Keep Your Re­la­tion­ship Strong When Try­ing To Con­ceive

IVF India - - Inside -

“Let’s have a baby!” There, you’ve said it—a one-breath state­ment that changes your life for­ever. Hav­ing a baby is one of those huge, won­drous de­ci­sions that truly al­ters ev­ery­thing. But in or­der to grow your re­la­tion­ship along with your fam­ily, you’ll need to keep the con­ver­sa­tion go­ing through all the many de­ci­sions that will fol­low this first one. Here are just a few of the is­sues you’ll want to make time to talk about as you em­bark on this jour­ney.

Shore up your part­ner­ship One of the best gifts you and your hus­band can give your child is a loving mar­riage. That’s be­cause a solid re­la­tion­ship is not only a foun­da­tion from which to grow your fam­ily, it also serves as a model for what you want your child to be­come.

A child learns by "soak­ing" in its world, much like a sponge sit­ting in the mid­dle of a pool of wa­ter. Think about it: a pair of lit­tle eyes on you, watch­ing your ev­ery move, and think­ing, “so that’s how it is.” Does the thought thrill you, or fill you with dread? Ei­ther way, now’s a good time to look at your re­la­tion­ship as it will be seen by your chil­dren.

Start by notic­ing how you and your hus­band re­late to one an­other. Do you raise your voice when you dis­agree? Does he sulk when he doesn’t get his way? Is this what you want to teach your child about re­la­tion­ships? Of course not! So if any­thing is out of sync in this re­gard, take time to talk to your spouse about whether you are mod­el­ing be­hav­iors that re­flect the ways in which you want your child to grow. Learn­ing bet­ter ways to com­mu­ni­cate now will not only strengthen your part­ner­ship, but it’s the way to cre­ate the har­mo­nious home you want for your child.

How about your life­style? Vir­tu­ally ev­ery par­ent wants their child to eat a healthy diet, get reg­u­lar ex­er­cise, and not drink or smoke. But re­mem­ber that home is the place where chil­dren learn good habits, so be mind­ful of your own choices. Plus, mak­ing th­ese changes car­ries an ex­tra bonus: stud­ies have shown that they’ll in­crease your chances of be­com­ing preg­nant. Talk to your spouse about ways you can sup­port each other, es­pe­cially if th­ese changes mean a big shift in your life­style.

Fi­nally, re­mem­ber to ad­dress the nuts and bolts is­sues that come with a baby: child­care ar­range­ments, and changes in house­hold re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, fi­nances, and your work sit­u­a­tions. Even if you’re not preg­nant yet, once you’ve made the de­ci­sion to be­come par­ents it’s not too early to start think­ing about th­ese things. Don’t add to the stress of hav­ing a new baby by hur­riedly mak­ing last-minute de­ci­sions. In­stead, give th­ese im­por­tant mat­ters the time and fo­cused at­ten­tion they de­serve. All work and no play... Rahul and Maya sat in my of­fice for their reg­u­larly sched­uled cou­ple’s ses­sion. Even though they had only been try­ing to con­ceive for a few months, they al­ready looked worn out and frus­trated. “The thing is...” Rahul hes­i­tated, look­ing over at his wife, who nod­ded for him to con­tinue. “Well, lately it seems like be­ing to­gether has be­come just one more thing to check off our to-do list. I miss the fun we used to have.” Un­for­tu­nately, Rahul and Maya’s sce­nario is a com­mon one. With so much en­ergy caught up in get­ting re­sults, they for­got about each other and the ro­mance that brought them to­gether in the be­gin­ning. You can avoid this trap by—even though it sounds like a con­tra­dic­tion—plan­ning for spon­tane­ity. Whether it’s an overnight trip or a longer va­ca­tion, choose to throw cau­tion to the wind, (along with your ovu­la­tion and preg­nancy tests!) and just en­joy be­ing to­gether.

And be sure to keep the mo­men­tum go­ing by plan­ning a weekly date night, where the talk­ing agenda can in­clude any­thing but work, fi­nances and baby-mak­ing. You were a cou­ple first; make it a pri­or­ity not to lose that. Fac­ing the un­ex­pected Hardly any­one imag­ines that it won’t be easy for them to have a baby. But if it doesn’t hap­pen right away, you may find your­self be­com­ing con­cerned. And, of course, if you’ve hit a fer­til­ity im­passe you’ll need to give your­self time to ad­just be­fore de­cid­ing how to move for­ward. Now more than ever, you and your spouse need to get solid in­for­ma­tion and keep the lines of com­mu­ni­ca­tion open.

Get the facts.

Did you know that if you’re in your twen­ties and in per­fect health, you have a 25 per­cent chance of con­ceiv­ing each month? By the time

you’re in your thir­ties, this num­ber drops to 10-15 per­cent, so that con­cep­tion can take up to a year. Know­ing the facts, as well as the best times to con­ceive each month, can take the pres­sure off, and al­low you to rec­og­nize when it’s time to seek med­i­cal at­ten­tion. Con­sider the big pic­ture. Of course it’s im­pos­si­ble to put a price tag on hav­ing a child, but if fer­til­ity treat­ment is in­volved, it be­comes im­por­tant to con­sider the cost—fi­nan­cial, as well as phys­i­cal and emo­tional.

For ex­am­ple, one cou­ple I worked with, whose mar­riage was al­ready strug­gling, was con­sid­er­ing a mort­gage to fund yet an­other at­tempt at IVF (in vitro fer­til­iza­tion). Think about the im­pli­ca­tions of this: of course they’ll be dev­as­tated if it’s un­suc­cess­ful. But even if they do con­ceive, they’ll need to con­sider that they’ll be start­ing their fam­ily with the stress of an added fi­nan­cial bur­den.

Stay in sync.

Cer­tainly it’s im­por­tant to have a goal, but it’s equally im­por­tant to keep your plan to get there flex­i­ble. Don’t make as­sump­tions about what works for your part­ner. In­stead, ask ques­tions, share your point of view, and re­mem­ber that this is a jour­ney you are tak­ing to­gether, one step at a time. Keep your mar­riage in bal­ance. Whether you’re en­thu­si­as­tic about be­gin­ning nat­u­ral con­cep­tion, or are in the process of pur­su­ing fer­til­ity treat­ment, it’s easy to be­come so sin­gle-minded, that this is prac­ti­cally the only thing you want to talk to your hus­band about. Most men aren’t hard-wired this way, and your one-track think­ing can put a real strain on your re­la­tion­ship. One way to give this is­sue the time it deserves, while keep­ing it in check, is to see your mar­riage as your own pri­vate oasis, where you and your hus­band get to de­cide when to let this sub­ject in, and when to keep it out. Set up some time reg­u­larly, even just 10 or 20 min­utes in the evenings, to dis­cuss this is­sue. Per­haps a “walk and talk” date af­ter din­ner can be your time to share your thoughts and dis­cov­er­ies with one an­other. Mak­ing time for each other now, and reg­u­larly shar­ing your thoughts and con­cerns, will help you get in the habit of still mak­ing time for each other af­ter you’re par­ents ... and for the rest of your life.

This ar­ti­cle by Ma­rina Lom­bardo, LCSW, orig­i­nally ap­peared in the Spring 2008 is­sue of Con­ceive Mag­a­zine.

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