My wife talked me into writing a blog that deals with Male Infertility. The Elusive Male Perspective. Beyond that, simply enjoy and have fun with it!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Bust a Myth: Infertility ends at Birth

We all dream of that Technicolor moment, sunset in the background, pulling ourselves from a tilled field, thrusting a newborn baby into the air and pledging in our most impassioned Scarlet O’Hara voice “As God is my witness. I will never be Infertile again.” The problem is that infertility slaps you in the face and says “Frankly I don’t give a damn.” It keeps on slapping you in the face even after the baby is born.

When we are faced with dire news, we desire things to go back to the way they were, back to the status quo, back to before the antagonist was introduced into the movie. But once that element enters the scene the south will never be the same again. We have no choice but to deal, cope, or compensate for what has happened to us. We subjugate ourselves to humiliations of painful examinations, explanations to the family members, and jealous painful spite of every other child in the world that is not yours.

So we grasp hold of that turnip of a dream, in the middle of field, and convince yourself that the birth of that child you will so dearly love will end your personal pain. But it doesn’t, at least not for a DI dad. It is so wrong of me to ask that of a child, ask it to stop my pain.

This child is the most incredible thing that has ever happened to me. My life with her is a Technicolor dream; she fills my life with colors I would never have imagined. But she has to be separate from infertility. She cannot be defined as our child born out of infertility; our conquering goal. She doesn’t need that baggage. She just needs to be a child, a kid, a teenager, a adult, a person I love with all my heart.

I was told by a school counselor after looking at a picture of our child that she didn’t look like me. I told her she shouldn’t; she was conceived by donor insemination. She told me that I didn’t need to tell people that, I could keep that private. I can’t do that.  If I did I would be hiding my pain in my child and that would be wrong. I would be using her to cover my weaknesses. Who am I to take these drapes of childhood and pass them off as a dress? I have decided that I will talk about what I am, and who I am. I will take ownership of my choices and I will wear them with pride myself.

Infertility still lives in me and it will. Once you have a diagnosis you are not cured. Once a alcoholic always an alcoholic. Once infertile I will always be infertile. I will always have questions to answer. I will always have people question our decision. I will always have the fear of our child in a moment of teenage angst will tell me I am not her real father. I know every argument that a father is not defined by genetics. But I do have that fear one day it will happen. But those are my fears and I will have to be the one to face them.

So maybe, I will go home tonight and throw on my best Scarlett O’Hara dress at sunset walk out into the back yard with Cate, and thrust her into the air and say in my most impassioned voice. “World, say what you want, I don’t give a damn!”

 It's National Infertility Awareness Week. Infertility affects 1 out of every 8 couples... like me. Find out how you can participate and provide support to 7.3 million people living with this disease: This post is part of the Bust a Myth Bloggers Unite project.


  1. Kudos to you Jeff!!!!!

    Even though I have yet to get pregnant, I have had those same worries, about our child someday saying something in anger to my husband, to the effect of him not being his or her father.

    You are my hero..seriously.

  2. Wonderful post. I hope that my DH will be able to handle all the curve balls that DI throws at us with the humor and honesty that you have shown.

  3. Crying, Jeff. Seriously. That was incredible.

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  5. So awesome. I completely agree that our children are separate from our infertility, and, as such, should absolutely not be responsible for healing us from it. Well said and thank you for sharing!

  6. A teacher at my daughter's gym class asked me where she got her blonde hair. My mind raced through several responses. We did IVF, with our own DNA, but without a DNA test, we'd never know for SURE (except she has his freaky long toes and slightly pointy ears.) I could reply "recessive genes" which is the truth, or "who knows. We weren't even in the room when she was conceived." Or "Her biological parents." (Who most likely happen to be us.) I don't hide our infertility struggles, but I don't put out banner ads either. Unless some yahoo asks about her blond hair or blue eyes. I mean, either way, what business of it is THEIRS? Whether it's recessive genes, donor eggs or sperm (or both,) or adoption, what gives them the right to jam a prybar into your private life? So I like to respond with the most shocking answer I can and leave 'em speechless, and hopefully realizing how rude they were to even ask.
    My sister's MIL implies that her and my BIL's firstborn wasn't his. And again with my other sister's first child. I was ready. When she told me "Well, at least you know she's YOURS!" I replied, "Maybe. I wasn't there. I only know she's HIS because she looks like his family!"

  7. Thrilled to have found your blog. My husband and I have a 4 month old son, conceived using a donor. I look forward to following more of your posts!