I’m Starting IVF — Wish Me Luck

Melanie and Brad

Hello, Bumpies! Thank you so much for reading this and joining in on my infertility journey. Let’s catch you up, shall we?

First of all, I’m Melanie. I’ve been married to Brad for just over a year and while our first year was challenging at times, we faced those challenges together. The largest challenge came six months after we started trying for a baby.

I discontinued my Mirena IUD in October 2011, a month after we were married. We began actively trying for a child in January, under the advice of my doctor. I started taking prenatal vitamins and we began trying to conceive with high hopes. Six months came and went with nothing. My cycles are a little irregular, so we thought we were just having difficulty getting the timing just right. In July, we still had no positive results, so my doctor ordered blood work for me and semen analysis for Brad.

My bloodwork came back a little low and the preliminary thought was that I might not be ovulating. Our hearts sank. They sank even lower when we got Brad’s results — zero sperm. His final diagnosis: CBAVD (Congenital Bilateral Absence of the Vas Deferens). In layman’s terms, my husband has no exit ramp for sperm. They’re trapped.

Months of diagnosis and multiple doctors led us to this: In-vitro fertilization (IVF) with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). It’s our only option to have biological children. Brad’s condition means that his sperm don’t get a chance to mature fully, so they can’t swim. The ICSI part means that the doctors will physically place one of Brad’s sperm in one of my eggs to to make our babies. Don’t get me wrong — we’re not trying for twins. The doctor will only implant one embryo on the first go-round and we’ll freeze the rest in case we need or want them later.

Right now, we’re coordinating services with Brad’s urologist and my IVF doctor to extract Brad’s sperm and prepare me for IVF (extracting eggs, fertilizing eggs, implanting embryos). We’re also working towards getting approved for adoption. Brad and I had talked about adoption even before learning of our infertility issues. We feel that, as a result of our diagnoses, we need to start the process now. It’s usually a four- to six-month process of parent-training, home studies and background checks before we can be approved to adopt.

I know this is a very quick intro. Please keep checking back to because I’ll post more on our diagnoses and what they mean for us, as well as challenges we’re facing with doctors and insurances. If you’ve got any specific questions, please leave them in the comments. I’d love to answer them for you!

Have you gone through fertility treatments or adoption? What were your biggest struggles and how did you get through them?