2.24.2010

IVF Husband 101

As the Mrs. is going through her various medications which regulate her body so that IVF can work, she has written about finally understanding what people mean by mood swings. As her hubby, I have been a rather constant, if usually low grade, irritant to her anyway. But when her meds are working and the hormones are flowing it is important for me to maintain my equilibrium so that I don't take personally what is shot-induced so that I can be there for her and I can not add to the difficulties.

Some things I have found helpful:

1. If you have a settled routine, now is not the time to break it. I don't mean ignoring your beloved for the sake of Monday Night Football simply because you watch it every week. I mean keep to that which helps you balance your life. If you are not a "settled routine" type, now is probably not when you are going to start. Recognize what charges your batteries and what drains them and balance as best you can.

2. Invest in your spirituality. Take the time to pray. Or meditate. Or do yoga. Or drum. Or go to Men's Group at church. Or Bible Study. Or coffee with the guys. Or whatever it is that helps you reconnect beyond yourself both with other people and with God.

3. Dote, but give her space. Make sure your beloved has what she needs, and what she wants, because she is carrying the burden of bodily and emotional funkiness. This will become even more true with pregnancy. But don't hover. Be supportive by being yourself and being there for her, but recognize that she will need time for herself and time together. Knowing the difference is good.

4. Relax and recreate in healthy ways. You will need time for yourself, time to unwind, time with the guys, time to not stare at calendars and schedules and meds. You probably know the difference between healthy ways and unhealthy ways of doing this. If not, this blog won't help. Choose the healthy ones more often. Your own health will be important both in order to be around as a father, and to model it for your kids. After all, that is the point of all this.

5. Discuss your concerns, hopes, fears, anxieties, joys and all that touchy-feely stuff with your beloved. Being honest about where you are with being a parent or going through IVF will help her be honest about where she is. If both of you are harboring reservations for fear that the other will be disappointed or worried, it is going to be a rocky road. If you never tell your beloved your hopes, she may feel alone in all of this turmoil when the hormones are turning the amp up to 11. If you aren't already communicating with each other, what in the world are you going to do when a child plays divide and conquer?

6. Make your mistakes, say you are sorry, and forgive. Now is not the time for perfection. We are lousy at it under normal circumstances, and this is certainly not normal. The more forgiveness, the more connection. The more connection, the more forgiveness. Both are important for partners and for parents.

7. Love her. As naive as King Arthur was in the musical Camelot, he knew part of the right answer. When asked, "How to handle a woman?" he answered, "Love her. Simply love her. Truly love her." And tell her.

Not much new here. Most of this is about being healthy anyway. As important as it is to be stable for her during her mood swings, it is just as important to be balanced for yourself.

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