After my ultrasound on Day 9 I had a quick meeting with Dr. Carrell, the director of the Andrology Lab. He wanted to discuss our backup plan if his team couldn’t find sperm and the timing of both procedures.
We talked about our back up plan first. We don’t really have a backup plan. Most people have donor sperm as a backup plan. I felt like choosing a sperm donor would have distracted my focus from getting Mr.E’s health optimized and on to the donor. I never would have discovered his thyroid problems if I had been thinking about what kind of person our donor is, what he looks like, how to tell the kids about him, etc. I’m glad we don’t have this kind of backup plan.
Our only backup plan is hoping for miracles like stem cell research over the next decade. To make that realistic we are freezing my eggs.
Because our backup plan is freezing eggs, Dr. Carrell’s team is on a deadline. Eggs can’t survive very long after being retrieved. They need to be fertilized or frozen within 6 hours or they start to age and decay. So, Dr. Carrell said that they would look for sperm for 6 hours and then call it quits. He said after 3 hours of searching there’s a 95% chance of not finding sperm. At 6 hours, a 99.8% chance of not finding sperm.
So I asked about doing the mTESE the day before egg retrieval, which is originally what I thought we would do. I assumed there was a way to culture the sperm to keep them alive and healthy. But apparently that’s not really true. He said the sperm will also age and be less viable when it comes time to use them for ICSI and freeze the remaining. Sperm can survive longer than eggs, but why take chances when we can just do the procedures simultaneously? Dr. Carrell said if this was him making the decision for himself, that’s definitely what he would do.
So, that’s what we’re doing. Tomorrow morning, Monday January 20, Mr.E and I will be having our mTESE and egg retrievals at the same time. And probably at 2 different hospitals, which will be interesting since my mom is our only driver. We will definitely have to break my cardinal rule about never leaving anyone at a hospital alone. The moment my procedure is done I will be rushing back to Mr.E’s hospital.
I will keep you all updated tomorrow, even if it’s just one line, to tell you the good or bad news.