I can’t believe I’m about to type these words but, we’re pregnant! As I post this I am now 17 weeks pregnant with a little surprise coming April 2022.
We are shocked, we are confused, we are over the moon, and you may be a little shocked to hear this, but I can’t lie when I say we feel frustrated and let down by the fertility world. Many of you know that our journey to parenthood with Skye was a long and difficult one, ultimately resulting in IVF+ICSI for our little miracle. We expected the same to be for baby number 2.
Back To The Start
To truly explain this story we have to go back to the start. You may want to grab a cup of something, this is going to be a long one.
Flash back to 2016, we are recently married and trying to conceive when Sameer noticed enlarged veins in and around his testicles. Sorry, there is literally no other way to explain this than using the appropriate words. Being 3 months into our conception we decided to make a joint trip to the Drs to explain our situation and for them to inspect Sameer’s issue. Could this have a connection to our struggle? We were greeted with no, it’s nothing, you’re young, don’t fret. A few months past and Sameer’s discomfort was still present, we decided to go to a different doctor for another opinion. There they informed us, with the confirmation of an ultrasound, that Sameer had varicocele, but there was no need to do anything about it as it wouldn’t be affecting our fertility.
A description stolen from google explains that varicocele is an enlargement of the veins that transport oxygen-depleted blood away from the testicle. A varicocele (VAR-ih-koe-seel) is an enlargement of the veins within the loose bag of skin that holds your testicles (scrotum). A varicocele is similar to a varicose vein you might see in your leg – Mayo Clinic
Now, you probably all remember our first results from the fertility clinic (if not you can check out my post here). After numerous blood tests, sonohystergrams and sperm analyses it was reported that I (Filipa) was suffering from low AMH and may have to use donor eggs (yep, right off the bat), Sameer on the other hand according to his spectacular sperm sample was A-OKAY. You know the story of the multiple fertility treatments that followed so I won’t bore you there, but again at this first appointment at the fertility office we explained Sameer’s varicocele diagnosis and again were greeted with a “meh, no big deal”. This wouldn’t be the last time we hear this either.
When we were referred to an IVF clinic that received a proper diagnosis that Sameer’s sperm was in fact suffering from a DNA fragmentation issue (read Sameer’s post about it here), we again asked if this could be linked to his ever frustrating varicocele issue…. nope. When we got pregnant with Skye we never really thought about his varicocele, that was until earlier this year when we put ourselves on the government fertility funding list for IVF and Sameer’s pains were getting worse.
After chatting with our Dr and being told yet again that a varicocele surgery wouldn’t help us conceive but also wouldn’t affect us negatively we took the down time of waiting for our funding for Sameer to go through a varicocele embolization (read Sameer’s post about it here). What blew Sameer away was not only that he now felt so much better but that as his urologist stated that this is the leading factor of male infertility. “Just wait” he stated, “it takes sperm 3 months to regenerate I suspect you will get pregnant”.
Was he ever right! 4 months after Sameer’s noninvasive varicocele embolization we conceived naturally. Mind freaking blown!
Male Infertility Awareness
Although we are so incredibly ecstatic, grateful, truly happy, as everything does happen for a reason as we wouldn’t have our wonderful little girl Skye, we can’t help but feel let down by the fertility world. That no one ever truly advocated for us, for the male side of fertility. Heck Sameer wasn’t even ever truly a patient! Everything had to go through me. So many people walk away with unexplained infertility because the male partner isn’t ever looked at properly. We hope that by continually sharing our story we can create awareness that male infertility most definitely exists and needs the same amount of attention as female.
For now we are reveling in the bliss of finally being able to tell you of our miracle, and can’t wait to bring you along on this journey.
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