National Infertility Awareness Week is upon us and we’re joining the conversation here at True Good and Beautiful.
Infertility affects 1 in 8 couples at some point during their child-bearing years. While it’s the minority of couples, most people have a friend or family member who’s battled this painful disease.
Jonathan and I have been trying to conceive (TTC) for 4.5 years and we’ve learned a whole lot in that time. Struggling with infertility has hands down been the hardest battle in our marriage. As you might guess, it has the ability to bring couples closer together or tear them apart.
Personally, experiencing infertility cemented us together in a way nothing else could have. We are stronger, more deeply connected, and more compassionate towards one another because of this battle we’ve faced.
That doesn’t mean there weren’t ups and downs. Trust me, there were many! Through the struggle, we had to learn how to fight together. We also learned really powerful lessons along the way and that’s what I want to share with you today!
In fact, we’re hosting a webinar (more details below!) to spill the beans on the biggest lesson we’ve learned.
Without further ado, here are a few lessons we learned in the hard knocks school of infertility:
Infertility Touches EVERYTHING
So you thought the negative effects of infertility were relegated to the brief moments of seeing another negative pregnancy test or the start of another period?
Infertility has a sneaky way of weaving itself into every single aspect of your life and marriage.
Thought you were safe drinking beers and watching the Olympics at home with your spouse? Wrong. One of the commercials sponsored by Visa will be about Mothers of Olympic athletes. Thought infertility would be the last thing on your mind while shopping for groceries? Nope! They sell baby food at the grocery store and every pregnant woman in town will bum rush the store the second you walk in.
Those are extreme (and real life!) examples but it’s still shocking to me at how infertility pain will pop up in the most random of ways. I’ve learned to roll with it at this stage and have developed the ability to briefly acknowledge it and move on with life. The really painful situations? Those I lean on Jonathan and really good friends to talk it through.
You Need Outside Support
Hopefully, your spouse will be your rock in the infertility journey but they won’t be able to give you everything you need. This is where friends with similar experiences or online buddies come onto the scene.
I’ve unfortunately been blessed with close family and friends who know the pain of infertility. While I hate the fact they too know this pain, I am so grateful I’m not alone. I’m also in a pretty stellar Facebook group for other women battling infertility. They’re a source of comfort, laughter, encouragement, friendship, and inspiration.
Find these essential people in your life ASAP and I promise the weight of infertility will lessen. Joining that Facebook group I mentioned above seriously pulled me out of an ugly depression. I felt so alone, misunderstood, and judged that I was sinking into a dark place. Those friends were the lifeline I needed in addition to Jonathan’s support.
Men and Women Experience Infertility Differently!
This is the biggest and most important thing we’ve learned.
If you asked Jonathan and me separately how the last 4.5 years have been…you would get VASTLY different answers!
Jonathan is a massive supporter to me in the trenches of infertility and we’re closer because of it. However, that doesn’t mean haven’t had some blow-out arguments. We absolutely fought about infertility the first couple of years. Heck, we’d still be arguing about it had we not learned a few vital communication tactics to help us have more productive conversations.
Our arguments found their root in these 3 things: how we think about, address, and experience infertility. It’s not rocket science to realize men and women are different in their responses to emotional situations but we were ignoring that basic concept as we argued.
Once we honed in on that principle, we developed ways to stop the fight dead in its tracks by trying to understand the situation from the other’s perspective. That’s when we started making progress as a couple in this battle.
Since this is our BIGGEST lesson learned on our infertility journey, we want to take a deeper look with you at those differences. Check out the webinar we’re hosting during National Infertility Awareness Week:
This webinar is going to explain fundamental differences between men and women while also examining those differences through the lens of infertility.
We’re going to show you some stellar strategies to overcome those challenges and get on the same page with your spouse about infertility. Not only that, you can then use these mindset shifts to your advantage and eliminate the frustrating tension that so often dominates infertility conversations.
We’re excited to see you in the webinar and hear more about your story!