Partner's involvement in infertility(3 Posts)
I've been thinking a bit recently about how all the emotional work and research and planning around infertility. My data is wonky because it's mostly women posting on forums, but it does seem like the weight of all this falls disproportionately to the female partner. I was just wondering how people on this board in straight couples manage the infertility journey in terms of their relationship.
My DH and I are close to starting IVF for secondary infertility, our DD is 5yo, and we've had a couple of miscarriages along the way. My DH is wonderfully supportive and I know carries his own private grief about our inability to have a second child. He always listens, and I know he'll be with me through the IVF process. But, last night we were talking about starting the meds, etc, and I sort of realised that it's all coming from me - the planning, the pushing for it, the reading around it, all of the timing and thinking about sex, etc, etc. He actually didn't realise we'd been having 'timed sex', but just thought we were DTD whenever. This is my fault, probably, as I am somewhat reluctant to shout 'I'm O'ing!', and tie him to the bed. BUT, he knows I've temped in the past (I know my cycle fairly well now, so don't at present) and after O I usually do let him know that 'our timing was good this month' or whatever, and I am obviously instigating sex all the time in the fertile window, whereas I'm not always up for it at other times (when DTD exhaustion kicks in). It just really struck me that our respective experiences of infertility are SO utterly different. I guess it's all happening in my body, and for him it's rather more abstract...but I was just really surprised that he'd been so naive about it.
Anyway, just a bit of a rant, and a question - how involved are your partners? How do you keep things open and balanced with this process? Are there things that your partners have done or helped with that were really useful? I'm thinking particularly about IVF, but anything would be interesting...
I think it's bound to be a bit different. DH doesn't spend time on forums or reading things. He's been aware of my ovulation every month and made the effort to have sex whether he felt like it or not. He asked me to choose a clinic that I'm happy with -he felt that after all it's the woman who takes the meds and goes through procedures. His involvement has included improving his diet, taking supplements and being supportive when I'm low.
It's not just you, my DH had been pretty crap overall. He spent the first year denying there was a problem, and was reluctant to pursue any kind of treatment. He's done zero reading and done nothing to change his diet /drinking but will take supplements now. He will dtd when he knows its time but tbh neither of us initiate sex outside this window anymore.
I do get quite fed up with having to take all responsibility for it, particularly when he nit picks my decisions on choosing one path over another.
If I could go back in time I would have followed up treatment earlier and trusted my instincts that something was wrong. At the end of the day it is something that happens in our body - with any other health condition you'd never be told 'give it a year and see what happens'.
Anyway rant over, you're not alone, I'm sure most couples on here are in the same boat.
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