Written as told by my husband – He claims he isn’t a writer, just a story teller.
You meet a girl. You date. You fall in love. You eventually get married. You have kids…that’s what I assumed my life’s journey would be. I didn’t realize I would get thrown a curve ball or more like a foul ball.
I met the love of my life and I was going to marry her. Dated her for 5 years – we both wanted to finish college before we sealed the knot.
We got married soon after and relocated to a new state for a fresh start of our married life. We like to say we went for a honeymoon and never came back. We both wanted kids in our future.
The Diagnosis – Infertility
Even when I went in for my annual physical – it’s not something I openly talked about. Doc just check my weight, run some blood tests, and send me home. I didn’t think something was physically wrong with me.
But when my wife finally decided to check with her doctor and got referred to see a specialist. It was something I couldn’t avoid as well. I went in to see a urologist.
After a few tests, it was determined that I had a low sperm count. Doc, tell me I need to lose some weight or control my cholesterol level. Don’t tell me I had a low sperm count. That was a blow to my ego.
So does that mean we can’t have our own biological kids? What can I do to fix that? I didn’t have any of the risk factors such as, smoking, being overweight, using a hot tub regularly or having past medical conditions or surgeries.
I learned that I could slightly improve my sperm count by wearing boxers instead of underwear so my wife threw away all my underwear. But it wasn’t enough to cure my infertility. But it also wasn’t the end of our chances to have kids.
The Procedure – The Day of Retrieval
We didn’t know much or even heard about this before. It wasn’t going to be a simple fix and I contemplated all the risks. I quickly had to be strong for her, even though I was scared as hell.
According to our doctor, we just needed one good egg and one good sperm from each of us to have a baby. That was all the hope we needed.
Through assisted reproductive technology (ART), I had to undergo testicular extraction to obtain my sperm – the use of a needle to obtain sperm from my testicle. I’m not going to lie it’s as painful as it sounds.
My wife was going through her pain as well so there was nothing to complain about. So with my sperm being extracted in one room, my wife was in another room getting her eggs retrieved. She endured so much to just get to that point.
I had to be a pro in giving her injections for all the medicines she had to take every day to get to the point of retrieval in the IVF process. It was a scary and painful journey, but I didn’t want to show that fear I had to my wife.
The drive home after the procedure was quiet and long. Was my sperm and her egg going to fertilize to create a healthy embryo? They used intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) – a single healthy sperm is injected directly into each mature egg.
A couple of days passed by before we got a phone call from the nurse – it was successful. A huge sigh of relief. We got passed one hurdle.
I certainly learned all the IVF medical terms real fast. I went with my wife to all her doctor appointments and had to be as knowledgeable as her on this process. We were in this together – as we vowed to each other in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad times.
The Waiting Game – The Day of Transfer
The wait was long and painful. Were we going to receive good or bad news?
Neither of us remember the amount of embryos that developed. We were just happy that it happened.
Now it was time to transfer those to my wife. And wait once again if they implant successfully. We prayed hard that this would all work out. Another hurdle to overcome.
We’ve been married for 5 years by now, it was our ultimate dream to have kids.
IVF Journey – A Male Point of View
Our entire IVF journey took many years and tries to be successful. My wife experienced several miscarriages along the way. This was so scary, but we kept the pain to ourselves.
Life was difficult – why couldn’t we have kids like so many of our friends who were newly married? We didn’t know anyone that had infertility issues. Why was this happening to us?
I didn’t dare talk about it with anyone for fear of being ridiculed. It was the most loneliest feeling.
I just took it day by day, tried to immerse myself in my work and be as supportive and understanding to my wife. I knew this was difficult for my wife to bear and it was taking its toll on her.
We hoped and prayed to have kids one day and our prayers were answered. We were blessed with two healthy kids – a daughter and son – through multiple IVFs.
It’s a scary journey to be on, especially because I felt that we couldn’t talk to anyone about our fears and struggles back then. Now I’m not ashamed to talk about it. I happily tell my buddies my story to parenthood. It wasn’t easy, but it has been fulfilling.
I love being a dad – watching my kids’ soccer games, playing with them in the yard, or telling them silly jokes. I hope they know I’ll always be there #1 fan for life. And I pray that they grow up to be as courageous as their mom.
As my wife has taught me…faith, hope, and love always.