I get a lot of questions about what our infertility journey was like for Parker. I’ve never really answered these questions because his side of the story isn’t mine to tell. I asked him a few weeks ago if he would be willing to do a little Q&A with my most frequently asked questions about his experiences and he said yes. These answers are from him and are his opinions and experiences. They might not be the same as your husband’s, but I would recommend asking your husband these questions and truly listen to his answers.
What was the hardest part for you?
The hardest part for me was how hard it was for Sadie. And knowing that I couldn't change anything.
How did you cope with the hard parts?
I distracted myself in any way I could. Work, video games, going out to dinner, doing fun things like going to Jazz games.
How did pregnancy announcements affect you?
They actually didn't make me sad. Which I know probably isn't normal, but I was just happy that that person was having a baby. They became harder for me when I realized that they were hard for Sadie because I was so happy for the people having the baby but sad for my wife.
What did Sadie do to help you during the hard parts?
She helped distract me. She would put on a happy face and we would do something we both enjoyed like going to dinner or to the movies. We would keep going together.
What did you do to help Sadie during the hard parts?
I tried to let her know that she wasn't alone because I couldn't understand what she was going through and then I kind of let her go through whatever she needed to on her own.
What gave you hope?
Honestly, I never really lost hope. I KNEW we were going to have a baby at some point. Whether that was through adoption or on our own. That doesn't mean it wasn't hard, but I never really lost hope.
What helped you?
Mozzie really helped me cope. And being around other people, Sadie, family, co-workers. And nieces and nephews really helped me.
What didn't help?
Pep talks. Like when people told me it was going to be fine. People talking to me about the emotional side of things or treating me differently because they knew what we were going through.
Did you ever hide your pain because you felt you needed to be strong and support your wife? If so, how can I make sure my husband isn’t hiding his pain? I ask, but he says he’s fine!
Absolutely. But that was also a way that I coped. I knew that it wasn’t as hard for me as it was for her. But I also knew that if I needed to talk to her, I always could.
What advice would you give to other husbands in the TTC community?
Be grateful for your family (aka your wife) and know that even if you don't have a kid, you still have a good life.
Take care of your wife but also take time to do something for yourself regularly.
NEVER blame your wife for infertility because it's not her fault.
What advice would you give to the wives in the TTC community?
Give them time to grieve in their own way.
Be available for them to come to you, but don’t pressure them to talk about their feelings if they don’t want to. Also, if he starts talking about his feelings, don’t make it about you. Listen to his feelings without turning it into a conversation about your feelings.