Male Factor Infertility: TJ’s Story [SUCCESS]

November 11, 2019

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Today’s success story is about a woman named TJ. She is a 35-year-old health educator who enjoys journaling, running with her dog, and spending time with family. TJ and her husband had known each other since they were 5 years old. When they finally got married in 2008, they had dreams of building a life and starting a family. A few years into the marriage, they started trying to conceive. It was her OB/GYN that suggested her husband get checked out after nothing was found on her end that would prevent them from having a baby. In 2013, a nurse called and said, “Well, we didn’t find anything… We didn’t find any sperm.” The diagnosis of male infertility did explain the 5 years of negative pregnancy tests but did not explain the cause of her husband’s infertility. From failed surgeries, to thousands of dollars on medications, to failed attempts at fostering and adoption, to traveling through the stages of grief, TJ and her husband almost lost their minds and their marriage. Join us to hear how through journaling, prayer, and a sliver of hope, TJ and her husband persevered and in January 2019, adopted their baby girl.

Episode Sponsor:

Infertility Coaching with Heather Huhman

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • Before infertility, TJ was a happy, outgoing, optimistic planner
  • How she and her husband met in church when they were five, and never thought they would end up together
  • As a couple, they are best friends who balance each other out and are committed to weathering life’s storms together
  • How TO always loved children and always knew her family dynamic would include children
  • How frustration set in when she tried to conceive and had no success; it left her questioning their priorities
  • She got checked by her OB/GYN, who suggested that her husband come in for tests–and he was skeptical about the need for tests
  • How TJ and her husband argued a lot because of their sadness and anger at their circumstances, God, and other pregnant women
  • How they tried a testicular biopsy, expensive medications, and discussed other options
  • How they looked into private adoption and fostering-to-adopt options, but almost divorced over the intense disappointment they felt
  • How her husband even considered suicide over the pain until they changed their views and embraced a new mindset
  • How they became involved with an attorney and a birth mom–and welcomed their newborn daughter last January!
  • How the diagnosis of male factor infertility sent TJ and her husband to a dark, depressive state
  • The lowest point: when TJ’s husband revealed that he thought about killing himself
  • How they moved forward by receiving wise counsel from others, talking to each other openly, and coming to a place of acceptance
  • A positive moment was when TJ wrote her book and found out how many others had been down a similar path
  • How the birth of their daughter has made them believe that everything is possible and helped them gel together as a couple
  • How they came back to adoption when they weren’t expecting it to happen
  • What it was like to forego the desire to carry a pregnancy for the sake of her husband
  • How they compromised for TJ to share their story by writing the book
  • TJ’s book, Semen Secrets: A Wife’s Journey through Male Factor Infertility, and how it helps people learn to navigate the frustration and turmoil of infertility
  • The “semen secret” that impacted TJ the most was how no one is prepared for male factor infertility
  • How they afforded private adoption through an attorney and a home study through a non-profit, Families First; they still had to dip into their retirement to make it happen
  • The benefits of knowing state laws and the adoption process
  • How they shared with their families about their adoption through a Christmas card
  • How infertility changed TJ: “Infertility has made me more introspective and more open to possibilities. It’s given me a different outlook on what it means to be a parent. I have great respect for others who go through the challenges of infertility.”
  • TJ’s advice to herself back then: “Don’t plan. Don’t believe that the plan you have is the only plan.”

References:

Thanks for listening!

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