Infertility?  That Was Not in the Plan:  Supporting Your Spouse Through Infertility

By Karson Denney

We’re continuing on in our series this week: confronting infertility in marriage.

I’m so excited to introduce you all to a such a lovely couple as Karson and Betsy Denney.  I first met Karson because he was actually a ballroom dance teacher of mine at BYU.  A bit of happenstance led us to become much better friends the next year.  Karson and Betsy were THE king and queen of the BYU ballroom dance world in the era Rich and I were there.  (Rich and I met on the ballroom dance company- HOW has this not come up on our marriage blog yet?!???  Ridiculous.  More on that later….)  I still feel like a name-dropping sixth grader when I talk about them.  “Oh yeah Karson and Betsy??  Yeah, they’re good friends of ours. . . NBD”

But all popularity issues aside, Karson and Betsy are just about the cream-of-the-croppiest couple out there.  SO nice, SO talented and dang good parents. They’re currently hoping to adopt their third, so please PLEASE if you or someone you know is placing their baby for adoption, check out Karson and Betsy’s blog here.  And while you’re there check out the adoption stories of their first two.  Spread the word!

1.  Tell us a little about your story of infertility and where your family is at now.

You can try to plan out a lot of things in your life. The career you want have, who you want to marry, your infertility… Wait! Infertility? That’s not something you really plan for.

When my wife Betsy and I got engaged we immediately started setting goals for our new life together and planning lots of different things. We started looking for a place to live, we’d been focused on building good careers, and I even remember driving home from a little trip we took together and we charted out (yes, you got it charted out) when we were planning to have kids.

Every two years we would have a new baby until six little ones were part of our family. After about one year of marriage we decided it was time to start our family. Well, at least that is what the “baby schedule” we made the year before said…

Little did we know – the plans that we had were not going to happen. There was something lurking behind our plans, something that decided it would interrupt our schedule and we did not expect it…infertility!

The emotions that come with infertility are hard to deal with. Month after month you get your hopes up for a pregnancy, then month after month you feel the pain, frustration, and helplessness as your pregnancy plan gets destroyed.

While it was hard to deal with infertility, my wife and I were always on the same page as far as the path we wanted to pursue. There are a few different options: infertility treatments, adoption, or living life without children. We knew that the last option was not for us. I will spare you the details of the countless infertility treatments along with the emotional roller coaster. After many failed treatments, we were led to adoption. We were on the same page from the beginning as far as adoption goes. We just knew that it was right for us!

Three years after we were married, we adopted our daughter Izzy. Two years later came our son Beckham. We feel so blessed to have them in our lives. They bring so much joy to our household every day. My wife recently posted on our family blog how our two kids were “meant to be. I agree 100%. I know that those kids were meant to be in our family.Our plans don’t always work out the way we think they will, but I sure am grateful that my two kids were meant to be a part of the plan that God had for Betsy and me. If we hadn’t gone through the trial of infertility we probably wouldn’t have adopted. We love adoption and feel so lucky that it is a part of our lives. We actually feel like we could write an entire book about the joy and blessings that come from adoption.

Currently we are hoping to adopt a third. Our kids are SO excited about the possibility of adopting a baby brother or sister into our family. It depends on the day whether or not they will tell you if they prefer a boy or a girl, but most days they will tell you that they want both of them. We love their optimism!

2.  What is something your spouse did during this time that was especially strengthening to you?

Betsy and I were both very supportive of each other during infertility treatments. By this point in our story you know that we like to plan things out. So…what did we do? We made an infertility treatment plan. We consulted our doctor and decided how far we would go with treatment. After making our plan, it was very good for us to focus on one thing at a time.

Something that really helped me was the fact that Betsy was not afraid to talk to me about all of her feelings. Communication is so important for any trial that a married couple goes through. The whole ordeal was hard on me, but I imagine that infertility is even harder on the woman. Sure because women tend to be a little more emotional than men, but mostly because it is their body that goes through all of the hormones and needles. It is their body tells you if that round of treatment was successful or not. I tried to be supportive by listening and being optimistic throughout the entire process. I try to not jump to conclusions too quickly and I like to think that I was able to help my wife look at the whole picture and find hope in the future as we contemplated more treatment and adoption. Our marriage was strengthened through leaning upon each other and trusting in God.

3.  What’s the best advice you have for couples going through infertility struggles?

The best advice that I can give to someone struggling with infertility is to focus on God. That’s what we did and it is the main thing that helped us get through all of the aches and pains. We are religious and believe that God has a plan for all of us. We might not understand why we are faced with a certain trial in our lives, but we need to be optimistic and have faith that if you do your part to live a good life God will bless you.  

8 thoughts on “Infertility?  That Was Not in the Plan:  Supporting Your Spouse Through Infertility

  1. Beautiful! My son is adopted, and I am so grateful for my infertility because it brought him to us!
    Also, I must ask–how big was your daughter when she was born??? She looks like such a tiny peanut in that photo! Precious!
    You have a beautiful family, and I hope Baby #3 joins your family very soon.

    1. Our daughter was 1 lb. 14 oz. when she was born. She was born at 28 weeks so about 3 months early. It was an amazing, wonderful, and scary experience all wrapped together. We are so lucky that she doesn’t have any big health issues due to her premature birth. The picture of her in my hands was when she was 1 month old. She was in the hospital for 2 months but one of her nurses was a photographer and we got permission for her to do a few pictures once our daughter was big enough.

  2. Hey Karson was my dance teacher at BYU too. Small world. Or maybe not because he probably teaches a lot of people. In any case, he was great. And this post is great.

  3. Karson and Betsy’s story helps remind me to trust more in God and the future that he has for me rather than my own. Thank you!

  4. I really enjoy reading this! Amazing how tiny your beautiful daughter was…I juz adore that picture held in your hands! Alot of Love showed in the picture big time!

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