“This is a sponsored conversation from Mums the Word Network and The Stork OTC. All opinions are my own.”
Sixteen years together, nine years married, four pregnancies, two angels and two rainbows and here we are, still working on our marriage. The early years were tough, especially while we were trying to conceive and making your marriage a priority is so important through those trying times.
Our story of trying to conceive is one of heartbreak and happiness. Shortly after we were married, we found out we were expecting...unexpectedly. We naturally told everyone thinking nothing of the baby miscarrying. My mother-in-law was the most excited as she had just gotten a terminal diagnosis a few weeks earlier. She told us, “Now I have something to hold on for!”. We were so happy and that lasted a good 10 days. Then tragedy struck and we now knew the meaning of “angel baby”. Un-telling everyone was awful, but it broke us to un-tell my mother-in-law. We started immediately trying to have another baby. Nothing seemed to work. Ten months later, we were bedside with my mother-in-law saying our final goodbyes. We asked her to look over our angel baby and to send him or her back to us if she could. A few days later, I found out I was pregnant.
The pregnancy itself was hard. I had morning sickness so bad that I was throwing up all the time and I even threw up on the superintendent of schools accidentally (she was coming to check out our new building and I was rushing to the bathroom and well it happened; not my finest moment). I ended up with pre-eclampsia that was not well monitored at 31ish weeks and had a terrifying labor and delivery culminating in an 18-hour labor, c-section, no memory of the birth or much leading up to that, failing kidneys, a beautiful baby in the NICU who would not breath and myself clinging to life. Through everything, I didn’t care. We had our rainbow baby and he was perfection.
I spent the next two years focusing on this baby, forgetting that my husband had lost his mother, nearly lost his wife and his son and was not handling life well. Naturally, I wanted another baby, and although he was not super ecstatic to try again, we did. This time we took the attitude of “if it happens, it happens”, and it did! Sadly however, this little baby had a heart condition and did not survive past 14 weeks gestation. We broke into two separate people, trying to handle so much grief and instead of coming together we grew further apart.
Somehow still, we ended up trying again and were blessed after 6 months of trying with our second rainbow baby. Her pregnancy and delivery were a million times different than our son’s. I still had morning sickness, but not nearly as bad. I had a great planned c-section delivery with an amazing recovery and really felt so blessed.
Life seemed perfect, but as you might well have guessed, it was far from it. Our marriage was crumbling and I was so focused on being a great mom, that I let if fall apart. Reflecting back, I can attribute some of this to our time trying to conceive and the miscarriages that we had. I was very reclusive and somewhat angry when we would lose the baby. I took a lot of that out on him, forgetting that he too lost a child. Trying to conceive the babies were work and each month that we came up negative, was another month full of anguish and a grumpy wife. This poor man was doing the best he could to make me happy, without getting a chance to talk about his feelings. I just hate myself for how those years went.
This is exactly why I wanted to share with you 3 ways that you can keep your marriage a priority and nurture your spouse while you are trying to conceive.
- Communicate: This is a basic marriage skill. However, through the ups and downs of TTC, you will need to communicate clearly about what you need. Do not take your anger or frustration out on your spouse, simply because you cannot find the words to express your feelings. You CAN find those words, so use them and allow your spouse to have their time too. Put away those devices, take time each night to look at each other, touch and discuss your needs, your achievements, your goals and your frustrations.
- Take the Focus off the goal: Putting so much stress on the best positions, the right timing, the failures and everything that goes with TTC, does nothing good for the real intimacy that a marriage needs to be successful. Enjoy the time you two have to be intimate, stop focusing on what you are trying to achieve and focus on the two of you. Both times we had successful pregnancies, we were finally to a place where we had stopped “trying” and started enjoying. Boom, babies.
- Research: I was a young mom-to-be, and although I can talk about sex and babies, I knew nothing about the resources out there to help take some of the stress of tracking ovulation and the options to help you have better success. I thought that you just go off birth control, wait until day 14 of your cycle, have sex for a few days and hope for the best. I never used those ovulation tracking kits, or talked with a doctor about how to be more successful or looking into options for at-home devices to help with getting pregnant. Instead, I just stressed my husband and myself out more and more each month waiting for that positive test. Had I been more educated in this department, I think that it would have really helped our relationship. Also, I would include your spouse in the research process, that way you can both decide which options you are comfortable with and willing to try.
One of those at-home medical devices that could be an option for you and your spouse is the Stork OTC. This is a insemination kit used during ovulation while trying to get pregnant. You can pick one up over the counter at Walgreens or CVS pharmacies in the family planning section next to the ovulation test kits. I wish that I would have known about this device and discussed the use of it with my husband. Maybe we would have not had such a hard time getting pregnant with our rainbows.
If you are interested in more information about the Stork OTC, then please join me on Twitter, February 23rd at 8PM EST. You can follow the conversation and chime in by using the hashtag #GetCloserWithStorkOTC. I really hope to meet some of you there and have some honest and amazing conversations!
I am happy to close this post out with some positivity and light. Sixteen years ago, I met this man, I fell in love and we created 4 beautiful lives. We have made it through those struggles and we are doing a lot better. I know things could have been easier through our journey and I am thankful that we have those experiences to share with other couples to give them hope, information and camaraderie.