When my husband and I were trying (and failing) to get pregnant, we came up against difficulties and strains that tested and stretched our relationship beyond what we ever imagined.
Like other #TTC couples, we were thrown into a whirlwind of stress, disappointment, and heartache, during a time in life that’s meant to be filled with joy, excitement, and the feeling of utmost intimacy – that incredibly special togetherness that comes from creating a life.
There were so many things that we learned about each other, about ourselves, and about our relationship as we navigated the winding and bumpy road of our fertility journey. Now, after much heartache, and eventually two beautiful daughters, I can say that I have never loved my husband and soul mate more deeply.
In both my own experience and from the countless stories of courage, vulnerability, and love that I’ve heard from you, our amazing community, I’ve learned that despite its immense challenges, infertility has the power to bring couples together.
But to get there, both partners have to be willing to open up, stare infertility straight in the face, and let it all in.
Women are often afraid to share the depth of their feelings when coping with infertility and it can make the experience feel even more isolating. Don’t be scared to open up to your partner and take the time to discover your own truth – it’s tough to be honest if you don’t learn to dig deep and figure out what you’re truly feeling in the first place.
Take good care of yourself.
Infertility takes a heavy toll, so it is an important time to look inward and take the time to connect with yourself. If you don’t face the inner fear and sadness, you’ll have a harder time letting go of it and embracing happiness within and with your partner. Be gentle with yourself and make sure that you are attending to all of your needs – emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental. Give yourself permission to put your needs first and for your partner to do the same. Be open with one another about how that looks.
Build a support network beyond one another.
There are certain aspects of the fertility journey that your partner simply may not be able to understand or connect with, and it’s a two way street. Allow yourself and your partner the space to strengthen outside relationships. Tap into a full range of loving and compassionate supporters – whether friends, family, counselors, or support groups – and accept that you both have limitations (and that’s okay).
Look for opportunity.
This might be the toughest part, but it’s also where there’s the most to gain. When we talk about the power of connection and how infertility can create deeper connection, the story of one of our community members, Renae, stands out in my mind – She shared about how our programs were recommended to her husband, and written on a crumbled piece of paper with the words “circleandbloom.” He said to her, this will help us connect with each other. They would then lay in bed together before going to sleep and listen to each day’s sessions. Together. That’s the power of connection.
What tools have helped you to keep your relationship strong during your fertility journey? We hope you share your story with us.
With love + gratitude ~