1 in 6 stories

Mandy and Dave

Mandy and Dave

Dave and I met in July 2012. I had miscarried an anembryonic pregnancy (blighted ovum) the prior February. I turned 33 the end of that March, he turned 38 the end of that November.

We started trying to conceive a year later, in July 2013.

In April 2014, testing revealed he had severely low sperm count, likely because of the orchiectomy of one testicle in his late 20s due to seminoma. He never got chemotherapy after that; they said he didn’t need it. We put some of his sperm on ice to prevent further count deterioration, and we couldn’t afford IVF+ICSI they told us we needed then. He proposed in July 2014.

During 2015, my credit got better, and I was able to apply for a line of credit, but we fell in love with Montréal when we went in 2014, and thought maybe we would move there. It had 3 free IVF cycles covered! Then it didn’t. In November 2015, that was reduced to tax credits (2nd one after age 37, only if first attempt, and all produced transferred embryos, don’t result in a live birth, or pregnancy to a certain point, at least).

Then he went full time in his job and got a great pension. We still considered moving.

We got married in July 2016.

In 2017, his seminoma returned in his abdomen, around his left iliac artery. We froze a bit more sperm, and he went through chemo. He is now in remission. But being monitored for life due to how rare his situation is.

I had to leave my job of four years the end of that year. I tried at two other employers, but my confidence is very low with the resulting depression from all this. And other employers aren’t as good as where I was. The entire contract ended the end of 2018 anyway.

I lost my beloved cat of 13 years, Tux, in January 2018. Plus, my father in August 2018, and my paternal grandmother in February 2019.

Then on March 15th, 2019, I lost my older brother, John, likely due to a heart attack. He had aortic stenosis from birth, but once he moved out, he didn’t go to the doctor often. He would have turned 47 on July 1st. He was my first best friend. I miss him more every day. And he was supposed to take care of Mom, as she is aging (75 on April 6th) because I couldn’t; I moved to Halifax because of how challenging she was since I tried to become independent. Now that he’s gone, it’s a massive struggle.

I turned 40 on March 27th. So, I was able to see a fertility doctor on April 1st to order blood tests and a sonohysterogram. Got one in 2017, and they said I looked OK, just don’t wait 5 years… and my AMH was 17 (they like it to be >4) then, at 38.

But we’ll have to pay $10,000 for fertility medication alone due to my age, before the cost of the procedure, here in Nova Scotia. Québec still looks good. But I’d have to move there myself, wait 3 months to get on RAMQ, and one has to live there and pay taxes for a year to be eligible for a tax credit for IVF. Plus pay to ship his sperm up. So, donor insemination might be the best alternative in the meantime. It’s free there up to about 8 times, I think. If I have a baby, I would be ineligible for tax credits, but could still try for one more child the same way. Maybe.

This has been one hell of a decade.

Mandy & Dave Roy

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Ten years ago, I was 1 in 6. Today, I am on the other side and can confidently say we made it through.