This is the post I have been thinking about writing since we first began this blog. I have written it 100 times in my head. Looking back, I probably should have been writing this all along, but I didn’t know where we would be on our journey when this day arrived, My promise to myself when we began this blog was that I would be real and truthful and raw so putting pen to paper before this day arrived somehow seemed dishonest.
So, what is today? Today marks one year since we received Chris’s diagnosis of azoospermia. We have been living with this knowledge for 365 days. It is the day our lives were forever turned upside and nothing would ever be the same. It was the day that our hopes and dreams of having a baby naturally would be no more. It was the day that we were thrown into our unexpected journey. This diagnosis is something that no one ever really thinks about. If a couple is having difficulty conceiving, it is assumed the woman is usually the one with the medical issue. No one ever really thinks that the issue might be with the man, and if they do it is often assumed that it is just low sperm count and that can be corrected. What about NO sperm count? That is not an issue that anyone is prepared for.
At this exact time one year ago, we were planning on beginning our first round of clomid. We had already picked up the clomid, estradiol and prometrium from the pharmacy. We were set to begin in less than a week. My gynecologist had requested Chris get a semen analysis prior to starting the round just as a precaution. I was sitting in the court house when I saw my gynecologists number pop up of my phone. I exited the room and answered the call. I was excited to hear what Chris’s sperm count was and that we would be given the all clear to start our round. Immediately upon answering the phone, I heard my doctor’s voice, which was a little disconcerting because usually her nurse will call with results and information. My doctor is very direct and to the point, which is appreciated, but can sometimes be harsh. She said “We got the results and they are not good. Chris has no sperm. He needs to see Dr. Schrepferman or Dr. Rao and get checked out immediately. Do not start clomid. Let me know what they say.” I stood there stunned. What do you mean NO sperm? How is that possible? Could the lab have messed up? (For THAT story click here). The only words I could muster were “Okay, what are their numbers?”. I quickly wrote down the names and numbers of the doctors and then hung up the phone. Shocked doesn’t even begin to describe how I was feeling. I tried to call Chris to tell him the news but he wasn’t able to answer his phone. He texted me to see if we had the results yet and I could tell he was excited to hear. I am not one that is able to keep things from Chris so I sent him a text stating what the doctor had told me. Breaking this news to your husband is something no wife would ever wish to do and it was unfortunate that I had to do it over text. When we both returned home from work and saw each other for the first time since the devastating news we just held each other. I could see a light go out in Chris’s eyes. The only thing in this world that he has ever wanted was to be a father and now that dream was gone.
This day forever changed our lives. In less than one minute, our lives went from being hopeful and looking towards the future to being left in the cold and dark with nothing but each other to keep warm.
Looking back over the past year, we have been through so much and I am proud of who we have become both individually and as a couple. This journey can often break people and tear couples apart. We are lucky to be able to say that this journey has allowed us to learn more about each other and grow together. I believe we are stronger and our marriage is more solid for it. I wish I was able to go back in time and tell myself on this day last year that things were going to get better. It would be amazing if on this one year mark we were already pregnant but alas that is not part of our story.
We have changed so much in the past year and God has definitely thrown some trials our way. Not just relating to infertility, but life in general. Today is more significant than just the day of Chris’s diagnosis. It also marks the beginning of a very dark time in both our lives. “Dark time” doesn’t begin to describe what the period was but right now I cannot think of the right word. Little did we know, Chris’s diagnosis was the first of many trials that we were about to face in a one month time span. A week or so after Chris’s diagnosis, we found out Chris’s grandfather was diagnosed with prostate cancer. In addition, 2 weeks later my grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Then a mere 12 hours after we found out about my grandmother, Chris’s grandmother passed away. We did a lot of growing up real fast. Never has “life” felt more real…the finality of it…the uncertainty of it. We now have a new appreciation for life and after many months of sadness and despair we have emerged together stronger and holding hands. The simple things in life are more enjoyable and we are able to laugh at ourselves more.
We are officially one year into our infertility journey. Hopefully on this day in 2016 I will be trying to write a post while holding our baby or I will be writing while taking a break from setting up the nursery. We never know what tomorrow will bring. We never know what instant or when our lives will change forever. All we can do is make the best of every day we are given and never lose hope that our dreams will one day come true.