As we approach National Infertility Awareness Week 2019, I wanted to share some of our infertility story with you. This post by Richard and I continues to be the most viewed. One of the hardest things for us to write was apparently what others needed to hear most. We gave this post a revamp and brought it back, because it is worth sharing again.
Welcome to the “Sex talk” you never wanted to have. No, I am not talking about that awkward conversation with your parents that is sprung upon you during your youth. I am talking about the sex talk that NEEDS to happen when sex is not leading to your dream of having a baby.
There is moment you both realize something might be wrong. Denial, fears and lies immediately set in as you start to search for answers.
We have to be able to talk about this stuff, because the stakes are incredibly high…our marriages, and sometimes even our identities, are all on the line.
I have my wonderful husband, Richard, joining me. We sat down together, and committed to being open about where we both were when we realized we couldn’t conceive.
We let our fingers type out our biggest fears, and here is what happened.
So, Babe…When sex changed from spontaneous to planned, then from planned to frustrating…it broke me.
One of the lies that quickly became a fear for me was that….
This was hurting me more than it was you.
Well, yes and no. You definitely were driven, before I was, to grow our family. Where you are the gas pedal, I am the brakes. When I came around and felt more ready, I eased into it. I thought ‘we’ll just do our thing without protection, and it will happen naturally as it does for seemingly everyone else. It will be fun! We’ll have lots of sex, it will be spontaneous, then one day you’ll come to me with a positive pregnancy test.
I suppose I still held out hope that it would eventually happen, but as time passed, you initiated the more methodical approach, of charting cycles and possible ovulations. This was around the time the romance and spontaneity died. It became more of a mission – planning and calculating when we needed to have sex. And it did make things more difficult.
I guess it didn’t really hit me until I saw the fears swelling in your eyes. That’s when it occurred to me just how many months we had been trying. Long gone were the days of ‘letting it happen,’ we had been actively ‘trying to MAKE it happen’ for many months, without success.
You may have been the first one to dream of parenthood, but the further that dream came from becoming a reality, the more I understood how devastating this was. I no longer needed to be the brakes when we were not going anywhere, and that’s what it felt like, we were stuck. Seeing you in pain broke me. You are my wife and my best friend.
When I see you hurt, I hurt. Then we were hurting together.
I know what I am about to say does not make any sense, but I’ll chalk it up to high stakes and some hormones.
I started to believe that you deserved someone else who wasn’t “broken” like me. Someone who could eventually give you children.
That thought right there, just crushes me to hear. Never once did any such thought cross my mind, that my personal desire for children would come before my love for you. You are my love, my best friend, and my partner. I can say I would not even want to have children if I wouldn’t get to have them and share them with you!
And as we would find out, you weren’t the only one broken. We can say my contribution, my little Michael Phelps, weren’t exactly winning any gold medals.
Is it weird to say, that after learning of your multiple diagnosis, that I somehow had a small sense of relief. Learning I also contributed in a way? Even if not entirely impactful, I felt more like we were in this together.
That isn’t weird to say at all. We are imperfectly perfect for one another, and I also felt relieved knowing that this was something we both shared together.
What was your biggest fear that you faced or what lie was internally taunting you?
To be honest, I felt hurt that I couldn’t give you what you wanted. I know that having kids has always been one of your biggest dreams.
I often wondered that if we could never become parents…would I still be enough for you?
Oh, this breaks my heart. I both want to answer you immediately “OF COURSE YOU WERE ENOUGH FOR ME!” while I also simultaneously want to run and hide in shame.
The truth is, in that moment, I don’t know how I would have answered you.
I was struggling with so many personal demons, that I honestly would have taken a beat, a devastating beat, before answering you.
God was working on stripping away all the layers of self sufficiency I had, which instead of taking with humility, I clung to my dreams even tighter. I was wrestling with Him, and often that meant pushing you away, as I tried to push Him away in my anger.
What I can tell you is this, Babe, you are enough for me! Going through infertility taught me that. My heart was so broken it wasn’t beating, but now that God put it back together, it beats for you.
Okay friends, so why did we let you in on this super personal conversation?
If we can have this vulnerable and uncomfortable conversation within a public forum, you can definitely have this kind of conversation in your own bedroom.
Infertility SUCKS, but that does not mean your marriage has to.
We have had amazing support come from most of our family and friends, but you will learn along the way that your story may be “too much” for some people. That is OK, keep going. Don’t let that stop you from TALKING about what matters and sharing your story when you’re ready. YOU and your marriage are worth it!
We hope you all found some encouragement, and at least part of the weight of this journey has been alleviated by being reminded that you are NOT alone. I will happily have my husband back on here to continue this conversation. Please feel free to ask us anything, or to share your story with us!
Want to read more about our infertility story? Our story is on EllenNation, and you can read it by clicking the link below: