Jun 10, 2015

Fight Like a Girl: Marriage Through Secondary Infertility

Marriage is hard. I know that isn't exactly ground-breaking stuff there. In fact if you're married then you know that. If you aren't then you should. It's a lot of work.

I have been very lucky. I married my best friend almost four years ago. We haven't always had it easy in our marriage but we have faced every battle together and have come out on the other side stronger. The truth is until Addison went through her regression, we never really faced any hardship. But that was easy to face together as parents. It wasn't about us as man and wife. That was about our daughter.

It wasn't until our first miscarriage that we found ourselves dealing with loss and heartbreak, and learning how to move forward from that pain. I knew that I was changed from the experience. I felt like I was never going to stop crying. But what I never imagined was how it was going to affect Rob. It wasn't just me that lost a child, it was also him. So together we had to figure out how to move forward and keep trying. Something we had to do time and time again after each miscarriage.

This has been a challenge for our marriage no doubt. We have had heartache of three miscarriages. We have been frustrated with negative test after negative test. We have had to deal with the constant hormonal ups and downs (seriously the man deserves a medal!). We now have to deal with fertility testing and treatment financial burdens.

Communication has been so important through this all. Truth be told, communication is key in marriages when there aren't hardships. We have had our fair share of communication problems over the years and have had to figure out how to talk and listen to each other better. From the moment we realized we were having problems and needed help, we had to really start talking. We had to talk about how we were feeling. We had to be honest and had to really listen to each other.

I would be lying if I said that we saw eye to eye on everything. There is a lot to process and a lot of information and a lot to figure out what was best for us once we started seeing the RE. Men and women are very different, so he doesn't always see where I'm coming from and I can't always see where he's coming from. So we have learned to compromise. We have had to figure what the other really wants and figure out how to make it work best for our family. And so much of that is due to just talking on a regular basis about what's happening and what our options are.

Although I am very open about our lives and our infertility journey here and in real life, there is so much I don't talk about. I think that's an important aspect of all this. I keep some aspects of our lives private. I love sharing and knowing that I might be helping someone else with our journey, but my marriage comes first and in order to keep it that way, we keep a lot to ourselves.

As important as it is to continue to talk about our future plans and what we are going to do, we also try to focus on other things. We talk about other things. We talk about other future plans. We talk about going on vacation. We, of course, talk about our daughter. We talk about the mundane day-to-day stuff. We don't let everything become about our fertility. So we spend time together, laughing about stupid things. We play games together. We cook together (although he's not such a fan of the cooking thing). We argue over what we watch on Netflix at night. We just talk and be together. By focusing on other things and looking forward to things in the future unrelated to kids, we forget about fertility and just be a married couple.

The biggest thing has been just being there for each other. When it comes right down to it, it has been
harder on me than it has been on Rob. It's not that he doesn't want another baby but the emotions (and definitely hormones) are very different. But when I'm having a bad day or going through a rough patch (which happens more often than I'd like), he's there. He's learned that sometimes I don't need a fix. I just need him to listen.

Through all this, we have learned that we have to put each other first. We have to take the time to focus on our relationship. We check in to make sure we are still on the same page. We talk often about our plans and about nothing at all. We are definitely coming out stronger. I know that I can count on my husband for anything. I know that he is there for me no matter what. And he knows the same about me. I know that I have someone by my side through thick or thin; for better or for worse.

"Well then fight for it, Palmer. That's what you do. You fight for your family. And sometimes you fight like hell just to have one." (NCIS)

xo, B

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