In my humble, personal opinion, trying to conceive (TTC) is one of the most fraught, misunderstood, and romanticized parts of parenthood. I knew I wanted a baby, don't get me wrong, but I didn't realize wanting a baby would almost ruin my relationship. Perhaps it's because the difficulties of TTC are never talked about openly and honestly, or perhaps you just can't fathom how your relationship will be tested by a specific situation until you're actually experiencing it. Either way, TTC was far more challenging than I expected.
There is this flawed and romanticized idea that TTC is going to be this sweet journey that brings you and your partner closer. That's not what my partner and I experiences. Quite frankly, even when it was "easy" to conceive it still took a crowbar to our relationship. Sure, the journey has made us closer in retrospect, but at the time we must have had some divine intervention to help us survive it. (Just kidding. We survived it our damned selves.)
I'd like to be clear. This is not everyone's experience, it's not meant to stand for anyone else. For one thing, because of our anatomy, my partner and I were able to have sex to conceive and didn't require other people or medical interventions. I realize the place of privilege that puts us in in this country. I can only imagine the greater burden failing at TTC would place on family units, for example, who had to pay $5,000 for each insemination.
From the disconnection, to the (multiple) failures, to the grief of changed minds, TTC can be an incredibly painful experience that makes you question if you ever really knew what you were doing in the first place. I mean, why are you choosing to create a family with this other person if the very beginning of the process is so damn difficult? I knew parenting would be challenging, but I at least thought it would be a beautifully transformative experience during the experience itself. But it wasn't. Not at all. So with that in mind, here's how TTC almost ended my relationship: