A Football Infertility Metaphor

I don’t often watch football.

But tonight the University of Arizona was playing UCLA and I made it through half the televised game.

For some reason I really got into it tonight.

Maybe it was all the grit and determination on the players’ faces.

The fight to gain ground every ten yards and ultimately put the ball in the end zone.

So many behemoth guys in an epic battle over a piece of leather.

Yet it is noble in its own way.

I never played much football in school.

When I did, I loved being a wide receiver.

For whatever reason I could focus on the ball no matter how many guys were trying to tackle me, push me off balance or otherwise block me from getting to it.

Infertility can feel like an epic battle for a guy.

The amount of tenacity it takes to gather up your biology and face up to the reality of your own contribution to infertility can be daunting.

Often it’s like being a quarterback with no offensive line to block for you.

You’re gonna get crushed the minute the ball is snapped.

The problem is guys don’t generally have a ‘guy’ safety net when it comes to this topic.

Unless you are fortunate enough to go to a support group where men are allowed, you are running away from comments like ‘what’s the matter you shooting blanks’ or ‘if you aren’t getting the job done just let me step in’ (yeah, I really did hear both of those dozens of times throughout our infertility years).

I know for me the monthly gatherings of couples  helped me feel like had a defense against the never ending feelings of inadequacy that blitzed my brain when cycle after cycle was failing.

I felt like things turned the corner for me as far as my attitude about infertility when I started building my support team that included other guys going through the same thing.

I didn’t have those feelings of being emotionally blitzed because I knew those guys would be there to pick up a block or two every month.

If any guy is reading this, and you need that support to get to your infertility end zone, please don’t hesitate to comment here.

We’re stronger as a team.







2 Responses to A Football Infertility Metaphor

  1. You nailed it!! You were the first guy I ever read about who dealt with male infertility and hosted a blog devoted to infertility. When I found you, it was like a God-send. For a long time, I saw nothing but a community dominated be females. One of my early online posts was a lament that there was a female bias in the infertility community. Needless to say, I was attacked for this viewpoint but I also had a lot of support and people who agreed with my assertion.

    Denny, you have personalty helped me through my journey. Every email you respond to, every post you write…it all helped me to navigate my my through infertility. I can honestly say, that you played a pivotal role in my decision to pursue one-on-one-therapy instead of joining a support group, and my ultimate decision to adopt rather than go through IVF. Your IVF story informed me of what to expect and I ultimately decided that I could not have handled what you went through.

    You are truly America’s most prominent male voice on infertility, particularly male infertility. I was inspired by you to start my own blog and perhaps write a book someday about my experiences.

    I look forward to reading your blog in the years to come (even after I become a parent myself). I will be particularly interested in what you have to say as your daughter continues to grow up and new advances continue to be made in ART.

    Thank you again for all you do!

    • Thanks so much–you inspire me to keep writing, and I enjoy reading your posts and hope you do write another male infertility perspective book! Glad to see you bravely and boldly making decisions to get to your parenthood day, and to seek out the help you need to get there. Thanks as always for your wonderful comments and contributions–very much appreciated.

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