“My battle with infertility started one year after we were married, when we decided to try for kids. Two years later, we had no luck.”
Love is beautiful but sometimes, infertility threatens the relationship of many lovers. Infertility throws doubt, despair and confusion in relationships that if not handled properly escalates to something terrible.
Dealing with infertility is not easy for couples. It throws many challenges at them. It plagues their feelings for one another and none of these challenges are easy to overcome.
But one of the less obvious issues people shy away from talking about that comes with infertility is the change in relationship dynamic for those who are trying to conceive a baby.
Some women got real about their battle with infertility. They told Effects how it changed their relationships for better and worse.
Janet: I felt guilt and shame because of infertility
My battle with infertility started one year after we were married, when we decided to try for kids. Two years later, we had no luck. We both had surgeries, which didn’t help. So we embarked on IVF.
Our hopes were answered two years after, and we finally got that positive pregnancy test only to have a miscarriage afterwards. It was a painful period for us. Our relationship was threatened.
Because of my inability to get pregnant and have children, I felt guilt and shame. It’s really important to surround yourself with people who have gone through it. It impacts both you and your partner. You have to be open and talk about it. You have to work through it, because those emotions can really bring you down. Couples battling infertility have to be careful not to blame each other for their challenge, it will destroy their relationship.
Folasade: We drifted apart because of infertility
My journey with infertility challenged me to my core. After we got married, we decided to build our lives first before having children. Two years later, when we were ready to try for a child, we got the shock of our lives. I couldn’t get pregnant.
We tried different things, herbal mixtures, drugs and fertility injections but no babies came. Things got bad between us. He wanted children badly as the only son of his parents and we were having a hard time conceiving. We drifted apart because of infertility. It was almost like we became roommates who happened to share the same bed. Our discussions were based on getting pregnant only. We neglected our relationship as a couple.
The only time we worked together as a couple was once a month when I was ovulating. That was the only time I even wanted to talk to him because, from my perspective, it was like talking to a brick wall. He always thought that it was my fault and didn’t waste time telling me that he was a man.
What I didn’t realize at the time was that he and I didn’t have a strong foundation to begin with. Along the way, we tried a variety of things to get our relationship back on track.
Sadly, it was not able to help us heal our marriage. We spent less and less time as a couple. I was sad that he only wanted to touch me while I was ovulating. It was like he married me only to make babies.
Ogochukwu: Infertility made our love stronger
My husband and I have been through more rough patches emotionally in our first five years of marriage than many couples experience in life. But when you are battling with something out of your control, like infertility, you need to really rely on someone who loves you and knows you best to be your sound board. You need that person to become your rock, and to help balance you when medications take your body for a spin.
My husband and I have a new appreciation for our love, our life together, and we are learning everyday about how to be there for each other. We have found together an entire community of people dealing with infertility like us It makes the pain of constant disappointment we feel every month when my period comes so much bearable. We have resolved to enjoy our lives even if the children we desire so much are not coming to our family.
Ifeyinwa: Infertility gave my marriage a fresh spark
I was terrified the love of my life would leave me because having children is one of life’s greatest adventures. The day he told me he married me for me, and not to have babies, I cried with relief and felt it was the most romantic thing he had ever said to me.
We are Igbos and I know how much importance our people attach to children especially male children. But we chose not to let infertility define our relationship. Our life is full and rich.
We just celebrated our 10th marriage anniversary this week, and I’m happy that we are happily married and look forward to more adventures together as a couple. We are partners in life, feel lucky to have each other, and infertility is just one of the many hurdles we have jumped over in our life together.
Women going through this experience of waiting for their children need to do what is right for them and their relationships. Everyone’s experience is unique. Even though they are keen on having children, they should also focus on how to have a rich, rewarding life and relationship regardless of how their fertility treatments work out.
Mabel: Our fertility challenge made our relationship stronger
My husband and I have been married for seven years and have been trying to have a baby ever since. We have been through cysts, scar tissue, multiple surgeries, and three miscarriages.
But infertility has made our relationship stronger than ever. We learned to trust God even more, communicate better, love deeper and use our story to encourage others. I love my husband so much.
Doctors said we would never conceive but we have and thrice too. Although those pregnancies ended in miscarriage, we still have faith, because the doctors told us it wasn’t possible.
And we know that one day; we will have our healthy baby. Couples battling infertility should never give up on one another. No matter what has happened, my husband and I have survived it and help each other. I just pray our situation changes for the best soon.
Charity: Battling infertility made me honest with my life
After four years of marriage, my husband and I didn’t have a child. After trying with no success, I went to the doctor and went through one round of IVF but it failed. It was an emotional period for us. We cried together after the IVF failed.
At times, I felt shame and guilt for not being able to give my husband a child of his own. Meanwhile, he seemed to be less and less interested in being the father of our child. I had to talk with him honestly.
I told him I didn’t want to try anymore because he made me feel useless as a woman. We divorced. He met someone else and now has three boys. It’s been ten years since we split and I remain childless, single and happier.
I realized that I spent most of the relationship catering to his wants and trying to make him proud of me. If there was one thing I wish I had done, it was to be more honest with my feelings from the start. Battling infertility has made me honest with myself and my life.