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.