One Husband’s Perspective On Overcoming Infertility

Last month I shared with you what it was like for me deal with the struggles of infertility. However, infertility isn’t a one sided disease. Whether you are struggling with having a child or your partner is, you are both on this journey together. That is why I asked my husband to share what it was like for him to go through those six years of infertility.

 

Before I Knew What Infertility Was

They say that the journey is more important than the destination. While most of the time I agree with this take, when you’re trying to have a baby, that’s not necessarily true. The destination: a beautiful (hopefully healthy), boy or girl is the greatest gift we can seek. Our journey, as you know, was something of a struggle – one that I would wish upon no family trying to conceive. That being said, in hindsight our journey was prepping us for the spectacular gift that would be our daughter.

 In 2009 when we decided to have a baby, the plan simple: first comes love (check), then comes marriage (check), then comes a baby in the baby carriage. I was excited to become a family. The thought of having another human to take care of was frightening, but I thought I was ready for the change. Unfortunately, then came our first miscarriage. I honestly never expected it to happen. You hear of folks miscarrying, but I never once thought it would happen to us. We were both young and in good health, what would cause this. Jamie, obviously, was taking it hard. In my search to help console her, I told her that it was for the better (wrong thing to say), because it was her body rejecting something that wasn’t right for it at the time. This went over like a lead balloon. Learn from my lesson gentlemen.

 

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Working Through The Infertility Woes

As we know, the best laid plans don’t always work out. About four or five years into the future, countless heartbreaks and soul searching later, I was ready to move on from this journey. Not quit, because we had tried with no success and it just wasn’t going to be in the cards. I was ready to move on to another chapter of our lives. The emotional toll on Jamie was too much for me to take, so I figured if we moved on, it would make Jamie not hurt as much.

Before you ask, yes I was hurting too, but I needed to be strong for Jamie. It was her body that we were trying to get to cooperate, not mine, so it was literally much more personal for her. In my reasoning, I told her that if we didn’t have a child before I turned 30, I didn’t want to have a child. While I was ready to move on, Jamie was not. Now as I sit here with a two-year old climbing on me while trying to write this, I’m so happy I married a stubborn, fighter of a woman.

 

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Breaking Down The Wall

Let’s jump ahead to June of 2015. We had recently completed a second round of IVF and were planning to go on vacation to North Carolina. Every morning (appx. 4am) after IVF, I had to give Jamie a shot in the bum for medicine related to the procedure. We were happy to do this, even though we would be on vacation in a few days, getting up at 4am to take a shot. The problems began a few days before we were to leave. Jamie began lightly bleeding and understandably began to think the worst – here we go again. I know she thought we just lost another chance to have a child.

I remember vividly her throwing away a book that covered each day of a pregnancy and stating that we were done doing the shots in the morning. Fortunately for her, she married a stubborn man. I took the book out of the trash and reminded her that she didn’t have M.D. at the end of her name and that we would continue to do the shots on vacation until we returned and she was able to see her doctor. The entire week, she kept saying: “I’m not pregnant. I can feel that I’m not”. I told her I didn’t care, we would continue with the shots. After vacation, we went to the doctor dreading what we were going to find out.

Our journey had probably reached another dead-end. The doctor was examining Jamie with the normal instruments, stethoscope, ultrasound, etc., when Jamie started crying. I asked her what was wrong. Jamie through tears said, “didn’t you hear the heartbeat?” The doctor looked at me and laughed. I said, “I thought that was Jamie’s, let me hear it again”. How beautiful sound it was! I couldn’t believe that we were actually pregnant!

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Not Feeling Out Of The Woods

The next six to seven months seemingly drug on. So much anticipation and excitement, but at least for me, there was also concern. I couldn’t help but feel like I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. This was too perfect. But then early one morning in March, I was able to hold that miracle girl of ours minutes after she was born. A proud poppa I was indeed! She was, and is, perfect in every way. Truly, she is our angel in the flesh.

Over two years later, her growth and development has been truly amazing to watch. Now my life is full of ABC’s, Daniel Tiger and nursery rhymes – most of which I never knew existed until recently. While our path to parenthood was different than most, I wouldn’t change it for a minute. Those hard times, prepared us to enjoy our good times even more. Even though we did reach our “destination”, the journey continues and I am so happy to be along for the ride

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Comments

  1. June 20, 2018 / 1:24 pm

    Very poignant post. I think so many men that have been in this situation can relate to the frustration of coping with your own feelings while also trying to somehow lessen the despair of a spouse. So glad you are getting your happily ever after!

    • Josh Madden
      June 20, 2018 / 2:30 pm

      Thank you Elizabeth. I hope this post gets forwarded to other “hope-to-be-dads”, so they know they’re not alone!

  2. June 20, 2018 / 8:49 pm

    I so appreciate you sharing your husband’s perspective, especially as my husband and I try to make long term decisions about our family.

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