Tag Archives: Womens Feelings

Infertility: The Healthy Fertile Man

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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.

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INFERTILITY: THE SEASON OF HOPE

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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?…..an 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. 

Infertility: Hey Oh Just Go!!!

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Tommy Ramone died this past week. All of the original Ramones are gone Joey, Dee Dee, Johnny,  and again Tommy. I can remember it as though it were yesterday. I worked concert security at local concert halls and I briefly met them and worked several of their shows. I remember them being very nice. I also remember the barricade nearly crushing on top of me from the force of the swaying and punk rock equivalent of a dancing crowd. It seems like yesterday The Ramones were playing a reunion tour. It seems like such a short time ago. What does this have to do with infertility and its effect on our lives? I will try to draw a line that makes sense.

I would like to give you a quick family bio. My wife and I are part of the infertility community. We both contributed to what was affecting our ability to conceive and carry a child full term. After nearly five years, we had a child on our second IVF. We had tried other methods over that time period and like many others in the infertility lost babies and shed tears. My wife did eight months bed rest while carrying our daughter who is about to turn six.  I wrote a book on our experience and at every opportunity try to offer support and our experience to families that are still finding their ways. My wife, a pharmacist, is involved with many women in various stages of infertilty. She is a rock. I don’t deserve so good and neither do most others. We wanted to be greedy and try again but decided not to tempt fate.

I did not forget to get back to the Ramones. When I saw on the news the latest death of a Ramone it was a clear reminder to me about how short our time is on this planet. Tommy Ramone was 64 when he passed, relatively young, but the impact that the band had on me was recent only over a couple of decades. 20 plus years seems like a long time, but it isn’t. If you consider that time frame think of your fertility window? If you or your spouse have infertility issues that can be medically treated and give you a glimmer of hope that window could be half or less of the 20 year Ramone window. Some couples and people feel in their heart that they have issues and do not seek help. Maybe they don’t get help because they do not want to face the truth. They could be dissappointed in themself or concerned they will disappoint their spouse. These couples may be scared of the unknown. They do not know if they can handle the finances, the emotions, or the test to their marriage. So your window that is already limited is getting smaller because of a very natural and normal fear of “not knowing”.

Many forms of infertility can be treated. Sometimes it is as simple as shots but it can sometimes need other treatments or even surgery. If you and your partner already have concerns and have tried to have a baby for several months or over a year to no avail then it could be time to have a talk. You must be honest with each other from the beginning and by this I mean both sides must express their fears and lack of knowledge up front. One of the worst things you could do is leave feelings unsaid because they may fester in ways that will make your infertility journey even more difficult. Once your fears and admission that you need help, as a couple, are on the table then its time to call your regular doctor for references and information. You will not be the first person to walk this path and sometimes fear can be quelled by support and experience. Attain Fertility, Resolve, and many other websites offer great advice and shared experiences. It has been my experience that sometimes knowing someone else has felt the same I do makes handling stressful situations better. There are many blogs kept by men and women at various levels of infertility that can be found on WordPress or through a google search. Be curious and read some blogs. It will not take your fears away but it might give you a little peace knowing you are not alone.

You had an honest conversation with your partner, talked to your doctor about next steps, and stalked some blogs and websites for support and proof you are not crazy  but now the real work begins. Your treatments begin and you have submitted to a million blood tests and the first couple cycles go by and nothing happens. You get words of encouragement and hope from your doctor but the results are the same. You decide to take a break and skip a cycle. During your break you question yourself, the process, and stop talking to your pregnant friend you have know since childhood. Time is passing and so is your confidence and patience. What do you do?

You don’t give up ever? Stuart Scott recently said in a speech about his battle with cancer (and I paraphrase) that when you are too tired to fight let others fight for you. While infertility and cancer are clearly two very different issues the principle remains the same. You are not in your infertility battle alone. You partner is in the battle with you, your close friends are in the battle with you, the infertility community is in the battle with you. We had our child but we are in the battle with you (message us on WordPress). I will  never forget what my wife did. Science is on your side, family and friends are on your side, but time? Not so much. Just like it only seemed like yesterday that I saw the Ramones on stage it also seemed like a blink in time when we were battling infertility to have our child. Do not give in if you can afford to move on. Be honest with yourself and your family. Cry if you need to. It is okay to let it go from time to time. Don’t doubt yourself. The resolve of women in the infertility process is amazing. You can do this. Time may be short but desire and drive to have a child are not. You can best infertility.

What If Your Partner Leaves You On The Field

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Pat Benatar sang that “Love Is A Battlefield”. I wonder if she meant that love was a battlefield because of the wars you will have with the one you love or if she meant something a little deeper. I like to think that love is a battlefield because any person or problem that faces the one I love and I will be left gasping for its last breath on the battlefield where, as a unit, we will defeat them. Today I read a passage on the Resolve Facebook feed that infuriated me. Generally I do not spend much time reading feeds. My wife could post on her page that we won the lottery and she cannot wait for me to get home and I would not see it unless she tagged me to it or it happened to be on top of the news feed. Sometimes I do scroll through the feeds looking for something to make me smile or maybe a random update from someone on my friends list. Today I ran across a comment from someone I do not know whose story was posted directly by Resolve. The post (and I am greatly paraphrasing) told us about a woman who had tried to have a baby with her husband for a couple of years through medically assisted fertility treatments. She received the news that everyone in the infertile community clamors for “you’re pregnant”. This should be where the good stuff happens but evidently not. Her husband was leaving her for someone else. My brain explodes in anger (for the husband) at the same time my heart broke for the lady in the Resolve feed.

For those who have not read my blog before or may not know me please let me give you my résumé on this subject. I am married for the second time after a bad first marriage. I met my present wife well after my divorce. My present and last wife and I have had plenty to deal with as a couple. We have dealt with nothing that many other couples have not faced and nothing that is worse than the next couple. We have not dealt infidelity and by the grace of whatever we may believe in I doubt we ever will. I should say I know we never will but if the Bachelors Juan Pablo popped up I am in trouble. We have dealt with infertility, loss of baby, and finally successful IVF. I am also a man. I am not the tough guy macho man. I am sensitive but I have my limits too. I have been cheated on but have not cheated. I will not pretend that I will not take a second to notice a pretty girl in a room but I fully expect my wife to notice a man and we have discussed attractive people on both sides often. There is a line to noticing politely and being the creepy person in the corner. Now let my diatribe begin.

When you fall in love and marry it is not disposable. Marriage is sacred and not because of faith-based reasons. Marriage is sacred because it is a promise. You promise yourself, the one you love, your friends, and both of your families that come hell or high water we will get through life together. Nothing that man or life can throw at us will tear us apart. If you fold under pressure and leave your partner on loves battlefield you are not a man. You are not human and quite frankly if you fold because “you can’t take it” then every woman who sees you from the day you fold on should also get an e-mail that says, “While he may be handsome he will leave you when times are hard. Before taking a date with this man share this information with everyone in your inner circle so the one that you are most likely to listen to in life will tell you to not even give him the time of day”. I am a realist. I do think that sometimes what was shiny and brilliant sometimes loses its luster. Sometimes things do not work out but before you throw in the towel did you try every avenue to be sure it isn’t just a relationship bump?

Infertility will try even the strongest of couples. I still remember my wife telling me at one point that she would not blame me for seeking out another woman who could give me a child when we went through our journey. To this day I cannot believe that statement but I understand that her love for me and the disappointment she felt in herself because of our struggles to conceive made her feel that way. The truth is we both contributed to our infertility but moreover we both were in the struggle. I have read many women make the same statement my wife did to me but I don’t think I have ever heard a man say it. There is no greater love than the love where one will sacrifice anything for another but that does not mean you take the “get out of infertility jail pass”. When a couple tackles infertility it will shake them but a good man will see past the tears, the loss, the insecurities and find a way to bring relief to the woman they love. The relief is often no more than just saying I love you, kissing them, holding their hands and saying nothing. Let’s face it, when it comes to the bumps in the road infertility brings sometimes the best support is just making sure they know you are there. If a man falls out of love during the infertility process he is weak and is only looking to escape what he is not man enough to face up to.  He is selfish because he cannot keep a promise and went down a path with you he probably knew in his heart of hearts he could not handle and when he found a woman who would support his weakness he left. It takes a strong couple to handle marriage much less infertility and my heart breaks for this woman because I am sure she felt they were this strong couple but it seems the strong one was her. So what does she do? She is pregnant and her other half has left. I suggest that your other half is the child you carry. You may still have a tough road ahead. For infertile couples the battle is not won when you are told you are pregnant because too many couples still have problems carrying the infant to birth. My wife had nearly eight months of bed rest and could only get out of bed to use the bathroom at several points in the pregnancy. Notice I said “couples” have problem getting the infant to full term. It will be hard but do all you can to focus on yourself and your child. Even if he thinks he made a mistake later you do not need extra pressure added by him. If he bailed on this be would bail on something else. Build up a fortress of support from friends and family. Try to not get caught up in the hideousness of his act and know that you have a blessing to care for. I truly wish you the best.

Love is all that matters. When you get married is it not for love? The same can be said for couples trying to have a child. Having a child should be about love. I am not making light of the families that are fortunate enough to build families without infertility issues but the couples that have children after infertility battles have a different view. We do not love our children more than couples that had children without issue but there is an extra glow to it and in some cases a maybe a bit more appreciation. I truly and fully intend no insult with this. It’s not more appreciation for the child as much as it is more appreciation for conceiving successfully. Not every couple is the same and every word of my above diatribe is simply opinion but love must come first.

When you enter into medically assisted processes to have a child it is very important to be supportive. Even if everything seems okay it is not a bad idea from time to time to ask your partner how they are feeling. Let them know if you feel less of a man or woman. Let them know that it bothers you when friends and family ask:

“When are you going to have a child?”

“At least you get to have a ton of sex?”

“Mary is pregnant. Todd and Amy are pregnant. The dog’s pregnant”

“I want you to come to my baby shower.”

“Just relax it will happen.”

“It’s Gods will.”

“If you need help I’ll volunteer to take Teds place.”

The more you share then the less likely a buried emotion fester into an argument that could have been avoided. I do not for a moment say any of these things happened to the muse of this blog but they are just things that help.  I learned from my wife that women are the strongest of creatures and in many ways stronger than men but even the strongest of us have insecurities. I wish you all the best. I hope you all get what you are looking for in your journey and most of all love each other.

Love is a battlefield. The best way to win a battle is a solid yet flexible plan, communication and trust.

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.

Don’t Ignore The Fact That You Are Not Defined By Your Infertility

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   My wife once told me, “I do not blame you if you were to leave me to find a woman who could give you a child”. She told me this when we were in the midst of a several year struggle to have a baby through the use of medically assisted conception. We had already gone through several IUI cycles, a miscarriage, and were preparing for our first IVF. I was beside myself after hearing this statement. The truth was we both contributed to our fertility problems. I am pretty sure she meant what she said when she said it. She was being selfless and loved me (and hopefully still does) so much that she was willing to put her happiness on a shelf so I could find mine. To this day the comment shakes me and saddens me. I could not imagine a time in life where my wife would be happier in another man’s arms than my own. It is not that I am such a great catch but I know how much I love my wife and I would rather be hit by a Kansas City Portable Potty truck than to give her up. She is my every, everything. What could cause such self loathing to make a spouse think that letting go is a great option? The answer to that question is a bitch named Infertility.

     Women do not ignore the fact that you are not defined by your fertility or lack thereof. For the purpose of the blog I will write in broad terms. I do not intend to offend or come off as a specialist on women’s emotions. I write of the things I have observed from both sexes in my life. A man oftentimes is driven by ego. A man’s ego more times than not is easily bruised. We men feel it is our duty to look after the fairer sex. If you say something to me about my wife in a negative fashion your day may end on a real bad not if I can make it happen. When a couple is faced with infertility and the woman has the health issue that is the culprit of the problem the man is helpless to protect her. When she has her weak moments there is no one the man can hold accountable. This is crushing for many male egos. Feeling helpless sucks. When a woman has fertility issues it will sometimes make her feel less a woman. Some women feel that when their spouse and them decide to have kids that the burden is on them. Less face it the man’s part in having babies is oftentimes relegated to doing what he likes, having sex. If he does not get her pregnant the first time he is not going to complain to get invited back to the bedroom Olympics. A woman has the responsibility of “getting” pregnant (an unfair, implied responsibility), carry the child to term, going through the pain of child birth, dealing with the body and emotion changes, and in some cases breastfeeding afterwards. Some women look forward to it. When a woman cannot get out of the gate she may feel like she is less of a woman because she cannot deliver a baby. This was the trigger my wife pulled. We had struggled and were only rewarded with pain. She did not think she was as much a woman as she wanted to be and thought I wanted her to be and she reached a low that is hard to understand if you have not been there. Feeling helpless sucks!!!

     I have been a man for all 42 years of my life. I plan on being a man for the rest of my life and I have yet to meet the guy who tells me over a beer that he loves his girlfriend’s reproductive system and that is the reason he is marrying her. In my single days if I was thinking of my wife’s reproductive parts it was not to see how well the produced off spring. You marry someone because you love them and how they make you feel. You may discuss children but I doubt that fertility comes up and when it does very few men care about it. When I was twenty two I was dating a girl who was 34. She was asking me one day what I thought our future was together and told me that she was not even sure at her age if she could have kids. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to marry her but I knew I did not give a darn about her baby making abilities. Any man worth marrying will not ask for the fertility guarantee pre-nuptials. If you find one send him my way so my dogs can take a bite out of crime.

     If I learned one thing in my years of marriage it is that when your wife has an emotion burned in her brain there is nothing you can do to change her mind. That does not mean you never stop trying. I ask women that battle infertility to remember some very simple things about themselves. You have friends. You probably have a friend or maybe two that would fight a pit bull to protect your honor. You have friends and family that love you because you are defined by your personality and your actions. If someone loves you (other than family) they probably did not love you the first time they meet you. They learned to love you as they learned about you. You are your actions. You are what you do for others. You are you because you were born amazing. The fact that you choose to subject yourself to the difficult task of medically assisted conception is a testament to the levels you are willing to reach to have a child. A man will not take no for an answer but keep doing the same thing with the same results. A woman will not take no for an answer but she will seek another way and reach her desired goal. My wife never took no for an answer. I did but not her. Our only fight as a married couple was whether we continued down infertility road. I was so concerned with the toll it was taking on her. She did not care because she is amazing and she won the argument and a few short months later our journey ended after our second IVF cycle gave us Emma Dae Thornhill.

     We got lucky or maybe my incredible wife made our luck. During our struggles I never once thought I needed to bail out for a chance with another’s reproductive ability. I never once thought of my wife as her infertility. Her friends and our family never looked at her that way. Hell the dog never looked at her that way. The dog loved her because she fed her and petted her. She made the dog happy and as silly as it sounds that relationship is like that of humans. We define our wives, husbands, and friends as the ones that make us happy. The ones that make our life worth living. The ones we cannot wait to see a movie with. The ones that we know will not judge us but will keep us grounded when we need to be. The ones we have memories with. The ones that hold our hands on dark days. The ones we cannot live without. That is how we define people. You would never define a person for having cancer, or being blind, or being dyslexic so why would you define yourself by your fertility. As I said I know how hard it is to change a woman mind about her impressions of herself but I will not stop trying because this is one time I have no doubt that I am right. You are amazing and this too will pass. When these difficult times pass I hope they do with fulfilled dreams. Never give up on yourself.

For more information on infertility please visit the below links.

http://www.resolve.org/infertility-overview/what-is-infertility/

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NOTE: When I was discussing with my wife what I was going to write for Resolves Blogging project again this year I told her I was not sure what to write about. I rarely find myself in this spot. Without hesitating she gave me my title and she inspired the rest. I dedicate this blog to my wife.

ABOUT THE BLOGGER:

     I am Andy Thornhill. I keep a fertility blog on Word Press called “Sunshine Dreams and Hopes”. I wrote a book to my daughter about the story before her birth. It is a tribute to why I think women (my wife particularly) are amazing and it is called “The Longest Love Letter”. It is available as an E-Book for Kindle and Nook. I also have Facebook page called “Infertility News You Can Use”. I intend it to be a place where others can share their experience through blogs, news, and just supporting each other. I wish everyone the very best.