Another holiday over

The Easter break for most of us is over and it’s been the first day back to work, the morning spent staring perhaps at a pc screen and zapping into the delete folder as many e-mails as possible with a small sense of glee.

It is surprising sometimes to stop and discover what pleases us and how limiting these small unconsidered pleasures really are.

What if you decided at the beginning of the day the kind of discoveries, actions and exchanges with other people do please you that you’d like to have.

Perhaps you might decide to make at least one person smile today. That person could be a stranger on your train journey, the person who serves you at the coffee shop, the stranger that you help by holding the door open for them.

There are numerous ways for you to make this small event happen, but what you’ll notice now is that by having that thought for just a nano-second whilst reading this text images or notions of how it could happen and the immediate outcome have already popped into your head.

This is the marvel of your mind, once you give it direction it will set a course almost immediately. So why not put this to good use and populate your forthcoming days and weeks with a number of small but life enhancing events to look forward to that give you real noncommercial pleasure. Don’t limit yourself to my earlier suggestion include other nature-oriented pleasures like noticing the sunlight and clouds, or the trees emerging into bud as spring marches headlong into summer.

Set your imagination free and it will do the work for you. The thing about doing this is that it will become the norm over a relatively short period of time and you’ll notice the difference in many ways. You’ll feel more positive , you’ll attract new responses from the people around you because you are noticing more of what’s good in life. We tend to gravitate towards people with positive vibes and those that send out such vibes usually appreciate the simple pleasures in life and as a consequence suffer less stress. Think about it . . . . . and let me know.

The Female Side of Male Factor, from the Blind Side

After an exciting evening with Suzy and about 25 other infertile folks, we were talking about what I could share with our friends in blogland regarding that form near and dear to my testes, male factor. Here is what we discussed. – What happens when the diagnosis comes?

First, you need to know that, as a couple, this will be a big kick…. well we covered that before. But you better recover quickly, because this is what will be going through her mind.

1) Grieving / freaking out / crying because you can’t have a biological child. This is a first, emotional response, like getting the wind knocked out of you, or a horse kick in the teeth. She probably will be worried about your potential children, so you are just the late delivery service at this point. Don’t take this personally.

(picture is not a good example of how to handle any particular infertility issue, but is representative of at least once in most relationships, anyway. Sexes are assigned at random.)

2) Swinging wildly around, we will then hit the high of a new possibility – treatment! Now you, the stud service have been either retired, or it is time to intervene with specialized treatments that will make you as a possible father. If you are the retired gelding, with no/very low/incompatible/no quality sperm, this will be depressing for you, but your partner is ready to move on, so hang on! For the others, you get the added excitement of such medical procedures as needle biopsies and sperm withdrawals; withdrawals and samples into tiny containers without the usual “stimulation”; and you can look forward to lots of expensive treatments for both of you!

3) If you were fortunate enough to get off the bus on step 2,good for you! If not, welcome back to Grieving / freaking out / crying because you can’t have a biological child, but this time it will be with the knowledge that you tried hard. This time will be after some time and considerable financial resources expended, so you hope this will be a lesson well learned. But let her grieve.

4) Optional – Decision to use alternative sources for having a biological child (Using a Pop on a Popsicle (donor sperm)) This can lead to some weirdness between you, so tread carefully – see my red hot wife Suzy”s blog posts on this one. Enough said, except for her eggs lusting for a donor’s sperm from someone not even born when we were married. Yeah, feels sorta like infidelity. TREAD CAREFULLY!

5) Other treatments, after biological options are done – more grieving, etc. This can be painful if it takes too long to get here or the trip is not together.

Your emotions will be all over the place, so make sure you have healthy, safe ways to deal with this pain. Talk to each other, honestly and openly. Do NOT hide or bottle up, as this will cause resentment later. Discuss issues with appropriate people – pastors / rabbis / spiritual advisor /therapist / support group (like RESOLVE or Chance to Hope). And, find healthy outlets for your frustrations.

The three things you need to know. a) Take care of your partner! b) remember to take care of yourself; and c) Have Hope, you are not alone!