Our Shot at Joy

Had a scare yesterday. The wife had been feeling like her ovaries were sore and sometimes a bit painful for a couple of days, so she called the clinic yesterday. They told her to come in immediately. That scared the hell out of me. They had talked a bit about ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) at the clinic, but this is the first time I thought we might have that issue. Fortunately, she is okay; her ovaries are just enlarged and sore from everything that had gone through them, but they weren’t enlarged to the point of even mild OHSS. They told her to eat lots of protein and drink beverages with electrolytes (i.e. Gatorade) to help with the recovery; she’s on the mend.

So, the new nephew. The kid is awesome. I hold him every chance I get. Not for too long; to be honest, I get a bit bored by babies until they’re maybe 6 or 7 months old. I hope that doesn’t make me sound like a horrible person; it’s just the truth. But he’s awesome…and I love him so much.

When we first heard the news of his impending arrival, we were out-of-town with my twin brother and his wife, visiting friends. A few months earlier, my twin brother let it slip that his wife was off her birth control (I think I was supposed to keep that slip a secret…if she reads this, sorry brother!). Even at that point, I started to feel panicky, knowing it was possible they would get pregnant first…which just killed me. I didn’t tell my wife that news because I didn’t want her to have the same feelings. Of course, then when she found out, she wasn’t mentally prepared. I probably screwed that one up.

There were little hints at the friends’ house. She didn’t drink the first night. She was overly tired. My wife and I began to suspect, and I shared what I knew from a few months earlier.

Then at dinner, I caught my brother drinking her wine covertly. There was only one explanation. So I outed them…before they were ready to share. I still regret it; it wasn’t my place, and I did it for my own selfish reasons. Of course, we all celebrated with them and all was well. But my wife and I were silently hurting inside…bad.

On the car ride home, when we were finally alone, I bawled like a baby. Sobbed like I hadn’t since I was a child. I had always been first…first out of the womb, first to college, first to get a job, first to get married, first to buy a house. But afterward, when I examined my feelings, I wasn’t crying out of jealousy. I was crying because I was jealous. I was crying because when I should have been feeling nothing but overwhelming joy, that joy was drowned out by envy, sadness, anger, and just plain “life’s not fair”. My twin brother and his wife deserved my over-the-top joy, and they didn’t get it. I was so upset at myself, upset that I couldn’t rise above the feelings. It sickened me.

Fortunately, I had time….and an amazing wife who, while feeling many of the same things, helped me immensely. And by the time the big day came, the pain was gone. And joy had entered.

Things simply don’t always go as planned; maybe they just go as they should, even when we don’t know why. The lack of control over the process is what makes this pure agony, but maybe in the end, it will be what brings even more joy to a world that needs as much as it can get. Our joy will come.

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One response to “Our Shot at Joy

  1. Pingback: ‘When’ Became ‘If’ | Hope To Be Daddy: A Guy's Infertility Voice

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