“Let’s try and make a baby.” Those whispered words used to thrill you, but now uttering them kills the mood faster than black socks and boxer shorts. As you learn to recognize your uterus on screen, fertility treatment takes the magic out of lovemaking. Not at first, but over time … as each attempt becomes medically prescribed, timed and evaluated.
February’s forced romance in honor of fertility and a fallen patron saint can serve a useful purpose for couples dealing with infertility. Valentine’s Day reminds you to light the candles, savor love’s sweetness and once again release the butterflies. You are a couple first, then comes the baby in the carriage. Intentionally celebrate that love.
Unlike nearly every other major holiday that spotlights children, Valentine’s Day exclusively courts couples. No kids? No problem! February reserves the 14th just for you, so use it to reconnect, even in the face of ongoing stress and the demands of infertility.
Sharing a mutually enjoyable experience like live theater or music, a hike, festival or class reinforces that you are compatible, with shared interests and a history together. You don’t have to plan a special outing on the 14th with crowds and set menus, but make it a habit to get out together, this and every month. And that doesn’t include your fertility treatment appointments!
Give yourself a break ~
As a special pick-me-up this month, why not shop for a dress or lingerie that makes you feel beautiful and rekindle the flame.
Plan for a little spontaneity~
If your doctor currently prescribes fertility medications to suppress, trigger or induce ovulation, timing sex is out of your control. To get pregnant on your own, though, have sex 5 days before you ovulate, every other day, plus one extra day after for good measure. Sperm survive in the woman’s body for 5-7 days, while a woman’s released egg has a 24-hour lifespan.
A tip from one couple who overcame timing burnout: Reveal ovulation only on a need-to-know basis. When pressure to conceive always accompanies sex, men can suffer from performance anxiety.
Get back to basics ~
Call your spouse for no reason other than to say you love them, leave love notes and put your best self forward –dial up the charm, go out on dates, and always, always close the bathroom door when in use.
Bring your pre-fertility self back to life with a little extra effort in February and see if you can carry the torch all year long.
Here’s a list of fun activities around Austin to take your mind off fertility testing.
Infertility Retreats, in Austin and a Day’s Drive Away:
Stairway to heaven
Can’t think about anything but infertility treatment? Rise above it all when you climb 99 steps up Mt. Bonnell for a 715-foot-high view of the Austin skyline and Lake Austin. Park off Mt. Bonnell Road and bring a picnic. 512-478-0098
Head to the original Threadgill’s on Austin’s North Shore for Tejano music and fried green tomatoes. Danny Santos, a travelin’ Texas troubadour, performs Sunday, Feb. 6. Toast each other with caffeine free hibiscus mint tea. 512-451-5440; www.threadgills.com
You think you can dance?
If Bristol can do it, so can you! Get out and move to Austin swing, jazz, blues, rockabilly and country after you’ve let Four on the Floor take the lead. It’s a progressive class, so try to hit all the classes that start Feb. 1 ($35 for the series or $10 a class). 512-453-3889; www.fouronthefloor.com or check Facebook.
Everyone knows about First Thursday on South Congress Ave. The East Side “soul in the heart of the city” event offers live music, theater, great restaurants and more from 4 to 10 p.m. Find it all on East 11th Street. 512-441-2123; www.ibuyaustin.com
Emo’s brings Hunter Valentine to the stage on the 10th, an all-girl indie band with a single “My Private Battle.” As a couple battling infertility, can you relate? 512-505 8541; www.emosaustin.com
Fat Tuesday in Boerne
A new hotel in Boerne offers balcony views inspired by New Orleans’ French Quarter and each of the 11 unique guest rooms has a different theme. Ask about the Crescent Quarters’ suites with thermo massage tubs or the romantic French boudoir. 830-249-8016; www.crescentquarters.com