These are the things I wish I’d known when I was starting out. I had no idea what we were walking into when we started down the medically assisted parenthood path, so if you’re on the cusp of that ‘1 year of having sex like rabbits with no baby yet’ time cut off, it’s about to get real.
1. Get Your Sperm Checked
Whether you like it or not nearly half of the cases of infertility out there are due to some sort of male infertility. Male fertility in the US is down to levels that have never been seen before.
There’s nothing worse than NOT finding out until you’ve put your wife through the indignities of vaginal ultrasounds. shots and egg retrieval and transfer only to find out your boys are lazy swimmers, there aren’t enough of them, or they’ve got some biological abnormalities that are going to require some medical intervention.
2. Learn the Lingo
C’mon–you know the stats of every player on your favorite sports team, the cheats on the video game you learned to beat that punk nephew that’s always blowing your head off before you enter the battlefield, but you can’t learn what IVF, IUI, or ICSI means?
You’re better than that. You really want to know this stuff to not only understand where all the money is going for that procedure, but to see the twinkle in your wife’s eye when she realizes she can count on you to know what’s going on before she has to take that trip onto the wonderful stirrup table with that lubed up ultrasound wand sitting in its holster.
3. Ask Questions
Infertility is often portrayed as a woman’s issue, but at the end of the day, no matter how little we actually have to do, we can and should have a voice in the process.
If you feel like the nurse treated your wife like shit, or the phlebotomist is phishing for veins, speak up! It will keep your significant other from feeling like they are all alone and let them know they have an advocate on their side.
4. Be a Soft Place to Fall
You won’t have the right words to say, you won’t be able to calm her if the cycle fails, and she may not act like the woman you know when she’s on fertility drugs and going through all the physical trauma that fertility procedures inflict.
When she starts to cry, put her head on your shoulder so her tears have a soft place to fall.
5. Be Her Bodyguard
There are some holiday events you won’t be able to go to, some weddings you may have to skip, and some get togethers you may have to leave early. Be the guy with the exit strategy so she doesn’t have to fall apart when someone offers their horrible advise or tilts their head in pity.
She will need need to be able to depend on her on those days when it all comes crashing down. Hopefully, it won’t, but there’s more than a 50/50 chance that you’ll have to do more than one fertility cycle for it to work.