Infertility is an insidious monster. It sneaks up on you, taking a bite here, a nibble there. It feeds on your life, and on your relationships. And if you aren't careful, it will devour your marriage.
For a long time, I didn't recognize the monster. But one day, I saw it—in my reflection in the dresser mirror. It stared back at me through the dullness in my eyes, the stress lines around my mouth, the droop of my cheeks. I didn't always look like that.
My gaze dropped to a photo that sat askew on the dresser. There, my husband and I grinned from the confines of the silver frame. Bryan's arms looped around my shoulders. Behind us, the ornate doors of Notre Dame rose to the top of the picture. Paris. It had been beautiful that May. And we were two young lovers walking its streets hand-in-hand. We were innocent, in love, and looking forward to a future filled with the promise of giggling children and vacations that would take us to Disneyland instead of Paris. But that was B.I.—Before Infertility—and those days were gone.
Gone too was the beautiful, sexy, loving wife my husband married. Instead, I felt like a baby-making machine that wasn't working right. As a result, our love life had become sterile and mechanical. The purpose of intimacy was no longer to share our love, but to produce a baby, no longer to enjoy each other, but to accomplish a goal. We made love based on the reading on an ovulation predictor stick, and according to the instructions given by our doctor.1