What no one tells you about infertility is how it will affect your relationship with your significant other.
“Hey let’s have a baby!” “OK!” Cue excitement from both parties as they imagine a life filled with the challenges and many joys of parenthood and a home full of baby things in about 9 months. Except a baby doesn’t come in 9 months. A baby doesn’t come in a year, or two, or three, or four, five, six… What happens when something “normal” people can accomplish so quickly turns into a faded hope of a dream?
What no one told me about having unexplained infertility is how much it affects your relationship with your significant other, even when you try so hard for it not to. What no one told me is that even when you “take a break” from trying how much the pain and longing still manipulates your thoughts and feelings and how that affects your significant other. How this isn’t just one area of your life that you can put in a box when not in use and stow it away for safe keeping till ready to deal with it. How it isn’t just a loss of a dream but also a loss of who you thought you would be, an identity check.
For me, the hardest part is that I view success and value based on my relationships and family. While my husband definitely wants children as well, the lack of children currently does not affect who he is or wants to be because he views life success more in a career-minded way. I planned and dreamt up the way my life was suppose to go at a very young age and altered my plans, my career around the potential of having kids. So not becoming a mom has really affected me in how I see myself, my life success and understanding what my purpose is. At times I’ve been depressed, I’ve been mad at God, I’ve pushed my husband away and resented him because of this loss of dream and loss of an identity. I would get so angry with him when he didn’t understand or didn’t feel the same way. I felt surrounded by people yet so alone. Because I didn’t know who I was anymore and was struggling at finding my purpose and place beyond becoming “Mom”, I neglected our relationship. I was just surviving each day of emotions instead of thriving together. No book I read, or doctor I’ve seen addressed the fact that infertility isn’t just the inability to produce but there is a whole other emotional and mental side of it too. They don’t tell you how to deal with that side of the story.
As of now, we have been trying to have a baby for over 7 years and while I still struggle daily with all the emotions, the monthly rollercoaster ride, and the many stages of grief and pain. If you are reading this and you are struggling with infertility, hoping to find a how-to or remedy, answers, or a silver lining, you won’t find it here. What you will find is someone who is here with you. I doesn’t have some great success story to tell or the answers you’re looking for but I can empathize with the pain you feel.
I don’t know where you are or what you are struggling with but know you are not alone. While I’m stubborn and usually the one helping others and never the one to ask for help, we all need help because life is hard and we were not made to do it alone. My prayer for myself and for others is that we learn that life isn’t a race to see who finishes first but a journey we all take together. Sometimes we can run together, sometimes we might have to carry someone, sometimes we might need to lean on someone else. What matters most is the relationships we build and how we use what God has given us today to help those around us. Because the finish line is a lonely place if you have no one to share your success with.