For some reason the song “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger” was running through my head today.
Maybe it’s the fact that my Iphone features a ton of Kelly Clarkson songs – one of the perks of being dad to a tweenie bopper girl – and this one happened to get stuck on autoplay, which I’ve only recently learned how to disable being a newbie to the world of Apple phone products.
Every week or so there seems to be a post on Resolve’s facebook page that talks about some DH that is being obstinate about providing a sample, going to a consult, or participating in the infertility process at all.
I totally get that.
I was that guy.
I don’t miss that guy at all.
He was a selfish, self absorbed, whiny baby man.
Or as my Uncle Paul would say “a girlie man”.
Or as the British waiter I used to work with would say “shwanker”.
There have been many times that I have written about how I believe that for a woman, making a baby is as basic a need as breathing, eating or sleeping.
Once I realized that, our marriage bond deepened in a way I never imagined possible.
Becoming so involved in our pursuit of a baby has made me a much more involved father.
And thank God for that.
When Elliana was born, a new set of trials was just beginning for Lisa, which I haven’t even begun to talk about on this blog.
An emergency C-section robbed Lisa of the physical strength to spend the first night of Elliana’s life with her.
It was ALL on me, and I never left our newborn’s side.
I slept with one hand on Elliana’s hand all the time when we were in the hospital, and when we left, my crash course in taking care of a new born was put to the test when Lisa’s OB basically told me I would have to step up and make sure Lisa got enough rest to recover.
We had a brain tumor scare with Lisa a few weeks later.
Then an unusual post partum condition called PMDD wreaked havoc with Lisa’s emotions and hormones.
My dumb ass fell off a ladder right before Elliana’s first Christmas, and I shattered my left elbow.
I’ll never know how scared Lisa must have been when she heard the thud of my body outside our 2nd story window while she and Elliana were napping.
Had we not been through the six year infertility boot camp to strengthen our physical, emotional and spiritual life muscles, I’m not sure we would have weathered those stormy first days of post infertility parenthood.
Yes, the setbacks and challenges were heartbreaking. We DESERVED an uneventful birth, an uneventful first year, etc.
But those trials were bumps in the road on a highway that FINALLY included our official inclusion in the world of stressed out parents.
Any marriage that can survive infertility is going to survive just about anything life can dish out.
You truly have to become a team to get through it.
We had a couple of support group couples that didn’t make it.
The infertility trials exposed weaknesses in their relationship that they either didn’t recognize or had been able to gloss over in the absence of any life challenges.
Lisa and I know we’ve got each other’s backs.
Sure, there are times when we feel like we are living in different worlds.
Lisa is the quintessential super mom involved in Elliana’s life in every possible way to nurture her to gain confidence, but give her enough space to develop her own voice in the world.
I am a very involved father, but I have the standard challenges of work and ambition and keeping it all balanced so I don’t become a detached emotionally absent robot when my girls need me.
We have winters in our little solar system when things get cold and uncomfortable, but our individual orbits eventually align again with the sunshine, and the gravity of our love pulls us back together.
If it weren’t for our journey into the infertility stratosphere, Lisa and I wouldn’t have found the third planet in our little universe.
And we would never have realized just how strong the bond of love is that holds us together.