what it’s like: to be the husband in a couple facing infertility.

Today’s featured What It’s Like writer is none other than my husband, Josh. Words can’t express the deep impact his words made on my heart. “So what would you think about writing something for my blog ….” I asked him months ago. “I’ll do it.” he responded, and I had no idea what he would write, or what he would share. And yet, his words below give me, and many of you, an inside peek at what it’s like to be him…the husband in a couple that is struggling with infertility.

A peek inside of the male mind … inside the mind of someone who has stood by me in 13+ years of marriage and 10 years of infertility …. someone who has lost just as many babies as I have …. who has gone to the appointments … who has administered the shots … who has been through it all with me. Today we get to hear from him. I am so proud of his words below and pray you walk away encouraged.

Josh, honey, I love you and I am so proud to be your wife. 


I still remember the day.  The day after Christmas 2012.  I was at work, in my office.  Chelsea had just told me that our beta numbers were not good, and the pregnancy that we both rejoiced for was over, the bleeding was indeed a miscarriage.  The gifts we opened the day before, the mom and dad onesies, would not be worn. It was over.  I tried to breathe.  How was I going to make it from my office to my home?  I had to talk to people.  I had to drive.  I had to choke back the imminent tears so I could commute safely.  It was early afternoon, still long before it was time for me to leave, but today it was time for me to go.

babies

December 2012

I work in the same office as my father.  I emailed him “Chelsea’s numbers went down. The pregnancy is no longer. I can’t talk about it right now, so please don’t ask.” Any other day breathing was second nature, but suddenly I found each breath very intentional, holding back emotions with each slow breath.  I went home to be with Chelsea, and found her lying in a dark room, with worship music playing and tears flowing.

I didn’t know what to do.  How do we move forward?

Many men traveling the infertility journey have no idea how to deal with their emotions, and I was one of them.  I saw this poem around that time, and it really spoke to me.

A Father’s Grief – by Eileen Knight Hagemeister 

It must be very difficult
To be a man in grief.
Since “men don’t cry” and “men are strong”
No tears can bring relief.

It must be very difficult
To stand up to the test.
And field calls and visitors
So that she can get some rest.

They always ask if she’s alright
And what she’s going through.
But seldom take his hand and ask,
“My friend, how are you?”

He hears her cry in the night
And thinks his heart will break.
And dries her tears and comforts her
But “stays strong” for her sake.

It must be very difficult
To start each day anew.
And try to be so very brave-
He lost his baby too.

I struggled.  How can I be strong for Chelsea, while also dealing with my own emotions? It’s like Chelsea and I were navigating a journey blindfolded, except I was getting a piggy back ride from her; along for the ride on this blinded journey, but with less feeling of control or understanding.

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Naturally I only speak for myself, but I feel like this is probably a pretty common feeling for most men.  We feel the stumbles on the piggy back ride, the falls, the fear, and yet we feel an utter lack of control as well.  Both in direction, and also our emotions.  We feel the losses, the figurative prick of every needle, the fear of every bathroom visit, the gagging while choking down the pills.  We feel the rejoicing in the wins, and the heartbreak of the losses.  And the hardest part, we are solvers, and we can’t do a thing to solve this.

And then we had another miscarriage. And another. I couldn’t fix this.

I felt lost, however over the decade in which we tried to have kids, I found one thing that consistently help me.

Prayer. Talking to God. Sharing my lack of control with the One who has control.

Mic drop.

I prayed every morning on my way to the gym.  I prayed on the way to work.  I prayed with Chelsea every night, and I leaned into God through prayer every time I could.  Sometimes I would just play a song and sing it in my head as a prayer (Need You Now by Plumbwas often my go-to).  I would love to say I had some sort of 3 step method for all men out there, but here is the thing: navigating the infertility road pretty much requires men to often act and react in ways that are foreign to them and that’s why we need Jesus.

My advice for all husbands out there: Pray. Express to God how you feel.  Pray about the hope you want to have.  Pray about losses, the wins, the understanding you want to have for your wife and how to support her.  Pray for the pain to subside and for the doctors to figure out what did and didn’t work.  Pray for the medications to work, the babies to grow.  Pray for anything and everything. Don’t keep things pent up. Share them with God because I learned just how much He cares. It doesn’t have to be the perfect words. He understands.

We have seen so many things on our journey.  Miscarriages, tests with one line and two lines, shots, pills, ultrasounds, weeping and laughter.  We have been up, down, tossed around, and at times, felt like we were losing our minds.  But the one thing that always seemed to help me deal with the ups and downs was my faith and prayer.

It is difficult to be the husband, wife, parent to, or any other person affected by infertility.  It’s an unfair journey that too many have to travel.  Being a husband on this journey is a lonely road, full of many emotions many men are not ready or equipped to handle.

Take it to God and the Creator of life, the Creator of the lives you hope to cherish one day, will help you navigate the lost feeling and journey that is infertility.


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Josh is the proud husband of Chelsea, creator of this blog, and Dad to his long-awaited for miracle twins Kirsten and Logan. He resides in Minnesota and enjoys hunting and golfing in his free time. He prides himself in a well timed joke and is always up for a competition of some sort. He is grateful for the story that God has given Him even through the ups and downs. 


PS – Don’t miss a thing with this series! Follow along on Facebook and Instagram to catch each of the upcoming stories! I absolutely LOVE connecting with each of you! 

PPS – If you’re ever looking for a devotional on living life while in a waiting season, check out the devotional I co-authored called In the Wait’!

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PPPS – Check out the other contributions from this series, including What It’s Like: to experience multiple IVF cyclesraise a child with special needsuse an egg donorbe a DIY-er and home style blogger , be a NICU nurse,  Live fully in singleness while still hoping for marriagesuffer with endometriosis. experience depressionstart a company, have a micro preemie,  lose a parent, be childless not by choice, have a spouse with a chronic illnessfund raise for fertility treatments, have a traumatic birthing experience, take a natural route with infertility,  be on a reality show, go through the adoption process, have male factor infertility,be a stay at home mom, be an entertainer,  be given a Down syndrome diagnosis for your child , experience multiple miscarriages, have a surrogate, experience a late pregnancy stillbirth, be a police officers wife, be a working mom , be a breastfeeding mother, have weight loss surgerydonate and adopt an embryo,  be on a reality show, go through the fostering process, throw a themed dinner party , have PCOS, have had a cancer diagnosis, be a high school teacher,love someone who’s experiencing infertility and be a step-parent. Stay tuned for many other amazing topics to come every Tuesday and Friday here!

7 thoughts on “what it’s like: to be the husband in a couple facing infertility.

  1. Kyle Young says:

    Josh thank you. I am on this same journey that you’ve been down several times. 3rd transfer now with a failure, chemical, and now awaiting results for the 4th beta. All the numbers have looked great so far but it’s hard not to wait for the bad news that has came so often. My wife and I have found solace in you and Chelsea’s journey. Our mantra this time has become God has Us! I trust it and believe it with all I am! God Bless you!

  2. Kyle Young says:

    I had to write back because we just got results from the Doc; beta HCG of 4257! It’s climbing and God willing in 9 months I’ll get to meet the son or daughter that we have fought for, prayed for, and wished with every fiber in our beings! God has Us!!

    • chels819 says:

      KYLE! Congrats to you and your wife! I’m giddy with joy reading this!!!! God has you! Praying for a healthy and happy 9 months …. thank you for sharing and know we are praising and praying with you! THRILLED by this comment!!!!!

      • Kyle Young says:

        Thank you!! What a journey this is and what you ladies endure to make it happen. Make the toughest men I know look like wimps. Please make sure that Josh knows how much I appreciate his words. God moved through those words he wrote to help me. That’s one of the greatest gifts any man can give another!

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