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1. What is your personal experience with infertility/miscarriage?
I can’t believe I am telling this story, but I guess I have to go backwards in order to go forward. About seven years ago, long story short, I was in an operating theatre in a dark room in a different country and was being told by a doctor that my wife was pregnant but there were huge complications. (Note: neither of us knew about the pregnancy). I told them to please save my wife. My wife had an ectopic pregnancy.
A year or two later, we realized IVF was the next option. Thanks to the government, we had some assistance with the treatment (through funded cycles). After several different attempts, I will use a baseball metaphor, “we struck out” (sigh).
We tried IVF again. This time with no assistance from the government. We tried and well … it didn’t happen again. It was a massive disappointment and we were both so upset.
2. How has it made your life worse? How has it made your life better?
In some ways, it has made life worse. The idea of a family with 2.5 children and a dog or cat, a large house, and a peaceful living arrangement got thrown out the window. The struggle is real.
I keep thinking about my wife and our story. It breaks my heart. Many people have no idea. I just try to be the rock and try to support her in any way that I can.
It’s like a Catch-22; on the one hand, I have to try to bounce back but on the other hand, it is not that simple.
Some days, life is tough. Emotions run rampant. Other days, I am okay. Some days I am robotic; a lot of days I am robotic.
Trust me, I have been through the five stages of grief and loss, over and over again:
1. Denial and isolation
The pain doesn’t go away. One minute I accept it, the next minute I am mad, and the next I am upset.
I try my best to mask it. I remember the quiet that I used to enjoy back in the day, but now it has become a time to reflect, and the inner voice can hurt.
We try to stay strong, but sometimes we just crack or need a breather.
Some people might think we are looking for sympathy. We aren’t. We just want to help others understand what we are going through.
There are moments of sadness and anger we just can’t explain. The holidays are the toughest. We have to face family and friends. How do we tell them once again? Sorry, we tried, but it didn’t work.
3. When & how did you realize that you were going to be able to carry on after infertility/miscarriage?
Eventually I had to accept the idea that it had happened. It is out of our control. We can’t blame the system or ourselves. We do inside, though.
I’m not saying I have completely lost faith. I guess it is possible that we will have a child one day. I actually research every day for possible solutions. I am hoping I am on the right track. Every month that goes by, I wonder if I am even close.
4. What have you learned through this experience?
Life is not always what you expect. It actually opened my eyes a little.
When you are alone, you need to find healthy distractions.
When you are together with your partner, you should try not to blame one another.
When you battle the questions, you have to learn to cope. The quicker you can do it, the better you will be.
Don’t allow people to micromanage your situation. This sounds awful, but be careful who you trust or who you ask for help. Sadly, not everyone takes information kindly.
5. What do you hold on to for hope/courage/strength on your bad days?
That tomorrow is another day. No one can predict what will happen next. I learned a few breathing techniques from specialist that I use to calm my nerves. Sometimes it works, other times I just watch television or go for a walk.
6. How do you feel about your experience with infertility on your good days?
I try to distract myself by trying to find ways to help others. Lately, I have been thinking about the bigger picture. How can we help the planet?
7. In three words describe yourself before/during/after miscarriage (in miscarriage specific situations)?
Hope, Pain, Depression
8. In what ways has your experience with infertility/miscarriage changed you as a person?
This experience has made me question so much, some of the questions that pop into my head are:
Is it me?
Is it her?
Is it genetics?
Is this really happening?
Are we not compatible?
Did I do something wrong?
Did she do something wrong?
Were we exposed to something?
Did we eat something we weren’t supposed to?
Why are there so many others having the same type of issues?
Why are these rooms full of people with similar issues?
Are couples experiencing the same type of pain we are feeling?
Why do I feel alone?
Why did this happen?
When will the pain stop?
How can I help others?
How do you cope during the holidays?
9. How have others responded to your infertility situations? Has it impacted your relationships? What are some things you’ve been told that have been helpful/harmful?
A few things happen that can tarnish your relationship if you really decide to listen to the negativity. I try my best to block out the “white noise” but these questions are just irritating.
“Why don’t you have any kids yet?”
“Why are you upset? Snap out of it”
“Did you know so-and-so is having another kid? Come on you two.”
“Why can’t you be more like them?”
I probably need a better support system.
Of course, it has impacted our relationship. We fight or argue about people trying to pull us down. I am not sure why we fight sometimes. I guess we are both hurt.
10. Tell us about you. What are your hobbies/passions/pursuits?
Hobbies – I love entertainment. I am well-known for my movie and tv collection (from VHS to Blu Ray). I am a big fan of MLB and NBA. I love photography and filming.
Passions – If you asked me years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to answer this question. I can say now, without hesitation, that I am passionate about writing, storytelling and social media. I really enjoy helping others.
Pursuits – I am hoping to be respected. That sounds weird but I always feel like I don’t belong. I have secret talents that perhaps no one knows about. It’s time to showcase them.
11. What is your favourite quote?
“If a person is confident enough in the way they feel, whether it’s an art form or whether it’s just in life, it comes off—you don’t have anything to prove; you can just be who you are.”
― Clint Eastwood
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