Lovemaking or baby making? Why you should work towards having children : Evewoman - The Standard
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Lovemaking or baby making? Why you should work towards having children

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There have been discussions recently on social media as well as mainstream media regarding infertility and its impact on a couple’s finances and family welfare. I thought it would be good to address today’s article to those couples actively trying to have a baby to strengthen their marriage even as they hope work towards being able to have a baby on their own, through fertility treatments or adoption.

When we were younger, sex education consisted of fears of unplanned pregnancies by mere proximity between a boy and girl. It can therefore be the shock of your life to discover that getting pregnant may not be quite so simple after all. It is not uncommon for couples to succumb to the lesser part of themselves just based on their heightened stress levels alone. They may blame each other, believe that one or both are cursed or possessed, suffer feelings of shame, anger, fear, frustration, hurt and more. Different cultures also handle infertility – or even the suspicion of it – in different ways.

It can be a knife in the heart for a woman to be called any of the many derogatory terms set aside for women unable to give birth. It isn’t roses for the men either; the societal attitude is that men have many seeds so it shouldn’t be a problem for one of them to make it to the egg. Even the bible tells the story of Hannah and her quest for a baby in a home where her co-wife easily had children, only to flaunt them in Hannah’s face, and the pain that she endured.

It makes sense, therefore, that the marriage and even the marital bed would suffer in the process. If this describes you in any way, I hope you will find something in this article to hold on to, so that in the process of seeking the addition of a child to your home, you don’t end up losing yourself, your mind or your relationship.

Grieve

I know how this sounds, like it is the complete opposite of the direction that you want to go. However, much like drainage systems that are blocked would prevent rain water from easily flowing through, grief can turn into stuck grief, and stuck grief can become a chronic emotional cancer that robs you of your joy, increasing your physical/emotional/psychological stress and acting in a manner counterproductive to the very thing you are trying to achieve.

In terms of grief, understand the cycle of grief (1. Denial 2. Bargaining 3. Anger 4. Depression 5. Forgiveness 6. Acceptance) so that you can easily articulate and identify where you are in the cycle which will help you feel more grounded even as the ground beneath you feels like it is shifting. Understand as well that grief is cyclical not linear so one day you may be calm as can be and the next you might go back to feeling angry. For this I say, trust the process. It *is* going to get better. YOU are going to be better.

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Get Support

Infertility and the treatments and conversations around it can be a nightmarish experience so please do get some support. Between the cost of the treatment, the scheduled sex, the injections or pills, the side effects of some of the medications, the overly intrusive comments or questions from the mean spirited and the well-meaning members of society, the special diets, the continuity of life that includes baby showers and wedding showers for others who have gotten their good news before you, and everything in between, it is in your best interest to get support.

No one person can meet all your needs so think about what you need and who can give it to you. Do you need a pedicure or a good cry? Do you need to scream and vent or lay down in silence? Do you need to talk about the stress you’re feeling or completely ignore it? Now, where and from who can you get the support that you need? Do you have people who can support you as a couple? How about as an individual? Identifying and articulating the answers to these questions would be a good use of whatever time and energy you do have.

Have sex!

You read that right. Definitely have sex. In fact, increase the other things that you enjoyed before that you have allowed to fall by the way side. If your doctor has asked you to wait to have sex, listen to your doctor but then do other things that make you happy. One of the things I really wish I could tell every couple that I see is that “just because things aren’t great right now does not mean all things must go out the window.”

In other words, maybe you can’t have sex because of the timing with ovulation but you can hold hands, you can kiss, you can touch, you can engage in heavy petting, you can go out on dates, you can do so many things. If you’re so stressed that you can’t think of something to do, think back to your dating life and try to remember how you got each other’s attention. Go back to that. Ultimately, I would like to remind you this: you want your baby to find you happy and connected not stressed, angry and disconnected so do your part on the connection front even as you keep hope alive on the treatment front.

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Happy couples make happy parents, which can be so frustrating when you’re going through this season of your life. However, you’re a team so endeavour to act like it. Remember too that your partner is not the enemy. No matter what the real or suspected reason for the infertility is, this is not about you against each but you two fighting *for* the blessing that would be a baby.

Focus your energy on that and less on what’s missing. I do not discount the intensity of infertility on a couple and their union. I do want to impress upon you that while you may be helpless on the biological front, you have medical professionals worrying about that so you can apply your energies to your relationship as best as you can.

I wish your bundle of joy sooner rather than later, and I hope that you will write me to share your good news, no matter when it comes through. Until then, love one another and know that you are not alone.

 

 

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