We had a follow-up appointment with our doctor yesterday to discuss what, if anything, they noticed that would have contributed to an unsuccessful cycle. I’m putting it quite mildly when I say I didn’t want to go.
It’s hard to believe that our cycle ended a little over two weeks ago. It seems like so much longer than that. The bruises, both physical and emotional, have faded and we’ve been so busy with getting back into the regular swing of things, that our IVF attempt almost seems like a dream; the kind of dream, or in this case, nightmare, that immediately fades from your memory the minute you wake up. I wasn’t looking to relive that nightmare.
I know this sounds a little cliché, but I’m so glad we went. We now have some answers and can use them to determine our next move.
First, the good news.
I responded incredibly well to the stimulation and our doctor said that it was obvious based on our testing, that we were taking the medications as prescribed. It seems like that should be a no-brainer, right? Dr. Corfman said we would be shocked to know how many couples do not. My endometrial lining was also right where it needed to be; ready for implantation. My uterus was healthy, my fallopian tubes clear. And my eggs were great.
Women are born with all of their eggs. Sounds crazy, but it’s true. And naturally, as we age, so do the eggs. As the eggs age and are introduced to illness and toxins, they become abnormal. For a woman my age, it’s expected that 40-60% of my eggs are now abnormal. There are a lot of other factors that go into egg abnormalities, but it’s not uncommon that when couples suffer from infertility, it’s because of egg abnormalities. That was not the case with us.
At our retrieval, they extracted 25 eggs.
20 were mature enough to be used for IVF.
19 were considered healthy enough to fertilize.
12 fertilized normally.
Those are incredibly good numbers. This means my eggs are on the higher quality end of my age bracket. I was able to breathe a huge sigh of relief.
However, as Dr. Corfman stated, that means the sperm are the problem. Yes, Lee’s sperm are a little lazy. Or as Lee put it, the good ones are like gingers with blue eyes; incredibly rare.
This might sound odd, but to me, this is great news. It’s so much harder to work with bad eggs than it is to work with a lower quality sperm sample. And his motility hasn’t always been as bad as it is now, which tells me that if we make some changes, we can get back on track. We can work to fix his sperm quality.
I’m not going to lie; he’s going to hate it. No more processed foods, no soda. Just whole, organic, hormone-free foods. And I’ll be pestering him to hit the gym with me again. It’s not going to be easy, but it to boils down to whether or not he’s willing to incorporate lifestyle changes to increase our chances of making our adorable, incredibly rare, blue-eyed ginger baby dreams a reality. And while I know my husband might shed a single tear over saying good-bye to some of his favorite foods, I can guarantee that he wants this family as much as I do. If there are things we can do to improve our chances, I know he’ll do whatever is in his power to help.
We’re still going to take the rest of the year to relax and enjoy ourselves, but there are plenty of positive lifestyle changes we can start working toward immediately. Doing so will only make us more successful when and if we decide to start the process again.
Before I end this update, I want to personally thank Lee for allowing me to share our results from yesterday as well as our entire story. It takes one hell of a strong man to not only feel comfortable with what I share, but to encourage me to do so. You continue to amaze me every day. ♥