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.
Previous: Infertility #5: Seeking
On April 1, I had another appointment with my family doctor to discuss my 2nd semen analysis test results. Before the appointment I was a nervous wreck, scared and uncertain, knowing nothing about my future. I hate not knowing anything, and what’s worse is that I was pretty sure this phone call wouldn’t really solve much for me at all.
You see, I already knew going into it that there was almost no way my test results would be any different, and the other questions that I had were rather ethereal. I just needed to know ANYTHING.
Thankfully I learned once again how supportive my doctor is, and I really appreciate that. She was able to give me some general understandings such as when we will be referred to the fertility clinic (apparently in this particular case, it will be done by the urologist once I have that appointment), but that if it doesn’t happen, to let her know and she will make sure to refer us right away.
She explained that just as we suspected, there was absolutely no change in my semen analysis – no sperm at all. Side note…I don’t think that’s ever NOT going to be awkward to say or write. I mean, it’s getting easier, but it’s still a little weird.
And most importantly, I confessed to her my depression and struggles, and she was incredibly supportive of the idea to seek counselling. She told me that she thinks it’s a wonderful idea, and gave me some ideas on how to start pursuing this.
She also told me more about what the first urologist appointment would likely look like. She told me about how much details she was able to give the urologist already in advance of the appointment, because as she said “You have no problem expressing yourself”.
Whereas prior to this doctor’s appointment I was dealing with intense feelings of depression and having emotional breakdowns, I think those served as a release of a lot of pent up emotions. That allowed me to start thinking a little more clearly. Having the conversation with my doctor really freed my mind up, and in the month or so afterwards, I really began to take a step forward.
I have felt calm, more relaxed and more evenly tempered. Like a small reprieve, I have been able to feel like I can breath again, having some hope fill my lungs again, allowing me the space to reclaim some emotional energy which led me to speak with a few specific friends about this and really begin opening up. I’m slowly trying to build my emotions back to where they used to be. It’s amazing the kind of change that was able to occur within my mind just by having a conversation with my doctor.
There’s no way to know how hard these feelings will hit you, or in what way they will present. But it’s so incredibly important to speak up about what you are feeling and really listen to those around you who love you and are speaking truth to you. Even just having someone (anyone) to talk to can help. They don’t need to have the answers, because for most of us, we already know what to do. We already have the answers inside of us but our emotions trap them there, and we need someone else to help get them out.
So here I am, in April 2022, around 3.5 – 4 months after getting my initial diagnoses, I finally find myself able to breath again, able to start communicating, and able to start actually thinking through my feelings in a healthy way. I don’t think I have ever found myself waylaid by my emotions in such a big way before this, even with all the other things that have happened in my life.
I’ve been told, by my doctor and by others dealing with infertility that this is a loss, and it needs to be grieved. I can say without a doubt, I have grieved, and I expect there’s more to come when I least expect it. In many ways I feel like a child who has just had a meltdown and then suddenly gets really tired and takes a few solemn moments to catch their breath before moving on to something else.
I’m just glad to be breathing again.