Disclaimer: We all have our own journeys, and everyone is impacted in their own way. My story won’t ever belong to someone else, but I hope it can help further the acceptance and willingness to speak about one’s life, mental health, and find a supportive community who listen and care.
When I first learned that I would not be able to have kids, and my doctor informed me that I have no sperm, my first thought was sadness, but quickly it turned to anger and frustration. I’m not normally EVER an angry person, but a few weeks after I found out, there was absolutely an anger inside me that is not normally there.
I didn’t even recognize it as anger at first. All I knew is that there was a physical feeling that was within me and it bothered me. It made me feel uneasy, and I didn’t recognize it. I felt it as if it were a low buzzing in my mind, but sometimes it got louder.
I would see families around throughout my day, and that’s when I noticed the feeling grow. I started trying to figure it out and that’s when I realized….I was literally getting angry every time I saw a child.
I was mad that other people had kids and I couldn’t. I was jealous of what they had, and wanted to tell them all how lucky they were. I was angry when I saw their happiness, laughter, or joy because I didn’t have that and I desperately wanted it.
But deeper than that, I was angry at one person in particular, and this anger sparked the very second I heard the news from the doctor. 7 years earlier, when Andrea and I were dating, I wanted to get my body fully and completely checked out, knowing that my mom had infertility problems, knowing that weighing 500 pounds for many years of my life could have an impact on my health, and knowing that having kids is a big deal in a relationship. I wanted to be able to have these discussions with the woman who was to become my wife. I saw my doctor (not the same one I have now), who sent me for an ultrasound and booked an appointment with a urologist (not the same one I will be seeing again).
I saw this urologist. He did a physical examination of me, looked at the ultrasound, and told me I was normal. He told me I was fine. I asked him if I could get a semen analysis to know for sure, and he asked me…”Are you having sex?”
When I answered “No”, he stated “Well then you can’t have a test. There’s no point”.
I was confused at the time, but I accepted it. And now – I am furious.
How dare you tell me there’s no point in knowing about my physical health?
Why did you dismiss me?
Why am I being punished for not having sex?!?!?
What does having sex have to do with wanting to understand one’s own bodily functions?
And then – anger at myself.
Why didn’t I stick up for myself?
Why didn’t I seek another opinion?
Why didn’t I just lie and say that I was having sex? I should have been smarter and seen where that comment was heading.
Why was I so fat? Could that have been what caused this problem?
If I had gone for another opinion or fought harder for myself, maybe I could have known this was a problem sooner. Maybe the process of visiting a fertility clinic could have already begun instead of wasting time trying to conceive naturally when it was clearly a losing cause. We wasted so much mental energy tracking cycles and planning. We could have avoided all of that (not that I would ever consider this a regret – because I learned a LOT about fertility and the female body throughout the process, which I would never want to change).
My point is…..if I had taken ANY of those steps to fight for myself, we could possibly have a child already.
That makes me sad, which then makes me angry.
I hate “What If” thoughts. But suddenly it was all I thought about. What if I had been tested, they found that my sperm count was LOW and not ZERO like it is now. Could they have frozen some for later in life when I wanted to have a child? Could the problem have been addressed in other ways?
I know these things are literally pointless to think about, because they are all impossibilities.
But I can’t stop my soul from feeling gutted and angry because of it.
I even expressed this to my current doctor right away in that initial phone call. I asked what she thought about my what if’s, and if there was any way for her to review that other doctor’s work and send it along to my new specialist. She is in the process of doing that now, and I don’t have any answers yet. But I know that my current doctor is invested in this and is NOT dismissing my thoughts and questions, which is something that really does help with the anger within me.
I hate being dismissed, and I hate the thought of ANYONE being dismissed. It’s rude, and nobody deserves to be treated like that. More questions need to be asked, more attentiveness is required, and listening should be practiced more intentionally.
And lastly….the final thought that brings me anger.
Again, thanks for listening. Please feel free to ask questions or reach out.
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