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Nicole the Fertile Chick: When He Doesn’t Just Get It

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I recently watched a reality program about a woman who had lost a lot of weight following gastric bypass. She lost enough weight to take her from morbidly obese, past normal weight, right down to under weight. In fact, she was so thin that her organs were beginning to shut down. Her doctors suggested they reverse the bypass in order for her to recover, but she blatantly refused. Her fiancé broke up with her because he couldn’t understand how she would rather die than go back to being fat. Even though I didn’t agree with her and thought she was being very foolish, I absolutely understood where she was coming from. And I’m sure a lot of women would.

I use that analogy as an opener, just to give some colour to the fact that men and women are truly like chalk and cheese, especially when it comes to thought processes and coping mechanisms. In an earlier article, I talked about the hair-pulling frustration of getting men to cooperate with ovulation monitoring and timed sex. Even though there are so many exceptions to this rule, in the form of men who are more on top of their wife’s fertile window than even she is, a lot of us are not so lucky. One of the most annoying things my husband would repeatedly say was “It will happen when it happens”. When every single indicator I had would be literally flashing neon lights, screaming ovulation, my dear husband would not so much as break into a sweat if we missed this fertile window, or if we did all we could but my period showed up anyway. “It will happen when it happens” would be what I’d hear. This almost always led to huge shouting matches about how “NO!! It will NOT happen when it happens!”. I even tried to draw a parallel between the football transfer window and the fertility window, a comparison he was quick to scoff at. “So you’re saying having a baby is like football?”. That was one of the times I threw my hands up in defeat.

When it was established that we indeed had a problem, I spent a fortune ordering a cocktail of vitamins and supplements for the two of us. Apart from the first pill he grudgingly swallowed, all his drugs sat untouched in the medicine cabinet, till I threw everything away…after our kids were born. Men! Always thinking left, when we are thinking right…or vice versa.

It wasn’t until years later that I realized that my husband wasn’t being deliberately uninterested. He just genuinely was not on the same level of despair as I was with our failing TTC efforts. He was happy to keep on trying, at our own pace, and was convinced that we would conceive eventually. “What if it takes 10 years??!!!” I asked in frustration once. “Then it takes 10 years” was the annoying answer I got. And when I eventually crumbled and decided it was time for IVF, he agreed to it just to make me happy, as he didn’t like how heart broken I was every cycle. Well, thank God the tears counted for something in the end.

In one of my very early articles, one of the comments was from a lady who joked about how she wept so profusely on the drive home, after being diagnosed with PCOS, only for her husband to retort something like “Why are crying like that?! It’s not as if they said you don’t have a womb!!!”. It cracked me up because it was just a clear demonstration of how black and white men tend to think. The only thing that is cause for concern is the absence of a womb, or something equally as catastrophic. Any other thing is a non-issue. Except that the truth is, some of the seemingly inconsequential problems are those that wreak the most havoc!

When I insisted on using my Ob/Gyn, instead of the free clinics on my medical insurance, my dear husband couldn’t understand it. We had many heated debates over why I would absolutely not repeat the mistake I had earlier made by opting for a cheap clinic, and would instead pay out of pocket for guaranteed professional care. In the end, he agreed to go along with it, but didn’t miss any opportunity to remind me of how much we would have been saving if we had stayed with the free clinic. True, we would have saved an awful lot…but we also might not have had our kids either. He also could not understand why I would rather sit in a long queue, waiting to see my particular Ob/Gyn, instead of opting for any of the more available doctors. “You and this your doctor sef”, was what I kept being teased with. Ehn yes, thank you! I will wait for him.

It was a relief when I found out that ours was not a peculiar case, and there were a lot of men like my husband. When I spoke with some of my friends, we would laugh over the annoying similarities of these our clueless men. However, one story ended up not being funny at all.

When I was pregnant, I ran into an old classmate of mine, and his wife, in one of my clinic’s antenatal classes. I had attended their wedding some months before, and was so happy they were already expecting. I left the country shortly after, but kept in touch with this guy on social media. His wife was due a month before me, but alas, I received the bad news that they had lost the baby at birth. His wife had labored for too long, and the baby had been extremely distressed, such that when he was eventually born via caesarian section, he couldn’t breathe and, because the hospital did not have an equipped neo-natal intensive care unit (NICU), the baby died shortly after. It didn’t sound like my doctor to make anyone labour that long, and I knew that our clinic had an excellent NICU. When I asked, I was shocked to my bone marrow over what he said. “Ah no oh. I took her to a hospital near our house. That your doctor is too expensive!”. This might have made sense to me if it was a struggling couple, trying to make ends meet. This man worked in one of the international oil companies, and earned a robust 8-figure salary, exclusive of bonuses. Unfortunately, they had lost a child just to save a buck. When his wife got pregnant the following year, nobody told him twice what he needed to do.

Today, I have learnt how to handle the numerous men-are-from-Mars-women-are-from-Venus situations I encounter. I have accepted the fact that my husband and I will not see eye-to-eye on a number of issues. Having been together a long time, I have learnt how to preempt what his response to most things would be, and try to always come prepared when we have a discussion. And if all that fails, I have learnt how to masquerade my own ideas to come off looking like his (wink, wink). Because the truth is, you can’t change them…so if you can’t beat them, then you might as well (appear to be) join(ing) them 😉

Have a great week, everyone!
Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Bryan Creely

Nicole is a woman in her late 30s, with a passion for all things fertility related. She suffered infertility for the first 3 years of her marriage, and found it extremely isolating. After she had her kids, she started The Fertile Chick (www.thefertilechickonline.com) to create a community and happy-place for all women, in various stages of the fertility journey.

21 Comments

  1. joy

    June 1, 2015 at 8:52 am

    Correct [email protected],this particular piece cracked me up…lolllz

  2. betty

    June 1, 2015 at 9:24 am

    Luv this piece u just made my day

  3. Eke

    June 1, 2015 at 9:48 am

    I have been TTC for a while now and every month, when i see that spot of red i get so deflated. A little over a week ago, i began to wake up feeling weak and nauseous, sleepy through the day, and hoping that maybe, just maybe my dream had come through. But yesterday, there it was, that bright red spot again!!!!
    I have never been this depressed, and this man cannot comprehend why i am “worrying myself over something that is bound to happen”, and even wants to ask my sister to talk me back to feeling happy.

    • Tess

      June 1, 2015 at 11:57 am

      Sorry Eke, I pray this new month brings happiness to you…concerning this article, at some point I have had to ask my hubby if he is sure he really wants kids,at times he will say he would rather God delays and give us good kids than give us ‘problem child’ now now.

    • nicolefertilechick

      June 1, 2015 at 2:53 pm

      LOL at “problem child”. Men and their reasoning sha! 🙂

    • nicolefertilechick

      June 1, 2015 at 2:53 pm

      I feel your pain, Eke! It is so very annoying when they just don’t seem to understand! I pray you get your BFP soon hun!

  4. Tee Jolly

    June 1, 2015 at 10:18 am

    This just like what am facing. TTCing is expensive but men don’t want to hear if it cost a lot. And yes, he also believes that it would happen at God’s time.
    So annoying

  5. Perplexed

    June 1, 2015 at 11:07 am

    @Eke, I know just how you feel. I had a miscarriage and any woman that has ever had a miscarriage will attest to the fact that you get consumed with thoughts of being Pregnant again. That becomes all you care about,so you can imagine just how depressing it is when the red spot reminds you that alas, all your military precision timed bedroom antics had been in vain. The optimist in me then starts convincing myself that perhaps I’m pregnant and it’s implantation bleeding, but by the 3rd day, I resign myself to the fact that it is indeed the wicked witch that puts in a monthly appearance! I used to convince myself that I was hungrier than usual, pee’ing more frequently, feeling nauseous etc, and would be so sure I was preggy,..Oh well, this month, I’ll try not to symptom watch and see what happens. Baby dust to us all.

    • nicolefertilechick

      June 1, 2015 at 3:15 pm

      Perplexed, so sorry about your miscarriage. I pray you get your forever babies soon!!! Good luck hun!

    • yemmy

      June 1, 2015 at 10:05 pm

      it breaks my heart to hear about any woman that has experienced a miscarriage! I have too and it’s completely life shattering! The pain and guilt u feel afterwards is almost as painful as the actual loss of the child. I lost my baby girl March 2013 at 17wks, then God gave me another beautiful Angel March 27th! The 3mths it took me to conceive her was the longest time of my life! I couldn’t understand why I cldnt get pregnant right away Despite having a perfect cycle! it happened eventually and I went tru he’ll to have her- a cervlage placement and removal, failed induction, emergency Cesarean section then jaundice treatment for my baby after her birth! All those procedure pain was nothing compared to the pain I felt in those 3mths of trying after my miscarriage! I’m presently pregnant with my second and I pray to God to bless every woman TTC with the fruit of the womb ASAP! I would also advice such woman to do all u can to get ur husband on board! it won’t happen without their participation! cry, beg, cook a favourite meal, watch porn, play the dirty nurse in wig!!! whatever get tgem in the ‘game’ My poor decent hubby was subjected to several experiments- will musturbat even just to get those scared semen out!!! Lol. If he tried to complain/ quit I play the emotional blackmail screaming- This is Africa!!! our happiness depends and having a child months after after marriage not years!!! Do u want me to die of depression?! That always does the trick!;) So my lovely TTC- pls go crazy!!! try try and try! Does men will never understand why it’s soo important to us! it’s what makes us WOMAN!

    • nicolefertilechick

      June 1, 2015 at 11:41 pm

      I could love your comment 100000 times! Spot on! Congrats on expecting your second! It’s a rough road, but it is always wonderful when you get your rainbow in the end.

  6. Anon

    June 1, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    Nicole, did you have all your kids through ivf? How many do you have BTW?

  7. Hmm

    June 1, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    You wrote this for me, didn’t you. Confess Nicole. It has been a struggle every step of the way. From refusing to give specimens for IUI to refusing to try on recommended days even when I had over 5 robust follicles waiting to be fertilized by a Sperm Charming. Telling me let’s try naturally without the meds and procedures. God will do it. Negro, I have PCOS. The Lord help yourself too. Every single procedure is a struggle. After the failure of the first IUI cycle, I was so angry because he kept reassuring me by telling me we did our best and it just wasn’t meant to be. But he refused to give a specimen and when he did, it was subpar. Refused to try at home 2 days before and the day of and after as recommended by Dr. Can you tell I’m still angry? Refuses to see the doctor with me in the room. Just tired

    • nicolefertilechick

      June 1, 2015 at 2:57 pm

      I actually laughed out loud at “Negro, I have PCOS” :-). Even now, I marvel that I wasn’t the only one whose husband was too stubborn to cooperate. One cycle, I had swallowed my usual dose of clomid, had some nice ripe follicles, everything was good to go…except for Oga, who felt “pressured”…so that cycle went by just like that! I’m surprised I didn’t kill somebody!

    • Hmm

      June 2, 2015 at 8:52 am

      Honestly get frustrated sometimes. All the daily trips for injectibles, clomid, metformin, the booster shots, the ultrasounds, the folk discussing what’s for dinner over your vajayjay and all he has to do is do in a cup and he feels pressured. I’ve learnt a lesson from you though. Next cycle, I’ll keep to myself. Tell no one and maybe even try away from Lag where he won’t be able to keep it quiet.

  8. Chige

    June 1, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    Nice article Nicole. Enjoyed reading it and I know every married couple can relate to this even if it concerns other matters apart from TTC. I’m just a little upset about the lady who lost her baby thanks to her husband who was trying to be penny wise pound foolish. As women,where do we draw the line when it comes to decision making concerning our health,our kids etc? Cos I can bet you that lady didn’t want to change doctor or hospital? And this is not even the case where you can say to your husband afterwards you should have listened to me……….anyway back to the topic at hand,even though it can be very annoying when the husband appears not to want to have a stroke over issues that we are almost dying about,in retrospect we as women should try to emulate a little bit of this. We can’t definitely be like men,because of how we are wired,but if under all that stressing about something,we see a little bit of ‘it’ll come when it’ll come’,that will keep us sane.
    Baby dust to all TTC,May your bundles of joy come sooner than later.

    • nicolefertilechick

      June 1, 2015 at 3:00 pm

      Thanks Doctor Chige! Hmmm….it is easier said than done oh. There was just no way I could have matched all that annoying sunny optimism, not when I knew the reality of what was on ground. I agree that it would help if we women dial down the panic and agitation, but even then, we will never be on the same level of clueless.

      As for my friend, it was really very very annoying. His wife is much younger and I also suspect she didn’t have a say. It’s unfortunate he had to learn his lesson the hard way 🙁

  9. Mrs A

    June 5, 2015 at 11:53 am

    My sister in-law just got pregnant after 10years of marriage through IVF. She decided she had enough of her DH’s complacent way of saying “it will happen”. So she researched a good hospital, saved up money borrowed some part and started the treatment. For her DH to donate was hell. But thank God she is happy after 3 long months and to think her DH is celebrating her now is unbelievable.

    My darling DH cooperate o, cos this one u have started in the line of my brother, heads up- i will not wait 10years o,

    • Mrs A (2)

      June 24, 2015 at 8:56 am

      I am doing exactly what your sisterinlaw did, Lol. Saving up and doing research because DH is not showing interest and we both have fertility issues so we have been advised to do IVF. Do you know what hospital she used? my current hospital has a low success rate for IVF/ICSI and im looking to find a better hospital. Thank you!

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