(Start with "Monday" if you can. Yes, all this week is about men: Specifically, our men and their roles in our infertility journey: From us getting them prepared for their IVF husbandly duties specimen to the history behind the nightly "jab her in the butt cheek" ritual.) I have to say these guys deserve all of our gratitude. If you're lucky enough to have someone amazing, they're indispensible across the board. But anyone who's ready, willing, and able to give you tush injections is golden.
There are a lot of people who volunteer for great causes: Donating blood with the Red Cross. Building homes with Habitats for Humanities. Building schools in developing countries with the Peace Corps. Maybe you're luckier than I, but trust me: There's no waiting list for volunteers to hold ice on my butt every night. Most people would just as soon risk malaria.
Even my husband asked: "Are you positive you can't find somebody else? Have you tried Craig's list... or Match.com?"
Besides the emotional support of someone who takes on that task, there's the actual physical support.
I've read online instructions for injecting yourself with progesterone. Has anyone ever tried taking this 1 and 1 /2 inch needle and injecting their own tuchas? I don't know about you, but I'm not nearly that coordinated. Twice in my life I tried to curl my own eyelashes. I ended up in the emergency room both times.
I just can't picture it: "Okay so I think this the upper outer quadrant of my buttock. Yeah, now I've got it. Right...about... here! Oh crap. There goes my spleen."
The husband may have seemingly only a few responsiblilities on this journey with us. But it is an unpleasant little list.
You know when people have a loved one who's sick or suffering and they say: "I wish it was me. I would trade with them in a second." I'm sure our guys really mean it. Sure, some of it is love... But consider the scenario:
"Mr. Jones, your wife will take several drugs, undergo a battery of tests, have doctors' appointments several times a week perhaps for several months during which she will be wearing nothing but a giant paper napkin and socks, lying on a table in a position developed by cirque du soleil... and for you we have this cup."
"That's okay. I'd rather do the drugs and paper napkin."
"Oh, and by the way. The stress of the whole infertility thing piled on top of the hormones your wife's being given isn't always a pretty concoction. You may find living with her for the next several weeks, months, or years to be difficult if not intolerable. She may be moody, anxious, depressed or just hate being around you for apparently no reason."
"No, I'm serious. I want the drugs and the napkin. Where are they? Give them to me now!"
Whether it's female infertility or male infertility, or both, or nobody's sure which: If you can really bond together against the odds, and the relatives, and the bills, and the relationship actually manages to survive infertility, the next sixty years should be a piece of cake.
Listen, I gotta go. I have to submit my timesheet at work to payroll. I may goof off, go to lunch and not return until the next morning, chat online all day, and call in sick every Monday and Friday... but I'm always very prompt for the good people in payroll.
If you haven't already, don't forget to check out this week's excellent Health Experts article: "Ways to Boost Male Fertility" by Natural Fertility Specialist Ian Claxton. http://laughingisconceivable.com/?page_id=642
I'll talk with ya again on Monday.