Dealing with Infertility in Your MarriageIt’s Wednesday, the day when we always talk marriage! I introduce a topic, and then you all can link up your own posts below. Today I want to talk about trying to get pregnant: how to make it more likely, and how to keep the sexual side of your relationship fresh when there’s all this pressure to conceive.

My husband and I never really had trouble getting pregnant. We were in our early to mid twenties, which likely helped, and we tried for a total of 5 months, and conceived 4 times. I miscarried my first baby, then had Rebecca, then we were blessed with Christopher for just 29 days, and then we had Katie.

But even though it was relatively easy for us to get pregnant I was still stressed by it. I wanted a baby so badly. And so I went from someone who wasn’t all that interested in sex (I thought sex was way overrated in my first few years of marriage, which I explain in The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex) to someone who wanted to make love all the time because we desperately needed a baby.

It ticked my husband off a little bit, I think, because he was feeling used. Yes, he wanted a baby, too, but there were just all kinds of emotions running high. Do you really want me? Or do you just want the baby? Are you being honest when we’re making love, or are you pretending to be excited so that I won’t feel badly? And so on, and so on.

I can only imagine how difficult it must be if you add months of not conceiving to the mix. If you are walking through that, I am so, so sorry. I know I would have been a wreck, and I’m so sorry that you’re experiencing this. I won’t say that I pretend to understand, though I do know what it is like to lose a child. But that desperation must be really difficult–combined with the feeling that sex isn’t even intimate anymore. It’s just a means to an end

So I’d like to give you a few things to think about during this period in your marriage that will hopefully help you move forward.

1. Understand the Fertility Cycle

Just because you don’t conceive in the first few months does not mean that you are infertile. I have plenty of friends who took several years to conceive–but then went on to have multiple kids. Sometimes it does just take longer than others.

At the same time, understanding your fertile times can help you get pregnant. On Monday we were talking about how NOT to get pregnant, but getting pregnant just means doing the opposite. You still figure out when you ovulate, but instead of abstaining, you have sex!

A few key things to remember:

  • Pregnancy is most likely to happen when sex PRECEDES ovulation by 18-48 hours. It’s not that you WON’T get pregnant if you have sex right when you ovulate; it’s just that you’re more likely to if you have sex right before. Then the sperm are in exactly the right place when the egg shows up. So tracking yourself for several months so that you know the telltale signs of when you’re about to ovulate, and the approximate date of ovulation, is so important.
  • Having sex a whole bunch of times in one day doesn’t necessarily increase the chances of pregnancy. Why? Because the more you have sex, the more sperm the guy has to produce, and generally the fewer sperm he releases each time. So once a day honestly should do it. Some studies have even shown that if you make love TOO often you reduce the chance of pregnancy. So don’t try going five times in a day; pay more attention to timing and pick the right day instead.
  • If you want to understand all of this better, the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility is highly recommended by my blog readers!

2. If You Have Fertility Problems, The Stork can Help

The Stork Fertility AidIf you’ve been doing this for 6-8 months and nothing really is happening, you may want to try something to make pregnancy more likely. Most doctors, though, don’t start any kind of hormone treatments or IVF treatments unless  you’ve been trying for at least a year. And IVF, of course, runs the risk of multiple pregnancies and has a higher risk of birth defects.

There’s a new product out called The Stork which is natural, involves no drugs, and doesn’t need a physician (except to write you the prescription). They approached me and asked if I’d write about it, and in looking into it I thought it seemed to be an excellent option. They’ve jumped through all the regulatory hoops in the U.S. and Canada, so it’s totally legitimate. What I really like is that it doesn’t mess with your hormones, it doesn’t cost that much, and it looks like you can have success on your own, at home.

The Stork Conception System is indicated for assisted insemination in instances where low sperm count, sperm immobility (like they don’t swim very far or very fast), or hostile vaginal environment has been diagnosed. The system (cervical cap in a condom-like silicone sheath) is used to collect semen into a cervical cap, and then deliver the cap to the outside of the cervix as an aid to conception. It is to be used at home following physician instructions. You can see a full video for how to use The Stork kit here.

And it’s not gross or anything; it uses a tampon-like applicator and tampon-like removal kit. You can find more information and order it at The Stork store website (although you will need a physician’s prescription).

3. Keep Laughing Together

Look, this is a tense time in your relationship. You are worried about conceiving. You do wonder if you’ll ever have the family that you yearn for. And sex certainly does become stressful. Then we have the tendency to blame each other–or ourselves–if we don’t get pregnant.

So make sure that you carve our time just to laugh together. Find a new hobby you can do together. Once a night do something silly–like play Jenga or watch a stupid movie. Go out and get ice cream. Do the things that you used to do! Don’t make your whole marriage about getting pregnant, because you are more than that.

4. Give Yourself a Break in the Sex Department

If you are just “going through the motions” right now, that’s okay. It really is. In every marriage there will be ups and downs and there will be more stressful periods than others. If you’re going through a stressful period and sex has lost its spark, don’t beat yourself up over that. Just realize that it is just for a time!

If you want to try to give back that spark, there are a few things you can do. On the days when you aren’t fertile anyway, use a condom. I know that sounds counterintuitive, but then you know that you’re not having sex to try to get pregnant–you’re truly just making love to be with each other.

I know some websites will say give yourself a month or two where you’re not trying just to get back in the groove as a couple, but I know that I myself would never have listened to that advice if I were desperate to get pregnant. Maybe that’s not realistic for you, either. But saying, “I know this is for a time, and I know we’ll have a great time soon!” is honestly okay.

Another thing to try: Do other things sexually. Keep kissing. Keep touching each other. Don’t make it all about “the deed”, and that shows “I still want to be with you!” Maybe even spend some time bringing each other to climax in other ways so that you help each other relax, and you show each other: I still want to have fun with you.

5. Remember that God is in Control

I said this on Monday, too, in relation to coming to terms with getting pregnant if you don’t want to. But it’s even more true here. Walking through this is tough, but you are walking through it together. Lean on each other, but most of all lean on God.

Kate Battistelli, mom to the singer Francesca, wrote a great post a few weeks ago on how she had to yell and deal with God when her desires for a large family weren’t met. Here she is on “When Everything Falls Apart“. I think you’ll like it!

This post was sponsored by The Motherhood and Stork, but the opinions are entirely my own.

Christian Marriage Advice

Now, what advice do you have for us today? Link up a marriage post in the URL below! I’ll choose two to highlight on my Facebook Page, likely ones that relate to what I’ve been talking about lately.

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