This is the story of my struggle with intercourse and infertility which will be referred to as “intimacy” in this post because I just like that word better. This is by no means the story of everyone that has struggled with it but this is our story from my point of view.
My husband and I struggled with secondary infertility for five years before I conceived my rainbow baby (another word I prefer to one doctor’s term “take home baby”). I went through various stages during the course of the five years. In the beginning it was exciting. We would make time for ourselves every other night in the weeks leading up to that magic time of the month. As months turned into years, the excitement long wore off and intimacy became a struggle.
I charted my cycle taking notes of every sign and symptom known to be connected to ovulation since the beginning of time. I was so in tune with my body I could almost feel my stomach acids breaking down my food. Intimacy became an appointment on the calendar. My cycles were all over the place so we did the deed every other night for good measure. I would get frustrated, aggravated, and let down every time it was obvious yet another month had gone by and no bun was in the oven. I won’t even get started on the sense of guilt because at the end of the day I was the one with the issue contributing to the problem and I didn’t have a way to fix it. I lost interest in intimacy, it was merely a means to an end. What my husband initially thought was the insurance card of intimacy soon lost its appeal. The passion faded and it took quite a toll on our relationship beyond the bedroom door.
We would go through this cycle over the years of trying to bring the passion back only to have it fade away and trying to talk each other into giving it another try this month because what if this was the one. After five years it got to the point that I had all but lost interest in intimacy and I wished a turkey baster would do the trick because I was just over it. I was emotionally drained and completely let down. I couldn’t believe something as relatively simple as making a baby was so complicated.
I finally reached a point that I told myself I just had to be OK with not having another child because clearly it wasn’t going to happen. No matter how much or little we tried, how I timed it, how much I charted and temped, we just weren’t getting results. Doctor after doctor, appointment after appointment, pills, herbs, supplements and old wive’s tales concoctions. I just had to get the hint the universe was showing me at every opportunity. I’d love to give you some wonderful piece of advice here, saying that there was this one magic night that changed everything for us. My husband and I had this wonderful connection and the passion was reignited. The reality is, that wasn’t so. We pushed through the mundane, rushed, hurried, absent minded, goal oriented intimacy until one day everything aliened and we got our long awaited answer to many prayers.
If nothing else, this has been on my mind lately because I wanted to encourage others that might find themselves in a similar situation. I always told myself that we didn’t go through that struggle in vain. I was going to be open about this in the most honest way that I could because to me that is the only reason it made sense for us to go through such a trying time. So if you are emotionally drained, broken, tired, exhausted, on the verge of giving up, I hope if nothing else, you know that you are not alone. While it doesn’t make your situation better, it can make you feel better to know that you aren’t the only one that has been there.
This is a very difficult situation because there is no one size fits all answer. In my case, my hormone levels were depleted. I have a feeling when I had my oldest that there was a shift in hormones that went unnoticed and had that been taken care of then I wouldn’t have had such a difficult time conceiving a second full term pregnancy. I ended up having to go the natural route because 3 years of traditional western medicine left me with no answers and no closer to having a baby.
What I can say is don’t let it consume you. I know that it’s easier said than done. Don’t let it suck the joy out of the other aspects of your life and marriage. Remember why you fell in love and why you want to have a baby with your partner in the first place. It’s really difficult and no one has the right words for these situations. So all I can say is that you aren’t alone. Stay strong and maybe just tonight skip the baby dance and lay in bed together watching a movie, eating some popcorn and snuggling up.