My first misconception: Ok we are married, 1 house, 1 dog, let’s have a baby! The baby making process is going to be awesome. One bottle of wine, some Barry White playing in the background and BAM you’re knocked up. Fast forward five years, and you get cases of empty wine bottles, 2 fully loaded sharps containers, and a “bucket of disappointment.” The bucket of disappointment is my name for the trashcan in my bathroom. It is a sedimentary timeline of hope and disappointment all in one bucket. The first layer is OPKS, finally ovulation! The second layer is boxes and negative pregnancy tests. The third, tissues, enough to fill a river over the last 5 years. The fourth, more negative pregnancy tests just for sheer measure, maybe the 10 others I took before were wrong right? Lather, Rinse, Repeat.
Come to find out this was not easy, but hey such as life. So we push forward. When we first embarked on our journey, I was part of a silent sorority. We didn’t talk about it to anyone, we didn’t ask the right questions and as a result we felt utterly alone and isolated. I mean it’s not like you want to have your cervical mucus and Chris’s sperm count as main topics of convo at the dinner table with your in-laws. We want our blog to open that door for those that feel like we did. Those lost, lonely couples, stumbling blindly in the darkroom of infertility with the international WTF sign over their heads. Also for our friends and family who I am pretty sure think we are legally insane. I am sorry we kept you in the dark, have missed countless family events, avoided your children like they had the bubonic plague. Know it is out of self- preservation; not because we don’t want to be there or don’t love you, we do! Just do you really want to see me cry uncontrollably and Chris break out in a panic attack because my second cousin once removed just found out she is pregnant with her 10th kid and is complaining of acid reflux? This is the ugly side of infertility. Welcome to our blog and our ad nauseum diatribe on needles, laughter, and how we survive and become a stronger couple. Stay tuned for whether we go down another IVF path or start our adoption trials.
Chris’s 1st Misconception
My first misconception: As we are often accused of being by our loving wives, guys are fixers. We see a leak in our bathroom sink – we want to fix it. We see the tire pressure light on in our car – we want to fix it. We see our wife crying on the couch because she just got the call from the infertility clinic that the last IVF round was not successful – we want to fix it. Problem is, there is no replacement seal to keep her tears from leaking out, there is no air compressor to fire up to replenish her deflated hopes. Not to mention, maybe, and it is tough for us to admit this stuff, maybe WE were also excited about this round working and there is no way we can fix ourselves because we are driven to fix her first. That is our job – at least as far as we see it. On top of that, she thinks we are not feeling anything, emotionally detached, because all we are showing is our drive to “fix” her sadness. And there is nothing more frustrating than not being able to do our job. So, we sit on the couch, hold our wives hands, tell them that we are going to “keep trying,” tell them that we can “get through this.” At the same time, we are trying to suppress our own building doubts about the next try. Well, that does not sound like a shitty scenario! Unfortunately, that is the exact situation many of us guys are in as we battle through infertility as a couple. We are flailing around in the air, metaphorically speaking of course, trying to “fix” an unfixable problem, trying to contain-avoid-ignore our own feelings, trying to not focus on the cost of the procedures and all of the uncertainty in our futures. Candace and I hope that our blog can act as an outlet, or at least a sounding board for all of the guys involved in the daunting, secretive task of infertility treatments with their girlfriends and wives. Candace will give her perspective on issues and I can give my feedback as well. For example, do any other guys feel like they are treated simply as “Sperm donors” at their fertility clinics? Well, if we are just “Sperm donors” why is it so F-ing expensive? Shouldn’t they be paying us for the amazing cup of genetic awesomeness we just bestowed upon them. Hopefully, through our blog, we can close the loop in miscommunication between man and woman on issues of infertility, insight conversations with you and your significant other as you go through your infertility treatment, and laugh about things along the way.
The infamous, bucket of disappointment.