Friday, September 15, 2006

I'm Leaving My Wife

No I'm not. I just wanted a flashy title.

I have so much to say in this post, I really don't know how to get started. I'm very intimidated by the sheer volume of thoughts I have to put down.

I had a comment from anonymous yesterday, asking some pretty big questions, and they do touch on a couple points that I've been meaning to blog about.

Here's the question from Anonymous:

I am not a troll - but do you think that if this continues and you don't get a baby out of this it could end your marriage? How much and how long do you go through something like this? How long has your wife been unhappy? I know marriage is give and take and being there for the other person but it is not like she has cancer or a terminal illness - and you have a daughter! When do you all get happy again? I think you are happy (from what I read) and your daughter is happy but what about your wife. What if the second baby does not come, what happens then? Does your wife say if this works that would be wonderful but if not, I am lucky to have my hubby and daughter? How far do you go being unhappy?

Lots of good stuff in there. I originally wrote another post, complaining about her anonymity and how I wished this person left his/her name, how I wished I knew if she was infertile, and what her story was. But she has since left another comment, explaining that her name was Maggie and that she has been dealing with infertility for years and is now exploring adoption. Thanks for the follow-up Maggie, I'm glad to know more about you.

You say that your husband would never put up with all the moodiness / bitchiness / crying for so long. Honestly, what can he do about it? Yes, it bothers me ALOT sometimes when I just wish she would shake it off and feel happy. And there are times when I scream at her for ruining the present in favor of a possible future. But again, what are you going to do? I can not demand that my wife be happy. Doing THAT would probably end my marriage. And frankly, I've always been the type of person to admit that there is a ALOT I don't understand. I do not understand what infertility does to women. I do not understand the emotional damage it causes. How can I insist it go away? Feelings aren't wrong - they never are. So by "not putting up" with my wife's current swings, I would become the kind of person I hate most - the kind of person who acts and speaks with conviction about a topic he is basically ignorant of. My wife is not an unhappy person by nature - I would never have been attracted to or married a person like that. She is a very funny (funnier than me), incredibly silly, kind hearted woman who desperately wants to have another baby and is having a really hard time. If she's going to be upset about that, I have to let her. I can't control her emotions. I've tried. Does she cry every day? Yes, she does. For about 5 minutes. Does she laugh everyday? Yes. For about 5 hours.

So I'll write for a minute about secondary infertility vs. primary infertility (if that's what it's called). Again, I'm no expert here, I just know from my own experiences. My wife and I have been in both camps.

Is secondary infertility "less bad" (I won't say better) than primary infertility? Of course it is. For us, the fear that we would never have a child was overwhelming. I'll never forget that fear. I'll never forget the joy when that pee stick had 2 lines on it. I cried like a little girl. (I had had a couple drinks). So with that fear gone, this process is less painful. We are very, very lucky to have a child. We think that everyday. My wife says that every day.

But when you want to create a baby, whether it's your first or your second, or your 10th, and you can't, I think you feel broken. I think there are big natural forces at work there. And I think that does damage.

Let's do what you should never do: compare it to money.

Lets say a couple earns $50k a year. They can afford a roof, ok clothes, dinner out every now and then. They're not rich. They probably think if they could only have, say, $150k, they'd be happy. Think of all the crap they could buy...a house... a decent car...

Now look at the couple who earns $150k. They have a decent place, some nice vacations. She probably has a couple designer outfits. He might have a couple of $700 suits. Wouldn't it be nice if they could afford private school, though? And all the people around them when they were ALL earning $50k per year are now earning $1 million, by the way. They see them at the park every day, talking about their millions.

Should the second couple feel bad for wanting more? Everyone else seems to have more. And because people know that you are a $150k person, they just come to expect that you are interested in growing your income. If you weren't, you'd still be at $50k. And obviously you CAN grow your why are you still only at $150k? When are you coming to $1 million? What's taking you so long?

And of course there are those people at $5million who it all came so easy to. They think it comes that easy for everyone. They make money by just waking up in the morning.

Maggie, in all honesty, if I were you, I'd feel exactly the same way. What the F*ck is this lady bitching about, she HAS a child. I know I would feel that way, and so would my wife. What I'm suggesting to you is that secondary infertility comes with its own bag of ass. A different bag. But if you want a child, you want a child.

To illustrate my point further, I'll give you a real life example. When my wife was in the hospital getting her eggs harvested, there was a girl in the next room over who was screaming in pain from some IVF procedure. My wife felt bad for her. The nurse told my wife that the woman had 2 kids already, and was undergoing IVF for a third. My wife no longer felt bad for her. She HATED her. Thought she was hogging all the babies. What right did she have trying for THREE babies? We can't even get TWO!

A couple other points. (I told you this would be long). I am sweet to my wife, and I do spoil her a great deal (she TOLD me to point that out). But the truth is, she definitely spoils me too. I'm not going to list all the douchebaggy things I do and say on my own blog. I'm not going to go into detail about the times I was a jerk to my wife and said incredibly insensitive things to her, because this is my blog and I don't want people to hate me. I'm not mis-representing myself on this blog, but let's just say, my personality is a bit scrubbed. This is MY blog, after all.

Last point: Maggie, I am glad you posted on my blog and I hope you do it again and that you stick around. I'm so sorry for the trouble you've had and I truly can't imagine the pain you've dealt with. I hope adoption proves to be the right thing for you and your husband and I'm sure you'll make great parents.


Anonymous said...

I dont mean to be insensitive to your wife and she nailed it on the head when she was not sensitive to the woman who was trying for kid #3. That is how I feel when she is dealing with kid #2 -- but you are right - just cuz it is not MY pain of trying for #1 does not mean it is any less of a pain.

Sound like you have a nice wife who is just overwhelmed with sadness and frustration right now. I can understand that and feel her pain. And while it is none of my business, I would hate to see what seems to be a really nice family/marriage break up because of this issue - and believe me, they do. At any rate, I appreciate what you have written. I think you have good valid points and I wish your whole family well. I am going to keep reading your blog but I am stepping off my soapbox :) Maggie

Patricia said...

awww geez, i might be the first commenter. i gotta be the one to leave the tracks in the fresh snow. so allow me to get my muddy boots right in here.

as i was reading, i kept thinking, he was right. should never compare it to money

and while i understand your point, it just doesn't hold water for me. yes i think i can grasp that you want another baby very strongly. there's just always gonna be a big ol' but coming next for me. and i hate feeling like an awful person for thinking this way, and yet it's the truth.

god has a plan for us all. that is truly what brings me peace. i am working very hard to use all the technology available to me, but through it all, i fall back on this one pure known. this is what works for me and certainly not for everyone.

god has a plan for us all. and i trust him.

i wish you well.

Just another Jenny said...

Secondary infertility is it's own bag of ass. That was well put. I can only imagine how many times you get asked "so when are you having another one" and the pain that causes. I am dreading that asshat question, I am sure I will hear it many times (if I'm lucky enough to finish my current journey). I don't mind the comparason to money, it makes sense and it's fine to use metephors. I think alot of IF husbands could be asked "how do you put up with her", the question better question is "could you live with out her?". For better or worse is just that. I'm glad to see you stick by her side - even if your post title scared me.

Heather said...

All good points Smarshy. Primary Infertility vs. Secondary Infertility is a tough issue.

I showed very little sympathy for the secondary infertility folks while struggling with primary infertility. I figured, "they have a child, they can't possible understand the pain I'm going through".

However, after reading Soralis, Alli, and now your blog I get it. I understand that even though you have one (or two, or three) you may still want another and can't seem to make it happen. It's heartache no matter how you slice it.

Oh and in response to your previous post...cancelled cycles are pure torture.

One Mother's Journey said...

It's always bothered me people saying "why can't you be happy with what you have?" That is really a shit ass question. The answer from someone suffering from primary infertility might be different from that of someone with secondary infertility - but they are both valid.

Everyone has an idea of what "plan" their life will take - few of us end up with it being followed point by point. I don't know anyone who suffers from secondary infertility that isn't happy with what they have. In fact - it's quite the opposite, they are TOO happy with what they have and they know what they'll be missing by not having more. Those tears we cry are not sadness for our currect state - they are sadness for your future. I don't want my future to not include more children. I can't visualize that - it's not part of my "plan". But I have no control over that plan. Does that mean I don't love, adore and cherish each second I have with my kids? No frickin' way.

I don't understand why there should even has to be a distinction. Infertility is infertility, whether it's primary or secondary is really irrellevant. They both suck.

serenity said...

WELL SAID!!! I find myself getting really angry at the concept that secondary infertility isn't as painful as primary infertility. Reason number one you spelled out perfectly - not being able to have a baby when you want to is just shitty.

Reason number two, which is what makes me most sad... when you have secondary infertility... you CAN'T GET AWAY FROM BABIES. Your wife takes the Buggins to the park so your daughter can spend time with her friends and develop social skills... and M is confronted with the mommies who all talk about when they're planning the second. Or the ones who rub their pregnant bellies. Or nurse number 2 while complaining about how tired they are.

What can your wife do? Isolate the Buggins from other kids because she can't deal with the pain the above causes? Well that's not the answer - that won't work for your daughter. So M HAS to sit there at the park with those women. And feel inadequate because, unlike those mommies, she can't have another even though she wants it so very badly.

I have primary infertility... and I am lucky in that if I need to retreat from the pain of infertility, I can go home or go away for the weekend and forget. M doesn't have that ability.

So no judgement from me, Smarshy. In fact, I think your wife has to put up with more than she needs to - because she doesn't fit in ANYWHERE. Not with the mommies who can have a second at any time... and not with the IF crowd because she "already has one."

That you have your miracle in the Buggins I'm sure helps. Sometimes.

But that doesn't mean you and your wife don't feel the pain if IF any less.

Whew! Thanks for letting me get that out. :)

aah0424 said...

I commend you for your senstivity towards your wife! At this point I only know the pain of primary infertility, but sometimes during my low points I think about how cruel it will be to have to go through this when I'm ready for #2 and/or #3. Wanting to have a baby and not being able to is just bad all around. Infertility is the gift that keeps on giving!

Here is my quandry and this might not be the right forum to debate this. You guys went through primary IF and sought treatment. Now you are going through it again. Is that really secondary? You've never actually had "fertility" so wouldn't you still be primary. That is just the way I think and your readers can all bash my way of thinking! In my mind I always think of those who conceived naturally the first times around and then have trouble as "Secondary" and those that never got pregnant on their own as "Primary." I know it probably isn't the text book way to describe it.

Actually, scratch that--infertility is infertility and it sucks if it is your first or your fifth. We shouldn't classify it any other way!

SmarshyBoy said...

Aah0424 - Good question, not sure waht the exact definitions are. However, my wife and I DID conceive The Buggins on our own the first time. We tried for about a year, were diagnosed as infertile, went through IUI, and then took a month off before injectibles. During that month off we nailed it on our own (so to speak).

Hope548 said...

Smarsh - you really get it. I'm impressed and touched. Great post. I think you explained it all very well and you answered some questions that were in my head that I wasn't letting out. It is hard to understand trying for the second child when you yourself still remain at zero.

I commend you for understanding it all and helping your wife through it as best as you can. I wish you luck and further success.

By the way my security word is zafidan, I love it when it actually spells something you can pronounce! Have a good weekend!

Krista said...

Wow, stop reading the posts for a day or two and you sure miss a bundle.

Great post Smarshy. I think you understand your wife perfectly right now. And, we all know that blogging allows us to "digitally enhance" our personality, I say it's my party and I'll embellish if i want to.

rypa said...

We've experienced primary and secondary infertility, your post and many of the comments describe our emotions quite well. The only thing left out is the desire to provide your child with a sibling and their desire to have one. I financially and physcially could have lived my life quite happily without doing IVF/ICSI again and again, but I really wanted my son to have a sibling to grow up with.
That desire meant that I've spent the last year on IF drugs of some sort, done 3 IVF/ICSI, had a chemical, a blighted ovum, vanishing twin, 2 D&C's and OHSS. Primary or Secondary, all those terms mean pain.

I'm so thankful for the son I have and know that I'll never have to experience the "What if I never have a child?" pain again. I do, however, know the "My child is so wonderful, I want another one with all of my being." pain. Which is worse? I agree with what the others have said...IF sucks no matter what form it takes.

SmarshyBoy said...

rypa - I can't believe I left that out! I had too much on my mind. I totally agree, the desire to have a sibling for The Buggins is a HUGE motivator. We talk about that every day. Thanks for your comment.

spark said...

Great posts, Smarshy & Serenity!

I hope you & your wife get through this soon and find a new feeling of peace. Or at least $5 million. ;)

theoneliner said...

I've always thought that the most sucky part of secondary infertility would least with primary fertility you only have a notion that you and your spouse will have a beautiful, fascinating, bright, lovely little one...with have no doubt...'cause you see THAT little one everyday.

Maybe these marrriages that m speaks of break up b/c the husband "lets" wives feel or not feel or a certain way. I promise you mine would. Feelings can't be helped...just consoled.

And I've never liked this "my pain is worse than yours" b.s...
secondary vs. primary...i mean what is that? Do we need a pain spectrum? Is there a shortage of empathy?

Grrrrr. Good post. Glad you said it.

Rumour Miller said...

Wow... great post (and great blog -found you on a blog roll).

I can totally relate to the Primary IF emotions,feelings and swings. I worry that I will be able to relate to the Secondary IF emotions,feelings and swings.

Infertility is infertility no matter how we choose to disect it and it sucks. It hurts. It makes us angry.

I just want to end with: "Marriage is for better or worse, in sickness and in health..." I couldn't imagine mine breaking up because of our infertility. I feel (and I am certain that my husband does too) that if anything, infertility has made us stronger as a couple. More in tune with one another and deeper in love. Mood swings and all.

Alli said...

Your blog is awesome.

I wish I could be happy with the 2 kids I have. I love those boys. I wish I didn't think of infertility every second. It sucks! I don't know what drives me but my heart aches for another baby and so does my husbands. My boys are dying for a baby brother or sister. Our family does not feel complete.

And the mood swings? Goodness. It's insane. My poor husband. I know this is not what he signed up for. LOL.

Melissa said...

Smarshy-Just wanna say what every other woman has already said, probably ten times already-but THANK YOU for this blog. The hubby and I have had PLENTY of arguments about me, my emotions, and how out of control they are, he's called me a crazy nut on the verge of the loony bin...But, I handed him a copy of your "happiest infertile on the block" entry and he suddenly got it. He entered the room yelling "pink shoes-I want pink shoes!" He told me the lightbulb went on. Although I've tried to explain this very point to him hundreds of times, the fact that YOU, a man, experiencing if said it-it makes it click for him. So thanks...You've made my life a thousand times easier!

The Town Criers said...

What a great post--and I loved hearing it from the male point-of-view. You rock, SmarshyBoy.

We're in a similar boat of secondary IF after primary IF and you summed it up well: it comes with its own bag of ass.

Ali said...

What a fan-freaking-tastic post! I have only recently stumbled upon your blog from linking to blog-list to blog-list to blog-list, etc.
I have to say that I love reading the male's side of infertility. I agree that secondary infertility is just as painful as primary - if you know that you need another child to make your life more complete - there is just no lessening that kind of pain.
My husband and I are dealing with primary infertility ourselves and although my blog doesn't really mention it at all, I find that reading this circle of blogs that you are involved in is very calming to me. No one I know personally is going through this right now - so it feels almost like a homecoming to peek in on all of your lives everyday knowing that I'm not alone.
Your posts are wonderful and I'll be checking in daily!

Baby Blues said...

Your wife is lucky to have you! I know infertility could take its toll on a marriage. But for those husbands who deal with the mood swings and depression, it only goes to show that your love goes beyong this IF struggle. So hang in there! You keep us sane. And wherever this journey would lead you, at the end, it will make your marriage stronger.

Piccinigirl said...

you always say it so well. Your "happiest Infertile on the Block" makes us laugh every day and my Hubby has shouted "we want a baby" a lot the past week.

Hope your wife is feeling better, she has a great Husband.

Treggles said...

Smarsh, you are a star. This was a great post and reflects what seems to be a great relationship you have with Mrs Smarshy and the Buggins.

I really want this to work out for you.

Artblog said...

You took the words right out of my mouth! I've briefly spoken about this very subject in one of my posts, only not as elaborate as yours.

It's primarly the desire of a sibling for our daughter and the fact that I never wanted her to be a only child that makes it so hard to accept that another child may not come. The desire for one or two or more REMAINS a desire, thats the bit people don't get!

Anyway, if it helps your wife any, I give my husband the same treatment and maybe more and I still love him dearly, but it isn't easy for the "other" partner, so I'm glad you seem to get it.

Leggy said...

We are also in the secondary IF after primary IF category. I do happen to think primary IF is worse, but it doesn't make secondary less hard. Does that make any sense?

Someone above said- IVF, D&Cs, miscarriages- they all suck. Yes, yes, yes.

What I'm struggling with right now is the "how much longer can I keep trying" thing- because the thing that I find hard about IF is how long its taking to resolve. I just don't know if I have it in me anymore. I mean, I do, but at what cost?