It’s a pretty special week around here, not only did I get Dustin to write a review of The Every Day Carry Guide, but I also asked him to share his thoughts on a topic that is very near and dear to my heart. Infertility.
As rare as it is to hear about infertility from a woman’s perspective it is even more rare to hear about it from a man’s perspective. The hardest conversation I ever had was to tell Dustin that we might never have the family of our dreams.
As with Mother’s Day, Father’s Day is another day that can be incredibly hard on couples dealing with infertility. and I really wanted to share some hope and understanding from a man who has been so incredible. Standing by my side, holding me when I cry, never once blaming me, and I love him so much.
It is a topic that impacts a lot more people than I had ever believed. I think that like most people, I assumed that I would always be able to have children, if I wanted to… I was wrong. As it turns out infertility is much more common than I had known. To many of you this is in no way surprising, and to those that share this hardship, I am sorry.
Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome brings down possibility of conception to about 25-30% of normal or optimal chances. This is something that my wife-to-be and I had talked about as soon as we had gotten serious in our relationship. After so many conversations about how we would like our futures to go, and what we dreamed of for our children.
Bless her she was very open and forthright with telling me, I can’t imagine the fear and pain or talking about that the first time from her perspective. Knowing this condition was an obstacle, we wanted to know what else may impact our chances of natural conception and pregnancy, so I got tested as well.
As it turns out, I do not have the best sperm count. Somewhere in the 15 million per milliliter range, which sounds like it should be plenty right? Well apparently not. The “normal/optimal” range is upwards of 45+ million per milliliter. Which puts me at a lovely 33% potential.
Well you add those two percentages and that means that the woman I love so dearly, the woman who dreams of being a mother and I have an, at best, around 10% natural conception probability. What does this mean to me?
It has had unexpected effects on me so far.
Certain songs pull at my heart more than they had in the past. My Little Girl by Tim McGraw for instance. I think of little Evelyn, my princess, the prim and proper little sweetheart that will have me wrapped around her finger the instant I look into her pretty blue eyes.
Her twin brother, Liam Oliver, my son. My little man, who will follow me around like a shadow. Who will want to be big and strong like Daddy. Who will protect Mommy and his siblings when Daddy isn’t around. He will be quick to smile and slow to anger, like his old man, but braver, bolder, and smarter than I will ever be.
Matrim, Mat for short because nobody will understand why I would name my boy Matrim. But this little blighter will test my patience with ever waking breath. He will be mischievous and clever, daring and playful. He will always want “one more story” and “one more push”. He will make me prouder than I could have hoped when he joins the military like his Mommy, his Papa, and his Father before him.
Quinn. My dearest Quinn. Who will bring a whole new level of sass and quirk to my family. She will be the tomboy that beats the boys at their own game. She’ll be the mechanic that helps Dad because she will have an understanding of engineering at a fundamental level that will leave me in awe. She will see the world through a filter that exposes natural beauty and wonder that will never fade. That will help me see joy and hope instead of the constant pessimism and disappointment that society leaves for our daily consumption.
This is what I see when I close my eyes and look at my children. This is what my heart feels when I talk to my wife about our wee ones. And this is what is slipping through my fingers like smoke in a soft breeze.
To those that read this and know:
I may not know you, I may have never seen you or heard your voice. We may have never embraced as friends or lovers, but I have a lot of love for you, because you understand our pain and share in our sorrow.
If you’re dealing with infertility I hope you know how much we understand what you are going through. If this is something you’ve never had to even think about than I appreciate you stopping by for a new perspective. For more information on how to handle friends or family struggling check out these tips.
Hugs to all the father’s out there, for all the future and hopeful dads I hope that this day isn’t too hard for you.