Monthly Archives: June 2012

Infertility: What She Sees, What He Sees

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She sees herself darkly

She sees a failure, a let down

She watches other women celebrate

Where she fears she will never be

She feels an empty gut, empty hands

She sees roadblocks, insumountable odds

She feels unworthy of love

I see her as the sunshine of my life

I see my greatest hero who never hears the word NO

I celebrate her and her resolve

I will hold her hand until we find our answer

I cannot fix her but I will never let her go

I will tear down her roadblocks, laugh at the odds

I am not worthy of her perfection

Together any journey can be bested

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Infertility: Let Me Explain Something To You

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Never Quit!   

  It is time to be honest. It is time to take a look at your infertility journey through another set of eyes. Let me share a story most everyone can relate to. When I was a teenager I fell in love with the cutest brown-haired, brown-eyed girl in my neighborhood. We dated for several months which seems an eternity in teen years. My girlfriend decided to break up with me. I don’t remember why and it doesn’t really matter but I remember it hurt. No one could make me feel better. I remember thinking I would never have another girlfriend but most importantly I remember thinking that no one had ever felt the pain and challenges I was facing during that time of my life. I was alone and no one could fix me. I was unlovable and loathsome to others in my mind’s eye. No one in the history of the world had dealt with this kind of emotion. I was of course wrong. I realized this when my best friend was dumped by her boyfriend. I helped her through her heartbreak like a friend should. I was able to do it because I understood her pain.

     I want to be honest about another angle before I wrap up my little tale. When Steve Jobs died from a long fight with cancer was her remembered for his battle with cancer or his work with Apple? His family could have cared less about Apple because they remembered a man they loved. Was Ronald Reagan remembered more for Alzheimer’s or being an actor or telling the Russians “to tear down that wall”? His family remembered a father and husband. Is Farrah Fawcett a Charlies Angel, an iconic poster model, or only another cancer patient? She was a hell of a mother from what news agencies reported. Your legacy is how you live your life, how you treat others, and how you respond to life’s challenges it is not a medical condition. Your legacy is not heart problems, lupus, or cancer. Your legacy is in your kindness, your leadership, and the love you shared. Your legacy is not your infertility. You are not your infertility.

     Let me be perfectly clear. Let me unmuddy your stream. If you are dealing with infertility you may feel like my broken-hearted teenage self. You may feel isolated in your fears. You may not share your thoughts with your spouse or friends. Trust me someone has walked in your shoes. My wife walked in your shoes. I have spoken to many men and women that have walked in your shoes. Does knowing you are not alone solve your problems? The answer is no but what it does do is open doors. Once you share your feelings and find others with similar stories you gain support and maybe your stress level lessens. If your stress lessens you increase your chances at kicking infertility in the backside.

      I want to clear something else up for you. You are amazing and inspiring. Some people are inspired by Lance Armstrong because of his ability to be brave in the face of cancer. He shared his story and has made others lives better for it. You may or may not beat infertility but you will inspire others not matter your result. What you are doing is selfless. You are trying everything you can to create life. You want to give the world a life that may change the world and you want to share your life, love and experience. You could be selfish and live your life only for yourself but you are too good for that.

     You may not want to believe these things. You may say it’s easy for me to say it but it comes from our experience. Do not give up on yourself. You are living your legacy by having the fortitude to look your fear dead in the eye and challenge it head on. I will not give up on you. My wife fought like hell and we finally got lucky and it would be easy to walk away from infertility and live out my life as a father but I just cannot do that. If someone gave up on my wife I would not be a father today so I will not give up on you and I plea you do not give up on yourself. I will pick you up but you have to be willing to pick yourself up and realize you are perfect as you are. Hold your spouse tighter and challenge your doctors as much as they challenge you. Your actions today are your legacy no matter the results. I love you all and best of luck.

Infertility: The Fruitless Fathers Day

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June 17, 2012 is a Sunday. That Sunday is Fathers Day. You have to pay homage to your father but inside you are missing something because you are one of the many men who have to face down an invisible enemy, infertility. Infertility hits men in the most tender of spots, their ego. Men are a fascinating lot. Most of us were raised to be tough. We were raised to be fair but to protect, especially the women we love but sometimes our toughness is our weakness. We forget to address what eats at us and in the end that can hurt the ones we love and are hereditarily raised to protect. Fathers Day approaches and inside you are shaken because maybe you feel you will never be a father. Maybe you feel you are not living to your wifes expectations because the infertility battle has yielded only pain. Maybe you are looking for a fight as a way to quell the pain that manifests in your heart. Like most men you probably don’t express these feelings. Rubbish!!!!!

This Fathers Day use the feelings in your soul to reevaluate your situation. If you have not shared your feelings with your wife maybe this is the time to do so. Full discretion of the heart during times like these can only strengthen a couples resolve to see their way through difficult times. Just because you have yet to reach the finish line does not mean that you bail out of the race. A strong couple can conquer the greatest of foes. When you work together you listen closer at your doctors appointments and collectively hear more. My wife and I rarely remembered everything that happened at a doctor’s appointment but together we could fill in each others blanks. If you share with your feelings with your wife and use your emotions to fuel your wish to beat infertility then your odds at fulfilling your shared dreams greatly increase.

When you doubt yourself ask yourself what you would tell your child if they doubted themself and wanted to give in. You already have the heart of a father and time, tenacity, and a little luck could bring that child to you. My Dad has not given me a ton of advice in my life. The reason is because I have not solicited it. The advice he has given though has always been simple and often only a few sentences. Straight and to the point. I recently asked him why our family fights so much. His answer was simple and honest. He said, “Damn kid when they fight that’s how they communicate. They love each other all the same.” That answer may not fit all families but for this one it made sense. I tell you that story to suggest that maybe this Fathers Day you take a chance and talk to your dad about your feelings. He may have a one liner or two that will get you through. Stay strong my brothers and know you are not measured by what you have but who you are and you are amazing.