Tales of a journey through infertility into (hopefully) fatherhoodPosts RSS Comments RSS

Archive for the 'Men & Infertility' Category

Talking to men (finally)

I’ve discovered that while men don’t seem to generally want to talk about infertility when they’re in the midst of it, they seem to positively gush out details after they’ve successfully had children. In the past couple of weeks, I’ve heard all sorts of stories related to infertility, miscarriage, and childbirth.

These same men are also really willing to “tell their stories” about fatherhood. I’m going to start recording some of the more interesting observations and experiences here (after making them anonymous). I’m particularly interested by their willingness to share the raw emotion (good and bad) associated with these experiences.

In other news…

We spent some time this weekend getting ready for the trip. L was struggling with packing, because some of her clothing is starting not to fit properly. Due to her now more ample cleavage, many of her tops are either 1) actually too small, or 2) simply looking too good on (if you know what I mean). Pants are also becoming a struggle, as she doesn’t like anything too tight. It’s a challenge…

L is going for her next OB check-up this week. I’ll make sure to post details on it.

I’m headed to Washington DC tomorrow.

Bookmark and Share

2 responses so far

Dealing with the emptiness…

Now that we’re “out of the closet” so to speak, we’ve been telling friends and colleagues about our joyful news. In most cases, we haven’t mentioned the IVF, primarily because it just doesn’t come up. (I think twins might have yielded more baby-making related questions.) Of course, in a few instances, we’ve discussed our difficulties and the associated treatment, assuming people wanted to hear.

That said, I have one friend who I’ve avoided telling until yesterday.

Let’s call him “Bob.”

A few years ago, Bob was in town on business, and we met up for dinner at the world famous Bern’s Steak House in Tampa. We had an enjoyable meal and had moved onto the dessert room for dessert (surprise) and an after-dinner drink. Somehow the conversation moved on to children, and Bob confided in me the struggles he and his wife had had in TTC. At this time, L and I hadn’t even started TTC yet nor was I anything that even remotely resembled an expert on matters of infertility. So, I just patiently listened to the tale of woe, tried to remain sympathetic, and generally kept (thankfully based on what I’ve now learned) any stupid suggestions or opinions to myself.

Bottom line: after much treatment, Bob and his wife were not going to be able to biologically have kids.

Fast-forward to this week.

I had to tell Bob about our struggles and success (I only see him semi-regularly, but I couldn’t keep a child a secret for the rest of our lives). So, here’s what I said (after making small talk about other “news”):

I have some other news as well. After some unexpected challenges and then associated medical intervention (which I know you’re all too familiar with as well), L and I are expecting a child. She’s due in early February. Needless to say, we’re thrilled and excited by the prospect. We’re also extremely grateful for our good fortune in a way that I don’t think is possible unless you’ve struggled.

Seemingly, he took it very well. He offered me his congratulations and seemed to appreciate my sense of tact, saying something to the effect of “dealing with the emptiness is hard for us.”

Yeah, I know, my friend. Believe me. I know.

Bookmark and Share

2 responses so far

Paul Exhales…

Well, I’m back from my brief trip to Washington, D.C. This month is going to be a whirlwind of (business) travel, followed by our planned annual (vacation) journey to London in early August. I actually have a lot to bring you up to speed on: telling the fam about the pregnancy status (and IVF history); first “normal” OB/GYN appointment; update on the PIO shots, etc.

However, I don’t have the time or energy for all of that tonight. I just need to relax… and unwind.


That’s what I need! To take a breather, which we all need from time to time.

This seems especially apropos, as my first column at Exhale Magazine came out today! Yup. That’s right. I’m now one of the regular writers for this smart online magazine for people who have either lost babies or struggle to make them in the first place.

So, I’ll have more to say tomorrow. But, in the meantime, why not go Exhale with me tonight?

Bookmark and Share

No responses yet

Graduation Day

Following yesterday’s ultrasound, we met briefly with Dr. Goodman, L’s reproductive endocrinologist at the Reproductive Medicine Group. She seemed genuinely thrilled about our success… complete with an ear-to-ear grin and hugs for us both! Up to this point, she’d been mostly “down to business” (which I appreciated), but I have to say that L and I have been very favorably impressed by the RMG throughout. They’ve been both technically competent (obviously) but also demonstrably caring.

In short, we’d highly recommend the Reproductive Medicine Group.

Now returning to regularly scheduled programming…

Yesterday was also graduation day for us. This was (thankfully / mercifully / hopefully) our last trip to the RE office. We’re now just a “normal couple” expecting their first kid. So, L will be headed back to her regular OB/GYN practice (after confirmation w/ Dr. G that it was “recommended” by her).

L’s first appointment at the OB’s office is next Wednesday. I think I’m planning to attend this appointment too. My schedule should allow for it, as I have a short business trip (leaving tomorrow, returning on Tuesday) to a conference.

Here’s a gift for the lovely parting contestants.

WTEWYE -- The Book

As a graduation gift from the RMG, we were given a copy of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.” I’d been tempted to order this on Amazon, but then I opted not to because I’d read a lot of reviews that said (paraphrasing) “this book will scare the shit out of you.”

Not exactly something I thought we’d need. :-)

That said, having now read a lot of it, I think it’s only scary to the uber-fertiles, who are generally (as we all know) completely and utterly ignorant about matters of conception and pregnancy compared to their IF counterparts. I was surprised by both how much I already knew (good Paul!) and how much we’d already been through (good news!).

Conception: Ha! (ROFL) Check. (After writing a large one.)

Dietary changes / restrictions: check.

Activity restrictions: check.

Symptoms: check, check, check.

First month: check.

Second month: check. (Well, nearly over…)

Knowing that shit can go wrong: check. (All too familiar).

So, “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” isn’t too scary at all (and an easy read).

No more PIO shots! Ohhh… maybe not!

Finally, we learned yesterday that L could stop the IM PIO shots, if she wished, and move on to Crinone (a Vaginal gel), but when we called the pharmacy we got a crazy price for the product ($405 for a 12 day supply, which we’d probably need to order twice).

Libby’s attitude: “Fuck that! I’ll stick with the shots.”

So, it seems that we’ll continue the PIO shots until: 1) we find a lower price for Crinone, 2) we get Crinone covered by my medical insurance (possible as this is for pregnancy, not infertility), 3) our doctor switches the prescription to a lower cost alternative, or 4) we simply make it through the end of week nine (when all progesterone support ends).

Bookmark and Share

2 responses so far

One Down, Eight To Go

After the whirlwind IVF cycle and anticipation of awaiting the outcome, life seems to have settled back into a steady (and rather pedestrian) rhythm.

Thus far, L’s pregnancy has been very uneventful. Some of the earlier symptoms, like nausea and cramping, have subsided more-or-less completely. The fatigue and swollen/sore breasts continue. Note: I’ll refrain from any editorial comments on the “swollen” part as that seems inappropriate to speak of someone’s mother as such. Note #2: A female friend / colleague of L’s did comment on her suddenly more ample cleavage yesterday: she wondered if L had a “boob job.” Note #3: Really, this isn’t a bad side effect. Enough said. Sorry. I’ll say no more.

The PIO shots continue as a nightly but now rather blasé ritual.

What a difference a month makes.

That’s right: we’ve been pregnant one month!

We still haven’t really told anyone in “the real world” about our success yet.

Of course, we hadn’t really told anyone about our struggles with infertility either. We made the decision to wait for a few reasons. We’re certainly not embarrassed by infertility. It’s just that we’re fairly private people (by nature, despite evidence of this blog to the contrary) who lead fairly public lives (by profession). As such, we didn’t want to have to make a lot of small talk about the status of fertility treatment.

On a more personal level, we didn’t want to involve our families, because we realized a couple of things. First, it would simply add stress to their lives (which in turn would add stress to our lives). Second, there’s nothing they’d be able to do to help resolve the situation. So, in the end, we opted to spare everyone the grief.

We intend to execute the “public relations campaign” once we get past the ultrasound, starting with our families and closest friends.

Bookmark and Share

No responses yet

« Prev - Next »