Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Role Reversal

Bryan deployed only six months after we started dating. I imagine he was the most spoiled soldier at war because I sent him hundreds of letters and care packages. I took care of his every need and request. His second deployment required less care packages and letters but he still got everything he needed from me. Then, when he was blown up, I was in a full-blown caregiving role for years.

It has taken its toll on my mental, emotional and physical health.

In September, we were sitting in the hospital before my laparoscopy for endometriosis. I was calm and peaceful. I was ready to figure out what was going on and was hopeful that I would get pregnant soon after the procedure.

Bryan said he was really nervous about my surgery. Despite having three strong anti-nausea medications I was still very sick after surgery. He had to wait on me hand and foot. I didn’t like the role reversal but it was nice to see him step up to the plate and do it with ease.

We tried one round of oral medications after my laparoscopy and I didn’t get pregnant. We decided to step it up a notch and spend thousands on injectable medications. Bryan had to pop me with 12 injections over 12 days. It hurt but I was thankful that he was courageous enough to stick me, even though his shaky hands caused me to get stuck twice with the same needle. I hate needles and couldn’t do it myself. Once again it felt odd for him to care for my medical needs.

Unfortunately we didn’t get pregnant again. There was the possibility that all the medical interventions would result in five babies, due the large amount of eggs produced, but instead, we got zero.

I have decided to stop treatment. It was taking a toll on my emotional and mental well-being. I was stressed, depressed, throwing money away for something that wasn’t working and disheartened. Bryan had to pick up my crumbling pieces. Bryan had to wipe away my flowing tears and tell me that things were going to be OK. I needed him to care for me and he did it effortlessly.

I often times wonder why this is happening to us after all we have been through but it has given me more compassion and understanding for a whole new set of people. I’ve made friendships because of my infertility. I can understand loss and grieving more deeply. I can advocate and learn from those that can’t have children.

I am probably having another surgery by a specialist in Atlanta as soon as I can convince TRICARE that I need it. Unfortunately, the surgeon is out of network so I have to pay his fees. Infertility is robbing us financially, again. However, it will be worth it if I can get my quality of life back.

My end goal of this surgery isn’t to have children but to be healthy again. Bryan will have to take care of me and I will have to allow it. I learned the first time to let others care for me. It is hard for a caregiver to let others do things to help, but it’s necessary.

I do have to say that I am closer to my husband than I have ever been because of this struggle. I have realized which friends care and which don’t. I feel like a dark black cloud is no longer raining on my head since I stopped treatment and I am planning some really wonderful things for this year.

We will conquer and win over this challenge too.


texlilo said...

Thank you for sharing. You are amazing and strong. Good luck with Tri care.. I know how frustrating it can be.

Claudia De Mauro said...

What a beautiful story of love and perseverance and devotion to one another. I can personally relate to so much of this but on a completely different level and for very different reasons. I had to let the idea of ever being a mom go and for years...and still to this day I grieve...and like you both, God has blessed me with a beautiful marriage with a wonderful husband where we have been through the ups and downs of so much of our particular situation. Again, I would never pretend to understand your specific journey b/c I know nothing about being a wife of a solider but I am a woman with Spina Bifida who has had 43 surgeries (41 yrs old), I have been happily married for 11 years and I live each and every day with my biggest challenge of all - PTSD. So, in my own way - I comepletely understand the paralyzing grief of not having children and wanting a family more than anything, I understand my own struggles and hardships, etc...and I too am a blogger writing about my journey with Jesus through it all. So, I feel SO blessed to have found your website and look forward to following YOUR journey! With Gratitude, Claudia :)

Anonymous said...

Please don't take this comment the wrong way, I realize that you were able to conceive now, but do you think that God has a plan for you to bless a child that is already born in this world? Adoption can be one of the most fulfilling and gratifying experiences, especially for someone with a care giver's heart such as yours. I pray that you will consider adoption for your next child. I speak in love to you!

Wife of a Wounded Soldier said...

Dear Anon,
Of course I would consider adoption but the decision was not only mine but one of my husband's as well. He is adopted and did not want to adopt. I wouldn't force him in to something that he didn't want to do. We also only plan on having one. Thank you for the comment. I have even worked with an adoption agency and would have taken any of them home but my husband said no go.

Roy Long said...

We are all so blessed in all we do every breath, every moment, every day. You and your family are in our prayers. I am looking for an organization to contribute in support of our wounded and their family. God Bless!