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One Man's Perspective On Infertility
a blog by Suzanne Rico, October 15, 2012
My husband wasn’t even sure he wanted kids when we met and I’m pretty sure he did not want to spend $150,000 to get them (seven IVFs plus a surrogate isn’t cheap!). So when I asked him to give me some advice for other men whose partners struggle to get pregnant, he just shrugged.
“If she can’t get knocked up, find yourself another broad,” he joked--he doesn’t usually talk like Frank Sinatra.
“Seriously….” I said.
“Seriously! You’ll save yourself a lot of money and hassle.” He smiled but I knew the high tech baby hunt hadn’t been a picnic for him.
I had felt a little bit bad for dragging him along for the ride when my biological alarm clock began shrieking, “MUST… HAVE.. BABY… NOW!” For about half a second. And then I just assumed that if he loved me, he would get on board.
“Did you feel like you had any choice in the matter?” I asked. This conversation took place on our way to pick up our two boys, 4 and 7, from school and nearly ten years after we had first started trying to have kids.
“No," he answered. "None.” I wanted to know how that made him feel.
“A little nervous,” he answered. “Overwhelmed.” Now we were getting somewhere—deep into the psyche of a man caught in a web not of his own choosing! “I would really rather have had a new car.” OK, wiseass, seriously! Why’d you go along with it? This time he took a moment to think.
“Because I knew how badly you wanted to have a baby,” he said finally. “And because I didn’t want to stand in your way.” I think he would have preferred to ditch this line of questioning, but I kept at him, like a dog with a bone.
"How about because you love me?” My husband really does--he’s a wonderful dad, who alternates between blaming the kids for his grey hair and tearing up when watching them sleep at night.
Yeah!” He brightened at the spoon fed answer. “Because I love you! That’s a great answer-- exactly what I was thinking.”
I let the subject go and so did he, grateful, I think, that the interrogation was over. I think he’s also grateful I pushed him into fatherhood, even though he’d rather not talk about it.