WordPress is happily telling me that it’s been nine days since I last blogged. It’s been a relatively quiet couple of weeks, busy getting ready for a vacation week and then taking that time. Our couples counselor suggested we “live in the moment” while doing the hurry up and wait dance with tests and doctor appointments. She suggested that since our lists of next steps was a flow chart of if/then statements, paths we could take when we had results of tests returned to us, that we ignore the “next steps” until we knew what paths were actually open to us.
It’s significant to note that my level of anxiety HAD been manageable and relatively low in the last couple of months. But as soon as I was asked to “live in the moment” and, specifically, not really talk about steps and what-ifs, the anxiety sky rocketed. I started having nightmares (literally) last weekend; not a fun way to start out a vacation. I’ve been angry and buzzing all week. I saw my own counselor on Thursday afternoon, she was not happy to hear that I was experiencing this level of disquiet and frustration again. She pointed out that our couples counselor only knows a sketch of my history and probably does not understand the emergent nature and urgency of this need to fully explore options to create a family, NOW.
I felt collared, gagged, by this quest to live mindfully in the time between my HSG, Partner’s next SA, and our consultation on the 22nd. I could have come here to talk my feelings out, but it felt pointless because there’s just one person that can really help me work through this- Partner.
We had a breakthrough of sorts on Thursday evening. The results of the SA came back rather quickly. It’s not good. We are officially facing Male Factor Infertility. There’s also the possibility that I’ve got fertility hurdles to overcome too, hormones due to weight being a primary guess. I’ve gained about 20lbs the last two months (depression eating), and (significantly) my charting of temps have been all over the map in that time, with no clear cycle definition. Though- I HAVE had positive ovulation indicators. I’m starting back on a concerted diet and exercise regime on Tuesday. Walking, calorie counting, low-fat and low-sugar foods. Carrot chips and grapes will be my new best friends. Adios trail mix. Partner seems up for joining me.
I digressed… a break through in the anxiety was found on Thursday evening after the news of a “failed” SA came back. Partner, of course, is feeling very down about it, but he was willing to talk to me about it. He keeps using the word failed. I don’t see it that way, but I can’t process this for him. It is what it is. It informs us about what our next optional paths are, that’s all.
But… those paths are dark and frightening. Full of invasive procedures, expenses we cant bear all at once, low risk/reward ratios, future implications.
The way I see it, our best path will be to pursue a sperm donor.
For Partner to see a Urologist will subject him to real or imagined judgement about his size; real or imagined brush off of really looking for answers before declaring his size to be the culprit- it could easily be his previous two careers that kept him exposed to high doses of electromagnetic fields and microwave, solvents and strong chemical adhesives; it could easily be hormones; it could easily be his weight. BUT, if they find he isn’t making sperm at all, I don’t know what can be done for that and do we have the time to enact a solution. And, if he IS making sperm, releasing it can need surgery, collecting it can be invasive.
I think I’ve covered why live-child adoption, embryo ADOPTION, and IVF won’t work for us.
I evidently don’t need an egg donor.
So, process of elimination leaves us with sperm donation.
Three months ago I was ready- sign me up.
Today, I’m not so ready to jump.
I need God to talk to me, tell me what to do. What path to take. I want to go into our appointment on the 22nd prepared and ready to move forward on this. (How much weight can I drop in 20 days?) But I want Partner to want this for US, not just for me. And he’s said that he’ll consider it FOR ME… that it’s on the table FOR ME.
Then again, I’ve said that my desire for a child is not just a simple desire- I’m not conforming to societal norms, I’m not listening to a biological imperative. It’s a spiritual expectation- the ONLY thing that makes my existence in this life make sense to me. So, if that’s true, I should not hesitate to take Partner’s capitulation and run with it.
The reality check, though, is that I apparently want Partner to want this as much as I do. I fear that I am manipulating my way into parenthood and that I’ll effectively be a single mother… that I’ll have Partner, but my child won’t have a chance in hell of being OUR child. It was already a risk when we thought it would be our shared genetics- he’s been clear from our second date that fatherhood was not a priority for him. Now that we’re talking about his contribution being purely emotional… the path is muddy and not well defined.
Dear God… I need you.