Now that I'm safely cruising through my 13th week of pregnancy, I decided it was time to tell how we finally got to this point.
After I lost the first babies back in October, I had a D&C and then had to wait until I got a normal period before we could start trying again. I thought about taking a few months off for about half a second and then realized that's not possible for me to do. We've waited so long already and I just knew that I needed to get out of the rut I was in after the miscarriage and the only way to do that was to get back up and keep trying. I knew we would have a baby eventually, I just didn't know how much longer it would take. So I was still hopeful, but I didn't want to have to wait another 3 years.
And everyone kept telling me "oh you'll get pregnant really fast now since they say you're most fertile right after being pregnant", or "you got pregnant once so you know it will happen again". So I was very optimistic that it was going to happen the first or second month of trying. I was so optimistic in fact that I only put enough money in my work flex account for 1 1/2 IUI's. I knew it would happen that first month and then I could just blow through the rest of the money on some contacts or something.
Well, needless to say, I blew through the money alright, but it was all in the first month! We ended up doing 2 IUI's, one in January and one in February. Neither resulted in a pregnancy.
I was at my limit, so after 6 total IUI's, I was ready to move onto IVF. We are still diagnosed as having "Unexplained Infertility", so I was sick of the guessing game and tired of the IUI's and the disappointment each time, even though it had happened once.
The doctor wanted to test David again before we started the IVF process. Even though he had made frequent "deposits" over the past couple of years, he hadn't been officially tested since the very beginning of everything back in 2009. The doctor decided to send him for a new test at the same time. This test was to check for something called DNA Fragmentation. And we were told anything less than 30% fragmented was a good sign and we would be good to go. Well, David's test came back with 98% DNA Fragmentation. That means that out of the batch of sperm that he submitted for the test that day, 98% out of 100% was fragmented. Not good.
DNA Fragmentation basically means this: There are DNA strands in the man's sperm. If you can picture what the DNA Helix looks like (rethink back to your science class in school...it looks like 2 strands wrapped around each other), well the strands are frayed at the ends or "fragmented". So what happens is that I might be able to get pregnant with these sperm, but at a certain point the embryos cannot develop any further and they self abort. So this could have very well been the cause of the first miscarriage, but there is no way to tell for sure. And there's nothing that we could to about it. We would just have to go ahead with the IVF and take the chance that we would maybe get a sperm out of the 2% that wasn't fragmented.
We did know another couple that had the same issue and they had twins through IVF, so we knew it was possible.
Just to get a better idea though, we had David tested again about a month later because sperm regenerates itself and we wanted to compare the numbers between the 2 tests to get a better idea of what was going on.
The second test came back with 72% DNA Fragmentation. Even though it was still way over 30%, that was music to our ears. It had gone down and that's all we cared about. So we moved forward.