Cravings can be strong. Oftentimes, our taste buds will not give up until we’ve popped that potato chip or bit into that chocolate bar. For a couple trying to conceive, the word “craving” doesn’t even begin to describe the yearning that is so strong it hurts. If you have had frequent unprotected sex for over one year without conception, then you fit into the category of “infertile.” I know, it is a cold word, but patients who fit this description should consider seeing a doctor for tests and guidance.
If you are just starting down the road of infertility tests or if you’re nearing the end of treatment, you’re not alone. Statistics show that 1 in 6 couples experience some form of infertility. That is an overwhelming statistic. However, even though there are so many traveling down the same road, this journey often feels so lonely.
Most couples say that the most difficult part of trying to conceive is the emotional drain. Each month, there is a sense of anticipation, a hope that maybe this month there will be success. Often times, the anticipation gives way to feelings of failure and despair. Tests follow, then treatments, then the cycle of anticipation and hope begins again.
So how can a couple go down the path of trying to conceive and remain emotionally stable? Consider this personal story:
“‘Infertile? Are you sure?’ Those words triggered over 14 years of tests, doctors, treatments, and ‘trying.’ Questions constantly plagued my mind as I thought about the possibilities. Would we ever have children? Does our value decrease if we remain childless? Are we doing something wrong?
“Each month the feelings would get stronger and harder. Around the fourth year of infertility, I realized I needed to change my mindset or I would go into depression. I began to acknowledge that God has a purpose in allowing us to go through this trial. As hard as that was for me to accept that, I knew in my heart that it was true.
“Here are some thoughts that have helped me survive during the course of this trial:
- Acknowledge your emotions and the feelings of your spouse. Talk openly with each other about your thoughts and feelings. Each of you may react differently to the process, but infertility is a lot easier when you’re going through it together. Support each other and be very tender toward the other’s emotions.
- Locate a doctor who cares for you. Respecting your fertility doctor is vital to your results. You need to feel comfortable and cared for during the process.
- Confide in a family member or good friend, or join a support group. Meeting with others who are traveling down the same road, often makes the ride a little easier.
- Try to keep sex from becoming just a mechanical, well-timed deposit. Keep your romance alive and fresh by planning special outings and weekends away.
- Help others. I found a large family who needed my help. The mother was overwhelmed by caring for 5 small children. She welcomed my help whenever I could give it. Sometimes emotionally it wasn’t easy rocking twin babies to sleep, but it helped me cope and it filled that yearning in my spirit.
“The most important coping tool is remaining hopeful and content. The only way that is possible is through Jesus Christ. The Bible says, ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light’. A relationship with Jesus Christ gives me hope as I continue down this journey of infertility. He gives me strength to go on – strength to keep trying. He gives me a hope for the future.” Are you ready to accept that relationship?