Two Years Later…..Who Am I?

We all have certain dates that stick with us be it personal or historical events that change us forever. For me with infertility it’s December 26th, 2012. It is the day that I gave my first sperm sample test a few days after our first RE appointment. Three hours after I gave the sample I received a call on my cell phone at work from the doctor informing me that my results came back negative (meaning I have a zero sperm count). In the following weeks I gave another sperm sample test, blood tests and urologist appointments confirming my Y Chromosome Microdeletion (Non Obstructive Azoospermia ) diagnosis and I haven’t been the same person since.

Most of 2013 I spent in therapy processing exactly what this meant to me. I sank into as deep a depression as I ever had. I put on 15lbs getting as heavy as I ever had been. I didn’t care if it ended up messing up my long term health because I felt I had little to look forward to later in life. I became almost obsessed with pursuing alternative ways of becoming a parent putting everything on my life on hold.

In 2014, I decided I was going to make some changes to my life as I needed to set out to work towards something within my control. In early January I decided I was going to attempt to get back into a workout routine and moderate what I was eating to try to lose the weight I had put on in 2013. I bought a fitbit and added the Myfitnesspal app to my phone to track it all. It became my new obsession. In April after dropping 25 lbs I decided to start some light running to see if I could get back into it. In late June on a whim I decided to sign up to run a 10K on the 4th of July. With minimal training I finished the race in a decent time. A few weeks later I signed up for a half marathon to be run in November.

I took the half marathon training the way I do anything I set out to do with complete focus. Despite having to adjust my training schedule due to Achilles tendinitis I trained as well as I could have hoped for. The hard worked paid off and on November 2nd I ran as well as I could ever imagined. I had gained a piece of myself back but still all was not well.

The last few weeks have been a struggle. The big news is that unless something changes K & I will not be looking into adoption thus lifelong childlessness is upon us. It’s something I wasn’t prepared for and something I don’t know how I will face. It’s not like we’ve been going through treatments or waiting to be chosen to adopt a child. Our lives at least this year have not been put on hold. We’ve been living. I’d say I’m not sure what’s next but this feels like what’s next.

The what’s next is not fulfilling at all. Sure I may smile on the outside. Sure I am grateful for a wonderful wife and dog. Sure my running has given me something to work for. Sure volunteering for Big Brother has been an eye opening experience. But beneath that smile is hurt and something is missing and likely will always be missing. I don’t know who I am because I never saw my life without being a parent with K.

So here I am two years later much different than I was two years ago and different than I was a year ago. Not knowing who I am is numbing and leaving me hopeless that things will ever change for the better.

23 thoughts on “Two Years Later…..Who Am I?

  1. Kitten

    I’ve been thinking for a while what to say to you, but can’t come up with the right words. This just sucks so much. You should be (and I’m sure you are) proud of your physical accomplishments and gaining back that part of your life. But I know that’s not near enough to fill the emptiness you feel. Nothing ever will, and I hate that for you.

    1. gsmwc02 Post author

      What you just said is all you can say. And I appreciate it more than I can put into words. Best wishes to you and your family in 2015 and beyond.

  2. Geochick (@geochick_1)

    This is the epitome of unfair, when you have to make a decision whether or not to pursue parenthood or shift course. Especially when parenthood is something you’ve always contemplated. I’m sorry and this absolutely sucks.

  3. findmynewnormal

    Hi there, new follower so apologies if my advice covers a topic you have written about before. When I found out that my egg reserve was really bad we also considered adoption. In the end we opted for an egg donor. A sort of half way step between adoption and having the child genetically related to both of us. It was a process and I did have to grieve my DNA connection. But in the end I now have 2 lovely little girls who I love more than anything. I hardly ever think of the fact that they come from donor eggs. So perhaps you could consider a sperm donor? As I said, maybe you already thought about this and decided against it,,,, but I’m a huge fan of donor gametes so I advocate them whenever I get the chance.

    1. gsmwc02 Post author

      It was a consideration for us but unfortunately our infertility went beyond just me. You might say what about Embryo Donation that is something both my wife and I are not comfortable with.

      Thank you for your feedback.

  4. Mali

    I’m really sorry to read this. I responded to your comment on Cristy’s blog before I saw this post (as I haven’t been a regular reader before), and didn’t realise your No Kids status was so recent and therefore so painful.

    And all I can say is that it gets better. It takes time, and for me, the shock that came with the No Kids outcome certainly made it harder before it got better. But it does get better. I really promise you that. We do live fulfilling lives. We do find joy again. I blog about this all the time. Allow yourself to hope for that, even if right now, you can’t feel it, or even imagine it in your future. I know that feeling. It doesn’t stay forever.

    1. gsmwc02 Post author

      While I appreciate your kind words, I recognize we are all different. While you maybe happy leading a fulfilling life without children it doesn’t mean everyone will. Maybe it’s because we didn’t go through treatments or even attempt to pursue adopting. But there is always going to be a piece of me that will feel like we never tried.

  5. Pingback: What Lies Beneath | A Few Pieces Missing From Normalcy – An Infertile Man's Perspective

  6. the misfit

    So, I’m back to comment again :). This reflection makes so much sense to me, also. I felt selfish saying it, but I eventually realized that the thing I was grieving most was not the loss of a child who had died (I have never even been pregnant) nor the loss of children who might have been (though that certainly is a loss) but the loss of ME – the person I thought I would be and even thought I was already on the road to being, but in fact never will be. Instead, I am a different person, someone I would never have chosen to be. So many aspects of this person are, honestly, ugly and repellent to me. Though that feeling fades with time and accustomed-ness, in some significant part, it remains. There are good THINGS in my life, more and more as I get further through the grieving process, but I have not got to where MY LIFE is a GOOD THING. I think that will be the hallmark of real healing – not as-if-it-had-never-happened healing, but I-am-whole-with-this-wound-as-part-of-that-wholeness healing. I long for that. I am fairly religious, and it would be all sorts of convenient if I could tell you that that made it easier, but in truth religious belief has made this journey far uglier and more painful. When the wound is transcendent, it transcends – everything. What I am learning, however, is that as I find healing in mental health, my spiritual life improves; and as my spiritual life improves, my healing advances. I have so much still to learn, but as a working hypothesis: I think that if you have a transcendent understanding of the truth (whether explicitly religious, or otherwise), and you can bring yourself to believe (or even hope to believe) that part of that truth is that there is a unique and immeasurably valuable purpose for YOUR LIFE (the real one, the one you have not even fully seen yet, not the hoped-for one in which you would have been a parent), then embracing that reality is the path to genuine peace and joy. I hope :).

    1. gsmwc02 Post author

      I don’t see much value of the purpose of my life in it contributing anything in society beyond my tax dollars and contribution at work. And those are short term benefits to others.

      When I go no one is going to remember me. There will be no trace that I ever existed. If I went away tomorrow or 40 years from now there would be no difference in this world. So I guess I don’t see that I’ll ever have any value. But that’s just me.

  7. Pingback: Am I “Nuts” for Re-Opening Closed Doors? | A Few Pieces Missing From Normalcy – An Infertile Man's Perspective

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