Importance of Communication in Marriage When Coping with Infertility

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I’m a firm believer in honest communication in a marriage; in fact, I expect it. But what happens when you and your significant other are faced with something you couldn’t have ever imagined would happen to you. Something that they never could have expected that you would have to endure.

I’ve have found out quickly that you have two choices: you can work as a team and figure out how to handle the situation or run in opposite directions unwilling to find a way to make it work. Sometimes a couple might find themselves teetering somewhere in the middle.

If there is anything I know to be sure in marriage, it’s that it’s much easier to run away from your problems than to face them sometimes. When you decide to face your problems, it’s oftentimes harder because you’re having to work as a team. For anyone that knows my spouse and I, we are the definition of stubborn. In every single aspect of our life, my spouse and I have opinions that vary from each other. Now, I’m not saying that the whole “opposites attract” is a myth, but I am saying that because of that, he and I have a harder time communicating during difficult situations and thus working as a team. This isn’t because we don’t care about the situation or about our spouses feelings, it’s because we close up or lack direction when trying to express our feelings. We don’t like to ask for help and we don’t want to let each other know when we are hurting. We equally want to be that “strong” spouse.

From the beginning of our infertility journey, we have had issues communicating with each other.  When going through infertility treatment, there are a lot of decisions that must be made. Sometimes we are able to come to a decision quickly, whereas other times, we struggle to reach an agreement. Some of this comes from our fear of the unknown.

Lately as we discuss IVF more and the costs associated with it, it’s as though it has started a war. Again it’s not because we don’t care about each other or about the situation, it’s because we are equally overwhelmed and not sure how to handle it. We both acknowledge that we want more children, but when we look at the price tag associated with it and then look at all of the things we could do with that investment, we find ourselves questioning what our hearts are telling us. Additionally, we have a hard time swallowing the fact that IVF success is not guaranteed, and that additional IVF rounds might be necessary in order to get pregnant.

For the past several months, I was so dead-set on moving forward with IVF until I started seeing all of the additional charges. As if it weren’t bad enough that our insurance company provides zero coverage  to those struggling with infertility, the staggering additional costs are disheartening. Just trying to wrap our brains around the costs of IVF is hard to do.

We don’t want to argue. We don’t want to work against each other and deal with our situation as individuals verses dealing with them as a team. We realize that’s unhealthy, and we are learning new ways to communicate more effectively as a married couple dealing with infertility.

Some of the ways we can practice better communication during infertility and other difficult situations are by listening to your spouse, being sensitive to their feelings, loving unconditionally, and being supportive throughout. When a couple focuses on these things, they’re able to handle the situation much better. Their line of communication is open and uninterrupted and they are more likely to work as a team because they know what’s going on inside the other’s head.

Infertility is hard enough. Don’t let it destroy your marriage.

Strive every day to communicate with your spouse by listening to them, being sensitive of their feelings, loving them unconditionally through the good and bad and supporting them through thick and thin.

Photo Credit: Sebastian Pichler

Our IVF Journey- the Consultation

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May 10th 2016:

I walked hesitantly into the small consultation room. We had been in this room before, and I had learned to hate it. When we were told that IVF was our only option at expanding our family, we heard those words within these confined walls.

We sat down. Fidgeting, I placed the red folder onto the small round table. I was nervous. Visibly so. I think Jason sensed my  discomfort and took my hand. The other hand I kept busy sipping on my coffee trying to calm my senses.

As the nurse went through the paperwork and the entire IVF process and as we signed page after page, I felt smaller and smaller. I sunk further and further into my seat. My breathing was quiet and strained. The nurse could sense I was struggling and she encouraged me that it was all going to be OK and that she would answer all of our questions the best that she could.

There is something you feel that is hard to explain when  you’re told you have to rely on IVF for any chances of expanding your family. It’s suffocating. It’s incredibly overwhelming. But then there is an entirely different feeling when you’re officially told that you’re an IVF patient and you start going through the process. It’s absolutely terrifying.

I was constantly on the verge of tears during the IVF consult. I was unusually quiet, and for anyone who knows me, that’s an anomaly.

All I was hearing from the nurse  as she was going through the timeline was: “you’ll need a shot on this day,” “shot on that day,” “you’ll need to take these pills,” “you’ll get several ultrasounds,” “you’ll get more tests done,” “you’ll get more blood work done,” “you’ll feel some discomfort” “you’ll only have a 5 minute window to take this shot” and other terrifying statements.

Was I going to be able to do this? I was convinced walking into this appointment that I’d be able to handle anything they threw at me, but could I really?

It’s not supposed to be this hard to have children. The process of IVF is sure to be both physically and emotionally consuming, which is something else that frightens me. It frightens us both.

As we completed all of the paperwork and checked out after an hour, I was exhausted. My brain hurt. My heart ache. My eyes hurt from straining to keep the tears from making an appearance.

I stopped in the entryway of the Fertility Center, silent. Jason knew I was upset.. More so, he knew how overwhelmed I was, and he reached for me as we hugged.

IVF is a process that definitely affects the woman more than the man (in my opinion). I understand the man will also experience their fair share of emotions, but a woman’s body is literally put through hell. Jason understands that. We both weren’t expecting truly how involved IVF was going to be for us both.

We want more children, so we have a consensus that if IVF is the only way to achieve that, then so be it.

We both have so many questions still. There are so many unknowns. We were so overwhelmed that we couldn’t talk much about it once we settled down for the night.

I doubt either of us truly slept well.

May 11th 2016:

For someone going through infertility, the monetary commitment that is required for IVF is gut-wrenching. Our insurance company doesn’t cover a dime, so after getting off the phone with our insurance prescription company today and learning the costs of all of the medications required for the procedure, I sat down feeling defeated. I held back the tears, heart broken. The financial burden associated with IVF is overwhelming and for most couples that alone will be the difference between having and not having children.

We are overwhelmed, but we aren’t giving up.

All that said, I pray that all those experiencing infertility know that they aren’t alone. There are others going through it that understand your pain. I pray for peace, comfort and love to all those battling infertility.

As we continue on the path of IVF, I pray that God blesses us and gives us the strength to handle the difficult journey ahead.

This is our IVF Journey..

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Amateur Nester did a great job putting together 31 days of Scripture During Infertility. I enourage you to check it out. Check it out here.

Photo Credit: Sebastian Pichler and Teddy Kelly