorly and all jumbled! ill get better.
As far as the costs go, I can say that each IUI cycle we do costs between $2000-$3000 (including the meds). But we've done injectable meds, which are pricier, because we wanted to maximize the chance of success with each one (since we had a limited number of sperm samples to use). And I honestly don't remember the cost for the donor sperm... I remember it being something like maybe $300-$400 per vial, but I purchased them so many years ago that I can easily be off by a couple hundred either way. Then we pay about $400 per year for storage of the sperm. So it's pricey, but well worth it.
The plus side to the donor route is that your DH doesn't have to be there at all, so it will be easy to work around his leave! My DH actually wasn't there for ANY of my successful IUIs. When we did it the first time, TTC#1, DH had already moved already so we were living 6 hours apart at the time. I think for #2, DH had some work obligation or something the day of the IUI. For #3, I just told him not to bother, since he wasn't there for the first two, and it really didn't matter to me that much since the IUI itself took about 20 min and wasn't worth him missing half a day of work. But anyway, I guess that could be your silver lining IF you end up going that route.
One of the reasons that I'm pretty open about needing medical assistance is that it is SO common, but so rarely talked about. I think the stats are that 1 in 6 couples have fertility problems or problems conceiving, and I just felt so alone going through it the first time. I figured if I told 6 friends, then chances were that 1 of them would sometime find themselves in a similar situation and then they'd know they could talk to me if they needed to. Most people probably just assume we have female infertility, and I don't correct them.
Also, when you encounter really rude people who feel the need to be all pushy and tell you that you really SHOULD start trying now, tick tock tick tock, etc., telling them you're infertile is a great way to shut them up. I've said maybe a couple times, "well, we'd love to have another baby, but when you need a doctor's help to do it and it costs thousands of dollars, it's not quite as easy for us as it might have been for you." They usually stop talking after that. I very rarely have had to use that one, though.
daisee- thanks for the cost info! I'm just curious. you hear how much IVF costs but not so much on the donor sperm route. and I'm def expecting that everything will vary per insurance and clinics that we will use and go to. this isn't funny but a little to me that i find that the days we have had an appointment or gotten the call with bad news I'm in a horrible mood and i feel so lost and alone. then give it a couple of days and slowly it wears off. not that I'm still not upset about it but i think theres such a feeling of doom and glom and no hope that it really brings me down. roller coaster of emotions.
i like your positive attitude. I've def thought about the donor sperm route being less time consuming for him and that being a plus. we were talking about everything that needs to be done when he graduates in mid december and lord life is gonna be crazy! and thats without him getting the biopsy done. if the stars align and he can get it done we will def do it. but within a month he will have to comeback to cali after graduation and check out of his unit, plan the time for when the movers will get here, fly back out to MD for his brothers wedding, fly back out to cali and be here for movers, and then load up our car and drive to SC. move onto base, and buy a car. my brain can't even handle it lol. its our first move from a base so it should be interesting.
im def open to talking about needing medical assistance. it really doesn't bother me if people think that its me. i mean I'm gladly ready to take that burden off him. it breaks my heart that he has to carry it. i guess I'm more afraid of people asking more and deciding whether or not to tell them. i love your responses to those people!!! thats great! because there def are those people out there. they think its so easy and they push and prod and its like dude you have NO idea what we are going through!
DH has a sonogram tomorrow. I'm assuming that they are looks for anything that could be tumor related? i think the doc was just trying to schedule him for whatever he could before he leaves just so that we have some answers. I've decided that i want to go back to school so that i can get a job that will go with me when we move again. i prob won't be able to start until summer or fall of next year due to the timing of our move but I'm really excited! i think its giving me something to look forward to and something that I'm doing for me. and it will be good for me to be busy dealing with all this and the fact of not being able to move forward. i think its going to be a few years before it happens for us and I'm incredibly sad about that but I'm so looking forward to the day we get our BFP and hold our baby.
I think your approach of moving forward with other parts of your life is a good and healthy approach. Since the road might be long, it's even harder if you've put everything else on hold in the meantime. Whenever we've been TTC, I've basically done the same thing--gone on with school plans, taken new jobs, etc., and just figured that when we finally got pg (and didn't miscarry), then I will figure out how to make the rest of my life work around that. But I didn't put anything on hold while TTC, and I'm so glad I didn't, because cumulatively, I would have lost YEARS!
I also had a similar feeling surrounding my doctor appointments. Before and after each appointment, even while TTC, I was in a crappy gloomy mood. But on days I didn't have appointments, I felt much better. Don't know why that is. But it is kind of "funny"
thanks! I'm trying to have that approach to it. I've already put off going to school because i thought we would move sooner and didn't want to have to transfer during school and risk credits not transferring and losing money. I've been upset at myself for not finishing. but now with everything else and taking a step back and looking at the past and future i believe that this is exactly where i am supposed to be. i truly believe everything happens for a reason and that God has me exactly where i am supposed to be. i think I've had the time to decide what i want to go for in school and I'm happy that i didn't go for any of the other things i thought i wanted. and i think that this time will be for me and to make me happy and proud of myself. and i agree i think that its good that you did keep going with life and knowing that when you did get preggo you would just have to move forward with life and add that bit into life and roll with it. thats all you can do.
our appointment from the 20th got bumped up to tomorrow because somehow they couldn't find the appointment for the 20th……oh lord lol. but I'm happy because its sooner and even though we won't know anything for sure we will get the results of the sonogram and the extra blood work that they did which will give us some answers. and I'm kinda happy that its not a week before he leaves so the gloom and doom feeling will have subsided. we are going to be taking a mini vacation on the 20th and I'm excited because i feel like we need the little escape and just to enjoy each other before he leaves and the craziness of the next 3 years starts!
thanks you so much for all your advice! i truly appreciate it. i was telling my mom about you and how you dealt with telling people an it was nice to feel like i have a friend in this whirlwind. thank you!
No problem! I hope your appointment went well and you were able to get some answers. It's always easier knowing that there are other people who have been in your shoes and you're not all alone in this craziness.