Sunday, June 10, 2012

DNA Expansion.

Nope, no birth announcement here. Just clarification and getting it all out. Aaron sustained an injury when he was blown up last year that greatly threatens our fertility (not our function- we have PLENTY of that). We regret not freezing his baby juice, which I highly suggest to all of you folks looking at deployments. Anyway, he's also been on testosterone (T) therapy since the beginning of his hospital stay. It has a lot of benefits, but one of the side effects is that it inhibits sperm production. Research shows that the T does not affect the eventual sperm production. It doesn't matter how long he's on T; the answer is always going to be the same. We might have to wait longer to accept negative test results, but T isn't hurting him. It take a year to 18 months for his body to produce any sperm. It could be a shorter length of time, but that's the longest. If there aren't any usable tadpoles a year and a half after he stops T, there aren't going to be any. And there's the other part of the problem: Sperm doesn't do anyone any good if it doesn't swim. The urologist is confident in his ability to make babies with low numbers, as long as those numbers involve swimmers. There are the facts of our situation. We also don't have any idea if my pipes are any good, either. I never have assumed that I had a right to a family or that I could produce one. I'm just going to assume, though, things are alright until we know otherwise. There are other plans for us just in case, but for the time being we are forging along under the idea that we could have a baby with IVF.

We do have a timeline. We are in complete agreement about when we want him to stop T therapy. What I find fascinating is that our ultimate goals haven't changed. Originally, I told him I was only good for one birth, even though we both agree that two children is a desirable family size. I fully believe that a second child will come to us in a different way, and the child will save us just as much we will save him or her (obviously this is a reference to adoption, and the amazing gifts a child can bring to a family). I don't want a lot of kids just because we might not have any now. I don't know how many rounds of IVF I am willing to go through before we decide adoption is the best method for us to expand our family completely. But together, with Aaron, I know we want a child, and hope for two but aren't banking on any one thing or another. We just have ideas and back-ups. We just know we want a family.

Family. Why have kids? This world can really suck. Well, Aaron and I do have this insatiable need to be normal. Since that will never ever happen because it isn't normal to be a double amputee, we want to be as normal as possible. We want to contribute to the encompassing beast that is life- not just a singular life, or two lives joining, but humanity as a whole. And while my siblings and I don't have the best relationships, I still want that kind of family connection for our kids. No huge dreams here for us, though. Our kids don't have to be like us or look like us. They're gonna be our kids, no matter what. Or kid. Maybe getting that first kid is so exhausting we decide one is plenty. I digress. What I'm saying is that we still desire to bring life into this world, not just because we're supposed to or that it's what everyone else does when they get married, but because that's a piece of the puzzle for us and our life together. We feel good about the decision to have a baby, have our marriage changed by that baby, and raise that baby in the world today.

At first I thought I'd want all the kids we could handle when I found out we might not ever have any. I don't know what kind of mother I'm going to be, but I know I will most likely still desire to work. I am not going to suddenly want to encompass my life with the institution of family and kids and that be it (not that that is a bad thing at all, I just don't think it's for me or Aaron). This does happen to some folks- they come out of this war and breed a whole sports team. Awesome for them. It could happen, but I could also decide to shave my head tomorrow. Both are highly unlikely. I think it's important to teach kids that they aren't special and there are bigger things out there than just our own personal experience in living (says the blogger, now isn't that ironic) and therefore I know I won't have a problem working after having a kid. So we're back to our original plan: One genetically linked baby and eventually, maybe, one with different DNA but the same heart.

We have spent this weekend with our nephews and niece, and even through all the mishaps we are still excited. Kids are gonna ruin our lives, dictate so much of what goes on, and we can't wait.

It's so nice to still have one original dream intact. Everything else has changed for us- even our career choices and how we want to live our life together. This is, I believe, the only dream we had before the blast that has remained unchanged. We thought about changing it, but the first idea wasn't a bad one so we've decided to keep it. I am just as pleased with that fact as I am our goals about family.

I also feel like a real, live grown-up married couple by coming to this decision with my husband, at the same time. I wonder if this is what all other couples do instead of whatever childish antics we're usually up to. It's like playing house! Look- we're adults! Look now, because the moment won't last long.

So there you have it. That's what's up. I can't believe we are planning on a family. I think it's kind of nuts to have kids but then again, it can't be that nuts. Most- not all, but most- parents I know are still pretty neat people and their kids aren't so bad, either. I know I am going to tell my kids the internet was a myth and that the scar on their ankle isn't from a GPS chip, no, but an accident in infancy. ;)


  1. Making grown-up decisions is great! I hope nothing but amazing things for both of you moving forward. Hopefully, this will go as well as possible as you progress toward your dream. I have the greatest faith that you will make superlative parents.

  2. I hope you get all that you want, and I think it's awesome you have different ways to get there.

  3. I am also a military wife and mother who has experienced a life situation similar to yours. Just some words of advice from someone who actually is a mom, it is best not to have any expectations as to what your child will be like; it is not a child's job to "save" you, and a child may come to you with a heart, values, and opinions completely different from yours. Also, it might be best to wait before thinking about introducing a child into your life. If you are feeling overwhelmed by taking a few college classes and keeping your house clean while caring for an ADULT husband who can actually communicate to you what he needs, you are not ready to take on a child.

  4. Susan,
    Comments are appreciated and encouraged, but please read carefully before commenting on such a clearly sensitive subject.
    "No huge dreams here for us, though. Our kids don't have to be like us or look like us. They're gonna be our kids, no matter what. " She mentions here that she has no expectations and simply wants to have a family to grow with and love. Your comments on expectations are really null and void here.
    And in regards to the "saving" comment...there was a very important parenthesis explaining this.
    "I fully believe that a second child will come to us in a different way, and the child will save us just as much we will save him or her (obviously this is a reference to adoption, and the amazing gifts a child can bring to a family)." She is not expecting a child to save her from the unfortunate things life has thrown her way. She is excited to share in the joyous moments only a child can bring, while simply not mentioning the obvious counterpart of child rearing.
    And the timing was also clearly mentioned here. They are not even capable of having a child at the moment. This is a future hope that keeps them going. I see no reason why questioning that hope is objective or necessary.

  5. My husband did T therapy for a short amount of time. It didn't really help so he quit. We are currently going through infertility treatments now. I won't do IVF but have done 3 unsuccessful IUIs. His first analysis has issues but the last 3 have been in normal ranges and I am still not preg. The issues lie in me but I was fine before he got blown up. Now I have a host of autoimmune disorders.

    I know that if the sperm can't swim they can do IVF with ICSI. I had a friend who just conceived this way and her husband has infertility from war injuries. There are options. Mine suggestion is don't wait too long. It's a very long road. I have been with my RE for 8 months and have done 9 rounds of medication. Do it when you are stable though as it is extremely stressful. Once you decide to have a baby it becomes an obsession almost and every passing month makes you emotional. Good luck and I hope everything works out perfectly. I would never wish this on anyone.