The stories I don't know, are the ones that happen outside the clinic. When patients come in they all seem to be handling everything so well. They seem to make it look easy! The truth is, I know it isn't. I see a range of spousal support day to day in the office, which kind of paints the picture of what their support system may be like in real life....
The Extremist: The spouse who knows exactly when their partner started their period. What their periods are like, how long they last, when they last took a poo... I mean its a little much, y'all. Answers questions for them. Talks over them. Calls to schedule their appointments. Calls with their partners questions. Its like they are micromanaging their fertility treatments. I'm pretty independent so if someone answered a question for me, they would be smacked :) But hey, to each their own.
The Middle Ground: Shows up. Keeps to themselves. Looks at their phone most of the time they are in the office. Sits in the corner quietly like a creeper. Asks questions only when they are really interested. Runs out the door as soon as the appointment is over.
The No-Show: The ones you wonder.. Do they really have a partner or should we be ordering some donor sperm?!?! These ladies are tough, always showing up solo. Doing it them damn selves. No judgment though, maybe they have super busy spouses?!
Going through fertility treatment isn't the quickest, most non-involved process. It's work. The consults, diagnostic testing, monitoring appointments, medication administration... The list goes on. Not the easiest thing to put on a relationship.
The cycles that end in failure, the feelings of hopelessness that can be par for the course. Having a supportive partner is important during the journey, but not everyone has it.
Things to do if you don't have the support you want (deserve):
Communicate! Sometimes people don't even know when they are upsetting you! I am a HUGE believer in vocalizing how I feel ((probably too often.)) Being honest, I can be an ass at times, and not even be aware of it. It's nice when you can let others know what is bothering you so that they can correct it, if they don't correct it, well they are probably an asshole anyways. I had an extremely sweet couple recently. They had gone through hell with their cycles. They were banking embryos with little success. Extremely low AMH and poor egg quality, the odds were against her, but they kept trying. They knew their last cycle wasn't going to end with much, but they talked about it and decided that they wanted to keep going even though they knew that the end result would most likely be a single embryo. When I saw how well they communicated and seemed to be on the same page, it made my day! That kind of support is exactly what she needed to keep a positive attitude, and focus on the goal of getting as many embryos banked as possible!
If communication doesn't work, another option is to find support elsewhere. Be it your family, friends, social media, local support groups.
You can search for support groups through Resolve.org to see if there are any close to your area. If not, there is an online support community on their website also (link below.)
When all else fails try hashtagging.... You would be amazed at what tight knit communities are created through one little key (#)