Saturday, November 22, 2008

Feathering the nest

We’re in the beginning stages of IVF #3, and after three pregnancies and then three pregnancy losses this past year, I’m frankly feeling a little detached from the whole process. I haven't hauled out the IVF books (still on the top closet shelf) and haven't scoured pubmed for the latest IVF research, like I usually do. I'm doing what I must: my shots, healthy-ish eating, and, yes, the one add-on of acupuncture. But I’m not engaging as much emotionally (at least I’m trying not to).

But my husband Will…well, he seems to be going a different way. As I looked around our apartment this morning, I realized that in certain ways, Will is taking a more active stance toward this cycle than I am.

I hadn't put it together before, as Will doesn't talk about IVF so much per se. But he has been quietly doing a number of things that taken together are quite striking.

For example, he just bought some kind of wireless radio/Internet thingie (he calls it the Squeezebox, I call it the Squawkbox) that will allow us to access to/listen to music all over the apartment.
(Me: "That's nice, honey.")

And he has been keen on putting wiring into the closet in our foyer, with the idea that we can move the printer, modem, router, and various other mysterious flashing electronic devices out of the second bedroom and into this closet.
(Me: "Huh? OK, whatever. Sure, fine.")

He also has been taking boxes and files and picture frames from the second bedroom closet to his hospital office all week.
(Me: Didn't even notice, actually.)

And then last night, he became downright insistent about getting to IKEA today to buy a third bookshelf-cabinet to match the other two in our foyer because, he says, we have to get organized. We’re renting a car and leave in two hours. There was really no talking him out of it.
(Me: Hmm...we're already pretty organized...this seems strange, but...ok.)

I don’t know how I could have missed the accumulating signs, but suddenly this morning it hit me.

Will is NESTING. Male nesting perhaps, but still.

This is a side of him I've never seen before. He may not talk about things so much, but there's a lot going on in that head of his.

It’s pretty sweet, actually.


How does your husband cope with IF/IVF? How do you wish he would? And any husbands out there, how are you dealing with it all?


  1. My husband actually said to me just yesterday that because the physical parts of IVF (and other treatments before that) are so easy for him, his main reaction is sympathy for me since I'm the one who has to go through everything. I pointed out that with the next cycle he'll need to start administering PIO shots for me since I can't reach my own butt, and he got a little panicked.. as if giving the shots is the painful part!

    But otherwise, DH's biggest reaction to treatments is to get worried about money and start hustling to increase our cash flow.

    Will's nesting is adorable!

    Happy ICLW!

  2. Your post brought a funny little smile to my face...I didn't know men nested. Your husband probably doesn't know he's nesting. Who cares, it's adorable. My husband (I'm also on IVF #3, 4 if you count the frozen cycle) is trying everything in the world to ensure my mental health if this thing fails. Again. But without knowing he's doing's really silent nesting for my mental health. Men.

  3. How lovely!
    My husband tends to look after me by cooking and doing chores. Beyond that - not so much.


  4. This is actually a comment on your acupuncture post but I thought I'd leave it up here as I don't know if you'd see it below.

    This is a topic on which I'm a broken (and annoying) record, but you mention feeling cold all the time in your acupuncture post ... have you had a thorough thyroid workup? I know you and Will are both in medical fields, so I would think so, but I suffer from subclinical hypothyroidism (possibly sub-subclinical...). High normal TSH (2.7 = highest ever), high anti-thyroid antibody titres and ... infertility and other hypothyroid symptoms that responded to treatment. Or maybe I just got lucky (well, my OTHER symptoms DID/DO respond to treatment) in getting pregnant (and staying that way for 9 months until I had a healthy baby at the end) for the first time, ever, after my 4th IVF cycle, first one where my thyroid was finally being treated. So you can see where I'd be prone to ramble on about this as I'm doing now. Anyway, I'd seen 4 REs by my 3rd BFN but still had to refer myself to a thyroid specialist to get diagnosed and treated ... if you have questions about this, let me know. Oh, one more thing -- as you probably know, estrogen binds to the principal thyroid hormone, so IVF and the resulting spikes in estrogen challenge the thyroid, meaning that one that might be puttering along OK enough for a natural cycle might be pushed over the edge by IVF (in other words, even modest thyroid problems are more serious because of what ART involves. And, thyroid health is hugely important to pregnancy health and a common and treatable cause of losses -- so ...).

  5. Awww, that is so sweet that Will is nesting. My DH didn't do anything specific but he gets all "in charge" of the manly chores, like making sure the cars are tuned up and shoveling snow (more than usual) and all that. Cute. During our first IVF cycle he did the PIO shots like a champ; he HATES needles but this was his duty (as he saw it).
    Happy organizing!

  6. The nesting is awesome -- good for him. We just finished our first IVF cycle and had an early loss. DH is the eternal optimist, which is a perfect foil for me (not such the optimist). Here from ICLW.

  7. Alex,

    If you read this, we'd like to hear more about your experience with thyroid issues and IVF if you're in the New York area, who your thyroid specialist is. please email us at

  8. I just loved to hear how Will is nesting! That is so adorable!
    I hope that you can soon also join him in your own way, putting more of your hope and emotions into this cycle as well.
    Thank you so much for your supportive comments. It's great to have someone going thru the same thing telling me to 'hang in there'. It makes a difference. I've been feeling better today. Decided to do the shot on my belly for the first time and lo and behold, the knees feel better.

  9. In all the IUI's and first IVF, my husband was in it with me but not as FAR in it. And then with IVF#2, he was really messed up the whole time. Emotionally, I was trying to distance myself from it, and he was completely and fully in it, asking all sorts of questions, helping where he could. It's like he thought that was the one that would take, and then when it didn't, it really broke him. We're okay now, but I worry about going into #3, not just for me, but for him. I don't envy where you are, but I get it. Good luck.

  10. Mo and Will,

    I'll email to follow up on the thyroid.

  11. Thanks for the comment! I'm doing the PIO injections as well ..but only 2x/week. If you're getting hives that bad ..can't you ask to have it mixed in a different oil? It's typically mixed in peanut oil ..and if you're developing an allergy to that it could get serious. I know that the pharmacy here asked if I had an oil "preference" before they filled the Rx ...


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