Infertility - miracle - infertility... real chances vs fighting the nature...


#1

Hello everyone. I am new on this forum, as well as new to dealing with infertility in the US, but not new to infertility issues in general. We are married and living together with my husband for 7 years and luckily (no, it is not luck, it is a real miracle) we have a 3 year old.

Long story as short as I’ll manage… We started living together with no plans to have kids yet more than 7 years ago. Then some issues took us to a doctor and from one to another and another to finally find out in a year that my husband has a post-surgical varicocele for already more than 7 years (surgery 7 years ago wasn’t successful and there was no follow up). We also found out that the sperm tests are very bad with very low sperm count, close to 0 activity and low count of those with normal morphology… Considering no other illnesses and issues that could cause those results we had to go for embolization (another way of treating varicocele). Though we knew it might not change the sperm test a lot, we wanted to try. After the second treatment and a year of different other treatments including vitamins, herbs, massages, physical therapy etc the results were slightly better but still we had infertility, and we knew that without even trying to conceive. My husband took it very badly but I loved him and was there for him. I was sure we were going to have kids.

The only realistic option for us was ICSI which was too expensive for us to even think about. We also knew that result may go worse and planning kids later may become less and less realistic. So we decided to try and go for an IUI which was cheaper, though we knew we most probably just wasting time and money… but we didn’t… We had one non-medicated failed cycle and second medicated cycle was successful. i got pregnant on February 14 and I knew that immediately… it may sound strange, but from the beginning of that cycle I had a strange feeling that it is going to work out this time and it did!!! i was pregnant. We were more than happy, though we didn’t have our home, we had other problems, but nothing did matter, we were becoming parents after almost two years of life together…

I had a complicated pregnancy though: first with concerns about possible fake pregnancy (that happens), than risk of losing my pregnancy due to septum in my uterus, my disk herniation etc etc… I was on bed rest for 4 months and then in hospitals for two more times… but we had our baby though via c-section. We were supposed to become happy, but than there was more: reaction to a vaccine, hospitals from 3rd day of birth, cries, no milk, hernia, surgery at the age of 1,5 months, more cries, PPD, conflicts at home… back to work when he was 3 moths old and even worse PPD… when he was 1 y.o. I got a job in the US and we moved here… that was a difficult step and process but at the end that helped us to overcome a bad family crisis and we are together today…

We tried not to think about more kids. I am working. It was a stressful experience etc… but in general we wanted more kids. It took us long. My son is currently almost 4 and here we are in a fertility center doing tests to find out that sperm count and morphology went worse. Actually they didn’t find any morphological normal forms of sperm in a quite law count. It is 0… doctors are saying it doesn’t mean it will be 0 if he gives sperm for several times etc… I don’t know. Again the only option suggested is ICSI, which is not covered by our insurance as opposed to IUI. I read so much about ICSi, but I am so scared of it… and again should we be paying so much money when the current result is 0? I am also scared of the procedures… I don’t know. I want more kids, I really do… when I see a small baby while walking on the street I want to cry from the thought that we might never again experience that… I am stressed… I am depressed and I can’t even talk with my husband… I am afraid to hurt him… And my son is asking if he is going to have sister or brother… I don’t know what to do…

We also have an option to try IUI as it is covered by insurance anyway. But do miracles happen so often? We already had our portion didn’t we?

I also have some ethical or psychological problems with ICSI… isn’t it about fighting the nature? there is some part of that in IUI too, but there at least you just help to have more chances, while the process of conceiving is still left to nature… With ICSI there are much more interventions in natural processes… are those really crazy thoughts? Is ICSI about fighting the nature… and God?

I don’t know why I am writing this… I don’t know if I need an advice or encouragement or that some says to shut up as there are couples who don’t have kids at all and you have one… I just can’t discuss this with anyone, and I feel so alone with all those thoughts… I don’t know to hope or better not to hope at all for not to lose it…

Sorry for a long post.


#2

First, I’m going to be honest and say I just don’t get those that say one form of ART is OK and another isn’t or is “against nature.” You have a medical condition that is causing problems getting pregnant and you are getting medical help to fix it.

That being said, you need to do what you feel comfortable with. Yes, with sperm issues ICSI is definitely the way to go, but if you are just too uncomfortable to do that you don’t have to. You can do IVF without ICSI, you might not have as good fertilization rates but if ICSI is that stressful for you it might be the way to go.

Whatever you decide I wish you the best. Our insurance didn’t cover any ART and I know how much this stuff can cost out-of-pocket. Since IUIs are covered it might not be a horrible idea to try to few (just don’t waste too much time on them if they don’t seem to be working). Are meds for IVF covered? That is usually a BIG chunk of IVF costs.


#3

Thanks JediBonas for honest response.

I just feel that ICSI has too much intervention, but again, that is a treatment… and yes we have the condition…

As for the practical questions, unfortunately medications for IVF are not covered either, thus all costs will be out of pocket…

My husband suggests to try IUI too, considering it is covered, but even that requires so much… I am having issues at my work every time going for a doctor’s visit, which takes half of my day.

I know it is not ethical and I shouldn’t be thinking or saying this, but sometimes I feel so vulnerable and hopeless… I feel it is unfair what some have to get through for achieving something so normal and natural…

And then I always remind myself that I have my portion of miracle, some don’t have that yet…


#4

Treatment is a treatment, if you are concerned because of religious reasons, that you shouldn’t have done IUI either. I don’t see any difference between the procedures. I see it as if you have have health problems and doctors can help, you should take advantage of the current level of medicine, science no matter how you want to call it.

You have also mentioned that you have problems at work if you need to leave and that is something worth considering when planning for a new child. Also it may be that you’re a bit scared because of your last pregnancy and problems your baby had after he was born. It has definitely left mark on you (it would on anybody).
I haven’t had kids before, but I have heard many people and doctors saying that every pregnancy is different and if one goes well the other may have complications and reverse.
I would suggest that you don’t lose your time and nerves on IUI and this may also hurt your husband even more, since you’re trying something that will likely not work.

Take a deep breath and try to figure out where the problem is and than you will be less confused and be able to decide what to do.
We haven’t had money for ivf and icsi, but we have taken a loan and I don’t feel sorry a bit for doing it.

I really wish you the best of luck with any direction you decide to take.


#5

It sounds like you are going through a lot of emotional distress right now, which probably isn’t helping with TTC. Are you seeing anyone to discuss all of the stress going on in your life? From having what sounds like pretty severe PPD to worrying about the ethics of fertility treatments, there are counselors out there that can talk you through whether or not this is something you truly want to do. And, can help you get to a healthy mental mindset when you do make your decision. There’s nothing wrong with seeking help and getting healthy before moving forward…just a thought!

I’m with the other ladies on here. I thank God every day that I live in a time where fertility treatments are available. Without them, I would not have children. Period. I don’t ovulate without the use of injections.

I’m not super religious, but I do believe in God. And going through treatments, there have been times where I second guess “is someone trying to tell me I’m not meant to have kids?” Maybe God is punishing me for not going to church, and that’s why I haven’t been able to get pregnant with #2. I had a lot of these dark thoughts this year, especially when my cycles were getting delayed with cysts or I wasn’t responding to meds or my AMH dropped over 5 points in 3 years.

And then, one day, as loud as anyone could possibly “hear” the voice of God, I suddenly realized that these thoughts of punishing myself are ridiculous. It’s not fair to put my infertility on a greater power. I have a medical condition. Nobody is trying to teach me a lesson.

We ended up doing IVF after many failed injectable cycles, and got pregnant on our first try. I am 16 weeks today and so far, everything has gone smoothly. I do thank God every day for this child, but also look back and realize that God was not the hangup in my feelings about treatment. My own personal guilt was.

In my opinion, if you and your husband want to have another child and the treatment is available to make that happen and you can afford it and the timing is right for your family, go for it. Only you can decide whether that’s something you are comfortable with, but please don’t feel like the world is trying to tell you that you shouldn’t have another child.

Sorry for getting super personal…this is the first time I’ve shared some of these thoughts with ANYONE. But whatever you choose, I hope it brings you inner peace and that you find happiness. Best wishes!


#6

Dear Mimiglam and Francesca, thank you for your words and for responding to my post, thank you for your advises too.

Mimiglam, you are right… our problems are many… My job situation not encouraging at all any doctor’s visits, which I have to do from time to time due to my disk herniation and due to getting sick easily because of immune system, PMS magnification syndromes etc… I can theoretically bring in a doctor’s note, but first of all I wouldn’t like to announce that I plan and second, I don’t want anyone at work to know about our problems…

Currently my job is not very secure too and my husband doesn’t have a permanent job either. Thus taking a loan would be very risky for us. Hopefully by the end of the year we will know more certainly whats is happening to us and our jobs…

And finally yes, my previous pregnancy and delivery and post-natal complications of my baby, my PPD, all of those are still a very sensitive scar on my heart and soul… At some point I thought I will never want kids. That is strange for someone who always was dreaming of four at least…

Bu I want a baby. When I see a baby I want to cry, so badly I want one…

Sometimes I think I want a baby because of being egoistic and wanting to prove that I am not a bad mom, that I can be a good mom… And maybe there is some truth in it. I feel so not-fully realized because of my mixed feeding and my PPD and for emotions when I wasn’t sure I love my baby and didn’t even have any idea that I am suffering from PPD… But that’s not the only reason. I just want kids… now I don’t want to be overambitious and dream about three or four… but at least one more…

I have a sister who is now far from me, but I know she is there and I know she will be behind me as I will be behind her whatever happens in this world. And that is my strength, my secret power, that few people know or guess. I want my kids to have each other… I want to fulfill and feel my motherhood in its fullness…


#7

Francesca, you described how I think about the ethical dilemma quite the way I feel… I am not very religious either, though I believe in God too. And I pray sometimes and go to church sometimes… and I keep asking myself and God: “Why us?” and then keep thinking that maybe because we don’t deserve having kids… But then again why…

My brain and my consciousness know that we just have medical problems, but those thoughts don’t go away…

I never saw a specialist for my PPD and we never psychologist before our IUI and now… I am not sure my husband will join me, as he is very sensitive to the topic and every time I start speaking about that he asks me to go away and have kids from a healthy man… I never blamed him for the problem, I never put it the way he is the reason of our problems, but that is his ready response and coping mechanism… Maybe I should go on my own… Thanks for the advice!

And by the way Congratulations for your pregnancy!!! Wish you healthy pregnancy and healthy delivery!!!


#8

Heartbroken… that’s what I feel now… that’s what I feel seeing babies and big families… We’ve seen many today walking and shopping with a friend… I want more kids and I will go for at least an IUI or two and then maybe also for an IVF if we can solve the financial issue… when I return. I am traveling to Congo and Sudan soon and I am worried, like I never was before… That is my job, I like it, but I never approached it from the perspective of security. And now I do. I have a son and want to have more kids… I guess that affects my mood too.

I don’t know… too many emotions… I just wanted to post those out somewhere…

I feel so alone with the fertility and family issues. I just feel alone.