Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Tonight, on a Very Special aaron's blog...

...I reveal that Kathy and I are doing IVF. For those unfamiliar with the term, that stands for In Vitro Fertilization. In other words, we haven't been able to conceive, so we're going to see if putting egg and sperm in a Petri dish will do the trick. Assuming they get together there, after a few days a couple of embryos would be inserted into Kathy's womb, in the hope that the embryo(s) "take root" there. It's actually a fairly common procedure, especially for one that's been around fewer than 30 years. It's also fairly expensive (and our insurance doesn't cover it), so we're been fortunate that my in-laws are helping us out.

When we started seeing a fertility doctor, we said that we wouldn't end up at IVF. We'd try less drastic measures and see if those worked, and if not, then we'd stop. Well, they didn't work, and we didn't stop. And it is somewhat drastic -- Kathy is taking daily injections that are supposed to help her produce multiple eggs, so the doctor can surgically remove them. Ideally, she should produce at least eight eggs, but last time we tried, she only produced four, so we didn't go ahead with the removal surgery. And the injections Kathy's taking (self-administered) really mess up her hormones, so for example today, she called me from work to tell me she was about to start crying for no reason. These shots will continue for a few days, then other shots will take place for a few more days, then comes the surgery, probably at the end of next week. So things are a bit rough right now, and we know they'll probably get worse before they get better.

If this doesn't work, we're not sure what's next. We might try one more time, but I think that would be it. We know we can be happy without children. Hell, some of the anxiety we're going through is about the possibility of having children, especially if we have more than one. At the moment, we're not considering adoption, but again, unless we're at the point of stopping IVF, it's hard to say what we're going to want to do at that time.

Meanwhile, my work sucks, but my standard stress release mechanism, a beer or two, has been drastically curtailed to increase our chances of success with IVF. It's a minor complaint, but if you've seen me having only a single drink in an evening (and often passing altogether) over the past few months, now you know why. And truthfully, while I'm not an alcoholic, I do enjoy good beer, and I do enjoy hanging out drinking beer, so this whole thing has affected my social life generally. Still, I suppose it's not so bad -- I would expect that having a kid or two would have a greater effect.

So I'm telling you this now because it's very much the center of what's going on both in my mind and in my life. I didn't tell you this before because it feels awkward to talk about this stuff in this medium, rather than in person or even on the phone.

Wish us luck.


Lory said...

Hang in there! You both are in our thoughts and prayers.

Stock up on the tissues now! I'm sure that things will go very well but pregnancy messes with your hormones too and Kathy may want a few boxes on hand! I used to go months without a good all it takes is the right tv commercial!

I don't have personal experience with IVF but have heard much from my sister and friends. It's an emotional and hormonal roller coaster but I'm sure it will be worth the ride!

I'll touch base with you soon (in a less public way) to see how you all are doing....

Good luck! Take care!

Jake said...

Wow, that's big news. Good luck, I will be thinking of you.

Mary P. said...

Good luck. I taught prenatal classes in a hospital in a large urban centre for several years, and a certain percentage of my clients came from the infertility clinic upstairs: graduates, if you will! Here's hoping you and Kathy find yourself in such a spot in short order.

As to the beer thing? One of my clients routinely takes his two-year-old son "out to the pub", and has done since about week one. It's time out for mom, and bonding for dad and boy. Kinda cute. Kinda funny, too, that whenever we go for a walk, the boy (George, if you check my blog) knows all the pubs in the area!

Debbie said...

Good luck to the 2 of you.