Persephone: Parent

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Forgetting the Fathers

on June 19, 2013

As it has just been Fathers’ Day, after finding this link from a tweet, I feel the need to highlight fathers.

All too often no one understood mine and my husband’s infertility. Even now, I don’t think people understand that we’re still infertile. We’re not those that relaxed, even as I type this, holding my biological son, I know that we’re potentially still infertile. He was not conceived naturally – there were drugs and doctors involved in his creation, not just sperm, a penis, a vagina, an egg and sex.

Sex wasn’t involved at all.

I don’t think people realise how much infertility affects the couple, and that’s what I love about this article especially the description of grief. It is probably the thing I found hardest to explain – the never ending cycle of pain every 28 days. The inability to escape that pain, until you reach a resolution, which isn’t easy. I never truly thought about how to cope if our IUI failed, but I knew that if something went wrong in the pregnancy, that was the end of everything. There would be no more hope or trying.

Not only does the article describe the grief of infertility perfectly, its comments on God are spot on. My thoughts, having had successful treatment, is that God created scientists who created IUI and IVF so how can God be against using them?

I’d add two sections into the article.

One: Surviving
For those that have success with any form of fertility treatment or who are part of the small percentage that after many years do conceive naturally, they still consider themselves as infertile. Or at least I do. Those issues that the etiquette article describe do not simply go away over night. The physical and emotional scars are all still there, scabbed over. There are still inappropriate comments that can be made.

And just because I now have Elvis it doesn’t mean that I won’t still have difficulties watching friends and family click their fingers and fall pregnant with their second, third etc. My success at artificially creating a child does not take away 4 years of grief and pain.

Two: Fathers
Sometimes I think that the only reason for all the insensitive comments from my in-laws is because my hubby doesn’t talk about our infertility. How can they understand if they don’t know. But I know how much it hurt my husband, how much every 28 days he hid the grief he shared with me to try and comfort me.

I know that all the time I tried vocally to convince him that it was all something wrong with me, he would argue back that, whilst his tests were all fine (as were mine) he would still argue it could be him genetically at fault. And that just as I felt like a failure as a woman, he felt like a failure as a man.

Neither of us ever blamed the other, but whilst I was relatively happy to shout about our infertility problems, as a man, he was not.

And I think in a lot of discussions regarding infertility the hopeful father to be is forgotten. And let’s not forget that not only do they deal with trying, monthly, to comfort the woman they love, they’re also grieving yet another possible child lost.

~ Persephone M

http://www.resolve.org/support-and-services/for-family–friends/infertility-etiquette.html

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