Ouch

Infertility is painful. It’s isolating. It’s unfair.

The only person you can depend on to be there for you and understand you completely is your significant other because they are living this nightmare with you. Right?

Not me. Not here. Not in my relationship.

We have secondary infertility. We conceived our son naturally (although we knew his semen analysis was abnormal and just happened to get lucky the month I had my HSG) and have been trying for almost a year for #2.

We have male factor infertility. All of my tests come back normal. I don’t have endo or PCOS or any of the things that plague women. It’s all on him. Sometimes I wish we had female infertility. It is so much easier for me to handle things when I am in control. But this is not something I can control. It’s all on him. He needs to cut sugar and caffeine and alcohol. It’s his sperm! There’s nothing I can do except nag him every night about making better choices and have his vitamins waiting for him at his bedside when he tries to go to sleep without taking them. And of course, all of this nagging and mothering really puts him in the mood for sex… every 3 days…during my fertile period… you know because he takes FOREVER to regenerate any kind of count! It’s all so very romantic… {insert eye roll here}

The other night I was reading one of my favorite blogs, Trials Bring Joy. I love that the writer does these guest writing blogs called “What It’s Like.” Each post is something different. What It’s Like to Be a Stay at Home Mom. What It’s Like to Lose a Parent. What It’s Like to Go Through The Adoption Process. And one of my favorites… What It’s Like to Have Male Factor Infertility. You should really check these blogs out!

Anyway, I am reading this post and I suddenly laugh out loud. My husband who is sitting next to me asks me what is so funny. I shared with him an excerpt from the blog where the woman talks about her husband’s take on MFI and he compares his sperm to a tennis team. He explains the comparison by saying it’s because there are not that many of them and most of them are weird as hell. The image that my mind conjured was PERFECTION! I still smile just thinking about it.

My husband however didn’t see the humor. He just looked at me like I was crazy and said what else did he say. I read him the entire paragraph about this man’s feelings on his MFI diagnosis. My husband listens and says to me, “Do you wanna know how I feel about all of this?” I responded with a YES! He looks me dead in the eyes and says, “I don’t feel anything about it. I don’t really care.”

Silent pause for me to process…

You see my husband doesn’t talk about any of this. I assumed that it was because he was embarrassed or ashamed. He’s not much to talk about his feelings or emotions, so I let it be. He doesn’t come to any appointments unless his sperm is needed. I assumed it was because he takes his job very seriously and didn’t want to miss days unnecessarily. Also I work at the hospital where my appointments are so I just run down for tests and blood work on my breaks. No big deal. He never asks me how anything is going or how I am feeling. I assumed it was because he didn’t want to upset me by constantly talking about it and asking me questions.

I didn’t think it was because he didn’t care.

Now let me be fair and say that my husband can be a child sometimes. He often says things without thinking and then later analyzes what he said and apologizes for it not being what he meant. Of course he did that this time too. But a part of me is not buying that. I think on some level he said exactly what he feels. He is perfectly content just having our son. He is more of the “if it’s meant to happen it will” type. He also operates on the “it happened before when they said it wouldn’t, so they are probably wrong this time too” idea. He has no clue how hurtful is when I want siblings for our son and he acts like he could go either way. He doesn’t dwell on this like I do. He tells me about pregnancy announcements over dinner in his nonchalant way and doesn’t realize my heart is breaking. When I am in public I am hyperaware of all the pregnant people around me and the women wearing newborn babies in their beautiful wraps. He never notices.

If infertility were a sport, every husband and wife would be on the same team. But I can’t help but wonder how successful our team would be if we aren’t both committed to achieving the same goal. Are there really any teams where infertility is concerned or are we all just individuals running our own race?