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.