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Parents of lost babies and potential of all kinds: come here to share the technicolour, the vividness, the despair, the heart-broken-open, the compassion we learn for others, having been through this mess — and see it reflected back at you, acknowledged and understood.

Thanks to photographer Xin Li and to artist Stephanie Sicore for their respective illustrations and photos.

not ttc | infertility after loss > I guess I'm here now

My journey of conceiving after loss has taken a surprising turn. After visiting an RE, we discovered that my husband has very low sperm counts, about 3 million. He is due for his second Sperm Analysis this week, with hopefully higher numbers--but how much higher than they get? He is in the low range, and we don't know if the first time we conceived our son was some sort of "miracle." As of right now, his numbers are too low to naturally conceive. But--we did conceive naturally! Within 6 months! And it was all shattered, at the very last minute.

The RE thinks he may have some environmental factors at play that have brought his counts down. My husband admits he has been grieving by smoking a lot, drinking a lot...and he is now putting his habits aside to focus on building our family.

This really sucks. I was doing well with my grief, always staying hopeful every cycle that passes, but now I feel like I am reeling backwards. This time last year we had a healthy baby boy growing in my stomach, one that was naturally conceived with ease, one who was doing well, who was due to arrive by November. One year later I have empty arms and now we are facing infertility. We are trying to decide whether to wait and seek treatment, see if my husband can increase his numbers within a few months, or if we should just begin IVF.

How are people all around me conceiving effortlessly and bringing their babies home without even thinking about it? How have I become so stuck?

This is not how I envisioned my life. Not at all.
October 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNada
Oh Nada,
I am sorry that this is so difficult.
It is all terribly unfair - we should all be able to try again with ease and guarantees! As ever though it doesn't seem to go that way.
It must be very hard for both you and your husband - ideally the next tests will be better.
Whether to wait or move straight to IVF is impossible to advise - what does your doctor think?
My husband and I had been trying on and off for about 8 years before I became pregnant with Eleanor and we used IVF techniques so when Eleanor died I knew that if I was to try again I would need to use IVF again.
I hope you and your husband are managing to hold on to your love for each other and Riyad.
Sending you love and hope - we all have to hope for better even though it seems impossible at times.
October 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKE
Nada, I am sorry to see you on this board and I am hoping it is brief bc I know from all your posts how much you want a younger sibling for Riyad. I agree that I wish the unfairness would even out and it feels like things should at least be easier now on this side of loss but I too feel like I look all around and it seems to be much easier for everyone else. I don't think there's anything wrong with feeling a sense of urgency and taking whatever steps medically necessary to move things forward esp if you feel emotionally ready. Did your RE offer IUI or IVF? Did they push you to lean one way or the other in terms of waiting another few months vs going now to some of these other procedures? I think that overcoming the low sperm count is one of the "easier" things to deal with as opposed to the complicated labyrinth of everything that can be going on with the woman's side of fertility so I hope they expressed confidence that they will be able to help you through it. In some ways it is good to know that there is an answer and there are ways to overcome it. But still doesn't take away the frustrating that there is yet another obstacle to surmount. I hope you and your husband have been able to talk though all of this. It is so loaded. I want so badly for you to have Riyad in your arms, but short of that, to be able to move forward with growing your family further when you are ready, and with adequate support both from the doctors, your family, and this community of mamas who know some of the complexities of this path. Sending a hug.
October 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSteph M.
I am new here so I don't know your story, but my heart breaks for you. I know it is so hard. If the tests have found that the only issue is your husbands sperm count, I would advise against IVF. Has your husband tried vitamins, herbs and dietary changes? Hang in there, there are still options.
December 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCammie
Hi Nada,

I am so sorry you are having trouble conceiving again. I know that pain too - not only is your beloved baby gone but you can't make the dream of a living baby happen and it's sadness on top of sadness. Having been under the treatment of an RE - I would just say that the success of IVF is very dependent on your age and the number of times you are willing to try IVF (my RE has said it often takes 3 cycles under 40). IVF is costly and tedious and not without it's own risks. Finding a natural solution would be wonderful. I wish you luck on your journey.
January 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterKim