“We Are Truly Both In This Together”: Mira Couples Sharing Their TTC Stories
We usually talk about a woman’s experience when going through this TTC journey, but don’t highlight the other side of the story. From tracking cycles to optimizing intercourse, there are a lot of things we consider from the woman’s perspective. But just because we are the ones carrying the baby, doesn’t mean our partners aren’t experiencing the ups and downs of a challenging TTC journey too. Father’s day is a great time to highlight a male partner’s perspective and share some of their stories. We asked some of our readers about what their partners have gone through while trying to conceive, read on to hear their insights.
For many couples, the decision to have a baby is the very first step in their parenting journey. And while you may not always be on the same page in terms of timing, once you’ve had the big conversations and made the decision, you’re ready to start trying and you are off on your fertility journey together.
Getting pregnant isn’t always easy, and an estimated 12-15% of couples will have trouble conceiving. Even on the smoothest of journeys, couples can experience a range of emotions and situations while trying to conceive. Because women bear the physical brunt of this journey, we often forget how it can impact our partners as well. From understanding the biology behind conception and pregnancy to the roadblocks and bumps you might meet along the way, trying to conceive takes more than just good timing.
For many couples, one of the first challenges they face is understanding the science behind fertility. When you’ve spent most of your life trying to avoid pregnancy, the actual mechanics of conception can be eye-opening. In fact, couples only have about a 20% chance of conceiving each month, and that’s for those at the peak of their fertility.
While women have the advantage in this department, since they’ve been dealing with their periods and likely managing their fertility from early on, men often need a crash course in all things periods and fertility. Whether it’s been a long time since you took a sex-ed class or you’ve forgotten some of the finer details, understanding when ovulation is taking place is one of the first steps involved in conceiving.
Women may be more familiar with ovulation, but tracking it can still be a challenge. For Marianna and JT L., “Mira is helping [us] understand my hormone levels so I can better treat them naturally.” Not knowing if it’s the right time for baby-making can be one of the hardest parts of your journey. Mira can help with this part of the journey by not only pinpointing your ovulation each month so you know the best time to try, but it lets your partner be involved too. Even though men aren’t physically involved in ovulation, using a digital fertility analyzer like Mira can help keep them in the loop and involve them in the process.
Rollercoaster of emotions
“She’s the strongest person I know.” That’s what Gabe R. said when explaining what he’s most grateful for about his partner. And when you’re trying to conceive, strength can come in many forms. Women may be used to the emotional rollercoaster that can come with an influx of hormones, but men usually aren’t. Whether they are quietly supporting you through physical pokes and prods, or are a sounding board for your vents and frustrations, partners can go through their own emotional rollercoaster.
They may not be experiencing the cascade of hormones involved in a menstrual cycle, but many men report the same rollercoaster of emotions while TTC. Getting through it together is key, as Philgood D. points out. “Every month has been a challenge…we maintain positive and open communication…and are truly both in this together.”
Even though emotions are high where fertility is concerned, many women reported just how supportive and patient their partners were in the grand scheme of things as well. Open communication and support are always key. Whether that means sharing research, talking about strategies, or working out together, our partners are right there with us.
Bumps in the road
With something as emotionally charged as getting pregnant, there are always going to be a few bumps in the road. But for some couples, trying to conceive can take over their life and relationship. From the moment you first realize that getting pregnant isn’t the cakewalk society may have led you to believe, you realize you may be in for a few bumps in the road.
For Ereesha and Nick, that meant figuring out what each other needed and not sweating the small stuff. “He never questions my spending for TTC products,” says Ereesha, who’s been trying for over a year. While for Maegan and Joshua it meant putting their faith in the universe and knowing that good things “are coming our way.” Unwavering faith and working together, not to mention working to love each other the same outside of the fertile window as inside it, like Cicely and Ryan do, is a surefire strategy to weather those bumps and make it through those stressful moments.
Advice for others
When sex becomes a chore, and everything revolves around fertility and baby-making, you might start to wonder why you wanted to do this in the first place. Add in any fertility issues, and it’s easy to see how trying to conceive can cause real strain on a relationship.
After some time with no success, feelings of failure and pressure can start to mount. Whether you have fertility hurdles to overcome or not, many partners reported that every month is a challenge. George, trying for over a year, recommends keeping a sense of humor and keeping yourself busy. Reconnect with your partner outside of the bedroom, and stay supportive and positive to make it through those tough months.
In fact, being supportive and positive was the thing we heard about partners the most. The words grateful and patient came up a lot from both men and women, so even though they go through different things when TTC, it’s clear our couples are looking out for one another as they navigate the baby-making journey.