Our child will be legitimate

Cycle #14, Cycle Day #1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The hag is here!
We went to my RE’s office today and fetched the DI papers that Dr. Witz needed to sign. We also signed under a notary a statement that included a section on Texas law that was very interesting. It stated that:
“I, Darrell, as Husband accept the act of insemination as my own and agree:
a. That such child or children conceived or born shall be my legitimate children and heirs of my body, and
b. That I hereby waive forever any right which I might have to disclaim or omit the children as my legitimate heir or heirs, and
c. That such child or children conceived or born shall be considered to be in all respects, including descent and distribution of my property, a child or children of my body.”
Too, too cool. This child will be legitimate! I knew I loved my state! And that answers my question about what to do when my child has to draw a family tree for school! :o)
I also got my Clomid Rx and filled it. I take my first dose on Sunday! Come on Clomid, work your magic!
We did hit one small snag. I found out that I am CMV negative. It turns out that CMV is a STD that 80% of people have. I couldn’t believe it when I heard that! And by association, DH is CMV negative too! ;o) But the snag is that I must find a donor who is CMV negative also. And that leaves me with only 20% of an already small selection to choose from. Well, there goes photo matching… and I have only 12 days to select and ship the stuff to my RE’s office! Yikes! Of course, it HAD to be a Friday I found all this out and I now have to wait until Monday to do anything about it!
I wrote on the board why I chose DI over adoption. Here is what I wrote:
1. Adoption takes a long time to complete, with home studies, waiting for final adoption papers, court appearances, etc.
2. Adoption costs $10,000 to $20,000 or more
3. You don’t always get a newborn
4. You have no control over mother’s diet or prenatal care with adoption
5. It will be genetically mine- and I get to see the donor’s history too
6. In TX, DH must sign a form stating that this child will be his “as if by his own body” including inheritance
7. I get to experience pregnancy, bonding in the womb and breastfeeding
8. Nobody I don’t want to tell will know we had infertility issues
I am SO happy this option is available to us! :oD

Rubella results

I called my RE’s office today to find out my blood test results. The dr was out, so I asked the nurse to “peek” at my Rubella results. A negative result would mean a 3 month wait on TTC! But, she said I was immune!!! Of course, I’ve had at least 3 MMR shots in my life, so I was expecting/ hoping for this. Looks like I have a “GO” for this cycle! Yes!
I ordered cheap, sensitive pg tests online and the company sent me this. I really admire a personal touch from companies. You so rarely get it!

Our top 6 & M&M shelf

Kind of feels weird to be back doing stuff in the nursery…. We have added another M&M decoration- a shelf of M&M characters- to go with the swing pictured in the entry titled “Two Super Deals.” We worked all day cutting the board, sanding it, and attaching it to the wall. I think it looks pretty cute!
Still waiting for AF to arrive, should be 4 or 5 days. We picked our “top 6” donor candidates from the bank we selected. Now we just need to send them in with a photo of Darrell and they will mail us a form ranking how close he looks like each of the 6 donors. I hope one is close!! We have decided to buy 6 “straws”—each one good for 1 IUI. That is over $1200 worth! Hopefully we will get 2 children from these 6!! The bank we chose says 51% chance of pregnancy in 3 months. I can’t wait to get started! I really believe in a month or two I will be pg! Even Darrell’s Mom is starting to come around. She said she’s sure she’ll be very excited when it is time for the baby to be born.

Moving on with life & RE appointment

Before I start this entry, this is a message I wrote on our message board that contains Darrell’s blood test results:
Name: JenH
Subject: Results are in- Dr was out
Sent: 5:31 pm – Fri 17 May 2002
So no interpretation, but these are Darrell’s levels-
FSH- 16 (Normal 1.5 – 14) = SLIGHTLY HIGH
LH- 5 (Normal 1 – 9) = NORMAL
Testosterone- 124 (Normal 241 – 827) = LOW
The pattern of High, Normal, & Low suggests Sertoli-cell-only Syndrome (one of the big terms the RE talked a lot about). SCOS (funny how that looks remarkably like PCOS) is when you lack sperm-producing cells.
***The doctor has called us twice since this post, explaining these results and indicated that “fixing” this would be extremely difficult and costly and would require IVF if successful. Expense-wise, that is not a realistic option for us at this time. So, we made the decision to move on with DI. It was not an easy decision to make.
Cycle #13, CD #22. Today started off in an exciting way! Darrell and I had an appointment to see Dr. Witz, our RE, at 8:00. We had 3 main topics to cover before this DI (donor insemination) could take place. They were IUI in general, ovulation drugs and sperm banks.
My first questions involved how the IUI process works, at least in his office. He said that I’d monitor for the LH surge at home with either OPKs or the fertility monitor (I guess it is time to dust it off!). He said Clearplan, Ovuquick, and Assure were all good, but don’t use Answer. The morning I got a peak, I’d phone them up and tell them I was having my LH surge and to schedule the IUI the next morning. So I’ll know 24 hours in advance. If I get the peak on Saturday, then I go in that day—they are closed on Sundays. He said they only do 1 insemination per cycle because recent research finds that 1 is just as effective as 2 if timed correctly. He said to search for articles by Silverberg for his research findings. I will also need to have a U/S at ovulation time for the first cycle, to make sure the egg pops out all the way.
Next, we discussed ovulation drugs. He wants me back on Clomid 150 mg. No shots! But boy, I HATE those hot flashes! He was not concerned at all that I ovulate much later than normal. He also said to take it whenever was convenient for us. Days 2 to 6, days 5 to 10, whatever. I’m pretty sure I’ll stick to days 3 to 7. He said that since this dose lengthened my LP to 13 days last time, he didn’t see any reason for any kind of progesterone, either.
Finally, we discussed sperm banks. He said any bank that is certified by the AATB (American Association of Tissue Banks) is acceptable. He recommended California Cryobank or Fairfax Cryobank. We discussed the cryobank I had liked (Cryogenic Laboratories, Inc.) based on online donor catalogs and what was available with Darrell’s background (German). He called his lab and they said they had used them before. And it is AATB certified. We will be looking at them first. He said to order at least 3, maybe 6 at a time because shipping is really expensive– $110. One vial will be used per insemination. We found out that the RE’s lab will store sperm for only $100 per year. So, if we have leftovers or want to buy extra for future siblings, that is the way to go. He suggested we buy ICI-ready sperm, which is NOT washed, because it is cheaper and they do all the washing and stuff in their labs. But IUI-ready is fine if that is all our favorite donor has available.
So after all my questions were answered, and we indicated we were ready to go for it, Dr. Witz sprung a surprise. He wanted me to give blood so they could check mainly for 2 things: the Rubella virus and CMV. He wanted me to test positive for both. If I do not test positive for Rubella (German measles), then I will have to be vaccinated for it and wait 3 months before starting inseminations (please, no!). The CMV virus (Cytomegalovirus) is similar to Chickenpox and if I test negative for that then I will need to choose a donor that is also CMV negative. If I get either of these viruses while pg, they would have catastrophic effects on the baby. He also decided to check for a few other things that they check for in the beginning of a pregnancy, which might spare me another blood-letting session in the future!
So, I proceeded to the Vampire’s hideout and had to give 3 vials of blood out of the back of my hand. My arms veins were playing hide-and seek. It wasn’t to bad, but my poor vein barely gave a trickle, so it took awhile. We had to laugh at my poor tiny veins because the doctor told us last time that Darrell had “fire hoses” for veins! :o) Looks like I get to choose where I want to be taken for dinner tonight. That’s our deal for when one of us goes through a medical ordeal.
So, basically I have to wait 3 to 7 days for my test results. And if I get a positive for Rubella, then I may take my first Clomid pills that night! If AF complies, that is!

Telling Darrell’s parents

C #13, CD #16. I have been spotting the past several days. I have high hope for getting our ducks all in a row and doing the IUI next cycle. I am glad we are skipping unlucky cycle 13!
We just got back from a fabulous vacation to Kinder, New Orleans and Biloxi! We gambled and toured the French Quarter and saw an awesome performance of “Stomp!”—that group of musicians that plays superb music with everyday household items such as trash cans, brooms, and kitchen sinks. They were FABULOUS and the highlight of our trip! We also dined at the Café du Monde 3 times and ate at Emeril’s Nola restaurant. It was fantastic, but very expensive!
The only hard part of our trip was that we decided to tell Darrell’s parents of the whole azospermia/ donor insemination mess we are in when we met up with them in New Orleans & Biloxi. I told Darrell’s Dad, Gene, when I happened to get the opportunity to ride in his truck alone with him. He was saddened but very accepting and immediately told me he supported us in whatever we chose to do. A very calm conversation, amazingly enough. We didn’t get to tell Darrell’s Mom, Waynell, until the next day, right before we parted ways again. We all gathered around her in our hotel room and told the “gentle version” that we had spent a long time preparing for her. After she got the facts down, she seemed to do okay with the news. Her first statement after all this was, “why don’t y’all just adopt a baby?” That hurt me, I must admit—like I didn’t deserve the child to be “mine” after all this trouble. But I calmly told her this was much cheaper and we at least wanted some of my genes in the child and I really wanted to experience pregnancy. A few minutes later, I saw her go into the restroom and close the door. I knew then that she was trying to compose herself. After she came out a few minutes later, I went in to clean up the stuff we had left in the bathroom. I came out a few minutes later and apparently interrupted a serious conversation between her and Darrell. He shooed me away, so I went back into the bathroom and puttered around for a few more minutes. It wasn’t long before I heard her sobbing loudly. So I quietly left the bathroom and crept out the door. I went for a walk around the hotel’s pool and lounged down there for awhile. When I decided enough time had passed, I went back up and knocked softly on the door. Darrell answered with apparent relief. He told me he thought I was halfway back home by now and was worried that I was mad at him for shooing me away! None of them had seen me leave!
Waynell wouldn’t look straight at me for a few hours and I later found out that she told Darrell that she thought he should exhaust all options before doing something like this (remember, we gave her the gentle version). I could tell she was upset with me for supposedly pressuring Darrell into a “drastic” method just so I could get pregnant quickly. Gene knows the real version of events and I bet they discuss this all the way home.
We decided to tell them this news because we need support from them. What if the baby comes out looking nothing like either of us (a current fear of mine- despite photo matching opportunities)? And we didn’t feel it was fair to them to let them think we were passing on the family genes. I don’t think we’ll ever tell my family. I don’t believe they need to know. At this point anyway. I hope we get that support from Darrell’s Mom. She has wanted a grandchild for so long… I hope she accepts ours like it was biologically part of both of us.
How am I taking this? I think I’ve come to terms with it all. If this is what it takes for us to conceive- I am there! Darrell is coming around too. We discuss this a little everyday and he hasn’t clammed up yet—what a guy! And just think, at this time last year, he would only grudgingly admit that he even wanted a baby. We’ve come a long way.
Here are a few pictures from our trip. The first two are Darrell and I at Nola’s. I had been told that this was Emeril’s more casual restaurant- NOT!!! Yes, we are underdressed. The last picture is of Gene and Waynell at the Café du Monde in New Orleans. The beignets there rock!!!

No little Darrells

Cycle #13, CD #8. Our Reproductive Endocrinologist’s visit was two days ago. It was a very serious consultation with lots of big medical terms that I cannot pronounce, much less write down. In essence this is what he said (or at least my interpretation!):
1. There are several things that can cause azospermia (lack of any sperm). One is a condition where the epididymis is missing (the duct that holds mature sperm). This is uncommon but can be easily checked out with a blood test. If the FSH level is high (normal is 10), like 30, then he will need to go through an examination to see if the epididymis can be felt. If it is missing, the sperm can be aspirated with a needle. If it is not, then the condition [insert big word here] may still be fixable. But we would have to go out of state to another fertility clinic and so few women have been impregnated by men with these conditions that we would make medical news. The bottom line: no matter what it is and how it is fixed, IVF would be our only route. We just don’t have the money now for more than one IVF procedure and it is not worth it to us to go through great lengths for one shot. Darrell did give blood though so we’ll know his FSH level in a day or two.
2. A good solution for us would be Donor Insemination. He suggested trying semen from a brother of Darrell’s. He does have a brother, too. Darrell half-way liked this idea. Me? Yikes! I can’t imagine going for visits year after year and seeing him as my baby’s “biological daddy.” No thank you! He is a very nice guy and would probably do it too. Of course, if it is really important to Darrell, my opinion may be swayed. The doctor said many times that with my proof (charts) of ovulation, I had a 70% chance of pregnancy. Whether or not he meant in one IUI or overall is unclear.
3. I asked about Glucophage XR (Extended Release) since I have trouble remembering to take my regular Glucophage ½ an hour before every meal. He said it is great and thinks it may be the only kind available in a few years. My OB/Gyn had nixed this saying there was no data on it, so I feel like I am going behind her back. :o) The doctor did say, however, if I got pg while on it, that he would want me to stay on it through my first trimester. I was happy to hear this, because I have also seen the research on how Glucophage lowers the miscarriage rate of those with Insulin Resistance. So, I got my new prescription.
That was the appointment in a nutshell. Darrell is really scared of needles and went sheet white while the nurse took three vials. Poor baby! I had to reward him with seeing “Spiderman” (which was GREAT!) and taking him to an all-you-can-eat, creat- it-yourself stir-fry restaurant called “Stir Krazi”. That was fun!
We are to wait for the FSH level info and of course, redo the SA. Then we’ll go from there. It looks like IUI with donor semen is staring us in the face. But I am deeply saddened by the fact that we won’t have any “little Darrells”. :o( It is strange that I have actually mourned over this the past few days and months. We have shed many tears and had many conversations over all this, but what can we do? We know we want a baby and that I want to be pregnant (so, so much), so there is really only this path to take. IUI & Donor Daddy catalogs, here I come.

Charms of Hope

Darrell and I went to Dave & Buster’s again last week. We saw this cool photo booth that would morph you and your husband’s pictures into your “future” child. What the heck? So we did it. We got this girl as a result:

She looks like a combination of our two moms! We were a little perturbed that she came out looking so old. So we had to do it again! We got this darling boy this time—who happens to look just like Darrell as a child:

We had a lot of fun with these! The funniest part of the whole thing was while you were waiting for the pics to print, the computer screen showed your face and made frowns, smiles, winks, etc. We rolled on the floor laughing at some of them! :o) From all this, what did we surmise about our future? Since the girl is *obviously* way older than the boy, we are going to have a girl first followed many years later by a boy. Yeah! :o)
We also went to the Scarborough Faire with Darrell’s Mom. While there, we passed a booth that was hand stamping good luck charms. It was very cool to see them raise this big old thing and then slam it down over the mold and metal to imprint the metal with the charms you wanted. You got to pick two, one for each side. Of course, I had to make me a fertility charm! I chose the “Tree of Life” and “Mother Earth”. Here is the Mother Earth side (no, I did not realize how prominent her breasts were going to be…LOL):

I also received a “hope” necklace in the mail from a very dear friend who knows of my upcoming RE appointment. Thank you very much, friend! I will wear it every visit! Here is what it looks like: