Thursday, February 23, 2006

Deep Thoughts

Here's something that's been on mind, that I've been dying to bring up to everyone out there, but didn't have the cojones until now.


Or, lack of.

Or..............The effect of infertility on your sex life.

Let's face it, sex becomes a chore when you're "fertiley challenged". You know, the charting/temping/checking your poonanny to see if your cervical mucus is the perfect stretchiness for those little spermies to swim. Then, annoying the hell out of your spouse/partner for sex. More often than not, resulting in the "I'm not a machine" argument. Not fun, but means to an end.

Then, you move on to Advanced Methods of Reproduction-jacking off into a cup, washing sperm for only the "best" ones (like it's a popularity contest for sperm), legs propped up, and your RE seeing more of your intimate parts than your own husband. Then, of course (Murphy's Law being what it is), they want sex ALL THE TIME, and you can't be bothered. Between the RE, wand monkey and nurses looking at your choch, you can't deal with having anyone else being invited to the Poonanny Party. And, that's only the beginning.

Let's not talk about being poked and prodded, shooting yourself up several times a day with drugs that make you feel insane and horny at the same time, watching your abdomen distend with follicles, trying to have sex but it's too damn uncomfortable so you just give up. You're distracted, self-absorbed with the end result of IVF. And, then the egg retrieval, being so sore you can't roll over in bed without feeling like your ovaries are going to explode, the waiting on pins and needles for fertilization reports, embryo quality, then the stress of the embryo transfer, daily shots in the ass with a needle the thickness of a dart, and the lovely "2 week wait", which is really 16 days, just because clinics are sadists. And, OF COURSE, there is to be no lovin' after ET, just to be safe.

Then, the beta and letdown-not pregnant, again. You just want to curl up in a ball and die. You're miserable and fat, due to the drugs. You feel OH SO SEXY.

You feel like, hell, what's the point? Why bother, when it's not resulting in conception? Of course, it doesn't help that Catholicism reinforces the "sex resulting in procreation" ideal. You don't feel attractive, physically and psychologically. You feel like your partner can't possibly find you attractive, especially since you're apparently as barren as the Sahara Desert. Yet, they do. And, it's a mystery to you.

So, how do you deal with it? Needless to say, my libido is shot. It's not that I don't find my husband sexy and attractive, because he's a damn hot man (and you can ask around, he is a babe). But, I'd rather sleep than take off all of my clothes and watch my fat jiggle around, to be honest. Does that make me a bad person? Perhaps.

I do have to say, Sean is a saint. He never pushes me. He's concerned, yes (since he's a red-blooded normal American man), but he's been kind about the issue. And, it's not to say that there hasn't been any sex, because there has. But, it isn't nearly as much as even a year ago, when we started this second chapter in our lives, titled "IVF Sucks Big Moose Balls". At least we were getting some, even though it was fraught with stress and pain and disappointment. So, to be honest, Pre-IVF sex wasn't that great either-it was a job, a chore that had to be fit in between the grocery shopping, laundry and cleaning the toilet.

Here's my question-how can this be fixed? Can it be fixed? I know that it's really my problem, in the sense that it's my perception of my body as "sexual object of desire" vs. "incubator". For the past three years and nine months, the perception of the latter has been enforced by numerous medical professionals, and the former had to be mentally put away in a cupboard. I need to be able to break the lock of the cupboard and dust that off.

Am I the only one who thinks like this, or is this normal? I' m going to assume that I'm not alone, that other people have experienced that infertility not only destroys the ability to create and nourish life, but it also destroys the intimacy of physical contact. It's another casualty of this war, and it's one that isn't often verbalized-and I'm curious to see what you out there in Blog Land think.

Just my deep thought for the evening.


Jan said...

Well, for myself, after 3 years of trying to conceive, conceiving and having miscarriages and more recently clomid and IVF, I can totally see where you're at! We are doing it at the right time to get pregnant (for all the good it does us!) but not at all otherwise - in fact I reckon it's been about a year since I even WANTED to do it. And, in fact, since I got pregnant the first time we tried and then had a miscarriage, there has been a big sex=badstuff thing going on for me since we started trying. I'd love to know a way out of it too. Like you, I see it as yet another casualty of miscarriage/subfertility (like our bank balance, our social life and my career!!), and it makes me feel so sad.

Shelli said...

Sean is a TOTAL hottie!

As for "upping the libido?"

I have found that some, um, well, how to say it on the internet...

"alone time" when no one else is home, nudge, nudge, wink, wink - think toys - if you don't have any, GET SOME, a little closed drapes and such can remind you not only WHERE poonanyville IS, but why it's there.

Lots of luck honey,

thalia said...

No, you're not alone, you're incredibly normal. In fact, I found an article on this a while back that I was going to blog about, but here's the link for you

Very interesting.

jsulli said...

You certainly are not alone this one...And I concur whole-heartedly with the "alone time" recommendation. I don't know,I think it can help remind you that you are a sexy, vibrant woman, jiggles and all. I often have to remind myself that I didn't marry my husband to father my children. I married him because he makes me feel amazing, physically and spiritually. And I deserve to feel that way all the time, but especially when IF is kickin' my ass. I look at sex with my husband as a retreat from all that we go through. That seems to help us really connect...Hope this helps. Thinking of you, take care...

cat said...

Agreed Sean is a very handsome boy :)

Our sex life certainly suffered as you know. I'm not sure if there is a solution as much as there is finding ways to be intimate and loving in the midst of all this crap.

Maybe declare a few times for free play literally. Turn off the lights, don't make it about the whole act and just be together.

I never felt sexy during all the crap we went through but often felt much better after we did get some intimate time free from the procreation thing. Sometimes a purposeful jump start was just the thing I needed.

Finding My New Normal said...

You are not the only one. I have often said I wish sex was totally separate from procreation. Why are they connected? I wish there was a way to make a baby that didn't involve sex. Well, other than the whole test tube thing. That's kind of expensive.

CJ said...

Check out my latest blog entry - totally on the same page as you!!!

No interest at all!!! And I am begining to forget a time when I ever was.

hormonebitch said...

You Go Sister!!!! Amen!!!!! I couldn't have said it better myself!!!! Can I just cut and paste your blog into mine??? I don't even look in the mirror any more cause of all the fat...bruises...and to make things worse!!! husband is now hornier than ever!!!! Give me a frickin break!!!! Stay away. Or like you...okay...let me pencil you in...but I only have patience for about five minutes so hurry up!! Oh geesh!!!! Awesome blog!!! I am with you all the way!!!

S said...

Heh-thanks guys-it's good to know that I'm not alone in this...

You guys rock!

Manuela said...


My FAVOURITE is when every thr*st feels like a stab with a needle to your ovaries because they are so FULL and DISTENDED with follicles and fluid... oh... wait... but I've done the needle thing, too... yah... I guess THAT'S why it feel so familiar... and... well... so HOT!

Snort... I'm with ya sister.