All of my life, I have owned the title of "Cystic Fibrosis Patient". It defined the majority of my life. For most of you reading this, I am sure you can relate! One of many examples of how my CF dictated most aspects of my life is when I got a dirt bike for my birthday. Before I could actually ride it, I had to first consult my CF team and confirm it would be safe to do so! Basically, I had to consult with my CF team before I did most things.
When you are living with Cystic Fibrosis, it's always hard to tell how long of a life you will actually get to enjoy. It was always a fear of mine, but also made me determined that I wasn't going to let that stop me from doing anything I set my mind to. After high school, college, and meeting my now wife, I began thinking of other odds I can overcome. Parenting was a part of my life that I never thought would be in the cards for me!
During my teen years, I had a hernia surgery and the doctors told me then that they tested my viability of my sperm and I was told I would not be able to have a child of my own. Though sad, it had set me up early and was something I talked about with potential spouses. Once I got married, the topic of IVF came up. We went to fertility clinics and seminars just to gain some knowledge and to see if this was a possibility at my age and my stage of illness.
During the initial consult we found out that males generate a second stage of testosterone after the age of 26. This was exciting news since I was 28 during the beginning of this process. We did the initial test of viability the natural way and it came back as... no swimmers! Although we were a bit discouraged, we were not surprised by these results. Our next option was pulling the sperm out with a needle. YES, it is as painful as it sounds guys! As I held the check in my hand, (insurance doesn't cover this procedure), I anxiously waited for the results. During this same time my wife was in the other room having her egg retrieval procedure. We did find out that day before heading home that they surprisingly were able to retrieve viable sperm from me! Needless to say, we both were very sore after these procedures and the waiting period began.
Once our fertility team combined my sperm with my wife's eggs, we had 8 embryos that made it through the initial process! We were ecstatic! After a lot of prayer and discussions with our fertility team, we decided to do a fresh 5 day transfer of two embryos. The day after the transfer, we received a call that the 6 other embryos did not survive the freeze process and that the two we had transferred were our only shot at becoming parents for this cycle. That was devastating news, and still hard to think about to this day. The time period between the initial transfer and finding out whether it worked or not is called the "2 week wait" in the IVF world. I will be the first to tell you it is the longest two weeks I have ever experienced! You are considered "PUPO" after transfer, which stands for "pregnant until proven otherwise".
The two weeks slowly went by and my wife did not take any home pregnancy tests the whole time with fear of false results. We chose to wait for the official blood test at our fertility clinic to confirm whether or not we were pregnant. Monday August 6th, 2018 came and we went in for our final blood work to find out if the transfer had worked or not. A few hours later, we got the call and the whole team on speaker yelled "YOU'RE PREGNANT!" It worked!! We couldn't believe it. This was just the start to what would be such an incredible journey, knowing that this was the only little embryo we had. We knew this was such a huge blessing and we were so incredibly grateful that our one little embryo was the fighter he turned out to be. Our son is the greatest gift I could ever receive in this lifetime! I went from being defined by my illness, to now being called Dad. It is my favorite title that CF can never take away from me!
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