Friday, June 04, 2004

trying in vain

After 6 months of trying to get pregnant with no results, my husband and I went back to the doctor last week to find out what the next steps were. Our regular doctor was out of the office and so we had a somewhat frustrating appointment with his replacement who could neither find my data on the computer nor speak a word of English. So most of the appointment was spent giving him all of my basic stats. I've been charting my temperature and monitoring my cervical fluid every day so I was pretty sure that I'd been ovulating, and I showed replacement doctor my charts which I had brought along. He barely glanced at them before writing me a prescription for Mexico's version of clomid and ordering a blood test for me and a semen analysis for my husband and sending us on our way.

Luckily, with so much time on my hands (not working and all), I'd been doing some research of my own about the various tests for infertility and I knew that I'd have to take my blood test on day three of my cycle in order for it to actually give us any useful information. I also knew that the drug he prescribed for me has some not-so-nice side effects and is intended to promote ovulation in women who don't ovulate on their own. So husband and I discussed it and we decided that I'd put off taking the medication until he had gotten the results back from his test.

He went into the lab last Friday morning and masturbated into a little plastic cup. The people at the lab told him that he would get the results the following Thursday. I know for a fact that in the US, you get the results back the same day. But of course, this is Mexico and things rarely work the same way as they do in the States.

So, yesterday, my husband stopped at the lab on his way home from work and picked up the results of his test. The chicas who worked in the lab were giggling when they handed over the papers. (Gotta love that professionalism!) They gave him 2 copies: one for us to keep and one to give to the doctor. Again, things don't work this way in the US. The results of any blood test, x-ray or ultrasound I ever had in the States was automatically sent to my doctor who would call me with the news. But here, we're on our own.

We called the doctor who agreed to see us to interpret the results and we walked over to his office. When we got there, the waiting room was jam packed with pregnant women and their husbands, so we decided to go have a drink and return later. While we were sipping our cervezas, I took another look at the results and realized that the letters that we originally thought were codes actually spelled out the medical term for zero sperm count in Spanish. Sure enough, where there were supposed to be percentages, there were only asterisks. Zero fucking sperm count!

We went back to see replacement doctor who told us what we had already figured out. And not surprisingly, he didn't have much else to tell us, except that my husband should have a testicular biopsy to determine if there are any live sperm trapped up in there. If there are, they can extract them and artificially inseminate me.

I really expected that he would have normal results. Or at the very least, he would have a low sperm count and would get some sort of shots to remedy the problem. I never expected this. Am still in a state of shock, I must admit.

We got home and called our parents. His mom is going to make him an appointment for a second opinion back home in the US with an English speaking doctor who might be able to offer us more options. My mom thinks its a blessing in disguise that I didn't get that job I was hoping for. And I suppose it is, if I'm going to have to be traveling back and forth to the States for various procedures.

I'm an adopted child, but I really don't want to adopt. Is that a horrible thing to admit? That I want to share my genes with someone else in this world? That I'm not feeling generous enough to open my home and heart to a child who didn't spend 9 months in my womb? Is it terrible also, that I don't want an anonymous sperm donor, that I want my child to have my husband's eyes and smile? And the kicker? That I don't want to NOT have children at all.

The news is, just that, new. And granted the second opinion we get in the States may be more optimistic than what we heard yesterday from our foolish replacement doctor who told us a second semenalysis wasn't necessary. And I'm hoping that this has all been some awful mistake. In my heart, though, I fear that its not. And that I'll have to get used to the idea of adoption or artificial insemination.

This is really a time when I wish I was back in the US, to have the support of family and friends, to have easy access to English speaking doctors who graduated from medical schools I've actually heard of. But alas, I'm here, south of the border, trying to figure this all out on my own.


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