Your friend. Your son. Your brother. Your cousin. Your uncle.
The other half of infertility.
Day after day we (the identified patient), go to our doctor's appointments. We get our blood drawn. We have an ultrasound. We wait for our follow up call and we obsess about what we ate. What we didn't eat. If we took our medicine correctly. If we are keeping our stress level down. We will obsess over lab results and spend an inordinate amount of time on the Internet reading anything we can find about these lab results, our treatment plan, success stories and painful stories.
In this revolving door of doctor's appointments, our other half often gets overlooked.
It is not intentional and it is not on purpose. But it happens and it adds another level of hurt to this already emotionally draining situation. My husband has seen more than anyone should see in their pursuit to have a child. I'd say that our journey deep into the world of infertility treatments has been more emotionally taxing on him than on me. Why? Because he has been impacted first hand and then had to quickly gather himself to pick me up as a I crumble. He has had to stifle his tears in order to take care of our son, because it was apparent that I could not pull myself together. I would also venture to say that he has suppressed his needs so that my path is smoother. And over time, it would begin to seem that he has it all pulled together and the conversation then shifts back to how I (the identified patient) is doing. All the while, my husband has been just as emotionally impacted as I and 'just deals.'
I often talk about the feeling of losing control. I believe this is also true for our spouses or partners. But again, they are one step further out of the loop. But when asked to be a part of the solution, my husband's role was carried out in a sterile room with some cheesy porn loop playing on an old TV. Talk about being marginalized. Talk about taking on a supporting role. Roles are important. They define us and right or wrong, many men view themselves as the problem solver. The protector. The person that makes things happen. What I've learned with infertility is that there may never be a solution. No one person has the ability to fix the problem and all the money in the world may not make things happen. I can only imagine how frustrating this is to the other half of infertility.
I'm quite sure if you asked my husband his thoughts on this process he would tell you that he would trade places in a second. How am I sure? Because he's said so.
I can tell you this. There is no one else in this world who could have walked this road with me. There is no other person I could love enough to want even go down this path. I cannot will us to have a successful outcome, but I can ask you all to please not ignore my husband. This hurts him just as much as it hurts me.
The Don't Ignore blog post theme has been organized by RESOLVE with a goal to increase the conversation about infertility and to inform the public that:
For more information on infertility or to learn about National Infertility Awareness Week, please visit either link.