Monday, March 28, 2011

Dirty Dog

Luke came home with us as a three month old puppy about one year ago.  He had the name Luke at the shelter and it seemed to fit him.  Although I did curse myself later for wrecking any chance we had at twins named Luke and Leia.

One of the most adorable boys on our street is also Luke, coincidentally around our Luke's age.  His sister Livia, the sweetest little girl you could hope to find, dubbed him Luke the Dog.  And happily squeals, "It's Luke the Dog!" whenever she sees him.

Luke is so sweet!  And so cute!  And so very very very very dirty.

This morning's events gave me the inspiration for this post.  We awoke to a stinky house.  Mind you, the WHOLE house.  Luke had puked a little yesterday.  Overnight?  He's crated and it was still everywhere.  All over the crate.  In front.  To the left.  To the right (step it up, step it up, it's alright).  And the smell?  Like old ass that had been left to rot.

I cleaned it up.  And the house still stunk.  Cleaned it again.  Slightly less stink.  Finally disinfected.  And finally, we began to reclaim our house from Luke's puke.

What the hell does any of this matter to Wannabe Dads and Moms?

During our high risk pregnancy, we had many cautions and JK had many limitations.  Thus, I began to take certain jobs over.  Jobs of the gross, stinky, pain-in-the-butt kind.  Ah yes Wannabe Dads, there is likely to be a high risk pregnancy in your future.  And yes, in that pregnancy you will perform many many thankless tasks.

1) Pooper Scooper: Yep!  Poop can be a danger to your unborn babies.  So your wives will be told not to touch!

2) Puke-stodian: Need I say more?  Cleaning dog vomit goes under the same category as above.

3) Dog Walker:  In a high risk pregnancy, her movement may be curtailed.  Your dog will still need exercise however.

4) Errand Boy: Whatever is needed in the house Dude!  Who's going to get it if your wife is laid up?  Luke?  Or whatever your dog's name is?  Experience tells me that no matter what you spend on dog obedience training, your animal will not be up to this.

5) Chauffeur: She is not going to be able to drive Wannabe Dads.  Wakey wakey!  The belly is in the way!  Worse, and on a serious note, a short stop can cause a miscarriage if she is at the wheel.  I have no doubt you would prevent that if you could.

6) Pee-pod Delivery Service: This is a story for later, but I'll simply say that JK peed, and I made sure the pee made it to its destination safely.

7) Forklift: She is not allowed to lift heavy things.

8) Mr. Fix It: Which can be pretty damn tough if you are as inept a Do It Yourself-er as I.

9) Chef: During the pregnancy, I went from kitchen piss boy to Executive Chef.  Of course, I did still cleanup afterward so...

10) Rep: You are about to be invited to a party / wedding / celebration.  And because you are a good Wannabe Dad, you will and must represent your wife.  She should NOT be on her feet for so long!

Stay tuned to The Infertility Guy on  This week will uncover the postseason awards.  Stay tuned Wednesday.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

March Infertility Madness on - Surgeries

A comment on the madness of surgery during infertility is my blog of the week on  I hope you enjoy it!

And as for those Wannabe Dads and Moms that would like to know the state of my bracket bet with JK?  At the moment, 39-35 JK.  State of manhood - shrinking.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Reflections on miracles

Miracles were the theme of my life this past weekend.  I left JK and our twin miracles in Chicago this weekend and went to the Bat-Mitzvah of Keith and Peri's daughter Nacia.  You may recall mention of Keith and Peri, who helped guide me through infertility and in large part inspired this blog.  Nacia was their miracle - the daughter that arrived after a painful two year infertility odyssey.

Nacia is a hebrew word that translates to miracle.

Reminded of this at the temple, I began to reflect upon the nature of miracles.  And how they are perceived.  And what we might call a miracle.

31 years later, most people alive at the time still remember the Miracle on Ice.  The greatest sports upset ever, most people agree, was a miracle.  Of course, it was also a product of hard work, good coaching, and fantastic team chemistry.

I sometimes watch Biggest Loser, and watch miracles happen as morbidly obese people become fit in the space of a few months.  Those miracles are definitely the result of hard work!

Often times, when we work hard and get results, we still call it a miracle.  The end is so fantastic and unexpected that we forget the journey and all of the tasks along the way.

I think greater miracles occur when hope leaves and there seems to be no reason to work toward the goal anymore.  Keith and Peri's miracle struck at just such a moment.

I guess there are a whole lot of things I see as miraculous:

1) An athlete conducts a press conference without ever saying "you know".

2) A lawmaker tells the unadulterated truth.

3) The Cubs win the World Series (or even the friggin pennant).

4) Our dog Luke learns to play fetch.

5) The drivers in my neighborhood observe stop signs.

Or, on a more serious note:

1) That I found JK after all my years of searching, and wondering if I would die alone.

2) That we got our twins even though the cards seemed stacked against us so heavily.

3) That my family is healthy.

4) That we are happy.

5) That we love one another.

In the final analysis, a whole lot of "miracles" appear objectively mundane.

My dear friends Marcel and Sherry got their miracle in the form of a little Chinese girl a few months ago.  Their biological options for a child were difficult at best, but they knew that they had love to share.  Thus began a three year odyssey of trying to adopt.

I think their greatest miracle was the perseverance they held to in the face of delays, stalls and policy changes.  I cannot believe they stayed the course.  It really does appear miraculous to me.

Perhaps it's even more miraculous that the laces of destiny and chance tied these three people into a whole family and gave each what they needed most.  What are the chances of that?  Miraculous.

I guess, in the end, I don't believe in biblical miracles.  But I do believe that the everyday can be pretty miraculous, depending upon one's point of view.

Whatever miracle you hope for, my beloved readers, I hope you get it.  And if not, I hope your unanticipated miracle awaits.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

March Infertility Madness on - Needles

Hello all,

My newest blog on concerns needles.  I'm sure some of you have experienced the madness of needles as a part of infertility.  So did we!

In other news, a friend and colleague of JK's made it to the other side!  A shout out to Denise!  Congratulations, live, love and happiness.

In the infertile community, any infertile that finally gets to the other side gives us cause to rejoice.  Not everyone does, and the pain of the journey makes the destination all the sweeter.  Good luck to you baby Abigail.  There is no doubt in my mind that you will be loved.

Monday, March 14, 2011

She's Pregnant and I'm Fat???

Remember March Infertility Madness over at  We still hope to see your comments and perhaps even hear your stories!  This week, I'll write a little more about the madness of infertility.  Look for new blog entries there every Wednesday.

Because of my commitment to, I am reducing my episode schedule to once / week on I Want to be a Daddy.  Of course, as a result, quality is bound to improve (yeah, right!).

By the way, JK and I will be having our 5th annual March Madness bracket bet.  In it, we go head-to-head, sheet against sheet.  I will be updating our progress on this blog,, and Twitter.  JK won the first three, resulting in visible shrinkage, but I finally got her back last year.  Still emasculated, but I'm gaining!

Now on to the story!

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This story begins with my wife JK's advanced ultrasound, in the fourth month.  The ultrasound looks great, except that it shows a little funneling.  Doctors call pressure on the cervix funneling, because the lining goes from flat to funnel shaped.  With twins, funneling is normal because of the added weight.  Dr. B, the OBGyn, tells us she will monitor this closely.

The news is good overall, so we happily run down to Houston to tell JK's family the good news in person.  You Wannabe Dads and Moms know how scary it is to tell friends and family good news, because the other shoe seems poised to drop.

It soon would.

Our next appointment, Dr. B did her routine cervical check and emerged with the most terrible look on her face.  She said nothing for a moment, but c'mon!  We knew she had found something that upset her.  JK's cervix had dilated to a centimeter.  Only halfway through the pregnancy and she is in danger of delivering.

The high-risk OBGyn, Dr. F, performed a cerclage that very day; a drawstring-like support that would help JK's cervix to hold the twins inside.  After that, doctor's orders indicated modified bed rest.  That included no more working out.  So we quickly went from a ritual of going to the gym together 3-4 times a week to not at all.

Did I mention that I taught boot camp fitness a decade ago?  Yep.  Absolutely true.  And I was fit!  Sixty push ups a minute!  21:00 5K!  And now...?  Not as good.

I'm 20 pounds heavier now than I was when I taught the boot camp.

Wannabe Dads - infertile couples usually have rough pregnancies too.  I wish I could say that once you are pregnant, the worst is over.  Believe me, it is not.  I've heard horror stories too.  Late term miscarriages.  Still births.  We were nearly one of those stories.

Your life, which you thought was your own, is about to change.  Your wife will need you if she is to survive the pregnancy.  You'll take her to the OBGyn more times than you can count.  You'll sit through her surgeries, feeling powerless and scared.  You'll do it, because you want to survive infertility.  Your role, Wannabe Dads, is first and foremost to help your wife survive it.

But you may get fat too.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

March Infertility Madness on

Loyal readers!  There is something new on that you might enjoy.

March Infertility Madness launches there with a funny embarrassing chapter in my infertility odyssey.  The story is meant to inspire you, the reader, to submit comments about your own funny embarrassing moments.

We'll be arranging the funniest episodes into a bracket and polling them until we have a winner.

So please, spread the word!  No story too crass!  I understand high-brow and low-brow humor equally.

Monday, March 7, 2011

March Infertility Madness: The Buzzer Beater

I now have a twitter account.  To find me on twitter, search for @infertility_guy.  If you see any wisdom there or in the blog, please retweet!  I'm going to use twitter as a means to point out infertility news of the moment, or remark upon cases / stories I hear of.  I hope you enjoy the new feature!

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In basketball as in all sports, the most painful game to lose is the game you thought you had won.  Just as snatching victory from the jaws of defeat is the sweetest win.

Just ask any Kentucky fan whether they still remember Christian Laettner's buzzer beater in the NCAA Regional Final.  Believe me, they remember.  And they still desperately want to forget.

Infertility has its share of buzzer beaters too.  Every victory seems so hard won.  Every step a struggle.

The ultimate buzzer beater in infertility is the complicated birth.  I speak from experience.  Life will be sweeter, knowing how close we came at the end to losing our son.  There was even the possibility that I might end up alone or without JK.

Each of those possibilities is a nightmare, and each day with them is all the sweeter.  We did snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

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You know by now that miscarriages were our struggle.  Well... that and a few other things ;-)

I often ponder whether miscarriages are more painful than the inability to conceive or vice versa.  Each miscarriage is a bit like losing by buzzer beater.  But what of the ongoing, never-ending dull ache of not playing?  Honestly I do not know.  I only ask these sorts of questions because I want to better understand that side.

But there is a point to my aside.  I learned that Georgia State Representative Bobby Franklin tried to pass a law that called miscarriages felony murder, unless you could prove that absolutely no human intervention took place.  The latest news I have seen indicates that his bill has been shelved, and thank goodness for that.  But folks, have you ever heard of a less humane proposal by an elected official?

Consider this from my viewpoint and JK's.  We had three miscarriages, and all were expelled with human intervention.  Does that make JK three times a murderer?  I've read bloggers with eight miscarriages.  How many times does Bobby Franklin wish to put the same woman to death?

Insult to injury.  A woman who miscarries dies a little inside.  Is that not punishment enough for anyone?

Residents of Marietta, Georgia (a Northwest Atlanta Suburb) please consider this plea: you can punish Bobby Franklin by denying him your vote in future elections.  I do not blame you for his actions.  I come from Illinois, home of two governor felons!  If the US Constitution guarantees us all Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, and a politician wants to deny some women all three... well, that fellow has got to go.

I'll be tweeting updates on this and any other social injustices directed toward the infertility community, until such a time as humanity and compassion replaces callousness and hate.

I will not hold my breath.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Infertility Guy Talk

I've been fortunate to be invited to join as a blogger.  The title of my blog: The Infertility Guy.  Please visit as I try to bring the male perspective to their significantly larger audience!

I find it amazing that I've been blogging less than two months and have this invitation.  I'd like to thank each of you - my wonderful early adopters - for this chance I've been given.  I would be a shameful hypocrite if I failed to point out that there is a dearth of male bloggers in the infertility blogosphere.  We're in demand, I suppose.

Honestly, that's ok!  I knew that there were few (or zero) voices of this kind.  I felt in my heart of hearts that such a voice was needed.  I'm happy to have a chance to reach a wider audience.

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Seems like I should talk about guys in this episode.  I've talked in the past about trying to fix things.  There is most definitely the possibility that a Wannabe Dad can do too much.  We can overwhelm our wives.  Sometimes Wannabe Moms need space.

What about the other extreme?

I know of a couple where the Wannabe Dad was scarcely invested in the process.  As I understand it, he showed up to one ultrasound.  One ultrasound?  I've seen so many ultrasounds, I'm ready to take the technician's place!

I keep thinking of the ultrasound technician from the film Juno.

Sorry.  I digress.

So this fellow (not exactly a Wannabe Dad, is he) doesn't show up to doctor's appointments.  In fact, he doesn't appear very present at all.

How can this Wannabe Mom survive the pregnancy?  What kind of message does she receive about his desire to be a Dad?

It's so vitally important to be present, Wannabe Dads.  Your wives have a tremendous weight on their shoulders while the rigors of infertility weakens them.  If you are not there to provide support, infertility will eventually break her.

As for the couple in question?  A baby did eventually arrive, and the Mom feels overwhelmed.  Why wouldn't she when she is clearly going it alone?

Aristotle talked about a Golden Mean - a place in the middle of extremes where we should strive to act.  Cowardice, he said, was not acceptable, but neither was fearlessness (or foolhardiness).  Bravery makes more sense.

We Wannabe Dads have a Golden Mean to strive for as well.  Not absent.  Not trying to fix things either.  Present but not overwhelming.

Wannabe Moms and Dads - any stories about the husband doing too little or too much?  I would love to read them!