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How fertility issues affect couples, not just individuals

Fertility Articles, Fertility Blog, Katie's Journey

Couple talking to a doctor

Here’s my unpopular opinion: while infertility was extremely difficult on both my husband and I as individuals, it strengthened our relationship in ways that honestly make me forever grateful for our experience. I don’t wish infertility on anyone, but it is true that we have come out on the other side of it more fiercely supportive of one another than we were before.

I don’t think I could have done any of this without my husband. From day one, he decided to fully be in this with me, mess and all. He read everything he could get his hands on to better understand what I would be going through. He adapted how he cared for me based on what kind I needed, and he never made me feel uneasy asking for what I wanted. Sometimes I needed his shoulder to cry on and all he would do was listen. Sometimes I needed a pep talk ahead of a new cycle. Sometimes I needed him to do the research I was too anxious to complete, and sometimes I just needed him to do the dishes so I could put my feet up. He always rose to the occasion. He always put me first.

In just the first few years of our marriage, we came up against some big stuff. The reason I am on the other side of it now with a healthy family and a strong marriage is because we worked hard to make sure our journey was also characterized by active listening, deep moments of bonding, and mutual care. It worked for us because we were on the same page about so much ahead of taking the plunge into fertility treatments.

Fertility treatments can put a lot of stress on a couple, so if I could give some advice to those considering it, I would say have the tough conversations now. Discuss what you want in a doctor and choose one together. Look honestly at your finances and financing options. Talk about what, if anything, you’re okay with sharing or having shared on social media about this journey. The more you settle ahead of treatment, the smoother the hiccups will feel.

Don’t forget that you chose to pursue parenthood with this person for a reason. Don’t lose sight of your marriage. You’re trying to build a family with a strong foundation; make sure you’re not forming cracks in it before you even begin.

Read more about how to handle the stress of infertility.

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