This post is part of a paid sponsorship by Ferring Pharmaceuticals. All opinions are my own.
As you all know, my wife and I faced infertility over the last couple of years and this was one of the toughest situations our marriage had to go through to date. We tried absolutely everything to get pregnant, which included invasive testing, medications and eventually in vitro fertilization (IVF). It was really hard to go through as a couple, but especially hard on my wife who endured way more than I ever could imagine or would want her to. A lot of people have said, “you’re young it’ll happen” or asked us when we were having kids, not knowing we were struggling very hard. Sure, we are young but the fact that we faced serious infertility this was the best time and chance for this to be successful.
My wife had hundreds of shots, more invasive tests and uncomfortable procedures and faced some complications during the IVF process that, as a spouse, was so hard to see. We ended up with five embryos that we could try to transfer and get pregnant, which is a good number. However, our first two embryo transfers failed and we were devastated. The amount of money, time, health problems and emotional up’s and down’s we faced to then be hit with two failed attempts was extremely difficult.
Why am I telling you all of this? Infertility brought on a whirlwind of emotions and depression for my wife and I that could get serious. I wish during this process I had more tools to help me cope and allow me to help my wife cope as well. As a couple, we did not place the blame on one person or the other because we are married and this isourjourney but having some outlet would have been nice. I will NEVER compare what I experienced versus what my wife went through as I acknowledge that she endured the brunt of all of it.
I feel as though the male aspect of infertility is not touched on much. While this makes sense, it’s especially important to realize as a spouse because there were things I dealt with and I know other male partners who dealt with it as well during IVF which is why I am writing this post today.
I recently was asked to review a mobile application (app) called FertiSTRONG, which is a resource specifically for men to use during the journey of infertility. The mental health part of facing infertility is huge and can play a big role in how we face the situation. As males, I know I personally don’t just love sharing specific parts of what I feel but do it to hopefully help others. The FertiSTRONG app is a really good resource for how to deal or cope with each phase of infertility. It has resources that are very specific to each part of the journey and also provides ways to deal with stress, address relationship issues and communicate better with your partner. There are so many aspects to infertility and I think FertiSTRONG does a great job at addressing and providing support for each stage. Infertility can be a long drawn out process, which means it can have a huge toll on your mental, emotional and physical health which is why having an outlet or resource can be really beneficial in the long run. Using an application like FertiSTRONG provides that outlet of support and ways to cope through meditation techniques and additional resources that you can do whenever and wherever you may need. I was impressed overall with it and the number of topics it had to choose from.
Thankfully our story does have a happy ending. Our 3rd embryo transfer was successful and my wife gave birth to a baby boy named Jude Elliot Blocker on September 26th, 2018. However, even with the success of this last transfer, we still dealt with a lot of fear and anxiety at the beginning of the pregnancy, which improved only as time progressed and Jude’s arrival grew closer. I hope that if you and your spouse are experiencing infertility, that you take the time to check out the FertiSTRONG app, which can be downloaded directly through the App Store on your phone. I also hope you reach out to someone to talk about how you feel during the process because it truly is draining but in the end, it is all worth it.