Best Laid Plans

For as long as I can remember, what I’ve wanted more than anything is to be a mommy.  I have 6 brothers and sisters, and all of them have children.  Even some of my nieces and nephews have children.  For years, I have been the aunt, or great-aunt, never the mommy.  When I was in high school, I had a plan.  I would go to college, where I would meet my future husband, get married, and as soon as I finished my degree, start having babies.  I realize this sounds ridiculous now, but in my family, if you were 23 and didn’t have at least one child, you were considered an old maid.

I was 25 when I met my not-yet-Hubby.  After just a few weeks, he told me about his condition.  He was diagnosed with hypogonadism as a teenager when he failed to hit puberty.  They started him on testosterone injections, which doctors told him would stop his growth.  He was 5′ 8″ at the time, and proceeded to shoot up another 7 inches.  So much for that idea.

When he told me about all this, he also told me about his first round of treatments, which happened in his early 20’s.  At the time, he didn’t even have a girlfriend, but his doctors wanted to see how he would respond.  They thought if things went well, they could at least freeze some of what they got.  The most they were able to get was half a million sperm, and they never did freeze any of it.  Hubby went back on testosterone and never looked back…until he met me.

He assured me it would be easy.  He’d been through it before, he’d said, and it wasn’t a big deal.

From very early on, we’d talked about getting married.  Once I get my PhD, he’d promised.  If we had waited that long, our wedding would have been postponed by 3 years.  When I asked him whatever happened to the original plan, he said he’d gotten tired of waiting.  That it was silly to wait any longer.

Our next big plan was for him to get a good job with killer insurance before starting his treatments.  Once again, I’m glad we didn’t wait for that to happen, or we’d still be waiting.  But it did take longer than I would have liked.  In the spring after we got married, when I was about to turn 29, I was already feeling depressed and anxious about the fact that we weren’t any closer to becoming parents.  I knew that once the treatments began, it would still take months, maybe even years, to get enough sperm to attempt something like IUI (intrauterine insemination), and at the time, I was hoping we wouldn’t even need that.  I was delusional hopeful enough to think we might be able to do it the old-fashioned way, if only we could get enough sperm.

Now that we’ve started treatments, I know our best shot is IVF with ICSI.  As expensive as it is, as taxing as it will be on both our bodies, that’s where we’re headed.  But Hubby and I have already agreed, whatever it takes, we’ll have our family, even if it’s not the way we planned.

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