Welcome to In the Mind of the Man blog. Here I will try to keep a sort of running diary of my thoughts and experiences about raising a child from a male's point of view. After hearing countless people tell me that her childhood will be over in a Blink of an Eye, I decided to take time to stop and reflect on the day to day mundane activities my daughter and I share. I hope you enjoy reading and sharing in my journey, but most of all I hope my daughter and I enjoy looking back at this blog 20+ years from now and laughing.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

How We Got Here

    Sure, it sounds so sweet, man and woman meet, they fall in love, they get married, they have a family, they live happily ever after...
Wish it were that easy.

    My wife and I fell in love and got married thinking our natural next step was to start a family. We decided to start trying two months before the wedding (sorry Mom and Dad). But the fact that it didn't happen right away was not the worst thing in the world, because, to paraphrase Heather (my wife), she wanted to fit in to her wedding dress. As we went through the year, however, it became tougher and tougher each month when Heather got her period. (It is probably a good time to mention that Heather was 36 when we first started trying, and while you can read all sorts of literature that says having a baby under 40 is no big deal, try to telling that to a woman who, on her 37th birthday, had 7 months of unsuccessful attempts at getting pregnant.) We had 6 more months of missing the target when we finally decided to seek help.
    The first step they had us do was intrauterine insemination (IUI). Heather, who before this whole process started was deathly afraid of needles, had to inject herself with a shot of hormones in her stomach each night, for ten nights. Then we would go in for the insemination. That's when I was finally on stage. I spent 32 years of deluding the world that I was the only male who did not please himself and now here I am being told to masturbate into a cup in the next room while everybody waits for me to finish. "Do you need another magazine?" NO! I need to be alone. So, I performed my dirty business at home and then brought it into the office. This also stressed me out because we live in Brooklyn and taking my boys to the clinic in mid-town Manhattan was not a quick transfer. It would take at least 45 minutes by subway, even longer in the car with traffic and finding a parking spot. As I sat on the train I often wondered how people would react if they ever found out what I was carrying in my backpack, then again, you can never be too sure what anyone is carrying in their backpack on a NYC subway car... so all is fair game.
    I was able to get my boys to the clinic on time, being reassured by the embryologists that they can live for over 3 hours in room temperature. So alas... my one and only part to this process was done. My boys were hyper-activated and then placed inside my wife. Now it was a waiting game.
    I would look up every symptom of pregnancy in the book and swear that Heather had them. But, to our dismay, it didn't work and Heather got her period.
    We tried again. Same ten days of shots for Heather, same trekking through the underground of New York City with my own secretion for me, same every symptom matching that of a pregnant woman, but ... same result.
    Third times a charm?

    Not for us.

    We were finally ready to move on to In Vitro Fertilization Pre-Emryo Transfer (IVF-ET or just IVF). This is more intense for the woman, but the same deal for the man. Heather now had to give herself three shots in the stomach, two in the morning and one at night. And when the time came for the egg retrieval they had to give her anesthesia to knock her out.
    I did my part as previously mentioned and they were able to fertilize 4 eggs, of which 3 were healthy enough to be planted inside of her during the transfer, 4 days later.  But it was hardly just a waiting game. At this point I needed to inject progesterone oil into Heather’s backside using an inch and a half needle. Now, I’m no push over, I can watch movies with blood and guts with the best of them, but when it comes to actually doing the injection, it made me a little nervous.
    My nervousness did not seem to have a calming affect on Heather, because she was scared that she did not have control over the needle going in her anymore. Remember, this is a woman who would have rather come down with Tuberculosis than have the TB shot (not really true, but close.)
    However, when all was said and done, I did a fantastic job at playing Doctor and Heather had no complaints about me stabbing her each night. Unfortunately, as the days went by, she did start bruising, which is the one time, however, you can bruise your wife and not actually commit any crime.
    After 13 days of this routine, it was time for Heather to go in for a blood test. Leading up to this day there was a lot of anxiety. Heather “knew for sure” that it did not work. She felt the same symptoms she would normally feel before her period. I would look up everything she said she felt online to prove to here that it had worked and tried to stay positive, but on the eve of the blood test, I too was convinced that it did not work.
    Heather went for the blood test that morning and would receive a call in regards to the outcome. They were testing her human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) level. If you are pregnant at all you should have a level of 5 or higher. If it is a healthy pregnancy they would expect the level to be higher than 80.
    Heather called me at work around 12:30 that day.
    “Did you find out?”
    “No, can you come down and see me for a second? I just want to talk to you before we find out.”
    I had no clue what this was about, but about a million thoughts raced through my head as I took the 2 minute stroll outside to the parking lot. I sat down.
    “My number’s 198.”
    “We’re pregnant!” she said as she started to laugh and cry at the same time.
    I, being in complete disbelief, said, “But you said they hadn’t called yet. And you wanted to talk to me before they called.”
    “I know. I lied.”

    It didn’t matter. All the success stories we had heard about IVF came true for us and now we finally had what we had been waiting for.

    We finally had one that stuck!

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations!!!! Can't wait to read more about your experiences!!!