Are you and your husband struggling to get pregnant? Here are 6 tips to keep your marriage strong while going through infertility.
Wow, y’all! It’s been a while since I’ve updated the blog, and for that, I’m so sorry! Life has been a bit hectic for me this past month. I’ve been trying to get through the holidays, figure out what I want to go to school for, transfer to another college, travel out of state to visit family, and start up a new photography business. I've been going non-stop! So, to my loyal readers, thank you so much for bearing with me and sticking around while I've been gone! You are awesome!
We’ve also been dealing with something for the past year and a half that I haven’t been very open about, but I'd like to start talking about it. I feel like our story can help other couple's who are struggling. My husband Steven and I have been trying to conceive (TTC) for a year and a half now with no success.
I’m going to go ahead and forewarn you all, that this post is going to be raw and real and I won’t hide any of my feelings. I feel like someone out there can relate and be helped by this advice. So, this past month has been very hard for us since the holidays have come and gone and it is yet another year that we don’t have our little miracle. It was hard to see pregnancy announcements and baby photos on Facebook, and honestly it just consumed my thoughts to where I didn’t feel like keeping up with this blog, or anything for that matter.
I was diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) back in May of 2017, and I was absolutely devastated. We had been trying for almost a year at that point and every single negative test was taking a huge toll on me. I was happy to at least have the answers to my infertility, but at the same time worry consumed me. What if I coudn't be cured? What if I never have kids?
It’s been almost a year since my diagnosis. We struggled for a while to decide if we even wanted to try for a baby right now since we are both in college and my husband has to get through medical school in a few years. But we are taking a leap of faith, and as of Monday, I am the patient of a wonderful doctor who has given me hope that I CAN conceive! He has put me on Metformin and Provera, and I’m hoping that in a few months we will see those two pink lines that we so desperately want to see (I’ll be posting updates periodically)!
With all of that being said, infertility can put such a strain on a marriage. The depression and sadness alone can be debilitating, and without support and love from your spouse it is so hard to get through it all. Throughout this process, Steven and I have made a point to put our marriage first and it has made a HUGE difference in our perspective and how we handle things during this tough time in our lives.
If you and your husband are struggling to conceive, here are 6 of my best tips to keep your marriage strong while going through infertility.
Talk about it
This can be super hard for some couples, and I totally understand that. You really don’t want to constantly talk about how bad you feel or all the horrible stuff that goes along with being infertile. BUT it is SO important! Communication is important in any marriage, period. It’s even more important when you are going through infertility. Steven is my best friend, so I talk to him about EVERYTHING. There is no part of my heart he doesn’t have access to, and vice versa. I’m a natural talker anyway, so talking to him about my feelings while going through infertility is easy and it takes a huge load off me. The same goes with him! He talks to me when he’s feeling down and defeated. You are a team, so talk with each other through the pain and help each other through it!
Keep your faith in God
I truly believe out of all the tips I’m giving you today that this is the hardest one to actually do. I’m ashamed to say that there have been times when my faith has wavered during my infertility experience, and I’m most definitely not proud of those moments. But I’m trying to be real with all of you here, and those of you who are going through infertility will resonate with me. It’s SO HARD to keep the faith when you keep seeing one negative pregnancy test after another. It’s hard to keep believing God loves you when He puts this desire of motherhood in your heart and leaves you longing for it. I know how that feels. I’m right there with you, but we can’t give up on God. He makes everything happen for a reason; whether that reason is to strengthen us, teach us something, or show us how much He truly loves us despite the pain. We will one day realize why God waited so long to send us a baby, or why He didn’t allow us to conceive. Either way, I’m trying to be content with what He chooses to do in my life, and the only way I can do that is to keep my faith in Him. Stay in the word, pray without ceasing, and ask Him for your longing to be filled in His time and in His will.
Keep date night a priority
Date nights should happen regularly in your marriage, and they are even more important when struggling with infertility. Making your marriage a priority and setting aside time for one another is crucial in keeping your marriage strong. Once date nights are on the calendar, they shouldn’t be canceled (unless other family emergencies come up, of course)! Date nights don’t have to be elaborate! Sometimes just a dinner and movie will bring you two closer together. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put in effort! Get creative with your date nights. Be sure to keep a watch out for upcoming blog posts that contain thoughtful and creative date ideas that you can do with your spouse! Sometimes you just need to mix things up!
Be each other’s advocate and "shield"
I’ve come to learn that lots of people can be pretty ruthless when it comes to talking with them about infertility. People LOVE to give “advice” when it comes to helping you conceive your baby. We have probably heard the phrase, “Just relax and it will happen” about a million times in the past year and a half! It can really sting, especially when you know there is a medical reason as to why you can’t conceive. You feel like they are calling you a liar! Most people truly don’t mean harm and are trying to help, but it’s really more hurtful than helpful. This is why it’s so important for you to be each other’s advocates and “shields". For example, if you know that the “just relax” statement irritates or hurts your husband, stand up for him. Make a point to kindly respond to the person who says it and thank them for trying to be helpful, but explain to them that’s not how it works. The same goes for you. If a particular situation is too much for you to handle, ask your husband to intervene and explain to others what you are going through. Sometimes, you just can’t handle going to the third baby shower in a month without having a mental breakdown, and that’s okay. Have each other’s backs and support one another when you both can't take it anymore.
Go to doctor appointments together
Make a point to make it to all doctor visits together. I know sometimes circumstances don’t allow and that’s okay, but if it all possible try to go together when you can. This allows you both to hear what the doctor has to say and how he thinks he might be able to help. This affects both of you, so it’s important to show support to one another and coach each other through all the medications and shots!
Take time to relax
There’s that ugly word again! But don’t worry, it’s not what you think. Don’t be afraid to take a break. If counting cycle days and peeing on ovulation tests and negative readings have you struggling so bad you almost can’t function, it’s OKAY to take a BREAK. You don’t have to give up. You don’t have to stop praying for it. If you feel the need to, you can definitely wait a few days or months, and that’s perfectly okay. Take time to relax and enjoy the time you have with your family. Live your life without stress for a little while! Steven and I had to do this for a few months and I was amazed at how much peace I had during that time. Now we are TTC again and I have so much hope and faith. It was a much needed and beneficial break!