Why I Started The IVF Dad: Men Aren't Neanderthals
Updated: Mar 29, 2022
So--now that I've covered our infertility journey, why the heck did I start this blog and write a whole book called The IVF Dad? Besides, there are already a ton of engaging and smart podcasts, books, blogs, and folks on social media discussing infertility, right? That's totally true, but as we experienced our own path, something kept bugging me:
Most media doesn't focus much on how men can play an active role in forging a strong, supportive partnership through a couple's struggle with infertility. In fact, media and society tend to communicate and reinforce dismally low expectations for men's ability to be active and supportive partners. You know, like this (and side note, no shade here, I love Family Guy!):
I mean, picture an alien landing on earth and surveying commercials, portrayals of men and fathers on TV, and media and books for men. That alien might assume that human males are a bunch of slack-jawed yokels who can't understand anything not explained in terms of football.
I started The IVF Dad and wrote The IVF Dad Book (coming 7/1/22 to Amazon, yes, shameless plug) because I wanted to produce and encourage content for men and couples that is approachable and practical, and that talks to/about men like they're actually smart and capable of emotional intelligence. Because they are!
Contrary to what media would have us believe, here are some things I've learned in talking to other men experiencing infertility:
Men want to be involved and be supportive of their partner.
Men want to learn about how fertility treatments works.
Men have lots of feelings about going through infertility too--sadness, regret, worry, anger, and other things.
BUT--and it's a big BUT--men don't always feel like they know where to turn to get support with these things, AND society often implicitly discourages men from reaching out for help (and not just with fertility).
And so, The IVF Dad aims to provide resources, ideas, stories, and supports for men and couples that actually reflect the ideas listed above. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with football, or beer, or anything else usually associated with men--I'm just saying those things aren't very helpful when it comes to infertility, and if I had to read another blog or post or book excerpt aimed at men that had to include a silly joke every other line, or explain everything as a sports analogy, I was going to go nuts. There's a time and place for that, but men are smart, men have real feelings, and my hope is that by discussing them with more openness, and with higher expectations, that some of you out there might find the resources here useful.
Whether you're a man going through infertility, a partner who wants to support the man in your life with feeling more supportive and informed, or just someone interested in the infertility community, welcome. Thank you for being here. And I hope you'll share your thoughts about this. You can find me @theivfdad on Instagram, can leave a comment here, or email me at TheIVFDad@gmail.com
And I would be remiss if I didn't say--there are some really outstanding examples out there of men and couples talking really bravely, clearly, and compellingly about how to thrive through infertility. Here are a few examples (though I'm certain there are more!):
ivf DAD podcast (note, this is not by me, it's by another father via IVF from the UK!)