sharing

Yesterday’s news was a shock, but after some mad googling and your insightful comments, we are officially Not Freaking Out.  My husband has had a lingering cold for weeks now, so we figure that has something to do with it, and we do know from the first test that he can produce lots of fast-moving sperm.

But regardless of Freaking-Out-Or-Not, the game has changed.  For two years now we have both thought of infertility as being my problem.  I don’t even think we realized we were doing it, and the self-righteous side of me is hanging her head in shame right now; of course I know that infertility is not a Women’s Issue, regardless of the cause.   But with my freakish menstruation and my mom’s history,* I think we both just naturally assumed that this was my issue and that I was the one who was broken.

When we found out about the fibroids my husband’s immediate reaction was “Now that we know what’s wrong with you we can move forward.”

Now that we know what’s wrong with you.

The diagnosis confirmed what we both assumed:  that “we” were infertile because I was defective.  Fix me, fix the problem and make way for behbehs.  But as we found out yesterday, the fibroids may not be the whole story.  Regardless of what happens over the next few months, I think that yesterday’s results have helped me start to let go of a lot of guilt and shame I have been feeling over the years. Of course I hope the test was a fluke and that I will be maddeningly stroking my belly, smug as they come in a few months,  but it has thrown everything into a different perspective.

I don’t think I have allowed my husband to be a full partner in this process so far.  I have clutched my grief close, I have taken responsibility for what I saw (see) as my personal failure to get pregnant, I have not really allowed him to see my despair.  (Not that I’m any good at hiding it; I’m talking about intention more than result.)  And on his part, I think my husband has felt a little detached from the whole mess.  He’s been supportive, and he’s been patient with me as I recover from the surgery (I had to walk about a third of a mile today and am paying for it now), but it hasn’t ever really been about him.

Now we’re both all in.  Regardless of what happens next, it’s not just my problem anymore.  And while it’s scary to think about MFI, and while I don’t wish for even a second for my husband to go through the kind of personal pain I’ve experienced over the last 2 years, there is a tiny selfish part of me that feels liberated by these test results.  I don’t have to carry the weight by myself anymore.

I suspect I never did; I suspect my husband would have been there all along to own this as our infertility, if only I had let him in.  The problem, of course, is that I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy, and I feel terrible for wanting to share the burden with him because it means he has to carry it too.

*Premature ovarian failure.  Which I don’t have.

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9 responses to “sharing

  1. I bet it feels good to not have to hold all the weight in this stupid game of infertility. It’s kind of like when you find or have a friend that’s dealing with infertility too and you can relate to each other because you’ve been through some of the same things. The friends that get pregnant, never miscarry, and have healthy happy babies can never relate. Never. No matter how hard they try and want to. I kind of think that’s how it is for a lot of couples when only one is dealing with the “problem”. The friend that I mentioned that had testicular cancer and was the “problem” was so easy to talk to about infertility and the failure of not getting pregnant because he knew what it was like to carry that burden. Either way you look at it, infertility sucks but when you have someone standing by your side that realizes how it feels, it can make things a little easier. Best of luck to you and hubby. 😉

  2. You are such a sweet heart.

    Not one single thought posted here about being defensive. Instead, you originally took it all into your heart and made it your fault.

    You know managing stress is part of the game (cruel fucking joke that it is). Perhaps this will help lighten the burden?

  3. Loved your post.

    This issue is there even in the diagnosis of unexplained infertility (which was my bitter cookie). I got the ultrasounds, the shots, the charting, the surgeries….so it was me who was more in the loop.

    Everything involved a greater investment of my body than my hubby’s, and that kind of let on the impression of the tinkering in me because the floundering was me.

    I still have no solid reason why I am suddenly pregnant. But we did add micronutrients to the mix. I stopped but he continued and it clicked to me that possibly the sperm quality had improved with the supplements.

    Take the new information as a ray of light…something that can improve the protocol and make your chances better.

    And take care!

  4. This is a beautiful post, G&L. I think it’s sooo hard being the defective one. I can’t know what goes on in my husband’s mind, but I imagine if our roles were reversed, I’d spend a lot of time thinking about how to be compassionate and how to help him get through this, and when you come down it, those are really PATRONIZING and GUILT-INDUCING responses.This sounds like a wonderful epiphany that will really help you guys get through this, whatever THIS turns out to be. And I also really recognized myself in your words. I still need to work on letting my husband in…but it’s hard when our attitudes are so different.

    Also, it sounds the recovery is being really hard on you, and I’m so sorry. While I bounced back quickly, I would say I still don’t feel 100%. I’m far more tired than before, though it’s hard to know what part of that is due to it being a million degrees out and to general depression. But don’t feel bad about taking your time. After all, you healing can’t happen according to anyone’s clock but yours, particularly not your JERKY JERKWAD of a boss.

  5. Its good to not officially freak out,once you have more information you can move forward no use in obsessing over something that may turn out to be a fluke.
    I know how hard it is to blame yourself and feel alone but this is not your fault, you didn’t ingest fibroid growing seeds or anything like that, sometimes shit just happens. Easier said than done, I know.
    My hubs SC is slightly below average, one RE dubbed it sub-clinical male IF, despite that moniker and consistantly average SCs it still feels like it is mostly my issue.
    I am sorry that your recovery is a bit difficult, be patient with yourself, everyone is different and I am sure you will be feeling better soon.

  6. Isn’t it amazing how sometimes bad news can be good news? I am so glad that you are feeling more comfortable sharing the burden now. It sounds like a really good thing, so don’t feel guilty that you are happy to share some of it. I do very much hope that the cold is what is responsible for this nose-dive in sperm quality, in which case you still get to share the burden, but you don’t necessarily have to do IVF.

  7. (Where did your post go Ginger?)

  8. Excellent post.

    As women the overriding message is that IF is a female issue, female problem. Your feelings are justified and understandable.

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