Infertility is hard. It’s hard on wives. It’s tough on husbands. It can bring a couple together or tear them apart. We ladies talk about our feelings and thoughts on trying to conceive all the time, but how does HE feel? Have you asked your husband? Here’s a mini Q & A from us to you – We had to do this one “long distance” so I e-mailed Craig the questions, and he sent back his responses:
- What were your expectations when we got married? How did you expect the first year to unfold?
Craig: I mean, just getting married, right off the bat, I thought within the first year we would for sure be pregnant. I had no reason to believe we wouldn’t be, and I mean, I didn’t know if we would necessarily have a ‘baby in hand’ within one year, but I definitely thought we would be pregnant, at least. As far as expectations, I was planning to spend that first year decorating a nursery and finding a great midwife…All the things we talked about doing when we got married – before we got married.
- What do you pray for in this struggle?
Craig: There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t pray for patience and understanding in this struggle. God has answered every one of those prayers. It may not have been as quickly as either me or my wife has wanted, but they are definitely answered prayers – revealed little by little. He has showed us many signs, which can only have come from Him, that He does hear us. I ask Him for increased faith – that’s only going to help us. Overall in the end, I pray for the blessing of a child.
- Do you have hope God will bless us with children?
Craig: For sure I do. There is no doubt in mind God will bless us with children. He gives us everything we need, and there is not a doubt in my mind that He will not give us the blessing of a child. I mean, to have hope in Him, that is something I can’t doubt. I have hope in Him greatly, I don’t know how else to say it. Yes. I definitely have hope God will bless us. There is just no question in my mind.
- What has been, or would be, the best way to cope?
Craig: You have to go through this as a couple. There is no getting through this alone. It’s a big thing, and it’s hard, and it takes two – really three – to get through it. The best way is involving that third one – God. You always have to have faith in Him, hope in Him, and know that He is going to take care of you. Also, you can talk together about your goals and hopes. We talk about building a nursery. It helps us cope. It focuses on our positive future and speaking positively about this as a couple is very important.
- How do you feel others could help?
Craig: I mean, just like I’ve mentioned to you previously, the support of the Christian community – your family, is important. Maybe don’t be afraid to reach out to someone you know is having a struggle with infertility. Don’t be afraid to just ask about it, find out how things are going – to let the couple know that you are concerned. You might be thinking about it, but that message might not be being conveyed when nothing is said.
Maybe if we bring the topic up to you, it will begin a conversation, but when you ask how things are, and if there are any new developments, etc., it shows you care and that you’re there with us in the struggle to get through this. Basically, just speaking up is important. You know, if you reference something that makes you think of us and what we’re going through, point us in that direction. It makes us feel supported.
- When we still hadn’t conceived after a year, how did you feel? What were your thoughts?
Craig: I mean, watching what you’re going through and seeing how you feel and knowing everything that has been going on, my thoughts we definitely that something could be going on. The doctor kept saying: “No, no, wait a year. Wait. You’ll get pregnant.” And it seemed like it took forever to get to that one year mark. The feeling of frustration is probably the biggest feeling I have felt. Not nearly as much as my wife, but seeing her go through all of this, and knowing how bad SHE wants a child (in comparison to how much I do – which is a lot!), I became increasingly frustrated there was nothing I could do myself.
That is a tough situation for me. You know, I just feel that, our (former) doctor should have listened. He should have looked at all of your symptoms at the one-year mark and not had us start from square one. They had all the information they needed right in front of them. That was a very frustrating deal, and it felt like a huge step back. Our having to point out what was going on made me really feel that the medical field was lacking- especially our particular doctor. He was just so insensitive and uncaring.
- Do you feel there isn’t enough support for infertility in the Christian community?
Craig: I don’t know if I feel there is a lack. I feel that it’s (the support)there, but it’s most definitely under advertised and it’s hard to find out about it. If you have the “Hey, I’m pregnant – what do I do?” situation, there is plenty of information and plenty of places to go and people to talk with, but not necessarily with the opposite issue. There just isn’t the readily marketed support. “Who to go to?” is sort of a question. Do you go to a pastor or priest? What do you do? I think once you find someone to talk to, the support is definitely out there, but a lot of people don’t know how to start that conversation. Infertility is not a happy time and it’s not easy to approach. There is certainly a lack of available information on how to obtain support.
- What is the best way to comfort your wife?
Craig: That’s been a learning process for me ever since day #1. I would say that “being there for her” is the most important thing – but that is an all-encompassing term. At first, it’s more physically standing next to her, holding her hand, going to the appointments…but as time has gone on, I needed to ‘be there’ but I needed to do more. I needed to… I always want to pick up something, change it, make it right. I’m hands-on. This situation just doesn’t allow that, but I still need to support my wife. It’s hard. One thing I know I can do is that when she’s talking about her feelings and about what’s going on, I need to pay attention and listen attentively -not only agree and say “yes”, but partake in the discussion and share my feelings and thoughts with her about what I am feeling as well. I don’t want her to have the notion she is in this all alone. I am her husband, and she needs to know I am there right by her side physically, emotionally, spiritually through it all. And that’s an ever-increasing and ever-changing thing that I have learned maybe most about through this whole process.
This has helped us to get to know one another in ways I don’t know if we would have had we had a baby right away. At first I was one of those who didn’t know how to approach it. I was one of those people. I didn’t know if I should say something or not, or what if I said something that made her sad? But I learned that saying how I feel and comforting her, helped her feel like we are in this together – which we are, forever.
Wow. I learned a lot about my dear, sweet husband reading these answers. Like I said, knowing your husband’s or wife’s views on what is going on (spiritually, physically, emotionally) is really comforting. I have been down in the dumps before – really feeling like I was all alone in my sorrow – but between God and my husband, I have been lifted up and come to know I am not only wrapped in His Everlasting Arms, but I have a pretty amazing husband at my side, as well.
Sometimes realizing the blessings in your life comes by a rocky path.
Love to you all!