I've been spending a lot of time on YouTube watching weird videos of men's testicles being cut open, underscored by some light elevator music (proof in case you think I'm exaggerating https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPvy9uvJDZU - WARNING: It is graphic and informative and hilarious due to the music choice). Why was I watching this, you ask? Is it purely for my love of all things testicle and of course, my deep appreciation for Kenny G? No. It's because my husband's latest sperm test revealed high DNA fragmentation.
What is this, you ask? I have no frickin' clue. But, from what I've read, it's important. 41% of Dan's sperm have this DNA fragmentation, which means that 41% of all our embryos could be busted. Or as the doctors say, "Not viable." This is a new twist in our fertility story. I thought we had seen it all: low sperm count, low morphology, PCOS, scar tissue, fibroids, ovarian cysts, the list goes on. But DNA fragmentation? Just when I thought there was nothing left to Google.
Can we all take a moment out to acknowledge that I am writing a blog about my husband's balls? I mean, that's true love folks. And just so you know, I was given full permission to do so by said husband. This journey is long and at times dark, but thankfully we both agree that humor is always the best medicine. Speaking of which, he is way funnier than me, but enough about the man - back to the balls. We have heard this retrieval Dan will undergo can be really successful and we are hopeful it will increase our odds. Let's just hope the doctor doesn't drop the ball(s).... too soon?
Back to the game. Dan and I have a history of making busted blastocysts. Fun fact: a blastocyst is a cluster of cells before it becomes an embryo. It is the thing they (hopefully) implant in me 6 days after Dan and I have our retrievals. In the past, we’ve made pretty crappy ones.
Except for Lloyd. Out of 12 fertilized eggs on our last cycle, 8 made it to day six blastocysts (YAY!) and genetic testing revealed only TWO were "Viable" (BOO!). Only 2 out of 12. That's not great numbers, folks. And this was when my eggs were 3 years younger and my husband swimmers weren't as fragmented.
This round, with my eggs older and Dan's swimmers fragmented, we will both be having retrievals. Dan should be in for quite a shock, since the bulk of his previous work only involved a magazine and cup. This time, they are going in straight to the source. Let's hope his little swimmers hit it out of the ball park. Either way, they are going to be escorted out of the stadium, so, let's hope for a home run.
That's it for now. A lot will be happening over the next month and I will do my best to be open and honest about everything. This process was all-consuming last time, and I am so thankful A) that it brought us our son and B) that I'm so busy chasing that wild little man that I don't have time to obsess this round.
Well, not as much this time.