Choosing our donors…

Zach’s Donor:

When we chose our donor for Zach, we fell in love with the donors profile, the donor was into music, sports, movies. He had a passion for outdoor actives like camping and hiking. He had wonderful family values and was a engineer student. He was from a Latino/Hispanic background. We didn’t care about skin colour, or if he would have crazy curly hair…we just knew that this was our donor. And he would bless us with our baby. We got to see a picture of the donor as a baby and that just sealed the deal. Here we are now and Zach is also 3 years old, he has beautiful tan skin (skin that I’m jealous of because I’m so pasty white lol) the most gorgeous curly hair and the most crazy, loving,fun and adventurous toddler we could have ever been blessed with. We love him and thank the world that we are his parents.


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our everything as a fresh newborn

Donor #2:

So as I have stated in a few posts now the donor we had chosen for Zach is no longer available which means we would have to do the whole selection process again. We actually changed fertility clinics as well and had a larger database to look at. We knew that we wanted to choose a donor that would have a similar skin tone/eye and hair colour to Zach. We had a look at the ‘basic’ info database and narrowed our search down to 4 profiles. We got to read the in depth 30 page profiles on each of our final 4. The files are filled with medical background, family history, interests, hobbies, school/education history, job history etc as well as a baby picture of the donor. Jason and myself read the files together taking in all the information and then just like that we found the one. It was the 3rd profile we looked at. We instantly knew. He was a doctor, just finished medical school, he had 2 brothers and 2 sisters, a great family life, loved travelling, had actually dropped out of collage to travel around Europe but ended up back in school and graduated. He is from a very wide cultural background including Hawaiian, English, German, Puerto ricin, Italian, Native American. He described himself with olive skin, dark hair and eyes. The thing that was the icing on the cake was the handwritten note that he left for potential couples that he would be helping. It was such a loving, emotional letter. He said that he understood how tough it was for some couples to conceive and that he just wanted to help couples become/complete their families. He knew how much family meant to him and he wanted to help struggling couples etc. It was just a beautiful letter and it touched us both. We didn’t even need to look at the 4th profile…we were set.
We are so excited to start this next chapter of our life. We want to give Zach a brother or sister, we want to expand our family and we are so grateful everyday that donors are available and that fertility doctors are here to help. 1 in 8 couples will experience infertility – we are not alone.

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Emotions. Fears. Failure. 

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So many emotions and feelings.

So much is happening and I can’t seem to process it all. My mind is running in over drive.

Life is such a beautiful, amazing, awesome thing. I have a wonderful husband and an amazing son. But life is also one of the scariest, craziest roller coasters you’ll ever ride. So happy and high on moment, and then you crash.

The things currently consuming my mind:

1 – IUI is fast approaching, we only have enough money to give it 2 goes, so I’m praying and hoping everything works out first go. I don’t want to get my hopes up…(of curse I will though…) Trying to stay as stress free as I can. Easier said then done.

2 – I feel gross. I feel like a whale. I hate my unhealthy relationship with food. I hate not feeling comfortable in my own skin. I second guess if my weight will effect the IUI and my chances of even falling pregnant. I’m just not in love with myself at the moment…I don’t know if it’s the stupid birth control the doctor has me on, but I feel extra emotional, mood swings are bad and so bloated.

3 – Zach! He’s speech has improved quite a bit since starting Kindy, but it’s still nowhere near where it should be. I stress over it daily. Not only because most days I just wanna scream ‘JUST TALK – JUST SAY WHAT YOU ARE FEELING‘ but because I worry there might be something wrong. He gets so upset and frustrated over things and he can’t communicate it to me. We first bought up Zach’s speech with our doctor about February this year, he just passed it off like it was no big deal. That he just needed to go to Kindy and interact more and he’d pick it up. Fast forward almost 4 months of Kindy, he has picked up more words but still not enough. He’s not dumb, he’s so so smart and bright and knows so much but when it comes to speaking he just won’t. So we are off to the doctors again on Friday – a referral to a speech pathologist is what we need!! I feel like a shit person because he isn’t talking. A failure.

These are my thoughts….my fears. These are the things currently controlling my mind…

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The price of infertility…

I thought I would share a post about the financial side/impact of infertility. This is just our experience and of course everyones medical needs/treatments are different thus meaning different expenses etc, but I thought sharing a brief overview would be insightful/helpful to anyone needing or wondering about the pricing/costs involved. Keep in mind we are in Australia and our pricing is very different to the USA etc. We do not have private health insurance just medicare, so our rebates (if anything) are very low. So lets get down to business…

935397-cash

The basics/bloods:

– First meeting with our doctor at our new fertility clinic (Monash IVF) $180.00

($72.75 was refundable from medicare)

– First round of blood tests to check hormone levels etc, STD check, and urine tests $229.70

($149.00 was refundable from medicare)

– Counselling session with a Psychiatrist (compulsory when undergoing donor treatments) $140.00 

(None of which was refundable)

The Medications:

So for this cycle of IUI we are doing a pill/clomiphene DI cycle (aka Pill and Clomid donor insemination ovulation induction cycle – wow thats a lot to spit out lol) Medication prescriptions we needed to purchase:

-Micronelle Pill comes in a 3 month supply $8.99

– Clomid (10 tablets, 2 month supply) $30.99

– Trigger shot injection (we won’t be purchasing this until June after out nurse visit on the 1st of June) Price is TBA

– Then you have the average TTC/cycle must haves – Prenatal vitamins, Fish oil and Iron supplements $55.00

Donor Sperm Pricing:

– Semen preparation $107.00

($43.00 was refundable from medicare)

– Overseas donor sperm $1,135.00

(None of which is refundable – obviously)

*Now I thought I would just share with you all WHY we chose overseas donor sperm vs Australian donor sperm. First off when we went through this with Zach in 2011 Australia actually had a ‘Donor sperm shortage’ and it was not even an option. We did look at the Australian donors this time around, however the list was very, very short compared to the Euro Bank overseas list. Another reason is because the overseas sperm is a lot higher standard/quality. It is washed and frozen in a much more higher standard. (The price of Australian donor sperm was about half the price, but we just went with our gut and chose the overseas donor)

Nurse/Doctor Medical & Insemination Fees:

– Special planning/cycle management  $373.00

($72.00 was refundable from medicare)

– Doctors insemination fee $1,145.00

(None of which is refundable)

Any other blood tests and ultrasounds will still need to be paid fro out of pocket as well as any other meetings we will have with our fertility doctor ($80.00 per appointment)

So that brings us to a grand total of

$3,404.68

– $673.50 (refundable amount)

= $2,731.18 out of pocket per IUI cycle

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Preparing body for baby…

What am I doing to prepare my body for a pregnancy?

  • What foods are best?
  • Do certain foods boost fertility?
  • What should I be avoiding?

Vitamins –

So we have about a month until our IUI, and I want my body to be ready for what we will be putting it through in the coming weeks (climid – oh gee have I heard horror stories) I’ve already starting taking my Prenatal pregnancy vitamins, they are a must have before, during and even after pregnancy – it helps to cover any nutritional gaps that may be in your diet. Fish Oil capsules are another on my daily pill dose, its proven to help with the baby’s eye and brain development. Finally Iron, it helps to boost fertility – women who take an iron supplement have a higher chance of falling pregnant than women who don’t.



Foods – 

Foods I should be eating:

Fish, leafy greens, avocado, citrus fruits, beans, seeds and nuts, lean red meat, sweet potato…

Foods to avoid:

Alcohol, caffeine, spicy foods…

So are there any foods that claim to ‘boost’ fertility? Apparently so, here’s a short list of fertility friendly foods…can’t hurt to give it a go right? Lol.

  • Steak
  • Brown Rice
  • Broccoli
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Avocado

Exercise –

Staying active is just GOOD in general. It helps to boost your mood and keep you happy. It helps you to feel more energetic throughout the day. Getting 30 mins of exercise a day, whether it be a walk around the block or a yoga class. Staying active is a must.

What am I doing?

  • Beach walks with my family
  • 2-3 gym sessions a week (weight training or cardio)

Popping Pills…

I started the pill (Micronelle) today, had to start on the 2nd day of my period. The doctor wants to ‘control’ this cycle and have me take the active pills until June, virtually stopping my ovulation/cycle for this month. My period started yesterday – I would generally ovulate naturally on the 14th day of my cycle (May 17th) but we are completely skipping it, my natural cycle was not a good date as my nurses at our fertility clinic will not be in town, the clinic is actually based in Mackay not Townsville so that’s another hurdle.

I have full faith in what the doctor is getting me to do, but I can’t help but have bad thoughts, I’ve never taken a contraceptive pill in my life. I have no idea how my body will respond to it. I am meant to stop taking the active pill in the 2nd week of June (haven’t got exact dates yet, waiting on my full schedule to be posted to me from the clinic) and they said my period should start back within the first day or two after going off the pill. That will be when I start Clomid (days 2-6 of my period) I’m just so paranoid about if my body will respond correctly, I guess I just have a fear that my period won’t come back straight away – thus postponing the IUI….

Not to mention I did some research on ‘the pill’ (yep I’m that chick who knows NOTHING about the pill lol) Here are somethings I came by that just scare me.

  • The pill makes the mucus around the cervix thicker – making it harder for sperm to travel through.
  • The hormones in the pill can sometimes affect the lining of the uterus, making it difficult for an egg to attach to the wall of the uterus.

Reading that scared me, I’m not gonna lie, I mean I just want my body in the best form for conceiving and the pill is just throwing me a curve ball. How long do the ‘effects’ of the pill stay in the body for?

Just reading all these things are making me second guess this whole ‘controlled cycle’ thing. But the nurses and Doctor know what they are talking about – I’m sure they have had many cases like this and many successes with this method. Am I just over thinking things?

Guess this was just a vent kind of post, needed to get it off my chest.

I have to have faith in my body, in my doctor.

No negative thoughts are too cross my mind from this point on….

Thanks for reading guys 🙂image

The reason why Jason is infertile…

So why is Jason infertile?

Finding out the reason for Jason’s azoospermia diagnosis.

Azoospermia – noun

MEDICINE
noun: azoospermia
  1. absence of motile (and hence viable) sperm in the semen.

*info link*  http://www.maleinfertilityspecialists.com/faq5.htm

Back in 2011 when we went to our first meeting with a fertility specialist they ordered a testicle biopsy which would determine if there was any sperm in Jason’s testicles and if a blockage was causing the ‘No Sperm Detected’ samples.

As I said in my first post they found nothing but body tissue.

Our question was why? Why was this happening? What was the cause?

We did some research and there is a TON of medical reasons/conditions why a person would be affected by azoospermia. Jason had a look through all the information we had collected, and there it was the reason…

Undescended Testes 

*info link *  https://www.andrologyaustralia.org/undescended-testes/

Jason had remembered that when he about 18 months old he had an operation ‘orchidopexy.’The operation was to correct undescended testes. We took that information to our specialist and asked if that could have been the reason? He said most likely.

So what? Was the operation done wrong? Was he given an accidental vasectomy?The doctor never really went into detail or explained anything to us. 

Now fast forward to last week, when we went into our first meeting with our new fertility specialist at our my clinic. When he asked us why Jason was diagnosed with azoospermia we just said we were pretty sure it was from an operation he had as a baby for undescended testes.

 Bless this doctor because he then went into detail about it all with us. After finding out Jason was 18 months of age when he had the operation the doctor basically said there you go that’s the reason. Because his testicles were left inside his body for so long the natural body heat virtually killed off the sperm. If the operation was done within the first 6 -12 months it may have been a different story, he may have had no troubles at all.

There it was finally, a reason. An explained reason. Not an operation gone wrong, just an unfortunate complication that Jason was born with. These days they treat undescended testes right away and monitor them closely. 27 odd years ago things were a little different. But at least we know now.

Azoospermia, caused by undescended testes. 

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Our story so far…

Hello and welcome to our blog, Chasing A Miracle. This blog will be about our journey to becoming a family of 4…or should I say 6? Do we include the cat and dog…? We will be using this blog as a therapeutic type of place as I feel talking about this journey and sharing it is good for the mind and soul, kind of a stress reviver also. I have already found so much love and support from my fellow IG mamas – the kind words and well wishes they give my family is amazing and I cherish a lot of those friendships I have made. I hope you guys enjoy a closer look at our journey this time around.

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Lets take a look back… My husband Jason and myself have been together for almost 8 years and will be celebrating our 2 year wedding anniversary in September. We first started TTC in late 2008/2009, being a mother was something I always dreamt about, Jason always saw himself as a father also, it was in our destiny. After trying for a year or so I finally got the courage to speak with our doctor about why it wasn’t happening for us, She ran some tests and blood work – everything looked normal. I was having regular cycles and OPK’s were telling me that I was ovulating.

She then told me that a normal healthy couple could take up to 2 years to conceive. Jason at this point didn’t get any checks done he just said lets keep trying for another year and see how it goes. He later told me that he was too scared to get checked at the time as he was afraid that something was wrong. He didn’t want to lose me. He even secretly hoped I was the one with the ‘problem’ as he didn’t want to be the reason we weren’t falling pregnant.

After another year and countless pregnancy tests – (crazy how you convince yourself you could possibaly be pregnant – even if your mind was only ‘making up’ symptoms) We went back to the doctors. This time around Jason was sent for seaman analysis, it came back as ‘Very low – No sperm detected’ Thinking it might have just been a bad sample he was sent for another one. Thats right you guessed it ‘NO SPERM DETECTED’ They now had it listed as ‘Azoospermia.’ That was a tough time for us – Jason took it hard “The one thing a man is suposed to do, the thing that makes him a man – I can’t do” My heart broke.

But we were determined to be a family. We got a referral to The Queensland Fertility Group. The first thing our Doctor Ron Chang got Jason to do was another sperm analysis – nothing. So he was booked in for a testicle biopsy thinking that maybe there was blockage that was causing the problem. They collected a sample from his testicle but all that was found was body tissue. So that was that…We knew that to have a family we would need to use donor sperm. Our doctor explained IUI to us, we were heading down that road.

We looked through donors (at the time Australia had a donor sperm shortage so this clinic got all of it’s donor sperm from an american sperm bank)  and found one we loved – his hobbies, lifestyle, family values, job…the full package. We knew this was the one. We were lucky enough to fall pregnant on our first IUI cycle – however we did not have enough money at that time to buy extra vials of that donor to keep in storage for future use. We knew that if we were to have more children we might need to pick a new one. **We later found out when our son was about one that the donor was no longer available**

In June 2012 we welcomed our son Zach William, We were finally a family. Fast forward to now, 2015. We have a son we love dearly. He is adventurous, he is funny, he is strong willed and he even drives us a little crazy at times. But we wouldn’t have it any other way. Now starts the journey all over again. We are doing another round of IUI this june – I hope you all will enjoy following along with us this time around.