Healthy Living

IVF Tests Even The Strongest Relationships. It Tested Ours.

09/20/2016 04:28pm ET | Updated December 15, 2016

There are certain situations in life that can lead us into a hole of darkness that is so deep, we can’t even imagine ever climbing out of it and once again seeing light.

Walking the difficult path of IVF to reach my dream of motherhood was one of these situations. What I hadn’t realized at the time was that I was not alone in that deep dark hole. My husband and our marriage were down there in that emotional ditch, crouched right beside me. To support me, yes. but mostly just suffering-scared, trembling, and struggling as I was.

My husband was incredibly supportive as we embarked on the IVF road, went through the entire process and had our first child. But then we decided we wanted another child. The decision alone can be extremely stressful to each as an individual and together as a couple when you both already know that IVF is your only available option.

It was after my third IVF cycle which ended in the stillbirth, at 39 weeks, of our beloved daughter Isabelle. Or maybe it was the fourth IVF attempt shortly after which ended in miscarriage... and in which my RE and husband were trying to talk to me out of getting pregnant again so fast... We had already been through so much to have our first IVF baby, we thought we were strong enough as individuals and as a couple to withstand the weight of any amount of grief and walk together, arm in arm in the direction of healing. But the cracks in our relationship began to show.

I grieved in my way and my husband grieved in his. I fell in a deep depression and was so selfish thinking about how to heal my own pain, that I forgot my loved ones around me and they were also suffering. My husband started to drink wine on a daily basis to run away from his pain. The overwhelming anger and sadness instead of bringing us closer together, drew a huge wedge between us. We went days without speaking... We were so far apart that divorce seemed to be the only road left for our relationship to go in.

On the verge of signing the papers to dissolve our marriage, we talked. Finally instead of blaming, accusing and debated, we talked. We both realized that the mutual love was not only still there, but possibly even stronger than it had been before the tragedies. It wasn’t the matter of giving our relationship another chance as much as making the unified decision to shift our negative thoughts and energies to opening our minds to better understand what each other was dealing with even if we didn’t always share those feelings.

Once I truly felt that my body had healed and we both truly believed that our relationship had healed, we decided, together, that we were ready to try for a sibling for our daughter Eliyah.

This, our fifth IVF brought us our daughter Maya: A baby truly conceived in love, our renewed love, (even if assisted by modern medicine)

My husband and I a year later, after our stillbirth baby girl Isabelle

IVF brought us a lot of obstacles in our relationship between baby bumps, as it does for many couples. We are still together, going strong, with a passion to support other women and couples in the world who are walking that dark, often lonely path that we ourselves had walked. We are both passionate about helping them see that even the most difficult times in our lives, maybe especially the most difficult times in our lives, can leave incredible blessings behind, if only we can get past the hurt and open our minds and hearts and allow them to be revealed to us.

Monica Bivas is a married mom of 3, born in Colombia and became an IVF Coach from her own struggle to conceive. She is helping women and couples no matter their choice, going through this fertility process, to approach it in a much positive way.

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