When a Door Closes

Pearl called from the doctor’s office with unexpected news. Their specialist examined Ryan’s latest sperm sample not just for numbers, but quality, and quality was very poor.

She talked really fast, told me to hold off on purchasing any IVF prescriptions, and that Ryan will need to return in a few days for ANOTHER sample.

So I clarified: “Next week if Ryan produces another sample and nothing in the quality changes, does this mean we can’t do IVF?”

Pearl said cheerfully “Well you can still do IVF, but just with different sperm.”

I stopped listening after that.  Ryan called her back later and was instructed to follow a bizarre ejaculation protocol for another 5 days which might improve his sperm quality.  I’m not sure how 5 days will make any difference.  We emailed the doctor with some specific questions, namely, is it a physical or genetic issue?  Can Ryan try to improve things with diet and exercise and lifestyle, or is this a lost cause?

For now we have every reason to wait on the results of next week’s sample, and hear what the doctor has to say about our questions.  But I’m not getting my hopes up.  I am trying to look around and accept this strange landscape of no IVF and no other options as my new reality.

I’m aware this blog has been depressing, and I promise in real life I’m not such a downer.  It does not escape me that I prayed for this, I prayed many times for God to close the door, firmly, if IVF is not in His will for us.  I was not expecting such an abrupt ending, but I am trying to see the good. Perhaps being spared the costs, the physical toll, potential miscarriage and loss is for the best.

But these perks seem cheap in comparison to the loss of ever having a family. I don’t think i realized until now how deeply Motherhood is ingrained in my self worth. I suppose it’s cultural and the result of growing up in a big, family oriented household that taught raising children is the most important thing a person can do.  My life will be selfish, immature and stunted if I live out my years without ever experiencing the sacrifice of parenting.

Ryan and I cried it out the other night after talking with Pearl, and for the first time ever Ryan mentioned adoption.  This was news to me, since Ryan has been firmly uninterested in adoption from the beginning.  True, going through something like infertility can change a person.  But I’m trying not to dwell on this too much, get my hopes up about another avenue, because I know Ryan can change his mind.  And we still need to see what happens next week.


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