1) Why did you decide to write a book about your infertility journey
We both love to write and when we started down the infertility path, we thought it would be a unique story to share a his and hers perspective on the process. Especially since infertility is such a “couples” issue. So we started jotting down notes at all the major milestones in order to remember what really happened in case we got to the end and wanted to put it all down in a book.
For me, writing is like therapy. From the first doctor appointment, I knew we could be in for a torturous journey. When that happens to me, I find myself analyzing it and wanting to write down my experiences. Maybe it’s that writing it down makes it a story. Maybe it’s that this allows me to accept it. And then as we got more into the process and talked to infertility-labeled friends who were as lost as we were, I think we both realized it was something important to do for other couples going through it.
2) What was the hardest thing about that journey?
The fertility treatment rigmarole was tough sometimes. But our worst fear was that we’d spend $12,000+ on in vitro and have nothing to show for it. That’s one of the reasons we tried so many other things first. It turned out that wasn’t the worst-case scenario we needed to prepare for.
$12,000? I was terrified we’d spend $100,000 and have no success. And then I met someone who had been through in vitro 10 times and had such a great attitude about it that I aspired to be that guy.
3) When you talk to couples going through the infertility process, what do you tell them?
The most important thing to remember is your love for each other. That no matter what happens, you have one another. For us, that was enough. We saw getting pregnant as a bonus in life, not as a necessity to our happiness. Although we suspected that there’d be a little hole where the child we wanted so badly should be.
We don’t agree often. But here we do completely. You didn’t marry each other to have kids. You married each other to enjoy your lives together. So enjoy each day, and don’t let ANYTHING change that.
4) What key takeaways do you hope couples glean from your book?
We had no idea what to expect at the beginning of our infertility journey. So we’re hoping to help couples understand what the process is like and prepare them for the challenges ahead. We didn’t want Where Have All the Storks Gone? to read like a textbook. We wanted it to be fun and emotional and educational all in one.
Wow, we agree twice. There must be a blue moon. I had no clue what to expect. Any guide to the process would have been great. I wanted a map to show me where what we should do, where we should go and why we needed to go there. My hope for the book is that it helps people know what to expect, makes them feel more comfortable with the process and talking about it, and that these two things make it a bit easier to get through.
5) How did you manage to keep your marriage strong through this challenging process?
It’s really important that you’re both on the same page. We were lucky enough to want the same thing. From the very beginning, we talked about what was realistic in terms of the lengths we were prepared to go to and our plan if we didn’t succeed. We also tried to see the bright side of it all whenever we could. See our recent post, 5 ways couples can battle infertility side-by-side.
The only thing I would add is I think there was one other key. We both wanted it for each other. I wanted to see Michelle get to be a mom and she wanted me to be a dad. She was under the delusion that I’d make a good one. See, I still have her fooled.