September 2014 was a rough month for us. I mean, all of 2014 was rough, but this was the month where I believe we hit rock bottom. Looking back, I’m not entirely sure how we made it through. Two days after our first meeting with Dr. Shep, my grandmother had a mastectomy and everyone in our family rallied around her to help in any way she needed. Helping her helped us put the infertility issues in the back of our minds. At least for a little while. Every night while trying to fall asleep, the racing thoughts would show up and keep me up for a good portion of the night. Sometimes I would give in and start Googling. I can’t tell you how much information/clinical trials/forums/etc. that I have read regarding varicocele and azoospermia. Everything I read said there was hope, but nothing I read gave me enough confidence to sleep at night.
Over the next two weeks or so we discussed the options. We could go through with the varicocelectomy and hope that that was all that would be needed. If that didn’t correct the problem, Dr. Shep mentioned a few additional surgeries however those were extremely invasive and on our list of last resorts. We discussed using donor sperm and adoption. Chris said he would rather have a child that was biologically mine first before moving to adoption. While discussing donor sperm, I confided in a few close friends that we were considering this avenue. The number one question I had was “Won’t you feel weird carrying another man’s child?”. To me this question was somewhat silly. I wasn’t viewing it from a standpoint of carrying another man’s child. It would be Chris’s child. It might not be his DNA, but he would be the father. He would be part of the process 100%. There is not doubt that this would be Chris’s child. We even went as far to look at donor clinics and potential donors that would fit Chris’s physical and mental characteristics. By the way, the whole sperm donor process is WAY more strict then they make it out to be on TV and in the movies. Just saying.
After giving serious thought and weighing the options, Chris decided to go ahead with the varicocelectomy. If it didn’t work, we decided we would most likely move towards using a sperm donor rather than going through the more invasive surgeries. That same day (before he had a chance to change his mind), I emailed Dr. Shep’s scheduler who has been a blessing and an angel. She has kept me sane and answered every question no matter when I emailed and no matter how ridiculous it is. We got the surgery scheduled for Oct. 28th. That equaled a 6 week wait. That is one thing I found very quickly in this process, everything in at least a month’s wait. I have had to learn to become patient which is NOT a virtue of mine.
We passed the time by hanging out with friends, going to Louder Than Life, doing some small house renovations and basically trying to live as normal of a life as possible. The problem was, both of us were so sad and heartbroken with the back to back bad news that we were both in such a bad place that neither of us could help each other. I decided to do something about it and I went to see my PCP who put me on Zoloft. I was extremely hesitant because I wanted to be able to fix everything myself without help. Turns out, that is exactly what I needed to get myself back to a place of hope and positivity. I was then able to help Chris through his tough days and think positively for the both of us.
The afternoon before the surgery, we went to Jewish Hospital to do the pre-op paperwork. That is when it really hit us that this was happening. The next morning (Oct. 28), we both woke up early because we couldn’t really sleep. We put on the TV and Chris laid by the fire with Kitty. The surgery wasn’t scheduled until late morning so we didn’t have to get there until 10:30. Once we got there, he was taken back and prepped fairly quickly. I was able to go back and sit with him while we waited for Dr. Shep to finish another surgery. Chris was getting more nervous by the minute and the nurse wouldn’t give him the Versed until after Dr. Shep came out of surgery to come talk to us. We passed the time watching Duck Dynasty (it was the only thing on the TV). Once Dr. Shep came in, we were about an hour behind schedule, but Chris could care less once he was given the Versed.
Once he was taken back to surgery, I waited in the waiting room for about 3 hours. The surgery itself only took about 30 mins, but the prep and recovery kept me in the waiting room longer. Dr. Shep came out to speak with me and told me that everything went great and gave me the prescriptions and at home procedures. I was able to see Chris shortly afterwards and he seemed groggy but in good spirits. He said it wasn’t as bad as he was anticipating. He was mostly worried about going under anesthesia. One of the first things he wanted to do was show me the incisions, and he just uncovered himself like it was no big deal. That gave me a good laugh and I knew he was feeling much better about the whole situation.
When we got home, Chris took some pain medication and ended up feeling very sick throughout the night. The next day I spent all day trying to get the doctor’s office to call in a prescription for Zofran. After about 4 PM they finally called in it and once he took it he was better within the hour. His boss sent him a lovely Get Well Edible Arrangement.
Recovery was supposed to be about 5 days. He had some severe post-operative bruising and was in more pain than anticipated. He returned to work after 8 days and had some nerve pain down his left leg on and off for a few weeks afterwards. He continued to take the Clomid and now it was just a waiting game. On average it takes sperm 45-70 days to from formation to maturity, so we wouldn’t know if the surgery worked for at least that length of time. And so we wait…
Much love and baby dust,