It is no surprise, and rightfully so, that all eyes and attention are on the potential future Mummy….after all your wife, or girlfriend, is doing a lot more than you in order to get pregnant.
However, we do play a role and it’s more than just ‘making love to a plastic cup’ in a clinical room after being given instructions from a nurse half your age!!
I am now in the most amazing position to tell my story, now being the proud father of my beautiful twin girls.
It was our second round of IVF that resulted in our girls, after going through all sorts of alternative options including adoption. Initially we had researched adoption from foreign countries such as Russia and China thinking naively that it must be easier because of the vast quantities of orphans…… Quite the opposite…
Of course I wanted to be a father but I also own a small business which relies on my presence and involvement on a regular basis in order to maintain an income for my wife and I, let alone a family! So you can imagine how I felt, torn between a rock and hard place, when we were informed that in order to even have a chance of parenting a child from Russia, both parents had to spend a minimum of 7 weeks in Russia to understand the culture of the child we may adopt.
I completely respect the need to understand and integrate within the culture of an adopted child. We would never have turned our backs on our child’s heritage, but whilst all adoption processes are very focused on the potential parent’s financial security, asking me to abandon my business for 7 weeks was a sure way to create financial instability!!
As a result of this, we then turned our attention to adoption in our own country and went to a local council adoption talk which was, in itself, enough to trigger my suggestion. That my wife and I try IVF just one more time….
So what do us men do to make this miracle happen…..?
Whatever anyone says, it’s really not just tugging one out in a clinical room…. Job done…. !
In fact, that could not be further from the truth. I have been lucky enough to become a father after our second round and, whilst I know several couples who are still not parents after 4 rounds, what I do know is that what I did the second time in terms of male preparation was substantially different.
Never forget – childbirth is a miracle even more so these days because of all that we intake. Our diet, the daily stresses we endure to name a few.
However good or bad your lifestyle and diet are, we all have a chance to make the best sperm we can and that takes 6 months.
I exercised, but not as much as I could, I ate ok, but not well enough. I probably drank too much, so things needed to change to make my swimmers become gold medalists.
With our IVF booked for June – on January 1st I made some drastic changes – I stopped drinking everything except water, I doubled my exercise – incentivised by taking part in a charity triathlon event in June, I ate mainly superfoods, I went to acupuncture……. In short, I did everything I could to make sure that, with my hand on my heart, I could, without any doubt, feel comforted that whatever the result, that I did everything I could to become a parent…….
If you know you have done everything you can, then you have done enough
Never beat yourself up if you’ve done everything you could possibly do, because, as I said earlier, populating this wonderful planet is a miracle. Just don’t be complacent about how important our role is.
Huge thanks to Ben for sharing his story with us. It is always so amazing to hear about a fertility journey from a male perspective. If you would like to share your story, please do email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.