When you’re dealing with infertility, there isn’t one corner of your life that it touched. Infertility tests your relationshipintimacy, patience and hope. It touches upon your financial life, emotional stability and  stress levels. It even touches upon relationships with others – friends and family who are lucky enough to be parents.

Infertility has truly tried our relationship and guess what…

I’m not sure our relationship will survive it.

We started trying to conceive relatively early in our relationship (about 8 months into it). We were just that certain about our future together. We were planning to get married and buy a new house within months… then infertility reared it’s ugly head and everything changed.

I often wonder what would have happened had we been dealt with female infertility rather than male infertility. Perhaps we’d still be where we are today. Perhaps we wouldn’t.

Since the diagnosis, BF has been a different person and I can completely understand, I just wish there was a way I could get through to him.

Male Factor infertility and a sense of Manhood

Infertility has attacked his sense of manhood and I only understood the severity recently. This sense of not feeling like a man has infiltrated every aspect of our relationship and he has a constant sense of not feeling like he’s good enough. He feels as though he’s the ‘weak link’ despite my pleas to convince him otherwise.

He is just as much a man as he was before infertility.

These days, he can’t help interpreting anything I say as a message that he doesn’t make me happy or that he keeps coming up short. Whether I’m talking about groceries or spending more time together, the only thing he hears is that he’s failing.

We’re now at a point where speaking to each other can be tricky – I’m constantly anxious about what I say and how it may be interpreted and he’s constantly defensive.

‘My’ vs ‘Our’

Our biggest issue is that he’s convinced infertility is his problem. I look at it as our challenge (I don’t like calling it a problem). My attempts to discuss it or give comforting words is often met with “you don’t understand how I feel”.

I agree.

Yes, the physical challenge does not lie with me, but does that mean we can’t face it as a team? Was I naive when I believed we could do this together? Was I foolish enough to believe that our relationship would not only survive infertility, but continue to flourish in spite of it?

The decision to put IVF on hold is mine

As desperate as I am to have a child, the decision to put IVF on hold is mainly mine. As you can imagine, this has caused even more friction.

My reason is that I can’t imagine bringing a child into an environment where its parents don’t communicate for fear of misunderstandings. You can’t tip toe around each other throughout the IVF process either. It’s emotionally and physically grueling and I don’t think we’re currently in ‘team mode’ and I believe you need that to go through this process successfully.

My biggest fear is that our relationship will crumble during the IVF process and I’d rather wait it out to see if things improve.

Why am I telling you this?

I struggled with the decision to discuss my relationship here, hence my silence for quite some time. But I feel as though this is one of the possible side effects of infertility. One that I’ve read very little about. Most infertility blogs take take you through the struggle and hopefully success of conceiving. Some have touched on how it affects their relationships.

I want to be candid about every step of this grueling world of infertility.

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In Case You’re Wondering Where I’ve been

by Elle on September 25, 2012

My tweet says it all:

IVF on hold for now... trying to rebuild our relationship first. Not sure how we got here :( #InfertilitySucks
@TimeToBeMommy
Time To Be Mommy

 

I’ll keep you posted…

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I’ve Been Keeping Something From You

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by Elle on August 28, 2012

Symptom : Quiet blog
Cause: Withholding information

Yes my lovelies, I’ve been withholding information for the last few weeks, hence the incredibly silent blog.

I was actually supposed to be well on my way to starting this IVF with ICSI journey I’ve been so, so, so eager to start. I was so eager to get started that I actually had a countdown.

I’ve decided to wait a month or two

I’m not ready. Sounds ridiculous considering my excitement in the last few months doesn’t it?

There has been so much going on in our lives that I have a feeling it wouldn’t help our already-not-so-great chances of success at this IVF round. Knowing this, I don’t see the point of wasting the money.

My mind and body are simply not prepared.

Yes, I’d started preparing my body months ago by cutting our caffeine, saying ‘goodbye’ to a good friend, eating better, etc. But guess what I forgot to prepare? My mind!

I’m incredibly stressed. Probably the most stressed I’ve been in my life.

I have a very, very stressful job. Being self-employed I can’t just get up and look for another job. I’m in the process of slowly transitioning into another line of business, but that takes time. We’ve also been dealing with some family stress over the last few months that have reached their peak.

BF is beyond stressed out and guess what happens when he’s stressed? He shuts down.

We’re both so mentally exhausted from dealing with all of this that we’re too tired to do anything but sit around the house as zombies… the little time we do have together. As you can imagine, this puts a strain on our relationship.

My body is hating me … and isn’t afraid to show it

It’s hating me for putting it under stress and telling me loud and clear. I’ve always been a great sleeper, but over the last few weeks, I’m lucky if I get 3 hours a night. Of course, this means I’m less productive and more irritable during the day… and the cycles continues.

And if insomnia isn’t enough of a hint, for the first time EVER, my period was late last month. Trust me, there wasn’t a chance that I could be pregnant.

Much to BF’s dismay, I’ve convinced him to postpone our first cycle.  He’s a ‘doer’ and just wants to get this done, but I think you have to be in the right state of mind to go through IVF because that whole journey itself is enough to unravel anyone.

It’s disappointing and we’re both saddened. I just don’t see the point in going through IVF when we’re both under all this stress and pressure. We’ll wait another month and honestly, if things are still the same, I think we’ll postpone it again.

In the state we’re in now, I’m not sure if we could handle an unsuccessful IVF.

I’m disappointed, sad, still very impatient and relieved… all at once.

Relieved because I feel like we haven’t wasted a cycle. Sad and disappointed because I was so looking forward to it and impatient to get going already.

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New Week, New Outlook

July 30, 2012

I was a total Debbie-Downer last week and it ended up being a sucky week from Monday to Friday. I’m feeling much better this week and am determined to have a kick ass week… DETERMINED! ‘In-Your-Face-Infertility‘ type of week I have absolutely no control over what will happen, my only job is to try my […]

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Three Days Late – The Difference a Year Makes

July 25, 2012
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Last year when we were in actively trying to get pregnant and thought that it could happen easily, I waited and waited for my period to be late. It was never late… at least not more than a few hours. I took countless pregnancy tests and each one came out negative. I never believed its […]

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Very High Sperm DNA Fragmentation – Just Our Luck

July 24, 2012

I’m officially calling this month ‘the month of anxiety’. Ever since I can remember, I’ve never been the type to accept when my doctors tell me things are within “normal or abnormal range”. I want to know the exact number so that I can go home and analyze exactly where in the “normal or abnormal […]

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A Goodbye Letter to a Dear Friend

July 17, 2012
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My Dearest Merlot, You’ve probably noticed that our relationship has dwindled to almost no contact in the last few months and I wanted to officially say good bye… at least for now. You’ve been a significant part of my life the last few years. You’ve always celebrated  happy moments with me and let me cry […]

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Facebook Meltdown and the Waiting Game

July 13, 2012
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I’ve never, ever been a patient person and I feel like this IVF process is taking FOREVER to start. I’m so eager to get going and the days are dragging. I’m supposed to get started with birth control pills at the end of August. Our doctor wanted BF to take those insanely expensive fertility vitamins […]

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IVF Update – Male Fertility Suppliments. Scam or Not?

June 26, 2012

I’ve been MIA for a little while. Mainly because I’ve had very little to report. The waiting game to start IVF has been long. Oh, the irony When BF and I first started trying to conceive, I’d go on forums and read about couples going through IVF and the thought of  IVF made me anxious. […]

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Are Women Without Children Expected To Work Harder?

June 18, 2012
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I read this Huffington Post article and thought it was fantastic… go ahead and read it, I’ll wait right here. It reminded me of my own life-changing experience  in my late 20’s. I loved my job at the time and it showed because I was one of the top sales people every month. At the […]

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