WHO THIS POST IS FOR:
- Couples going through IVF
- Supportive partners
Going through infertility is a lonely experience no matter how great of a community you have. Across the board, the women I meet who are experiencing infertility all note the alienation they feel. In part I think the loneliness comes from the constant reminder of your circumstance because of the physical symptoms you endure. Going to the doctor on an almost daily basis also makes it nearly impossible to forget. You are semi present in conversations because there is always this constant nagging, a whisper that says, “Hey remember, there isn’t something right in your body.”
Its hard to say “I feel lonely” when you have an amazing supportive partner. Unfortunately you are the one experiencing the day-to-day and thus it makes it difficult to connect with your partner about the constant nagging that pervades your thoughts. Because my husband can’t feel what I am feeling we have had a lot of in-depth discussions about how he can be actively involved in the process. He can’t get ultrasounds for me (wouldn’t that be nice!), he can’t have surgery for me, he can’t take shots for me, BUT he can walk alongside me and help out in little ways. Below are some ways for partners to help support you and take one more thing off of your docket.
- Your partner can easily become your pharmacist. Have him or her keep tabs of what you have so you have one less thing to worry about. We use a tracker that comes in handy! We worked together to create it. While it wasn’t the most romantic evening activity it felt good to do it together.
2. Handle the CIZZASH!
- If you are coordinating insurance or payment plans, tell your sweetie pie/boo/pumpkin/cutey-patooty to take the reigns and make the calls. Who wants to deal with waiting on the phone?
3. Administer your shots!
- Who wants to stab themselves?! Let him prep the meds and kindly give you the shots. Sharing this experience helps carve time to laugh and be silly.
4. Weigh her after a retrieval.
You must be thinking, what the heck? If you over stimulate you have to weigh yourself everyday following a retrieval to ensure that fluid is not leaking into your body. One indicator is rapid weight gain. The fact of the matter is, after a retrieval (no matter who you are) you are going to be bloated and up a few pounds. BUT if you are over stimming you will experience this x10. Its not fun to get on a scale and see an extra 2-3 pounds (each day) for the days following surgery. Avoid the frustration and have him weigh you and record the info. If the doctor needs to be notified because of the number, ask for the info otherwise, who needs to know!
5. Be a good snuggle partner.
Meds slow me down. During the days leading up to a procedure all I want to do is curl into a ball on a couch like a big furry cat. More specifically, the thought of resting my head on my husband brings me great comfort. After surgery, continue the snuggling while binge watching tv shows. Make her protein smoothies (recommended by the doctor to keep you from bloating further) and be cute sloths together.
Although your partner will never fully understand all you are going through because they aren’t being pumped with hormones (which takes a toll on you physically and emotionally) they can provide you support and strength when you need it most. They can listen, encourage, and cry alongside you.
To my beautiful and kind husband, thank you for always being there.