We have lately been speaking of desires and expectations in marriage. Where you expect to live..How much money you expect to make..the list goes on and on. It's easy to get wrapped up in your desires to the point that they become expectations from your spouse or even yourself. And expectations can easily become judgments.
We have never had specific expectations for having children. We both discussed that we wanted them and threw out numbers of children which we never could agree on. I have never been overly neurotic about a time line. No having to have the first at X age etc, no timing everything to have our children in a specific month (much less day,) no planning to have them equidistantly apart. I always figured when we felt we were ready it would just happen.
When we began trying I did what I always do with any subject matter I don't know a lot about. I did research. I learned about my body, my body's schedule, and all the signs and symptoms to look for in timing. After a few months of charting I decided that definitely wasn't right for me and just paid attention to my body.
As we got closer to a year of trying I began to feel dread. I didn't want to schedule that appointment with my doctor. That would mean failure. I had been previously diagnosed with mild endometriosis but was assured that it most likely wouldn't affect my fertility. But I soon began to blame myself for our failure. I finally scheduled the appointment and waited nervously for it to arrive. We discussed how my cycles were like clockwork and I wasn't experiencing any kind of pain like I did previous to my surgery. She told me they would check my hormone levels and send Brandon to be tested as well. If they found everything to be normal she discussed starting fertility drugs to help give us a boost.
My tests came back normal and a little hope came back, perhaps nothing was wrong. Brandon's test came back and he was sent to a urologist for a referral. This wasn't a good sign. Hope started to fade. After his exam he was diagnosed with one mild and one moderate varicocele. We were told he may need surgery to correct it. He was asked to go for another analysis and the first test results were ordered. We still had no idea what his numbers were on the first. We were told to come back in a month.
A month later was Monday. Both test results were fairly consistent. His total counts were well within the normal range but his motility was marginal and morphology wasn't good. His doctor told him he didn't recommend performing the surgery right away because as I have learned in the last few days the surgery only corrects morphology in 30% of cases. It mostly corrects total count which Brandon had no problem with. His recommendation was for us to undergo IUI. And that's about when my hope took a nose dive.
The success rates for IUI are barely higher (at best) than timing and we know all about that already. Some doctors don't even recommend IUI when there are morphology issues. And of course there is the cost. We have been working very hard to become completely debt free so all of our spare money goes to that. And we can see the light at the end of a very short tunnel. IUI costs between $200 and $1000, we might be able to manage that, but definitely not multiple cycles. IVF is a whole different decision process and at the lowest probably costs $8000 per cycle. Yes, we have that just lying around.
I feel my throat constricting just thinking about all of it. I never expected I would have to pay for my children before they even exist. I never expected to be "knocked up" in the institutional feel of a doctor's office by some nurse who I don't know. How's that for romance? How's that for surprise? And oh the emotions I am going through. I feel completely crazy going from peace that it's in God's hands to anger, utter anguish, guilt, and feeling very, very alone. But that is definitely enough to write about another time.
I am confident I will get through all of this one way or another, but at the same time this is going to be a long and painful process.