Sivan is the most beautiful 8-month-old baby I could possibly have imagined holding. I am in love.
Here’s my story: My wife and I tried unsuccessfully to get pregnant for a couple of years. Over the course of several disappointing attempts, I returned to the comments of my animal reproduction professor (who also worked with human infertility) who commented, reassuringly, that sometimes it takes longer for couples to be successful. Ultimately, we decided to seek professional help and, since it is much easier to test males for problems, I did a simple semen test.
As my wife and I were driving from Wyoming to Colorado, I received the phone call with my test results. I was told that no live sperm cells were found in my semen. I was devastated.
When the news sank in, we began to explore how to respond to my new “health problem.” I talked to doctors and I sat with friends who had also experienced this issue. Finally, we chose a fertility clinic to help us.
The meeting with the doctor provided a great deal of factual information. Since I’m interested in science, I decided to approach the meeting as a science experiment, discovering as much as possible about my condition. After that meeting, I met with a urologist (the third to offer advice) who suggested that I have sperm extracted surgically from my testes to be tested.
As the surgery date approached, I began having second thoughts. I wasn’t averse to the procedure, but I felt that nothing good would come of it. Still, I knew that I had to find out the results and there was only one way to do it.
A few days before my surgery, I asked my wife, Miriam, to draw a plus sign on my palm for a successful result and a minus sign for an unsuccessful outcome, so that when I woke up I would immediately know the results. She did not like the idea. When I did wake up from the surgery, I saw a nurse sitting next to me. My first question was, “Well…did he find anything?” She responded: “No.”
When Miriam and I were trying to get pregnant, I had a recurring image that I was looking at my baby and thinking, in awe, “I cannot believe that I am part of this creation.” I had always imagined that my baby’s genes would be half mine. I now knew that would not be the case.
After the nurse broke the news to me, I realized that I had no choice but to accept the reality. It was surprisingly easier than I had expected. Although I was disappointed, Miriam and I moved on with our journey.
Simultaneously, my wife was getting ready for her in vitro fertilization procedure (lots of hormone shots, etc.) with sperm from an anonymous donor. Soon thereafter, we found out that we had nine viable embryos. We were ready to start our family.
Our daughter, Sivan, was born January 1, 2014. Though I cannot stand by her bed and claim she carries my genes, I am surely a proud and adoring father. When I hear comments that Sivan looks a lot like me, I think, that at the very least, she may inherit my sense of humor.
I would like to end with two thoughts: First, although we will likely never meet our sperm donor, I am so grateful to him; he changed our lives forever for the better. Second, though I initially struggled with the hand of cards I was dealt, I came out the other side with a baby whom I love. I couldn’t be happier. My advice to guys who find themselves in similar situations: Stay focused on the possible positive outcomes. You, too, may be blessed with a beautiful baby of your own.email print