When you are ready to have a baby, the "getting pregnant" part it isn't always easy. Infertility is a common struggle for many couples, and as someone who struggled with fertility and counselled many who had challenges becoming parents, I know how hard it can be. The waiting, longing, disappointment, as well as the "why us?" can take its toll. You might wonder if it's meant to be when an anticipated pregnancy does not happen as planned.
Infertility can take a financial and psychological toll on couples. When it comes to what to do next, couples aren't always on the same page.
So how should you begin to broach the difficult topic of "what's next" with your partner?
It's important to be open with each other about your feelings - grief needs to be acknowledged and recognized. Feelings of insecurity might become apparent concerning whose "fault" it is and shame can be a common feeling. It's important to discuss these feelings and to recognize that neither of you is "broken." Talk instead about the new path you are forging together.
As you discuss hopes and dreams for a child, you might find that you have different ideas on moving forward. The process can leave each to their own reactions: wanting to quit, or trying something new. These discussions can cause fearful reactions, so hear each other out fully.
There are different and valid reasons that make it daunting to keep trying. The fear of grief and loss may hold you back. In some cases or with a simple stalemate it can be useful to talk to a counsellor and work it through. For many couples it is also important to talk about what starting again means and what the end point might be. Only you and your partner will be able to answer that for your family.
After trying to conceive for some time, couples may wonder what the next step should be. It's important to educate yourself and discuss all the options to determine the best plan. If you are deciding to start IVF or renewing your Clomid prescription, this isn't a wait and see thing; there is a great deal to consider before you start: appointments, assessments, medications, expenses, time off work, and the paperwork ahead.
The Stork Conception Aid could be a solution providing more control to a struggling couple. It might be the closest some couples can get to “pulling the goalie" or more accurately "adding more offensive players." The Stork works by using insemination through a cervical cap, a well-established method with success rates similar to that of IUI (intrauterine insemination). The application is relatively simple with a condom like collection method and a cap applicator that is similar to a tampon. Although it doesn't solve all fertility issues, it could be helpful for those with low sperm motility, low sperm count, an unfavourable vaginal environment, and unexplained infertility. It is also an affordable option for couples looking at IVF (in vitro fertilization) or IUI by bridging the gap between in-office fertility procedures and natural intercourse at home.
Taking the first step is hard and raising children is a wonderful blessing and a staggering amount of work - but it's worth working for.
"Hope is a renewable option: If you run out of it at the end of the day, you get to start over again in the morning" —Anonymous
If the Amazon ship has sailed (without an order from you that is,) and you can't face the quadrupled price for roses or a crowded restaurant, here are some things you can do to celebrate and invest in your relationship on Valentine's Day. Share this with your spouse, the new frazzled mom-friend desperate for ideas, or the procrastinator in your life for this last minute Valentine's Day idea list complete with their relationship building reasons. This list does not include crazy line-ups or reservations! Since time is of the essence, here you go:
The Late Great Last Minute Valentine's Idea List:
Make a Coupon Book
For ideas for the content, print out the honey-do list, massage vouchers, the “I will watch chick flick or Expendables 18” passes, something a bit sexy, or “I won't nag you for the entire day” tickets. Staple together and voila. This little idea can be a win as it can hit a ton of love languages in one fell swoop with service, touch, and quality time.
Frame a Meaningful Picture
Ignore the cute cat gallery today and do a quick inventory of your photo collection, chances are there are ten million ones you never printed that could bring back a warm fuzzy memory or two. There are plenty of options that have one hour pick ups complete with frames. Reminiscing about the past is about remembering and recapturing an earlier time in your relationship. Reflecting on your identity, who you are, and who you have become as a couple. As you share together you preserve part of your history, the story of your life together, making connections with the past and present. This idea works great for the love language of gifts and quality time during the recollection.
"I Love You Because" Jar
Punch the object of your affection right in the feelings with this list of verbal affirmations. Write out all the reasons and put it on hearts or strips of paper and put them in a mason jar. This could go a long way in the realm of encouragement for someone feeling less than confident right now in their career, as a parent, or simply facing a new challenge.
Cook at Home
Buy some ingredients and whip up a meaningful meal. You could include a fun menu. This idea is full of quality time and with the use of the aphrodisiac, so hopefully it will hit the touch factor in your relationship.
Make Today Just the Start
Start this list of 30 loving acts on Valentine's Day. The first day is simply breakfast in bed and you can then either elude to another 29 days of gratitude or produce the list to subconsciously say I have really thought about this and wanted to do a bunch of things in succession. The list also includes all your partners love languages with touch, verbal affirmation, service, quality time, and gifts.
It's important to show love all year around but it is nice to stop and reflect on it every so often on special occasions, like Valentine's Day. It doesn't have to be materialistic or commercial in its delivery but it is nice to be acknowledged and choo-choo-choosed once in a while.
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