When “He Looks Just Like You” Kind of Breaks Your Heart

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paper to help with handwriting Business Planning Books thesis on purchase intention what format should i write my scholarship essay Three years ago last week, I was in the hospital in Boston. Not the friendly, carpeted, front-facing part of the hospital, but the behind-closed-doors, old-tile-floor-and-flourescent-lighting part where the nitty-gritty science of medicine happens. We’d been trying already to make a baby for years by that point, and this was the last resort. More doctors than I can count. The GP, the urologist, the fertility specialist, the people my wife went to who told her, “yeah, there’s no way you’re the problem here,” as if I didn’t already know between the two of us which was the one with the problem. No way that wasn’t going to be me.

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Complete your Dissertation or Research on time with our expert PhD site services. Get in touch with our expert Dissertation Consultants The procedure was this: they’d wheel me into the room, put me under general anesthesia, and as I understood and still understand it, cut my testicles open to see if they could find any hint of viable sperm for IVF.

Apa 6th Edition Research Paper.Pay to write paper.Essay Writing On Internet.Essay customer service.Buy book review paper There was no chance it was going to work. I mean, come on. I’d done everything. I’d gone on a diet to lose weight because my shitty Russian urologist said in his report I was “morbidely” obese — and oh how he bristled when I corrected his spelling. I’d been to see everybody, taken the hormones, jerked off into the cups for tests multiple times, had enough blood drawn to fill another version of myself, and jumped through enough insurance hoops to last me the rest of my life, which sadly it probably won’t.

One of the solutions to research paper issues can be turning to custom writing companies that offerCustom Dissertation Writing Services Best. These papers are written from scratch by professionals who are experts in the field they are writing about. This is the best option compared to just plagiarizing someone else’s work. Before they wheeled me in, the anesthesiologist came to see me looking like he was fresh off the back nine. “I’m guessing it’s not your choice to be here,” he said, intimating that my wife was forcing me. I was too terrified to tell him to fuck off as I properly should’ve done, but I just said, “No, man. No,” and did not speak to him again. It was a shame. His assistant had been kind of cool.

Your academic writing issues will be resolved within a click. Our Travel And Tourism Essay writing service helps you to fulfill your essay submission on-time. Last thing I remember before waking up with gauze all over my midsection was the surgeon — who was the same specialist who diagnosed me in the first place — coming in and saying a cheery good morning. They told me my blood pressure, but I can’t remember what it was. Then they put the mask on me and I was out.

Improve the your manuscript's chance of publication with Wiley English Clicking Here. Your work will be paired with an experienced editor who specializes There are still days I wish I’d never woken up.

18-9-2007 · Whether you’re trying to solve a tough problem, start a business, get top 10 Buy A Dissertation Online Survey attention for that business or write an What a way to go, right? There are insects who die trying to procreate. To expire during what was my convoluted last-ditch attempt at it seemed like it would be saving everyone a lot of trouble. My wife could’ve I’m sure found another, more viable, husband before she was out of the building — a catch, she is — and it’d just be like I went into a back room and never came out. Fine. Done.

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Can You I Need Help With My Essay,Thesis paper help - Best Essay Ever They took me to a different post-op room and that’s where my wife came in. She pulled back the curtain and I said, “No. Nothing?” and she shook her head and burst into tears, confirming. Three years of trying to make a baby down the drain and we finally knew why. It was me. Hi! Me. Just me. All me.

A piece of me died that day, and left the rest to mourn it. Over the next few months, I did what any self-respecting suburbanite 35-year-old gentleman would do and developed an eating disorder. A couple of them, actually. I’d starve myself, maybe eat one meal a week that wasn’t protein powder-based, if that, and I’d pop laxative pills by the fistful every two hours. It was nice to control something. People on the internet said I looked good. I did for a while. Then I looked sick. Which I was.

Before we were out of the parking lot of the hospital, though, I said to my wife, “Okay, so we get donor sperm and get you pregnant.” It was the wrong moment to talk about it, maybe, but I had to be doing a thing other than going the next day to see Star Trek Beyond all hopped up on opioid painkillers. She said she’d already looked into it, and I knew then that if I hadn’t said it, if we didn’t do it that way, I’d lose her. Maybe not all at once, like she’d leave, but that over the years, our life together would disintegrate and what Kurt Vonnegut in Mother Night called the “nation of two” would crumble away.

Her sister and her then-wife in Connecticut had two kids by the same donor. Good kids, whom I love dearly. My only niece and my second-youngest nephew. Fine. There was so much paperwork involved. “Imagine some people just do this by having sex,” I said to my wife, at what I’m sure was one of my more helpful moments, which I doubtless followed up by popping more pills.

Our son is beautiful and incredible and tiring and I love him like I’ve never loved anything. He’s worth it, and I’m privileged to know him. He looks just like my wife. And his cousins. Her whole family, the same nose.

She got fertilized in a Boston-area doctor’s office on one of those at-least-it’s-not-snow rainy days in January 2017. The woman, who wore a New England Patriots sweatshirt, offered to let me do the actual insemination, but I said no. Leave it to the professionals. Clearly if I’d been capable of such a thing, it would’ve happened already. Seemed unfair for me to step in at that point. Plus, I’d invariably screw up and make that paperwork a waste of time. We’d wasted enough time.

I cried almost every day, even for just a little. I cried while I didn’t eat. I cried shitting my brains out in the bathroom at Hasbro when I worked there. I cried writing. I cried all the time. Cry cry cry. It didn’t fix anything. Nothing did. Cry cry cry.

Before insurance would cover the final fertilization process, we had to go see a social worker who asked, “How are you going to speak to your child about where they come from?” and we answered firmly, “There are all kinds of families.” We seemed so sure of it, so righteous in our NPR world of forward thought and the up-front, nouveau moral righteousness of progressivism. Why would I feel shame about that? You mean because I failed at the thing that’s literally the most basic function biology has — to reproduce and make more of itself? Not me, lady! I read the Times!

Then it happened. Oct. 25, 2017, he was born by emergency C-section after 40-plus hours of labor. There was part of me that didn’t believe it was real, even afterward. Like, “Yeah, okay,” and then someone blows a slide whistle and the whole thing is a prank. Hasn’t happened yet.

I’m the “other parent,” genetically speaking. This has its ups and downs. When I think of myself, and even when I thought about making a baby in the first place, there aren’t a lot of traits I’d want to pass on. I can’t think of one. Say one good thing about yourself. I have nothing.

That’s the upside to having gone with the donor in the end. I’m off the hook, genetically. He won’t get cancer because of my family history. No doctor will ever write “mobidely obese” about him because of me. Men in my family die young. Aside from my grandmother’s brother, who is 95, my father is the only one to my knowledge who made it past 70, and I’ve already said that if I do, I’m going to eat ice cream every day, because that’s bonus life as far as I’m concerned. Maybe I’ll get there, maybe I won’t. But my son will. He’ll be better off without me in his bloodstream.

For all our “all kinds of families” talk — which is true, by the way — it all got kind of quiet after he was born. People see a man, a woman, and a baby together and they assume that the two parents produced the child. I let it happen. Not something you can really fault someone for, if you think about it. Maybe it bothers me letting it happen. Maybe I feel like I deserve the asterisk: Dad*. I don’t know.

He’s mine, one way or the other, but when someone says he looks like me, I’m back there, wrapped in gauze, wishing my life had ended. I’m back there trying so desperately to control anything about my body or about myself, even if what I’m controlling is its obliteration. All the better, really. Let me go.

Cry cry cry.

My favorite response is, “All white people look alike.” Sometimes I say, “Nah, he’s all my wife.” Every now and then I’ll break out, “Let’s hope not,” chuckle chuckle. Lately I’ve just gone with, “Yeah, well…” and left it there. Feels like a coward’s way out, so fair enough. Maybe if I had the hormones to put someone right, we wouldn’t have needed the donor in the first place. And people mean well. They don’t know.

I’m still grieving, even as I chase my son around the house trying to get him to eat his packet of apple sauce, or as I booby-trap his shelves to deter him from climbing them. Sometimes when I think of how amazing he is — and he is — and how much I love him, I wonder how it would be different if he was of my blood. But grief changes with time. It never leaves, but it’s different now than it was that day. You live with it.

We’ll try to acclimate him to the “all kinds of families” thing once he’s old enough to ask where babies come from, at some point tell him about his “special cousins.” He’s not yet two. It’s all comfortably in the future now. Until then, we’ll just sing Beatles songs and share beautiful photos on social media, like what’s normal anyway? Looks so easy. But it’s not, which I know because I still think about it every day, and because we’ve already gotten so quiet talking about it.

I don’t want to be.

Or maybe I do.

Thanks for reading.

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18 Responses to “When “He Looks Just Like You” Kind of Breaks Your Heart”

  1. Remi says:

    Thanks for sharing JJ. It’s almost certainly a more-common-than-we-think story. We went through our own challenges before Jane (our now amazing 5 year old) was born and it’s “incredible” what you find out from those around you when you have your own grief/loss to share. On the healthier side of my “dealing with it”, I tend to overshare and talk about it all to anyone who will listen. Less so as time goes on, but certainly as it was happening. It helped to know that I wasn’t alone out there and hearing other stories helped make it make “more sense”.

    Much love!


  2. Mike H says:

    I could cry. For real. I feel like such an asshole. I was one (maybe the one) to give you shit about having your head up your ass with an obvious eating disorder while your wife was pregnant. Talking about not wanting to live. Fuck. I feel horrible. This is the clearest example I have ever experienced about not judging someone, because you know not of their struggles. Over they years, though we have never met, I felt some type of closeness with you and cared, deeply, for whatever reason. We’ve exchanged Christmas cards and baby clothes over the year. I guess I felt entitled on some level to call you out. I stepped out of line. Way out of line. At some point I knew I had, but I still was having, WTF? thoughts. Like, get it together man. My son is 8. I am not sure I would do as good as you in your situation. I know I would be a mess. I can only imagine, I don’t really know. JJ…I am so completely and sincerely sorry. With all of my heart and soul I apologize. I was a dick. Fuck, this s a hard lesson. I judged you without knowing you or your struggles. Completely and utterly unfair. My deepest love, respect and apologies to you. On a side note, I also have an almost 18 year old stepdaughter. I am not her father, but I am her dad. For a very long time I was more of a dad than her father was. She will always just be, my daughter. Nothing less. No steps. I love her with all my heart, even though she is at an age and period in her life where she is testing the boundaries and bonds enough to kill a man. There will never be anything that changes my love or that I am her dad. Love you man.

  3. jose humberto says:

    God bless you friend , I have a nine year old handome guy who I love hugely , sons are awesome

  4. Deanne says:

    Oh JJ, I think you are amazing. (And don’t roll your eye or make remarks as I say it) As a mother, to know (now) what you went through to try to have a child…well its a most honorable thing. You were dealt a hand of circumstances beyond your control. You did everything humanly possible it sounds like. There is no shame in invitro…
    You absolutely do not have to be a biological parent to be a dad. My girls have both, and Casey was a great dad to them, better than their real father in my opinion. He talks all the time about how he wishes they were *his*.

  5. Spencer says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this, JJ.

  6. Freddy Allen says:

    I know this wasn’t easy to write and I appreciate you being able to share your story with us. My wife and I went thru a similar experience with many years and doctors than I care to remember, but in the end somehow ended up with a baby boy thru IVF. Something that seemed so easy for so many people and often taken for granted made us now feel incomplete. But coming from a broken family myself, I now know that love really does conquer all no matter how they came into our lives. I love my kids and wouldn’t change a thing because in the end we’re all they have.

    • Chris Szymanski says:

      I have a stepdaughter who I’ve raised since she was five . She ll never be my blood but always my daughter. I think an emotional attachment is far stronger . Ps …., she is now twenty , been to desertfest with me twice and going to see Green lung in a few months .I must have done something right !

  7. adzo says:

    this is heavy stuff man, and writing about it so openly shows me you are way fucking stronger than you give yourself credit for. regardless of blood, you’re son will learn to be a devoted and passionate man, traits he will gain by watching you do what you do! you’re an Inspiration to many of us, and he’ll be proud of his world renowned journalist papa! ?

  8. Nicole says:

    JJ a zillion years ago I was your adjunct French professor at Seton Hall University and you were one of the kindest students I’ve ever had the privilege to work alongside. Heck I think I might’ve been a mere 2 1/2 years older than you at that time so it was more like having a friend. What I remember is you talking about your girlfriend, now wife, and making all those starry eyed Peter Pan and Wendy references and how you played it down but how it was so obvious that your love for her was beyond the pale. Almost 20 years later I still remember how good and kind you were how much you loved music and how much you love the leading lady in your life. I don’t know what anybody but me believes with regard to higher powers and purpose but however you derive those types of things know this: as a parent to a single son as well even being the biological parent of my son who is my doppelgänger leaves me feeling defeated and seriously less than on more occasions than I want to admit. Thankfully smarter people than me have reminded me that whether it’s God or Jesus or the great big chocolate chip in the sky you are exactly the right father for your son and it is with that purpose that you are in his life. No asterisk, no self-deprecating humor/action/inaction can change the truth that you ARE the pecan’s daddy. Enjoy the journey and be kind to yourself.

  9. Jonas says:

    I’m a long time reader who never engage in comments of any sort but this touched me deeply. Being a father of two kids, 1 and 3 years old, I can only imagine what you’ve gone through, and I just wanted to tell you have brave I find it that you’re sharing this in such an honest manner. I’m both tearstruck and in awe of the courage it takes to open up about something of this magnitude. To love ones child is to my experience easier than loving oneself but I wish the best for you in this regard.

  10. Alex says:

    Even though your country is separated from mine by a very wide ocean I can relate to your story. So sad, so happy at the same time. Het leven is geen krentenbol, is what we say. Which translates to “life ain’t no raisin-bread” or something like that, which is supposed to express the uncertainties in life. One can have a vision of the future, make plans even…but some things come on their own and can’t be foreseen. Thank you for sharing your story, your emotions. I read of love also, and pride. I wish you loads of it.

  11. Josh says:

    Like others have said, I am looooong time reader and appreciater of all you’ve created and shared over the years, but don’t usually comment. Believe me, even having a child what we consider the “normal” way has come with heavy psychological baggage, especially for my wife. We often get stuck in the “why has THIS happened to ME. Of all the people…” etc etc and have to remind ourselves that whilst this thing we consider huge, could’ve been so many other, often far worse, fates.
    You are giving your son something which millions of sons never get/got – a loving family and a dad who would do anything for him! You’re clearly an amazing person, try reminding yourself that every once in a while, you deserve it!

  12. Aris says:

    JJ. You’re the one of the strongest.
    Your Pecan is a real lucky kid. Please be for him an inspiration as you’re for the stoners community.
    May a god bless your life.

  13. Danilo says:

    I understand at least a little bit the trouble you are in: with one atrophied testicle, and another removed due to tumor, I have azoospermia as well. I was only lucky to have a doctor recommend freezing some sperm a couple years earlier when I had a testicular infection, but I did ponder how would I cope if using my sperm didn’t work for IVF. I now have a kid that is slightly older than your boy (2.5 years old), and I frequently joke that he might not even be mine genetically (“whoever’s sperm they used in the hospital”), but that he is now *mine* all the way! But that’s not what I came here to say.

    When people say that he looks just like you, it might actually be true! I’ve had it happen a number of times in the past, even with my current wife: people would ask if someone who’s not my relative and me were brothers and/or sisters (“you look alike”). In essence, as we did not look at all alike, I realised that we spent so much time together that we developed similar behavior, similar facial expressions, etc. And your son has probably started on that path already!

    While there is a (big, agreed) genetic component to looking-alike, twisting one’s face in a similar way will make the resemblance even bigger for that moment. And the fact that you spend so much time with your boy means that he will, indeed, look and behave like you at some point, even if he never really physically looks like you!

    It might not help with the sadness, but at least some of the people who are saying this might not be insincere!

    Kudos on having the courage to write this up!

  14. TK says:

    Thanks for sharing – it takes real courage to present oneself so vulnerably. And don’t worry about the genes – or lack thereof! I was adopted after my folks tried to kill baby me; my wife was adopted from her teenage mother – but we’re happy with 3 kids (one of them my stepson). Not without struggles though – we lost our third, a baby girl, in utero a month before she was due because my wife was undergoing chemo for breast cancer. Neither my wife nor I would be here without the Lord. I pray that He will reveal himself to you and heal you brother. God bless.

  15. Matt S says:

    Thanks for sharing JJ – I’m a new dad myself who went through his fair share of struggles to conceive with my amazing wife (we were able to finally make it happen after 2 years of trying and many tears). I know that if we hadn’t been able to, we likely would have gone down a similar path as you and your wife. I can only hope that I would have handled it with half of the strength and honesty that you have. Blessings to you and your awesome family.

  16. Harvey B Mee says:

    Thanks for sharing JJ. I wish you the very best.

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