Desperate To Have A Baby, We Tried Everything


male infertility
A couple's difficult journey towards having a baby: Part 3.

Defcon Three involved increasing the number of targets using In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), multiple eggs removed from the ovaries, fertilized in Petri dishes and reimplanted—a technique which gave birth to Louise Brown in 1978 and that has been taking couples on an emotional roller coaster ever since.IVF First Turns 30

In order to make my wife's body crazy enough to start producing multiple eggs, she needed to be shot up with drugs on a daily basis.  I was given the task of purchasing more syringes than I had seen since my last "Heal The Bay" beach clean-up day.


Dr. Mellow recommended the drugs be injected in the tush—and that I do the administering. If asked today, Amy would say that I took on this task with too much relish, that I seemed to derive a sadistic pleasure from driving the spike into her firm yet fleshy buttocks. I maintain that I was just doing my job. Perhaps I was venting my frustration at the whole process.

Although the ampoules of hormones cost a fortune, we learned from a fellow traveler that they were cheaper in Mexico—which is why we started Fedexing money orders to a man in Texas whose business was to walk across the border to buy the drugs at a third of the U.S. price and then mail them back to us. Somehow when I imagined the circumstances under which I would be involved in international drug smuggling, this was not what came to mind.

As for how the drugs affected Amy, there is no kind way to describe the hormonal rages that they produced (The Donovan song "Season of the Witch" comes to mind). Whatever the question, there was no right answer I could give. And pointing out to my wife that she had gone loco, well, that was a mistake.  

There was screaming and there were tears. I would say they came from Amy, but they didn't—they came from that "other"—from the drugs. I was constantly walking on eggshells. The drugs caused Amy to gain weight—a subject I didn't bring up—and a fact that did not increase her self-esteem or decrease her frustration and anger at the process.  

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