Infertility is rough. It can cause a real strain on relationships, especially if one person blames the other for the problem. About 30% of infertility is the related to an issue with the man, about 30% of the time it is an issue with the woman, about 20% has no sure source, and the rest is an issue with both people. Knowing that in our case the medical issue is with me, I have had moments where I blamed myself. But Brett has never blamed me. We’ve been in this together. Even without blame, infertility causes a lot of stress. Stress, however does NOT cause infertility (more on that to come).
Some time in 2010 Brett and I started taking regular weekly walks. We have a route around the neighborhood that we go on every Monday night. While we walk, we talk. We talk about our day. We talk about what’s coming up in the week for each of us. And we talk a lot about our infertility.
Brett and I face a lot of problems the way Hermione does – we go to the library. We research. We read. We study. And with two of us now we can double our efforts, we both don’t have to do the same research.
In the last three years I have read and learned a lot about how babies are made (a topic that has interested me since I was a kid, I still remember when my mom brought me home a photo of chromosomes she got somewhere, I was fascinated!). And as we walked I would tell Brett what I learned. I told him about how my hormones were supposed to work. I told him about possible diagnoses and what they meant and then about the tests we were doing and the diagnoses we were getting. He’d ask questions and I’d go do some more research and we’d sort it out in our walks. I’d be willing to bet Brett knows more about the female reproductive system than just about any guy without a medical degree.
We walked and talked. We questioned and learned. We hoped and feared. Walking hand in hand in the twilight we’ve moved forward, together.
A trial that has the potential to come between husband and wife has brought us closer together. When I was literally frozen with grief last February at our second miscarriage, stopped cold in the doorway to our bedroom crying ugly tears, Brett came to me and held me until I could move again.
The stress of infertility has definitely weighed heavy on our shoulders, but we’ve hefted the yoke together. I am beyond lucky to have Brett at my side, through everything.