Posted by: birdsandsquirrels | April 5, 2009

what did you do today?

Note: I wrote most of this post Friday night, but I had to sit with it for a while to see if I really wanted to post it. Things are okay now. S and I have talked about things, but I still feel like I need to vent, and show the ugly side of infertility (not that there is a pretty one).

I had my 4th IUI. Woo hoo. This one hurt more than the others. A different nurse did this one and man was she rough with the speculum. Ugh. Pinching and pushing and wrenching it all around. My cervix is not that hard to find. Nobody else has had a problem with it. I barely felt the first two IUIs, but this one was actually painful. The post wash count was 19.5 million, the second worst of all of our IUIs. There was no post IUI intercourse as the husband and I were being assholes to each other. Actually, it was just the husband that was an asshole.

He came home from work cranky, tired and hungry. I left the RE’s office with a plastic sponge up my hoo-ha, cramps that my allowed Tylenol won’t touch, and a worse headache than I had when I went in. He decided to heat up some frozen vegetarian tamales, all the while saying cranky, critical things. I didn’t rinse off the cat food dishes to his liking. I hadn’t done the dishes. I accidentally scraped the wall with my chair. I tried to ignore his bad behavior, but the crankiness continued and I exploded and told him he was being mean. Then he has the nerve to say “I went to work this morning. What did you do all day?” At that point, my eyes filled with tears and I left my food on the table and stormed upstairs and crawled into bed.

He knows how bad I feel about not being able to find a job here. Our state has the highest unemployment rate in the country. There are NO JOBS here. He has never been mean about it before. He knows I left a great job at a university when I moved across the country to this terrible fucking town to be with him. He has always been supportive and understanding. I guess all it takes is a little stress to bring out what he really thinks.

He came upstairs after an hour and tried to rub my back but never really apologized. He asked if I wanted to go to the grocery store (we have no food in the house since our trip), and I said no. I was already in my pajamas and had no desire to go anywhere. He went to the store and came back. He went to bed about an hour ago and I have no desire to even be in the same room as him.

Is this what happens? The stress of infertility and this terrible economy wears us down until we are fighting over stupid shit like cat food dishes?

Back to today, Sunday. We talked last night about a number of things. S said that he hates how the medicines make me miserable. He doesn’t like to see me go through this. He says that it seems like 50% of the time I feel so awful that I can’t do anything. He thought we were going to take a break. After last month’s BFN and my friend’s disastrous pregnancy announcement, I had a meltdown. During this meltdown, I apparently said that I was tired of this, didn’t know how much more I could take, etc, and he took it to mean that we would take a break.

I certainly have contemplated a break. I assumed this cycle would be out because of cysts, and then that Femara wouldn’t really work, so I was sort of looking at this as a break. He was surprised that we did an IUI. I was too, but after seeing potentially viable follicles on the ultrasound, and taking into account the super crappy morphology, we have to do IUI for a decent shot. It’s hard to know what is worse – the stress of treatments or the stress of taking a break and knowing that with each passing month, our chances go down. I want a break by getting pregnant, not by giving up.

He is under a lot of stress at work. His company has reduced everyone’s hours yet again, so his salary has been cut about 25%. I think that the reality might be sinking in that we may have to do IVF, which we now really cannot afford without using all of our emergency fund or going into serious debt, or asking to borrow money from family, which he would never do.

One thing that came up at the appointment with the RE two weeks ago was using donor sperm. Have any of you considered using donor sperm instead of going to the expense of IVF? Obviously, I would love to have a child that has characteristics of both S and I. That would be the best case scenario. But S has a family history of weird cancers and is a cancer survivor himself. He has been concerned about passing on his familial predisposition to weird ass cancers to our kids. We haven’t discussed it much – it’s a touchy subject. I worry that if we did dIUI and concieved, then he would feel less connected to the child. But it’s something that I have been thinking about more lately. If my ovulation problems are overcome by meds, and the best (only?) way to overcome the morphology issue is to spend $12k on IVF with ICSI, what is the most cost effective treatment to end up with a healthy baby? Would it be the end of the world if it wasn’t genetically both of ours?

There are so many factors. I don’t think our clinic even offers PGD, so if we did IVF/ICSI, we could end up with embryos with chromosomal abnormalities and no way to screen for them. Maybe we have an egg quality problem and donor sperm wouldn’t help. Maybe we are getting fertilization but not implantation with IUI. Maybe my uterus is the problem. Maybe we eat too much soy as vegetarians and that is screwing things up hormonally. Maybe we have a balanced translocation that is preventing fertilization. God, my head is spinning with all the different factors.

For those of you that have used donor sperm, how much did it cost you? How many samples did you purchase, accounting for failed cycles or saving for future siblings? How much did storage and transportation cost? Has your partner had problems with it? I’m sure that S would love a child even if it wasn’t genetically related to him, but he would miss out on some things – seeing familial characteristics, knowing he had a child that was his. I don’t know how important that is to him. I tried to bring it up after the RE appointment (which he did not attend), and he said something about that’s jumping way too far ahead. I don’t think he’s ready to even think about it.

I’m feeling tired and broken. I am pessimistic about the IUI, especially since we did not have “insurance” sex. I’ve had some cramping/weirdness near my left ovary, so maybe I did ovulate one or two of the follicles. I have stopped temping. I am leaning towards not testing at all. I’m sorry this was so long. If you made it to the end, I commend you! Just getting this out has been helpful.



  1. I’m sorry about how all the stress is really getting you both down and probably causing a lot of the arguments. I can definitely see how those factors could be adding up on each other.

    Donor sperm seems like a pretty big jump to take to me, perhaps equally as big as IVF.

    This is one of those times when it would be nice not to have knowledge of all the many factors that could be causing infertility. I think the only way to be sane about them is to focus on what you know and talk to your clinic is there are reasonable things to test your for at this time. I think a lot of insurances will at least partially cover karyotyping. That might be the way to go if you have coverage there.

    You might check out Life in the White House ( they used donor sperm and have recently conceived.

  2. I’m sorry about the painful IUI. I hope you get to take a break from IF by conceiving this month! I’m sorry about the fight with DH. IF sucks balls and adds stress to everything.

    Thinking of you…

  3. *hugs* I am hoping this is your cycle finally. fingers crossed. You sound exhausted hon.

  4. TTC on top of this economy can have a terrible effect on a marriage. I KNOW! I hope this is your cycle. Things won’t magically get better, but that would take a load off. But if not, take a break, I agree with the pp, you sound exhausted.
    ((BIG HUGS))

  5. donor sperm wasn’t an option for us as my uterus was bunk and i have pcos, too. male factor was only a mild issue for us. …it is a big decision, though!!

    sorry the IUI was uncomfortable, i really hope that this is a great cycle regardless πŸ™‚

  6. First of all, big (*HUGS*)

    I am sorry it’s so stressful, I wish it wasn’t so. Infertility has such a high cost emotionally, financially, physically… It’s not fair, but we all have do the best we can; what’s right for us individually.

    I am sorry you two have been fighting, and I am glad you talked about everything. Some more discussion of options sounds like it’s in order, but for now, breath.

    My issues are all mine, and I have actually thought about donor eggs, I worry so much about my egg quality. I feel like I’m grasping at straws, any possibilities of carrying a child in my womb. Donor embryos are out, since I’ve already had two miscarriages… I doubt I would be approved.

    Being vegetarian… a great concern of mine recently. I hadn’t ate meat for 6 years, but find myself trying seafood now. I’m willing to try it for a little while, just to see if it helps. If it doesn’t, I am going back to my strictly vegetarian diet. It took us some serious thoughts and discussions before we got to this point, and I am still not sure about it. I am just so at wits end that I felt I needed to try something, anything. So I went with it. None of my doctors could give me any input on this, because the studies are conflicting and there hasn’t been much new research on it. Vegetarians get pregnant and carry to term all the time… I know this. But I also know that my particular diet, higher than normal carbs, lots of soy, probably wasn’t the most ideal for my PCOS. That being said, and everything else, I am *still* not sure.

    I hope you find peace in whatever you decide to do. Hang in there hun.

  7. Oh, big hugs. I don’t have any words of wisdom, but know that I am thinking about you.

  8. I’m so sorry. I have had these kinds of stress-related arguments with my husband too…it hurts because they make you feel like you’re on your own, not part of a team working toward the same goal. But of course they do care about us, they just can’t express emotions in the same (read: frequent and unrestrained) way that we can and do. I’m glad you got the chance to talk things through. This is tough on marriage and on everything else…but I have to believe that what doesn’t kill us (or tear our relationships apart) makes us stronger. Hugs….

  9. You’re right – there is an ugly side to IF. That’s just the way it is. I’m glad you and DH made up though. My DH and I have had some big ones while I’ve been medicated, but we’ve both learned a lot in terms of how to deal. We might actually be better as a result of it – still pisses me off that I can’t make babies the old fashioned way though. But I won’t go there now.

    I have not used donor sperm, but it is a consideration if our IVF procedure is not successful. I don’t know how many times I want to go around this carousel, so the donor sperm is an option. If you find any good info on it, I’d like to hear it.

    In the meantime, good luck with this cycle. πŸ™‚

  10. We are fighting too, boo. Fight fight snap snap. I am too tired to deal with it right now. It is just wearing us all down.

    I have considered donor sperm, but if it came to that I would rather just adopt. If I can’t have a baby from both of us I don’t want one. I don’t really care about getting pregnant, I just want a baby. If adoption was not so scary and hard and more costly than IF we would be doing it already.

  11. I highly recommend getting the karyotype test. We didn’t, and wasted 2 years and 3 IVF’s on sperm that need PGD to have a fighting chance.
    It turns out my husband does have a balanced translocation. SHEEEIT.

    I’d been deeply contemplating donor eggs, and now I am contemplating that my eggs might be ok,but we may need sperm, and I feel so so sad about saying good bye to my husband’s genetic connection. He does too,but he also feels freed of a lot of very painful stuff from his family–all of the good things in his life came from his hard work and choices, and those he has to pass along to our children, no matter what.
    However, I’m just sad and angry.

  12. I’m sorry. I don’t have any answers about the donor sperm. But we are using donor eggs bc of my own history with cancer. It is really a decision that you both will need to make and both need to be cool with. I don’t know if you need to make that jump just yet. Is that a conversation you’ve had with your RE?

    Thanks you SO MUCH for your comment and for sharing your experience with provera. I’m on it now, because of a recent hysteroscopy and healing after the birth and delivery. My progesterone of choice has always been via PIO, suppositories or pills..this is my first foray into this particular flavor and the wait for a flow has me going batty. I really appreciated knowing your experience with it in the past.

    I love that you love the non-IF site! Sometimes it feels like it happened in a different world. I am SO glad that it is still useful. And how cool to find another park lover! I’ll show you my passport if you show me yours. πŸ˜‰

    Very best wishes. I am sorry this IUI hurt and that the stress of TTC and the economy built up into a fight. It isn’t always like this. It isn’t.

  13. I’m visiting from LFCA.

    My husband and I tried to get pregnant through IVF with ICSI after 2 TESA surgeries (he’s got obstructive azoospermia). We were unsuccessful due to the poor quality of his sperm. Unfortunately, we were not told this until after all of our attempts failed.

    Since then, we’ve moved to donor sperm (getting ready for our 10th dIUI). It has been a hard journey, but it’s the best decision for us right now. We are using a known donor, my husband’s twin brother, so that we have a strong genetic link. We are thankful that we have this option available to us. I think it would have been a more difficult decision if this wasn’t an option, but I feel very strongly about experiencing pregnancy, so I am sure that we would have gone through a bank.

    Knowing what I know now, I wish I could go back in time and have our embryos made with a 50/50 split between my husband’s and the donor’s gametes. I say that often on blogs of people considering IVF vs. donor so that they know that this is an option available.

    Hang in there!

  14. Here from L&F. I’m so sorry that you’re going through this crap. What suckitude.

    My husband and I are going through something similar. Along with his ejaculatory inhibition (he rarely ejaculates), they also told us that with his very low morphology (4%) that we should just bypass IUI and go straight to ICSI/IVF.

    Due to genetic considerations (my husband has Asperger’s (it’s on the autism spectrum) and other physical issues), we’ve decided to move forward with donor sperm. It’s been a long road to come to this decision, but we feel that our children will have better lives in the long run.

    I pray that everything gets better for you two and that you have peace in your decision, whatever it may be.

  15. Here from L&F… briefly, because my 3 yo is bellowing for me upstairs:

    Because of non-obstructive azoospermia, we used donor sperm… IVF with TESE might have been possible, but it was a cajillion times more expensive and the odds weren’t fantastic.

    Please email me if you have questions about losing that genetic connection. My husband gets told all the time how much our daughter looks like him. He could not adore her more, and trust me, she could not love her daddy more either.

    We have a beautiful family, thanks to donor therapy. It may or may not be your choice, but I just wanted to offer a voice from this side.

    Again, email me if you want to talk…

  16. I’m from L&F. I have had to use donor sperm due to diabetes of my husband. It’s a really hard decision and one that we had to really think about.

    If you have any questions at all, please feel free to email me. I know how lonely it can be.



  17. HI – I’m visiting from LFCA.
    I am so sorry about the painful IUI and arguments with your DH.
    I can relate – to the fights part – esp after deciding to stop TTC altogether after a failed IVF due to poor ovarian reserve. I said all those things and threw things too.
    But on the good news side, I think that once you and DH are able to grapple with the idea of donor sperm you might actually be able to be okay with it.
    Of course we used donor sperm because we are a lesbian couple. We bought it from a sperm bank. But as a PP said, you could try a relative. We were very fortunate not to have to deal with one of us feeling “less than” because of sperm issues – so donor sperm seemed really fine. You can buy it from many different sperm banks – the cheapest is Midwest Sperm Bank ($200 a shot) plus shipping is free I think ( google them) and Northwest Andrology. We used midwest for IUIs and California Cryobank for IVF. CCB and other big ones are more like between $300 – $500 per shot plus about $150 shipping and handling. If you live near a sperm bank that is local that is often cheaper – or free to ship.
    is a good website. Some sperm banks are accredited by the AATB ( american association of tissue banks) and some RE’s insist on using those.
    The banks charge different fees for info on sperm donors – like pictures, test results, etc etc. Some are PHD sperm! It can seem like a racket – but just focus on the goal – sperm!
    I liked the website for
    there is a lot of info that you can get for free before you start buying profiles etc.
    If you want to go this route, I would suggest coming up with selection criteria for the donor and rating what you are most attached to – ie. health status and family history. looks, education, personality etc.
    It sounds like you are just at the beginning of considering this route.
    I guess IVF would be more predictable because you can actually extract the egg and watch it fertilize whereas with IUIs you can’t. Are you using a trigger shot with the IUIs? If you are wondering about your own fertility issues ( sounded like you were) it might be good to talk to the doc first and figure out what the issues are and costs and benefits- yeah, I know – easier said than done. But with my test results the docs could tell pretty easily that I was a long shot. It might be more difficult to figure out with something less cut and dried. It sounds like you have had follies on the ultrasound which is a good sign.
    I hope things get better for you both – it sounds like you have a lot of stressors – moved to a new place, you not able to find work, DH stressed at work, etc. I hope you can both get some support.
    If you want any more info feel free to email me:)
    take care:)

  18. I am late to the party, but just read an old issue of the L&F and needed to come over to share a bit of my experience. I am currently 11 weeks pregnant after our 6th attempt with donor sperm. My husband had a vasectomy before we met, and then a reversal which didn’t work, which led us to the decision to try DI. I just felt that IVF/ICSI was too big a risk and I didn’t really have it in me to spend all that money and go through the whole process and have it not work out. Also, my husband has an adult son, which I think helped him to accept the loss of the genetic connection.

    It was definitely a hard decision to come to, and we struggled for quite a while (at least I did) to find a place of peace with it all, but I can say that I have found that place now. For me, the decision was really about being guided by my intuition, which was telling me that DI was the right path for us to have a child. Not that it was without struggle, but I did feel drawn to it.

    I would be happy to email about this further – I know how hard it is to face this decision, especially when it’s sort of your choice (i.e. you could pursue IVF but pick DI instead). That was a big part of my struggle – if my husband just had no sperm for whatever reason, I think I would have accepted DI much more easily and without torturing myself with a thousand “what ifs?”

    Know you are not alone and there is support and understanding out there as you negotiate your way through this.

    My email is annarchyinjapan at yahoo dot com if you want to get in touch!

  19. Hi…so sorry about your delima..I can relate. I have a host of genetic conserns on my side to think about. Although I think my cysts will still allow me to carry a pregnancy full term, I wonder if I should consider it or not. I would not make this descission on my own. I would want and would need my furture husbands oppion…Does he want kids or not. This would solve a lot. If he doesn’t..I am fine with that. If he does then we have things to discusss. I just believe that if we are meant to have a child we will. If he wants a child then I would want to try to do it the old fashion way. He says something about “shooting blanks”…I think somethings will not be always…

    One thing we don’t have, as far as children are concerned, isv time.
    So, descisions will need to be made.

    We both have mental health concerns that we would not want to pass along. If I had a majic wond I would make sure the child had all the good qualities from the both of us and none of the bad…

    All and all, whatever decission is made will be a good one…The only thing is..if we deside not to, Then I don’t want any slip ups!!!!!!!

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