Brooks Laich is in awe of his wife Julianne Hough.
On a recent episode of his iHeartRadio podcast How Men Think, the NHL player and entrepreneur, 36, revealed he and Hough began the IVF process shortly before she turned 30 last July.
The couple aren’t pregnant yet, but Laich tells PEOPLE he’s more appreciative than ever for Hough, who has been a “warrior” through the process.
“Knowing she has endometriosis, it could potentially make things challenging in the future to conceive naturally,” he says of their decision to start IVF. “That was just a looking at the big picture and what we want as a family.”
In addition to starting IVF, the America’s Got Talent judge, 30, also froze some of her eggs last year, and “the commitment that she made to us having a family is something I’ll never forget,” he adds.
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Brooks Laich Says Wife Julianne Hough Taught Him About True Intimacy: ‘She’s Vastly More Evolved’
Calling Hough a “champion,” Laich says she had three shots a day for two weeks, and dealt with mood swings from the hormones.
“As a husband, I just go into full support mode. Whatever my wife needs, whatever I can do, I’m fighting the smallest portion of the fight with her,” he says. “There are certain things in my wife’s life that I know she appreciates that help her feel calm and help her feel relaxed, so I double those efforts during that time just to show that I’m there with her and I support her.”
While the athlete acknowledges going through IVF is a usually “private” experience, he and Hough — who has been open about her struggle with endometriosis — want to fight the stigma that may come with fertility issues by speaking out.
“The outpouring has been incredible,” he says of the support they’ve received since going public with their own journey. “Text messages from friends that I didn’t even know were considering it, messages on Twitter and Facebook, Instagram, people thanking us for opening up about that. I just hope it helps people.”
Celebrating two years of marriage on July 8, Laich says the couple feels closer than ever. “She’s super supportive and at the same time super challenging,” he says of Hough. “We’ve been together five-and-a-half years, and I can’t even remember life before her. It’s crazy!”
For all the details on Brooks Laich and Julianne Hough’s decision to start IVF, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.
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