"We Can't Have a Baby"

Like millions of other infertile couples, Katie and Bob were overwhelmed by grief, anger and blame. Can this marriage be saved?
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Her Turn

A Childless Marriage

"I love Bob dearly, but maybe marrying him wasn't the right thing to do," said Katie, 32, a marketing supervisor for a chain of nursing homes. I knew when I accepted his proposal that he might not be able to father a child, but I didn't realize just how devastating the reality of it would be. I don't know if I can accept going through life without children.

"We've been married only five months, but Bob and I have been dealing with infertility ever since our relationship became serious. We met two years ago at a friend's cookout. I was instantly attracted to Bob, and we had so much in common: We were raised in Irish-Catholic families in suburban Philadelphia; we were divorced; and we liked biking and camping. Within four months, we were madly in love.

"One night, Bob hesitantly told me he'd had a vasectomy during his first marriage. I assumed it was because he'd had two kids and didn't want more. This was a potential deal breaker, since I always wanted to be a mother someday.

"After college, I married Roger, my college boyfriend, but our marriage lasted only ten months. I spent most of my twenties concentrating on my career, taking for granted I'd eventually have children with Mr. Right.

"Except for his vasectomy, Bob was that man. So after three days of soul-searching, I told him bluntly: 'I want to have a family. If you're serious about marrying me, you'll have to get the vasectomy reversed.' Bob was stunned at first, but a few days later he said, 'I love you, and I'll do whatever it takes to have children with you.'

Continued on page 2:  Her Turn, continued


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