Operation: Secrets and Lies

It was a blur for me coming out of surgery. There are certain parts I remember, some I forget and some I wish had never happened. Before my surgery I begged Trenae to not record me when I come out because I know I get crazy after being under. She chuckled and said oh come on lets at least have some fun with it so I conceded. She taped me of course saying crazy stuff about the doctor that misdiagnosed me, asking if the surgery worked, and of course begging for cookies at the hotel when we got back (For those of you that haven’t had the double tree cookies GET THEM). Still completely out of it I managed to call my mom tell her all about my surgery, how they gave me these killer yellow grippy sock, and how I felt fine.

We got back to the hotel and of course Trenae ordered me a tin of the cookies which I believe had like eight in them so of course I ate like 7 right then and there. The next day I had my post op follow up to check out my incisions and talk next steps. My doctor told me I had to wait eight weeks to see if the surgery worked and restored a normal sperm count. EIGHT WEEKS….. That was torturous. She said if at eight weeks I still don’t have a normal sperm count not to get discouraged because typically the best results come at 6 months. Yup you heard me right six months. If you haven’t figured it out by now this whole infertility thing is a big game of hurry up and wait. Surprisingly eight weeks goes and comes and I go in for the post op semen analysis.

I remember driving up there feeling like this was the most important test of my life. You either passed or failed and I was hopeful I was going to pass. Things just felt different. I felt like I was going to get the grade I wanted, but no..No I didn’t. My test results came back in a week and there were still zero sperm even after the surgery.

At this point I felt stupid for getting the surgery it did nothing other than relieve some pain I had come to get used to. I am reminded by my doctor to not be disappointed because the six month mark is where they really start to look at other options. It’s a lot easier said then done to “Not be disappointed.” I mean hell isn’t that what infertility is a giant disappointment. A reminder every single month when your wife gets her period that its not in the cards for you as a couple. I try to not let me mind go to the negative over this six month waiting period and again I get my hopes up. The six month appointment comes and again I am told “I am sorry Mr. Webster but there are still zero sperm.” I don’t know why I was even shocked at this point. It was one let down after the next after the next. Why did I think this would be the one time a little buddy got through. After all that’s all we needed was one.

My doctor starts to tell me we have other options. I remember at that point feeling my face get red and the tears start to well up in my eyes. She tells me we can do another surgery called a TESE which stands for a microsurgical testicular sperm extraction. Sounds delightful doesn’t it? When we first met with my doctor she went over all the things that could be done and this was one of them. It was the one I said I wasn’t willing to do. The one that requires them to cut open the scrotum and take tissue from each testes and find sperm that are trapped. My wife and I were on the same page of not doing this surgery. We have gone through two years at this point of disappointment. Each stage of the game thinking this is going to be the one that works and finding out it never does. At least the was the case for us.

We go back to Shady grove to tell them it’s the end of the road for me on the fertility battle. They tell us we have other options, after all getting pregnant would help Trenae’s endometriosis, and her follicles looked great. Already I know where they are about to go and I hear them say “We can use donor Sperm.” Trenae and I already talked about this; if it ever got to this point and we decided this wasn’t an option for us. We listened to what they had to say and weren’t interested. The thought of having some strangers sperm in my wife and making a baby with her just wasn’t okay for me. I don’t say this to offend anyone because I am fully aware a lot of people go this route and I don’t think there is anything wrong with it but for me it just wasn’t an option. Until they asked me do you have a brother. I told them yes I had a little brother and asked why they wanted to know. Before I could even get the words out I knew what the answer was. They suggested having my brother be the sperm donor. That way genetically speaking the baby would have the same makeup. At first it was really weird to me to think about but after hearing the doctor explain it I was ok with it. Having him donate would mean I could look at our baby and see my features and my wife’s features. We left there again like so many other times feeling like we have hope. We met up with my brother and his wife and asked them if they would be willing and to let them know if they weren’t we totally understand. Without any hesitation my little brother says yes we will do it. This was the biggest gift you could ask of someone and for him not to even have to think about it meant and still means the world to me.

When we asked my brother and his wife we were only thinking about the end result and that was our future bundle of joy. We didn’t think about all the other stuff like does insurance still cover this? and for those curious the answer is no. Most states do however Maryland sees this as “Unnatural” and will not cover any of it under insurance. Making it cost around thirty thousand dollars for no guarantee of a baby at the end.The other question that came to mind is do we tell our child and better yet do we tell the rest of the family. What do you tell a child? “Hey there junior just wanted to let you know your uncle yea he’s also your daddy so you can just call him Uncle Daddy.” Or do we keep it a family secret just between the four of us to minimize our child finding out some day. My head began to spin on what to do and so did Trenae’s. We wanted a baby so bad but were we willing to do this. Start our child’s life on secrets and lies……

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