Walter and I had always believed that if our marriage could survive infertility it could survive anything! Of course, that was pre-baby days. That was before we became parents and back in the day when we thought we knew what being parents would be like.
Fast forward a few years and enter Ava-Grace and it was a whole new ball game. If there is one bit of assvice I’d impart to any couple before entering parenthood its this: get your marriage affairs in order, if you enter parenthood on shaky ground you’re going to be in a whole lot of trouble.
And boy did we find ourselves in trouble! Suddenly, the reality of living with the stress of almost 8 years of infertility came crashing down around us. The noise it left in its wake was only overshadowed by the sounds of a crying infant. Add to that severe sleep deprivation, adapting to parenthood and all of its challenges after a 6 day pregnancy, still trying to prepare for a baby well after she was living in our home, coping with the severe trauma of surviving the 60 day waiting period and a whole lot of other “stuff” and you get a bubbling, boiling, swirling cauldron on the verge of bubbling over.
Our lives were turned upside down and suddenly we were in a situation so new and so confusing that we had no time to develop coping skills, unlike being a seasoned infertile and knowing how to go through the motions, we were not only on totally new ground and the pressures being exerted on us was far greater than anything infertility had ever thrown at us.
We fought, we shouted, we disliked each other, we were exhausted, overwhelmed and at our wits end. We even stopped being friends, we started just existing, going through the motions, only seeing to Ava’s needs while completley denying our own.
We went for extensive marriage counseling and have even gone so far as to draw up a contract between us making allowances for certain things like my pilates classes and my BB dinners and he’s gym sessions. It all sounds really clinically and unromantic but it had to be done and that along with the months of marriage counseling seem to be paying off.
For the first time in almost 9 years we have finally found our way back to each other and back to the way our relationship was pre-infertility. Its wonderful! I never ever thought it could happen this way. To be in love again and best friends again and to have Ava-Grace. I’m proud of us for remaining committed to each other even during the most difficult times which were surprisingly not our walk with infertility.
And I know we weren’t alone in this, I have too many friends battling through the same difficulties in their marriages post-infertility and it really is a reminder that there’s no such thing as a band aid baby!