We Want to Have a Baby, but My Husband is Infertile

My husband and I have been trying off and on for years to have a baby, without success. When you’re newlyweds {even old ones like we are}, it seems like “the baby question” is all people ask you.

“When are you and your husband going to grow your family?”

My replies were always casually dismissive. “Oh, it’s not in the budget.  I’m saving up for a tummy tuck” or “My uterus is closed for business”, followed by a silly laugh and a quick change of subject. Little did they know my brain was screaming inside for a little boy with my face and my husband’s ears. You know, the cute ones that pull back like a puppy when he’s confused or excited.  For years, addressing and dealing with {what appeared to be} my infertility was my silent struggle.

Don’t get me wrong. My husband and I are totally rocking the blended family thing. When we married we each had a daughter {coincidentally with the same name} but completing the whole “yours, mine, and ours” thing was always in the back of our minds.  Even the girls had taken to asking when they would get a little sibling.

I Assumed My Body was the Problem

When you Google these types of things, they always point to the woman. And why wouldn’t I believe Google?  She knows everything! Plus, my first daughter was stillborn at 33 weeks so it wasn’t a far leap to believe somehow my body had jacked up this process for me.

I spent countless hours at doctors offices, way too much money on supplements, and had more intrusive tests than I care to recount. I downloaded apps to track my cycle, to guesstimate when I ovulated, and to tell me when to do the do.  I silently berated myself and tried unhealthy diets to lose weight after a doctor surmised I was simply too fat for my body to do what it is “supposed” to do. We even participated in a 30 day sex challenge that we just knew would result in a pregnancy.  Finally — after almost four years in our insane emotional roller coaster — someone suggested that we test my husband.

The Relief and Devastation of the Truth

And this is where the heartbreak begins. Finding out he’s sterile was both relieving {it’s not me!} and devastating. My own infertility was a struggle, but it was fixable. Lose weight, keep my sugar under control, take these magic pills, and everything would be fine! But there is no coming back from my husband’s truth. He’s been on steroids for years for his autoimmune disease and unfortunately saving his life meant removing his ability to create it.

Of course, his fertility wasn’t discussed in his annual checkups like mine. I’ve been talking birth control and discussing my menstrual cycles and all its accoutrements with my doctors since I was 16.  As an adult, I can’t even get prescribed an antibiotic without being told how it would impact that month’s baby making ability.

So why isn’t male factor infertility discussed more? Why is so much weight put on the woman in the fertility narrative? After all, it takes two to tango, right?

Our Next Steps

We have no idea where we go from here. Adoption is always an option. So are the procedures they suggested that will turn me into a human pincushion for us to have a biological child of our own.  Or possibly this is God’s way of saying our little quartet needs to stay as is.  Whichever route we take, male factor infertility will always remain a part of our family chronicle.

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