In the case of an unfulfilled desire to have children, it is usually the woman who is in the foreground. But men also want children and suffer when they don’t get pregnant or their partners miscarry. One of many is Marco.
He met his great love Julia at the Christmas market and married her four years later. The dream of the small family was perfect. But it soon became clear that Julia could not get pregnant. She underwent hormone treatments with extreme side effects, then actually became pregnant, but lost the child at 17 weeks of age. Week. After a deep crisis, they discovered OvulaRing and regained hope. Finally, with the help of OvulaRing, they became parents naturally in March 2020. We talked to Marco and Julia about their difficult path to the desired child.
Marco and Julia, when did your desire to have children start??
Marco: I didn’t really want to be a father before. Then, at the age of 29, I still had a child with my then partner. Three years later we separated and it was clear to me that I didn’t want another child because the separation was very painful for everyone involved, especially for my son. That changed the moment I met Julia. With her, the desire for a common child has flared up in me.
Julia: That was quite different for me. Ever since I can remember, I wanted to become a mother. However, at the first moment I was not at all convinced that Marco could be the right partner for us. At our first meeting I thought: What a terrible show-off. Luckily I was wrong about that.
Did you try to have children right after the wedding??
Then you went to the gynecologist, who diagnosed you with PCO syndrome. Did you know about the PCO syndrome before??
Marco: We both had never heard of it. But with me it was no wonder. I had never seriously dealt with the topic of the female cycle or pregnancy before. In my head all women got pregnant when having unprotected sex. The most normal thing in the world. In the meantime I know that it is often not that easy at all.
Julia: The diagnosis was not so bad at first, but the referral to the fertility clinic was. All my friends got pregnant just like that and going to a fertility clinic was a big hurdle for me. I felt so alone and different from everyone else.
What effects did the hormone treatments have on you, Julia?? And to your relationship?
Julia: The treatment had bad side effects: Skin rash, hair loss and depressive moods. I fell into a black hole and cried a lot. That was quite a horror time. Except for Marco and my mother, I hardly talked about it with anyone. That was a mistake, because on the outside I was always smiling, but inside I was totally desperate.
Marco: Actually we are both very positive people, but suddenly the world became dark for Julia. I did not know her like this. It was hard for me to pull her out of this negative thinking circle. Of course I always tried to build them up, but against a concentrated load of hormones you can’t always beat good words.
You had your lowest point after Julia got pregnant and you had this baby in the 17th week of pregnancy. You lost your baby in the first week. This is the nightmare of all parents-to-be. How did you get out of it?
Marco: That was the worst thing that ever happened to me. I felt so helpless. We cried a lot. I often had tears at work as well.
Julia: The time after the loss of our baby was cruel. It took months until I was mentally better again. But something had changed in my body because of the pregnancy. Suddenly my cycle started on its own. I realized that I didn’t really need the fertility clinic to get pregnant again.
How did your colleagues react??
Marco: At some point, I just started talking to my colleagues about the topic. And the feedback helped me a lot. After I opened up, I learned about more and more people who had suffered similar fates.
Julia: For me it took longer until I could talk about it. For a long time the only question I was asked about having children was: Well, when will it be time for you?? By the way, this question to newlyweds should be banned. But, of course, the people asking the questions could not know that it is not so easy with us. And probably I should have been open about our problems much earlier.
In the meantime you share your experiences on Instagram under the profile julie_s_blog. This is a downright offensive way of dealing with the topic. How did it happen?
Julia: At the beginning, it was easier for me to communicate via social media. Through Instagram, I met women who had gone through similar stories. Only much later did we realize that couples in our circle of acquaintances also had an unfulfilled desire to have children or had lost a child. Even though it happens so often, it’s still a total taboo topic and it’s a big concern for me to make as many sufferers as possible feel that they are not alone.
Marco: Men don’t talk about such things at all. Not even in social media. The suffer silently. Talking is so liberating. And I got a lot of positive feedback from my work colleagues as well as Julia’s Instagram followers for my openness. Especially as a man talking about it.
In the meantime you have become proud parents. What was the road to the second pregnancy like?
Marco: Easy. (laughs)
Julia: Surprisingly, actually much more relaxed than the first one. As I said, I had a cycle again. But not a regular one. So I started to monitor my cycle to determine the fertile time window. First with a thermometer, then with OvulaRing, a method that permanently measures the temperature inside the body and evaluates it with a medical algorithm.
Marco: I still remember the thermometer. Every morning I woke up with the beeping sound. It’s worth it of course, but it was still a bit annoying.
Julia: I was also annoyed by this constant measuring. It was cumbersome and has built up pressure again. That’s why I was extremely happy when I found out about OvulaRing. So I didn’t have to think about it every day at certain times. So I could stay relaxed and still kept track of it. I am sure that being relaxed contributed to the fact that I got pregnant again.