It’s not like IVF is going badly. But we got some bad news today that has really shaken me. After 4 months of J doing everything he can to improve his sperm quality (other than lose 50 pounds, which I’m sure would help too—says the bitchy and bitter crazy lady), it appears that his sperm have not improved, and might have even gotten worse. My RE didn’t have his old numbers to compare to, but his count was really low. He’s really bummed, and I just feel crushed.
Part of it might be my fault. When a guy with poor sperm ejaculates too soon before he needs to deliver the goods, he can reduce his count (because the spermies have to build up). But if he waits too long, the morphology can get all screwy (because the spermies get bored in there?). Last week, when the RE had told me that the trigger would be on Sunday or Monday, I’d asked her when he should, um…. “Ejaculate?,” she filled in for me? (Love this doc.) She said he should do it Sunday. But then we didn’t trigger on Sunday, and on Monday I forgot to ask again until it was evening and I had no one to ask. So after debating the matter, I suggested that he go ahead and pull the trigger, so to speak. I figured a low count was less critical than poor morphology (because we do ICSI), but mostly I was just guessing. Maybe I guessed wrong. And now I don’t know if the low count is because his sperm are just getting worse no matter what he does, or if it’s because he only had a 36-hour buildup. I know he was really counting on some improvement.
I have to admit, I’m kind of pissed off at him as well. Which isn’t surprising, as I’m feeling angry in general and want to lash out. But why is it MY job to know what he’s supposed to do to make his sperm the best? I even asked him a few times to go see a doc himself about this, maybe even to get a straight-up sperm analysis before this cycle, but it ended up always being me asking the questions, me trying to figure out what vitamins were best, and then me trying to figure out when he needs to jerk off. It seems that I have enough to worry about with my own side of IVF. Can’t the sperm be HIS job??? (If this cycle doesn’t work, this is totally changing for the next cycle. I’m done having to micromanage the whole thing.)
Before you start feeling all horrible for me, let me tell you that my RE actually called with pretty good news. It’s day 2 (if you don’t count retrieval day), and we still have 11 embryos going. Two have dropped to between 5 and 6 cells—I expect those to drop out of the race by tomorrow. But the other 9 are all at between 8 and 11 cells.
So why was this news about J’s sperm such a blow? Because I need something about this cycle to be DIFFERENT than before! If it’s the same, then how can I feel like we’re going to get a different outcome? And even thought this is our first post-surgery cycle, my fibroid hadn’t caused any of my miscarriages. It might have done so if the pregnancies had stuck around for longer, but it just wasn’t a factor. The factors apparently were: (1) embryo quality, and (2) chance. I can’t control chance, but I really wanted to improve the quality of our embryos. Now it seems like we’re just replaying an old script, and I feel like I already know the ending.
I also suspect this crash is more physical than emotional. This happened in both of my prior cycles, but I had blamed it on outside circumstances. Now I’m thinking that the problem is more hormonal than external. There must be some post-retrieval hormone crash, as my body cycles off the stims, gets jacked up on progesterone, and has at least 13 follicles dissolving to create the mother of all luteal phases.
So I’ve been getting agitated for the last two days, and the sperm news pushed me over the edge. To top that off, my car wouldn’t start this morning, and J’s working 18-hour days this weekend, so I’m stuck at home all by myself, staring into space, thinking about how depressed I am, and how much I want to do something that will make me feel better, and how much I wish I could think of something to do that doesn’t involve strenuous exercise or driving anywhere. Tried watching a movie, but I was too agitated. Tried reading a book, but I was too fussy. Then at about 2:00, J called to check in and I just started crying. He suggested that I go outside, but I batted that idea aside. He suggested that I call a friend and I weepily told him that I didn’t want to talk to ANYONE. Then he just sat there feeling helpless while I cried. Yup, crazy lady is in residence.
Eventually I decided to harness the crazy into getting something done. I figured, if I’m going to feel like crap anyway, why not clean my stove? (Mind you, it’d gotten so filthy I was starting to worry about small fires breaking out under the burners.) So I put on some alternative rock, very very loud, and attacked my kitchen. Scrubbed the stove, the front of the cabinets, the area behind the sink faucet, the dish drainer, the toaster, my spice rack—everything in that area. I even refilled the spices in my spice rack.
I’m feeling a little better now. I’m still fussy and sad, but on the upside, my kitchen looks fantastic.