Our Story… So Far

HopelesslyTTC also known as DefTTC (DefinitelyTTC) or Chris and I have been married over 16 years now.  Yes we got married pretty young, but we were friends for so long before we started dating that I knew that if we kissed I would have to marry him or risk losing the very best friend I’ve ever had.

I knew Chris couldn’t have kids from before that fateful first kiss and I went in with eyes wide open, knowing that I was probably closing the door on any biological kids, but that was fine.  So for eleven years Chris and I created an awesome life.  I built a career, we travelled and have fallen more and more in love with each passing year.

Then in January 2009 my world fell apart.  I don’t know how to describe what happened other than that the biological urge to procreate overtook me.  You see SIL announced she was pregnant and suddenly I mourned that Chris and I had never even tried to see if we too could create a family.  So the tests started and the injections and the baby dancing and the heartache!

Chris has secondary hypogonadism, a malfunction of his pituitary which means it doesn’t produce the hormones required for sperm and testosterone production.  First it was testosterone injections and my beautiful man-boy (lack of testosterone has kept him unfairly young looking, and he’s rather young at heart too) started to turn into a hairy man-beast.  But the sperm analysis showed azoospermia, so off to the fertility specialist…

He was on Pregnyl injections for three months, with us hoping to see if they would help with testosterone production.  If he had started producing his own testosterone it was supposed to be a sign that we might be able to kick-start his testes into action and producing their own sperm. This little plan didn’t work.

From there he graduated to menopur injections three times a week and Ovidrel once a week. We were told to give this six to nine months before giving up hope. If after that there was still no sperm production we would probably have had to look at a donor.  Our first three month SA still showed no sperm.  Our six month SA (May 2010) showed some motile sperm!!!

Following another six week wait to retest to see how quickly the sperm numbers were growing there wasn’t a significant enough increase to do anything but proceed with IVF with ICSI!

Our first cycle was in July 2010.  Retrieved 5 eggs, one was damaged in the cleaning.  Of the four remaining, three fertilised.  We transfered all three embies, even though one was fragmented.  Unfortunately the cycle failed.

On our second cycle in September 2010 we only retrieved 2 eggs, only one of those fertilised and then that one embie didn’t divide at all.  So our cycle was cancelled.  That cycle felt like I was diagnosed with infertility of my own.  I so completely convinced myself for a while there that my eggs were running out or were just useless.  I started seeing a therapist and got my head and body in shape to face another cycle.

Chris’ sperm count continued to climb reaching over 1million by the end of 2010

January 2011 we embarked on IVF#3 which showed Chris’ sperm count at 2 million (so still climbing).  I had four eggs, but only 2 were mature, but we had 100% fertilisation using IMSI and ICSI.  We transferred two beautiful embies, but unfortunatley still only a BFN.

Having done so much hard work for IVF#3, loosing weight, getting my head right and being emotionally stronger, we decided to go straight into IVF#4 to leverage that hard work and also so we wouldn’t have to face the bad news.

Four eggs again, but this time all four mature, 10million sperm (yes you read that right this amazing protocol took my hubby from complete azoospermia to 10 million swimmers with great motility and morphology!), a beautiful healthy, thick lining, 100% fertilisation using IMSI & ICSI again and we transferred 3 beautiful embryos.  1×7 cell (grade 5), 2×6 cell (grade 4).  This time the impossible happened… BFP!!!  We had awesomely healthy betas to help keep the fear at bay and our first scan on 8 April 2011 at 7 weeks showed two perfect heartbeats!

Our fetal assessment scan at 13 weeks showed one boy and one girl.  Pudding (our beautiful blonde haired blue eyed girl who looks just like Daddy, but has all her mother’s attitude) and Sausage (our brown haired, brown eyed boy who looks just like Mommy, but has all his Dad’s character) were born via c-section on 7 November 2011 and parenthood is treating us so well.  Being a Mommy-At-Last is my dream come true, but heavens it is a whole new journey learning how to parent two little people.

My writing has morphed from infertility focused to parenthood and the on-going challenge of just trying to be the best me I can.  I don’t write as often as I need to for my soul, but I’m working on it.


26 Responses to Our Story… So Far

  1. Pingback: Welcome to the best ICLW EVA! – May « Mommy-in-Waiting's Blog

    • Pamela says:

      Yesterday, we went for our 4th AI at Vincent Palotti. It was not a good experience yesterday. After the AI, i had so much pain, I started crying on the table. The other 3 AI’s were not sore at all. Anyway, today I feel better and i am not even going to think about anything. The other 3 AI’s I was so positive and the tests came out negative. So, now i am going to protect myself and just let it be. AAAAAAAAH…. IT IS SO DIFFICULT… Thinking of all of you going through this….xxxxx

  2. Here's to Unwavering Hope says:

    I love your realism. At the end of the day if you have someone you love by your side it makes this whole rollercoaster of a journey seem more bearable.

  3. Janet says:

    Love your blog, thank you! now on our 3rd and what I am telling myself is the last cycle. Too emotional and too financially crippling – is that bad to say? My choice albeit so far. Fingers crossed for all you super strong ladies out there, it’s a tough roller coaster ride and I totally appreciate what it takes to lift yourself back out of the disappointment – well done to us all for being so courageous! Hang on in there, it’s so nice to hear about the success stories.. keep up the great blog!

  4. Emily Erin says:

    So glad to see the wonderful update! Can’t wait for the next one where you post u/s pictures!

  5. Emily Erin says:

    Yay for twins– I would LOVE to see u/s pictures! 😀

  6. june calder says:

    Thanks for the practical advice and the laughs. First cycle starts in August so now just reading, reading, reading. Congratulations and good luck to you… but keep up the blog!

  7. Kelly says:

    I’m glad to see your story has such a happy ending for so many obstacles along the way. I’m on cycle #2, did a home test earlier in the week on day 7pdpt of 2 embies and an almost embie (morula). It was BFN. Just hoping that I tested to early, but already psyching myself up for #3.

    I’m so happy to read about twins! All my best to you, your husband, and your growing family!

  8. panjels says:

    This is a very interesting post!
    Pregnyl / Menopur / Ovidrel – never heard of these?
    My hubby was diagnosed with non-obstructive Azoospermia 3 years ago. With a O sperm count. He had a biopsy which collected highly immature spermata-somethings (I can remember the name but basically stages before they became actual sperm and moved on). I’ve googled my way thro Sertoli cell only syndrome, Kinefelters syndrome…. and saw a specialist & had a genetic test which didn’t take us any further…

    Perhaps this is very different to your husbands condition or maybe not?
    I’d love to hear more. Would you mind letting me know if it’s worth me exploring a bit more?
    And how you got to this (perhaps it’s in your blog – i’m a newbie, just joined blog world this week:)

    Thank You!!

  9. Love this blog, glad you posted on mine so that I could find yours! Would love to hear more of your story. If you are ever keen on being a guest blogger on my online parenting magazine – mommymatters.co.za pls pls contact me

  10. Pingback: The Best Word in the World | Mommy-at-Last

  11. Shanthini Naidoo says:

    hi there. I am a journalist with the Sunday Times and trying to get in touch with you or your husband re a magazine story. Please send me an email with your details. I am on 0112805939 or 0846742689 otherwise. Regards Shanthini Naidoo

  12. Caroline says:

    Just came across your blog. My husband has azoo as well! So great to see you have two blessings now 🙂

  13. nadia says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful story! If you do not mind, could you please share/email your doctor’s name and email? There’s a couple I know who are in the same situation and would appreciate any help they could get. Thanks!

  14. Melanie says:

    HI there! My husband and I just got the diagnosis of azoospermia yesterday, and we are devastated. I happened across your blog a few weeks before we knew this and I just need someone who has been through this and successfully produced biological children. You are an inspiration. Hubby has low testosterone and is currently on testim, but we have a consult with the IF clinic. My gut feel is that the perscription is causing it, and all we need to do is jump start the system again. My blog is waitingforblissitiswell.wordpress.com. Nothing really fancy, but I’d love it if you had any insights, encouragements, or advice to give a couple of newbies. Thank you so much and congratulations on your little ones.

  15. Naji says:

    Hello can you say me the doctors Name an Adress please. My Husband has the same, azoospermie and we want to do the Therapie too.

  16. MommyAtLast says:

    Hi All,

    Our doctor was Dr Igno Siebert at Aevitas Clinic, Vincent Pallotti Hospital in Cape Town. He worked very closely with Prof Kruger (who is/was arguably the world’s leading male factor infertility specialist – he came up with the WHO guide for semen amalysis). Prof no longer practices, but Siebert does. Please note the Sibert can also be contacted at Tygerberg Hospital. I also know that doctors at Vncent Pallotti are often willing to give telephone consults to patients at other clinics so please do contact them.

    For those who haven;t followed my blog through the infertility journey you may have missed just how amazing Dr Siebert is. He is the most caring, compassionate and special doctor I have ever had the priveledge of meeting and even if he hadn’t given me our babies I think I would still sing his praises at every opportunity

    • naji says:

      I thank you very much for your answer. I have already contacted the clinic and since we are from Germany, we will first have to keep a telephone conversation with them. However, the call costs with him and I do not know if this treatment will be successful with my husband. For his hormone levels are in the normal range or slightly higher. And he has the Sertoli cell-only. Does anyone have experience with this?

      Your story is really a dream 🙂

  17. Gypsy Mama says:

    What a wonderful story! Congratulations!

    I am visiting from ICLW and plan to stick around for a while and read some more 🙂

  18. Brit says:

    I am just so shocked by the increase in sperm count and quality. Not that I would do anything differently, because I love my babies more than anything in the world…..

    Our RE said that there was really nothing they could do about his numbers (never even tried to increase them), went through 2 miscarriages ( I think due to sperm quality / embryo quality), and 2 negative cycles before moving onto donor embryos.

    Now we have two beautiful miracle boys, one 3 years old and one just turned one!!! I know we couldn’t be any more lucky than to have them, and I feel like God gave us the two boys he intended for us to have all along.

    I am always looking for success stories to share on my blog (www.ivfsuccessstories.info), if you would be interested in sharing your story with my viewers.

  19. nana says:

    Thanx for your motivations,I’m going through a tough time,when both my tubes were removed and left ovary being removed as well.dr told the only way I could have babies is through ivf and its very expensive he sad.My hubby n I are in a very emotional state now because we really want children n yet we cannot afford to pay 60 000.can anyone tell mi the govment hospital who can help us.

    • MommyAtLast says:

      Hi Nana, contact Tygerberg Hospital as my doctor is also a professor there. Alternatively contact any of the government hospitals and see what is available. Initially we were given an appointment at Tygerberg, our GP made the referral and made the appointment for us. If I recall it was a 2 month wait for an appointment, but look into it if you cannot afford to go private.

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