Guest Post: The Partner’s Experience

Seems our embryos don’t like making it to Day 3. Got the call yesterday morning around 8am (yes, I was still in bed – hey, it was Saturday) to learn all our embryos except one had dropped off the perch. So it was in for Transfer yesterday, to put our one remaining embryo back into me.

The Partner came with me. And it’s really about time we heard from him. He’s in this journey too.

TP

…………….

The Partner

It’s round 2 at the IVF 2011 ‘Pay and Pray World Series’. Yes, it’s The Partner here, making a guest blog appearance. While we partners play an equal role in the outcome of the game, our on-field participation is much less than that of The Patient. We watch as The Patient prods and jabs herself, undergoing many invasive tests and procedures. Not to mention they’re also the one who gets to ride the emotional roller coaster in the hope the outcome is a win for us.

As men, when we get in the sandpit and play we like to think we have a chance of a win simply by deploying all those manly skills of strength and agility and our well thought-out tactics.  But in this game, even after paying the ground fees (which can be a struggle in itself) and though we have a 50% stake in the outcome with The Patient, our ability to affect that outcome is minimal.

There’s not a great deal of physical participation in the IVF process for The Partner. We get to visit The Jack Shack and provide the all-important component, so it’s not all hands-off, so to speak. But otherwise, we play a far more passive role and just try to support The Patient as best we can.

However, a physical disconnection to the process  should not and does not lessen the connection to the process. In fact, the experience of not being able to get physical in the game drives our emotional connection to another level, often leaving us with feelings of helplessness and even despair. We are used to being able to get in and do things which will help, which will influence the outcome positively. We are not used to being on the sidelines and only able to watch, with not a thing we can do to help.

Which is not to say The Patient does not have similar feelings – there’s a lot of IVF that’s simply out of all our hands – but I’m just offering a view here from the partner’s perspective of this up-and-down game.

Yesterday, I was witness to an embryo being implanted into The Patient. This six cell embryo was the only survivor after all others (five in total) has arrested over the past 48 hours since egg collection. Watching the ultrasound monitor, I was able to see our baby be placed in an environment where it will hopefully grow. Now, I appreciate the debate on the beginnings of human life, but for me this was an incredibly profound experience, right from the embryologist showing us a photo of our six cell survivor prior to the implant.

The emotional connection kicked right in. Later that day, after well over 12 months of participation, I hit the emotional wall. Maybe it’s because I’m a visual player and I witnessed hope, or maybe it was because my thirteen year old daughter was with us and she reminded me of just what we are playing for.

No matter what gets you amped in the game, it is a two player team, supported by a road crew of doctors, nurses and specialists. So maybe The Partner is not always as physically in the thick of it and has a role to support The Patient throughout the journey, but we also have our roller coaster and need for support throughout. Even if this is game for which we spend so much time forced, agonizingly, to sit on the bench.

Regards,

The Partner

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Published in: on May 22, 2011 at 6:00 pm  Comments (1)  

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