Hi, I’m Gabriel. The male component of this fantastic saga. I’m Melissa’s husband. My role in this process is minimal, but it totally blows and I thought you’d like to hear a bit more from the male point of view.
Let me start out by saying that I was very honored to be asked to type here. It’s been a long goal of mine to combine the word “blog”, the letter “o” and the word “sphere” in online content and I’m going to try really hard to use that word during my contribution to this blog.
I’d like to get one thing straight: I’m the one that has it easy.
I had to get a blood test (which really sucked) but that’s the only needle that poked me. I haven’t had to have any ultrasounds, shots, injections, procedures, pills, x-rays, IVs, bloating or prodding that Melissa has had. Actually, that’s not altogether true. I made pizzas the other night and ate way too many pieces. I did feel bloated after that.
My role in all this is the easy part. In fact, I really don’t have to do much at all. But my involvement isn’t enjoyable. Now I’m not a mathematician, but I put together a spreadsheet in Excel to run the numbers earlier today and calculated out the fun factor. Thus far, 0% of this has been fun for me although the doctor’s office did have this “special movie room” that I found to be…interesting. I didn’t include that data on this pie chart though. Deal with it.
I don’t gamble. I never have and have never wanted to. It’s not interesting to me. I don’t leave my life to chance. Ever. I either do, or I do not. If I go to the grocery store to buy, some tofu and egg whites…actually, that’s a horrible example. If I go to the grocery store to buy some steak and beer, and I pay for the steak and beer and the grocery store person says “thanks for coming in, thanks for your money, you can not have any steak or beer but feel free to come in another time and try again,” I’d have a very difficult time coming to terms with that. I’d probably drop the F-bomb and maybe become violent.
IVF is a gamble of epic proportions. You do the meds, you take the shots, you follow the prescribed protocols and you pay the money for a chance at becoming pregnant. A chance. There are no guarantees. Ever if you do get pregnant after IVF, you may not stay pregnant. If you do stay pregnant, you may not deliver a healthy baby. If you do deliver a healthy baby, the baby could grow up to become a complete asshole.
You see what I’m getting at? Anything else in life comes with a guarantee. If you give me $10, you can have this 6-pack of beer. I guarantee it. If you pay for a new car, you get a new car. If you work really hard, you can accomplish things. If you hike for a really long time, you’ll get to the top of the mountain.
Infertility and the process of IVF are two things I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Actually, I went to high school with some real dick heads and I wouldn’t care at all if some of them had to go through this.
So, am I excited that we have one embryo that is now inside Melissa? I’m not really sure. It’s a big step and I certainly feel hopeful about it, but we’ve had positive pregnancy test results before and guess what? No steak. No baby.
I’m frustrated with the odds and frustrated by the process. I’m frustrated that there’s nothing that I can do to improve our odds or even help ensure success. For me, frustration and anger are pretty close cousins. I feel angry about this. I’m sick of thinking about it, sick of talking about, sick of having it rule our lives, sick of hoping for the best and sick of seeing other people skip this process and go right to the 9-month part.
I have a picture of Archimedes, our embryo extraordinare. It’s taped to my computer monitor.
Now please understand that this photo is not to scale. Archimedes is actually quite small at this point. Here’s a picture that is to scale.
Don’t see it? That’s not an accident. It’s very small. Too small to actually see with the naked eye though we’re both really hoping that will change.
I’ll be happy with either a boy or a girl. I really don’t care. I don’t know much about girls, but I can read a book or something and get up to speed. Now it’s too early to tell if this embryo will become a boy or a girl, and we’re not planning to find out, but if you look at this last picture of our embryo, you’ll note I’ve indicated some interesting features.
I know what you’re thinking. (A) clearly shows the female sex organ while (B) shows what are clearly male reproductive organs.
Now I’m not a specialist and I already mentioned that I don’t know a ton about girls, but I think you’ll agree that given the picture above and my cursory assessment, this embryo could turn into either a girl or a boy and nobody would be surprised.
I read somewhere that frogs have both sex organs for a period of time until they pick their favorite and go with it. I’m pretty sure that was from Jurassic Park (the first movie with the Ford Explorers that are electric and can drive themselves around the park autonomously while the spectators just sit there and look out the windows at the Tyrannosaurus Rex, Raptors and the friendly ones with the really long necks). That makes sense.
I’m sorry for interrupting your usual excellent blog content with this departure for the norm. I’m not sure how many male readers are out there in this particular blogosphere (I’m so cool!) but I suspect it’s not the majority.
Thanks for having me. I will now return you to your regularly scheduled program.