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Men and Infertility: Crawl Before You Walk

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a blog by Alec, June 23, 2011

Thank you to Barbara Collura, Executive Director of RESOLVE, Kelly Barrett and the entire team that enabled last Friday’s Father’s Day Twitterview. It was a wonderful experience for me and a good bit of PR as well!

For the transcript, please click here.

@Miriams Hope tweeted her desire for a national dialogue to decide how infertiles will wish to move forward, push agenda, etc. She plainly intended that Wannabe Dads would be an active part of this conversation.

I tweeted, “Crawl before you walk, walk before you run.”

“Men need to be given a chance to come to this discussion on their own terms.”

I remember the Mideast Peace Process from the mid 90s. In fact, I was living in Israel for the first half of 1995. Optimism was never so high than at that time. A saying was popular there: Peace comes one person at a time.

The saying asserts that you cannot force peace on people with a treaty, but if you can change attitudes, peace will follow. The same goes for Wannabe Dads and this national dialogue.

You cannot expect infertile men to involve themselves in a national discussion when they are not yet comfortable talking about infertility with friends, with family, perhaps even their wives.

Men are not used to talking about their problems. Infertility, especially male factor infertility, cuts to the core of a man’s self image.

Manhood has two often-used definitions. The first defines that point where a male becomes ready to take over — run a house, support a family, protect his own. You’ve viewed that scene time and again in film when the old mentor tells the young hero: “Yer in charge now” or “Yer the man of the house now.” Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

The second definition is the penis.

Understand? A man’s sense of himself also revolves around the workability of that organ. His manhood.

The Twitterview did prove that there are men out there in the infertility blogosphere, and they hunger for the things that Wannabe Moms have in abundance: information, companionship and support.

RESOLVE has some resources for men. FertilityAuthority also has infertility information for men and boards on Male Factor.

Though I’ve been honored to wage this fight for the Wannabe Dads, change will come far too slowly if I fight alone. So, Wannabe Moms, see if you can get your husbands to write about their experiences. It can be a blog, a comment or even an anonymous email (infertilityguy@fertilityauthority.com). Whatever the case, it’s a beginning.

Wannabe Dads: talking about your experiences will be most difficult at the start, but it gets easier once you’ve begun. There is a momentum to this process, and I suspect you will feel what I felt as you get going. You may even find a way to laugh about it, as I have.

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