Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Beware the Ides of March

So D had his urology appointment this morning at 7:00AM. Poor guy had to get up so early, and unfortunately, it didn’t go well. Silly me thought they wouldn’t be able to come up with any other reason for the failed fertilization. Instead, they apparently came up with several possibilities, and therefore D has to undergo more testing.

He’s quite unhappy. I haven’t really had much time to discuss this with him personally, but I think he’s upset not about having to undergo more blood draws and exams, but for other, more emotional, reasons:

  1. The machismo factor – I think he feels like he’s less of a man somehow.
  2. The husband factor – I fear he feels guilty that all this IF hardship is due to him.
  3. The bad patient factor – if this is something that he’s been living with for awhile, I think he feels stupid about not getting it checked out years ago.
  4. The bad doctor factor – if this is something that he’s been living with for awhile, I think he’s upset that no doctor before this one ever thought to explore the possibility before.

In yet one more example of “Be careful what you wish for,” we now have a possible explanation for our infertility. As much as I wanted a real, hard verifiable reason, I didn’t want it to be male factor. And the reason why I didn’t want it to be male factor is completely selfish.

As much as I truly believe that infertility is no one’s fault, I think that we still tend to place blame. And I don’t mean blaming your partner, but blaming oneself. If you can blame yourself than you don’t have to worry about hurting anyone’s feelings, you can rant and rave at the unfair injustice of it all and not have to worry that every barb you sling is silently hurting someone else, because that someone else can only think “if it wasn’t for me there wouldn’t be a problem.” I think I’ve been blaming myself all along, and D has been my support. If we’re told now that the problem is with D, I fear that our modus operandi for dealing with the grief and frustration of infertility is going to change – has to change. And at this late stage I think it’s going to be quite an upheaval.

I don’t really know what any of this means. D has asked me not to tell anyone, so I’m afraid I can’t share the specifics with you. I don’t yet know if the possible problems mean we can’t do ICSI, or that ICSI won’t help us. My brief googling sessions didn’t bring up any reason why ICSI wouldn’t work, so I’m still hopeful that we’ll be able to go ahead with IVF as planned next month. I’m just worried now that D is going to feel so guilty and/or depressed that it’s going to be much harder for him than last round.

Why, oh why must boys equate manliness with conceiving a baby?
Oh right, women do that too.


Blogger Dramalish said...

Of course you know that our infertility was/is entirely MF.. and of the worst possible severity.

And J went through some major grief, anger, and esteem issues because of it. But, there's definitely a light on the other side. You'll get there.


March 15, 2006 4:43 PM  
Anonymous Molly said...

Wow. That's big news.

The machismo factor is why my husband hasn't been checked out yet. That and the embarrassment he feels at imagining himself setting a cup of warm semen on a counter.

March 15, 2006 5:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally feel guilty that IF is because of my body. And even though Jeremy always says "we," and has never, ever said or done anything to make me feel bad, I just do. I know it's not my fault, but I feel horrible that he may never have a child of his own because of me.

And because I'm horrible, I've uttered the words, "I wish it were you," to him before.

You have felt like it was you... so you know how bad that feels. I'm sure there is an upheaval in store, but you have the empathy to handle it.

March 15, 2006 6:18 PM  
Anonymous InSpring said...

MF is really tough, I'm sorry he's facing that, but he's got you and I trust that you'll be able to get him though it.

March 15, 2006 6:47 PM  
Anonymous Lori said...

I'm sorry the appointment yeilded some distressing possibilities. I will be hoping the additional testing shows all to be well.
I hope you're able to find a way to cope and vent that protects his feelings. We're definitely here for you to work those feelings out.

March 15, 2006 8:55 PM  
Blogger K said...

Ours was all MF also.. AntiSperm Antibodies. ICSI was the only only way. Email me if you want to. I'm open to talking about it.. as is my hubby. He's sooooo open to talking about it with other guys, it's almost funny.

He didn't go through too much of the machismo problem.. a little, but he was more upset I'd had to go through so much torture ( clomid, HSG) when all he had to do was cum in a cup and get an answer.

Bummer is, even if it was all MF, I'm still the poor sucker who had to stick a needle in my belly 3x a day!


March 16, 2006 2:02 AM  
Blogger Donna said...

I just wanted to tell you that we have close friends that had severe MF issues, and they were successful with ICSI. I hate to say it, but it literally just takes one good one. We'll talk more when I see you -- in person! Anybody else jealous yet?

March 16, 2006 2:41 AM  
Anonymous Jennie said...

before my tubes were removed we were (and still are) MF, my brawny mucho protective male halfs vascetomy has left us with <1% motility <3%morphology and not enough to fertilise all the eggs collected at pickup etc etc so even if I were a fertile goddess it'd be a hard hard slog for us,

I wont lie's hard on him and he's had a number of mini melt downs due to self blame just keep highlighting what he does have IE: DH had 20 (yup twenty) useable sperms and I'm so very thankful for that ... next time hopefully we'll get the same number and if I don't get too many eggs we'll have the option of using only the best of the bunch... I'm sorry your hubby is having a hard time of it let him know no matter what the problem is he's not alone in the MF stakes.

March 16, 2006 6:59 AM  
Blogger M said...

I'm sorry you are going through this. Our issue was severe MF too. We had the SCSA test done (dna fragmentation) which came back horrible- 50%- which means we had like a 1% chance that my dh would father a child-- and we did ICSI. I am now ending my first trimester of pregnancy!
I know what you mean about you not wanting it to be his "fault". I had the same feelings. I didn't want to resent him. I knew it was nothing he did...and yet my mind wondered down the path of what ifs.

March 16, 2006 9:20 AM  
Blogger MoMo said...

Sorry to hear about the MF...I hope that ICSI will work for you guys or the additional test will have a better outcome. You guys will get thru this. I am keeping my fingers cross for you guys!

March 16, 2006 9:38 AM  
Blogger Larisa said...

I understand what you are saying - I feel like I can better handle being "broken" than J. I can handle the guilt.

J was terribly relieved in a weird way when the dr found the endometriosis - he felt that at least something was wrong with both of us.

I hope that ICSI is the answer for you. I hope that you can both figure out how to deal with the bad news.

Sending my thoughts...

March 16, 2006 9:54 AM  
Blogger fisher queen said...

I have often thought that it is easier to be the one to blame...But I know you will help him get through it.

March 16, 2006 11:45 AM  
Blogger Fertility Faux Pas said...

I'm so sorry to hear about the MF issues. ICSI was a cycle saver for us and I hope with all that I have that it will be for you too.

March 16, 2006 3:41 PM  
Anonymous thalia said...

I have secretly been glad from time to time that the problem is me. Because I worry about the impact on my husband's sense of self. But of course for many instances of male factor, IVF is a much more effective treatment so I'd be more confident that we could actually get pregnant. It's hard. It's all crap, hard to see that one way or another would be better than the other.

March 17, 2006 2:31 AM  
Blogger Demeter said...


I just learnt about your blog and when I read it it occured to me that there is a test (I am sure your hubby has gone trough it all) that is done for men in only one lab in the US, but it determines the reason why some couples IVF doesn't work out, it is DNA testing. Check this out, you may want to talk to your RE about this:

March 17, 2006 11:47 AM  
Blogger Pamplemousse said...

Mellie, it is so hard dealing with this whole thing. In my case, we have MF and all the problems with me and at least in one way, there is no one person to blame.

ICSI can work wonders with tiny amounts of sperm and there are many, many success stories out there. You did a bang-up job of producing eggs which is a huge hurdle so I hope you will both be able to move forward with the help of ICSI. Be good to each other, kay?

March 17, 2006 12:25 PM  
Blogger Lut C. said...

I know very little about MF. I know most doctors are wise enough to do some basic sperm tests early on.

It's rather alarming that they might suddenly think to do more tests so late in the game. After all you've subjected your body to.

I hope you the tests tell you what you need to know, and that the news is good, well as good as it can be.

March 18, 2006 6:48 PM  

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