So, we finally took a leap of faith...action...and went to the world renown urologist we were referred to at Baylor College of Medicine. Before going to this appointment, I did tons of research on the doctor and I found mixed reviews. The main one that stuck with me was that a student doctor comes in and evaluates you and then "the" doctor will spend about 5 mins with you and then that is it. We prayed our little hearts out for favor and that we would not have to leave the same way we went which was clueless.
Never Take Prayer for Granted
Our appointment was at 1pm and according to the reviews, wait times could be up to 3 hours. Yikes! Well folks, we waited about 10-15 mins if that long. We went to the back and a student doctor came in and he asked us questions (just like a nurse would before the Dr comes in the room). But of course my spiritual antenna's were on because this student doctor kept bringing up IUI and IVF. You have to be careful with what you allow people to speak over you. Call me super spiritual but word curses are real. I told him, "We are not trying to jump into those options"...He brought it up again two more times and I told him both times, "No, we are not seeking those options". Then I asked him a question that he could not answer and that is when he said, "Well, the doctor will have to better answer that". I had a load of questions that we needed answered and we were believing God that we would receive all of our answers! We did not have time to sit back and let someone dictate the course of this visit. We did not have time to just be "another" patient.
Be Your Own Advocate!
So before the student doctor left the office he told Errick that a semen analysis would need to be performed. This was the first time Errick willingly said "Yes" and when I said, "I am surprised you are okay with doing another SA"...His reply was "Well, Val it makes sense". Once it was collected we waited about 30 minutes since that was how long it would take to get the results back. I held Errick's hand and asked the Lord to be with us and that the doctor would take his time with us and answer all of our question and that we would know the root cause of the issue to better pray about it. Can I just add that the other test were always sent off for analysis which always made me skeptical. Errick fell asleep on the table and then "the" Doctor walked in.
"Hey, wake up"
Those were the words the doctor spoke upon walking in. His whole demeanor was pleasant. He read over what the student doctor gathered and he asked us questions and he answered our questions. Errick mentioned he had an identical twin and the doctor got excited! "Where is he can we get him in here so that I can test him and see if this is genetic or if it happened after the womb!" I said, "Doc, he does not have insurance". The doctor said, "Oh don't worry about it I will not charge". I said, "You should just do a clinical trial" and his response was, "We already are, so that is why I need them because we never have identical twins". Wow! Errick's twin agreed and test were done including a genetics test. All were free of charge to us. Errick also had to have an ultrasound done. We could tell that the Holy Spirit was there with us. The atmosphere was pleasant and we were able to laugh and joke with the doctor and his office staff. We were getting answers...
For months I told Errick, "What if there is some type of blockage". All the research I had done for his high hormone levels all led back to something possibly being out of sync with the scrotum area. Sure enough. The doctor felt a vein, but it wasn't until the ultrasound was done that we were able to know how much of an effect it was having. As the ultrasound tech examined Errick, I literally saw the vein! I asked her "Oh my goodness is that a vein?" She replied that it was. When we met with the doctor again for the final results, he said that Errick had what was called bilateral varicocele. According to healthline.com, "A vein abnormality in the scrotum may result in a varicocele. A varicocele is an enlargement of the veins within the scrotum. These veins are called the pampiniform plexus." Basically, it is an enlarge vein in the scrotum. Varicocele is found in up to 40% of infertile males (Baylor College of Medicine). In Errick's case, these veins were on both the right and left side. Instead of blood moving out towards the heart, it basically sits there in a pool causing the sperm to overheat which leads to low count, motility and morphology. Oxygen is not able to get to where it needs to go as well. Some cases are not as serious and does not require surgery, but Errick's case requires surgery.
Final Conversation with the Doctor
He reassured us that his hormones were fine. When I told him Errick was prescribed clomid, he looked at us and said "Did you take it?" We responded with no. He then went on to say, "I cannot stand when those doctors do that. They have no clue on how to treat male fertility. Clomid would not help you because there is an obstruction that medicine cannot fix". Notice he said "male fertility". My final plea to him was, "Doc we do not want to do IVF" and he politely said "I don't do IVF". We went to speak with the financial lady to discuss finances for surgery from that point. Unfortunately, because of Errick's ridiculous insurance we have to wait on either open enrollment for better benefits or we can continue saving so that we can just pay out of pocket. Open enrollment isn't that far away.
We now have peace in knowing what is going on. We are okay with having to wait for the surgery. To be honest, the bigger miracle would be to now conceive knowing what to pray for and believing God for healing without surgery! Nevertheless, research has shown and I use the Glow app where ladies from all over the world post about various pregnancy related issues...A lot of couples on average, conceive 6-9 months following surgery. Even if IVF is an option for couples, this surgery is important to do beforehand in extreme cases because if not corrected it could lead to miscarriages. A woman on Glow posted about her experience. She went through 3 failed IVF cycles because her RE advised against a varicocelectomy. Yet, once they had the surgery after the failed cycles, they conceived naturally!!!
My Suggestions To You
Please get thorough testing done. Yes it can be expensive, but leave that in God's hands. We ended up having test ran free of charge all because of God's provision. Only He can do this type of thing! There is no way a man will get the glory in this situation. Trust Him! We do not know what our future holds, but our faith has been given a boost and we are excited to eventually meet our babies. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask!