Here's a chronicle by Cycle Day of this very volatile month, which has shockingly ended with a BFP!
CD 1 -- AF arrives on Sunday Oct. 5. We have been TTC since January, after being together since the end of 2009 and using condoms for protection around ovulation. I turned 33 in September, DH turns 40 in November. With so many accidents, we assume we are infertile. We are reconciled to infertility (at 7 billion and growing exponentially, there are too many people as it is), but think we would be good parents. We prepare for the "work up" of exams to determine cause of infertility.
CD 2 -- I go to my OB/GYN office to have hormone lab done. As I wait in the office, I overhear one young man, who is accompanying his very young and pregnant girlfriend for checkup, bragging to another woman that he already has three children by another woman. Want to throw up thinking about how messed up our society is.
CD 4 -- DH goes in to fertility clinic to get SA done on his way to work. He does not relish jerking off at clinic, but is being a trooper about it.
CD 5-9 -- I take first round of Clomid, prescribed by my OB/GYN even though I'm ovulating regularly.
CD 9 -- I go to Radiology department at hospital to have an HSG! On the news is the story about Nina Pham, the nurse at Dallas Presb. who has contracted Ebola from the Liberian, Thomas Duncan, who had been sent home from hospital earlier with antibiotics, despite the fact that he had recently traveled from the epicenter of the Ebola outbreak and was showing symptoms. I ask the nurse who is prepping me for the HSG if the hospital has been reviewing protocols for Ebola. She clearly has no idea what Ebola is and says they use the same procedures for all diseases. Unbelievable. A nice resident arrives to do HSG and wants to know if it's OK if a med student watches. Fine. So they begin. "That is the cervix," says the resident to med student, and away they go. The contrast spills out ovaries. The uterus and ovaries look surprisingly pretty all lit up on x-ray. No blockage. Infertility still a mystery.
CD 10 -- OB/GYN calls me with results from hormone tests and HSG. Normal normal normal. The SA, on the other hand, shows only 4% normal sperm morphology. OB/GYN is sure this is the cause of infertility, and refers us to fertility specialist and predicts he will have us go right to IUI or IVF. I call DH with news and freak out. DH doesn't want to do IUI or IVF because the risk of birth or developmental defects. "If I can't do it naturally, then it probably shouldn't be done at all." I don't want to do such procedures either, but there's nothing like someone telling you you can't have a baby to make you want to have a baby.
CD 11-24 -- I begin obsessively reading medical literature about abnormal sperm morphology, or teratozoospermia. And I also discover this site and begin reading the stories of other couples dealing with low sperm morphology. The medical literature is fascinating. There are several case studies of alcoholics in which teratozoospermia has been reversed after three months of abstaining for alcohol. There are several population studies showing alcohol consumption negatively affecting sperm morphology. Although DH and I are very healthy, active, and abstemious during the week, we party hard on weekends. DH especially. DH is persuaded that he needs to cut way back on booze, maybe even go on wagon. He also begins taking a multivitamin, and 200 mg/pycnogenol a day. There is a 2002 study (with an admittedly low sample size) that showed men with low morphology taking 200mg/pycnogenol a day increased their percent normal sperm by 38% over three months. I make our already healthy diet even healthier.
CD 15 -- I get an LH surge on fertility monitor. We had soberly BD'd CD 12, 13, 14. We soberly BD again on CD 15 and 16. Previously we had been BD'ing every other day. But since DH has a high count (just a lot of weird sperm), we figure we would increase our chances by BD'ing every day around ovulation.
DPO 8 -- I begin noticing UNDENIABLE SYMPTOMS. Major nausea in the evenings. White, lotiony CM on underthings. GI weirdness/bloat. Usually a week before menstruating I feel bloated and have to exchange B cups for C cups because breasts get so much larger, but I've never experienced nausea like this.
DPO 9 -- Take a pregnancy test for the hell of it. There is a faint line that I decide is an evaporation line but am still suspicious.