If I were able to talk to my twenty-one year old self my younger self would tell my present self to get on my Back To The Future care and go to hell. My younger self would not believe the things my older self would experience. I would be either way to cool to have gone down future self’s road or I just would have not believe that “IT” could happen to me. Hey younger self could make any girl he wanted to get pregnant in less than two minutes of serious love-making. Yes older self is telling on younger self and quite frankly older self “two minutes” but at least it would be “serious”. When it comes to either of my self’s you take the old you take the bad and….what is the rest of that sitcoms jingle anyway. Facts of Life theme song aside, my younger self would be blown away at the things he would do down the road.
A twenty-one year of age strapping young man such as my younger self would have never and I mean ever gone with a girl to her gyno appointment. Younger self could certainly not have dealt with a man tinkering with his girls undercarriage right in from of him. Younger me would tell you that there may be a third person in the room but it would have been a second girl….he only wishes. Younger me would have never admitted to anything but the highest of sperm counts. He would tell you he had a count that was so high that it mystified doctors. My older self would be so very disappointed in the way his crows feet free self viewed a woman’s part in having a child. He would have told younger self to be sensitive to his significant others feelings when she said she felt less than a woman because of the difficulties they were having in conceiving. He would make sure younger self did not blow off her feelings with a “suck it up attitude”. Younger self may have left a woman who couldn’t “get the job done” in his eyes. Younger self could be a real asshole.
Older self is educated to infertility norms. Older self recognizes that it is not unusual to get angry at friends when they are pregnant and that he should not judge his wife for feeling such anger. He gets that she will be more sensitive. Older self gets that he will feel less a man because there is nothing he can do to make her feel better. Younger self would tell you that not only could he keep his girl feeling happy and secure but if he could not (and he would never admit he could not) he would simply trade her in for a less bitchy model. Younger self would not talk about his short comings in a blog if a such thing even existed then.
Infertility Awareness makes a man out of you. It makes you aware of others feelings. It forces you to listen and to come to grips with what you do not know. It teaches you patience and to understand the facts of your infertility but to fight them with every tool and practice medically assisted conception has to offer. Yes my younger self may have been a jerk but with the power of an amazing woman as a partner, a good fertility clinic, and love he became a better person and eventually a father. I hate to admit it but infertility taught me what should not be taken for granted.
What would you say to your younger self about your infertility?
Maybe it is a pipe dream to think that when you are having the fight of your life that it could be easy to find things to be thankful for during the holidays. Halloween has passed and you may have went to the movies with your spouse to avoid seeing happy families traipse their children through your door step for candy as you long for the thing they may be taking for granted, having a child. We are now entering the holiday before the “Big One”. You know in the back of your mind you will be bombarded with your own childhood memories during the lead in to Christmas. These memories may be hurtful because you want to afford the same memories your child. You can’t go to the mall because everyone has a child seeing Santa. It is hard. It is easy to be self-destructive and hurt during this time of the year but you are stronger than that.
The simple fact that you are willing to take on the challenge of battling infertility is proof alone that you are the strong and determined type. You can get through these days AND you can find things to be thankful for that revolve around infertility. The large majority of people going through infertility woes are doing it with a significant other, same-sex or otherwise. You found someone in your life that loves you for you. They tolerate your annoying habits just like you tolerate their annoying habits. Your spouse is supportive of the challenges you face. That someone loves you and wants the same things you want, hurts for the same dreams you do, and holds your hand when words are useless is an enormous gift. We are all lucky to find someone who loves us but love is truly tested when infertility enters the picture. If you have that special person in your life you are so very blessed with good fortune.
Science is another great thing to find thanks in. Our fertility doctor always fascinated me. She use to have a yearly event where she brought together all the families she had a hand in creating. When we went to the event I was stunned at the hundreds upon hundreds of people and children that were present. Can you imagine having a hand in making people’s dreams come true and assisting in bring forth lives that may have never existed without your help? I refuse to believe that a person becomes a fertility doctor solely for the goal of making money. There has to be a passion for this kind of practice. The science itself is a blessing and the good people who treat you are an even larger thing to be thankful for. My wife and I were talking today about a difficult cycle where the doctor could only recover two eggs even thought there were dozens available. The doctor knew my wife would be crushed and changed her schedule to give us much-needed one on one time to deal with the bad luck we had just saw up close and personal. The doctor made a difference and it just happened to be that it was that cycle that produced our only doctor.
Friends that support you cannot be forgotten in this Thankful Holiday Time. Your Thelma and Louise friend that will punch a man in the mouth for you without giving it a thought is one of your greatest assets. The friend that sees you hurting and takes you out for a glass of wine or lunch and doesn’t pretend to understand your ordeal but makes you feel like it will all be okay is a goldmine of Thankfulness.
I beg you to not give up. I beg you to not let the holidays break you down. Try to see the good and use that to get you through the journey you are on. I beg you to love yourself and not let the process make you question yourself in any way. Anything worth having is worth fighting for and that is exactly what you are doing, fighting for your dream. You are what I am thankful for. I may not know those who read my rants but I have an understanding of what you are going through. My wife is my hero and made me understand exactly what it means to fight. She showed me that a woman is a force that cannot be reckoned with. Embrace your battle and use the pain against it. Use the doubt against it. You are going to have weak moments but you my dear friend are not weak. I love you all. I hope you find what you need. I hope you enjoy your holiday and most importantly I cannot wait for you to kick the stuffing out of infertility.