Joanna and Marcin gave themselves little chance that they would ever become parents. They were aware of the problem – and, at least in theory – they accepted it. Nevertheless, failures and unsuccessful attempts at conceiving triggered a serious marital crisis. They barely survived it…
It was them who decided to share their story with us, although they acknowledge that it cost them a lot of stress and emotions. However, they considered describing their experience – as they say – a form of purifying therapy. They returned to their harsh memories in order to finally forget them. Have they succeeded? They claim unanimously that today they are closer to this goal than ever.
When they met, they both had the baggage of traumatic personal and health experiences. 13 years earlier, Marcin had been treated for cancer of the lymphatic system for several years. After several cycles of radio and chemotherapy, it seemed that he had managed to overcome the worst. The doctors warned him, however, that the therapy he had undergone might negatively affect his fertility, or even completely prevent him from siring a child. They proposed semen deposit, but Marcin did not think then about so distant future. Over time, he began to regret his decision. But he never hid from Joanna the fact that his chances for being a parent were minimal.
After Marcin’s illness – when he came out victorious from the unequal struggle – they were convinced that the most difficult moments were already behind them. Their relationship was a happy one, they understood each other without words, they worked, and they built a house together. After a few years of living together, however, they started feeling that something was missing. They decided to fight for their happiness and began to think about a baby. The first two years were marked by natural attempts – checking fertile days, intercourse with a watch in their hand, functioning from one test to another test. They were hoping for a miracle, another gift from fate. Months passed, and Joanna still was not pregnant.
The specialist’s support – hard beginnings
They decided that they needed professional help. After extensive tests, it was proved that there is almost no sperm in the Marcin’s semen. Joanna’s results were also not good, her ovarian reserve was decreasing. The doctor suggested intra-uterine insemination. The decision was not easy… As the Marcin’s semen couldn’t be taken into account, the procedure made sense only with the use of a donor’s sperm. They had long talks until dawn, discussed all pros and cons, and even met with a psychologist. In the end, they decided to have the treatment. Despite four attempts at the procedure (each with hormonal stimulation), all of them failed.
Then, the first arguments and mutual grudges began. They still were not so bitter as to give up. They fought on – still together. They decided on in vitro fertilisation. Marcin had to undergo testicular biopsy, and the programme included additional procedures. The first failed attempt resulted in Joanna’s breakdown, as she knew that IVF is their last resort. Marcin could no longer help her. Their rows became increasingly frequent. They undertook the second attempt in a serious crisis, actually doubting whether it still made any sense. Their former belief in the dream about a family somewhere vanished.
After returning from the Clinic they could not look each other in the eye, they hardly talked. They failed again. Then Marcin decided to leave. He could not cope with the feeling guilty, towards himself and towards Joanna. Joanna, although she also no longer had the strength to fight for the relationship, persuaded him to try again. In case of another failure, each of them will go his or her way. After long talks he agreed – he still asks himself how he found much determination to take such a decision. And again – further consultations, treatments… This time, however, they did not expect anything, they acted somewhat mechanically. After the transfer Marcin could not stand the tension, he moved out. For further verifications Joanna came alone.
The beginning of something new
The news of the pregnancy came as a bolt from the blue – she did not expect it. The hardest part was that there was no one she could share this news with – she did not want to talk about the pregnancy with her family, because she would have to tell them that she had parted with Marcin. And he was not with her. Just when she needed him so much. She decided to send him a message. She wrote one sentence: It worked. She thought he would appear at her doorstep and throw himself into her arms. He appeared, but not right away. For a month, he wondered what to do. It was the worst month of her life. When he returned, nothing was as before. Throughout her pregnancy they tried to “heal” from the crisis.
Today, when Hania is already with them, they think that they are close to restoring their former relationship. Or even something that is richer, fuller. Perhaps if not for the birth of their daughter, they would not be together. At the same time, however, they feel that something magical happened. They have a family, they have each other and – though they ceased to have an idealistic vision of their relationship – they are aware that it became stronger, truer. The road to happiness was paved with pain and many doubts, but certainly – it was worth it.