***If you haven’t had a chance to check out my previous post, click here.
27 days. Derek and I were married only 27 days when our vows ‘for better or for worse’ were tested. I left Derek’s Urologist appointment angry. I blamed Derek for the fact that we potentially may never be able to have children together. How could he take something without finding out the side effects? How could he not ask his NP what the side effects were? Would the NP even tell him? Why didn’t he consult with a specialist? I knew I would never take synthetic hormones unless a specialist recommended them. My heart tugged at feeling sorry for my husband as I knew he was upset, but I couldn’t help to be so angry at him. I kept hearing the Urologist say, “Your sperm may never come back.” It’s easy for an outsider to look at mine and Derek’s situation and try to be positive, but to a girl who wanted to be called mommy so bad, it hurt.
Derek went back to work and I came home. I sat on our back porch, I ate my emotions and cried. Derek and I had gotten into an argument after leaving the doctor’s office because Derek acted so positive about our situation. It almost felt like a slap in the face for me. I was being cautious and realistic where Derek seemed to have the attitude that everything will work out because it usually does. After all, Derek wanted to be a father badly, but I had been dreaming of being a mother since I was 4 years old. I kept going over and over in my head what his Urologist had said. Derek had been on testosterone for 2 years and the Urologist did not hold back in saying that it was ample amount of time for him to have permanent damage to his fertility. The Urologist had explained that he wouldn’t even prescribe testosterone to a man in his 50s as it is becoming more common in today’s world for older adults to decide to have a child and it is common for a man to marry women much younger later in their life. He told us many stories of Tennessee Titans players (no names mentioned) who had been diagnosed with Azoospermia that had sat in the exact same chairs as us begging for a way to reverse their diagnosis. I just couldn’t be optimistic like my husband was. I knew I couldn’t share how sad I was on the inside toward my husband, but I also couldn’t handle his optimism and care free attitude. Derek’s infertility was preventable and it potentially affected my future forever.
You never know what your future holds, but trust God’s timing and embrace that He decides when to turn the page in your book of life.
The next 3 months were insanely hard on my marriage. Just as Derek’s Urologist had told me, Derek was a different person coming off of testosterone. I believe Derek experienced symptoms of depression as he stayed to himself all the time and wanted to sleep all day long. His normal goofy, loud personality was missing and an angry, moody person was present. I stayed upstairs in our bedroom most days and nights while he stayed downstairs asleep or playing Xbox. What made matters worse, he literally wanted nothing to do with me. Derek went from showing me so much love and affection to nothing. I knew what Derek’s doctor told me would happen as his body was ridding itself of synthetic testosterone, but being a newlywed, I was hurt by his actions. Not only did I worry about our fertility chances, but his lack of interest in me made me question his faithfulness to me. Paranoia got in my head and took over. We never talked about our situation which in turn made me feel alone. I wanted to be there for my husband and I desperately wanted him to be there for me. I wanted to feel close to him, not apart. I thought to myself that God doesn’t allow bad things to happen in a marriage unless he knows that you can withstand the storm and we were definitely not withstanding it. Marriage is a partnership. What affects one, affects the other. I may not of been physically going thru anything, but my heart was right there with Derek and we were both scared.
During this time, I realized that I only knew my husband during happy times. I didn’t know him in times of struggle, sadness, or difficulty. I didn’t know how to be there for him or understand that he buries his guilt and worries. He always puts on a brave face to hide his fear and insecurities. What I perceived as a lack of care and unwillingness to talk about our situation was just his way of coping. Our defining moment was letting down our walls and being honest with each other. My husband hates to talk and I like to ‘over’ talk about things. We had to come to a happy medium which was really hard for both of us. I had to learn when to shut up and he had to learn when to console in me. We were both scared to death to think about our future because we didn’t know if that future had children in it. It was hard on us both to look at Facebook and see pregnancy announcements. It was hard to put on a brave smile when people would ask when we were going to have children. We had to learn when to engage in the happy moments and when to be present during the times of struggle. There was no better time than the present to embrace our marriage vows so that is just what we did.
I wish that there was some book on marriage that told couples when to stop trying, when to keep going, how to support your partner, when to talk, when to shut up, when to just hold each other and embrace the quiet, but there isn’t. You have each other though. Remind yourself of the beautiful vows that you promised to each other in front of God and everyone you love…for better or for worse. Practice self compassion toward each other and acknowledge what you are both going through. Pretending nothing is wrong leaves your partner feeling isolated and alone. You both need each more than ever. Don’t make the mistake I did and blame your partner. The blame game gets you nowhere and definitely makes things worse for your partner and for you, emotionally. Don’t forget to touch each other…hug, hold hands, kiss. Not every form of intimacy needs to be about when to have sex. You still need those moments of physically feeling your partner without the pressure of making baby.
Looking forward to sharing with you next week part 3 of my journey to a baby.
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