The one where Hubby makes me cry

I should be having sex with my husband right now.  It’s “that time,” right?  Except.  He tells me on our walk to the dirt track near our house that he doesn’t feel like it.  That he doesn’t want to do it “this way.”  Meaning timed intercourse and paying attention to my cycles (which have been jerking me around enough, lately–I don’t need this from him, too).  Basically shooting down his former theories of super sperm in favor of the IVF-is-our-only-route-to-having-a-baby option.

Cue me trying my damnedest not to cry in public.  Which leads to a headache.  Which leads to me sulking the rest of the way.  Which leads to Hubby asking me, “You don’t want to talk?” while we’re doing a little pre-workout stretch.  Which leads to me wondering whether he means at all or just about this particular topic.  Which leads to me shaking my head, just to be on the safe side.

Hubby and I have devised a system where he runs counter-clockwise and I (mostly) walk clockwise around the track so that we meet each other at least twice on each lap.  Tonight, the first few times we cross paths, I don’t look at him.  I can’t because if I look at him, I’ll cry.

But I’m not just sad.  I’m also angry.  Which I take out on myself, first by walking.  Not a casual stroll or even speed-walk.  This is angry-bordering-on-stomping kind of walking.  And then I start running.  And I am not a runner.  But I run, and I feel good.  I feel powerful.  For about 3/16 of a mile.  Then the burning starts.  Not just in my lungs, but radiating all the way up my throat. I blame it on the altitude–because I’ve only lived at this altitude for 10 years–but I’m just plain out of shape.  Or I have some kind of exercise-induced asthma, which sounds like a much better excuse.

So the burning starts, just as I’m passing Hubby, but I just keep on running, right past him, again without making eye contact.  And then I stop.  And pant.  And try to catch my breath.

I walk/run another lap, and then walk into the middle of the field, past the golden pool cast by the too-fancy-for-a-dirt-track lights, to the edge of darkness.  And I sit and wait for Hubby to find me.

And when he does, he asks if I’m okay.  He asks what I’m thinking.  He is generally good and kind, which makes me feel like shit for being so mad at him.  He tries to talk me out of “magical thinking.”  Says that when we get a higher sperm count, we can think about really trying.  And I tell him, because it is just now occurring to me, that even though I know we have very little chance of conceiving on our own at this point, at least I feel like we’re doing something.

And he reminds me that we are doing something.  Three times a week I inject him with two different needles (one for each cheek), and it’s actually starting to work.

I have to admit he’s right, but he also concedes that perhaps this progress doesn’t feel fast enough.  Plus, even though I’m the one administering the shots, I’m not feeling the effects.  He’s the one having (far fewer now) “hot waves” and marveling at the change in size and shape of his balls.  He’s the one feeling the effects of what he claims is an increase in his testosterone levels, as exhibited by more energy, including the energy to run, and an overall better mood.  I’m just the bystander.  And I hate it.

Do I sound like a broken record yet?

There have been a lot of posts recently about identity, sense of self, hopes and dreams outside of baby-making.  About not putting life on hold while in pursuit of a family.  I want nothing more than to hop on that bandwagon.  To give up this obsession with treatments and timelines and how we’re finally going to make this happen.  To just be.  I’m not sure I know how to do that anymore, but I feel like I have to try.  I need  a project.  I don’t know what that’s going to be (but I’m open to suggestions).

Next week I’m going on vacation.  Without Hubby.  I’m getting on a plane next Wednesday and not coming home  until the following Monday.  Maybe it’ll be good.  It’s been a while since I’ve missed him.

Tonight was a bump.  But I have to say, if I have to be on this stupid roller-coaster, there’s no one I’d rather be strapped in with.  I finished the book he got me for my birthday several days ago.  On the last page are the words Mark Twain supposedly said of his own wife:

Wheresoever she was, there was Eden.
~The Diaries of Adam and Eve (p. 199)

I can only hope that in 50 years, Hubby still feels the same way about me.

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20 thoughts on “The one where Hubby makes me cry

  1. I’m so sorry, honey. I doubt there’s a woman out there struggling with infertility who hasn’t lived through the experience you had tonight. There’s no easy way out of it and logic has no place here. Not to try feels like a loss in itself, doesn’t it?

    I remember how devastated I used to feel during my super-long cycles, when I thought I was on the verge of ovulating and my husband would come home after midnight, exhausted from a labor-intensive day, and really in no shape to have sex. I felt bad for him and terrible about the situation as a whole. There were times he had to use Cialis because he was too tired… and that made me feel crappy, too. There was just no way for either one of us to win.

    So the only words of wisdom I have for you now is to accept the disappointment and know that this is just how some of your cycles will go – and that’s okay. Even though the next cycle seems really far in the future, it’ll be here before you know it. And timing, in this game, is everything. One of these times, it will be your time.

    • If I recall, I think Hubby actually said I wasn’t being rational, which is what started the tears in the first place. Of course I’m not being rational! I’m being highly emotional, but what the hell’s wrong with that?

      I know you all understand, which is why I feel safe writing about this stuff here. I’m so glad I have this space.

  2. Ahh, I feel for you … and for him, too. Even though there’s nothing more frustrating to a woman who knows it’s “that time” than a man who won’t (or can’t) participate, I sympathize with the man, too. It can’t be easy to sense that kind of performance pressure – which doesn’t make it any better for the woman, of course. Your rollercoaster ride will continue – here’s a bump; you’ll get past it, together. And I think the little upcoming holiday break will do you good. It’s always nice to take a step away and realize how much a partner can be missed.

  3. It’s so tough letting that window sail by even if you know the chances are slim. I so get the feeling of ‘..at least I feel like we’re doing something’. I have been there too, with a husband not so keen.

    It’s so strange to read that your hubby is the one who gets the shots and all, in our house it’s me even though it’s male infertility. We were thrown right into IVF with ICSI, nothing else were even suggested.

    I’m glad you are taking that trip, having some time off work and hopefully re-charge your batteries. Go have fun with your sister!

    • I don’t know where your husband’s sperm count started out, but we started with 0, which is why he needs the injections. His case is pretty severe, but also rare.

      I’m so looking forward to spending time with my sister! Although, I am going to miss all of you because, as much as I love her, she just doesn’t get this stuff.

      • Yeah I figured that’s why, but I haven’t heard of a man get injections like that before. It’s tough on both either way. I feel the same way about my sisters, it doesn’t matter how much you try to explain, they will never truly understand. And how could they to be fair.

  4. Oh, I understand this one. BG was mostly anti timing intercourse in general. I tracked my cycles anyway and many months by the luck of the draw, the timing worked out okay, but other months it didn’t and at the time it was hard to take.

    Looking back, I think, for us, maybe he was right. When the doctors timed things perfectly with the IUIs it still didn’t work, and with hindsight I realize that we probably had next to no chance of conceiving on our own anyway. But that is just us, and I didn’t realize it then. Not at all.

    Time away can be really great. Enjoy your trip. Miss your husband. I hope that tomorrow is a bit brighter.

    • I don’t know why Hubby has suddenly changed his mind about all of this. The doctor he saw in his home country told him it was possible to achieve pregnancy, even with lower counts, because somehow his sperm would be stronger because of the treatment. Or something like that. And he was all gung-ho there for a while, but now, he’s back to IVF is the only way.

      And thank you–I will enjoy my trip!

  5. Definitely not a broken record, because if you’re sounding like one, then I’ve been right there myself all too many times. Infertility is a beast and one that is totally unfair to both genders. Hugs!

  6. Yes, it’s a bump, but it’s not insurmountable. And there will be other bumps, but you will get through those too. I’m so sorry for how hard that had to be to hear, though, and sorry that he’s feeling the pressure (of a different sort) as well. Infertility is no fun for anyone. Sending hugs.

  7. Hubby and I had the same kind of conversation while we were waiting to see if his hormone shots would work and while we were waiting for the testosterone to get out of his system. I said the exact same thing as you did – that even if the chances are miniscule, there is still a chance. I can’t honestly remember how how responded, but I think it helped him understand. The problem was that I got burnt out on trying.
    Infertility sucks.

    • I’m hoping that Hubby responds as well to his treatment as your husband did to his! That would give me a lot more hope than I have right now.

  8. I’m so sorry this is where you are right now. It’s a terrible place to be. The fact that he’s the only one you want to ride this roller-coaster with and that he obviously feels the same about you tells me you two will jump all the hurdles life throws at you. Doesn’t make it easy though – sending big hugs!

  9. As usual, way behind in reading my feeds, so have not read other comments…
    I just wanted to say that the part of trying that is a whole lot of nothing, and a whole lot more waiting, and a whole lot more trying not to be too hopeful so that if it doesn’t work out this time it is disappointing and not devastating – as if there’s any way to protect ourselves from devastating – THAT part of trying is a huge pile of (insert appropriate derogatory term here).
    I hate it. I hate it for me. I hate it for you. I hate it for everyone everywhere.
    No wonder we are all a bundle of sad/crying/angry/yelling/not speaking/frustrated women. At least I find some tiny amount of solace in knowing I am not the only one behaving in ways that I previously would have found appalling. So, there’s that, you know.

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