When you are young and have cancer there is one thing you have to plan for that you would never expect – having children.
People generally don’t relate cancer to having babies, but chemo kills. Chemo kills everything, including your sperm (or eggs). If you want to have children in your future, then you better save up. This was one of the first suggestions Scott’s oncologist gave him. We were blown away. We hadn’t even began to think about having kids. We were only 23 and 27. (Sure in the South that seems way past child-bearing age, but let’s be real people we have become a much more modern South and we were waiting.)
For us, Scott had to store away as much sperm as he could in basically a week. Sure this sounds easy enough, except Scott was sick and low energy. The last thing he wanted to do was travel to a Reproductive Specialist’s office an hour away and give sperm to freeze. He ended up storing about 16 vials worth of sperm. That’s not a ton, but at the time it was plenty.
To put it into perspective, generally 3 vials of sperm are thawed for an IUI transfer, which I jokingly refer to as the “turkey baster” method. You want at least 7 million or more sperm to thaw for a decent percentage chance at getting pregnant with this method. So, if all the vials thawed with enough sperm, then we would have at-least 5.3 tries.
5.3 times where all the stars would have to align perfectly to work. I never thought we would struggle with infertility – I was wrong – again.
Going through infertility is less like a hurricane or tornado and more like a rocking cruise ship. You get to have wavy, straight off the beach hair, but it occasionally blows into your eyes and all the salt from the ocean makes you cry. And you’ll get a sunburn that will either blister or turn into a beautiful tan. At times you are hopeful and enjoying the experience and at other times you just want to go back to your cabin to shower and take a nap.
Many people struggle with infertility and you never think you will be one of them – of course I never thought my young husband would get cancer either – so cheers to the unexpected and the journeys we can’t handle on our own.
Moral of the story: we are trying to have a baby. This is our current situation. No we have not succeeded, but we are trying.
“so that you will not put your faith in the wisdom of man, but in the power of God”
1 Corinthians 2:5
“for with God nothing shall be impossible”
We’ve tried 5 IUI’s – none successful. We’ve tried one round of IVF – not successful. We are waiting for our turn for a little miracle.
If I can talk Scott into it, I will try to blog about our next IVF experience.