My husband and I grew up together, but we never thought we would date, much less get married. Our mothers have worked together for over 30 years and his grandmother used to babysit me, but we were always so different. He was this redneck, rough and tumble, aspiring wrestler. I was a conservative, artsy, churchy, bookworm and aspiring writer. Granted, I grew up on a farm, with all boy cousins, and knew how to change my own oil, but I wore high heels to church 2-3 times a week and liked to dress like the late Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy Onassis (AKA “Jacquie O”) in my little pencil skirt suits. He drove in demolition derbies and went to auto tech school. I enjoyed church camp every summer and attended seminary for two years. We were definitely an unlikely pair.
He actually found me, and he was persistent. Had he not asked me out about a million times, my last name would probably have remained unchanged at this point in my life, even though being 30 and single is incredibly taboo in my former religious circle. Yes. I did say “former”. I left “the church”, with my husband, about five years ago for personal reasons. Best decision I ever made, but that is far from the purpose for this post…
About four years ago my husband (boyfriend at the time) and I decided we wanted to start a family. Marriage, though important to both of us, was not an absolute necessity in our opinion. He was six months old at his parents’ wedding almost 30 years ago, and although we wanted to get married, we didn’t think it was absolutely necessary to be married just to start a family. We knew we loved each other and were dedicated to each other. That was what seemed most important to us.
After I had been off the pill for approximately six months, we started “trying”, using the “calendar” method. I won’t go into a lengthy explanation. I’m sure you can look it up if you don’t know what it is. We tried that for about a year with no results, so we began doing some research and I went to the doctor to make sure there wasn’t anything obviously wrong by having a pelvic exam and some blood tests. Everything seemed fine. We didn’t want to start with infertility appointments or anything until we had exhausted all other options. My doctor said I looked fine, so we tried ovulation tests and began taking extra vitamins, changed our diets, and continued with the calendar. We also tried strategic positions during intercourse and refrained from intercourse except during the “good days”. We did this for two more years with no results. By this time, we had finally gotten married, thinking that maybe God wouldn’t give us a child until we were married. It’s funny how superstition and religion suddenly sound more realistic and important when you’re struggling to get pregnant.
Well, it has now been over four years and we haven’t had so much as a false positive. We’ve gotten our hopes up a few times when “Aunt Flow” procrastinated in her monthly visit, but we still haven’t had any luck. It’s at this point in our relationship where things became “tough”. Any couple that has faced difficulty conceiving will tell you that it is physically and mentally exhausting and can take a terrible toll on your relationship. We have DEFINITELY had our problems, to the point that my husband thought I was having an affair and I have been treated for depression. We are proactively working through our emotional issues for now and have stopped “trying” until we can get “back on track” emotionally.
I went to get my eyebrows and top lip waxed at the salon the other day. My hairdresser (and “wax artist”) is a good, close friend. She noticed that I had a lot of prickly hairs growing along my chin and lip and asked me how long that’s been going on. I explained that I’ve always had issues with a little unwanted facial hair, (I’ve been waxing my eyebrows and lip for about 14-15 years.) but the chin hair just started about five years ago. It came in prickly (but white/blond) at first. Now, there are a few (new) dark hairs coming in that are also very coarse. She explained that one of the reasons she and her husband never had children was because of a hormone imbalance. She actually had a hysterectomy this year. She is in her late 40’s but has had hormone problems since her early 30’s. She said they had talked about never having children anyway because of the “world today” and the cost (emotional and financial) of raising children, but the hormone issue was the “straw that broke the camel’s back”. She said her doctors offered hormone therapy and other options, but they opted not to have children. I’m beginning to wonder if this isn’t at least part of our problem.
Like I said, things have been shaky with my hubby the last year or so. It has a lot to do with the baby issues, but there are some smaller underlying issues as well. I am mentally, spiritually, and physically exhausted. I’m not really sure where to go from here. I wish my husband would go to the doctor. It’s easier, cheaper, and less invasive to have him tested before I am tested. I know I have some issues with BV and other infections, and that could also be a contributing factor, but I do not have health insurance. The appointments, tests, and fees are just so expensive! He has health coverage and I think it’s only fair to ask him to go first and make sure there’s nothing wrong on his end. Once that is cleared up, we will know which direction we need to take, whether to bite the bullet and have me tested or look into adoption or other options.
I’m not really sure why men have such a problem going to the doctor for these things. Yes. They do have to “go” in a cup, but it’s not like most men don’t do that anyway. I know my husband doesn’t do that very often, but he does do it. Why is it so much harder to do it into a cup instead of into the shower, the rag, the paper towel, or whatever else he’s using? For me, it is much harder and invasive. I have to go through more than a “hand-to-private” experience to see if there is something wrong with me. I understand that it is emotionally trying for him, but I can help him with that. I will be supportive but I can’t do this one for him as I do so many other things. He has to make the appointment, show up, go in the cup, and then I will be there for a big hug and moral support after he’s done. For me, I must have people actually reaching up inside of me, poking and prodding around. I go to my OBGYN for a checkup every year. I’m fairly certain I am the only person (other than him) that has been up close and personal with his private region since he was first diagnosed with chronic IBS.
In the meantime, we are intimate when we “feel” like it. I’m still off the pill and we have never used protection in seven years (almost five years off the pill). Maybe we will get lucky, but I am definitely not getting any younger and this “no baby” issue is really starting to get to me.