I have started this post so many times in the past three months and each time as quick as it was started, I scrapped it and moved on. And now I am sitting here, determined to get this posted, and surprised that it has already been three months.
I posted briefly last summer that Steve and I were finally going to get to the bottom of our fertility issues once and for all. Having gotten the run around for over three years from different doctors, we finally found a doctor up here willing to listen to us. We had facts: Steve was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma when he was almost twenty. He was put on an experimental drug during his treatment. That we knew from seeing the first doctor (and the second doctor) in the Carolinas that his sperm count was
Last summer and fall there was a lot of testing on Steve (he said he finally knew what a lab animal must feel like). Blood draws. Invasive ultrasounds. Biopsies. Many, many semen counts. Each one was a goose egg, but each test couldn’t explain why. The last test, the biopsy, the doctor said all the tissue looked great but that we would have to wait for the test results. This was the last test they would run. We were cautiously optimistic.
As everyone knows, last year was a rough year around here. I lost my job, I lost two grandparents in eight weeks, my Dad had heart surgery, and Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was desperate for good news. Something to cling to, something to hope for.
It didn’t happen. Two days before Christmas the biopsy results were in, and there was no semen present. The final diagnosis from our doctor was that the experimental drug Steve was on during his cancer treatment fried his reproductive system. My heart was crushed. Steve blamed himself (I assured him it wasn’t his fault – no 20 year old boy thinks about if they’ll be able to have kids in the future). I withdrew further.
It is so hard to be happy on the outside for those that are having babies, and with what seems like ease, when on the inside my heart was on life support. Every baby shower, birth announcement, adorable little knitted item was one more painful pill of reality that had to be swallowed.
One of my cousins whose husband has an inoperable brain tumor (and they were told all of the chemo had destroyed his reproductive system), found out she was having a baby (she’s due in July). I think this was the hardest pill to swallow.
Slowly I began to shake myself out of the baby blues. Steve and I started to look into our other options. Adoption, IVF with donor sperm, foster parenting. There is a price tag attached to each option, and right now each one is out of our reach financially.
We are determined to have more children in our home. It will happen, and it will happen on its own time. One thing that I have decided to do is not to just file away cute knitting patterns for that “someday”. Instead, if there is a pattern I want to knit, I’m going to do it. The item will be packed away for that “Someday Baby”. It may be our baby. I may be a grandchild down the road. We’re not going to stop planning and dreaming. It will happen.