Let Me Share a Friend With You
I get a lot of emails from people seeking advice and strength as they deal with infertility. And…I LOVE it! I get giddy when I receive “thank yous” for being so open about infertility. I am thrilled when people ask me questions. I feel humbled when people share a bit of themselves by telling me their stories. I don’t like infertility, but I love that infertility has brought me several things I wouldn’t have otherwise…one of those things is wonderful friends. Some friends who will be cherished souls to me forever.
Out of all the emails I receive, most are from women. I can count the number of emails from men on two (yes TWO!!) fingers. And, just for the record, I will celebrate those emails because behind them, I see great courage and humility. Not long ago, I received an email from Cameron. He emailed me wondering if I knew of any resources available to LDS men who are dealing with male factor infertility. He had just received his diagnosis and was looking for ways to cope and make sense of what he was experiencing. My answer was hard to share: there is hardly anything. But, his plea inspired me start working on some resources to add to ldsinfertility.org. And, it inspired me to ask him to share his story. His response: ABSOLUTELY. I think he is the first man I have spoken to who was so willing and so ready to speak out about male factor infertility. How thrilled I am that I can share his story.
In the next week, I will share Cameron’s story in three parts and then I will spend some time sharing some resources that will help men deal with infertility and also help couples deal with male factor infertility. How excited I am to share a friend with you…
Cameron & Kristin C.
I have to start out by admitting that I am very young. I am 24 years old and have only been married for two years. I am a senior in college and still have much to experience. I recognize that there are people in a similar boat as me who have faced much heartache, frustration, and discouragement and I am only at the beginning of it all.
I have had a charmed life. I served a full time mission. I was accepted into BYU and had it made. I married the most incredible and beautiful woman on the planet a little after a year of being home. We met one summer as EFY counselors and were numbered among the 10% of counselors who end up getting married. Our engagement and wedding were perfect. The family support, the spirit we both felt throughout the process, everything felt so right, so good, and so true.
We never really decided when we’d start a family. We went into our marriage knowing that we’d know and feel when the right time was. My wife went on birth control assuming that was the right and common thing to do for newlywed college students. The inspiration (an idea that MAYBE we should have a baby) came in mid-February. We were marred the beginning of January. After much prayer, fasting, and temple attendance we both felt and knew that Heavenly Father wanted us to start preparing for a family. We were excited, hopeful, and anxious to bring a precious little one into our home.
Out of excitement we bought “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.” Now, I don’t remember much from the birds and bees conversation with my dad, but I do remember understanding where babies come from and how they are made. Since then, I had it in my head that it is easy to have a baby, that it just takes a man and woman who are married and madly in love. I was told that when a couple is ready, they pray about it, and BAM! They get pregnant. Boy, was I mistaken!
For six months, my wife was off birth control and we were in the “stop preventing” phase. Her cycles were finally normalizing and were consistent. We kept at it for another six months and still had no luck. Our one-year anniversary came and went and still, nothing. My wife heard about charting and quickly learned all that she could about it and diligently charted her basal body temperature every morning for months, and months, and months. It helped us know when the important nights were and when we really needed to bring on the baby making.
This was a stressful time full of emotional highs and lows. Our neighbors on all sides (and everyone in our young family ward it seemed) were announcing that they were expecting and it was hard to be happy for them. It was painful to hear of people in the ward who “accidentally” got pregnant and weren’t planning on it. It killed us to hear of articles in the newspapers of young mothers leaving their newborns in dumpsters, trying to sell them at Wal-Mart or even shake them to death because they interrupted them while they were playing a game on Facebook. Comments were said in church that weren’t meant to be hurtful, but they were. I had no idea how thoughtless friends and even family members could be.
We waited and waited thinking we had finally done it, felt so good about things and felt confident that the Lord had finally blessed us with the baby we felt He wanted us to have. My wife had several symptoms that would make you think she was pregnant. During this time we read up on all we could do to help our chances. Vitamins, sleep, eating healthy, etc. I was training for a marathon and was in the best shape of my life. My wife was struggling a bit on the exercise front. She hadn’t gained a pound since our wedding, though. When the hope we had was shattered when the periods came I immediately thought that the ONLY thing my wife wasn’t doing was exercising and that if she would exercise on top of all the vitamins, healthy eating habits, sleep, etc. that we’d get pregnant. I admit, I was full of pride and felt that surely she is the one who is not doing something right. I felt that with me being in such good shape there was no way that I could have a problem…
Part 2 will be posted tomorrow…so, check back.