For me and Amy, however, there was always more hope, always another chance to get pregnant. The next peak in the Fertility Himalayas, ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection), was a technique developed in 1992 for severe cases of male infertility in which healthy looking single sperms are literally inserted into healthy seeming eggs. The goal is multiple fertilizations. The fertilized eggs can then be frozen and preserved, or returned to the womb to (hopefully) develop.
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ICSI took place in a private hospital. For sperm collection, the hospital had its own "room." And contrary to everything I had experienced so far, it was an actual room, a hospital room, with own bathroom. And let me say, they did not skimp. Not only were there an assortment of magazines for inspiration, there was also a TV/VCR unit which played—with no apparent irony—a tale of two blond nurses who become overly fond of each other. Fetishes Make The World Go Round
ICSI was yet another emotional roller coaster. Each month filled with hope: 18 eggs produced! 8 eggs fertilized! Four fertilized eggs implanted, and the other four stored for potential future use! Whoopee!
When the pregnancies did not hold, we crashed, only to have to start the climb all over with the next fertility cycle.
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We had been married for eight years. We had been trying to get pregnant for six of those years and between IVF and ICSI had gone through five fertility cycles. We knew we could get pregnant but we didn't know if we could stay pregnant. We had spent over $200,000, and all we had to show for it was a glossy photo of four egg cells.
That photo still sits in the drawer of the night table besides out bed, buried there. We're unable to look at it—or dispose of it.