Maria says: Since we started dating, I looked forward to marrying Vince and starting a family. However, I waited until I was 27 to get married, in order that I could complete my master’s degree and work in my preferred field for a few years. Then, we delayed a start to our family based on some advice that couples need time together before the kids come along.
Now, I am approaching 31 and frustrated that we are not conceiving a child. Most of my cousins and friends have several children by now, but we are still trying. This effort to conceive takes the joy out of trying and our lovemaking has turned into a job rather than celebrating that joy. I realize I should have 10 more years to produce a child, but seeing my peers with babies is difficult. I try not to think about conception of our own baby, but that is never very far from my mind and it consumes me.
Vince says: I try to understand Maria’s desire to have a baby now, but I figure that should come in time. I am too busy with just enjoying our life to get “all out of joint” over this. Yet, Maria is really hung up over our conceiving. I love her very much and would like to have a baby, but we have loads of time left to conceive before her biological clock runs out.
I wish Maria could relax a little more and not be so uptight over this. We really do enjoy each other and share a lot of good times. Soon enough, our time will get strapped with babies and diapers and being up half the night with kids. I just wish Maria could enjoy her time with me now and be less uptight over the whole conception thing not happening.
What do they do?
The heartache of a young married couple struggling to conceive a child without success can be extremely stressful. If a couple is not careful, the consequences of their responses to the pressure of their inability to become pregnant can have devastating effects on their marriage relationship. Blaming, criticizing and quarreling can quickly overpower a couple during a time in their marriage which should be filled with feelings of affection, tenderness and bonding. Maria and Vince must be on guard to always keep their conversations on this issue honest, but respectful.
Maria and Vince initially need to consult a respected fertility specialist who is aware of, and in accord with, Catholic teaching on fertility issues to ascertain if there is any physical difficulty with either of them that presents a barrier to their conceiving a child.
If no physical obstacles to conception are discovered, Maria and Vince can begin to work on “lowering the pressure” of their situation and try to recreate the atmosphere of their honeymoon/early marriage relationship. Planned “dates” can raise anticipation, but spontaneity can also create delight!
Perhaps the diocese’s Family Life Office can supply Maria and Vince with organizations that can advise on natural family planning, who are often helpful in assisting couples who are having difficulty conceiving.
It may be that Maria and Vince will find out that they have a problem of infertility that cannot be overcome. Then they will have to discuss the possibility of other loving options such as adoption or foster care. Either way, both Maria and Vince need to keep the lines of communication open and loving, placing their trust in God, their partner in marriage, that He will lead them on the right path to parenthood.
“So humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.” (1 Peter 5:6)