When I suggest people try online infertility support groups, I’m sometimes met with: “Why would I want to tell my personal infertility business to total strangers?” That’s it. That’s exactly why you want to go onto online infertility support groups: Because everyone is a total stranger.
Not only don’t I think all nurses are created equal, I don’t think all nurses’ jobs are created equal. Even if I could pass all of the medical, scientific stuff (which is highly unlikely), I’d fail miserably at the “bedside manner” stuff. Maybe I could slide by as an emergency room nurse where you see the person, then they leave. Or at a doctor’s office where you take blood pressure and temperature, ship them off to the doctor, then they leave. But never an IVF nurse. You take their blood and they leave. Then a few days later they come back. Then a few days later, they come back. Then a few days later, they come back. You’ve surely heard the expression: “Familiarity breeds contempt”. I can’t think of a place that contempt would breed faster for me than at a fertility clinic. I was a fertility clinic patient for a year. I would have no patience for those patients. It was hard enough to be me, now I’d have to deal with me?
What is an infertility graduate? Well, an infertility graduate is like any other graduate, the main difference being that any other graduate isn’t accustomed to wearing a gown that leaves your bare ass hanging out like an infertility graduate is.
Not everyone of course who is done with infertility and treatments considers themselves an infertility graduate. People tend to stop treatments for one of two main reasons:
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.
To continue with the “Let’s Hear it for the Boys… and their ‘boys'” June theme, I’m bringing you a post from my cyber friend, James Doherty, an Irishman living with his wife in Germany. As you’ll see, he considers infertility to be the best thing that’s ever happened to him. I don’t know him that well, so now, I’m thinking maybe he’s not quite “right”. I mean how sane can you be if you think infertility is the best thing that ever happened to you? What kind of a life have you had? Where have you lived? What kind of people raised you? Infertility is the best thing that’s ever happened to you??! Haven’t you ever had a birthday party or gone on a trip or gotten a job you really wanted or made some nice new friends or won a raffle??… what about getting married? INFERTILITY is the best thing that’s ever happened to you?! What I mean is: “What’s wrong with you?!!”… Maybe I should just let him tell it. I’m going to have some herbal tea and lie down.
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:
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