Monthly Archives: August 2012

Infertility: Man Up!!!

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If you are a man that is walking hand in hand with your wife or girlfriend through the minefield that is infertility there are some things you should always do and never do. Some of this will be tongue and cheek and take what you want and leave the rest but trust me you will want to consider this advice at a minimum. You should ALWAYS be sensitive to the woman in your life. You should ALWAYS do special things for them. You should ALWAYS listen to them. We (I mean men) are often guilty of letting some of these golden rules slip from time to time. When you commit to the difficult obstacles that infertility will bring you it is very important that you up your game.

I have read many articles and seen many interviews where a Hollywood starlet that is widely thought of as a bombshell will have low self esteem. The average woman does not look like the Hollywood bombshell but is every bit as beautiful. I truly believe this but you cannot convince most women that my opinion is in fact a truth. If you live with a woman that already has even the smallest self esteem issue it will be magnified tenfold during the infertility journey. The love of your life will have to have many gynecological type visits a week. Each time they walk into the doctor’s office they may be reminded subtlety or harshly of any feelings they harbor toward themselves of imperfection. Can you imagine a moment when someone physically hurts your love and you are not there to help them? That feeling would stick with you every day and night. You would imagine over and over in your mind their helpless feeling. It can be the same for a woman when they think they are not a complete woman because they struggle with infertility. They are not being petty and thinking only of themselves in this moment they may feel that they have let you down. The mind can be a terrible thing.

When your tough road to parenthood begins it is a good idea to bring home flowers an extra time here or there. If you never bring home flowers maybe now is a good time to start. Write your love a letter telling her how much you love AND appreciate them. Every day you should make it a point to talk to them and gauge how they feel and do everything you can to let them know how much you love them. We should do these things all the time. The truth is that life is hectic. Most couples have opposite schedules and long hours. Many couples have long hours and many worry about job security and whether the bills will be met each month. It is easy to love but it takes a little extra effort to express it sometimes. Treat your infertility journey moments like your honeymoon period and I don’t necessarily mean the sex part of it.

Since I wrote sex though make sure you bring your love to your sex life during this period. You may get a few extra chances to do most men’s favorite recreational activity but you need to make it as special as the first time she let your lucky self see her naked. Sex during this time can seem sterile at times because it may be on a schedule or right afterwards you may need to do something as part of the fertility process. Keep it fun. Try to make her laugh if she is the type of person that can find humor in the process of post coital infertility tricks. It is also a great time to just smile and tell her how lucky you are that she puts herself out there like that.

 She will face the obvious fear that a baby will never enter your lives but there are many other fears. She may fear needles, the effects of the medicine, the schedule itself, the doctor’s appointments, or what others are thinking. The infertility process is not a yearly checkup it can be a total assault on everything your love fears. You can never lose sight of this. Make it your job to know as much as you can about the process. Make sure you ask the doctor’s questions. Make sure you ask her questions. Make sure to let her know when you are pushing too hard. It is a balance but if you love someone it is second nature.

Be careful what you say. If your buddy’s wife is pregnant you may want to think twice before blurting it out to your love. If she is judging Snooky because as she puts it, “how can that crazy bitch be pregnant?” don’t try to rationalize that the Pride of Jersey is a mother. She may not want to talk to her girlfriends that are pregnant or have kids. You better never and I mean fricking ever tell her to get over it or that she is jealous. These are normal feelings. It is not in the same ball park but it is similar to her telling you a guy is hot and you say he is not all that when you damn well know that you have a tinge of jealousy toward the man she speaks of. Just roll with it. She may not be herself at times but it is okay. How many times have you acted like a jackass and she still loved you? She is not being a jackass but her feelings may direct her in a direction she would normally not go.

At the end of the day the things you will need to do will pale in comparison to the lengths she would likely go for you. A woman having a baby is miracle enough but a woman with fertility issues can be like the creation of the universe much less a single soul because you have to work so much harder at it. Love her, talk to her, and remember that the journey is very much worth it.

Infertility: Needles

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Needles Street Sign

Are you afraid of needles? Are you going through infertility treatments requiring shots? Fun huh? My wife has a huge phobia of needles. She can get sweaty palms just thinking of her skin being penetrated by the sharp edge of death. When we began our treatments she let me know that I would be giving her shots. She did not ask me if I would give her shots she told me I was doing it. I fully understand my lot in life and accepted her direction. The Jones Institute had me come in to learn how to give shots. My training was nearly a blistering two full minutes. I think heart surgery is at least ten minutes. The nurse gave me a small ball to practice on. I am not certain but I am pretty confident that the nurse had at least an hour tele-course on giving shots. They just foolishly looked at me and thought I could be trusted with sharps and said poke away. At least they drew a target on my wife’s butt. Yes a target. When I learned about the birds and the bees they never covered the part where you would have targets tattooed to your partners backside for you to throw darts at. That is foreplay I can do without.

I can remember the first time I gave my wife her shot. I must have taken a dozen practice strokes before plunging the drug into her body. The feeling of puncturing her skin was very unnatural and took a while to get use to. Once I got use to giving the shots I tried to make it fun. The only problem in making it fun was that I was the only person the appreciated my efforts to lighten the moment. I would make rocket sounds as I plunged the needle. My wife could not appreciate my juvenile behavior.  There were times when her back side was so bruised that I could not find a spot to place the shot. It was times like that when I wished the target had not washed away.
Shots in the bum are only training for the real fun. The shots that tested the most were the ones just below the navel. Shots in the belly were more personal. I felt more like I was stabbing my wife than giving her a shot. Maybe it was because I would tell her, “Time for your nightly stabbing”?. One night we went out to a comedy club and I had a couple of beers. After I was beginning to feel a little loose one of our friends reminded us I had to give her a shot that night. I have never tried so hard to clear my head as I did that night. When we got home that night I prayed I would not see two belly buttons when I gave her the shot.
The journey is full of battles. You will face financial, emotional, confidence, and dozens of other battles but the strong couples find a way to get through. My wife had to overcome a fear of needles and trust me with the task of giving the shots. We made it through with trust and love. You can get through this too. I wish you all the best and look out for those needles.