June 12, 2024

What to Expect When You’re Not Expecting: For Men

By Amie Bilson
Mental Health & Wellbeing
Postpartum & Perinatal

In my previous entry, I delved into my personal encounter with infertility and the insights that provided solace throughout my odyssey. Now, I turn the spotlight onto a narrative less told—the male experience in the shadow of infertility.

While much discourse surrounds women in this context, men face a labyrinth of distinct challenges when the dream of fatherhood meets the impasse of infertility. With gratitude, my husband has offered his voice for this blog, sharing his journey and extending a hand of solidarity to other men walking this unforeseen path.

Here, we explore three pivotal reflections from my husband’s experience—contemplations that may resonate with you, whether you’re at the threshold of fertility treatment or amidst its trials.

What if Something Goes Wrong?

The specter of disability, illness, or unforeseen complications casts a shadow over every pregnancy. In my case, the fear intensified with the prospect of fertility treatment. While I hold the belief that all life is miraculous, the conscious choice and clinical precision of fertility treatments placed a weight of responsibility upon me that natural conception did not. Where the complexities of natural birth might be ascribed to divine will, the outcomes of fertility treatments seemed to rest squarely on my shoulders.

Yet, fear is a tide—waxing and waning with the moon. My anchor in these fluctuating seas was the dual recognition that life, regardless of its origin, is a divine gift, and simultaneously, I am wholly accountable for my choices. Clinging solely to one of these truths left me immobilized; embracing both bestowed upon me the strength to persevere. It was seldom that I could hold onto both truths unaided, but through the support of friends and, most profoundly, my wife, I found the fortitude to stand firm when anxiety sought to overwhelm me.

Are We Strong Enough to Do This?

Before our first fertility treatment, my wife and I felt confident in our bond. Yet, when the initial attempt didn’t lead to pregnancy, and our doctor recommended another round, I couldn’t help but worry about the potential strain on our relationship. The prospect of further disappointment loomed large, raising fears of deep emotional wounds that might not heal.

Despite previous adversities, the uncertainty of another treatment brought no guarantees. The only certainty was the shadow of regret if we didn’t try. We agreed to one more immediate attempt, with the understanding that any further efforts would be put on hold for a year, allowing us time to recover and reconnect.

Is it Worth It?

The value of a child is immeasurable, but the cost of fertility treatments can be daunting. How many attempts are reasonable? Is there a point where the pursuit becomes too much? These were questions no one could answer for us. I clung to Jesus’ delight in children and promise that he’d be with me whatever came.


Our son is now a vibrant fifteen-month-old, bringing endless joy and laughter into our lives. While his presence is a profound blessing, I share our story not as a promise of what will be, but as a testament to hope and perseverance. For those facing similar struggles, know that you are not alone. Seek out companions for your journey and consider professional support. If you’re looking for guidance, Amie is here to help. Contact her today to arrange a counseling session and explore the paths available to you in your quest for parenthood.

Written By

Amie Bilson

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