Wow… has it really been a year? On February 2nd, 2016, I posted the first chapter of my first writing ever, "An Unforgettable Melody." I started out on Literotica, but soon found several other places to connect with readers, not the least of which is Storiesonline.net. I must admit that this site has been the best by far in regards to feedback and quality correspondence with readers and fellow authors. And, as it turns out, the timing of my one-year anniversary as a writer is rather ironic in and of itself…
The one thing nobody knows about my writing is the reason I decided to pick it up in the first place. For about two years now, my wife and I have been attempting to have a baby, without success. At first, her doctor thought the issue might be on her end, but in January of last year decided to have me tested as well. The results were every man's worst fear: in any given month, even with perfect timing, I have less than a 2% chance of getting my wife pregnant. The news was gut-wrenching, to say the least.
In the weeks that followed my diagnosis, I was referred to a male-factor infertility specialist. He's a great guy, and one who knows how to keep the proper tone with his patients regarding this difficult topic. With the frequent tests and consultations that came with this, though, came a significant increase in mental stress. My normal outlets of video games and trumpet playing helped, but not nearly enough. Worse, my best creative outlet, composing and arranging music, had hit a complete brick wall. I needed a new creative outlet, and it was the works of Joe Brolly and 800ibgorrila that gave me the inspiration I needed.
As I read their iconic genie tales, I began to imagine myself in the role of the protagonist. I am quite different in personality from the heroes of those stories, and I started to imagine how I would react to such a fantastic situation. Thus, the desire to write my own take on their universe was born. Looking back, my writings a year ago were raw and quite unpolished, but I didn't care. I was excited about creating something again, something that invigorated my mind and provided a much-needed escape from the stresses of my life. It was a universe that I was in complete control of, something that eluded me in real life.
My testing continued throughout the spring, and the doctor determined that my issue was not a sperm production problem, but a transportation problem. My brain knew there was an issue; it was sending signals downstairs to trigger a higher production of sperm, yet so few were being transported to where they needed to be. After an exploratory surgery to determine in greater detail what we were dealing with, the doctor presented us with two options. First, move straight to IVF. In my specific case, the IVF would require operations on both my wife and myself, as they would have to go into me and harvest the needed materials to then implant within my wife. This would result in about a 65% chance of a pregnancy, followed by normal miscarriage chances. Given the increased costs of this path from both of us having to go under, combined with the shaky success rates, we quickly eliminated this as a viable option. The second route was a regimen of daily medicine for me, which would ideally increase production and aid in the transportation, thus increasing the chances of a pregnancy with proper timing. The first few follow-up tests showed positive signs, but the next several that followed were less encouraging, showing stagnant or negative results.
It is ironic that it's almost a year to the day since my first story posting that I received the news yesterday that the medicine is not doing what the doctor had hoped after seven months of taking it. After a long and emotional talk with my wife, we both decided for our mental states that we couldn't continue to prolong any false hope of becoming pregnant. Thus, we ended the medicine regimen and are now focused on the adoption process. Through all of this, I must say that I am amazed at how little our faith has diminished. We are both highly religious, and while we believe God has a plan for everything, we are also not desperate enough to pray to Him for a baby. If it doesn't happen after that, then what would stop us from losing faith altogether? Besides, I remember one of my favorite Bible verses: Do not test the Lord your God. Regardless of one's religious bend, I consider that invaluable advice.
My wife is such an amazing and strong woman, stronger than any I have ever met in my life. I came to the realization recently that I would have had to face this battle regardless of who I ended up marrying in life. Considering some of my past girlfriends, that was a terrifying mental image of what might have been. But as hard as life has been recently, and as much as God and I aren't happy with each other right now, I recognize that He did truly bless me when this incredible woman agreed to marry me. She's my rock, and I'm hers. We have traveled a hard road, and a harder road still lies before us, but we know in our hearts that God wants us to be parents. We don't know how long it will take, but we are determined to get there.
I could go on and on about the realizations I've had and harsh lessons I've learned through all of this, but I think the biggest thing I want to say is this: all you men who are dealing with male-factor infertility, you are not alone. Conventional wisdom lays most infertility issues with the female side of things, but the science tells a different story altogether. In reality, infertility problems are pretty much an even 50/50 split between males and females. Men the world over are dealing with the fact that they cannot get their wives pregnant, but we have to keep telling ourselves the truth. This does not make you a failure; this does not mean you are less of a man. Giving up… that would make you less of a man. Of course, I say this in the midst of a dark time in my own life, one in which I struggle to keep to my own words of wisdom. So much of my subconscious can't shake the idea that I am less of a man for this, despite knowing logically that it's not true. These things just take time, I guess.
To my readers, please be assured that I will continue to write for the foreseeable future. This has brought me so much joy, and has connected me with some incredible people that I am very fortunate to know. My posting for the next month or so will likely be more sporadic, though. I have plenty of ideas for stories, but I do have to get over the shock of yesterday's news before I'll be in a better mindset to find motivation to write. For those that enjoy my works, I'm not going anywhere. For those who may not prefer my works, you aren't getting rid of me that easily!
In all seriousness, I want to thank this community. Y'all are such an incredible group of people, readers and authors alike. I had hoped that this secret hobby of mine would give me some solace and comfort, but I never imagined that it would cause me to meet some of the people I have on this site. If you're religious in any way, I would ask that you keep my wife and me in your thoughts and prayers. We need strength and patience, and both are in short supply right now. But to quote Winston Churchill, we will never, never, never give up. We are going through Hell, so we'll keep on going.
Chapter 4 is complete and about to be submitted. This chapter has gotten great reviews among my beta readers thus far, and has lots of juicy plot development for Star Wars fans such as myself. If you love the Star Wars films in any capacity, I HIGHLY recommend you check it out. You may not like it, which is totally cool with me, but I'm very excited with the possibilities this story is opening up. Thanks for reading!
Anyone who's read my stories knows my love of all things Star Wars. Today, we lost a true icon, the first of the core trio of Star Wars heroes to pass, Carrie Fisher. Though she may be best remembered for the unforgettable metal bikini from Return of the Jedi, don't forget everything before that. To get to that point, we had to go through over two movies of Princess Leia staring down Darth Vader, watching her home planet destroyed before her very eyes, grabbing the gun from Han Solo and blasting a group of stormtroopers with it, calling Chewbacca a "walking carpet" to his face and living to tell about it, being the last evacuee from the rebel base on Hoth, and disguising herself as a bounty hunter to rescue her future husband from the hideout of his hated enemy, Jabba the Hutt. Princess Leia was a princess you did not want to mess with. She was not just beautiful, she was tough as nails. You piss her off, you've made yourself a terrible enemy. But once she's in your corner, she'll fight to the death for you. Metal bikini? Memorable, to be sure. But there was so much more to her than that.
Just the same, there was much more to Carrie Fisher than Star Wars. She had her struggles in life, particularly with mental illness. And she had film successes outside the Star Wars realm. "When Harry met Sally," and of course her most insanely fun role in "The Blue Brothers." I mean the woman got to use a flamethrower AND an assault rifle in that film! Just sick! But what you may not know is that she nearly died during the filming of "The Blues Brothers," choking on food. Were it not for the timely intervention of Dan Akroyd performing the Heimlich maneuver, she would not have been able to reprise her role as Princess Leia. Though she is gone too soon, learning of this occurrence made me very glad to know we were blessed to get as much of her work as we did. And, to paraphrase Yoda, mourn her we should not. Miss her we should not. Instead, celebrate the things she did right in her life. Wishing she was alive again accomplishes nothing. Focusing on her shortcomings accomplishes nothing. Death is a natural part of life, and life is always something to be celebrated.
So it's become apparent from the recent blog entries that the Clitoride awards are coming up. I know I'm new around here, but I'd be honored for any nominations readers felt my stories worthy of. Perhaps if there is an award category for best newcomers? Anyhow, shameless plug has been delivered. Thanks!
Chapter 2 has been submitted for mod approval, and should be up in the morning. I wanted to extend a shout out of personal thanks to lichtyd. He gave me some great advice that I feel has helped improve my writing style in a very shot period of time. Thanks so much! Please continue to vote and provide feedback; any and all commentary is welcome. The third and final chapter will follow in a few days.