I have been thinking about writing this post for some time, however, given that some IRL friends (who know both my husband and I) read this, I’ve struggled with what and how much to share. I am who I am, which means I am direct and honest. This isn’t only about me, so I’ll try to be sensitive and share my experience. I believe this is an important topic, one that doesn’t get discussed nearly often enough among infertile, perimenopausal mothers of young children.
For me, intimacy with my husband takes many forms, ranging from affectionate kisses, hand holding, hugging, cuddling, and talking about our relationship/parenting/personal/family goals to sex. Being mired in infertility treatment for the better part of a decade, plus two precarious pregnancies with a shortened cervix (one with bed rest, both with pelvic rest), plus two c-sections, plus three additional surgeries, plus too-numerous-to-count out-patient procedures, plus breast feeding two babies, plus post partum depression, plus anti-depressants, plus perimenopause, plus multiple 40# weight swings have wreaked havoc not only on our sex life but on my libido in particular.
However long you might think an otherwise happily married couple can go without actual sex while still loving and being in love with each other add a year to that to get a better picture of what kind of sexual drought I mean. And, I’m not only talking about with my husband, I’m talking about with myself, too.
Someone I once knew had a license plate frame that said, “If you don’t use it, you’re going to lose it” and boy was that spot on. And, it has been so long now and something that has gone without discussion (which in itself is odd for us), that I wonder how we’ll get back on the horse, so to speak.
I don’t intend and didn’t set out to have a sexless marriage. And, I think about having sex every day, multiple times a day. Push just never seems to come to shove. Sleep, glorious sleep, is my drug of choice. I am go-go-go all day, a whirling dervish of sorts, that when I finally stop moving, I almost immediately fall asleep. And, that is not an overstatement. It is not uncommon for me to fall asleep before our older son goes to bed (his bedtime is 8:00) or to be asleep by 9. I get my best, most uninterrupted, restorative sleep from 9-1 AM. From then on it’s a myriad of getting up to pee, having to let the dog out to pee, hearing the baby cry and waking long enough to see whether he’ll soothe himself back to sleep, etc. Last night, I was awake from 2 – 4 AM and up before 6 for the day.
It’s no excuse but it does explain a lot. I feel so maxed out (in fact we are increasing the Prozac again) caring for our family, taking care of our finances and household, and making all the plans for my sons and our family, that what little time/energy I have left over, I put into writing, or reading, or maybe decompressing by watching something on DVR.
I wonder what this sexual doldrum means long term. It is so hard to ferret out what is at the crux. Given my prior sexual appetite, I think that the PPD, anti-depressants, and perimenopause combined are having the biggest negative net effect of my libido. And, since this is something that none of my friends talk about openly, I’m actually not sure what women in my position do. Do I need to be on some sort of female viagra? Do we need a sex therapist? Or marriage therapy? Will things improve when I wean off the Prozac? Should I start watching porn? Get a vibrator?
Add to this that we have no help with our sons, so it is impossible to even have an in-town romantic interlude to jump start things or even one at home with the boys away.
I don’t really want any kind of 3rd party intervention but neither do I want things to continue as they have. I clearly don’t have an answer other than DO IT ALREADY. So, here I am writing about it. And, I wonder if writing about it will make the resolution closer at hand, a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts.
My husband and older son are out seeing the Lego Movie and the baby is resisting his afternoon nap. During this alone time, other than write this post, my own thoughts are on a nap. See?