I am not sure how many men read this blog, but if you happen to pop by, or your wife successfully prods you to read this, I ask that you weigh in with your comments. Understand that this is not to be viewed as a public argument or anything. It is being posted simply because our other points of view are posted here as well so it provides balance. Nothing here is a mystery or new to my dear wife as I have told her these things before. She just has a short memory. :)
OK, I was speaking to a friend of ours who not too long ago had her own trials with getting pregnant. She helps me, from time to time, understand the blinders that a woman develops when she is going through this process. She explains the overwhelming focus that develops and how the goal overrides all other senses and normal thought. Alright then, I get that and I understand that. Let me digress for a second.
When Pam and I started out together, we happened to go to Yorkdale mall in Toronto to get her something from a clothing store. In we walked, as I am not ashamed to hold my wife's purse and mind my own business while she shops. However, she looks at different items and asks me my opinion. I tell her what I think looks good on her to me and flatters her to me. Predictably, she then grabs the items that I specifically said that I did not like and goes and tries them on. After the second or third time, I found a chair up front and went and sat down. When she came yet again to ask me what I thought, I refused to give my opinion. I stated that she was wasting my time by asking me what I thought looked good on her and then abruptly choosing the other item. She did not need me for that process so I took myself out of it. To this day, I am very cautious when she asks and she knows not to ask me if she really does not want it.
Fast forward to present times and we have a similar scenario. We talked about having a baby; I agreed that we should go ahead and try. Things were not happening for us so I agreed to go ahead and find out why (i.e. testing). When we found out that her age may be hindering us and we need to try boosting our chances, I agreed to supporting her through the many invasive things she had to do and to my tossing off to good books and video for my part. When the next obvious step was for IVF, I supported her decision to look at the clinic in Montreal and we drove out there, went through all the hoops, did the genetic testing and anything else required of us. When she decided to go through with the surgery for the fibroids, I took the time from work to ensure I spoke directly to the doctor who knew how worried I was. I made sure that everything went right. I did my duty and left the nani alone for the prescribed amount of time to allow for proper healing. I asked that we try again to both a) try for complete family genetic material and b) obviously, reduce our costs. Now, the reality seems to be, that no matter or desire and amount of trying, it simply will not happen the old fashioned way for us. So, as originally discussed and planned out, we work towards obtaining the funds to move forward with the IVF.
Plain and simple and blunt truth is that we are pretty much broke. We made some stupid decisions earlier and we are paying for them, literally, now. We cannot go back in time so it is pointless to dwell on that. We have to seek out other options. Sorry but to be blunt again, Pam has been dreaming in technicolour concerning the sources SHE thought she may be able to get help from. I told her from day one that it was not going to happen and, as usual but unfortunately this time, I was right.
The thing that is crunching my nachos though is that I told her that whatever it takes, I will make this happen. This included selling my beloved Roo. For those not familiar with my blog, the Roo is my Chevrolet Trailblazer EXT truck. I love this truck; L-O-V-E it! I love my wife more so if it came down to it, the truck is gone. Simple. No problem. I am still not going to tell her what I am doing yet but my little brother and her will know just how deep my love goes when they find out because prior to this, you could have cut important appendages off of me before I would do this. They can explain later to you all when it is revealed this weekend.
So, when Pam writes in her post that she should not say what she was saying, that is a BIG understatement because it is not fair to me and it is downright incorrect. I can be very demonstrative (I cried when she gave me my Doug Gilmour Maple Leafs authentic hockey jersey), but I can also be VERY reserved. I am very reserved on this because I have to be everything. I am a participant in the whole process because I want to be the father of this child of ours. I am the financier because I have to develop a new method to get the funds we need. I am the therapist because it is my shoulders she has to lean on when she is feeling down. I am the rock, the foundation because when all this gets her down, I have to be the one to ensure that everything else NOT within the field of view of the blinders gets seen, gets looked after, gets taken care of and gets done. I am father, lover, husband, realist, doctor, lawyer, banker, and candlestick maker. Pam is still chief cook and bottle washer but that is besides the point.
The point is that I am involved. I am a part of this. I am excited. I am worried. I have expectations. I have disappointments, I have goals and I have bad days. It is not just one person going though this. In our case it is three direct participants (because our daughter gets affected by the mood swings and the fights and the crabbiness by both of us) and many indirect ones in terms of all of you and our family and friends. That said though, the husband/spouse/partner should never be overlooked in this matter. Janet Jackson puts on an amazing concert, but she does not handle the sound, the lighting, the costumes, the makeup, the setup or the take-down of the set. She goes through her routine, grueling and taxing as it is and her focus is getting through each performance.
You women are going through a grueling, taxing, emotional and physical rollercoaster and we cannot take that ride for you. However, understand, remember and appreciate the supporting cast behind you, in the wings, in the shadows and yes the very quiet ones, that enable you to stay focussed on your task, that do for you what you cannot, that are there unconditionally and without falter. We are the unsung ones and though we do not necessarily care for the limelight, we simply ask to show up in the credits once in a while.
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V - I've read both your post and Pam's post below.
You're both right.
Pam, I know *exactly* what you're feeling. I know that island well - I think we're neighbours. The baby issue can become an obsession. As you said, any moment your thoughts are idle, you find yourself daydreaming -- maybe fantasizing is a better word -- about that wee life that you so desperately want. I know you feel the ache as much (if not more) than I do. You are NEVER alone on that island, lady.
Victor - you hit the nail on the head. It is something that couples go through and yeah, maybe the woman feels it differently, but I'm sure it's no less difficult for the want-to-be Dads.
My theory is that it's the lack of control over the whole thing. No matter what happens - even if you do everything by the book and follow the rules, sometimes you can't get pregnant. I struggle with this and I know Mark does too.
Just remember - no matter what it takes, we're going to get Pam pregnant. Period. Even if I have to sell a kidney. ;)
Patti, my love, please do not go making any sudden trips to far away lands to make any back alley deals on your body parts. Especially since Mark would kill me as I know he loves a few of them in particular.
I took a hard step on the weekend, one of the hardest I have had to swallow my pride to do since this journey began, and I hope that it will bear the fruit necessary to help us try to bear one of our own.
We should know fairly quick if it will work out or if we have to move on to the next plan.
PS Are we just going with kidneys or are other parts available? Uhm, nevermind, I think I hear two voices in my head cursing me. Coincidentally, one male and one female. :)
The whole rollercoaster ride does a heckuva number on us, doesn't it? Both for the woman who has to endure endless poking, prodding, testing, etc., and for her partner who sees and supports her through it all. I think I can say that there are some partners who, while a part of the process, are not completely "there" and who may not quite "get it." While there are the very lucky few, like Pam, like myself, who have partners who are very involved and make it a point to be.
I applaud your post and I'm going to point my hubby this way to read it too. In the meantime, those body parts? Yeah... hang on to those. They might be needed in the future! *grins* And if you happen to take a side jaunt to Ottawa on your travels to and from La Belle province, it'd be a pleasure to meet you both! Contact me at jiliana2 @ gmail.com. Hubby and I are always up for meeting new folks.
Cheers to you both.
I totaly agree in what your saying. gil is my wife, but at times it frustrates me in that they are so emotionaly into their issues that they forget that we are also part of it. It is hard at times to be the partner of someone who cannot seem to get pregnant, no matter what steps are taken. Women say that it's hard on their self confidence. Join our club ladies. I think for us men it's different, but it isn't less painful.
I just wanted to let you know (and thank my wife for pointing this blog entry to me) that you are not alone.
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