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Father's Day - Five Way to Make a Man Who Is Not a Father (yet!) Happy
a blog by Suzanne Rico, June 14, 2013
I would never dare to guess how much being a parent matters to anyone, but let’s just say that my husband was a take it or leave it kind of guy. In fact, there seemed to be a direct correlation between my wanting to be a mommy and his NOT wanting to be a daddy: as one rose, so did the other. And after two IVFs that ended in miscarriage, I’m pretty sure he was ready to quit.
My point is here that women who struggle with infertility can become a little like a Chihuahua on a pant leg; strong grip, set jaw, and eyes focused on the prize. And while this dogged kind of determination is the only reason I finally got my two kids (7 IVFs, three miscarriages, one surgery, one surrogacy, and $150,000 later!) this Father’s Day, perhaps it would be best to do something that has… well… nothing to do with fatherhood.
- Take him to dinner, and for the entire meal, do not mention the words baby, fertility, IVF, mother, father, parent, surrogacy, adoption, or pregnancy. Sex should only be mentioned if meant as a tool for pleasure, not procreation.
- Buy a six-pack of his favorite beer (or scotch, or whatever) and knock back a few with your man. Like sex, drinking, at least for this night, should be about relaxing and having fun, not lowering stress, increasing libido, or trying to forget. I promise—a night of moderate indulging won’t hurt your chances of conceiving (and if you don’t drink, how about a massage?)
- Do something he likes to do. Does he golf, fish, play tennis, camp, or rodeo ride? It’s easy to let everything that mattered in your pre-IVF life fade into the background (that’s when we stopped golfing, fishing, playing tennis, and camping—he was never much into horses) so treat him to a reminder of life before making babies became all-important.
- Spend the entire day being kind. Again, I won’t speak for anyone else, but the combo of IVF hormones and infertility stress turned me into a raving lunatic half (2/3rds?) of the time. And sometimes I forgot that he was half the equation, half the marriage, and half the battle—and would retreat into silence or sadness.
- Focus on three qualities that made you want to create life with him in the first place. I married my husband because he smart, funny, and loyal, none of which has anything to do with baby-making. This should help you remember why you fell in love—not because he could get you pregnant or would be a good daddy, but because he made a great partner.