Men's Week: Taking Care of Your Wife Through Infertility by Waldo Galan
Wow… Apparently I have arrived. I’ve been asked to do a guest post on CJane’s super popular awesome blog of awesomeness. This is the closest I’ve come to celebrity since MCA (from the Beastie Boys) let me in to the Saltair to use a payphone (long enough ago that we still had to use payphones. Yes I am that old).
Anyhoo, I’ve been asked to talk about supporting my wife through infertility. Our saga began in 1999, when La Yen came off of the Depo shot and we started trying in earnest to have kids. Needless to say, we didn’t have any luck. I deployed in 2000, and when I came back, we started to go through the various medical indignities associated with infertility. And here’s where the support starts. See here’s the thing: all women, and LDS women in particular, are conditioned to think that if they can’t birth a child, they’ve somehow failed. And it’s up to us, the loving men in their lives, to remind them that no, in fact, they haven’t failed. That it’s not their fault AT ALL, and that there are multiple avenues to motherhood.
So here’s my sure-fire, no fail formula for support and success. Take it and use it as you will- I won’t even ask for royalties.
- Pray. Pray pray pray pray pray. Pray every morning and every evening, and when you pray, guys, pray that it’s YOUR FAULT. Believe me, it’s easier to deal with your feelings of inadequacy and impotence than it is to see your beloved going through a deep, personal hell as she struggles with her feelings of failure. You should also, of course, be praying that you can deal with this together, and that eventually you can have children. And you need to pray for patience.
- Put up with every single indignity that the medical community wants to put you through, happily and without complaint. Believe me, there’s nothing that you can go through that compares with what she has to go through. A story to illustrate: the third time I was going through fertility testing for myself, I had to completely re-do all my tests. So when I went to the doctor, explained my situation, and requested the tests, the doc says he has to do some labs. He walks to the door, closes it, and says, “OK, drop your pants.” Huh? Not so much as a warning, a hello, or a nice candle-lit dinner. He then proceeds to examine me in a VERY intimate way, and sends me on my way. And even this is better than ANY of the tests that La Yen has been through.
- For LDS couples:Attend the Temple, frequently, together. It’s good business anyway, but particularly when you are trying to deal with something like this. You get the comfort of the Spirit and shared renewal of covenants, and you can’t buy that kind of therapy.
- Priesthood Blessings. Sometimes up to four a day. Seriously. Can’t get enough of them. Direct, personal revelation from the Lord is awesome. It keeps your lady sane, and comforts you.
- Educate yourself. Learn as much as you can about infertility in general, and the particular flavor of infertility you’re dealing with together. Learn about adoption, in vitro, and the turkey baster. The more you know, the better able you are going to be to calm your girl down when it gets too tough.
- This may have just been my experience, but Clomid is the devil. She threatened to knife me. Serio.
- When you start timing ovulation (and you will), and she calls you and says “Perform NOW,” just perform. You may think that it’s gonna be awesome, and it’s great for like the first week, but after that, the shine comes off the nickel. You’ll see.
- Finally, understand that things work on the Lord’s timeline, and not yours. 1999-2005 is a long gestation, but it’s totally worth it. The Lord knows you and your family, and He always, without exception, wants you to be happy.
There it is, kids. My sure-fire road to success. Hope it helps. Above all, though, remember that you’re in it together, and when it’s all over, you’ll have a stinky, damp, loud little terrorist to love and cherish.
Waldo is married to the great La Yen who writes at El Paso Represents Yo! After years of infertility they adopted an adorable daughter in 2005. Last year, La Yen became pregnant through means of a miracle. They are due to have Waldo Jr. this summer. Waldo is an Captain in the army, makes amazing guacamole and may be one of the most charismatic people I have ever met.