Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Turning to Friends

Three things you should know about turning to friends:

1) It's a certainty that you know someone who has had fertility problems.

2) They do not publicize this fact.

3) BUT, they will talk to others experiencing the same anguish.

My friends Keith and Peri have three kids.  I never suspected they had any difficulty.  Turns out just getting to #1 was a two year journey for them.  They had trouble conceiving and experienced so much of what I described in the last episode.  The things they taught me helped me to survive infertility.  Our long talks on the phone helped me to cope.

Wannabe Dads - understand that much of your wife's journey is a search for control.  It's the natural order of things.  They (understandably!) figure that the odds are against them and their chance to be a mom is slipping away.  So, they will seize every controllable variable and obsess upon it.

Diet?  You'd better believe it.  Schedule?  Of course.  Medication, doctor's orders, etc.

Where it gets scary Wannabe Dads, is their (understandable!) obsession with the things they can not control.  You may rationally believe that it's useless for them to dwell on: inability to conceive, inability to carry to full term, miscarriages, chromosomal abnormalities, advancing age, declining eggs.  You may admonish them to try to dwell upon the positive.

Dream on.

But forgive yourselves.  I did it too.  Keith did it.  We are all guilty of pushing our wives in a direction they can not go.

I will always be eternally grateful to Keith for helping me to understand my role.  In the course of one of our long talks, he said, "don't try to fix things," which was incredibly good advice given to someone that would try to fix things.

But his admonishment has deeper meaning.  Don't try to impose your perceptions upon your wife.  Don't try to impose rationality upon her.  Do not attempt to control her environment.

Instead, listen.  Hear her and then respond.  If she asks for a boon within your power, grant it.  If she needs encouragement, give it.  If she needs hugs and kisses, embrace and smooch.  And, if she needs time by herself to sort it all out, then for $@#J'$ sake, give her some space!

Making certain that she knows you are always within reach.

That's how it is Wannabe Dads.  Sorry.  This is not a blog to rail against fate and it's certainly not one to try to change reality.  It's a pay-it-forward, if you will.  A chance for me to help Wannabe Dads as Keith and Peri helped me.  You are not the captain of the ship.  This is infertility.  So heed Captain Wannabe Mom and ride this storm for however long it takes.  Keith and Peri saw the end of it, thank goodness.  So did we.  Others never do.

I pray your ending is a happy one.

Now that my happy digression is over with, next time I return to our story and tell of our third miscarriage.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry for all the comments but it's so great to read a guy's point of view on infertility - especially a guy who really understands his female partner's perspective. Thanks for posting this. I'm going to share it with other guys in my life who are going through the same thing.