“Have more sex! You’ll get pregnant!”
Anyone hear that before?
After a decade of “trying,” it’s safe to say I’ll never look at sex the same way again. Having to time the most intimate of marital activities by when (or if) I ovulate doesn’t leave a lot of room for spontaneity, romance, or heck, even fun. Tests, doctors, miscarriages, guilt, questions from well-meaning friends and relatives about when you’re going to start or add to your family can make you feel like there’s an entire room full of people cheering you on when really, all you want is to have a good time with your partner. That bed can feel awfully crowded sometimes.
It’s a bit of a downer – unless you’re into that sort of thing. Sex can become a bore. Just one more thing to check off the list for the day. Laundry? Done. Gas in the car? Yep. Procreation during fertile window? Sigh.
So, how do you keep things fresh in the bedroom when it isn’t where your heart (or other organs) are?
1) Plan It
It sounds like this would potentially ruin sex altogether, but knowing that you’re going to be getting it on can “prime the pump” – no pun intended. Thinking about sex usually leads to having it. Reminisce on times when you were in the mood.
Remember when you first met and got giddy every time your Significant Other sent you a text? Or fired off a risqué email? Dare I say, sent a naughty pic? Do that. Do LOTS of that. Adding some fun back in will make the challenge of sex-on-demand seem a little less daunting.
Related Post: Nurturing Your Relationship Through Broken Hearts
3) Get a New Perspective
A different environment can stimulate a different emotional response. Pack a picnic, grab a blanket (or two) and take a drive out of the city lines and into nature. Preferably, somewhere where the local scout troop DOESN’T frequent. Pack bug spray. And sunscreen. If that isn’t your cup of tea, find a hotel room with a great view and make a pact to only order room service for the next 24 hours. The main thing is to get out of the house where the same bed stares at you night after night.
4) Take a Break from Trying
It seems counterproductive, doesn’t it? To stop trying for a span of time? If the stress of negative tests is doing your libido in, why not try a few months off? No charting. No tests. For sure, no doctors and their cold, gloved hands. Take a break and concentrate on enjoying each other with your clothes on. When you’re ready, start removing some fabric. A short break could be just the thing to lower your cortisol!
5) Try Something You’ve Never Considered Before
The possibilities are endless, but all involve one thing: getting out of your comfort zone. Lingerie, massage, a toy, role play, a boudoir shoot – pick something you’ve never done but have always been curious about. Be brave! Bonus points if you can find something you both have wanted to try but haven’t had the guts to do!
Know what the biggest sexual organ is? Your BRAIN. Sometimes all it takes is finding that connection and not the one where skin meets.
Go hang out at a coffee shop and ask each other completely random questions (if you’re at a loss, check out the list at the end of this article), and laugh over the answers. Talk about your fears and struggles dealing with infertility and/or child loss. If you need to, schedule a counseling appointment and delve deep. If you’re already pros at hashing out your feelings, plan something. A trip, what you want life to look like for the next five and ten years (with or without a positive pregnancy test), a celebration, a memorial.
Also, make time before bed sacred. Turn off phones, shut down the TV. Spend some time just the two of you before the lights dim. Anything goes as long as it involves you two using your words…without staring at a screen.
Sex After Infertility or Loss
Trying to conceive (or heal from a loss) can be absolutely daunting and excruciatingly painful. If you feel like you’ll never get it back again – the closeness and connection that spurred you to want a child in the first place – well, you might not…if you choose to not work at it.
Sex, GOOD sex, is a big part of a partnership – don’t let that go without a fight. If you feel ridiculous and pathetic, or like you’re not focusing enough on getting the end goal of a child, knock that nonsense off! In the beginning, long before the thought (and hope!) of sperm meeting egg, it was just the two of you having fun with your pants off.
Get back to that.
Need some ideas for conversations starters? Your wish is granted. But feel free to make up your own!
Jill Kawchak is the proud mama to one truly amazing daughter, the wife of a good man, and a companion of a very troublesome Labrador retriever. Her days are spent homeschooling from the shadow of the Rocky Mountains in Cochrane, Alberta, where her daughter constantly begs to go exploring. She had always wanted to be a mother and started TTC just after her wedding in 2006. Jill has been diagnosed with PCOS, and was told motherhood would be a difficult goal to attain, but after 3.5 years of infertility with one early loss, the clouds parted, and the sunshine that was a little girl with blue eyes and brown curls broke through. However, in the years since her daughter arrived, there have been another 4 early losses. After *much* debate, angst and tears, Jill and her husband, Mark, have decided to end their fertility journey and are now focused on ‘what comes next’. She writes to keep sane, and support those who are also experiencing infertility and baby loss.