Posted by: DD | March 19, 2007

no. 405 – Fixodent and Forget (?) It

I had what I choose to call an epiphany the other night as I was getting ready for bed. Trying to come to terms with what I want (another child) vs. what I will probably get (a subscription to Basking Weaving, You & You) is impossible. I’m sure there will be a happy medium in it somewhere. Maybe not so much happy, more so medium.

So that’s where you will find me: in the middle of the proverbial road. I’m like Fixodent: the cushy, sticky buffer between one’s sensitive gums and a set of hard, uncomfortable dentures, just trying to keep everything cohesive without allowing in some pesky poppy seed. Now imagine that’s how I am when it comes to Mr. DD and our Infertility. I am the buffer between him and what goes on in my clinic; what goes on within my reproductive organs.

I received an email from Leggy, who has been with me-with us-almost from the beginning. She nailed it when she wrote, "it seems like you keep having to drag [Mr. DD] along in the TTC ride and have to re-convince him each step of the way that whatever you pursue (IVF, DI, embryo donation, adoption) is worth the risks." I not only have to re-convince him, but myself as well. However, I have to admit the difference is is that I try to shield him from those risks, posing as poppy seeds, as much as possible.

He hasn’t been to the clinic in over 6 months, even though I have had three IUIs, a pregnancy, and a miscarriage in that time. It’s no wonder he feels as if he’s been written off. I should have made him come with me to the appointments, at least to the IUIs and to the scans for my pregnancy. He really should have been there to cry in relief with me when I saw that heartbeat that was there against the odds. And he should have been there to hold me when we found out Wolf was dying. I even went so far to beg for left-over drugs though generous donations of some wonderful friends just to lessen the financial burden, especially over this past year as we maintained two households.

It is my nature to protect him from the soul squeezing aspects of infertility, but in doing so I have alienated him from the process. I wonder at times if it doesn’t some how make it less real to him – our infertility and treatments. I’ve mentioned before how we shield X from as much as we possibly can, but in a strange, subconscious manner I’ve been doing it to Mr. DD as well.

We talked briefly the other night about what we might do next. As always, my approach was tentative and so brief, I could almost convince myself it was part of a dream. I know that he wants X to have a sibling since the mention of our son being an only child brings him literally to tears. It’s not how we envisioned our lives (who does?). We were as prepared as two adults could be for the exhaustion that comes with raising childREN. We were not at all prepared for the exhaustion that has come with infertility.

I have to turn over some of that burden or be crushed by it. I’m tired of pretending that I’m doing OK and that putting things on hold doesn’t bother me. It’s time for what I like to call, "a comin’-to-Jesus meeting". I will be calling our clinic once again and scheduling another office visit for both of us. He’s got questions and my answers are poo-poohed as he feels they are canned Google answers.  (Could that make them Poo-Poogled?)

I wonder then why am I scared to pick up my phone and hit the speed dial? It must be the Fixodent in me.



  1. Damn it – why does it take us so long to become wise? I think you are doing exactly the right thing DD.

  2. The thought of The Boy being an only child tears me up, too. The Man? Not at all. I don’t get it.

  3. I think it is great that you are bringing him back into the process. I have found that men don’t “get it” unless they are involved with the whole process. You need to have him there for the good and the bad and he needs to know when one or the other is coming in for a landing. Hopefully this will get him to be more involved. I know how much it means to have Steve to talk to about all of what we went through. Though he always wants to “fix” it and I just want him to listen. 😉
    Good luck and I so hope that it all works out for you but that you can still come visit me this summer. (I know I am totally selfish here) 😉

  4. I think it’s an absolute must to have that discussion. (See former comments re: this being a team sport.)

    I think it’s hard for men to be as invested as we are in pregnancy regardless of infertility problems, just because they’re “outside” of what’s going on. (With the possible exception of my husband, who would be doing the funniest looking cartwheels you ever saw if *I* happened to get pregnant.) But you saying that Mr. DD never head Wolf’s heartbeat, wasn’t ever there – it just makes a lot more sense that you’d have felt like you were going through a lot of this alone. And also, if Mr. DD isn’t feeling it, that would probably add to why Mr. DD’s family has been so cold some of the time, ya know?

    Together, you’ll figure out what’s right to do…I just think that it’s very important that everybody’s using the same playbook.

  5. I’m amazed he wasn’t there for the ultrasounds. Even when my totally uninvolved husband and I were having a hormone fuelled fertility/pregnancy fight, he always showed up for the U/S and any big appointment.
    Drag him along, insist on it, donor or not or whatever happens, take him with you. And if you have to take the Boy along to, so what? I’ve dragged my kids to the RE before, secretaries make great babysitters, you’re paying the clinic buggers enough money, they should be happy to watch him.

  6. He’s always got the excuse that it’s hard to take days off at work (yes, sometimes his boss is a wee bit militant) since it does mean a full day off (4 hours total travel time). However, what should I make of the fact that I did schedule a brief consult for the both of us for April 5th and when I tell him he’s not sure he can get the day off. I tried to give him enough of an advanced warning, but I swear…

    Somedays it’s too much.

  7. Your relationship with your husband and IVF sounds very similar to ours. I sheilded my husband almost too much and yet, almost, not enough as he felt almost too much pain. I wonder, if contributing more would have taken less of a toll on him.

  8. Certainly not the same thing, but I found myself shielding my husband from the scary and uncertain parts of adoption. Part of me wanted him to not have to deal with it and part of me was afraid of him saying we wouldn’t go forward if he knew the risks. I finally reached a breaking point where I needed to lean on him and let him into all of the fears and uncertainty. It helped me be stronger in moving forward and helped him feel more a part of the process. Again, this isn’t comparable to the pain that you’ve been going through – just my 2 cents. Sometimes you have to stop being the strong one all of the time.

  9. I have felt the same way in some of this stuff- he sort of goes with the flow and let’s me do my own thing- then he’ll reconnect if he feels the need to or if I make him. Good luck- next steps are hard, and doubly hard when you have to make them for both of you.

  10. Just curious – why do you shield him from the risks? Are you afraid he’ll put a stop to all of this if he sees it for what it is – warts and all? Are you blaming yourself for why you’re where you are, and if you put a buffer between him and that place then he won’t blame you for it, too? (That’s where I’m at, so excuse my projecting a bit.)

    He might not be shouldering the burden because you’ve done such a good job of shouldering the entire load yourself. Maybe he doesn’t think you need him in all this. (Mine certainly didn’t until I collapsed in a puddle of hysterical sobs on the floor and begged him to hold me.)

    Good luck, DD. If you’re scared to pick up the phone, maybe you can ask him to do it for you. For both of you.

  11. Well… I hope the conversation goes well and makes you feel close.

  12. It’s so logical that you shield him, yet it’s so logical that he be vested in the process and that takes involvement. If he is truly that interested in another kid, he must suck it up for the road getting there.

  13. As I see it, you’re a team and team mates support each other through the wins and the losses. I hope he’s willing to suit up.

  14. I think that sounds like a very common response. If J didn’t push to get involved sometimes, I wonder if I would shield him more. My problem is that sometimes I do the same thing and then I get upset at him for not knowing what’s going on. Does that ever happen with the two of you?

    It definitely might make him feel more connected and have more of an emotional investment if he’s more involved. But it’s so hard to do that sometimes.

  15. IF is such a tough path to be on, it is a better path when both partners are on it. I think he does need to get reconnected and going to a visit sounds like the right thing to do. It is natural to want to shield him, lord knows I do that enough with my DH.

    Good luck, DD.

  16. Ahh, i have the same issue with Clark that you have with Mr. DD, he isn’t sure what he wants so he sits in the fence with a pole up his ass…. I think he would be a lot happier if we hadn’t had to do and ART at all, but since that ain’t in my cards, I have to drag him along to. I honestly think that they really get tired of watching the woman that they love get her heart broken over and over again, and they (as men) cannot figure out why in the hell we keep torturing ourselves…

    I tell Clark this “You will never understnad because you don’t have a uterus!!”

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