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.
Like a good mechanic, a good doctor is hard to find. But fertility doctors seems to be a little bit different. The vast majority I’ve dealt with have been amazing: Very caring. Very dedicated. A few were arrogant asses. They still seemed to be excellent doctors. Just arrogant asses. Unfortunately, I’m not good with arrogant asses… and neither is my big mouth. You’d think by now we’d both be mature enough to just ignore them, but no.
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.
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
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.)
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