I'll Take "Wasted Time" For $200, Please


I feel like I've lived the past two years with the Jeopardy song in my head. Hurry up; time is tight...

Two years ago, I was already stressed out about fitting a baby in before deployment. Commenters told me that this is just a fact of military life and that I have to get used to the idea of my husband missing out on the birth or other milestones. They said just to go for it and that life would take care of itself.

Three miscarriages, two fertility treatments, and an awful revelation about my genetic code later...well, we still don't have a baby. And the Jeopardy song is still playing.

Two years ago, I was worried that my husband might miss out on the birth. Forget that now, that's such an easy worry. We have much bigger fish to fry.

I learned last week that I have a balanced translocation of chromosomes. It's a fairly rare genetic scramble that happened to me when I was conceived that has had no bearing on my health or life. Until now. Translocation can prevent you from carrying a baby and can cause horrible birth defects if you do manage to sustain a pregnancy.

It's an enormous monkey wrench in our life plans.

I can't help but feel like we've wasted the past two years of our life. I was genetically predetermined at birth to not be able to create a healthy baby. All this work to try to get pregnant or to work a pregnancy in between deployments was for nothing. And now that I am aware that our having a baby will be a serious undertaking, we have to make a decision as to whether we want to undertake it.

And fast, because my husband deploys in three months.

A week ago, our doctor referred us to a geneticist. I am still waiting for the referral to make its way through Tricare so I can call and try to get an appointment sometime within the next month. But hopefully not during the week my husband is gone for training. And hopefully on a day when he isn't at the 50-cal range or doing fast roping lessons or all the other pre-deployment things that he really can't get out of. And then hopefully the geneticist will set us up for the special IVF treatments we're going to need. But hopefully not during that week when my husband has training in June. Or during block leave. Or...oh wait, then he's gone.

Fertility problems feels like a great big waste of time regardless of your situation. You spend month after month watching the calendar pages turn with no baby in sight. Then add in the special military twist, the fact that your husband -- who's fairly necessary for the process -- is constantly coming and going and not always available on the precise days when you need him for the process, and you turn into a basketcase. Then add in huge chunks of time -- chunks longer than the actual gestation time for a baby -- when he's in a war zone on the other side of the planet, and you're in full-on Crazytown.

We have a lot to think about and try to organize in the coming few months before my husband leaves. And if we're successful in this whole rigmarole, then he likely won't even be home for any of the pregnancy or the birth either. But I've come to terms with that completely. I just need him for the conception part; the rest is just icing.

And heck, the route we're taking, he doesn't even need to physically be here for any of it, not even the conception...

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