NIAW 2017 Listen Up: Was It Over When The Germans Bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell No*


The title came from Animal House and honestly it has nothing to do with infertility……well then again….

I may not be the model of the spokesperson someone who is fighting infertility may listen to. I am a man and I have an 8-year old daughter. I am fully aware that in some circles it is difficult to hear from a person who has a child about infertility concerns. Thirteen years ago my wife and I started a battle with infertility. We had many of the familiar battles. We had failed attempts with IVF and IUI processes. We lost pregnancies. We hated hearing people tell us things like “Well maybe I can pitch hit in the bedroom” “Why Don’t you adopt already” “Even my dog’s pregnant” “I’m Pregnant…April Fools” “I’m pregnant again (from the best friend)”. I truly understand the battle and I will always have a part of me that wants to reach out and help people still in the battle and say…..LISTEN UP!!!

You have to understand that it is possible to win the battle. I know at least a dozen people who were told by doctors “You will not get pregnant.” The doctors were wrong. I will not pretend their battles were without tears but they did win. If I know a dozen people then there are so many more of them out their and it is very possible it is you. I beg you to do something else and sometimes this is the hardest part especially it seems for women (personal observation please do not hold it against me) and that is love and trust yourself. One of the biggest pitfalls of the infertility wars is doubting yourself. It is easy to believe you are broken but it simply is not true. There is not a person in the world that is without struggle of some form. So yes you and your spouse may have a mountain to climb but it does not mean you are broken or less worthy. I believe because you are ready to face down your infertility foe and fight it that makes you a hero. When you have a child you would not want them to think they are broken or less of a person so practice now what you will tell them then. You are a hero fighting a foe called infertility and your super power is your determination, the love you and your partner share (if you have one) and your doctors.

Listen up now hero person….don’t let words be your kryptonite. Sometimes our friends and family tell us unhelpful things simply because they have no idea or frame of reference to speak from. So when a relative says just adopt or your friend tries to change the subject remember that it is not their battle and they may be uncomfortable with the subject. They may be sad you are hurting and want the problem to go away and getting you to quit or diverting the subject is their issue not yours so disregard it. Needles and medicine may make me pregnant but words can do nothing for me. When you need words turn to your partner, your doctor, a support group or someone who understands. Would you take advice on fixing your car from a Great Dane…hell no…so why take infertility advice from the friend that just doesn’t get it. Sure they love you and they may be hurting for you but if it is not positive support its nothing.

Listen up now hero person…there is a League of super heroes out there. There are support groups with people at varied stages of the battle and listening to their battles and sharing stories with them can sometimes make us feel better. It’s like someone holding your hand in the dark. Together you are stronger.

Don’t give in. Try to find humor where you can. Find an outlet that from time to time takes you away. You can do this. It wasn’t over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor and it ain’t over now. I love you all and wish you the best. PS…..I know the Germans didn’t bomb Pearl harbor.



NIAW: Open Mouth: Ask Questions


I am that typical guy. I get involved in things and ask questions later. It is so much easier to be the bull in the China shop, hope for the best and fix things later. In 2003 my wife and I wanted to grow our family. We had pets and called them our kids but we began to wish a real kid. We wanted to realize our Pinocchio dream and have a real boy (or girl). We went a few months trying to conceive with no luck. We would realize we had to rely on medical help for any hope of having children. I went to appointments with my wife. I watched her cry. We lost pregnancies. I doubted myself. She felt like less than a woman and I felt like less than a man. It has been well over a decade since those difficult days. I learned many things from that journey.

As the man on the infertility journey I believe the first thing you need to do is set ego aside. If you are the strong silent type you may inadvertently send your wife into emotional turmoil because she does not know what you are thinking and it frees her mind to think the worst. Communication will save a bunch of heartache. Open your mouth and take her emotional temperature. Don’t tell her to toughen up either. You need to make sure she understands that you are with her not because “woman make man-child” but because you love her and she is the reason you are excited when you come home. I have seen many weddings both in real life and on television and never once in the vows did I hear “you will make me a baby”.  Ask her questions often. After appointments ask what she’s thinking about. You may need to push a little. If you are not the guy that asks about her feelings you may need to gently make sure you are not asking the dinner question. “The Dinner Question” is when one spouse asks the other spouse what they want for dinner and they answer “I don’t care” The dinner question often leads to arguments because neither in the couple want to make a choice. With the “The Dinner Question” in mind when you ask her the what she thinking about question after appointments and she says “nothing” press on with by letting her know you care about how she feels. You care if she is hating herself. You care if she is scared. You care is she worried about money. You are her rock and you want her to know it. You need to be careful and understand when it is time to stand down too. Sometimes she does not want to talk and maybe during these moments just remind her you are there when she is ready to open up. I am not suggesting that if you are the big macho “pick things up, put them down guy” that you suddenly turn into an emo-teenager pondering the attributes of love but I am suggesting that you step it up and leave no doubt in her mind that she made the right choice in you when whether you want to admit it or not she always had options before she married you. Some women will get to the point of depression that they will think their husband should leave them because by not being able to produce a child that its only fair they let their husband out of the union so he can find a “real women”. Think about this for a minute. She may love you so much and hate herself so much that she would rather you leave and secure the dream of having children with another woman. That is the equivalent of the hero in the action movie facing certain death and telling you to leave so you can live your life.

When a pregnancy does not take it can be hard. You have gone to appointments, got your hope up, taken meds, endured shots and blood tests, and probably missed work only to have nothing to show in return. When these events unfold ask her if she wants to get away for a weekend. Have a infertility free weekend. Make the weekend about both of you. You like baseball and she likes a guilt free shopping trip then spend the morning with her in her favorite store and share a drink together at the ball park at night. Be careful not to make the entire weekend only about her because this could give her guilt because it looks too obvious. After my wife and I had a hard cycle I took her to see her Pittsburgh Steelers. The only thing we talked about that weekend was that I wanted her to remember it was a pre-season game at the opponents field so go easy on yelling at the other teams fans so I did not get beat up.

When you are at the appointment ask questions. Two sets of ears are better than one. I suggest that to call back the order to your doctor. What I mean by this is that it is not a bad idea to repeat to the doctor exactly what you and your wife are supposed to do after the appoint. A good example would be, “So doctor I need to give her one shot of drug x in the morning and drug y at night?” Make yourself aware of what is going on in your lives. Go to these appointments if she will let you. I will never forget the first appointment I had with my wife. I was very uncharitable as they put her feet in the stirrups then I remembered how much more uncomfortable she must be.

Lets also address the elephant in the room. What if you are the party with the infertility issue? In my marriage it was both of us. You will have appointments of your own. You may have questions you think are dumb but there is not a such thing as a dumb question. Ask your doctor questions no matter how silly it sounds. Are tight underwear an issue? Does diet affect fertility? Is infertility hereditary? Ask them all. If you do not feel comfortable asking your doctor questions go to reputable websites and search out information. You cannot ask enough questions.

There may come a time when the battle is no longer worth the effort. You will not often see on blogs about infertility awareness accepting it may not happen. I have seen couples push themselves to financial ruin and divorce. If you are reaching the point where money is an issue and you have exhausted all outlets then set down with your spouse and decide TOGETHER what to do. If you or your spouse cannot handle the emotional stress that infertility WILL put you through talk about it. She may have wanted to stop a while back but did not because she thought you wanted to press on. Your ability to have a child is not worth losing your marriage or finances. What ever you do I wish you luck. I have seen the battle and was very lucky. I love you all in your endeavors to have the child you want but the one thing I leave you with is always make sure you tell them you love them.


Please go to RESOLVE.ORG for help and advocacy.






Infertility: Brother You Are Not Alone



I am a man. I am not a tough guy kick another guys ass man but I can handle myself if need be. I am emotional and in touch with myself but not in a cry when I see a butterfly land on a lambs nose on a spring day kind of way. I spent nearly ten years as a police officer and that’s a rough and tumble job. I can command attention in certain situations when need be. I am simply qualifying myself as an everyman. I am not special but I am not to be looked over either. When I found I was in part responsible for the infertility issues my wife and I had nearly ten years ago I never took the time to check myself. I “MANNED UP” and sucked that girly emotion in and tended to my woman dammit!!! I had no time to look at myself. I could not be bothered with me and my problems.

A man by most definitions is a hunter. He is the one that takes care of his family with his hands and his back. He speaks strongly and carries respect with him sometimes just because of his sex. This is partially true. I am stretching things out to show a point. He does not have to be these things. What is the point in defending your home if you never take the time to take care of yourself as a part of your family duties?

I protected my wife when we were working through medically assisted conception. I felt the need to put her needs before mine. I still think for the most part that is the right thing to do. In a relationship you need to be able to put your needs aside from time to time but if you are going to stay strong over the long haul you need to recalibrate yourself every now and again. I have coached youth baseball for a several years. I coached long before I ever had a child of my own. After I my wife and I lost a pregnancy I still remember canceling practice late right at the field and when all the parents left crying in the cab of my car. I needed to let go so I did not hold in my emotions and potentially take it out on others. I had a friend at the time I would call and just talk to. He did not offer up much in advice but he listened. It turned out that he too had dealt with a pregnancy loss very late-term and hearing his story saddened me but brought me calm as well. It brought me calm because I realized his was far worse and I was not alone. I listened as he told me about the emotional process he went through. I was not happy because his was worse but I realized not only am I not alone but there are other men that have more loss and deeper loss. I thought to myself…..this could always be worse.

If you are a man going through infertility issues make yourself stronger by educating yourself through your doctors, good websites like Resolve, Shady Grove, and Attain Fertility. Find that one friend you can always go to and be honest with them. Tell them I need you to just listen. Most guys have that friend. You may be surprised to find out they have had problems or know someone who has. You are not alone as long as there is information readily available to you. You can be the hunter…of information. Do you remember those Schoolhouse Rock cartoons as a kid? Those cartoons were right when they said knowledge is power. Show your partner that not only is your back strong, and your hands hard but your brain is your biggest asset. A man is most comfortable when he feels he knows his stuff. If you have infertility issues own it, educate yourself, talk to someone, and no matter the final results of your journey the most important thing you have will stay in tact: your marriage.

Marriages can come to an end during infertility struggles because of lack of communication. It may be that a man has sucked it all in and becomes irritable and impossible to live with. You do not need to be that man because you are not alone. Are you a man that like tools? The tools are there you just have to swallow pride and get the tools. If you go to church talk to your pastor. many churches have family building groups and nothing is more positive than men of faith getting together shoulder to shoulder to face their problems. You cannot be broken when you build up a wall of support and information.

Love your wife. Rain love on her. No matter what emotion comes out of her you have never seen before step back and breathe before opening your mouth. You will never look better to your wife than when you listen, show you listen, and take the time to learn about your plight together. Never forget this is a we problem not a she problem. You are not alone brother and the infertility battle is an amazing opportunity to show the world what a real man is.

This is my third year writing a blog for this annual Resolve event. I will never forget where we were and how we felt. We are fortunate we had a child but I still see hurt in my wife eyes from time to time as she enters a new level of the infertility struggle. No matter where you are in your struggle you are not alone. You are important and you are loved. Below are links that will help you to better understand infertility. Please consider surfing the web for others personal stories.

In 2011 I wrote The Longest Love Letter. The E Book is the true story of our infertility journey. It leaves little to the imagination but is the most honest thing I have ever written. It is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Infertility: You Are Not Alone the Aftermath



Sometimes you get what you want and you would think all will be well but then you realize some ghosts just cannot be exorcised. This particular post is not your typical infertility blog. This blogger for those that do not know is a man and he blessed enough to have an IVF child with his wife. I have a great bit of respect for my infertility circle and understand the sensitivity of those reading a blog about the pains of infertility from a person lucky enough to already have a child but in infertility there are many stories and this is ours.

The common gripe you hear from those that suffer from infertility is being angry and or jealous of your friends when they are pregnant while you are trying to just get pregnant. It is an understandable human trait be frustrated when you can’t have what its seems everyone around you attains with ease. Why would infertility haunt you even after you have a child? I am an only child as is my wife. We both admit we never considered having siblings as kids but we both grew up in neighborhoods where kids our age were out at all hours. Just step outside and join the nearest group of kids and you did not have time to consider you were a single kid.

In 2015 most everyone is time starved. Both parents work in most households and in many cases the schedules are opposite of each other. Playdates have taken place of stepping outside and joining up with a group of neighborhood kids. Playdates are a mixed bag because not only does the date include the kids it includes parents that do not always know each other. Some people are comfortable with that (myself included) and others are understandably not. Finding a playdate family is nice but rarely is it a regular event. You may be like us and find yourself in a beautiful neighborhood with wonderful neighborhood and kids galore but schedules just don’t seem to line up and the kids sometimes only catch glimpses of each other when they are just going in for the night. The kids have schedules too. Kids do so many things these days from sports to arts to school activities. As a group we have taken our time starved adult lives and handed them down to our children with their own time starved schedules. What is the hell does this have to do with infertility?

When you are an only child you notice when your friends have siblings and siblings equal a play partner. Siblings equal that lifetime partner in crime and person you can share secrets with. The single child knows nothing of sibling rivalry or the politics of sibling civil war. They don’t see sharing toys, space, TV, and mommy and daddy. They only have the why: “Mommy and Daddy why don’t I have a brother or sister?”.

We were honest with our daughter. We explained in the best terms possible that we barely held on to her and that because of infertility issues she will be an only child. She gets it sometimes but then one of her friends has a sibling and is no longer an only kid and she realizes she is the only kid in a neighborhood full of kids that has her own room, playroom, ton of toys, but when it’s thirty minutes to bedtime she has no child to play with. She looks at Mommy with big eyes and innocently mentions that she is the only single kid. The infertility that my wife kicked the ass of over six years ago reaches out from its grave and crushes her. Now my wife does not feel the pain for her and I but our daughter too.

My wife understands everything. She understands she was fine as an only kid. She knows full well the fortune of having one child. She also knows our daughter is not trying to hurt her feelings when she tells her she wishes she had a sibling or there is no child for her to play with. My wife takes it all to heart. She is reminded of the feeling of being a failed woman and now it is compounded because she thinks herself a failed mom to boot. She went from failed woman to failed wife to failed mom and even though none of that is true the spectre of infertility has a way of making you believe lies. You hear new things from people when you talk about infertility that happens after a child is born. You hear that your life is great and you should feel lucky to have what you have but now you see the world through your childs eyes and admitting to them you are not able to give them something they want is painful. As the husband all you can do is console. You are a chained dog to infertility as the man. You would destroy anyone that hurt your wife but infertility is intangible so like a dog tethered to a tree all you can do is pull at the length of your chain and bark because you will never be able to bite.

I look for ways to console but they are fruitless. I sometimes find myself thinking I am intruding on others when set up playdates for my daughter. I worry when I think my little girl has not found her lifetime friend yet even though she is only six and all good things in time. She has great friends in the neighborhood and lifetime friends so far but eventually grade differences split kids apart, friends you only see every few months stay friends but the kids grow apart to at least some degree. Infertility reminds me that I will always be looking over my wifes shoulder to make sure it is not pulling her down. It reminds me that when you think it is no longer a factor in your life your child is sad because she doesn’t understand that the older kids move on and another can’t play because it is late and they are getting ready for that crazy schedule all kids seem to already have.


At this stage infertility is a teaching moment. It causes you to step up your game as a parent. You learn to be more honest with your kid. You learn to find new ways to keep them occupied and work harder to make new friends at her school and her activities so maybe she finds a friend that will be the Thelma to her Louise. This is where you teach her to never give up on things and to find ways to not let the dark things in life crush your dreams, hopes, and self-confidence. Infertility never goes away but it does not have to win. Twenty years from now infertility could haunt her and even though she will have been well versed in all we told her about in the first two and a half decades of her life she will feel the same pains a person just discovering infertility feels. I hope she never knows that battle. She is not alone if it happens. She is not alone figuring out that single children are fine. She will never be without us next to her watching her grow and make friends. My wife too will never be alone because as long as a breath comes from my lips I will never let it win by taking her out emotionally.

This is my third year writing a blog for this annual Resolve event. I will never forget where we were and how we felt. We are fortunate we had a child but I still see hurt in my wife eyes from time to time as she enters a new level of the infertility struggle. No matter where you are in your struggle you are not alone. You are important and you are loved. Below are links that will help you to better understand infertility. Please consider surfing the web for others personal stories.

In 2011 I wrote The Longest Love Letter. The E Book is the true story of our infertility journey. It leaves little to the imagination but is the most honest thing I have ever written. It is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

There Are So Many Levels: You Are Not Alone


not-alone When you were a child you could not wait to be an adult. When you became an adult you could do all you wanted. You would make the calls in your life and no one was going to change that. You could do anything. If you wanted to be a fireman then dammit you could be a fireman. If you wanted to buy a house then all you had to do was pick one, any one. Life was going to be that simple. You would marry the girl you wanted and when you were ready you would have a child.  Some of the things you knew would happen as child happened. You got lucky and married an amazing women and after a while you try to have a child and that is where things get slippery. You have a low sperm count and she has endometriosis.

     It does not matter what the combination is of infertility bad luck because it sucks either way. You begin a long painful journey trying to navigate the unpredictable tides of a battle with infertility. There will be a long list of wonderful surprises and socks to the gut awaiting you. You will find yourself judged by people you never thought would judge you. People in their judgement will say thoughtless things. They may try to make light of the situation out their ignorance by saying that you get to enjoy sex more or they may even offer to “stand in” for you in the bedroom in a twisted vomiting of nervous words. A man will feel his machismo challenged and will sometimes bury his feelings to protect himself and seem stronger for the woman he loves. A man may very likely not start up a conversation with his boys over beer and a cornhole board about his inability to make his wife pregnant. That will be the unicorn of male conversations. A man will stand strong for his wife. He may not know what to say to her about his or her perceived “short-comings”. He will fight often for the right words to soothe. He will do small gestures to mask the events if but for a second. He may buy her flowers or ask her to have a date night. He will hope against all that is reasonable that maybe for a second she will forget about the emotional war at hand. Men truly are from Mars and women are from Venus but it doesn’t have to be that way.

     Women will take the full blow of this invisible pain in the heart called infertility. For a woman it will be a direct blow. She will need every bit of support and understanding to trudge through infertile waters. She is the vessel by which life finds its way to existence and she will feel as if that vessel has irreparable damage. She will feel like every eye that looks at her knows she is broken. The truth is she is not broken but you will not convince her otherwise. She will be the one that bares the pain of life loss and she will feel like she has let down the man she loves. She will feel alone and misunderstood. There will be a pile of information laid out before her by her doctors proving that she is not the first or last to deal with infertility but she will still feel like the rare unicorn in the room. The first and only. Her pain will be different in her heart. Her friends will unintentionally say inappropriate things to her about the problem at hand. She will get angry at things she would normally laugh at. She will cry. She will doubt herself. She may hate herself. Not a person will understand.  The world truly has dealt her a painful lowly blow.

      There is another couple out there too. There is the family that never seeks help. They either are afraid to face the battle or hear the words that lay out a long hard but negotiable path. They have the conversation with each other that is never discussed with anyone else. They don’t want to face the bitch of infertility. They may not want to face it because they don’t know what to do or where to go. They may just be afraid of the unknown. They may not be able to afford to start the journey and that is a double whammy. This family comes to all the parties but quietly walks away from the mildest conversation about children. This is the family that breaks my heart themes because they suffer silently and openly.

Yet another group is the one that had a kid. They got lucky through medically assisted conception but now their child is five or six and sees all her friends with siblings and can’t understand why they are an only child. The mother is deeply hurt and feels like they have let their child down. They are fully aware how lucky they are to have one child. They fought for years to get one but it still they want more for their miracle. She relives all the pain of infertility issues. 

    I am the father of an IVF child. I have seen all of the above families and have lived their pain. I have watched helplessly as my wife wrestled with infertility demons. Demons I could not exorcise. You are not alone in your pain. You are not alone in your confusion. You are not the first and surely not the last but if you brave the trail you may help others. Your story could bring light to someones darkness. One of our best weapons against the emotionally draining battle of infertility is each other and our experiences. We are stronger together. If you don’t feel comfortable talking just google infertility blogs and you will find so many stories that will closely match yours. This will not solve your infertility but sometimes knowing you are not a unicorn makes it e little easier to live with. We love you all and wish you the best. 

This is my third year writing a blog for this annual Resolve event. I will never forget where we were and how we felt. We are fortunate we had a child but I still see hurt in my wife eyes from time to time as she enters a new level of the infertility struggle. No matter where you are in your struggle you are not alone. You are important and you are loved. Below are links that will help you to better understand infertility. Please consider surfing the web for others personal stories.

In 2011 I wrote The Longest Love Letter. The E Book is the true story of our infertility journey. It leaves little to the imagination but is the most honest thing I have ever written. It is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Infertility: The Healthy Fertile Man



The world as we know it can be hard. There are worse bad hands to be dealt in life than infertility but when you want a child it is all you can think about. Infertility is one of those things that is almost a sick prank that life pulls on you. I am a man but I know that many women think of having their own children often. The truth is men do too. I can’t wait to take my kid to a baseball game. I can’t wait until the first time a guy shows up at my door to ask out my daughter and I give him the “stare down and talk”. I can’t wait to teach them to ride a bike, to…….wait I suffer from infertility? What if you do not suffer from infertility directly but your wife does? What if you are a studly baby making machine just waiting for your wife to produce the child you were blessed to be able to biologically produce but she cannot? What do you do?

You marry to be in love. You marry to have the support system to get you through all of life’s ups and downs. I have never once heard in marriage vows the part that says she will knock out a kid when directed to do so and if she can’t then she gets sent to the farm and the groom can move on. After all a bull has needs right? HORSEHIT!!! A man is defined by how he behaves when the chips are down. It is easy to be the “I pick things up and put them down guy” but it takes true testicular fortitude to love for better or worse. If a man wants to be a father and the love of his life may not be able to make this happen he needs to then show her why she married him. He needs to go out of his way to redirect their life. He needs to talk about options. He should make her know that this is simply a little bump and all they have to do is slow down and get over it together. If adoption is not the answer he should help to cultivate a life for them where they can hand in hand find other interests that they can share and make memories from. Maybe they do not have kids but they can travel the world or become more involved in church or other community activities. He should not let infertility be a stop sign in their life.

If his wife needs medical help for the possibility of childbirth then he needs to become a brick wall. When she is feeling beaten he should hold her up and never let her fall to her knees. He needs to remind her that she is not the first to walk this path and many have had children with persistence and medical help. He needs to arm himself with knowledge from the countless appointments she will go to. Let me clarify that last statement ….the countless appointments “THEY” will go to.The hardest thing I had to do when we went down our infertility road was from time to time be quiet and just let her let it out. I had a few times I had to walk away and let her have a moment but I always returned with a kiss and a gentle touch (for the record we were both contributors to our infertility). I can still remember my wife telling me I should find a woman who I deserved. A woman who could just knock that child out. Men can you imagine the emotion a woman must be carrying to make a statement like that? She loved me so much that she was willing to give up her own happiness so I could wander in another field for offspring. That was the hardest statement I ever heard. You need to know that it could be you boys. It could be you have no ammunition in the pea shooter. Would you want her to leave? Can you imagine how emasculated would feel if you could not produce what was needed to have a child? Would it be fair if she left?  Be the man she married. Be a man! Be the man!

Please share this post. Challenge men to be men if they are not. I love you all and I wish you the best on a journey that takes a lot out of you but is well worth it when you find what you are looking for.





We have a six-year-old child. Her name is Emma. That is not how most infertility entries start but sometimes it is fun to work a story from its end to its beginning. You ever seen a movie like that? Quentin Tarantino is the master of that. You know the end so how interesting could the events that led up to the conclusion hold my attention? HOPEfully this story will.

Rewind nearly five years before the birth of our child and my wife and I were about to have the ride of our life. We were at the beginning of an endless series of doctors’ appointments, needles, and a ton of pain. The infertile community will understand when I write how frustrating it can be listening to a friend innocently discussing how they are pregnant. It is even more confounding when they tell you how annoying the pregnancy is or how uncomfortable it is or how their spouse won’t touch them while they sport a baby bump. All I want to say is, “Bitch my wife just finished crying for a week and a half because we miscarried. Now she hates herself and there is nothing I can do to console her because in her head it is her fault and she is less of a woman. She thinks I should move on to another woman who can give me a child. She couldn’t be more wrong but I will never get her to understand that…” but instead I respond with, “Oh that’s stinks but it will be worth it in a few months”. You are supersensitive and self-destructive if you are a woman (in many cases) and emasculated as a man (in many cases) during infertility. I am a man but not a macho man. I am not the guy that will fight at the drop of a dime. Even though I was a cop I had few physical confrontations of note in the first 45 years of my life but I will defend my wife until I have not a breath to give. It is so hard to see your wife hurt and there is nothing you can do. The assailant is invisible and you can’t make them stop. Infertility is an invisible bully and it attacks you physically, emotionally, on the news, on your favorite sitcom, social media, at work, from your family, and so many other directions. Infertility is a hurricane that pounds you until it passes over you because you throw in the towel or you beat it.

The strength it takes to stand up to a bully is palpable. Infertility is no different. Families that take on this task and it is a task go through things that very few people will understand. Some will feel like they are on an island and the population is one. It is a difficult thing to explain because the emotions hit you when you least expect it and sometimes you do not feel yourself. I mean honestly who in their right mind is pissed at their cat for being pregnant and thinks the feline is flaunting it?… infertile person may feel that way. It takes a special soul and couple to step into the darkness of this unknown menagerie of appointments and scrutiny and get each other through it. If you cannot be an organized person that keeps doctors visits, medication schedule’s, and many other inflexible things straight you best find someone to help you stay on point. You have to be honest with yourself and do all you can from time to time to set your pride aside and ask for help from your spouse, friend, or other family member as needed. You will also need to “LET IT GO” from time to time and vent, cry, and maybe scream…..just don’t do it in line at the Wawa buying your coffee!!! Enough with the bad.

This entry is about HOPE. HOPE comes from many places. HOPE can be faith in God. HOPE can be faith in family and friends. HOPE can be faith in yourself and knowing that you will not be denied a child until all things have been tried, all calls have been made, second opinions have been heard, all angles have been viewed, all medicines that are safe to you have been tried, all voices are heard, all money you can afford has been exhausted, all support groups have been visited, all…well you get the picture. My HOPE came from my wife. She does not believe it but there is none stronger than her. There is none more determined than her. We ran the infertility gamut. We had miscarriages, a million doctor appointments, IVF, IUI, pokes, prods, a crap load of judgment, tears upon tears, and the list goes on. My wife sat in the floor of her pharmacy, in tears once, as she miscarried and there was nothing anyone could do. She even gave up once. I was relieved because I could not bear to see her in such pain but a few months later she decided that she and we were not done. She decided that that giving up was not the end she wanted. Reluctantly on my behalf we moved on. We went through another IVF. Every number that could go wrong went wrong. We only had two eggs to implant and they had poor grades. Two eggs but we had HOPE. In our case it was not faith in God it was just a good old fashioned Hail Mary hoping to reach the end zone where life as parents began. For us it was HOPE that luck will change. We became pregnant. We had no time to celebrate because only a week or two in my showed signs of a miscarry. We went to the fertility clinic and would not even look at each other. The nurse did an ultrasound and told us she had a heartbeat. It was the first time we heard the heartbeat of our child. There was a sub-chorionic bleed. My wife would be on bed rest for nearly eight months. She never complained. At one point she did not come down stairs for a couple of weeks. She would not lose hope. She would not quit. This thing was happening. We eventually picked up the nerve to get stuff for the babies room. The clerk at the store actually berated my wife for waiting so long. The woman needed a smack on the mouth but we walked away. Even after the pregnancy progressed there was judgment. Some of the other people she knew said they would have worked through it because “what’s going to happen is going to happen!!!”. These are insensitive jerks. She never lost hope. Even on the day our child was born we would have not been surprised that something would go wrong. On October 20, 2008 nothing notable went wrong.

HOPE got us through. Faith in each other was the fuel that allowed my wife, in the terms of one of her favorite movie “A Knights Tale” to tell the bully infertility that “You have been weighed, you have been measured, and you have been found wanting. In what world could you possibly beat me?”. I beg you to not give up HOPE. I ask that you hold your partner tight. Tell your partner everything in your heart and ask the same from them. Keep the conversation up as you beat this bully down. Even if the battle cannot be won you may have strengthened the bond with whoever you chose to spend your life with to the point that in no possible world could anyone break you emotionally. My wife and I understand and even after what seems an eternity ago I still feel the heat of the HOPE that she kept alive.



My Name is Andy Thornhill. I will always remember what happened that made my life feel closure. I wrote a book titled, “The Longest Love Letter” and it tells our families story. I have very good reason why I will never forget. Yes I saw the miracle of my daughters birth but what was nearly as impressive was the stength I saw in the woman I am lucky enough to call my wife. “The Longest Love Letter is available for the Kindle and Nook. Best of luck with your journey.