The Other Half (or hearing HIS side of the infertility story)

Today is Father's Day. I'm grateful for my dad and the fact that I still have him. This day isn't as tough for me as Mother's Day, for a myriad of reasons. But, I feel responsible for my husband's melancholy on this day because I haven't given him a child that he wants so badly.

I decided to ask my husband to write a blog for me because, well, it's not very often you hear the guy's side of the story. For those of you who know Jeremy, you know that opening up in this way is not something that happens very often. I'm glad he wrote this and let me read it. I'm glad he's willing to share this part of himself with all of you.


For those of you expecting another posting by Becky… you have a surprise guest blogger today. It’s her husband, Jeremy. I apologize for not being nearly as eloquent as my wife (I am a math teacher after all, but she’ll proofread before posting), but I wanted to at least let everyone in on what’s going on in the other half of the infertility equation (see, math teacher.)

For years Becky and I tried to have a child, and something was not right. As with most things I touch, I blamed myself. For years we both had our head in the sand, denying what should have been obvious to both of us. Alas… hindsight is 20/20.

I am not near as emotional as Becky, but the ordeal has bothered me in its own way. Those of you who know me, or at least used to know me, are aware that I am a natural introvert who has problems getting out of his own head. I am on Facebook often, seeing pictures of people I know (knew?) with their smiling families at a soccer game or those stupid motivational posters about how wonderful it is to be a parent. I cannot get angry at anyone for using Facebook that way (I’d do the same if I were a father), but seeing it constantly makes the dull ache more acute.

Becky spent one post trying to explain how to best help an infertile couple, and she’s right. I do actually want to hear about your family, but know that sometimes if I seem like I’m not really interested, there might be a reason. My own emotions come and go, but my introverted nature hides it from many people (most of the time only Becky sees that side of me). Let’s say that this is one of the times in my life that I could really use someone going out of their way to help both of us get our minds off the situation, but my personality will keep me from asking for emotional and social relief. (As a side note, if one of my colleagues is reading it, thank you dearly for the draft party. It was the day before the REI appointment and we both needed something dearly to do that night to help relax. Also, congratulations on your recent engagement.) Additionally, do not give up on me if I say no… the nature of this beast requires certain time frames in which to act on the possibility of fertility and my own nature requires some alone time to help process.

There is one thing that I’d like to say that I did not expect about this bumpy ride. I’m not saying which one, but (at least for all the tests up until this point) only one of us has infertility factors. I say this because I believe it is even more difficult on us as a couple. In the past I’ve felt tremendous anger because I knew something was wrong with us…and frustrated because Becky was not behind starting the infertility process sooner (which manifested into some very difficult times for us a few years ago). Now the emotions that we struggle with are guilt, depression, and fear. Guilt because we know one of us could actually conceive naturally with those other 7 out of 8. Depression because we know that so far nothing has worked, and there is no guarantee that the time, trials, tears, and tributes to the fertility doctors will ever be successful. Fear because… no, not what you’re thinking. Fear that either of us can never be a fraction of the person the other fell in love with after this process, especially if this process does not end positively.

But, I must leave my guest post with the three things that will always remain… faith, hope, and love. Becky and I had a… heated discussion (we’re former debaters, it happens). Becky was very erratic after the visit with the REI. Dr. M was not what she expected, especially when compared to Dr. S. Where Dr. S. was warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, and open, Dr. M. was cold, clinical, calculating, and closed off (which was furthered by the present of the intern whom he shared about as much information with as he did with us). He stated some items that we probably needed to hear but hurt hearing it. We kind of meandered through the day, making a few stops to distract us and enjoy the rest of the day off… but I knew something was bothering her. During this process it felt like every setback had us slipping further apart as a couple (that fear I mentioned….). Finally, during our heated discussion, I said (ok, maybe yelled…) that while I would like a baby, I need my wife back. I needed Becky to just be happy with the way things are. After all, we’re both gainfully employed, enjoy our jobs, not in any danger of losing them, just bought a house, and enjoy the area we’re in. For all of those things to happen at the same time is definitely a first for us. We never thought half of that would come to be for us…

After that conversation, I had the best day I’ve had with Becky in... well, it’s been a long time. It wasn’t that we did anything earth shattering (farmer’s market, lunch, a sappy movie at a local theater that shows them after the big theaters do….), but I had my smiling (beautiful, amazing, starry-eyed, hopeful, … ok getting off track) wife back… and she came to the realization I mentioned earlier. If we can have so many things going for us that we never thought possible, then what’s to say what we can’t do. It restored my faith in us, her hope in this process, and renewed the ever-present love we have for each other… but the greatest of all is love.


Popular posts from this blog

You're NOT Your Mother

Rocking My Baby

Accountable to Whom?