Friday, November 21, 2014

One Last Thing

Last week, my wife and I went to UCLA medical center for an appointment with her neurologist.  Over the last month or two, my wife had been having more seizures than usual. One incident was pretty bad  as described in  a previous post http://onemansbattlewithmaleinfertility.blogspot.com/2014/09/confirmation-that-it-right.html.  At the appointment her doctor put  her on a previous medication that she had been off for a couple years

At first we could not quite figure out why the seizures were returning. Then we remembered that prior to our plans to stat trying for a child, her doctor had taken her off one of the medications she was on for her seizures.  The doctor stated that this medication is risky and can result in birth defects. This was in 2012 so for the next year, she was off that medication with no trouble. We BD'd to our heart's content in order to conceive a child. When that did not happen we saw doctors until I was diagnosed with male factor infertility. I was treated by a urologist until we decide to adopt. When this happened I immediately went  back on my propecia medication (to grow thicker hair) since I no longer had to worry about sperm count. On the other hand, my wife did not go back on that second seizure medication ( she was doing just fine on the one she kept taking).

Realizing that maybe she ought to go back on that other medication brought back memories of our quest to be biological parents. I realized that her being off that second medication was the last vestige of our quest to have a biological child. My wife going back on that medication was one last thing that we needed to do to break free from a painful time. There is no more need for her to off that medicine.  What good will it do? Unless there is a miracle there is o chance of us ever having a biological child.

As of today, I just learned of the monthly cost of both seizure medications with our insurance. Just one more indication that we are meant to adopt (and have only one child).


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Rejection Number Two!!!!

The picture below says it all. We have received our second rejection letter for an adoption grant. That leaves about three organizations that we have not yet heard from regarding grant applications. I'm suspecting that some organizations may have rejected us because they  do not have the money to give us in the first place. Many of these organizations rise and fall upon the generosity of others. If nobody is contributing to their organization, then they do not have money to give out in the formal adoption grants to those couples that really need them. In some cases they probably go to those couples with the most compelling story, and I think ours is pretty compelling but I guess it's not that compelling by comparison. 

In the end, I can get the money for this adoption. It's only a matter of how much debt I want to incur. Do I want to take on a lot, or a little?  I suppose I could open a go fund me account. That being said I am not sure how much I want to publicize my family building efforts. My wife might not want to publicize it that much, and if were both not on board it does not happen. Where does privacy come in? There are still some people to whom I want nothing disclosed about my quest for a child. Do I really want to grovel for money? I am not putting other people down who ask for money to start their family. I am not good at raising money and asking for money. I feel uncomfortable asking and I'm very sensitive to rejection in this area. 

I can hear it now, " if they have to ask for money in order to adopt how on earth are they ever going to be able to afford a child?" Problem with that statement is that people don't understand; those of us who are infertile don't have the luxury of having one night of passionate sex with our husbands or wives and then getting pregnant. On top of that, these fertile types go to the hospital and have the baby and the insurance picks up most of the cost!!! So what are they really getting out of this whole thing? Very little debt, a night of great sex, and a new baby! What do we get? Well I will say that intimacy does not have to suffer just because you are infertile and in fact it is guaranteed to be consequence free. On the other hand, we get to grow another day older and eventually, deeper in debt. We sit and wait while a lot of these fertile types pump out  3, 4 and five kids and then throw it in our face. 

To be honest, I am at peace for the most part. I don't spend a lot of days being sad or worrying too much but I'd be lying if I told you there are not times when our situation does not affect me.







Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Confirmation that it's Right

Tonight I received another confirmation that we are called to adopt. I was out campaigning for a friend who is running for office in November( it sure does feel nice to be back in politics, even if only a little bit), and came home just after 7pm California time. My wife was standing in the dining room and looked like she had just been beaten up!! Her right eye is/was swollen and she had scratches on her face. I come to find out she took a two hour nap while I was out and had just woken up as I came through the door.  She had another seizure!! My wife has lived with epilepsy for years. We altered her meds when we began trying to conceive. We did not want our kid to have birth defects. For the last couple years things have been ok. In the last day or two, not as much. 

When I saw her beaten up like that, it was terrible to see but it also made me glad she was not pregnant.  What if she was pregnant and took a nasty fall out of bed ( which she did) and hit the night stand!?! Yes she would still be injured, but that baby would also be at risk! It might be injured or premature labor could have been induced. And then what?!?

For health reasons, it is better that we adopt. Unlike most women, my wife has epilepsy to think of,  that cannot be good for a pregnancy. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Rejected!!!

We have received our first official rejection of the adoption process. I just heard back today about one of the grants we applied for, and they have told us that they are unable to help us. That's one less gift I can count on in helping me fulfill our dreams of parenthood. I guess the the good part is that least I've got something to share unlike my last post where I had nothing. I'm going to share a picture of the rejection letter right here. That says it all.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

What is there to say?

I am here to report I have nothing new to report. What is there to say? No news on the adoption front.  All we can do at this point is wait and wait and wait. No birthmom has chosen us. No news on our grant applications. What does one do with his/her self when you are waiting to be a parent? 

For me, I just live my life and try to make the most if my time as someone who is childless by circumstances. It is rough when everyone you know has children to occupy their time.  I am making a conscious effort to make the most of this time, but it still does not seem to be enough. I am not a shut in , but I was never one with an extremely active social life where I am always getting together with friends. I spend my time active in a lot of church activities and joined an association called Gideons International, which is an association of christian business and professional men. For those of you who are clueless, we are the guys responsible for placing all those bibles you see in hotel rooms.  I have found that I interact with people through involvement and staying busy since it is sometimes difficult for me to connect with people around shared interests or commonalities. 

To some degree, I am beginning to feel the way I did before my IF diagnosis ( although that's not entirely possible). I am content, staying busy, and focusing on my job. Lately I am finding myself increasingly  isolated from the infertility community. I have nothing to day, nothing to contribute. I have no stories about egg transfers and meds. Nothing to say about 2 week waits or lack of money to continue  treatments. I have no stories about semen samples and clomid.  I do not belong in the world of the fertile, yet I am having trouble connecting with the infertile world as well.  Part of me wished something was happening just so I could share something and find a way to contribute. 

I still get bothered by birth announcements  now and then . It seems that all the infertile people I have known are getting their "miracles" but not me---I know that's not true, but it sure feels that way.   There are still times when it bothers me to hear people talk about how many kids they have. I don't always enjoy hearing stories about what people's children did or are doing. I know I shouldn't feel this way. It's easy for me to feel like a loser and nobody cares. I can easily lament the fact that we haven't been chosen my birth mom and feel like the worst piece of garbage in the world. I am choosing not to feel this way even when it's difficult.

I guess I'm not saying anything that hasn't already been said before.

I will say that I still feel unaccomplished as a childless person. I know usually many people in my age group have children and they own a home and are somewhat further along in their careers. I am not. The fact that I am not as far along as I would like to be still weighs on me at times. I am tempted to find other ways to show off and let the world know that I've " arrived". Perhaps that means joining an exclusive club, or buying something. It might mean that I'll have to go back for a doctorate degree so I can call myself doctor.  None of the so-called status symbols will mean much in the long run. If I have the need to show I've "Arrived", it indicates that I'm not secure in who I am. It certainly doesn't speak well of my professed faith in Christ.

I wish I had a more interesting topic for a blog post. Nevertheless that's what has been going on with me over the last month and a half.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Happy Anniversary

I'm a few days late, but I would like to take the time to announce that as of August 1 this blog is now one year old. At this time last year I made the decision to start blogging about my experience with infertility. As a man I knew I would be a rarity in the infertility community. Many men stay silent on the topic of male infertility. I did not want to be one of those men. I wanted to raise awareness about male infertility and the fact that there are many of us who have a strong desire to be parents the same way that women do. I set out to prove that there are many men who do want to be good husbands and fathers. I wanted to prove that there are men out there that are not afraid to show feelings when it comes to this issue. I wanted to show my emotions in a very raw and real way. It was one of those rare men is not afraid to cry about my struggles as an infertile person. In doing this I knew I would be violating the male  code of being strong and silent and not showing emotion. I had hoped that by starting a blog of this nature I could compel other men who were infertile as myself to come out of the shadows and not be afraid to share their feelings. 

After one year I have decided to reflect upon whether or not I have fulfilled the original mission of this blog. Perhaps I have in some ways, and an in other ways maybe I have not.  I hope that as I continue to write this blog, I will be able to continue to raise awareness about male infertility. 

At this time one year ago, I was taking 100 mg of Clomid a day. By this time the emotional side effects of the Clomid had taken their toll. Some have likened it to a man acting like a woman who was going through PMS. I found myself getting emotional at things that otherwise would not have affected me. Neither my wife or me had permanent employment which only further strained our marriage and made our future look all the more bleak. I felt worthless being childless and jobless. I had no idea how we were ever going to be able to build a family. Nonetheless, I still had hope that something was going to work out.  Given the situation with my sperm count, which was nonexistent, we immediately decided to embark upon what I like to call the nuclear option of fertility treatments: IVF. We had no idea how we were going to do this. I can remember thinking to myself that I would never want to be an adoptive parent. I remember crying at the possibility  that I would never see my wife pregnant.  I remember going so far as to say that I would carry the child myself if I could! I wanted to be a biological father in the worst way. I remember the arguments we would have over various family building options. I remember one particularly bad argument where I wanted to pursue a donor embryo. With the donor embryo, you're adopting but get to experience all of the symptoms of a regular pregnancy complete with a baby bump. Upon hearing that this was an option I can remember crying tears of happiness.  Thought to myself how wonderful it will be if we can do adopt and still get to have a pregnancy. I was looking forward to being able to take maternity pictures with my wife and show them off on Facebook along with ultrasound photos. Eventually I capitulated and decided to forgo the possibility of a donor embryo. Things have gotten so bad at one point I had people telling me that I was lazy and did not want to work. I had people that indirectly suggested I was not cut out to be a parent. I was crushed!  Things actually got so bad that my wife and me separated for two days. I can only say that I was under the influence of Clomid at the time. 

Eventually things got a little better. I finally got a job and after much prayer and thought we decided it would be better if we adopted. Upon deciding to adopt I thought that I would be mourning the death of a biological child I will never have. Thankfully, I was not sad. We had such a peace about adopting that there was never any sorrow about having to forgo fertility treatments.

The months after that were spent deciding on what we should do with respect to adoption. We had a lot of work to do as far as research. Are we to adopt internationally, domestically, or adopt through foster care. Those  were some pretty rough months but by January 2014 we had finally settled on an agency and commenced the homestudy a couple months after that. 

I am grateful to God that a year later things are 110% better than they were a year ago. Yes we are still childless, but I've got steady employment, we have an adoption agency and the homestudy is done. I am off Clomid and in a great place emotionally and spiritually. We have applied for adoption grants. We are at a point now where we know there's not much else we can do but wait. I am amazed at the progress that we've made in just one year. I can only give the glory to God for this amazing progress. 

One of the reasons I haven't posted here in a while is because there hasn't been that much happening.  The only news that I have to share other than the fact that our homestudy was approved is that I have applied for grants to fund our adoption. We are  waiting to hear back about these grants and whether or not we will receive any money. If we can't qualify for any grants, then interest-free loans will be the next thing we try to seek. As a last resort I will apply for an unsecured loan through my credit union. I hope I do not to have to apply for any more loans that carry interest. I am trying to minimize financial strain as much as possible as we build our family.

I want to thank all of you that have visited and continue to read my blog. Your loyalty means a great deal to me. Please continue to spread the word about this blog. And please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions or comments.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

APPROVED!!!

As of right now, we have been officially approved to adopt!

If you had asked me a year ago if this was to be the case, I would have said you were crazy. I was less than six months into my infertility diagnosis as was trying to see if drugs would help me produce sperm. I had my heart set on a biological child. In roughly one year, we have made so much progress. I am in a better place, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.  I have a peace about childlessness right now and know it is in God's timing. The waiting is not bothering me at this time. I have done all I can for now. The only thing left at this point is to seek more funding sources for phase two. I hope to secure some interest free loans and/or grants from non-profits organizations.

News of you approval makes this just about the best Father's Day weekend I ever had. Last year, Father's Day was bittersweet for me since it was my first as an infertile person and my wife was not with me. Having the news of our approval at this time makes the weekend more bearable and enjoyable. I will always remember that I was officially approved for fatherhood on Father's Day weekend.