James Doherty is born and Dublin, Ireland and lives in Berlin, Germany. His blog www.scantilydad.com is a platform for parents to share heartfelt, informative of funny stories about infertility, premature babies and parenting. He is a father to twins Max and Mathilda and has an irrational fear of grizzly bears.
Was giving up on adding children to your family ever considered?
Yes, after our second failed IVF our marriage was pushed to its very limits. The pressure, fighting and stress meant that we were not enjoying our lives. We wanted a family more than anything and we couldn’t fulfill our dreams. We were lost and after the second try, I wanted to give up and have my life back. I couldn’t handle the constant disappointment anymore. Luckily, Olivia was persistent and we tried decided to give it one last go. It was the best decision that we ever made. Before the last try we made a lot of changes you can read about it here.
In the end we changed our lives and now have twins.
Do you think your infertility journey is going to or has shaped the way you parent?
Absolutely, 100%. I am a better man after suffering through so much hardship. With twins, your life can be stressful and you rarely get a minute to yourself. Those sleepless nights could break a lot of people. Every time I feel stressed or under pressure, I think back to when I could not have children. As crazy as it seems, life is easier now than not being a parent.
What would you like couples or women who struggle with infertility to know?
It is not your fault. Do not be ashamed about it. If you are going through IVF treatment and it fails, do not give up. Stay patient and change everything in your power to make the treatment work.
In what ways has infertility changed you and affected your life?
In some ways it is the best thing that has ever happened to me. It was tough for several years, but 4 months before our final round of IVF, I decided to change my life for the better. I got fitter, lost weight, started meditating and eradicated nearly all the bad things in my life. All of these changes have stuck with me and I now live a happier and more fulfilled life.
What is the most valuable piece of advice you’d like to share with our readers?
Stay patient, never give up and do everything in your power beat infertility.