When I was in third grade, I had a great teacher whom I wanted to emulate. I decided then that I was going to be a teacher. In high school, I had a dream in my head of how my life was going to proceed. I would go to college, graduate, get married the summer after I graduated, teach for five years, get pregnant with boy/girl twins in the fifth year of teaching, have the twins in the summer, and be a stay-at-home-mom happily ever after. While it seemed I always wanted to be a teacher, I also always wanted to be a mom, but I was afraid of labor, hence the dream of boy/girl twins!
I attended BYU, but graduated without a boyfriend. I was concerned that I was going to be with children all day and wouldn’t meet someone to marry. It was during my third year of teaching that I met my sweet DH when he delivered the grand piano I bought. He was working as a piano delivery guy while going to the University of Utah. We became friends then started to date. We were married near the end of my fourth year of teaching in the Manti Temple. I was 25.
DH knew I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. He did not like working in the field of his degree. He took a job making $7 an hour. I knew I wouldn’t be staying home on that pay rate. I am one who needs to stay busy, so I went back to school to earn an MBA from the University of Utah. Meanwhile, DH found a job in IT. As he worked in that field, he found he enjoyed the work and was good at it. He was progressing in responsibility and pay, and as I graduated with an MBA, he was laid off. He found another job but was laid off again within two months. He had started taking classes in computer science at Weber State University in the evenings, because he found that most jobs required a degree. I was continuing to teach, and we decided he should go to school full time to finish quicker.
DH was three classes from completing his computer science degree when he was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia. I was 32. The nurse in the ER talked to us as she took us to DH’s room. She asked if we had children. When we told her we didn’t, she said, “If you want to have children, be sure to freeze sperm before they start chemo. Sometimes the doctors forget to offer this, so ask.” We did freeze sperm to use later. For the next year and a half, our lives were all about helping DH beat leukemia. He did beat it through a matched-unrelated donor bone marrow transplant in 2003. For that, we are forever grateful!
This is an introduction to my shattered dream: later marriage, no pregnancy, and now a husband with no sperm. It is from this perspective that we have journeyed from TTC to adoption to (working toward) living childfree.