Let’s talk about sex, ladies and gentlemen.
More specifically, sex while you’re battling infertility. I know, I know. Everyone who is TTC (or has tried) is probably sitting there, reading this and saying, “Totally, nothing is sexier that needles, hormones and internal ultrasounds. I feel my MOST attractive when I’m bloated and moody.” Right?
My husband and I have been in treatment for four years now, with three losses and no baby. We started treatment almost immediately after we got married, and, well, it’s been a roller coaster of a trip, I’ll be honest.
We constantly had doctors telling us when to have sex and when not to have sex. It made it very difficult to be spontaneous, and sometimes it felt like it was more of a job—just something we had to do. I went through periods of time where I got really angry and really confused. I felt guilty. I felt like I should want to do it more. My husband is incredibly sexy, and I am super attracted to him. Always. But there were times during treatment when I just really didn’t want to have sex.
I really struggled with this.
And then there’s always the folks who say, “Well, it must be fun to keep practising!!” No. It’s not fun. I actually found it really sad that not only could we not have a baby, which was devastating to us, but to rub salt in the wound, the most private and intimate act between us was not only NOT private anymore, it was being significantly impacted by this process. I feel like this is a pretty sensitive topic as it’s very personal and like many other aspects of infertility, it’s not talked about much. But when it is, I found a great sense of relief knowing that this was actually pretty normal. Infertility takes a lot of the sexiness out of all the sex you are practically mandated to have.
I talked about it with my husband. His advice to me was pretty heartfelt and very wise.
He said that we needed to give ourselves a break.
We were going through a ton of stuff and handling it pretty well. Our marriage was strong and all the things we were dealing with was just making us stronger. This was just one aspect that would work itself out once this was over. So smart.
I think during this process, there is a tendency to put an enormous amount of pressure on ourselves, to do everything right, at the right time. Take your needles on time. Get up early and get to your appointments (and then to work…) on time. Keep smiling. Have sex when you’re told to, keep it sexy and “stay positive” while doing it. I am 100% a culprit of this.
I wanted to control everything I could at a time where things were very much out of my control.
The truth is, I had to take a breath, be a bit easier on myself and realize I was doing my best. That’s all we can do. We are trying to figure out how to muddle through this infertility hell, and we are just doing our best.
If this sounds like you, I know you hear advice from everyone, and it gets tiring. I know it’s hard. Try to give yourself a break. You deserve it.
By Brooke Caruk, ithinkaboutyouallthetimeblog.wordpress.com