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Cynthia's Story
Posted July 2, 2005, updated Nov 11, 2006

I am 24 and my husband is 29. We have been together for seven years, married for just over two years.

A few months after we were married we decided I would stop taking birth control and we would try to get pregnant. I started seeing a gynocologist because my periods had always been irregular. I stopped taking the birth control in July 2003. During the next few months we tried and tried with no luck. During this time period the doctor I was seeing was doing a bunch of tests. By October I was diagnosed with PCOS and we were given a round of Clomid to try. I got the positive surge test the week of Thanksgiving. We were so excited. Much to our sorrow a couple weeks later I started my period.

Going back to the doctor she advised us to have a semen analysis done. By this time the first of the year had rolled around. One night we got a phone call from the doctor. She was calling to advise us the result of the semen analysis was that my husband had zero sperm count (azoospermia). He was devastated. He was born with a non-decended testicle. Also when he was 14 he had a hydroseal operation. Throughout his childhood he was told he would have no problem having children. Finding out he had no sperm and would not be able to have kids was a huge blow to him. He closed me off and we hardly talked about it. Not only did I have PCOS which would make it difficult to get pregnant but now we found out that he had no sperm.

We went to see a urologist and through testing they found that he did make sperm but because of the nondecended testicle and the surgery he had scar tissue which was why he had a zero count. Our choice now was either spend the money for IVF to use my husband's sperm, which not only was expensive but risky for him due to him only having one testicle, or to use donor sperm and go with IUI. Either road we chose there was more testing for me to do. By this time it was June. We were seeing a Reproductive Endocrinologist now preparing for IVF, but still had IUI using donor sperm in the back of our minds.

One of the tests they wanted from me was an endometrial biopsy. The first attempt at this failed due to my cervix being tipped. So she told us to wait for another cycle, which was irregular like always, then they would use an ultrasound to find their way in more easily. By the time my next cycle came I was in the middle of changing jobs and was without insurance. Finally by October my new insurance picked up and I started another cycle, and between my husband and I we decided that using donor would be more affordable for us. So we scheduled the biopsy.

During this procedure they also did a pelvic ultrasound. They found a 2cm cyst on my right ovary. I couldn't believe it. Another obstacle. Not to mention she was still not able to obtain the biopsy. The RE referred me back to my gynocologist for removal of the cyst and a D&C to obtain the biopsy. After my gynocologist ordered another ultrasound to make sure the cyst was still there, which it was, my surgery was finally scheduled for late April. The surgery was successful in removing the cyst as well as popping a bunch of little cysts that were starting to form and successful in obtaining the biopsy which came back fine with no problems.

We were given the go-ahead in early May to start picking a donor. I was really excited. We were finally going to be able to start trying the IUI. At first my husband didn't feel the same excitement I did. He was sad. He felt he had let me down. I came home from work with a bunch of profiles that I had printed off and wanted to sit down and look them over. It killed him to look at the profiles. We cried together that night. He wasn't ready to look at them. I set the profiles aside and told him we would look at them when he was ready. A few days later he sat down with them. He was ready. We talked about what characteristics we were looking for and what we didn't want for characteristics of a donor. We finally narrowed it down to one and the doctor prescribed me clomid. I have taken it, ordered our specimen, and did the IUI two days ago. We are very excited and can't wait to concieve our baby. My husband has realized, just like yours will, that it doesn't take blood to make a daddy. A daddy is created with commitment, love, trust, honesty, and a yearning for that bundle of joy.

Updated Nov. 11, 2006

After 4 cycles with the first donor we took a month off to choose a different donor. After the third cycle of the second donor we were getting ready to stop TTC and started looking into adoption. Our last IUI was the first weekend in January. The end of January came and I never started my period. I took a pregnancy test and got a positive. I had to take three more tests to make sure the firsts ones were correct!! I was given a due date of 10/1/06.

My pregnancy was not easy. At week 6 and 9 I had significant bleeding and thought that I would miscarry. We had many ultrasounds in the first trimester. At week 19 we had our "big" ultrasound to check for measurements, gender, and so on. We found out that my cervix was shortening and I was immediately sent to the hospital to have a cerclage put in. I was taken out of work and put on bedrest. We went for an ultrasound every two weeks until 24 weeks. At 24 weeks we found out my cervix had shortened to the stitch. I was sent back to the hospital and treated like I was going into labor. I was given magnesium and put in bed. I was given steriods to strengthen the baby's lungs and kept in the hospital. I spent the next 4 weeks in the hospital on strict bedrest. I was allowed to go home at 28 weeks, still on strict bed rest. I went to see my OB at 29 weeks when she did an internal exam just to advise me that I was starting to dialate--I was 1-2 cm. The next few weeks we had OB appointments every week. My cervix continued to dialate further. At 31 weeks 6 days I woke up in the middle of the night with contractions. I didn't want to go to the hospital because my shower was supposed to be that day. My contractions were 5 minutes apart and had lasted two hours before I thought it would be a good idea to go to the hospital.

They confirmed I was having contractions and started the magnesium again. Nasty stuff!!! The contractions went away for a little while but returned that afternoon. After giving me triple the normal dose the contractions wouldn't stop. They monitored me throughout the night and into the next day. Around midnight they decided the contractions were not going to stop so they stopped the magnesium. I labored all night and through the next day. Finally at 5:00 pm (at 32 weeks exactly) a different doctor came on duty. She decided I'd been in misery for too long (over 36 hours) and was going to break my water. At this time I hadn't dilated past 5 cm. She came in at 6:30 and broke my water. My contractions became so intense. Around 7:00 they checked and I was 8 cm. They moved me to a preemie delivery room because of the extra people they were going to have in the room.

At 7:34 pm, after pushing three times, Zachary Alexander was born at 4 lbs 5 oz and 17 3/4 inches long. He never had breathing problems-was breathing on his own within his first minute of life. He spent 5 days in NICU and two weeks in a continuing care nursery. We brought him home before he was three weeks old, and before he was 35 weeks gestational age. We now have a happy and healthy 3 month old. He's now over 12 pounds and doing well.




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