Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Why doesn't it feel like good news?

The endocrinologist called today to give me the results of the sperm penetration test. (Since C's sperm looks normal, moves fine, etc, they tested how well they could penetrate ova). The sample tested 2 standard deviations below the normal population, showing a "significant reduction" in sperm penetration.

I really have been sure that I was the reason we weren't conceiving. Knowing that is not it (and knowing what is wrong) doesn't actually make me feel better, though the doctor acted like this was great news. At least we know what is wrong and can move right to IVF (when we scrape up the $10,000 it will cost). Still, not feeling as perky as Dr. Lee sounded.

To get pregnant given this hurdle, the clinic will pump me up with hormones to get me to super-ovulate, extract my eggs, and use a super tiny micro-pipette thing to jam a sperm into each egg. Then they grow them a bit and then stick a couple back in my uterus with the hope that one or more of them will snuggle in.

I wish I was strong enough to say "screw ivf, let's adopt" but I don't think I am. Although I like the idea of adopting a child and giving him or her a life that would have otherwise been unavailable, I see two adoption down-sides. First, I am not sure I am comfortable with the (natural) desire for an adult child to find his birth parents. I know that this would be a long way off, but right now - in the throes of wanting a child - I can't imagine being as open and loving as will be required when this child goes looking for his "real" parents.

The other thing is a horrible snobby fear that we'd adopt a child who wasn't that smart. Not that I am the brain of the world, but excitement about academics and achievement was a big part of my childhood and Chris's. I know we'd still love a child who wasn't into that kind of thing, but as long as I'm being honest I need to admit that this bothers me. I worry that the likelihood of this happening grows when one adopts a child from another country, where the mom's health care could have been bad, the child may have lived for months to years with poor nutrition and medical care, not to mention neglect.

In any case, it looks like this summer and fall we are taking a little vacation from trying to conceive, while we collect some cash. The timing stinks, since June, July and August are the months Chris doesn't get paid (thank you university, with your 9 month pay schedule).

I was feeling so low yesterday, that I don't feel any worse today. I guess I feel a bit better just because it is so exhausting to sustain such a blue mood. That was part of the problem yesterday - I really wanted to not feel sad, but couldn't move on from it.


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