Tuesday, August 03, 2004


When I first told my mom about our infertility, she warned me not to tell too many people. "It's a private thing", she said "and you don't know yet what it's going to take to bring a baby into this world. The fewer people that know, the better."

Granted, my mom is one for keeping secrets. It wasn't until my junior year of college that I learned she had been married before she met my dad. And when I was twelve, she told me that my dad was in the hospital for tests when really he was having triple bybass surgery. But I listened to her advice on keeping the infertility stuff on the down-low and was careful about who I told- plenty of people online and anonymously, but in the real world only a smattering of my closest friends who I trusted would be both supportive and discreet.

That was three months ago.

Now, it seems the whole world knows that my husband is spermatically-challenged. Or should I say, my whole world. People I hadn't planned on telling at all now know not only that we're having trouble conceiving, but that the route of the problem lies in (or doesn't lie in, as the case may be) my husband's testicles.

It started out as a "don't ask, don't tell" thing. As in, if they don't ask, I won't tell. But the problem is that I was so excited about starting to "try" last December, so sure that I'd get pregnant in no time, that all my friends and aquaintances were privy to the fact that we wanted to have a baby and were working on it. And so, its natural that they ask me how the baby-making is going. And in this case, I find it hard to lie.

Over the weekend, a friend of mine who lives in Finland asked me about the supposedly upcoming trip to Scandinavia next summer. I put off writing back to her for as long as I could, but then yesterday wrote back and told her that we'd had to postpone making any plans as things are too uncertain right now. And then I spelled out the terms of that uncertainty. She's expecting baby #2 in a few weeks and it practically broke my heart to tell her that we won't be expecting our baby #1 for some time now. But I told her.

And yesterday, my best friend here in Mexico (really my only friend here in Mexico) returned from her 3 month trip to India where she was showing off her new baby to the relatives back home. She called to chat and to catch up and of course asked me how things on the baby front were and even though I had emphatically told my husband just a few days before that I'd never tell her what was going on, I confessed. And she was aboslutely supportive and wonderful and it somehow made me feel guilty that I had underestimated her reaction, her capability of kindness.

The thing is, despite my initial scare of bad reactions from friends everyone has been wonderful. And I'm glad I didn't take my mother's advice to heart. While I'm not running around shouting "We're Infertile!" to everyone I meet, I recognize the importance of being able to share this with my friends. For the most part, they're the kind of people who really mean it when they ask "How are you?". And even more than that, by telling I'm able to buy myself the freedom to be in a crappy mood, or feel fatigued, or bloated, or depressed. It explains away my soon to be more frequent trips to the States. Telling can help them to help me.

During our conversation yesterday, my friend here in Mexico gently asked if I was still willing to babysit for her. Just that she asked meant so much- that she was able to acknowledge that it might be diificult for me to make good on the promise that I had offered up before I knew that it would be a struggle to have a baby myself. I was glad then that I had told her. It made it easy for me to say "Yes, I'd love to." And mean it.


Blogger amanda said...

Oh, I'm so glad you found my blog so that I could find yours. There's not a lot of bloggers out there dealing with azoospermia.

I can relate to a lot of the things you've posted about. A couple of which have nothing to do with infertility. You said that you were a planner and a list maker. Me too. Oh, and the post about being a "dirty neat freak." I can so relate. I love to organize and hate to scrub as well. I also relate to your post about how your husband's diagnosisis was liberating in a way because you didn't have to analyze and obsess over symptoms every month.

I have so much to tell you. I don't know if you want me to fill up your comments section, or if you would rather me email you. I'll at least answer the question you left on my blog. Unfortunately, a varicocele is probably not the answer to all of your questions. It's very unlikely that this is the whole cause of your husband's azoospermia. Has your husband had blood tests to see if they suggest that his azoospermia is obstructive or non obstructive? Oh, I could go on and on. It's definitely worth investigating the cause of the azoospermia, even if you decide to make IVF your course of action.

Let me know if you want me to write more here or to email you. I look forward to following along with you guys. Good luck to you.

7:38 AM  
Blogger Barren Mare said...

I'm glad that people around you are being supportive and understanding. That's so important. And I'm glad too that your friend was sensitive. If only everyone could be that way.

12:54 PM  
Blogger Monique said...

I don't think I have ever considered keeping things "secret" from people. I figured a few months down the line I would have been pregnant and all would be well. But, things did work out that way.

As time passed, some of those who originally were supportive became nagging pains in my ass offering me advice to "relax" or take it easy. Even some of my best (fertile) friends now still occassionally suggest that if we were not "trying so hard" we'd get pregnant. Oh ok.

So now when people find out I've been married for 8 years and no children it somehow means that they -pure strangers- can openly ask me anything and then play RE as they lay a course for me to be with child within the next year.

I hope that your friends remain supportive, because it really does make a world of difference.

8:34 PM  

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