I’ve been sitting on this post for quite some time… since December, actually. I’ve thought about how to word it, because I am sensitive to my audience. A lot of US are dealing with different stages and issues of infertility. Now (in February), I’m a little past “numb”, stepping into “giving up” and ready to “move on”.
But first, I want to talk seriously about dealing with your spouse’s infertility. From conversation, I hear a lot about the 1st person point of view towards infertility. As a spouse who is married to someone dealing with infertility, I felt I should write a little from my point of view.
Going into a marriage some (especially the young at heart) might have expectations right off the bat: double-income, buy a house, have a child or two. Often there’s a timeline.. like a 5-year-plan of some sort. In reality, it might be a 10 to 15-year plan with some bumps and forks in the road.
In the past year, I was seeing the fertility specialist several times a month! I would go in for procedures and, every 3 months, there was a ‘next level up’ in the plan. Though chances should have been better with each level, the only thing that increased was the medical bill. I sat down and talked with the specialist. What could it be? I’ve had prior pregnancies, no complications. Then she discussed my spouse’s ‘levels and counts’. When I found out about his infertility, I deliberated on how to tell him. I didn’t want him to read into any unintended tone in my voice. I never want to be degrading or insensitive. I suggested alternative medicine and used subtle hints instead.
I once read a funny Facebook Post listing points about how men think: “Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one: Subtle hints do not work! Strong hints do not work! Obvious hints do not work! Just say it!” ~M.R.
It is true, he didn’t get the hint. By the time I finally got it out, it was in frustration. The tone came out, it was not how I intended to say it! “You’re not even trying,” I complained! “Do you even want a baby,” I pleaded. Because of what he’s already been through, I set myself to protect him. In turn, I lashed out in frustration. ‘Perhaps it’s something that will fix itself in time,’ I thought to myself.
If I could say one thing about the situation: I don’t blame him, I don’t blame anyone.. but I’m still disappointed. I’m sad. I’m hurt. And if I didn’t allow myself to feel this way, separately from my husband – I believe it would have affected my marriage.
When I met my (now) husband, I was drawn to his character. I thought about the fun we would have, our experiences together. For a mere blip (a year or so, out of a lifetime) I dreamed of a child we could share. But, there is more out there I look forward to. I love him to pieces, then I’d put him back together and love him to pieces again 😉