What’s the upside to infertility? Nothing is the first response I think of. Or perhaps, “wine”, along with other random things non-pregnant, childless women are able to do. But what about the long-term? What do we, temporarily childless women, gain from this dreadful struggle of trying so desperately to add tiny baby feet to our lives? Is there any long-term advantage?
There’s no question. We want kids, and we’re ready. With unexpected pregnancy, or even couples who didn’t have to try long, parents may feel a little unsure at first. The thought of being responsible for a tiny human is terrifying. But we’ve had more time to think about it, and ponder on it as a reality.
We have more time together without kids. This isn’t necessarily a plus, but I think in the long run, the time together will be something that gives us an advantage in our relationship. We also have more sleep, which is always a plus.
This struggle makes our marriage stronger. It’s serious. It’s heartbreaking, daunting, scary, and we’re throwing crazy hormones (thanks, Clomid!) on top of all of it. Apparently, infertile couples are three times more likely to divorce.* But powering through all of this brings us closer together, strengthens our bond, helps us understand each other, and gives us confidence in each other’s ability to handle crisis.
We have more time to prepare. While we’re waiting, we’re saving money, adjusting our lives, our homes, and figuring out logistics. We won’t talk about how much fertility treatments cost right now, though.
Other things wouldn’t have happened. I’m not a fan of the cliché “everything happens for a reason,” but when dealing with infertility, it can help to realize certain things wouldn’t have happened if we’d gotten pregnant when we planned. For instance, we probably wouldn’t have ended up with Twilight if we’d been able to conceive in the time period we planned on.
We become more emotional and sympathetic. The more hard times you go through, the easier it is for you to be understanding when those around you are struggling, even if it’s not with infertility. You also may be more likely to cry during Lifetime movies.
We’re more comfortable with our bodies. This may not be a perk for everyone, but having regular tests and ultrasounds will make you feel a little more okay with the stirrups, and it will make medical procedures in the future a lot less nerve-wracking.
We know more about our bodies. Okay, I grew up in Georgia. Our sex education was very basic, and in high school health class, we only learned about STDs. So it’s safe to say, I’ve learned a lot more about my reproductive system during this whole process.
We connect with others going through the same thing. If I’d never blogged about infertility, I wouldn’t have made some connections with some pretty awesome people, including Alison, who helped me brainstorm for this post.
We’re already invested. We’ve spent so much time and money trying to get pregnant, we’re already well-invested in our child before it’s even an embryo. Pretty sweet.
We’ll know our child from the very beginning. Most women don’t have ultrasounds until about 8 weeks of pregnancy. I’m having ultrasounds of my follicles before eggs are even released, and after I do get pregnant, I’ll have regular ultrasounds until I’m 8 weeks and switch back to my ob/gyn. I’ll see my kid from the very beginning. That’s a perk I’m pretty excited about.