When it comes to couples infertility, I feel that yes: we are unique. Oddly unique. Hopelessly unique. Confusingly unique.
I was taught at school, and got reassured through life, that all humans are different, unique individuals. Good? Bad? Indifferent? Until a certain point in my upbringing, I really did not care much as such notion had little practical impact on me… That was only until reality made me focus on how unique we really were. And reality came in the form of the many treatments my wife and I had to do to overcome couple’s infertility, the longest medical condition we both had to endeavor thus far in our lives. This experience has given me a new perspective, making me realize that the notion of human singularity is hard to accept when it comes to understanding the outcome of medical treatments.
If we are all unique, why is that I always felt as if my wife and I were being labeled and then treated with “alike” infertility cases? Why is that I felt that we became a number and not a person when our fate led us to the wrong side of the statistic charts? Why is that I felt that we were on the pages not yet fully written by the Academia?
In short, if we are all unique, why is that I felt being treated as a herd?
Of course that logically I knew, and agreed, that health studies rely on statistics to validate its findings and procedures. Of course that my pragmatic self knew that a medical treatment is not an exact science so I was not to expect a 100% success rate. Of course that the male I am knew to trust numbers and rational thinking as means to gain control. But the emotional me was painfully learning that rational thinking did not really helped when there was no explanation for my wife and I not getting pregnant…
So I felt odd. I felt confused. I felt hopeless. When doing such an emotionally draining process as an infertility treatment is, the least thing I wanted to hear from a Doctor was “I am not quite sure why this is not happening to you two, as everything looked great”… That statement, which unfortunately I have heard more times than I would like to remember, always gave me no confidence that the treatment we just did was correct nor that the Doctor was in control… All I wanted to hear was a clear explanation about why we were not successful. All I wanted was enough information to make a decision, whatever it was, so we could move on. All I wanted was a bit of guidance without any “but” in the middle of the sentence. But we were unique… And that sucked!
My “new rational” became to go back to basics and look for ways to be treated as a single entity. We have done all the tests. We have done all the exams. We have tried all types of treatment. It did not work out so far. So we needed to be treated as the unique individuals we really were. Was this a “new concept” to fertility clinics? Perhaps, but the one that felt right to me. After all, we had learned through our journey that the principles of infertility treatment were the same, but the investigation of the causes for couple’s infertility, the interpretation of the findings and the prescribed treatment could be completely different if we were not to be treated as a bundle.
And that new rational has been driving my intimate search. Search to be placed outside the herd. Search to have our condition seen as unique and treated as such. Search for the one who will be The One! Has this search been successful? Not yet. But ironically, at least I think I know why: I have to be bundled as one, to generate one.
Confusing? You bet! But I believe that statement holds the unique irony behind couple’s infertility, where I have to recognize our singularity while accepting that the treatments are made for the pack, trusting that a single Doctor will be able to bring it all together and give us our so expected little person… Yes, ironically we are a confusing bunch of unique individuals.