Roto-Rooter for the soul

Hi Kids.

Still haven’t been posting religiously, but that’s because I’ve been spending an awful lot of time in the local maternity ward this week – just what you want to do when you’re struggling with infertility!!!

As I mentioned in my last post, aunty Kay gave birth this week and, unfortunately, your cousin had an infection and so has spent the last 5 days in the ICU. She seems to be fine – they caught it really quickly and the hospital and nursing staff are brilliant. But between the three visiting hours (and the nurses have been brilliant in not kicking me out when I get there 2 hours early and spend 3 hours there), driving to and from the hospital, and all the work that has been due over the last few days, I’ve been rushed off my feet! I’ve been so busy, I’ve even been neglecting the Fertilicare forum. But I promise to try and be better…I think maybe the answer is to post shorter posts, rather than these rambling essays I have been posting…but it’s hard…there’s so much I want to tell you guys, and no one’s ever accused me of using one word when I could use three.

I’m not sure if I’ve always been this way, or whether this verbosity is a new side of me. Maybe I’ll ask your mom for her opinion on that – if I can get a word in edgewise!!

I think it’s Infertility that has changed me…which is strange considering when you stop and think about it,  I’ve actually been infertile all my life (we assume)…

Some people say that guys don’t have the same emotions that girls do. That we’re different. Then there’s the theory that we’re the same, but that we just handle things differently. There’s the whole ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus’ mentality. My view is that we’re the same, but that society forces us to be different. We are indoctrinated from birth that women are the weaker sex, in touch with their emotions, impulsive, fickle, hormonal, whatever. Guys are supposed to be strong, the bread winner, dependable, tough and bullet-proof. As a form of proof of this hypothesis, just look at the sum total of movies, books, television programmes, etc and you’ll see this stereotype is overwhelming.

Then along came the 90’s when guys we’re supposedly getting ‘in touch with their feminine side’, the birth of male cosmetics, Metrosexuals, the increasing acceptance and integration of gay men into society. Whatever it is, all of a sudden, it seemed like it was okay for guys to worry about their appearance, be sensitive, acknowledge their emotions. But here’s the the crunch…it ‘seemed okay’…and only really when talking to women. I don’t care what anyone says…nothing’s changed – guys still don’t talk about these things with other guys, not when there’s more than two of them in the room.

We don’t. And we never have.

And the thing is, I think we spend so much time ignoring these emotions, keeping them bottled up or trying to ignore or deny them, that we don’t really know ourselves. I don’t think it’s a case of us not having these emotions, I think we become emotionally blocked off from them.

Now I also believe there is a difference between actually being in touch with your emotional side and feeling comfortable shedding the odd tear in public. Jed, at the risk of sounding like a big girls’ blouse, a wet, a drip, a pansy, or any other saying used to denote an ‘unmanly’ man…it’s okay to cry. I openly admit that one of the best films I’ve ever seen is The Green Mile. It’s brilliant and we own it on DVD. And I can’t watch it – it kills me – I cry like a bay when I watch  it – so I stopped watching it.

I’ve never been scared to shed a tear at a sad movie (maybe because I’m bigger than most guys) or give my dad a hug and a kiss hello or goodbye,  but it doesn’t mean that I’m used to analysing my own feelings and emotions. With this whole IF journey, the hardest part for me has actually been deciding how I feel about things. It’s taken hundreds of hours of thought and introspection for me to actually understand what I really think or feel about all the different decisions or options. It’s been a long and painful and frustrating time. I think it’s made things harder for your mother,  because I seemed non-committal or uninterested, when the reality of the situation was that I didn’t want to say something, because I didn’t actually know what I wanted to say, or what my answer was or how I really felt.

I was told 18 years ago that I would never have kids. I got angry, I got depressed – it took me a good long while to come to terms with it and to stop thinking about driving off of Chapmans Peak Drive like some re-enactment of that famous Mercedes-Benz advert. But I’m not sure I ever really came to terms with it. I think I eventually just buried my feelings on the situation. I told myself that I didn’t want kids, I didn’t need them. And that was that. I went on medication to treat the potential symptoms of low testosterone. And that was that. Your mom knew before we were even dating that I couldn’t have kids. So that was that. We got on with our lives.

Then, almost 8 months ago BAM … BSLFONW -(Broad-sided Left-field outta nowhere whiplash)…your mom want’s a baby and whaddaIthink on the matter??? HOW THE HELL SHOULD I KNOW!!!

And that’s when I came up against this blockage that I’d put there 18 odd years ago.

I really believe the turning point for me was joining the Fertilicare Forum. I’d seen what a profound effect it had had on your mom. She became obsessed with the thing. She’d come home from work, and be straight on there. She’d sit there with her laptop all evening, tippy tapping away.

Now you guys know what your mom’s like – her jaw has been studied by scientists wondering if it really is a naturally occurring perpetual motion machine…it never stops…she doesn’t talk the hind leg off a donkey – she talks the back, stomach and front legs too…she talks like she’s sponsored!

So you can imagine the shock I experienced when she would spend a whole evening with the laptop and hardly say a word…But, it helped her immensely. All of a sudden she wasn’t alone in the hell that is Infertility. She could read other people’s stories, ask questions, get support.

I eventually decided that I should have a look at this site…maybe it would help me to come to terms with our situation, get a feel for what other people are going through, how they’re handling things, hopefully find something that helps me to understand what I really think or feel about things. So I asked your mom if she was okay with me joining up – I didn’t want to encroach or step on her toes, or in any way jeopardise the benefits she was getting from the site. I didn’t want her to feel like she would have to moderate what she wrote on the forum because I might see it. She was more than encouraging, and said she’d love me to join, so I did. And that was the turning point.

The first week I spent 8 hours a day on the site, I read almost every post on there going back to when the site first launched. I spent time Googling things that I didn’t understand, I even started posting on the site myself.

Now I’ve said that I think I was blocked off from my feelings/emotions in a lot of respects. Posting on the forum, telling people our story, my issues, our struggle made it easer for me to come to terms with them. After 6 odd months of talking about it, writing, thinking and even posting on this blog, I’m finally beginning to understand myself…to understand what I really truly want/need/think about things. I’m not totally there yet, but I’m getting better at it.

I’m finally starting to break down that blockage, clearing it out of the way…and it’s the forum and this blog that are doing it for me…they’re like Roto-Rooter for the soul…

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~ by HopelesslyTTC on 25/09/2009.

One Response to “Roto-Rooter for the soul”

  1. Hi there – I just found your blog the other day through the LFCA, and it is great. My husband and I went the donor sperm route after a failed vasectomy reversal for him, so even though our stories are different, I can relate to much of what you say here, and I’m going to suggest to him that he read your blog, too, because much of what you’ve written about reflects bits of his experience, too.

    This post sticks out for me so much because I can so relate to both your and your wife’s feelings about finding online communities of support. When I found the blogosphere and all these people who were writing about their experiences of infertility, it truly changed my life. I’m so glad you found somewhere that you both feel understood and supported, and I’m really glad I found your blog, too. Roto-Rooter for the soul, indeed!

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