Finding romance during infertility: Four romantic aspects of our infertility journey

Finding Romance During Infertility

In Fertility by The Modern Belly

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When you’re dealing with infertility, romance isn’t the first thing on your mind. After all, having sex on a schedule, flooding your body with hormones, and spending your quality time together in doctors’ offices, isn’t really the recipe for a thriving love life. As Valentine’s Day was drawing near, then, my first instinct was just to ignore it altogether. After all, I’ve never been a big fan of this over-commercialized holiday, with its heart-shaped chocolate boxes and tacky Hallmark cards. Yet I couldn’t shake the feeling that by ignoring a day celebrating love, I was somehow giving in to infertility. Instead, I took a step back and thought about all that we’ve been through and all that is still ahead of us, and realized that there are a lot of romantic things about our journey. Yes, my husband doesn’t hold a boombox over his head outside my window and we don’t wait for each other on top of the Empire State Building at night, but I was never into big romantic gestures anyway. What we do have is many small moments in which our love shines through and makes this struggle so much more bearable. So in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, here are four ways in which infertility can actually be quite romantic.

Infertility creates an odd dynamic. You suddenly know everything about each other’s physiology and reproductive status at any moment in time. You have long discussions about sperm, cervical mucus and vaginal ultrasounds. You stop being shy, stop having taboo topics, and it fosters a new level of intimacy in your relationship. I feel that this journey, despite the emotional and financial challenges that it poses, brought us even closer together than we’ve been before.

Here’s something you should know about me: I’m afraid of needles, or at least I used to be. I don’t let just anyone approach me with a syringe. Whenever I need to get a vaccine or have my blood drawn, I have a long internal debate with myself to ask whether I really need this. I then try to get the nurse that seems the most experienced, and silently judge her skills as she tries to find a vein before inserting the needle into my arm. However, there’s one person I fully trust to stick a needle in me – my husband. Every night, he gives me my daily injection and I don’t even flinch. I have full confidence in him.

Infertility is hard. We both have our moments of despair, of anger, of guilt. Such moments are a test for any relationship, and what never ceases to amaze me is the depth of support it brings out in us. We are there for each other, to lend a hand or a sympathetic ear, to whisper words of encouragement. Even when we feel weak inside, we are each other’s rock and refuge. We motivate and inspire each other, and for that I am forever grateful.

At the end of the day, what is the infertility journey if not a true expression of love? Here we are, two people who love each other so much that they’re willing to go through hoops of fire to build a family together. If that’s not romantic, then I don’t know what is.

Look at that, I guess Valentine’s Day managed to bring out the kitsch even in a skeptic like me. I truly mean it, though: even infertility can be romantic when you go through it with a person you love, and I’m very fortunate to have this kind of someone in my life. Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to thank him for that.

What romantic things do you find in your infertility journey?

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