Fertility challenges can be very difficult for couples to face. It’s a rollercoaster ride that you can’t get off of until you bring your baby home (or redefine the definition of your family with your partner).
It’s a cycle that often starts with renewed hope at the beginning of a monthly cycle, stress around the time of ovulation, and disappointment when your period arrives yet again.
Add to that all the tests and different kinds of treatments that may last a few days or a few years, and there’s no wonder couples going through infertility treatments just don’t feel like themselves.
The most important thing is to be a team throughout the treatment process and not to blame one another for the problem. And while your partner may not be sharing the same experiences, know that he/she is affected in his/her own way and may not be expressing it the same as you.
If your partner is the one taking the medications, having to give herself shots several times a day, and having to undergo uncomfortable doctor visits, it’s going to impact her both physically and mentally.
On the other hand, even if your partner isn’t the one being pumped full of medication, he/she’s trying to deal with his/her own emotions, including the fact that it probably hurts him/her to see you going through all of the physical treatments. He/she may handle it differently and not say much to try to show strength for YOU.
A third of all cases of infertility are also male factor, which causes a whole host of emotions for the man. Often, they feel like a failure or emasculated. They may be ashamed because society has sort of created a picture of masculinity and virility. They may become depressed or standoffish while dealing with the emotions.
Remember, your ultimate goal is to have a family. And it’s important to stay connected throughout the fertility journey, even when you feel like you’re all alone and nobody else in the world understands. You will be on this road together with both the ups and downs, which often seem to be far more frequent!
Let the emotions come and go. As they come, acknowledge them. It’s natural to feel sad, stressed, overwhelmed, lonely, and even to have a sense of loss. Navigating infertility as a couple is a rollercoaster ride.
People will tell you “all you need to do is relax” or “take a vacation” or “when God is ready for you to have your baby, you will.” More than likely, they’ve never faced a fertility challenge and are attempting to help. For a time, you may simply need to distance yourself from these sympathetic friends and family members.
Get your copy of Fertility and Beyond: Join the Conversation on Amazon for more information on navigating infertility as a couple.