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March Infertility Madness: The Surgeries My Wife Endured

miscarriage, surgery, D&C.jpg

a blog by Alec, March 23, 2011

In our 2 1/2 year infertility journey, I felt a particular pit in my stomach five times. I don't know if there are many senses of dread quite as dreadful as waiting while your wife goes under the knife. Surgery is perhaps the maddest of infertile madness.

Infertile women and couples who have experienced miscarriage probably have encountered the D & C (Dilation and Curettage). We certainly did. In this procedure, the surgeon scrapes away a non-viable fetus/sac from the uterine wall. Oftentimes when a pregnancy ends, the body does not immediately expel it.

Please forgive a digression. You see, the D & C also is a procedure for abortion, and thus we come to one of the truly disgusting law-making episodes of the modern day.

The Insanity in Georgia

Georgia State Rep. Bobby Franklin — the same legislator who last year proposed making rape and domestic violence "victims" into "accusers" — has introduced a 10-page bill that would criminalize miscarriages and make abortion in Georgia completely illegal. Both miscarriages and abortions would be potentially punishable by death: any "prenatal murder" in the words of the bill, including "human involvement" in a miscarriage, would be a felony and carry a penalty of life in prison or death.

Under his proposal, women experiencing miscarriages would need to present proof that their miscarriage was in no way assisted. Yep, that's right. If you got a D & C, you would indeed be a felon under the eyes of this law. My beloved JK? Sent to the gas chamber three times over.

Miscarriage is one of the most painful occurrences in a woman's life, should she be so unlucky. In the infertility blogosphere, I have noted women with as many as eight miscarriages. With each miscarriage, a woman dies a little inside. Compassion and humanity are needed at this point.

Even as a proposal, this is beyond madness. It's pure insanity.

More Surgeries for Infertility

There are other surgeries of course, adding to infertility madness.

JK had a myomectomy to get rid of fibroids that were responsible for at least one miscarriage.

I have read of laparotomies, which detect and treat ectopic pregnancies.

With these and a host of invasive procedures, the infertile woman begins to feel like a punching bag. Not merely beaten, but seeming to exist to absorb a beating.

And the husband? I get sick to my stomach every time a needle, a knife, a sharp object of any kind is presented to my wife. I believe most husbands feel the same.

Sharing the Burden

I have heard, time and again, "You are SO lucky to be a guy!" I admit, it's true. We avoid so much, just because we are the gender without a womb. But there were times when I wished I could share the burden. There is just so damn much piled on!

It makes me wonder at the greater madness of elective surgery. After watching the pain and feeling the dread, I must say that I would stand in her way if JK proposed so much as a tummy tuck.

But I will say this: if you must go through these surgical procedures, I hope you approach each with inner resolve. Though JK was an unwilling patient, she was a brave one. Her inner strength uncovered a facet I had not noticed before. I loved her more afterward than I did before.

The world is absolutely mad, but we can be ourselves. If we are truly fortunate, we can be more.

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