The attempts continue

After we realized that baby-making was not going to be as easy for us as we thought, we figured we’d go through the testing procedures recommended by the clinic to see if there were any other impediments. Thankfully, after a few blood tests, and some incredibly awkward internal exams I was NOT prepared for, it appears as though we are biologically fit for the task.

Of course, I’m still of advancing age, and my husband’s sperm has turned into kamikaze fighters, but at least on the outset we didn’t have any additional issues. We were told our chances of conceiving normally, due to these suicidal soldiers was less than 2%. Which was pretty shitty, but we figured we had nothing to lose, so we carried on.

It took a few months for all the testing to be completed and for us to have another meeting with the doctor at the clinic. By this time, we had gotten married (more on that later, also) and were jauntily trying to overcome the odds stacked against us each month. Not surprisingly, this was unsuccessful.

So we decided to try IUI–which really, is just like overly-facilitated sex. The same mechanics come into play, but it’s done at a doctor’s office and timed as precisely as possible. I took the required superovulation drugs (which made me a crazy person), and my husband went off to the clinic to make his deposit. Just before I was about to leave myself, for the insemination process, we got a call and were informed that my husband’s sample contained zero sperm. Nothing. Nadda.

Um, pardon?

I mean, we knew they were being obstinate, but now they were non-existent? Needless to say, the hormonally-charged me took the news really well when we were told we had to cancel the procedure. Apparently the vasectomy reversal had reversed itself, and now my husband’s contribution was stuck at home–no highway out. We were informed that we needed to report back to the clinic together to discuss “next steps.”

“Next-steps” have become the bane of my existence. I envy those out there who’s procreation attempts consist of only one, simple, non-medically-facilitated step.

So now what? Well, now, we do what I feared all along–the one process that gave me nightmares and made my brain and my bank balance hurt. IVF. We simply were not going to be able to get my husband’s sperm to meet my eggs any other way. Regardless of our biological compatibility, now we have a plumbing issue.

Becoming a mother: How it all started (or didn’t).

Though there are a million things out there to read, watch, review and listen to about how great, or not great, becoming a mother is, I never realized how hard it would be. For years, in my 20s, I bargained that I’d have enough time to figure it all out. I married young, the first time, and figured I’d have two children by the time I was 30. No later–that would be ridiculous!

And yet, here I am, at 38, with a divorce, another marriage and countless different life choices behind me, still not a mother.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m lots of other things. I’ve managed to eke out a pretty awesome life, despite some of my glaring mistakes, so I’m not regretting my past. Just saying that I really didn’t see myself here.

My husband now has three children (two biological, one adopted) from his previous marriage. I’ll write more on what that means for us in another post. But the important thing here is that he did father biological children with no problems or complications. And then, as many men do, he got a vasectomy, which has proved to be the bane of our procreation dreams.

After we had been together a couple of years, and had many talks about starting our own family, we consulted the internet, as you do, and chose to get his vasectomy reversed. This seemed like the best way to ensure we could start trying to have a family naturally. I had no known issues that would prevent this, and so off we went, to Toronto, to have him put “back together,” as it were.

Recovery was longer than we expected, but we were told the procedure was successful, and the initial sperm analysis was okay–they were there, and the doctor predicted that they would get more plentiful and stronger with time. So off we went–me tracking my bbt and ovulation and he contributing to the effort at all the right times.

We didn’t anticipate issues, but because by that time I was already in my late 30s, my doctor suggested she refer me to our fertility clinic here. My “advanced maternal age” was enough to make her uncertain as to our chances. So we went.

I anticipated the clinic doctor we met to take one look at us healthy folks and tell us to “keep up the good work,” but I was sadly mistaken. Apparently, while my husband’s analysis had shown sperm, what we didn’t know that these little swimmers had started to produce antibodies that made it nigh impossible for them to penetrate, and therefore fertilize an egg. No matter how wonderfully healthy that was…

Crushed, we were now told that we were officially in the 1 in 6 club: those couples who experience fertility issues for a wide range of problems. Of all the clubs I’ve ever wanted to be in, this was the furthest from my mind. Even knowing how common infertility is didn’t really help. All I remember from that first meeting was a crushing feeling in my chest when I realized that the inevitability of me becoming a mother was not, in fact, the case.

How to win at webinars

Whether you’re making a presentation to your work colleagues on the other side of the country, or pitching your product to a prospective client, chances are you’ve had to develop content for and present a webinar. And if you haven’t yet, I’m sure you’ve attended some.

Here’s a few tips on how to make sure you’re effective and engaging when you can’t see your audience.

Continue reading “How to win at webinars”