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(Saterday, April 13, 2013)
This is a guest post from an expert patient!
If your wife is going through IVF, there are many ways you can support her. Most couples find it difficult to talk about their infertility problems and experiences with family and close friends. This leaves them isolated without much emotional and moral support from the outside. Women need to talk about their problems and feelings in order to feel better and to gain a realistic perspective on things. Going through infertility treatment is difficult enough, but going through it alone, with no one to share your feelings with is much worse. Unfortunately, I think most women end up in this predicament because they feel they have no one to talk to who understands what they are going through.
Husbands know everything that is going on and so they are the perfect person to step in and act as the support system. This means talking with her about how she feels and about how you feel, and listening to her no matter how much she wants to talk about it. Make sure she knows that it is not her fault and that no matter what the outcome is you love her and your life will be fine even if you don't succeed in having a baby. Try to be her cheerleader. Infertility slowly takes a huge toll on a woman's self-esteem, so do whatever you can to remind her that nothing is wrong with her and she is not any less of a woman.
A good way to get some insight as to what your wife might be thinking and feeling is to read the hundreds of infertility forums on the Internet, which are full of women talking about their feelings. Reading about it might make it easier for you to talk to your wife and offer support. Also, it will probably make your wife feel pretty good if she knows that you are reading the forums and trying your best to understand. Speaking of the Internet, your wife probably spends countless hours researching everything there is to know about infertility and treatment options. I think most wives would appreciate it if their husbands spent a little bit of time doing some research too, and being active about making plans. Often it is the wife who takes care of everything, but I'm sure she would appreciate if she felt your commitment in a more pro-active way.
If you and your wife are going through an IVF cycle, there are also little things you can do to make your wife feel that you are more involved. For example, you can remind her when to take her medication and even offer to give her the shots. Ask her everyday how she feels and if there are any side effects from the medications (she is pumping a lot of hormones into her body)? Any little thing you can do to let her know that you are going through this with her and are there for her will help. Even if it is just outwardly showing her that you are as anxious to know how many embryos have and if any implanted. The two-week wait is more bearable if you are both counting down the days together.