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Go Ask Mom

Baby Steps: Starting our family hits a snag

Posted July 22, 2010
Updated July 23, 2010

This past 12 months was a whirlwind!

I married the guy of my dreams on a hilltop in Maryland (my home state) last June. Since then, we've been living the newlywed life. Here and there a few ups and downs but, overall, I feel like I found my best friend. We knew, even before the ceremony, we wanted a family and we were ready to get started right away.

We're both the kind of people that decide on something and want to immediately make it happen. So, we started doing what we had to do to become parents. Things took a sudden turn right about the time I went to get a check up with my lady doctor.

I told her my husband and I had been trying for a baby for about a year but hadn't been successful. She asked how far I wanted to go right now and I thought - let's just start the evaluation process.

We each went for our first round of assessments. My husband called me soon afterwards to let me know we could expect his results by email later that afternoon. "No problem," I thought - that's pretty convenient!

I remember so clearly sitting down at the coffee table hours later and opening the laptop we keep there inside the living room coffee table. I clicked open an Internet Explorer tab and signed in to check our emails. Right away, I saw an email address with the doc's office name in it and [No Subject] listed. I opened it up and double clicked the attachment. What I saw couldn't have been more clear, but I was still confused. It was a table full of zeros.

Don't get me wrong - there were some numbers higher than that. But most of them fell on the far right side of the table titled: Normal Value. Next to that were the results that belonged to my husband. Those were named: Actual Value.

My eyes jerked back and forth from right to left, left to right. Under Actual Value I saw big fat zeros in seven out of 10 categories. Just underneath read the kicker: "Evaluation: Abnormal." That's where I stopped and just stared for a few minutes. The confusion faded away and that's when my stomach dropped. This was real. In a matter of one email attachment, I saw my dream of becoming a mother slipping through my fingers as if I was holding an ice cube on a scorching hot day (we all know what that feels like lately!).

So that's where our story and our journey begins. I find myself a part of the 6.1 million Americans affected by infertility. It still hurts my heart a little when I think about it.

Over the next months, and maybe even years, I plan to share our story - piece by piece - until we reach our happy ending. That may include welcoming a baby of our own.or not.

Anything can happen. For now, we wait and we pray.

Christine is an associate producer at WRAL-TV, which includes research for 5 On Your Side and producing the 10 p.m. weekend newscasts on Fox50. She, her husband and two dogs moved to the Triangle in 2006.

10 Comments

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  • carolinejosh Jul 28, 2010

    Dear Christine,
    The shoes in which you walk are ones well known to me. My entire life, when someone asked me what I wanted to do with my life, I always said "be a mom." Sure, I did the law school bit and all that - but the motherhood role was the only thing that mattered to me. It's all I thought about. When my husband and I finally started to try, I assumed I'd get pregnant right away. Nope. We went for testing. My husband's results were devastating. They told us that, even with IVF, conception was impossible. One can't count high enough to reach the number of tears I shed. The month we saw the last expert at Duke, I got pregnant. On our own. With my husband. The doctors couldn't explain it. My son is now 14. I am teary-eyed as I type this because I do know what you're going through, Christine. What's even more unbelievable is that we never thought to even hope for a second child, but our daughter is 10. You are in my prayers and will remain there until your dreams, l

  • lry25 Jul 25, 2010

    First of all, thank you for posting this. I know it sounds silly, but I am not a mom (yet), and I read the Go Ask Mom section almost daily, it's nice sometimes to read something less tragic after reading all the top news headlines.
    My husband and I have been married for three years now, and trying to concieve for the past two and a half years. I have PCOS, and therefore I've known from day one that conception would be difficult, if not impossible. I know how the longer you try, the harder that is to accept. I applaud you for telling your story, and I look forward to hearing more from you. It isn't easy, sometimes you feel so defeated, every month that passes, every test you take that comes back negative, it hurts. I wish you guys nothing but luck, and I hope that your dream of motherhood will come true. Maybe by the time I get pregnant, you'll be posting about how you guys beat the odds too. Keep faith, and good luck.

  • finicula Jul 23, 2010

    Suggestion: Buy a Great Dane.

  • DandyJenn Jul 23, 2010

    "if it is only your husbands wigglers not working that isn't as difficult as if it would be if your parts not working."

    First of all, it takes a sperm and an egg to make a baby. Secondly, it may not be that he has only motility problems. The sperm may be deformed or just flat out unable to fertilize the egg.

    In short, yeah, it is just as difficult, maybe even moreso.

    I have PCOS and I just plain do NOT ovulate ever. I was told I'd never have kids, and it nearly killed me. I did learn, however, through online support that the doctors don't always know what they are talking about.

    I am hopeful that when my husband and I are ready for children we'll be ready for the setbacks and find a way to deal with them. It really is a crushing blow to be told it just cannot and will not happen.

    I agree with boatrokr, adoption isn't always the answer. It may sound completely selfish, but I want a piece of myself and my husband to exist after we're gone.

  • boatrokr Jul 23, 2010

    I'm so sorry. I went through ten failed cycles and yeah - I know what it feels like to have the dreams slip through your fingers.

    Find people who are supportive. You will deal with tons of well-intentioned but clueless idiots. Everyone around you will think you've never heard of adoption, and eagerly shove it in your face. (Before someone chides me for saying this: I'm adopted and that's EXACTLY why I don't want to adopt. Not wanting to adopt doesn't make me a bad person). Others will say horrible things such as, "Well, it's not mean to be" or "God will give you a baby if He wants you to have one" without stopping to think what the words really mean.

    And then you'll get the stories about their friends who adopted and how great it is, the aunt's mother-in-law's brother's sister's cousin who thought she was infertile but now has five kids, and worst of all the people who adopted and Surprise! had a baby a year later.. Find a good support group of people who really DO "get it."

    Bless

  • TE Champion Jul 23, 2010

    Maybe I readying this wrong...but if it is only your husbands wigglers not working that isn't as difficult as if it would be if your parts not working.

  • dhilliard2 Jul 23, 2010

    "They" told my sister for 38 years she could not have a baby ...well guess what...her baby is now 22! =8^) Never give up!

  • memangum Jul 23, 2010

    Best of luck, I know your head is spinning. We had zeroes also, so adopted and then were "surprised". We have two great children now!

  • missparrothead Jul 23, 2010

    Bless you. Both of my children are chlomid babies and while my infertility venture wasn't as lengthy as some, it was very challenging. Take it day by day. Best wishes to you!

  • jessicaehamilton Jul 23, 2010

    I went through infertility 8 years ago. Now I am the proud mother of 3. There is so much help out in the world if you look for it. I wish you luck. I would be glad to share that with you, too.