Confession: I just had sex for the first time in 10 months.
For those of you that have done IVF, you probably got a similar protocol to follow after your transfer - no exercise, sexual activity, or anything that makes your heart rate increase for the majority of the first trimester, assuming you get pregnant. We took this rule seriously, we didn’t want to break any rules or do anything that could potentially lower our chances of conceiving or carrying a baby to full term.
On November 8th, 2017, the day of our IVF transfer, we had sex that morning before heading into the surgery center. It wasn’t something we planned to do, and to be honest, we probably should have cleared this by our doctor, but we knew this day was special and wanted to somehow feel like we romantically came together and made a baby. I had no idea this would be the last time I would make love to my husband until after Flo was born. Seven weeks postpartum to be exact. According to math, that’s TEN WHOLE MONTHS without fornication.
Sorry Bobby, ain’t nobody humpin’ around at mah house. Well, except the damn dog. He’s dilling his pickle on the reg!
I started talking to a few friends about it and found out that it’s a lot more typical than you think - people just don’t talk about it.
Well, I’m talkin’ bout it!
“Let’s talk about SEX, baby!”
I’ve learned that it’s quite common for any man to have a mental “sex” block about his partner during pregnancy, regardless of how long it took to conceive. Throw in 5 years of infertility on top of that and the Virgin Mary has a better chance of getting laid than I do.
After the first trimester had passed and restrictions were lifted I patiently waited for my husband to make the first move. I remember telling him we got clearance and giving him a wink wink, sending the subliminal message… “come at me BRO”. He smiled back, reassuring me that he was, also, DTF.
Or was he?
I waited a week. Then another week. Then another.
I was stumped.
I’d stand in front of the mirror, naked, looking at my IVF bloated body starting to conform into a quasi - pregnant looking body and wonder if I was still sexy. This transition definitely wasn’t the most attractive thing to look at, but it was still “fuckable” in my opinion.
What is this guy’s deal?
So, I started making more aggressive moves - extra cleavage, a few day time sexts, and a cup check here and there. He wasn’t biting on shit.
Now, I’m pissed.
And, I’m fuckstrated. At the peak of my second trimester hormones, ret to gooo.
I started googling. So much googling. Google told me that he was either cheating on me, or gay. Or a murderer. Or dying.
Well. Fuck. Me.
Oh wait, you DON’T want to!
So, I decided to just ask him nicely. “Honey, do you not find me sexy anymore? We haven’t had sex in a few months and I’m starting to feel really self conscious about it.”
He responded calmly “Of course I do, I’m sorry, my sex drive just hasn’t been what it was, I think it’s because of my age.”
THEN YOU BETTER GO GET THAT SHIT CHECKED SON!
Child please. You are a wee 4 months older than you were the last time we had sex and all of a sudden your sex drive just went away. Poof - bitch just be GONE? I ain’t buying it playa!
More googling. More spiraling.
He’s definitely gay. Or dying. Or both. Still not sure.
We played this stupid game for a few more weeks. My offensiveness had turned into a deep depression.
I’m disgusting and NO ONE WANTS ME!!
Of course this is my life. We are FINALLY going to have a child together and my husband doesn’t think I’m sexy anymore. I guess I’ll make a Walmart run for some new mom jeans and just call it. Maybe they make mom jorts now? I’d prefer those I think.
JESUS TAKE THE DAMN WHEEL!
And just before throwing in the “sex” towel, he FINALLY confessed.
I’ll never forget it. I was in the kitchen, stuffing my face with ice cream as he walked in from having drinks with friends. He was teary eyed and said he wanted to explain to me why he hadn’t made love to me in five months. Alcohol, the truth serum. Why didn’t I think of this sooner?
Oh dear god. This is exactly how it happens in the movies. I abruptly put down the ice cream and listened.
He said “it’s because there is a third person involved”
Yeup, this is it. Awesome. Thanks baby daddy. THANKS.
I asked “who?”
And he looked at me like I was bat shit crazy.
“TURTLE, who do you think?”
He was shaking, starting to cry and could barely even look at me. This big strong man was ashamed.
Oh dear god, I’m a terrible fucking human.
Caveat - If you haven’t been following, Turtle was what we called Flo before we knew what she was.
He finally said “I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I was the reason something happened to Turtle, and I’m just not willing to risk it. I’m so sorry I’ve made you feel this way.”
GAHHHH. I’m not crying! You’re crying!
We talked it out. We hugged it out. We cried it out.
Infertility PTSD Affects men too.
Infertility was telling him that another failure was looming and that he needed to protect his wife and baby at all costs. He was too ashamed to even tell me this. He didn’t want me to have any more sadness or pain. He thought he could just hold it all together, because that’s what men are “supposed to do”. In his mind, he was protecting us.
I decided from that day forward that I was going to accept our situation for what it was. Infertility taught me patience and acceptance of things not going my way. It also taught me that it doesn’t just effect me, despite me being the “infertile” one. This was something he needed, and I wanted to support him the way he has always supported me. We agreed to show affection to each other by extra cuddles and romantic gestures until after the baby was born, and that’s what we did.
I’ll admit, I still wasn’t 100% convinced, more like 99.9%. Once we got clearance to have sex after my 6 week postpartum check up I was curious to see what would happen. I kindly let him know I was “clear for takeoff”. This time, he perked up, with a smile bigger than a dead pig in sunshine, and said “OKAY YES YES!!! ARE YOU READY?” a much different response than before.
And within a week we were back to “pound town” like newlyweds. Well, newlyweds with a sleeping baby in the next room.
Yep, I went there. I said it.
I’m proud to say it - I HAD SEX!!!