Persephone: Parent

A fine site

Forgetting the Fathers

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–friends/infertility-etiquette.html

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I’ve been chatting with a fellow mum to be on twitter about being, or not, excited about being pregnant and it got me thinking about when exactly I’ve been excited about my pregnancy.

I remember being nervous wondering if there would be space for me on August’s treatment schedule. I remember blindly trying to believe that hormonal intervention made my period 2 days late rather than hoping it had worked. I remember being nervous and trying to be emotionless as the test went positive.

I remember the nerves waiting for the 7 week scan. I remember the relief and tears as I saw my 7 week old baby with comfortable egg sac and no fears regarding miscarriage. I openly wept in a hospital corridor in pure joy and relief that not only was it not ectopic but my ovaries were not going to lead to needing a termination.

I remember the nerves continuing, not as bad but they did. I remember all the niggles and pains that didn’t go until well over 20 weeks. I remember not feeling comfortable until everyone knew which was 20+ weeks.

But I don’t remember ever really proudly showing off scan pictures. I don’t ever really remember excitedly telling people that it had finally worked, that I was finally pregnant.

I do remember (and still do) gazing at my Alien like moving belly in the bath or on the sofa, talking to him as he still kicks and wriggles. Sometimes I tell him off for hurting me or playing with my hips (it feels weird). Those are the moments I smile in happiness at being pregnant, moments when I know it’s all real, when I know he’s there, but even then it’s not really excitement.

Over the past week my excitement or happiness has been decreasing again. Either through nerves or hormonal shifts, but it is still there buried as deep as it probably always has been.

Everyone experiences pregnancy differently and either because I’m cautious or because it took so much to get here, I don’t want to risk showing my excitement and happiness to anyone other than my husband really.

I publicly announced my pregnancy after 12 weeks and one friend barely even congratulated me, her partner was downright insensitive to me. A few months later at only 6 weeks, she announced her pregnancy to me and honestly expected me to react better than I did. Why should I be more excited for her than she was for me?

I’ll be excited when he’s in my arms. Not because I fear it’ll never happen. Not because the pregnancy’s making me feel like crap. Just… because. And no pregnant woman, or their expectant partner, should be made to feel bad.

Why do people insist on putting such demands on pregnancies? From personal levels of excitement to size of bumps (see earlier post), what’s it got to do with anyone else?

~ Persephone M


How I Got Here

Having taken to the metaphor of the WW1 trenches, I wanted to give some simple information on my journey to here for any of those that are new to this blog.

I began my attempt at trying to conceive (TTC), over three years ago with my DH, which I have now likened to being stuck in the disease ridden, downright depressing near-death hole of the trenches. Here are some blog entries from my original blog on TTC (there are plenty more over there, but mainly poetry based just check out the tag TTC):

And then, after deciding on Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) rather than the free, but more invasive IVF, I met with the fertility nurse about starting the first round, which managed to get me out of the trenches and running across No Man’s Land. Here are those blogs:

And that covers the first 4-5 weeks of my journey across No Man’s Land. I now have about a third of this journey to go.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed!

~ Persephone M

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