When things go right, we tend to take them for granted. After all, that's the way things are supposed to go, right? Right. They always say to expect the unexpected, but if mom is anything like most people, she likes to think of herself as the exception. I know I do.
So, when things like pregnancy happen without so much as a little hiccup, most of us don't actually sigh a deep breath of relief. We simply fold the laundry, watch Netflix, and go on with our lives. But what happens when things don't go right, especially when it comes to pregnancy?
More specifically, what happens to a relationship when the woman finds out she can't have a baby. For whatever reason, her system just won't let her. In the progression of life (or so the song goes), it's first comes love then comes marriage then comes a baby in a baby carriage. Until it doesn't.
Maybe readers have even experienced this themselves. When a woman's system doesn't do what it was supposed to do. Not only does impact people deeply, but it affects their relationship, as well. That's the part hidden from many people, but we're going to shine a loving light on it today. Let's do this.
15 The Inches Turn Into Miles
Especially for couples who had their hearts set on becoming parents together, infertility can easily create a big ol' gap in between you. In fact, it's one of the most sensitive topics to discuss within a relationship. You both want what it seems you can't have. Then, when a doctor actually says the words to you both, it can feel like your heart has been ripped right out of your chest.
There's a grieving process involved in the end of any dream.
The dream of having a biological baby included. Dealing with this grieving process can cause one or both partners to shut down. A (hopefully) temporary distance can occur and it might feel like you're miles away from your partner. Though with a commitment to vulnerability and communication, couples can reclaim their closeness.
14 You Embrace And Can’t Let Go
Another common reaction to the infertility roadblock is simply that it brings you closer together. It doesn't always happen right after you close the door to the doctor's office. No, the shock of it all is still settling in at that point. You both might even need a few hours or even days to process the information.
But after you've both let it sink in, you come together as a united team and support each other in a way that you've never had to support each other before. It's not like they make a manual to navigate your way through infertility.
Like most of life, you make this stuff up as you go. And, for some, you make it up together.
Many couples become stronger as they face infertility and the challenges it brings. It really comes down to a matter of how much of your heart you can bare to another person.
13 The Blame Game Begins
We women tend to take a lot of blame for a lot of things. This isn't a dig at our male counterparts. It's not even a dig at that thing people like to call the "victim mentality." It's just not a dig at all. The bottom line is that most women are hard on themselves. And that toughness is reinforced by societal norms expressed in movies, magazines, and on TV every single day.
We're expected to be beautiful, smart, funny, and fertile. After all, isn't that what our curves are for? If that notion doesn't make a woman feel low, I'm not sure what would. So, you can see how easily is it for a woman dealing with infertility to point the finger back at herself.
Many women blame themselves. Their self-esteem takes a huge blow because of this.
But, a partner who is supportive will be in her corner fighting off any negative thoughts coming her way. And that's pretty much the greatest feeling a woman can feel at that point.
12 Hope For A Wild Card
On top of being hard on ourselves, we can be a little bit of a mystery to our partners. I don't know about you, but I've experienced two feelings at the same time. And to top it all off, they contradicted one another. If my own feelings confuse me then imagine a man trying to understand them.
Throw a battle with infertility in the mix and the plot thickens even more. Many women who find out they can't have babies are coupled with incredibly supportive partners.
But even supportive partners can feel clueless about how to help.
The man often searches for a way to help. Hoping for that glimmer of light to show him the way. Hoping for that wild card that will conquer all the negative feelings haunting his partner. It's almost like he's just stumbling around in the dark just so he can support her like he wants to.
11 See The Silver Lining
What's the saying...when a door is shut a window opens. This can be an extremely frustrating quote to hear. Almost like swallowing a jagged pill. Why? Because it was the door you wanted to open, not the window! If you wanted a window you would have asked for a window, right?
But after you stop feeling bad about the closed door, the window begins to look very inviting. In fact, the window sort of looks awesome. The window is your silver lining in this entire situation. In the case of infertility, the window is adopting. Although there is a grieving process for not being able to have biological children, many couples find adopting to be an amazing and fulfilling experience. This isn't everyone's silver lining, but it is for some.
10 Take It As A Divine Message
When we're young, we imagine the future filled with all the wonderful things that make up our wildest dreams. We want this and that and this. And we work towards making those things a reality. We go to school so we can have this career. Or, we do that so we can have this. You see where I'm going. The road of life that we think we pave for ourselves.
Only we're not the only ones doing the paving. Genetics, Mother Nature, and life circumstances also pitch in with the paving job. And sometimes one of those pavers tells you that you can't have biological children.
So, you grieve and decide to accept that parenting simply isn't in your stars.
And that's perfectly okay, so long as you and your partner both agree on it.
9 Shines A New Light On Things
No one wants to deal with infertility. Undergoing treatments is beyond difficult for both partners. Especially the women, if it's her body that needs the extra help. Going through all of this can strip you of your energy, emotional vitality, and can knock down any walls you built up to protect yourself.
To trudge through such a situation, you really have no choice but to become vulnerable to each other as a couple and to the situation itself. What this means in your relationship is that you could see a softer side to your partner than you've ever seen before.
Rather than a weakness, it's a strength. Being vulnerable is something only a strong person does.
When you see this in your partner, it will catapult you both to a new level of emotional closeness.
8 Try To “Fix It”
We humans are resilient creatures. No matter what the problem is that we face, we always find a way to cope with it. That's not to say that our coping mechanisms are completely healthy 100% of the time. Nope, sometimes we resort to substances, unhealthy social habits, and even harmful personal interactions.
Just because you're going through infertility troubles doesn't exempt you from being totally human and making the wrong decision in your response to the stress.
Some couples try to fix the problem in unhelpful ways.
The problem being the infertility challenge and the unhelpful ways being fighting, avoidance, finger pointing, or even using one another as an emotional punching bag.
7 Find A Fido
We all know those couples or families who have pets. You might even have one. I do, too. Sometimes having a pet becomes more than just having a pet. It can mean that pet taking up the place in your hear that was originally reserved for children. When a woman learns that she can't actually have a baby, she might try to find something else to fill the void.
And it might not just be her. Her partner could be totally on board with becoming parents of fur babies. And others should support that endeavor. The thing about not being able to have the babies you want is that people deal with it in different ways.
For some, getting a dog (or other animal) might be just the ticket to help them through their loss.
6 Socializing Takes A Back Seat
Like mentioned before, dealing with infertility can be utterly exhausting in about 1,000 ways. For starters, most women aren't told right off the bat that they're infertile. Usually, a gazillion tests are completed and she undergoes a series of treatments. Only after many failed attempts over a period of what could be years is she to accept that she's infertile.
During all of this, a couple might find themselves becoming hermits.
Rather than going out and having a good time with your friends, you might elect to stay in more and more.
For many reasons, too. For starters, you're emotionally exhausted and socializing takes energy. Another common reason is that your friends probably have children and talking about children only adds to the surmounting emotions you already feel. So, date night at home it is.
5 Let Silence Win
In addition to becoming hermits and withdrawing from society because of emotional exhaustion, you might have another reason for being antisocial, too. To preface, infertility problems are very personal. Not many people even tell their friends when they're trying for a baby. So, usually when a couple doesn't get pregnant right away they can sort of shy away from their usual group of friends.
Not only does talking about infertility problems lay your personal life out on the table for others to examine, but it also makes you feel vulnerable to them.
And you really don't have to be vulnerable to anyone but your partner.
So, a common response to infertility is just not to tell others until you're good and ready to tell them.
4 It Becomes A Chore
There are many reasons for a couple to get in between the sheets. For starters, it's the territory that comes with being a couple. Also, it can be really fun! And, of course, it's the ultimate way to procreate. Naturally, when you're trying to make a baby, in between the sheets is exactly where you're going to be spending much of your quality time.
But, the dynamics of this act change when you find out you can't have babies. Especially for a woman. More than anything, it might feel drab. The excitement of becoming pregnant is gone and the spark might just not feel the same for a while. This is perfectly normal. After all, one of the most private areas of your life was just impacted. It's to be expected that all other private areas of your life will be impacted, as well.
3 Breaks The Bank
If you're like most people, you dislike bills. Especially medical bills. And fertility treatments can really rack up some hefty medical bills. Not only are these types of treatments usually top of the line, but most of them are fairly new in terms of medical advancements. Top of the line and new advancements typically translates to big, big bills.
When you're struggling with infertility, those bills can be a thorn in your side, to say the least. Although the bills are stacking up you still don't have a baby in your arms. That can be incredibly difficult to accept.
Financial pressures are a huge trigger for most couples, so it's only natural that the two of you might be bickering about this sort of thing.
2 Refocuses Your Relationship On Other Goals
Having children isn't typically the only goal any one person or even a couple has. The both of you probably connected on another level rather than simply deciding to connect to procreate. You likely have personal hobbies that you enjoy, as well. And you might even share those personal interests with your partner.
When you find out that you can't have babies, you might make a decision together to go full force into your shared hobbies.
For many couples this means traveling the world or another similar hobby that can't easily be accomplished with kids in tow.
Not being able to be the family you wanted to be changes the game. It changes how you approach life, too. Many times couples still connect in a special way by following other dreams.
1 Fall In Love Again
The loss of a shared dream can break the heart that the two of you share. But, it also means you have the chance to help heal each other and reconnect on a deeper level. In fact, this is exactly what most couples do. Up to 75% of infertile couples stay together.
Most of the time, these couples have great support. Whether it's supporting one another, having supportive friends and family, or having the support of a professional therapist, they have people in their corner. But, it's not just about support. It's about embracing a commitment to being vulnerable and being open to one another. Knowing how to communicate with each other is also an invaluable key to staying together.