Considering AI....Would you do it?????
10 Replies
Aimee M D - May 24

My doctor told me yesterday that due to my DH having problems, that we should consider artificial insemenation. My DH has some hesitation. He is concerned with feeling like it is my baby with another man. I can understand, but I believe that we would get past that. I don't know that it would be much different if we adopted. We were told that it would be a lot more affordable and we could go through the blessings of pregnancy and delivery, which we would not have through adoption. I have been weighing the pros and cons of all of our options. It is so hard....I haven't gotten over not being able to have our own baby. If you have gone through any of these problems, could you please give me some guidance? I am so confused and lost in my our heartbreak and desire to be parents.


Tink - May 24

so they want you to use donor sperm then with an IUI? i would get a second opinion first before i moved forward. have Dh see someone else and be tested again to make sure. that is a big decision, so i would want to make sure the info on Dh was accurate before i made it. I did 4 IUIs, but with DH's sperm. it is a big step, but i know for me, i wanted to experience pregnancy and delivery at least once (we did IVF to get prego). we were both open to adoption and we might do that for our second child. I don't know how DH would feel about another man's sperm/baby, so we probably would have just done adoption if he had issues. but that is something you guys truly have to work out on your own. did they say DH has like a zero count? what exactly do they say is his problem? there are lots of options out there- to removing the sperm surgically from the testes (instead of ejaculating) to surgeries to help repair problems for DH. I would explore those as well as getting a second opinion before going on. good luck,


Aimee M D - May 24

Thank you for your help!!! According to the semen analysis done there is a zero sperm count. I have looked up several sites and saw a little hope that through surgery, medications, etc. there may be a way. We have an appointment with the urologist on 5/30. I am going crazy. Every moment seems like an eternity! We were crushed, as everyone here can understand. I want to be optimistic but I don't want to hold onto false hope. Yesterday I went to my OB/GYN (for my exam) and he says in his experience, the odds are VERY slim for him to be able to produce sperm. I want him to be wrong so badly. I really don't want to use another man's sperm, but we want to experience the pregnancy and birth as well. I even thought if there was NO sperm possible, to use both a donor egg and sperm so it was like adoption with the pregnancy. I hope to God that all of these fears and thoughts are pointless stress and that we will find out that we can make it work somehow. I guess I an feeling over anxious and overwhelmed with negative thoughts. Is all of this emotional chaos, constant tears of desperation, and fear of the unknown normal? Am I overreacting? I don't want either myself or my DH to do anything that we aren't comfortable with. Any ounce of hesitation or doubt needs to bring everything to a hault! I am fortunate that he is being very open with his feeling and we are keeping communication lines open. I am so scared of hearing the horrible words that my DH and I can't create a life together. :(


K - May 24

I know exactly what you are going through now. I've been there. I know how horrible it is when you get the zero sperm news. You are not overreacting in any way. They had hopes that my DH had a blockage. He had a hernia as a child, so they thought that the surgeon who repaired that might have nicked something (not uncommon) and that there might be a fix for us. The urologist did exploratory surgery and planned to fix it if that was the problem. They also did a biopsy during the surgery to get a better picture for the sperm situation. Unfortunately for us, there was no blockage and no mature sperm in the biopsy. Plenty of sperm, but apparently dh has some sort of condition that does not let them mature, probably genetic. That meant that it was extremely unlikely that even ICSI would work for us. We were devastated. I will never forget walking out of the urologists office (we went back a week after the surgery to get the biopsy results to discuss whether ICSI might be an option). I tried to hold my head high and not break down. I made it to the car before completely losing it.
My husband suggested a donor almost immediately, but I initially resisted. My husband said if the baby can't be part of me at least it can still be part of you and I will love it all the more because it is part of you and I love you. No one who has not been faced with this situtation can know what they would do. Before this happened, I would have told you that there was no way I would ever have used a donor. I reccomend that you and your husband read the book "Helping the Stork", which is all about AI. I got it and read it and immediately decided that I would agree to give AI a try. I am very very glad I did.
It is very strange "shopping" for the donor. You can get baby pictures and audio clips from some places. We chose to use a large lab far away from our state. Our fertility clinic had resources, but I didn't like the idea of the donor being local and potential brothers and sisters running around the area.( I may have seen too many soap operas, but what if they dated each other?). Also I wanted the audio clips and baby pictures. I wanted to hear that the person seemed normal- some people may be the opposite and may not want to know anything. You talk about possibly using a donor egg as well. Remember that with just donor sperm, you can do IUI's, not full blown IVF. If you use a donor egg, you will have to do IVF. Also, I liked the idea that the baby was genetically related to one of us.
My dh was there every step of the way. He came to every doctor appt. It took us a long time to get pregnant even with AI, and I had one M/C. Finally, I did have a good healthy pregnancy. It was wonderful. The nurse at the fertility clinic was so happy for us she cried. My dh and I got to experience the whole pregnancy and birth. I wouldn't trade that for anything in the world. I loved being pregnant. I think that after 4 years of trying, you don't complain about the symptoms as much! I don't know if you are in the U.S., but here in most, if not all, states your dh's name will be put on the birth certificate. Some people never tell their child, but we plan to tell ours. We think she has a right to know. Some of the reasons we chose this route over adoption are that we never have to worry about birth parents changing their minds; if we did domestic would would have had to wait and pray that someone picked us; and we had her from day 1 rather than having to wait until she was a year old like you do with some foreign adoptions. She was ours 100% from conception.
We have a beautiful dd. My husband loves her every bit as much as he would if she were biologically his. She is his in every other way. She adores her Daddy. Seeing the two of them together is wonderful. My husband says he is now glad that he couldn't have kids, because otherwise we wouldn't have dd exactly and he can't imagine a child any more perfect than she is. He loves her more than anything. We felt a little strange at first when people on the street would tell us how much she looks like him- but we got used to just saying thank you- or he will say he thinks she looks more like me. We are extremely happy. We are now considering trying for a sibling. It was definitely the right choice for us, but you have to make your own decision. I hope this helps you. If you have questions or want to talk more, I would be glad to. When we went through it, I didn't know anyone who had been there.


Aimee M D - May 25

Thank you so much for sharing your story with me, K. Lastnight, my DH surprised me by bringing up his serious consideration of artificial insemenation/donor. I shared your words of encouragement with him. I think it really helped seeing that someone else has gone through the exact same thing. We aren't giving up hope that his problem is reversable. We are just being realistic. My DH and I talked to a friend that also had a zero sperm count but decided to adopt when he married. She didn't have the desire to be pregnant and this was a simple solution to being able to have a family. He gave us some really good advise of how to keep our mind frame. He said that alot of the healing is being open minded enough to change our perception of this whole situation. He said that if we want to be parents, we still can. It isn't under ideal circumstances, but when we see our baby for the first time, all of the chaos and pain disapears. He said that you would go through it a million times over again to have that beautiful child. Regardless of the plans that we have made for our lives, what is meant to be will be.
We do live in the US, so that is reassuring about the birth certificate. To be honest, I never though about that. There were a lot of things that I hadn't considered before talking to you!!! All of this is such a rollercoaster of learning and emotion. I am still trying to catch on to all of the abreviations and placing the terminology with the procedures!
I really appreciate your support and guidance....more than you can imagine. Thank you!!! Please stay in touch.


K - May 25

I'm glad I could help. I will be praying that it is just a blockage that can be easily fixed. The surgery to check and/or fix it is just an outpatient deal. Also, our urologist was able to code it in a way that it didn't look like a fertility deal so it was covered by insurance. Be prepared because you will probably be the one to tell your husband whether it is good or bad news when he wakes up. I think it is good that you are looking at it realistically from the outset. We were so sure that there was a blockage and it was going to be fine that I wasn't prepared for the bad outcome we had at all. One of the hardest things was telling my husband the bad news that there was no blockage when he woke up.
It doesn't surprise me that once the initial shock wore off your husband started seriously considering AI. That's kind of how it was with me. Your whole perspective starts to change. Give your dh all the support you can. As horrible as this is for you, I think it is worse for him. If things can't be fixed, in addition to having to deal with the fact that he can't have kids, he will probably also feel guilty for putting you through this even though it is in no way his fault. Just keep reassuring him and tell him how much you love him. I can relate to the emotional roller coaster. The whole thing just felt surreal, including the AI process. You just can't believe you are in the middle of it. I love shopping, but I sure as heck never thought I would be doing that kind of shopping! You will get through this no matter how it turns out and what choices you make, and you will be parents one way or another. Sounds like your friend gave you really good advice. He's right about everything being fine the minute you see that baby. For us, it was before that, once we knew the pregnancy was going well.


Aimee M D - June 4

I just found out that my DH has a hormone imbalance and potentially a vericocele. There may be hope for us to conceive! We will probably still have to do IVF if there are any sperm (and if the sperm are viable), but I am seeing a little bit of hope! :) I keep praying everyday for God to make this happen!!! Please keep us in your hopes and prayers.....I know it is still early in the game!


K - June 5

That's good news!!! Sounds like threre is a lot of hope! I will definitely keep you in my hopes and prayers! Keep in touch.


Aimee M D - June 7

This has been a tough week, even with the hopeful news. My DH has been beating himself up over all of this inside and he finally exploded. It tears me up inside to see him so broken hearted. I am trying to be supportive and reassuring. My heart crumbles when I hear him break down and blame himself for our troubles with concieving. I haven't figured out how to comunicate (with him accepting) that we are in this as a team and that I love him for him, not his sperm. When my doctor said that it was me at first (I wasn't able to ovulate), I felt the same way and I beat myself up for months. So I do understand, I just want to make it all better! On a brighter note, how are you? Have you decided for sure if/when you and DH will try for another?


K - June 11

I'm so sorry you guys have to go through this. I wish no one did. It sounds like you know exactly what to tell him--just keep telling him. My DH beat himself up every time we went through an IUI that didn't work and he saw how upset it made me when I wasn't pregnant. He felt like he was the cause of everything, but I just kept reassuring him and we got through it and made it to the other side. You will too. I'm doing great. We are still on the fence about when or if to try for another. It took us 4 years- 2 before we went to the RE and discovered DH's problem before we had this successful pregnancy. Because I am older, our original plan was to try again right away. We have a small stockpile we kept so we can try for a full sibling. Our plan is to try with that and if it doesn't work to just be grateful for what we have and let it go. I wound up having an emergency C-section (dd thought it would be funny to come 3 weeks early and to flip breech either the night before or during labor- extremely rare), so the doctor wanted me to wait a year. It is so hard to get back on that roller coaster of emotion once everything is good. I would love to have another child. My dd keeps us so busy that my dh now says maybe we should wait another year until she is a little bigger, but we both worry another year might be too late because of my age. Dh says he would be happy with just her. I would like dd to have a sibling. I'm an only child. I just don't know what to do, or when to do it.


Aimee M D - June 11

Hi K. I have a sister and she is my best friend, next to DH. We used to fight like cats and dogs, but as we grew up, we got closer and closer. We even lived next door to each other, then two years ago we both decided to buy homes....I miss her to pieces even though she is just across town. I think, when fate allows, siblings are the best gift. On the other hand, I agree. Count your blessings and be thankful for the healthy dd that you have. You will know if/when the time is right. Best of luck to you.



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