How does it feel?

Posted by J - azoowho@gmail.com |

"I've got to admit it's getting better, a little better all the time..."

It has been 3 months now since I got the results of my TESE and although I'm still having my share of bad days, it really does seem to get a little better everyday. I am still occasionally catching myself getting lost in that confusing, dangerous, tension between how I REALLY feel and how I am SUPPOSED to feel. But, with the way we are force fed "the script", it is hard sometimes to avoid questioning whether or not the emotions we feel are..."the right ones". I also sometimes find myself feeling completely overwhelmed by, and very much ill-equipped to make, the complicated, life-changing, A.R.T. decisions that L and I are now making, seemingly on a daily basis. I mean, cmon, I struggle with "Fries or Onion Rings" sometimes for goodness sake! :)

Although just screaming "Infertility Sucks" would probably do the trick, I have thought long and hard about a more "elegant" analog to use to describe how things have felt for me since learning that I was infertile. It was just this morning that I realized that the "Grief Stages" that I have always associated with death/dying are so very relevant. Yes, this could be perceived as one of those "scripts" that tell us how we are supposed to feel, but for me it was comforting validation that others have felt the same feelings, and more importantly that I am well on my way to feeling better about the hand we've been dealt.

Shock & Denial - Maybe not denial so much, but spent many of the initial days post-diagnosis in absolute shock and disbelief (is that the same as denial, maybe...)

Pain & Guilt - It hurt, it still hurts, it will probably always hurt, but the guilt I felt was at times unbearable. I felt like this was my fault, like I let my wife down, that I married her under false pretense, like I took away her chance to have OUR baby. Most of that was entirely irrational, but the feeling was real.

Anger & Bargaining - So angry... angry at everything, everyone, angry at God. I'm usually a "why NOT me" person, but I've spent many nights asking "why me", "why us". I am not a very religious person, I am spiritual, but I keep it close to the vest and am often, much to my mother's dismay, "Christian when convenient", but I have done more than my fair share of praying, some of which could definitely be considered bargaining :)

Depression, Reflection & Loneliness - Billy Joel sang, "Infertility, is such a lonely word", or not, but it's so true. My wife is my very best friend in the whole world, we talk about everything. We've shared in the grief, we've cried, we've talked about next steps, she has been there for every test, every appointment EVER step of the way. But still, somehow, there was this feeling that we are all alone in this. We aren't ready to talk to our families in great detail about what is going on, so this has caused a bit of isolation..."our secret", our weighty little secret. We eventually went to a counselor who specializes in fertility issues. I highly recommend this to anyone going through this. We've also started to involve ourselves with RESOLVE. It is so important for us to know that there ARE others out there, others who "Get it", others who have "beat it".

Upward Turn
Working Through
Acceptance & Hope

These three I will address in a later post as I talk about our decision to move forward with DI.


Lorza said...

I am so sorry. Currently my husband's way of coping is "Our lives are over as soon as we have children anyways". :( I think you are doing good job working through your stages of grief per Drs Kubler and Ross.

Chris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris said...

Hey man...I can fully appreciate what you're going through...I was told 18 years ago that I "probably could never have kids", but even knowing that for so many years, getting the 'zero swimmers' result in the SA was a gut-wrenching blow.
I definitely think that blogging and talking about it helps...we've found an online infertility forum here in South Africa and it's been a life-line. Knowing that even though others aren't going through exactly what you are, they're going through such similar issues and they're there for support or just a safe place to vent...

Keep blogging - there are so few guys blogging about MFI, that's it's great to find someone else - even though I'm sorry you're having to walk this sh*tty journey as well.
All the Best