Our Journey

2002 Uterine Fibroid Surgery #1

2003 1st consult with an RE, you know, just in case

2003 Got Married (at 37 (me) & 34 (DH) years old)

2003/2004 Naturally conceived pregnancies BFPs #1, #2, & #3 and miscarriages #1, #2, #3

2005 Uterine Fibroid Surgery #2

2005 IVF #1, BFN #1

2005 IUIs #1 and #2, just because, BFN #2 & #3

2005 FET from IVF #1, BFN #4

2006 Exploratory surgery to remove scar tissue from fibroid sugery #2

2006 IVF #2 (w PGD), BFP #4

2006 Emergency cerclage for IC @ 16w6d (5 months + 1 week of complete bed rest at home ensues)

2007 Our son is born @ 38w by scheduled c-section

2007 IVF #3 for baby #2, BFN #5

2007 IVF #4, BFP #5, miscarriage #4

2008 IVF #5, BFP #6, miscarriage #5

2008 IVF #6, BFP #7, miscarriage #6

2008 DE IVF #7, BFN #6

2009 DEFET #8, cancelled, embryos don't thaw

2010 Decide to adopt domestically

12.17.10 Profile is live with our agency

November 2011 Consult with RE re: donated embryo cycle

Early January 2012 Cleared to proceed with deFET

January 2012 Freeze our profile

1.20.12 deFET begins
2.12.12 eSET of one compacted morula
2.22.12 BFN

3.23.12 deFET #2 begins
4.14.12 transfer 3 embryos (1-8 cell, 1-5 cell, 1-4 cell)
4.22.12 + HPT
4.24.12 Beta #1 = 48.4
4.26.12 Beta #2 = 125.7
4.30.12 Beta #3 = 777.8
5.11.12 1st U/S - Singleton!
7.12.12 It's a Boy!
12.26.12 C-section: Baby G is born, 9#5oz, 20.5"

Archives

Visitors

Let’s Talk About Sex

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?

11 comments to Let’s Talk About Sex

  • Mel

    I would guess, based on a dinner I once went to with about 20 women who all started discussing their sex life (why? I’m not sure), that this is more common than anyone thinks. Especially because there isn’t a female viagra equivalent. So where both parties used to have a natural denouement to their sex life, it now can be extended on the male end and assumed that women should extend it to match on the female end. Though, you know, not that easy.

    But it sounds like you’re inclined. So what about a cup of coffee late in the afternoon, lock the bedroom door at 8 pm, say, “we’re doing this” and then jumping into bed to bite the bullet so to speak? You’ll probably be done by 8:30 :-) And then you can see how things unfold in the future before you wonder about bringing other people in to help fix the situation.

  • Jordy

    I once read something that compared sex after birth to not wanting to go to a party, but at the end of the night being happy you went. You just have to do it – not because at this moment you want to, but because you’ll be happy in the end that you did. And then it’s a snowball effect. You’ll be happy you did it, so you’ll want to do it again.

    Now of course this is an over simplification, but I found it helpful when sleep seemed so much more attractive an option ;) .

  • Becky

    Your honesty and openness are amazing. I hope the result will be lots of support. In my experience (31.5 years of marriage) the longer you go without sex the harder it becomes to leap the barrier and do it. It must be something to do with human nature, but some resistance seems to grow . . . You tell yourself you’re just waiting for the right time, because the right time is very important for resuming this aspect of the relationship . . . but the right time never arrives. If you can get over the hurdle of doing it once, things may change significantly. Hope you can find a way to bring back this piece. Even if the first time isn’t great I believe it will be meaningful for both of you. It might help to agree to go about it in a fairly “mechanical” way, “just do it” so that expectations are low. Who knows . . . maybe fireworks will go off.

  • I’m in a very similar boat right now. Not in a drought, so to speak, but frequency has declined to the point where I can count on one hand how many times we have dtd in the last six months. I’m sad about it, and have spent a great deal of time trying to figure out why. For me, I think a huge amount of it has been related to my self-image/body-image. Infertility and perimenopause have wreaked havoc on my sense of self, my confidence, and my ability to feel like a sexual being. I can’t erase infertility or perimenopause, obviously, but I am working my ass off to try to recapture some of the other things that made me feel sexy and loveable before- like losing some weight, getting fit again, eating healthy, and taking on interesting challenges in other areas of my life (like work, for example). It seems to be helping a bit- my confidence has returned to some degree, and we have had sex a couple of times this past week (wow! Twice in a week!). But the pp’s are right too- some of it is just a matter of forcing yourself onto that horse again, with the knowledge that you won’t regret it. Sending love and hugs… You’re not alone.

  • Claire

    Been there, done that, got the t shirt. Or rather, have NOT done that. You’re brave to speak out about this. I was talking about this with some friends in another online group and out of many if us, only one couple was not victim to LBD. It’s sad. I think a lot of it is having kids, being exhausted and not putting our relationships or ourselves first.
    I have always had a low libido except when in the excitement of a new relationship when it’s all very exciting. Having taken anti depressants for more than half my life I feel like my sex drive had been fried as well as the ability to relax into it. Being pregnant helped a little in the desire department but now I’m 2.5 weeks post partum with two kids and sleep deprived, who knows how long it will take to revive the romance? I know my partner misses it probably way more than me. It’s a sad state of affairs. Having said that, we are affectionate with each other so there’s that in our favor. Keep us posted how it goes!

  • Sometimes I think you have to just force it, especially with physiological stuff working against it all like medication, hormones, exhaustion. At least I do in order to not fall into an extended drought. And, if you’re open to it, battery operated devices can help a ton! ;)

    I’ll bet you aren’t along at all.

    Where is that female version of via.gra or cia.lis? argh. they spend all their research dollars on the wrong damn sex!

  • Thank you for writing about this. This resonates SO deeply for me. And I think, for the first time ever, my husband is also too tired and beaten-down by life to want to bother either. But I am afraid to ask him about that, exactly.

    I definitely think there’s a huge scar that forms after years of dealing with infertility, loss, lady-surgeries, scary pregnancies, etc. On top of all that other stuff that ‘regular’ people experience. But no one really talks about this. And it always seems to be the woman’s fault somehow. And also, the more sexless time that racks up, the bigger a deal it becomes and it gets harder and harder to even make yourself try. No pun intended.

    Anyway, I wish I had some magic answer. Some moms I know do the ‘weekly sex appointment’ one set night a week and that just seems so ugh to me. And I love how now the idea of doing it weekly sounds absolutely, swinging-from-the-chandeliers insane.

    I think I told you about my husband and I’s Christmas present to ourselves — a few hours in a nice hotel in our neighborhood (came home around 11pm instead of spending the night). A drink in the bar, sex, then most of the time actually spent eating cheeseburgers and drinking champagne and watching a horror movie. I am so glad we did that. That was a very expensive night, including the sitter. But it really was lovely and I wish we could do it regularly.

    Maybe we could brainstorm more about this on Facebook. I keep thinking maybe if I lost weight and exercised and felt sassy again, but it seems that is not the answer either?

  • No one with a normal life, little to no help with the small children in their care, can honestly say that they’re doing it at least half the times they used to before having children. Add to that infertility and the rest of the fun, BAM. Nice to have met you, sex drive, please be careful and don’t drink. Or rather drink, and let’s get reacquainted.
    All parents would rather sleep than ‘waste time’ on shagging. But once you do that, the next time the excuse comes even easier.
    I took the advice of talking about it with my husband, setting a plan (we’re aiming for at least once a week, wild lot that we are), and then just. Doing. It. I never start out too thrilled about the prospect, I would rather sleep or just haydaying or reading until i fall asleep. But once I do stick to the plan, and we have a go at it, I never regret it. Never. So, I serenely ignore all excuses that pop up in my head, and keep on with the plan. And it has done wonders for us, and it sounds odd, the plan of ‘just bite the bullet and do it’, but it works. Being physically intimate is important, and nice as well.
    Good luck!

  • Ana

    Oh I absolutely hear you on this. We started, this year, a once a week plan. My husband was dead set against it for a while (so un-spontaneous, where’s the romance), until I reminded him that waiting for it to happen “spontaneously” meant sometimes waiting weeks or months. So far we’ve kept to it except for one weekend when I was sick and on call. He actually put it on his CALENDAR for Friday night, with the ability to reschedule it for later. We usually get around to it by Sunday or Monday (Friday I’m generally exhausted). Also, yes, when we decide to go for it, it has to happen immediately after the kids are asleep, like 8 or 8:30, not hanging out watching TV and expecting to do anything but sleep at 10pm. And even when one or the other of us don’t really feel like it, we both have always greatly enjoyed it…so that makes it easier the next time, to get in the mood. My major problem with trying to tackle this issue in the past was trying to make it “fancy”, like get a sitter, go out, and then expect to come home and continue the romance. It did not work, because by the time we got home, it was late, we were stuffed from dinner and drinks and exhausted, there was likely a mess to clean up, dog to take out, etc… and it ruined the whole mood. So, staying at home, no sitters, no fancy dinners, no fuss, just go upstairs after kids are asleep and get to business…that’s what is working for us so far.

  • [...] especially watching TV together. It has always felt nice, warm, loving, us. So, when I wrote this post, it occurred to me that one of the ways we used to connect (that often led to intimate moments) was [...]

Leave a Reply

  

  

  

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>