I know, I know it’s an awesome song from the early 90’s and it is but that’s really the question right? “Can you stand the rain?” this should be the first question that is asked to couples who are struggling with infertility. Sometimes I think it should be the ONLY question that should be asked. Especially as a husband, man, partner in this whole infertility journey.
Because let’s face it, even if the reason for the fertility issue is on you, it’s pretty easy to be a guy in this process. Take some tests, lots of hand holding, giving endless sperm samples (perhaps one of the most awkward things you can do), but really it’s easy in comparison. You aren’t taking drugs, you aren’t pumped up full of hormones and you obviously won’t be carrying the child or be its primary care giver. No matter what you think, compared to her it’s easy.
But is it really easy? No matter the cause of the fertility issue, there is going to come a time where both of you can’t take it, or each other, anymore. That’s where I’m getting at here. Because, I doubt any of us got married, or got together and thought, you know what I really want to do? I want to struggle having a baby and cause a strain on my marriage.
I got married on a beautiful April day in front of friends and family and was ecstatic. Things weren’t great all around I needed a new job, she was just starting a new job and money was tighter than it could have been, but life was trending up for sure. But we were married and we were happy. If you’re reading this, you know either Mel or me, if you know us both you know we have a tendency to bicker with one another. It’s part of our DNA. But we’ve never had a blow up fight and we’ve never questioned anything about whether or not this relationship would work in the long term. We just bicker and to us, it’s never been anything more than that.
When our fertility struggle started, I was concerned that this could be an issue. I didn’t know what the outcome was going to be, and telling two people who need to have control that there is no answer isn’t easy to comprehend. Infertility issues are a struggle. I don’t care who you are, they will knock you down and humble you. I’ve read and heard stories of people who get divorced, or separated because of it. I even know people who have gotten divorced AFTER the kid and the root cause of the divorce was the struggles they had during their journey.
I can’t nor will I tell you that if you’re struggling through this, life will get easier at any point of the process and I think that’s the crux of it all. I mean you are working so hard to get pregnant that oftentimes you aren’t completely prepared when you actually get pregnant, as crazy as that sounds. The “light at the end of the tunnel” speech is nonsense. I mean you struggle for months or years with fertility issues, you hopefully get pregnant, then its 9 months of pregnancy which isn’t fun for anyone, except maybe the baby. After that, there is a newborn in your life, and if this is your first child, your life gets turned upside down.
There is a light, the light happens at your lowest possible moment. For me, it was a fight we got into about a year ago before Christmas last year. We had done our first round of IVF on Monday and on Saturday, 5 days later, they told us, out of the 15 eggs that had fertilized, we only had 1 that was good to go on day 5. Mel was crushed, I was optimistic that we still had other chances in the next few days but I was also scared. I was scared for her. I was scared for me. I was plain scared for us. We yelled back and forth, I asked her to try and be positive, she told me, she couldn’t be positive and she was right. At that point we had gotten a barrage of bad news over and over again. She had no reason to be positive. I can’t even say this was the lowest point of our journey because it wasn’t even close. It was the last time we really had a fight about it though. We’ve had long talks, come to Jesus moments for sure. We went to church that Sunday and we sat at the back of the church in case they called during the service with good results for that day. At this point we were both hopeful and praying for a good call. They did call and we got 2 more embryos. We got another one on day 7, Monday, and one of those embryos became our son. Obviously I didn’t know that at the time but I knew that things were going to be ok. One way or another. It rained, it poured it wiped us off our feet but we were stronger than this journey and our love was much stronger than what this could throw our way.