Juggling Everyday Stress With The Stress of Infertility

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by Elle on June 6, 2012

My BF and I are hoping to be married by the end of the year. Because we’re not married, most people are inquiring about that rather than about us having a baby, which is a relief for now (I can just imagine the questions once we are married).

However, one of his relatives did ask me a few weeks ago. I could tell she assumed that we’d been trying and it wasn’t working out. She suggested that I decrease my stress at work (my job is stressful) because she’s heard that women under stress have a hard time getting pregnant.

I wasn’t as annoyed at the unsolicited advice as I was at the automatic finger pointing at me and my stress levels.

She’s right, stress does affect our bodies. Although there isn’t much research on the effect of men’s stress levels, I’m convinced that it makes a difference as well.

BF is under a tremendous amount of stress right now.

Not only has he had to deal with the slap in the face that infertility is, he’s also had to accept male factor infertility. For him, it came out of nowhere because it never crossed his mind that this could be a possibility. He’s also juggling quite a bit of work-related and family-related stress, which is taking a toll on him.

This is probably one of the hardest times in his life because things are coming at him from every direction.

In my heart, I know this isn’t the best time to go through IVF and I fear that all of this stress may be setting us up for an unsuccessful attempt… but we can’t afford to waste anymore time and he has assured me that he really wants to move forward with IVF.

As much as I want to be a mother, he’s also very eager to become a father. BF is considerably older than I am (he’s 45) and he doesn’t want to waste anymore time either.

Because life’s demands are pulling him in every direction, he’s overwhelmed and I find that he simply doesn’t want to talk about this IVF journey. He just wants to do it and get it over with.  He’s never been a fan of doctors and the idea of having to provide samples is something that he HATES … I don’t blame him.

I worry about two things:

First, that his stress levels will affect the chances of IVF working for us. The odds are already against us and I would hate to add more. When I see him stressed out, it stresses me out. I want this so much and am trying hard to prepare for IVF that I don’t want anything to get in our way.

Secondly, I worry that he’ll be so overwhelmed with all this stress in his life right now that he’ll just throw his hands up and just give up. If we’re not successful with our first round of IVF, I am worried that he won’t want to try again.

In the meantime…

I’m trying my best to be supportive and understanding. I’m only human and sometimes I get annoyed by the situation, but because the last thing I want to do is add more stress, I try to keep that as quite as possible. When he has to delay appointments, it frustrates the hell out of me because I feel like we’re wasting more time.

I wish I could just alleviate all these other stress factors so that we can just focus on having a child!

How do you juggle every day stress with stress over infertility?

 

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

linda June 6, 2012 at 5:10 pm

The IVF process is very stressful. The tests, the waiting, the possible outcomes, the surprises (with me being healthy and now having a “light” case of endometriosis), just adds up. Not to mention the financial part. My husband is really bad at communicating, he has gotten better, but still struggles and feel that I have to beat it out of him still. Family and work relates stress couuld be something he wants to sort out first, have you asked him? If in your heart you think you are moving too fast with IVF, maybe just get all your tests done and be in the clear just so you are ready to make that first phone call on “Cycle Day 1”, whenever that may be. What’s another month or so, work on getting healthy, help BF do the same. (by giving him things, not by asking him to do something, or he wont do it)
We, as women, want thing so bad (especially a baby) we want it NOW. And we put a bit of pressure on our men without knowing; and they dont know how to handle it. This is all new to them as it is for us. But as women, we have it in us to deal with pain, taking care, and fixing what needs to be fixed (kind of a motherly instinct or because our mothers tell us is our job) and we expect our men to do the same, when in reality they don’t KNOW HOW. No matter what age they are! I believe that by insitct Women are made to handle the house and Men, their only job is to work and support the family. THAT right there is a lifetime pressure and stress because it’s their obligation (also learned from DH)

I want to say, if there is a wedding in the works, why not do that first? But that’s also stressful! Setting the date, theme, colors, dresses, bridesmaids, venue…. ugh! I wish I would have done a quicky Vegas after what I went through! Don’t get me wrong I dont believe in the whole “first comes love, then marriage, then house, then babies…” You do whatever works for you.

I suggest that you think about all the things that are stressing you, and stressing him and you guys sit and kind of discuss it over dinner with a simple “I was thinking…”. TIP: Men communicate better when they are doing something, like driving, or cooking, go for a walk or like my husband, he likes to go fishing. Whenever I want to discuss something I plan a little fishing at our nearby lake….and catch him!

On a positive note, you are not alone, what you are going through is totally normal and issues are always going to be there, just know how to handle the issues. Ultimately, you guys love eachother and it’s important that you ‘accept’ eachother too. Hang in there, you guys are going to be okay! :)

DANG! I just wrote a whole book! Imagine if we were talking, I had to actually stop myself!

XXX

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Elle June 6, 2012 at 5:46 pm

Linda, you’re amazing!! BF has a huge problem communicating his thoughts and feelings. I NEVER thought about trying to talk about things while he’s doing something else. He gets irritated when I ask for his complete attention to ‘talk’. Now that I think about it, we’ve had our best talks on long drives. I’m going to try that.

I also think I’ve had unrealistic expectation of him. Like you said, men aren’t typically fixers. In fact, his favorite thing to say to me is “you can’t fix everything”.

As for the marriage, I’d prefer to do that first, but BF wants to stick to our original timeline of end of the year … another ranting post on that is in the works :) Neither one of us wants a wedding, so I think it will just be a simple ceremony and than a tiny dinner afterwards. He is dead set against a wedding and I don’t care enough to push it. I’m happy with a dinner.

I think you’re right about waiting another month. I’m just so impatient because I’ve already been waiting 4 months to give him some time to prepare. What’s another month though?

Thank you so much for the advice. To protect BF, I haven’t discussed this with anybody including my closest friends. So it makes it hard to bounce ideas off anyone. So happy I started this blog and connected with you on Twitter!!

Please write me a book ANYTIME :)

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ML - 20YS June 8, 2012 at 4:08 am

I am very sorry to hear that Elle.

These are trying times for you both and I pray that you both can be strong together and for each other!

oxo

ML
Twenty York Street
http://www.twentyyork.com
Follow me in Twitter: @20YS

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Elle June 11, 2012 at 6:58 pm

Thank you so much for your kind words!! :)

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