Thursday, February 08, 2007


Oy, did I open a can of worms with that last post!

My darling husband reads this blog. As a matter of fact I encourage him to, and he enjoys doing so. He tells me that often my writing here gives him insight into how I am feeling when I am unable to verbalize in conversation. I have found in the past that it has really helped when I don't know how to broach a topic with him. He'll read my posts and say "wow, I didn't realize you felt that way, let's talk a bit about that."

Well, I did not anticipate the reaction I received from The C when he read my plea for IUI, and all your comments on the matter. Rather than him turning to me and saying "Oh honey, now I totally get why you want to do the IUI," and have hearts and roses fall from the sky into my lap, he turned to me and said: "You are so off the mark."

Holy support, batman. Thanks, partner in life, this is totally what I was expecting from you.

Though he refuted all the arguments that I gave in the post, and basically laughed at the support you guys gave me*, when we talked (ahem, argued, cried, etc...) more about the issue I was able to distill that The C believes the following:

-That it is highly likely that we will conceive on our own, if we just give it enough chances
-That he thinks that conceiving in stirrups is wildly unromantic
-That his sperm count is not low at 20 million (like a D- is still a pass on a test)
-That he thinks that my argument that doing IUI this time because it will increase our chances of conception is "flaky" (yes he used the word flaky) at best
-That he thinks that I handle doing my injections pretty well as it doesn't seem to faze me

Now, typing all this makes my husband seem like an asshole with a cherry on top. Hence all the anger in our conversation. Once we calmed down and revisited the issue, I realized that what he really felt was the following:

-That he is not quite ready to give up on a natural conception, but he knows that he has to face the music on this
-That should we move to IUI he will be right there beside me, and he will still be present at our baby's conception
-That he knows how difficult it is for me to shoot up and have my vaj probed
-That his sperm count is normal, because 20 million is still normal (umm, see that one hasn't changed...)

And plus two other big things:

-That he is so very concerned about how I will react should we have another negative cycle. He thinks that if we try naturally I will be less devestated by the outcome than if we invest our all in IUI. This struck me as incredibly sensitive. I think that by him saying that he was worried how I would feel he was also telling me he was worried about how he would feel.

-That The C, who never talks about "plans", and likes to fly by the seat of his pants (ie: why discuss what to make for dinner... let's just wait till we are standing in front of the stove and genius strikes!) actually had a plan in mind when we started this cycle. His plan: one more natural kick at the can (yes that's what all the cool kids call it) before we move on. Plans are great. I just wish he had chosen to discuss the plan he had for us before we embarked on the cycle. When I poked around the question of why on earth he didn't share this plan with me sooner if he felt this way, I was met with a "because you always do what you want anyways." Low blow, but also mostly true.

So. I am not going to do what I want to do. Someone else in this relationship also had a plan. And I'm thankful that he shared it with me so that we could do what works best in a relationship: compromise.

I am hoping beyond hope that we conceive a baby in our bedroom in a moment of extreme passion. And that we don't have to fall back on my plan.

*Please, please, please, with sugar on top do not let this ever discourage you from commenting and being honest with me. This is MY blog, and I need you guys.


KD said...

MNSHO: I don't think your husband sounds like an asshole at all. I think he sounds like a man who is feeling like slightly less of a man if it takes a turkey baster to impregnate his wife. For a long time my own hubby viewed our IF issues as my problem because he couldn't 'fess up to his part in this process. It takes them a little longer than it does us to face the music about what may be necessary to get pregnant.

And, yes, trying on your own may EVENTUALLY get you pregnant, but how long are you willing to wait? How many BFNs are your willing to see each month? He needs to get over the idea that an IUI makes some kind of statement about his virility and get into the idea that it may very well bring a pregnancy into your lives very soon.

If I can get over my PCOS and all the very non-feminine side effects it puts on me, he can get over the turkey baster.

Erin said...

I don't think men understand infertility blogging (Smarshy excepted). My husband knows about my blog, knows the address, and never reads it unless I sit down and say "I want you to read this". I also think that the C sounds very much like, well, a man. There's not enough gender equality in the world to make a man realize that having a lower sperm count doesn't make him less of a man. I think testosterone makes it impossible for them to see that it's not a reflection on their masculinity.

Talking about IF is just as hard as going through it--it's just such a heartfelt issue. It sounds like you had a good conversation about it.

sariel & shlomit said...

i'm very impressed with you and the c and i love that the blog helped pave the way....compromise sometimes means you both aren't all that thrilled...or maybe one of you is and one isn' just sucks sometimes...but i will stand by what i said that it is soooo important that you are both in step as much as possible...and i would never let the c's reactions stop me from, i think you know me...and so does he for that matter!!

he is right, there is a chance...and next time (puh, puh, puh, please G-d there's no next time!!) you'll do iui and regular shtupping...i know it's frustrating to feel like you're not maximizing your'll get there, my dear...i have great confidence in your womb!!!


Heather said...

Sorry about the fight but I'm glad that you two are on the same page now.

IF sucks all around. Marriage and communication are hard enough withouth throwing IF into the mix.

I wish you two the best of luck on this cycle!

~r said...

I don't think he sounds like an asshole either - that's very much the reaction my husband had when we first started talking about going a little more assisted than just BBT's & timed intercourse.

I think because we women are the ones doing the bulk of the testing and the meds, it's much easier for us to see the next step as a logical progression... not to mention that using something other than sex to get pregnant is a very touchy subject for most men.

I'm glad that you two were able to discuss and compromise, and very glad that your blog was able to start some communication between the two of you so that you're at least seeing the other's view also. Hopefully, that will help make the IF journey a little easier on your marriage. IF is hell on a person, and it's really rough on a marriage.

Cathleen said...

Sounds like you have a great hubby! :)

I think it just takes men a little longer to give up on the "ideal" way to conceive a child. I know that my hubby certainly took his sweet time getting there. The good news, at least as I have found, is that once they do arrive on the same page, there is no waffling at all. It is full speed ahead.

Hopefully, hubby's plan will work and there won't need to be a plan B...

aah0424 said...

I don't think he sounds like as asshole. I just think men have totally different take on this whole thing then we do. After 2 years of trying it took a zero sperm count for my husband to stand and take notice. It sucks that is what did it for him, but imagine if he got the zero count and still thought we would get pregnant on our own.

Honestly I think your husband is just trying to look out for you. He wants the best and doesn't want to see the pain a failed IUI would cause. It sounds like he will be ready soon though (and who knows maybe you won't need the IUI)!

TeamWinks said...

Infertility is tough on everybody that it touches. It's especially tough on a marriage. Glad you two found a way to work things out.

I also agree with KD's post.

sharah said...

Don't conversations like that make you just want to shake him and say "I can't read your mind - you must open your mouth to speak!" Manly pulls that crap too.

Lut C. said...

Well, we are biased.

Amy said...

I keep meaning to comment on your blog ... hello. I'm glad you and your husband got to the compromise phase.

I missed the post down a bit about men and Clomid. I can share our experiences if you want to e-mail me ... amy bds @ yahoo

I loved your post on PCOS - As a fellow PCOSer, I've felt that way many times. Other than the lack of ovulation, I think I hate the mustache the most.

My Reality said...

It sounds like even though you stirred the pot a little too much, you got somewhere because of it. It may not be exactly where you want to be, but it is a compromise for both of you.

Since The C reads, hello!

Dianne/Flutter said...

My husband went thru something similar. Believed since our problem was that I didn't ovulate, it was all fixed by making me ovulate.

He has grown as much as I have. But, he HAD to do the three sex with med cycles. And he had to see how much this was effecting me, before he got to the point of last Thursday.

When I told him that our last cycle ended in another BFN, he said "Well, next month we will do the IUI. And it will be OK."

So, ultimately, your husband isn't a bad person. He is just a man.

And comments don't stop because a man made a comment, most of us have a man that isn't perfect, but is as close to perfect as we can take or want.

Karen said...

Okay, seriously, your husband needs to calm down a little. What's unromantic about conceiving in stirrups?

You know what? I can't think of anything MORE romantic than two people who are so committed to building a family together that they are willing to go through the pain, discomfort, intrusion, and general inconvenience of fertility treatment. I'm dead serious.

Here's the thing.... if you had an IUI, that doesn't guarantee conception took place in stirrups rather than in the bedroom. Consider this:
If you take a trigger shot on a Sunday (just for the sake of argument) and have sex that night (as is usually recommended) and have an IUI 36 hours later on Tuesday morning and then have more sex that night, how do you know that the IUI is what did the trick if you get pregnant that cycle? For all you know, having sex on trigger night is what worked! What the IUI does is give you another chance, an extra boost, and adds a little insurance. Since the IUI itself isn't terribly expensive (most monitoring appointments at my clinic are more expensive than the IUI appointment), there's really not a lot to lose by doing it.

Is your husband right that odds are given enough time and opportunity you'll probably conceive on your own? Sure. But does that mean you shouldn't help it along a little? Gah.

When I read posts like these, I usually ask my husband about his feelings on the matter. Does it make him feel less manly to do an IUI? Nope. He says he has plenty of other things to make him feel less manly, that he doesn't need a silly IUI to help it along. ;) Then again, my husband is a pharmacist and annoyingly clinical and practical about a lot of this infertility stuff. He never takes it personally and he rarely gets emotional about it. Still, I know he'd be honest with me if asked point blank whether doing the IUI makes him feel less capable.