Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Stupid Genes

Thanks everyone for all your kind comments. They really made me feel better.

I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday weekends, whether or not you were celebrating Passover, Easter and/or Patriot’s Day. I went up to Boston on Wednesday to celebrate the Passover seders with my family, and even got to take in an excellent Red Sox game at Fenway Friday night. I spent Saturday in CT visiting my pregnant best friend. All the while I was hoping that dearest D would find a way to emerge from his cocoon by the time I arrived home on Sunday. Alas, it was not to be.

I will admit that his head has poked out from time to time, and some laughs have even ventured forth, but he’s still sad, sad, sad about his life. I find that when the person I love most in the world is sad, sad, sad about his life, I can’t help but feel like it’s my fault. I mean, aren’t I supposed to be his light and soul and all that romantic stuff? Isn’t my love for him supposed to be enough to make him feel like he can conquer anything? Shouldn’t the strength of our relationship and the deep feelings we have for one another be all that he needs to feel that life is good? Alas, it is not be.

Instead, poor D feels like his life sucks and that his genes are crap. So strongly does he feel this, that he asked me to consider whether or not we should use donor sperm. Not because he thinks his sperm won’t be able to do the job (in fact, he said “it’ll probably work this time”), but because he doesn’t want to pass on Celiac Disease to his children.

I was floored. My immediate reaction was a big, huge NO. D is the man I chose to marry. It’s his genes I want mixed with mine. Then I thought, maybe I am being too Pollyanna about the ramifications of this disease. I started to feel selfish for saying D has to pass on his genes. Maybe it would be extremely traumatic to a kid and to us to have a child with Celiac. But in the end, I want a child that is mine and D’s. Just as we both hope our kids have my hair, not D’s, we’ll hope that it won’t be gluten-intolerant.

We both really do think this IVF cycle will work. D’s infection should be cleared up and they’ll ICSI all the eggs. We’re so close now to getting what I’ve wanted for so long I can taste it. I began Lupron last week, and take my last BCP tomorrow. Stims should start next week. If we decided we wanted to use donor sperm, I think it would mean having to skip this cycle – I doubt we could figure out that procedure in the next 3 weeks – and that makes me even less inclined to contemplate it. But, mostly, I don’t want to think about having a child that’s not biologically D’s. For the last couple of weeks I have been imagining our family – me and D and a child that has Celiac Disease. I’m okay with that. I know I could take care of him/her. I’m going to learn how to take care of D. If he’ll let me.

13 Comments:

Blogger MoMo said...

Mellie, I am so sorry D is having a hard time dealing with Celiac. It is very hard to see someone we love so dearly go thru a very difficult time but I truly believe that your love and kindness and caring is helping him get thru this.

Good luck with this cycle. It is exciting to hear that stims are starting next week! I will be thinking of you guys.

April 18, 2006 3:49 PM  
Blogger Lut C. said...

Tough decisions you're facing! I sometimes feel guilty because I may pass on my IF, but since the cause is still more or less unknown, I feel it's a risk I'm willing to take.

Do you know what the risk of passing this on are?

April 18, 2006 4:54 PM  
Blogger Spanglish said...

D didn't know he even had CD until recently... who is to say that a donor might carry a disease no one has yet diagnosed in him? We all have something, whether it is emotional, psychological, or physical. You want his baby. And it will happen.

April 18, 2006 5:52 PM  
Anonymous Lori said...

As Spanglish said - we all have something we'll be passing on. But I'm sorry to hear it's causing D so much sadness.
Good luck with the upcoming cycle - I will be hoping for the best for you both!!

April 18, 2006 9:40 PM  
Anonymous Jenn said...

Good luck on this cycle. And I second what Spanglish said, everyone has something they don't want to pass on.

April 18, 2006 10:36 PM  
Blogger Fertile Soul said...

Celiac Disease is not so bad as all that ... to make you want to consider not using your own genes. And, i dont think that sperm donors are tested for celiac (as they're not tested for chrone's disease or any other disease that may develop. Heck, most people dont even realize they've got a problem to know to be tested.). The thing is, celiac is not necessarily inherited, like obesity, diabetes, and crohne's (sp). You may be predisposed to having it because of your genes but only if you pig out regularly will you be obese, eating in ordinate amount of sugar will probably make you diabetic, and consuming an inordinate amount of gluten (which the American diet normally includes by virtue of all the preservative) will make you sensitive to gluten and eventually acquire celiac disease.

April 19, 2006 4:48 AM  
Blogger Chee Chee said...

Mellie -- I agree with your decision to move forward and not strongly consider using a sperm donor now and delaying or postponing this cycle.

In this day and age, Celiac is difficult, but much more managable than it was years ago. You are also armed with this possibility at the outset, which allows you to act accordingly. A friend of mind found out that this daughter had it only after she began losing weight and failing to keep food down. You'll be just fine.

BTW -- I know that it's difficult not to feel responsible for ones' spouses' feelings. In the end, we cannot help if they won't let us in.

April 19, 2006 9:29 AM  
Blogger fisher queen said...

Your poor hub. I agree with spanglish- everyone has something they could pass on. You love each other, and it sounds like this is a manageable disease. That is what counts. I hope this cycle works and he starts to feel better.

April 19, 2006 4:15 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

mellie, it is so hard to see those we love in so much pain. it is not your fault though and you are doing the best thing by being there for him, always.

and i agree with all the wise ladies above, you take the chance with the person you chose. we all have stupid genes that lurk beneath. it is roll of the dice no matter what you know.

April 19, 2006 6:16 PM  
Blogger the waiting line said...

sorry you and D are going through a rough patch. I agree with and echo w/what many others have said. it sounds like you are making a good decision that will work for you and your hubby.

best of luck with the upcoming cycle.

April 19, 2006 11:50 PM  
Blogger Fertility Faux Pas said...

If your immediate gut reaction was "no" when D mentioned using a sperm donor, then I think you should trust that gut instinct. There are so many "what ifs" involved in creating a life, that if we feared them rather than faced them, the human race would probably die out. Go for what your gut tells you, and know that your love and support are enough to help D come out of his cave. Sounds like he just needs a little more time...

April 20, 2006 2:50 PM  
Anonymous thalia said...

What is the evidence that celiac disease is inherited anyway? You never know. And it's just one trait among so many that you love, of course you are right to go ahead.

I know how tough it is when your partner is miserable, H has had a very difficult year too. Very hard not to make it all about me! Well done for being the right kind of supportive spouse and really listening to what he has to say.

April 21, 2006 7:06 AM  
Blogger k #2 said...

I guess when we all stop and think about the "what ifs" of genetics and having a baby, we would all stop going to such great lengths to have a child. But, in the end, our love for our spouse and a desire to reproduce with them outweighs those questions. I agree -- go with your gut instinct and forge ahead with this cycle.

April 22, 2006 6:44 PM  

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