Friday, February 6, 2015

Romance is Relative


"Mama, I'm so glad I'm not a girl", my seven-year-old tells me while waiting for me to finish putting my make-up on. I wondered if it was because he thought there was too much pressure on females to be attractive and all 'made-up'.

"Why do you say that?", I muttered while rushing to finish putting some mascara on, being careful not to take my eyes off the mirror.

"Well...It's just too hard! I don't want to get pregnant or give birth. And most of all, I don't want to have any of the pokey!"

It was a good thing I was already done with my eye make-up at that point because I'm pretty sure I would have ended up shaking with laughter and poking my eyes in the process. In our family, we say 'pokey' to refer to anything that refers to injections or poking yourself with the needle. Apparently, my son has heard our conception story often enough to remember that I had to go through A LOT to have him in our lives.

"Oh, honey. Not everyone goes through that just to get pregnant. It's just that my body has a hard time making babies so I needed all that stuff". 

It was all I could say to remind my son that that what I had to go through was not the natural way that most people experience. It was as far as I was willing to go in order not to say too much about sex and the whole reproductive process. I didn't think he, nor I, was ready for that kind of conversation yet.

Whenever I share some details with my son on how he was conceived, I always find myself trying to be really careful that I don't make it seem overly-scientific. I don't ever want him to think that the route his father and I took was completely 'sterile', matter-of-fact, and unromantic.


Though on the surface it may seem that way to some, the truth is that our experience was quite romantic, really.

My husband and I had several appointments where we were both around and knew it took solid commitment, dedication and sacrifice from both of us to make it work.

My husband was always around to assist me with the most difficult and most painful shots in order to give me the hormones I needed to trick my body into thinking that it was getting ready for pregnancy. It didn't matter whether we were home or out at a banquet hall attending a wedding. He knew that when it was time for my injections, he had to show up to help me.

My husband had to comfort me during those painful injections when all I could do was lay on my stomach and cry in pain as I felt the fat needle and the viscous fluid being injected through my flesh.

Both of us worried when I had some spotting after my embryo transfer.

We held hands, cried and prayed together while on our drive to the hospital, rushing through intersections that early November morning as I bled at almost 20 weeks of gestation, terrified that I'd lost my baby, this baby we've worked so hard for and hoped for.

Aren't all those romantic? 

In spite of relying heavily on predictability and timing, our incessant monitoring of numbers and obsessing over the slightest of symptoms felt, we never felt more bonded and I wouldn't trade any of it for a more traditional route.

Romance shows up differently for different couples. Most of all, sometimes looking too hard for romance the way you expect it might make you miss the real things when they show up. 

Having someone stay with you in uncertain times...

Having someone strong enough to cry and grieve with you in moments of pain...

Having someone embrace you for all that you are, with all your sense of inadequacy and guilt...

All of that are romantic AND more. They are real things that not only make your heart leap and melt, but most of all, break it wide open so beautifully to flood your life with hope.






15 comments:

  1. You're right, romance has many different looks. And any couple going through whatever they need to in order to have a child they will love with everything they have is the pinnacle of romance!

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    1. What a nice comment, Lana. Thanks so much! xoxo

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  2. You're right, romance has many different looks. Any couple doing everything they have to to have a child that they will love unconditionally is the pinnacle of romance!

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    1. VERY good point, Lana! Thanks for your thoughts. And I hope you had a love-filled Valentine's Day!

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  3. You are so right!!!!!!! I remember feeling a sense of romance when Joe and I were going through IUI with Lizzy. There is something very romantic about two people being committed to each other and committed to wanting a child. Just beautiful my friend!

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    1. Thanks so much, Kathy. I'm sure you have A LOT of 'romantic' moments with Joe! ;-))

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  4. When you're married with kids romance is a lot more than flowers for sure!

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  5. Joy, I was wondering what kind of a take you would bring to your blog. I loved it. There are many ways in which couples demonstrate their love and your narrative brought out the kind of compassion, commitment and intimacy that others - without the challenge of conception - might not have known or appreciated.

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    1. Thanks so much for your lovely comment, Maura. I really appreciate it! I hope you had a good Vday weekend and not having a difficult time with the crazy weather this week.

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  6. Hi Joy - - it's Stephanie but I don't know if it will show up as me! This was so touching and also i am continually impressed with how your son communicates with you.

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    1. Thank you, Steph! It means a lot to me :-))

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  7. Very wise points here, Joy. I think that's true for friendship and other relationships, too.

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  8. Such a great post! The classic, doesn't matter how they were created b/c they were created based on a foundation of love conversation.

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    1. Thanks Tesha. I agree! Hope you and your beautiful babies (all of them) are doing well! xoxo

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