Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Elusive 'Male Perspective'

I've been told the male perspective on infertility is under-documented and elusive. I will likely only muddy the already murky waters, but I can assure you that I am both a male and that I have a perspective on infertility. That perspecitive can be summarized as follows:

1. It sucks. It sucks entirely and with every resonating cell of your body. It pervades work, family, leisure, sleep, eating and of course one's salary. That being stated, my experience is a fraction of my wife's exerience. I need only masturbate in a cup. She gets her fallopian tubes pumped with radioactive dye; she gets exploratory surgery of her abdomen; she gets to enjoy daily injections of medications that send her body into a endocrine roller coaster culminating in a needle aspiration through her vaginal wall of mature eggs, then several days after the needle aspiration she hopefully gets the blastocyst deposited in her uterus via a tube, and procedure is just through the cervical os, but hey, that's the fun part. Sometimes I need to remind myself that most people have sex and get pregnant. Again, I'm not complaining about my role which mostly involves a bathroom, a cup and pornography.

2. Assvice: "Relax. You just need to relax. I will just happen." Well, stupidly we DID relax for 22 months at which time our Reproductive Endocrinologist said we basically had no chance in hell of getting pregnant. But even smart people say stupid things when they don't know what to say. Stupid is not better than nothing. Thank you to all the people that said nothing or just asked simple questions and didn't feel the need to give assvice.

3. To the idiot quasi-mystic nursing assisant ('Oh, she is really good at this') that would try to diagnose my wife's impending pregnancy with her proclaimed psychic powers every time she rounded at the hospital: Your powers don't exist! She didn't get pregnant! No matter what kind of mystic body language you expressed everytime you saw her! You have no special powers! You should stop doing this because it might actually hurt someone. And by the way guessing that someone is pregnant when they are obviously trying is a bit like shooting fish in a bucket...unless that fish is impervious to bullets which is our case.

4. To the state of Florida and the general attitude of insurance companies towards IVF: News bulletin...infertility is a disease. It's really NOT amusing how most states and insurance companies will allow me to prescribe hundreds of thousands of dollars on medications for diabetes or hypertension for people that don't care for themselves. I guess me paying into the system for 10 years was to reward people that eat and smoke themselves into a pile of vile toxic fat. Which leads me to my next point.

5. My wife and I work as pediatric NP's in rural North Florida and get to see the best and worst of humanity. After 5 years I've become a bit intollerant of pregnant women who have absolutely no plan for the future. They have no idea they are pregnant. They smoke. They drink. They do drugs. Civilized cultures plan for babies whether in San Francisco or Uganda. The only plan here is ensuring that grandma will parent their child so they can continue their perpetual adolescence. I'm not even going to discuss fathers because discussing them would mean that they can be accounted for. The only evidence of men is that a human was concieved. We planned. We have a safe thoughtful home with a long term plan. They are getting pregnant like farm animals. We are not.

6. I think my wife's fallopian tubes should be bigger. I also think someone should design a cheap at home version of IVF or an over-the-counter balloon fallopian tuboplasty.

7. I'm amazed that the RE's office is so well run. From the front staff to the lab to nursing and to Dr.B everyone has been in top form at every office visit. Considering the level of stress they deal with and trying to accomodate the crowd of educated upper-middleclass infertiles with unlimited internet access...well they do a damn good job. They are patient and chipper and don't seem to suffer from empathy fatigue. If the clinic wasn't so well run I think we would probably be much unhappier with this experience.

8. If this big ol' IVF experiment ends without a pregnancy then we will pay off the debt and set out to complete the list of 'Fulfillment Through Material Goods' that Cymande wrote about. We have a plan, we don't intend to do this for the next decade if it isn't working. Lake Como is no substitution for parenthood, but ravioli caprino with a generous glass of 2001 Luce could totally distract me for the afternoon.

9. Here is my assvice to responsible future parents: If you are waiting 5 or 10 years to have kids because (insert reason)...don't wait. Start now. Plans be damned.

10. Lastly, I don't believe in ghosts, voodoo, magic, gods of any sort, and I don't believe that "IVF is not natural." I don't believe this because I don't entertain the supernatural. There is nothing supernatural about not being able to concieve. There are no immaculate conceptions or immaculate non-conceptions. Nature will not be corrupted anymore than nature has corrupted us. There was no punishment from god; there was no hex or curse; nature didn't decide to reduce the population. Appendicitis can be cured and I suppose we could decide that surviving appendicitis is a choice and treating it unnatural, but I'm not willing to join that cult. Yet.

Love, Gregg

2 comments:

  1. Agreed, agreed, agreed...and also waiting for the 'at-home' kit. Can I rent the microscope?

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  2. I love everything about this post.

    ReplyDelete