Post # 1
FI and I are trying to make our marriage as ‘bulletproof’ as possible by discussing subjects like kids, finances, and other “tough” topics.
However, there was one we weren’t sure how to resolve. Although we both strongly want children, I personally have no strong desire to have a biological child – being pregnant is not at all appealing to me. He does want biological children, and I can understand that. Our plan is to have at least one biological baby, and then to adopt one.
But then the topic of infertility came up… what if we have trouble concieving? Because pregnancy is already pushing my boundaries, I *really* don’t want to go through IVF cycles, and things of that nature. However, FI said it was important to him that we try, at least a few times. Ultimately he said he would understand if I didn’t want to go through procedures like that as it is my body, but that he would be deeply sad about not having a bio-baby. I’m not sure how to discuss this, as we both agreed it would depend strongly on the situation (what is the cause of infertility, what chance is there that artificial methods will work, how much it costs, how invasive it is, etc).
Do you have any advice on how to proceed? Talking about it further now seems like a moot point, since my decision will depend strongly on what the actual situation may be. And as we’re not trying, we have no idea if we’ll even have any issues. Is it worth stressing out over now?
Post # 3
@sugarcube: I think it is worth discussing further, but not stressing about. I’d want to just make sure we were both on the same page about generally what kind of circumstances would warrant trying more invasive procedures and what wouldn’t. You don’t necessarily have to have a plan laid out for every situation, but a general idea that you are both on the same page would be nice. Although, either party has the right to change their mind about it at any time, so even if you agree to a general course of action now, that doesn’t mean it will play out that way in the future.
Do you have any reason to believe you may have difficulty conceiving? The answer to that question would determine how much more discussion would be needed in your scenario.
Post # 4
@MrsWBS: I suppose I have a difficult time gauging how much of the “same page” we would be on. I don’t know very much about infertility treatments beyond IVF and taking oral/injectible medications. For example, if it was something blocked and I could just get surgery to fix it, then I would be willing to do that. But if it was like, medications that made me feel crummy for months and months, then having significant procedures (like IVF), then I don’t think I’d be up for it. And then it would depend on how likely it would be to succeed. Basically, for me, it’d depend on a LOT of things, and I’m not very educated on the subject. But even if I was, I can see from here (TTC boards) that it still does vary from woman to woman anyway.
And about changing minds – what if now, I said I would be willing to do a certain procedure. But then when it came down to it, it was a lot crappier than I thought it’d be, physically and mentally so I changed my mind. Fi would be very upset. But I would be equally upset if he agreed I didn’t have to do something, and then changed his mind and began pressuring me to do it.
Sorry for the rambling. This is stressing me out – not really sure why! Maybe the wedding is coming closer and I realize we don’t have an agreed ‘game plan’ in these types of events.
To answer your question – the only reason I think I may have trouble is my long stint on BC pills (12 years straight). No other real reason, but also knowing some friends that thought they would have no issue, have issues, is also a “reason”.
Post # 5
Totally in this boat right now and I FEEL YOUR CRAZY! We are the kind of people who worry about EVERYTHING if we let ourselves. It is a learning process to cross bridges when we come to them. To us, marriage means we will work though it whether we talk about it or not. For this instance, talking about infertility only fuels the fire of unwarranted worry when chances are we might just get preggers the first time we bone after saying I do. I was on BC for 5 years, just went off of it and we are getting married in May, planning on getting preg that night. ha. It’s hard not to think about and smart to talk about, if even to say, “let’s cross that bridge when we come to it.”
Post # 6
My few cents about marriage, prepping for marriage and how things change…
It’s great that you are having discussions about the tough things, many people don’t. They just get married, bury their head in the sand, and end up finding out things about their spouse they don’t agree with or likfe after they get married.
HOWEVER… people change, their opinions change, their feelings change…. You cannot “bulletproof” yourselves against change. You can’t necessarily make a black and white decision together about something like what you would do in case of infertility, and expect that decision to hold true when the time comes. We all go into marriage knowing what we know, and doing the best we can. That’s all we CAN do, so for sanity sake, take a deep breath and understand that things may and can and will change in your marriage. And it will be ok. You’ll get through it, you’ll love each other and deal with it… Or you won’t be able to. And if you can’t, you’ll deal with that too.
On the subject of fertility…. Unless one of you has a very specific opinion about it one way or the other, I think that you are borrowing stress and worry. People’s feelings change on that subject DRASTICALLY when they are actually in that situation. Until you are in that situation, you cannot predict how either of you will feel. I do think it’s worth possibly discussing fruther, but you both have to realiae you cannot make a decision on something that may never happen. Especially something as emotional as fertility.
Post # 7
@sugarcube: I don’t have any issues with fertility (so far) but we did talk about this in our relationship, kind of casually before we got married.
Two big things for me would be 1) what do we have the $ to do? are you willing to go into debt or use all/most your savings? and 2) how long/how much are we/I willing to go through?
So we discussed things like that.
I don’t think it’s anything to get stressed about. You really can’t know until you get there or how you will feel years down the road. There’s only so much you can do. As long as you agree on big issues now, I think that’s all you can do.
Oh, and I was on BCP for 16 years and ovulated within 2 weeks of going off (and got pregnant), so I wouldn’t take a long stint on BCP as a reason for fertility problems! I thought I could have problems since I had had really bad and irregular periods before I went on BCP (I was very young though) and I had no idea what my cycle would be like off BCP.
Post # 8
@sugarcube: Your FI wants to be presented with a “mini-me.” I think you should question his ability to be an equal parent to a biological vs. adopted child.
Post # 9
@juniebug48: I’m glad I’m not the only one! 🙂 I try my best to be proactive and to minimize risk, and with the divorce rates so high both FI and I want to have the difficult discussions before we walk down the aisle. But in this kind of situation, its hard to discuss since we don’t even know the details of what we MAY be discussing.
@MsJ2theZ: Thank you. I do hear again and again of couples that think ‘love will conquer all’ and don’t have any discussions about hard topics before tying the knot. So I am making a big effort to cover my bases before we’re legally tied… but as you have said, it’s kind of useless as people change. Like you said, maybe when I find out that I’m the cause of infertility, I will feel much more strongly about diving into treatments. Right now, I feel like I’d rather not. You never know how you’ll react! Do you think its irresponsible for me/us to not discuss this much further before marriage? My biggest fear is being faced with infertility, and me saying “I don’t think I can mentally and physically handle what IVF involves” and he saying “well I 100% need a bio-baby, so I’m going to be unhappy forever” and us divorcing. Of course this is not what EITHER of us are saying now … but people change, and that is my fear. On the other hand, I feel absolutely silly being so upset over something that may never happen anyway.
Post # 10
@sugarcube: I hear what you’re saying. I think you guys discussing it at all is important and it sounds like you have a general gameplan and can stop worrying too much about it. You can’t fully prepare for what will happen in the future. Like I said, you could agree to something now but that doesn’t mean someone won’t change their mind in the future and have it cause problems.
I think if you are reasonably healthy and have no cause for concern over fertility, I think it’s fine to table the discussion for now. It’s definitley not something you sohuld really be stressing about. If it makes you feel any better, I was on BC for 10 years straight and got pregnant having unprotected sex one random time a month after I stopped! Yes, some people it takes a while to regulate, but there are a lot of people that everything goes back to normal right away, too!
Post # 11
I am very glad that you have talked aobut this, as it is beyond important to know eachothers opinions going in. That said, at this point, they are opinions. They aren’t based on circumstances at all. And IF you find out that there are fertility issues between the two of you, those circumstances will be very different than they are right now.
If you want to settle your mind for now, I would ask your FI if he would stay with you if you were not able to give him bio-children. That is much more important than if IVF is on the table. IVF is not a magic bullet of fertility. It’s costly, and its not 100% effective. The baby may not take, or you could just have a womb that is unable to carry a child to term. If his answer to that question is no, even if IVF was on the table for you, you kind of have to be done at that point.
Post # 12
@kes18: We did discuss the costs briefly. But then it was also difficult because – in 5 years, how much money will we make? Have saved? And my big issue is how much I can physically/mentally handle, as I would have to do most of it. I don’t know what treatments are like, or how long my specific one would take. So its hard for me to say “I will only do 6 months of treatment if its okay, 3 months if its really tough on my body”. What kind of answers were you able to reach? Congrats on getting preggo so quickly!
@Zhabeego: I don’t think I need to question that. I think that many men have a primal desire to reproduce biologically, so FI wants to see his genetics passed forward. I know he would be an equally wonderful father to both.
Post # 13
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
You “bulletproof” your marriage by working on your communication and conflict resolution skills, not by trying to plan for these sorts of huge things. IMO, you really don’t know what you will do until you are standing at that particular precipice. We had a fantastic plan. 8 months ago I had an epihany moment and decided I wanted to throw away that plan and create a new one with a totally different focus and direction. Having a plan didn’t “bulletproof” our marriage. Our ability to work through disagreements and keep the lines of communication open are what has saved us.
Post # 14
@sugarcube: Yes people do think love conquers all, and they aren’t realistic.
I think that, if you were to have a conversation about this and you DID say those things to each other now “I don’t think I can do IVF”, “well I 100% have to have a bio baby”. Then that may really be a problem.
But, if you are both open now and you really aren’t sure how you’re going to feel, THAT IS OK! How are you even supposed to know how you’re going to feel without being in that situation? Things like finances are a lot different, you’ve been dealing with money for your entire adult life, you know how each of you lean regarding money, and you can discuss how to compromise. Things like POSSIBLE infertility issues aren’t anything you can predict. I am sure that the bee who has been posting recently and has left her husband over IVF, NEVER would have thought this would have happened. But, she’s going to deal with it, and she’s going to move forward and on.
Come to a place in this discussion where you are both comfortable with your “possible reactions” in a situation that honestly is probably unlikely if neither of you have any reason to believe you are infertile as of now, and then just accept it. Acceptance will go a long way in a happy agreeable marriage. Acceptance that you won’t always agree, that you will have things pop up that you could ever have planned for, that you are two different people who will and can change, and that you’ll have to work through it one way or the other.
Post # 15
@MsJ2theZ: I really loved your answer to this… It actually really helped me feel at peace reading it. : )
@sugarcube: I think this is SUCH an important topic. I will be getting married this summer and FI and I have always been on the same page about wanting children very much (someday) and The Bee has actually really opened my eyes to the fact that it really isn’t always as simple as “we want a baby now! Let’s make it happen” like I always thought… I think further discussion is a great idea but I agree with J2theZ that we can’t be entirely prepared for every circumstance that could present a challenge in our marriages. I do think it sounds like you guys are setting yourselves up for a pretty wonderful marriage however. : )
Post # 16
@MrsWBS: Our general game plan is “lets wait to see what the details and circumstances are, and we’ll go from there.” Is that irresponsible? We DO know that I’m leaning towards the side of less treatment, and he’s leaning towards the side of more treatment – but beyond that not much. Your fertility after BC makes me feel better 🙂 I’m off now, and not TTC until at least another year!
@Misswhowedding: We did discuss this, and he said he wouldn’t (haha – I can’t imagine a man saying they WOULD leave though… but I digress). But he did say he would be sad if I didn’t even give IVF a shot, because he would always wonder if there was a chance. Again, I’m not saying I absolutely wouldn’t try IVF, but my willingness to do it depends on what the circumstances were and how I feel when that time comes.