Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly: A Father's Unsolicited Input on Infertility

It was Friday afternoon. I was working in my office, occasionally checking out the view from my office window. You may not know this, but I'm pretty baller. I have a phenomenal view of a parking garage AND a Springhill Suites. While fully engrossed in the finer points of strategic planning under health care reform, my phone buzzed...

THE UGLY:

"None of my business, but guys wearing boxers or no shorts have better fertility odds than those wearing other kinds of briefs. Love, dad"

Well.

Okay.

Sure, Dad.

THE BAD:

How does a daughter respond to a father who has implied that all her problems could have been solved if only her husband was wearing boxers... or going commando? How do I tell him that we know exactly how many sperm are in a sample and how well those little swim? How do I explain that we wouldn't have spent several thousand dollars injecting the little guys without first checking whether they were up to snuff? How do I tell him the issue is all me?

Father daughter relationships are a weird space to begin with, but in my family it's tense at best. My dad traveled throughout my childhood for work, being gone for weeks at a time. Our relationship does not involve open communication. It certainly doesn't involve reproductive talk.

He showed up at our house a few hours later and was waiting patiently for me to get home. I guess because I didn't respond and what's a two and half hour drive to a dad? I had no time to prepare for a face to face.

So feeling emotionally raw. I greeted him as though nothing had been said. As though I hadn't had all my insecurities triggered by his underwear text. We made small talk. We planned to haul some bamboo we removed from the yard to the dump. We talked about running shoes and high arches. Then he mentioned the underwear again.

"I don't know if you got my text. Sometimes us dads can't figure these things out. Haha. I read that men who wear boxers or other loose fitting shorts have better chances of having kids. There are some guys that heat up their testicles to avoid having babies. It's a real thing. Don't know if you've looked into it."

I hope whoever is reading this is laughing. But, I wasn't. Instead, I burst into tears. I told my dad that I felt like a bad wife. That I was a let down for my husband. That we had spent so much money and I was the problem. That no matter how much more we spent, we may never be successful.

THE GOOD:

It's all out there now. He didn't say much during my outburst and I wandered out of the room shortly after. Like I said, communication is not our thing.

But, when he left, he gave us enough money to pay for IVF (less medication). I told him it wasn't necessary because we really didn't know if it would work and it was a lot of money to hand someone. He said he was my dad and could do what he wanted.

It's hard to accept help, but in the few days since, I've felt a burden lift off. We still may or may not be successful, but to remove half the debt burden up front is... priceless.

1 comment:

McBayham said...

I love this story. Also, how did I forget you had a blog.