I feel like a poser and a voyeur. Over the last several days, I’ve been scouring the internets and reading other people’s infertility blogs. I know that in that time I’ve barely scraped the surface. There are thousands of blogs like this one but better and written by people who are vastly more interesting than I am, know exponentially more than I know and have been struggling with infertility both on a more intimate scale and for a longer time.
In the time that I beat around the infertility blogosphere, I didn’t come across another blog written by a man. I’m sure that I’m not one-of-a-kind, but I just haven’t come across another man’s blog yet. I hope that none of the women who are writing blogs about infertility feel like I’m crashing their party. Depressing as the party may be, it’s never polite to come in uninvited. If I make a comment on your blog at any point and it makes you uncomfortable, feel free to ask me to leave. I will happily oblige. I understand that reproductive health is an intensely personal thing (which is why this and so many other blogs are anonymous to varying degrees). Perhaps the only man you’re comfortable sharing the experience with is your husband or partner. I hope that I’m not too much of a bother or annoyance to all members of these wonderful online communities in which I’m interested in participating. I welcome any and all to my site — to both read and participate. I’m happy to write this blog even if no one ever reads it.
But it’s not even what’s in between my legs that makes me most apprehensive about writing this blog. It’s what’s in my mind. So many of you know so much. Frankly, that’s a big part of the reason that I want to participate in this community — to learn from each of you. My wife and I are new to this. If anyone reads this post, there’s probably a better-than-fifty percent chance that it will be a woman who has been working with multiple medical professionals over the course of many years to have a baby. She knows a heckuva lot more — about reproductive health in general and fertility issues in particular — than I do.
As I’ve mentioned before, my wife and I have only recently accepted that we have issues with fertility. We have been trying to have a child for over a year now. According to our interpretation of various articles, text books, etc… this is about the time that we should start worrying about it. We’ve been upset and frustrated in the past, but only now do we truly feel like we have reason to believe that we should be counted in that percentage of the population with fertility issues. My wife is seeing a doctor later this month. She has been recording her menstrual cycles, taking regular ovulation tests, and recording them along with other information such as hormonal spikes and when we have sex in a notebook for a couple months. She’ll present that to the doctor and undergo whatever tests the doctor feels to be necessary.
I say this to demonstrate just how far behind other bloggers I am. I’ve read incredible blogs by women who are struggling with their husbands to have their second child after struggling to have their first for years. I’ve read amazing accounts of women who have gone through multiple rounds of (often heartbreaking) in-vitro fertilization. Most other women writing blogs seem to at least have firm answers about why they’re having trouble conceiving. It is often that diagnosis that prompts them to start blogs.
So just as I hope you don’t think me a voyeur for my maleness, I hope no one sees me as a poser for the newness of our struggle. But I am intentionally starting this blog at an early stage. In the (hopeful) event that this phase of our life is a short one, I do not want to leave it without some kind of record. In the (dreaded) event that this period lasts some time, I want some primary source history for this time. I want to have a record of it that is raw and unaffected by hindsight. I want to remember it for all its pain and possibly its joys and triumphs.
So, please be gentle. We’re not as accustomed to heartbreak as some of this blog’s potential readers. If you’re more experienced, think back to your first time. We’re just figuring things out around here. We’re cautiously optimistic that we might have some more answers and some more knowledge soon. For now all we have is a one bedroom apartment that’s still plenty big for our family, bags full of adorable baby clothes purchased as poorly-thought-out coping mechanisms and a child-sized hole in our hearts. Our cherry’s just been popped and the lights are just about to come on.
Obviously I hope for the best later this month when my wife sees the doctor. At a minimum (and I realize that even this is ong-shot), we hope that some answers come out of the visit. In a best-case-scenario, I hope that they discover that our problem has an easy solution. Then maybe I can retire this blog. (But I’ll probably still stalk yours, unless you ask me not to.)