Six months ago today our lives changed forever. It was six months ago that I had my first sperm analysis done as part of the testing my wife and I went through to find out why after 18 months of trying that we were unable to conceive a child. Three hours after I gave that sample I received a call on my cell phone at work from our Reproductive Endocrinologist. I was worried when I saw the number come through on my cell phone as she had told my wife and I that she would only call us if there were any issues prior to our follow up appointment. She informed me that the test results showed a zero sperm count. That’s right in the word’s of Dean Wormer “Zero point Zero“.
It was over the next three weeks after another analysis and blood work that I would learn that I have non obstructive azoospermia. What that means for us is that due to a genetic condition I am unable to produce any swimmers and there is nothing that can be done. I can’t begin to explain what that felt like to learn that. There are other men who due to testicular cancer or other diseases and illnesses ended up with non obstructive azoospermia. But in my case there is no explanation for it other than it happened when I was conceived. That was the hardest part for me. At least if I had some disease or something physically wrong with me it would be easier to understand. Instead for some unknown reason I will never be able to conceive a child with my wife. I’ve asked myself many times what we did to deserve this. I look at the many sub par parents out there where the children suffer and wonder why us, who are caring people lack the ability to bring a child into this world while they are.
The mental and emotional toll this has taken on me is difficult to describe or put into words. I have battled depression and the roller coaster of emotions that come with infertility. I’ve broken down more times than I ever thought I would. I have not been a pleasant person to be around and the person who is felt the brunt of my emotions is the person I care more about than anyone on the planet. One of the few good things to come out of this it’s that my marriage and relationship with my wife is stronger than its ever been. She is a saint for putting up with me (even under normal circumstances) while dealing with her own feelings on our situation. I can’t take back the things I said that I would rather not disclose but I can learn from them and be a better husband and partner.
For me this experience ties into the idea that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. No I am not glad this has happened. I would still trade most of what I have (excluding family) for the ability to conceive one child with my wife. But I have learned a lot about myself and two topics that I don’t think I would have ever thought about (Infertility and Adoption).
As I look back at my first post on this blog I recognize how ignorant I was on adoption three months ago. Knowing what I know now I am actually embarrassed to read it. I’m glad that we did not pursue adoption at that time because it would have been a mistake to do so when I understood very little about adoption (I still have a lot to learn about it). I also wasn’t emotionally ready, which I’m still not. Though I am getting closer to feeling ready.
As I have said in past posts, I believe in the idea that everything in life happens for a reason (though I am not religious). Though I am not sure why nature handed me these cards right now, I hope to one day find out to make better sense of the last six months.