Sunday, January 15, 2012

So, about that letter...

Remember the letter to my family and friends that I've been so obsessed with sending out? Well, I got it to a point that I was happy with and finally showed the "finished product" to hubby before hitting send. He knew about the letter but hadn't read it until one night this week. I knew he wasn't real keen on the idea of sending this letter, but I thought once he read it he might change his mind.

Umm, no.

He wasn't sold on it. Honestly, I think it made things a little worse and brought up some suppressed emotions for him.

I've never really shared alot on here about details of our situation becuase for me, it didn't matter. We're all here together working towards a common goal. Details are different for everyone but the finish line is the same. We're doing IVF w/ ICSI and to our knowledge, a low sperm count is our only "issue." Low enough though that we skipped IUI's all together and jumped directly to the big gun. The events of the last few years have been really hard on him and there are times that I see it even more plainly.

Reading that letter was one of those times. He's afraid that sending that letter will only create more questions and more talk. His family was one of the specific groups he mentioned regarding people "talking." He didn't know why I felt like we needed to share all of this with alot of people who hadn't even made an effort to be there for us over the last several years. One thing he said was that "all of this is my fault." More emotions kept showing the more he talked.

I didn't even try to convince him otherwise or explain my motives. They were pure and I honestly think most people assume it's a "female" issue and then he wouldn't have to worry about these types of questions. But the more he talked the worse I felt. I felt guilty and sad for making him feel this way.

I know how IF has affected me but it certainly changes our husbands too. Needless to say, that letter won't be leaving my draft folder anytime soon. My main concern and loyalty has to be to my husband. I still feel like it would be a good thing but if he's not convinced yet, I can't rush it. We have to be on the same page as much as possible, we're the two walking down this road - not anyone else.

So for now this blog will continue to be my outlet. Only time will tell how much we share with other people, maybe we will at some point down the road. I'll just focus on our upcoming IVF and take care of my hubby as much as I can. I just wish that I could take some of his pain away. This is not his "fault", it's simply the hand we've been dealt. We'll keep working through it the only way we know how - together.


  1. This sounds like the reverse of the conversations in our house. In our case, my PCOS is the only known issue. So all of this is my "fault" in my opinion. DH constantly says it is not, but you know how it goes.

    I am glad you respected your hubby's feelings. Maybe it was helpful just to write it?

  2. Yeah, I get it. I'm sure any man would feel upset that he is not working the way he should, it's demasculating.

    But it is for women too. I always feel guilty that by body is the thing messing up. I feel bad for my husband that he has to go through all of this because of me.

    We understand how he would feel. It's a tough thing to get through.

    There is no reason however that you need to share the reason for the infertility with anyone. No mention ever needs to be said about male factor. You could even fib and say it's unexplained.
    Whenever you chose to tell people, I think it needs to come from both of you.

  3. Oh our poor husbands. It seems harder for them to talk about how IF effects them in general. My husband has to be so strong for me so much of the time, that I think he even looses sight of how he is effected. But, most recently, with both of our little brothers expecting, he's definitely taken it hard.

    I think it's great that you wrote that letter to friends and family, if if you never get to share it with them. At least now you've had the opportunity to organize your own thoughts around the matter. I'm sure it will help you with any conversations with friends and family that should come up.

    Loved the picture of your husband and nephew too. I love seeing my hubby with our niece. So sweet.

  4. Male Factor is a hard one. Traditionally, as you pointed out, IF has been thought of as a "female issue," so when the diagnosis points at our men, there's usually an underlying feeling of inadequacy. Unfortunately, one's manhood is now put into question, even though in reality they are no less men because of this diagnosis.

    Have you thought about talking with a counselor about this? Grey and I saw a marriage counselor at right before I was officially diagnosed because of all the stress and she helped mediate communication regarding this issue. Through her, I was finally able to communicate why I was having the feelings I was and it helped forge the path to getting us on the same page. I credit her for him now referring to our situation as "our infertility" and him being willing to talk with people about it.

    In the meantime, I'm so glad you finalize a draft of the letter. I agree with everyone else that hanging onto it for now is a good idea, but at least it's written and everything you wanted to emphasize is there. I'm proud of you for having the courage to do it.

  5. This is exactly the reason why my husband and I are 'in the closet' about our infertility. I have no problems telling family about my giant fibroid and my surgery, but it is not my place to talk about my husband's bad sperm. I don't want to discuss with his mother the fact that he may have such bad morphology and sperm antibodies because he had the mumps when he was 13 because he wasn't immunized. Or that the wild games his older brothers played with him because she wasn't watching that resulted in a groin injury also may be to blame. It's his SPERM you know? Guys are really tetchy about all that stuff, especially when it comes to moms and sibs.
    I still feel the letter is a good idea, though. Maybe a re write that is more general, with promises to leave out all mention of his sperm if questioned? You still deserve support because you are going through so much.

  6. Oh, that is a hard one! The upside of this situation is that you were made aware of what he is feeling. I hope it gets easier, soon!

  7. My instinct was to say that your husband needs to respect your feelings. But in reality, it goes both ways. If anything, I think this opened a conversation between the two of you. Though still difficult, it allowed you to see more of what your husband is feeling. IF effects people in different ways, at different paces so the fact that you may not be on the same page at the moment does not mean that you can't work to get there. And like you said, you are in this together. I really think you should feel good about how this played out, and will play out in the future.

  8. There are a few people who know the whole picture with us, but most of the people that know we are having issues just think it's me. I am totally fine with that. He says he doesn't care who knows he has "issues" too, but I don't see a point in telling people. People know and don't need details, they can still be supportive. So glad you got to really talk so you know better how he is feeling. It is so difficult when they keep it all in.

  9. I agree with what everyone else has said. It's great that you and your hubs have been able to talk things out, I hope it continues that way. I know my guy doesn't say too much about it, but I sure wish he would at times. :)
    Take care, I'm sure you'll be able to talk this through and work something out.

  10. that's a tough one. My sister once gave me marriage advise which was along the lines of..."when you are really mad at your spouse- REALLY mad- write your feelings down in a letter to him....and then burn it.

    I've written my fair share of letters through the years and I've burned my share too. Here's to hoping that you feel good just from writing your feelings down and kudos for being so sensitive to his needs. it's a tough balance.

  11. I think it's great you are putting your husband first...your marriage sounds so strong.
    I've always wanted to share way more with people than my husband was comfortable with and I too have said less than I want to out of respect for my husband. My husband and I both had issues that led to IVF, but generally when I talk about it I just talk about what was wrong with me. I know he's sensitive about his part in all of this and I've always felt it's not my place to share unless he specifically says it's OK. I know your situation is a little different...
    Hope the two of you can get on the same page about how much to share...

  12. My heart really goes out to you on this. I too have a strong need to share and wear my heart on my sleeve when it comes to these things, but not so with hub. It has taken a lot of talking and communication to even get to the point where I could write my blog. Hang in there. Maybe bring it up in a while when he's had time to mull it over. It might be good to re-word the letter to make it less specific. But in the end, we have to respect our partner's wishes, I know. When our two week wait is up this IVF cycle, I have promised my hub that no-one will be told about a BFP except our close family. Because the baby might miscarry and he doesn't want the whole world knowing until 12 weeks is up. And he has asked me not to even write about it on my blog. Very hard, but I have to respect his wishes. I hope you felt better writing it though and if it opened the lines of communication then that is really a very good thing.

  13. That's such a very hard thing to deal with. I'm glad you two were able to talk but it's too bad the emotions are still so raw.

    ICLW #66

  14. I'm in the same boat! IVF w/ICSI due to MFI only (as far as we know). So, I understand your feelings as well as your husband's. In fact, I read your post to my husband just now. You're doing the right thing!

    Just joined your blog. Looking forward to following you through this journey!