I would never, in a million years, have guessed that the real, long-term effects of my infertility would only be experienced after surviving the fall out.
Here’s something I haven’t shared with anyone but I’m going to share it with you. I’m going to put it out there and say it out aloud. It’s the most shocking effect of my infertility and its come to a head at a time when I, and I’m sure most infertiles as outsiders looking in on my life wouldn’t have expected it, me living the dream right?
My marriage has been in crisis. Walter and I are in the throes of doing some major over hauling and damage control on our relationship. Its only now, after more than 7 years of TTC and after the haze of a new-born baby has lifted that we are both seeing, clearly, for the first time in years, just what has happened to our relationship.
I hope that this is not unique to just us, I’d love to hear from the rest of you who have managed to have children, especially those of you who were in the trenches for extended periods, i.e. more than 5 years.
The truth is, we’ve simply spent the last 7 odd years just trying to survive the actual fall out, as our lives imploded and everything we thought, hoped, planned and dreamed of for our lives as a married couple went up in flames. We’ve been in survival mode for so long that we no longer knew what it was to be “normal” to not be fighting for our sanity, fighting for our broken hearts, fighting for our survival. We’d been in survival mode for so long, we didn’t even know we were in survival mode anymore.
Then one day, the haze of new-born baby shock and sleep deprivation lifted and we realized the dust from the explosion that was infertility, was starting to settle but we didn’t know how to settle with it. We didn’t know how to calm down, come out of fight or flight mode and continue on as “normal”.
The shocking part, for me at least, is that I thought that we were coping, that our relationship was holding steady under the rubble and strain of the fall out. But it wasn’t, we were just surviving. We were doing what we needed to do to get by. There was no nurturing of our relationship and now that we’re in the rebuilding phase, its been very very hard.
Walter and I have both had to own up to taking each other fore-granted, we’ve had to work hard at finding our way back to each other again. We went through a real wobbly patch, a patch where I think we were both left feeling extremely unsettled and insecure. A patch where we had to remind each other, at times daily, of our marriage vows, of for better or worse, in sickness and in health till death us do part. There were times when the thought of packing it all in, while scary, simply seemed like the best solution.
Thankfully, after lots of hard work over the past couple of months, things have started to settle, we are starting to find our new normal. Things are getting better, we’ve started to remember why we fell in love, we’ve started to find affection with each other again, we’ve started to be intimate again and we’ve become friends again.
Its been hard. Its been shocking. But thankfully it is another chapter we can put behind us and keep moving forward as we strive to be the most committed and best parents that Ava could ever hope for.