When Mark and I were looking for our current home, a hot tub was most certainly not on our list of “must have” features. In fact, when we looked at our house for the first time, Mark was kind of put off by the fact that it had a hot tub. He just saw another expense and another chore. But we loved the house so much (we even had that “when you find the house you’re supposed to have, you’ll just know it” moment, which I most definitely did not have with my first house) that he was willing to put up with the additional nuisance that the hot tub would provide.

As it turned out, we LOVED the hot tub. We moved in at the end of the summer and the days quickly started cooling off, making for ideal hot tubbing weather. We would go out there in the evenings and look up at the stars and talk about anything and everything. A lot of the time we would discuss our future plans and how our lives were going to be. Sitting out there when it’s snowing or raining is an experience unlike any other. The day after Mark did the Ironman, I came home from work at lunch and we sat in the hot tub together and discussed the race while he let his muscles soak. On the whole, the hot tub was really just a great opportunity for us to have good, uninterrupted conversation together, without the distraction of the TV or computers or anything else for that matter. I have so many great memories of us sitting in the hot tub.

But now the hot tub sits unfilled and unused. We stopped using it shortly after we started to try to have a baby due to the concerns of the effects on my eggs and his sperm. It makes me sad when I look out the window and see it sitting there neglected. I long for the time when we could do whatever we wanted without concern of how it might affect our chances for a baby. Mark used to ride his bike constantly, and now he is always nervous to do so around our fertile time each month, even though the RE’s said that since his samples are great it’s not a concern. I’m afraid to drink alcohol for fear that it will somehow interfere with our attempts at baby making. Mark counts his milligrams of caffeine everyday to make sure that he’s not drinking too much. I’ve given up sugar and artificial sweeteners. The list goes on. And these aren’t huge sacrifices for us to make by any means. But it does make me so much more aware of what we’re working towards. I know that in the end, when we’re holding our healthy babies in our arms, it will all be worth it, but these lifestyle modifications are just constant reminders of what we don’t have, and that gets to be pretty painful day after day.

I know that our day will come and hopefully sooner rather than later and then life can return to a new kind of normal.