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Meet the Meyers, in love, infertile
a blog by Joy and Jim
We're Jim and Joy Meyers. For four years now, we've been trying to grow our family. Our fertility background is not unlike many of yours. After several “natural” attempts, we sought out the advice and care of fertility specialists in Portland, Oregon and New York City. With each failed attempt, the pressure to have a baby -- or to be happy without one -- has grown.
We each have developed our own ways of coping. Sometimes our coping mechanisms coincide, other times one person feels isolated and helpless.
This blog is a way for us to explore our feelings about being infertile and happily married at the same time.
We hope to help other couples along the way . . .
Infertility took all my preconceived notions about pregnancy, chewed them up and spit them back at me. Apart from the SEX, guys don’t think too much about the conception part. But my role in this bizzaro world where nothing is predictable is still unclear to me.
Infertility has everything to do with me and yet, it doesn’t. It’s Joy bracing herself for another hormone shot in her abdomen. I can’t take that pain for her. I beat my head against the wall because I am powerless; there is nothing I can do to change our situation. I am left to duke it out in a world of unfamiliar emotions running from guilt and sadness to intense anger and frustration. These are emotions that cannot be bottled in the traditional male fashion.
So how does a man survive in very uncomfortable territory? Well, the one place I hope to find a little control and a renewed sense of power is in talking about my situation whenever I can. Spun into this story of disappointment and loss are the tales that elicit both laughter and tears in the most surprising places. For example, I could write a book about the nuances of producing a semen sample. But more on that later. A lot more.
I’m a talker. And a writer. I’m very comfortable talking about my feelings. The thing is, I’m married to a man whose communication style is like an oyster. Sealed shut, crusty on the outside, adapted to his surroundings. But on the inside is a beautiful pearl is just waiting to come out (and after some coaxing, it always emerges). It’s always been this way for us. Jim says less, I say more.
This crisis we’re in, infertility, has really amplified the differences between us. In addition to the physical and financial strains put upon us, we literally have to force ourselves to communicate well.
One of the biggest challenges for me is that I am pretty much central to the pregnancy process. Yes, Jim has to produce some sperm (I know, he’ll tell you more about that later). But I’m the human pin cushion, the lab rat, and hardest of all, the messenger. I hate that I’m the one to have to tell him that this round of IVF didn’t take and, oh by the way, the bill came. Can you pay that while you’re at it?
Sometimes I’m sick of talking. We’ve come to rely on one another so completely, which is wonderful. But when I don’t feel like talking and Jim expects me to, what do we do? Through many trials and tribulations, Jim and I have managed to stay solid. I’m so looking forward to sharing our story with you.
Our favorite distraction: Our dog, Willy! He’s our “fur baby” who gets all of our attention. We have a lot of love to give and Willy gets it. If we ever get a chance to talk about this situation in the past tense, I’ll be able to say that Willy made us feel good every single day.
What roadblocks are you facing as you go through "the process?" Maybe we can help shed some light on the way we handle those difficult "couple" issues. We hope you'll share your thoughts!