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Valentine's Day — Focus on the Love
Tuesday is Valentine's Day. This can be a nice holiday for couples experiencing infertility because the focus is on love and romance — not kids and babies. We talked to Phyllis Martin, M.Ed, a licensed professional counselor and host of The Fertility Forum, about how to change directions from fertility to fun in order to make the day more special..
"Valentine's is an opportunity to do a little something extra to remind those we love how much we love them," Martin says. "It is easy to take our loved ones for granted, and when a couple is dealing with infertility, it is also easy to focus on stress and what you don't have compared to what you do have."
Martin recommends taking the time to focus on what you DO have on Feb. 14. "Declare 'today is not about what I don't have, it is about US and what we do have."
Changing your focus can mean shifting from baby-making back to love-making — and that doesn't necessarily equate to sex.
"Focus on the love part of your relationship again," she says. "Avoid putting pressure on yourself to have sex if sex has become very difficult due to cycles and anxiety. Instead, get back in touch with touch. Touch each other emotionally by sharing thoughts and feelings. Recall a funny story and use your memories of when life was more simple to be conversation starters."
Non-sexual touching helps in this endeavor, Martin says. "Hand holding, footsie, an arm around her or a kiss on the cheek just because."
Martin recommends helping your partner feel respected and cherished. Show your partner you are thinking of them all day by texting or calling, breaking from your normal. Good food — chocolate and strawberries are always a hit — combined with a warm, relaxing atmosphere — candles, soft music — can go a long way toward making Valentine's Day (or any day) a little more special.