Friday, September 01, 2006

The Post With No Title

Thank you everyone for reading my ramblings and for posting your insightful comments on my blog. I agree with you, it is a bit surprising to me how there aren't more blogs dealing with fertility from a male point of view. I know there are a couple out there - and I read them - but the female bloggers on this subject outnumber the male bloggers by at least 10 to 1.

Obviously, that is to be expected. You guys, are, after all, the ones getting shot up with all the drugs, and it is in your bellies that we are all hoping the little babies will show up. And I do know that some guys are just showing up when needed, whacking off in a cup, and then it's back to SportsCenter on HDTV. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

But I really do think that this process is rough on us too, and there are a couple of things going on with that:
1) We are afraid to admit that out loud for fear that our overly medicated wives will break out the kitchen knives and yell "you motherfucker, you think this process is tough on YOU?!?!"
2) On average, we are naturally less likely to discuss our feelings
3) We are too busy trying to calm down our wives to actually focus for very long on how the process is affecting us.

I can tell you how this is affecting me. Yes, I want another child. Badly. Yes, I'll be sad if we can't. But that is creating about 5% of the stress I am feeling about infertility.

The remaining 95% of my stress is coming from trying to manage my wife. Trying to talk her off the ledge every day. Hugging her as she cries EVERY DAY. Listening to her call me at work screaming because the nurse left some fucked up message on our machine like "you're number is at 49, which is a bit low" without explaining what the fuck that MEANS and what number she's ever TALKING ABOUT. Having to flee the playground with our daughter because all the other mothers there, who all have kids younger than our daughter, are all pregnant again. Every single one of them. Or having to explain to our friends why my wife couldn't make it to their BBQ AGAIN, for the 5th time in a row (it's those damn allergies...) when the real reason is that so many of my friend's wives are pregnant and my wife just can not deal with that.

I understand that that all makes her very unhappy. It's just that sometimes I don't fully understand WHY it makes her so unhappy. I've never been much of a jealous person, and the truth is, I really, really love my life. Wouldn't trade it for anything. So when our neighbor gets pregnant, I'm actually happy for her. I don't feel as though anything has been taken away from me. My wife, on the other hand, wants to put a contract out on her.

And its rough for another reason: I tend to rely on humor to get me through stressful situations. That's just me. My wife does NOT care for jokes during a serious process. In her mind, by making jokes, I am trivialize the seriousness of our issues. So there goes my outlet: making jokes. (that's one of the things that led me to blogging.)

And to those of you who think your husbands would benefit from writing a blog, but they think that it's a weird thing to do, I was right there with them. It honestly never occurred to me. The only guy I knew who had a blog was Anderson Cooper on CNN. This whole thing started by me trying to get my wife to start a blog, and she was resisting. So I started reading them to learn more so that I could talk her into it, and I decided I wanted the outlet for myself. And honestly, I feel so much better. It has made a gigantic effect on the way I feel. I never would've seen THAT coming.

Have a good weekend -

11 comments:

Lyrehca said...

Just found your blog and it's great. Glad it's helping you (is your blogging helping your wife at all? Does she read your stuff?) and looking forward to more.

Heather said...

For me, seeing a pregnant women while I was going through treatment was just another reminder that I WASN'T pregnant.

It could of taken her years to get that way, but it didn't matter. She was pregnant, I was not, therefore I must hate her. It's worse if it's someone you know and they are on to baby #2 in the time you were trying for baby #1.

serenity said...

J has told me a number of times that the hardest bit to handle about our infertility is ME. :)

I'd go into the female psychobabble about how we take every pregnancy personally, that there's this ticking biological clock inside us that screams "I WANT THAT" every time we see pregnant woman, or how it's a literal ache to have a baby and the only thing we can do is flee from people like that... But I am not sure that it will help you fully understand either.

We don't live in Marblehead, we're up the road north in Groveland (it's a little town just west of Newburyport).

I like that you are blogging. I like your sense of humor and that you REALLY care about trying to make your wife happy.

And as an aside, if you want a break and think she'd be interested in having another person In Real Life to vent to, she can email me at kpaalto@yahoo.com and I'd be more than happy to be bitter about pregnant women with her. Sometimes having more support helps.

Since the chances are good that we're at the same clinic anyway, we at the very least can bitch about the nurses. :)

spark said...

I'm sure that my husband can relate to many of your experiences. :)

For me a lot of my "unsocial" behavior comes down to self-preservation...and avoiding some situations is really just all about trying to get through the day.

Hope your wife finds new ways to cope. Has she read "Conquering Infertility" (Domar) yet? That provides are some good coping methods.

Anyway, love your blog! Enjoy your weekend!

Just another Jenny said...

LOVE your honestly. My husband has never told me that the hardest part of infertility is dealing with my pain. I am going to ask him about that and be totally fine if the answer is yes. Like your wife, I have had my husband excuse my absense so many times that people were starting to wonder if he really had a wife. The best way I can describe the jealousy is that seeing another pregnant woman reminds us of what we don't have. You might be going about your day grocery shopping and then bang - there's a pregnant woman and you've gone from grocery shopping to being miserable about infertility in a matter of a few seconds.
I wish more husbands were as pro-active as you are. Your a mighty good man smarsh!

p.s. - I'm adding you to my blog roll so I don't miss anything. Check out http://cyclesista.blogspot.com/, we can add you anytime you want. It helps connect you with others going through the same thing at the same time.

Mony said...

Andrew just emailed me. He was aghast at how dull your 100 things list was.
Coffee? He squeaked! Dull.
Artichokes! DULL!
The colour Blue!! Dully Dull Dull.
But I got into my first fist fight defending you. I was right, I rock in a rumble.
I want to email you a picture of a ute. Send me your address monymail@tpg.com.au

My Reality said...

Thanks so much for you comment on my blog! It is so great to read a male perspective of all of this. I will be having my husband read through your archives - I think it would be good for him to see the male perspective as well. Your wife is a lucky lady to have a husband like you! It is also good to know that her gallbladder surgery was a piece of cake. I cannot wait for mine! I know that sounds weird, but it hurts and I am ready to get on with my life. I will be back to check on you later!

NikkiNix said...

You ROCK! I think I should go to church and do some hail mary's for you or something (I'm not Catholic) I am sooo very very very proud of your honesty, amused by your sense of humor and grateful for your voice. I think my dear hubby (dh) has been through so much leading up to our IVF prescription due to male factor (mf) and I have come to learn from other blog babes that HE may actually have feelings about that... that other than being the best husband in the world (you come 2nd) that our dynamics may be a bit different. (1) It's our first cycle - IVF+ICSI (2) We've been to doctors for me for 3/4 of a year and doing tests on him monthly for over a year since we got married. He's 10 years my senior (42.5) and his mother at age 67 is still not retired becasue she'll be bored without granchildren. You get his guilt... I just want kids. I'm finally in school to become an elementary schoolteacher and I really am not that set on my children being biologically mine, either. I read the stress many women go through when surrounded by Preggos, but I don't feel that way, I'm verfy happy and excited for them and want the best for them, much like you desribe. On the flipside I know that urgent feminine "I want something and it's not fair that I can't have it" feeling, especially when it feels like you are cursed by God or something, so that 'cursed' feeling may be the root of it? I'm guessing here.

Anyhow - you are officially one of my favourite bloggers and you will be at the top of my blogroll - hope you don't mind. I look forward to reading you more and truly wish you all the best in this journey.

Sincerely,
A new blog-buddy :)

KTP said...

So, like a boy at an all-girls' high school dance, you are instantly popular. I came here from Candy's site, and I love your perspective. Thanks for being honest.

Beagle said...

I may be able to offer some insight into the difficulty of pregnant picnics, playgrounds, etc. It may be simple jealousy (obviously I've never met your wife, so I can only speak for myself). Sometimes I am just plain jealous about being left out of the perks of fertility.

But, most of the time, it's more than that. When fathers get together, they talk about sports, politics, work, the weather, the world. When new/pregnant mothers get together (a lot of them) talk about mothehood/pregnancy. And. Nothing. Else.

So, for women like me (and maybe your wife) it is really hard to "fit in" while all the preggos will talk about nothing else. Not only is it painful re: infertility, but it is also very exclusionary.

I could be right off base here, but that is how I feel at these picnics, etc. I tend to hang out with either the men or the kids.

I think even if I ever have a child, I may find the mommies a bit dull, but right now listening to breast feeding chitchat for five hours straight feels more like a stake in the heart than a social occasion for "fun."

Sorry, that got long. Hope it helped is some way.

I don't envy the male role in infertility either.

A dad someday said...

Hey Smarshy - I just found your blog. I think this post is one of the best I have ever read. You are doing an awesome job in a short amount of time. Absolutely keep it up.

-ADS