I recently talked to an ex-boyfriend who is having marital issues. (You know it sounded normal to me until I just typed it.) He and his wife had been going through infertility issues for about ten years of their fourteen year marriage. Can you even separate infertility from your marriage at that point? Or is it like you think of infertility and you think of your marriage like they’re interchangeable? All I know is that these two didn’t talk to anybody who had been through infertility or join any online groups or support groups or anything. They kind of just kept it to themselves and told a few close friends / family members who, as we’ve all witnessed first-hand, usually either say nothing or the wrong thing just because they don’t know what the hell to say. I mean, who would know what to say? Even if you’ve been through it, it’s hard to know what to say to each individual sometimes.
To Wind Up This Month of “Let’s Here it for the Boys… & their Boys”…
In the past few weeks, I’ve had guest posts from James who told his story about going from dealing with a surly infertility doctor to having twins and Philip who’s still going through his long bout with infertility and treatments– both as the patient and as the support person to his wife. But I haven’t written anything about my husband who was there during every step of my infertility adventure. And when I say “he was there”, I don’t necessarily mean he hugged and comforted me the whole time. I mean more like… well… he didn’t move out.
So as most of you know, I’m a humor writer. This means that I’m a professional highly-trained in making smart-ass remarks. Look how good I am at it, even my job description to you contained a smart-ass remark. My entire life, I’ve never been able to help myself from doing it so I finally gave in and made a career of it. That’s why I’m no good on Facebook. People beg you for sympathy and support. Look, my friend Shannon whom I adore posted that she lost 133 pounds. Only she accidentally wrote “ponds”instead of “pounds” so of course everyone else wrote: “Good job!” and “Way to Go!” and I had to write: “Was that water weight, Shannon?” instead of letting it go like a normal person. (I’ve probably been un-friended by more people on FB than anyone else.) So in honor of “Let’s Hear it for the Boys… and their ‘boys'” month, when it comes to male infertility, I thought it best if I just shut-up and let a medical professional tell you some important stuff with some great links to more important stuff… instead of a smart-ass professional telling you why it’s funny… which of course it isn’t. Continue reading
Helen Adrienne is a well-respected therapist in NYC who specializes in individuals and couples dealing with infertility. So what you’ll be getting from her today will be tried and true sound advice unlike the smart-ass remarks you typically get from me. She talks about both men who have their own fertility issues as well as men dealing with an infertile wife who’s turned into a nutjob. (I don’t think Helen actually uses the word “nutjob” though, but I know from personal experience, that’s exactly what you turn into.)
Yes– This month– Let’s Hear it for the Boys…. and this week- Philip Cottraux. (I’ll tell you who he is in a minute. Everyone’s so impatient nowadays.)
Women dealing with infertility publicly torment themselves and each other with the torture that is mother’s day. But what about the men and father’s day? Do you think like I think that just because they’re not publicly announcing their anguish doesn’t mean they don’t feel it? Or is this just a woman’s view of what a man is feeling? Are they all like my husband whom I begged and pleaded to “let out all of his bottled up emotions” to which he replied following my ten minute-long tirade: “What are you even talking about”?
So for the next couple of weeks, this here Laughing IS Conceivable blog is going to be all about the boys… and their “boys”. From first-hand accounts from a man with fertility issues who is also the support person for his wife with fertility issues, to a man and adoption, to a therapist talking about the emotional and psychological aspects for a guy dealing with this, to a fertility lab director giving some great technical male fertility info, to an essay where I compare my relationship to my husband to my relationship with my Dad. How could that go wrong? So let me shut up for once, and get you right over to my new cyber friend, Philip Cottraux. So let’s hear it for the boys! I love his story– and this is it:
Although my 84 year old father lived among a lot of couples in his retirement community in Florida, I couldn’t help noticing every time I visited that he spent much more time talking with the women than the men. Finally I decided to ask him why that was: “Well, the wives are all very nice.” He said. “But their husbands are a bunch of schmucks.”
So while we may not be in a position to, or at all interested in, celebrating Father’s Day this year, I propose an alternate holiday:
“Thank You for Not Being a Schmuck” Month.
Your spouse/partner/husband–whatever he is– probably does some things that irritate you. That’s normal, of course. And yet, even with those small annoyances, minor aggravations and colossal pet peeves that drive you up a fkn wall… He’s the one, the only one, you’ve hand-picked to have calendar-induced copulation with and to sire your future children. You know you wouldn’t have your eggs in a freezer, snuggling together for warmth with anyone else’s sperm.
So he’s not perfect…
These blog posts leading up to Father’s Day are dedicated to all of the guys trapped in this infertility adventure with us and especially to Philip Cottraux whom I’ve never met in person but I’m pretty sure bears no resemblance whatsoever to Homer Simpson.
I love when Judge Judy has a case where a woman is suing her ex and going on and on about how irresponsible and useless he is. Judge Judy’s response is always the same:
“So what do you want from me? You picked him!”
The vast majority of infertility blog readers are women, likely because the vast majority of infertility blog writers are women. I’m sure that comes as a huge surprise to not one person. There are a lot of daddy bloggers now, but not nearly as many writing about infertility. I guess there a lot more guys proud of their kids than their low-sperm count. Go figure.
Infertile women generally have a short agenda when we blog or post on social networks: Continue reading
Dedicated to the men and women who risk their lives every day protecting the Countries they serve.
(Whom do YOU want to grill? See details below.)
For those of you not in the U.S., our Memorial Day weekend is a time to commemorate all of the men and women of the armed forces who have lost their lives serving our Country.
Then there’s the “other” Memorial Day weekend. While thousands gather at ceremonies to honor those courageous men and women, thousands of others gather around beaches, barbecue grills and shopping malls to honor their ability to sit in traffic for five hours to get to a beach forty-five minutes a way, to drink their weight in beer- a feat which is then celebrated by shooting off fireworks or a body part, to eat twice their weight in potato salad, and to trample other bargain-hunters at the mall in hopes of scoring a “buy one, get one free” bra.