This is a difficult day, followed by a stressful couple of months. In talking to Buddy last night, we decided to give things a rest for the indefinite future. A lot went into the decision. Some things I agree with, others I don't. However, I can't proceed without him, and he can't without me, so if taking a break is what's right for him (and us) then I'm on board.
His back has bothered him since high school, when he played football. Since I've known him, he's suffered from back aches, some times minor discomfort, sometimes full-on pain that requires him to get up from the dinner table. Things were better after moving from the apartment - he wasn't spending as much time driving, one of the major sources of pain. However, he's been in discomfort more and more often. He visited a chiropractor and then a specialist earlier this year, and though he didn't return, x-rays indicated degenerative disk problems. The solution - according to him (I know nothing about it) - is surgery. Unfortunately, we only have so many resources, and we just can't handle the cost of surgery and recovery AND infertility treatments. Neither of us can see going on with treatment if he's in pain and wants to do something about his back first. I've always said I wanted him to enjoy fatherhood, and back pain would be a hindrance to that.
He's also very upset about the SA results. At first he seemed hopeful for improvement, but that hope seems to be waning. I try not to push, because he's a guy who doesn't talk about feelings easily, but his comments indicate a deep hurt and guilt for our troubles. He's said "what's the point?" in regard to having another SA done in October as we'd planned. The truth is, he may be right, considering how much improvement needs to be made and the percentage of men who experience the increase in counts we'd need for IUI. As many times as I can tell him that it's worth it to try, I don't think he's willing to face the possibility of another "failure." It's a feeling I relate to all too well. Lately, I've had thoughts of walking away from all this for a bit and even just moving on. Call it self-preservation, I suppose. I'm not a risk taker by nature (neither is Buddy) and the thought of spending a lot of time, money, and emotion on IF treatments (and even just his potential treatments to get to the IF treatment phase) and still coming up empty-handed is very daunting.
Essentially, we're in the same place, and expressing it in both similar and different ways. We need a break. We need to focus on his health (and mine, but I think my needs are more mental and emotional) and take the time to regain confidence to face our race again, if the decision comes to that. I honestly don't know how I feel. I'm very sad, but I also know that we are thoughtful people who make good decisions. The break from thinking about the next SA and the results and what do we do next will hopefully be a relief. We're lucky to have a strong and happy marriage, and hopefully we'll be able to spend a weekend away and spend time thinking of other things.