During Infertility Treatment Women Suffer Guilt and Stress, By Reminding Her That You Love and Support Her You Can Lift Some of the Burden
Infertility treatment can be one of the emotionally charged things a couple can go through and most of the stress and worry is taken on by the woman. It’s not fair, but it’s the way infertility causes and biology work. Women endure most of the invasive tests and treatments and have their hormones go crazy. When you add to that the emotional burden of feeling that her body is failing her, and she may never achieve the dream of parenthood, a woman can feel very depressed and lonely. While her partner can’t take over the burden of testing and treatment, not to mention pregnancy, there are some things her partner can do to make the woman feel supported during infertility treatment.
- Communicate, there is nothing worse than a relationship with no communications, especially during a time of high stress. If you aren’t communicating, then one partner doesn’t always know what the other is thinking and may guess wrong. It’s also vitally important right from the start to make sure both partners want the same thing, this should be discussed and agreed upon before you even enter a fertility clinic to discuss infertility causes. If one partner wants to do everything humanly possible to conceive a biological child, and the other partner doesn’t want to go beyond doing IUI before starting the adoption process, this is something that needs to be discussed and worked out before starting the process. One of the great things about open communications is that nothing has to be set in stone, you can continue to discuss things, and change your priorities, indefinitely as long as you do it together.
- Empathize, you are involved in infertility treatment together, so the success or failure is happening to both of you, not just her. Celebrate victories with her, even small ones. The ovulation stimulation worked, and you retrieved enough eggs for an IVF cycle? Celebrate that milestone, and others as they come along. After all, infertility treatment is a journey, not a leap.
- Share the burden, it isn’t just her problem, often infertility causes are on both of you. In many couples undergoing infertility treatment there are medical issues with both partners, not just the woman. Even if it looks like the whole problem is with her body the infertility you are experiencing is shared by both of you, so own it. When you discuss the problem, if you discuss the problem at all with outsiders, use “we” and “us” instead of phrases like “her last pregnancy test was negative.”
- Don’t forget that you love each other, you are building a family together because you love each other and want to share that love. You loved her before infertility treatment started taking a toll on your emotions and bank account and you love her now. You might even love her more because you see what she’s putting herself through physically and emotionally so the two of you can have a family. Make sure she feels that unconditional love you have for her. Make time for just the two of you, date night should be sacred, even if you can’t really spend a lot of money. Exploring something new together is always fun and exciting (like hiking a new trail or exploring a new museum), especially if it’s something that will be more difficult once you have a baby riding shotgun.
- Don’t put your lives on hold, infertility treatment shouldn’t control your lives completely, but it can do that if you don’t watch it. By the time you are looking at infertility causes, chances are you have been trying to conceive for a while the “old fashioned way” and everybody you know is having a baby. Or at least it seems that way. Well of course you’re happy for your friends, but it can stab you a little every time somebody announces their good news or shows off their new progeny. While undergoing infertility treatment, especially in the early stages where you have more questions than answers, it’s very easy to pull away from the stabbing feeling you get from seeing other happy parents and parents to be. You don’t have to spend every waking minute with people who have, or are starting, families but you shouldn’t cut yourselves off either. During the infertility journey you will want/need support and some of those very people might be the ones who help you the most. Since many people don’t like to talk about infertility causes and treatments, you might not know that your friends have just gone through what you’re going through now. By sharing as much of your fertility journey as you are comfortable with, you may find a support system you never expected. Maintain your relationships, after all, those parents you are avoiding now might be the people you end up exchanging child care with.
Infertility treatment, since it’s so emotionally charged, is a strain on any relationship, there’s no way to avoid that. When a woman going through testing for infertility causes and infertility treatment feels like she is supported and treasured by her partner she will certainly feel a lot better about herself and her relationship. By fighting this fight together, you can come out with a stronger relationship than before because you know you can survive almost anything and still remain a solid, loving family unit.