Not in the Mood When TTC: Ways to HelpKatlyn Joy |22, June 2013
You have the day circled in red on the calendar and you know what that means. But instead of excitement or any sense of looking forward, you sigh and shrug. "Again?" That is not the reaction your spouse is hoping for. Or maybe worse, your spouse is feeling the same.
Trying to conceive often starts out as a hopeful time with dreams of parenthood and an anticipation that spills over into the bedroom. But as months slip by and still no baby, the excitement may drizzle into dullness or frustration. That's perfectly normal, but that doesn't mean you have to settle with such monotony. First, explore what lies beneath the non-sexual mood. There are some common issues in couples trying to conceive.
1. Do you feel pressure from your partner or from within to always be working on a baby?
You aren't rabbits, even if you have some times that resemble it, and you can't sustain that level for long before exhaustion will set in. Actually, you should aim for every other day during your fertile window.
2. Have you reduced the act of lovemaking to a clinical act?
Are you referring to it as sex, or to your reproductive organs instead of sexier talk? That can make those sex organs shrivel so try to set a mood instead of acting like you are in the doctor's office.
3. Are you feeling unattractive because you are tying your desirability to your fertility?
If so, you need to practice more positive self-thoughts to squelch those damaging ones. Being able to conceive is not an automatic ability of every person. Remember Marilyn Monroe had trouble conceiving, and she considered a sex goddess decades after she's gone.
4. Have you gotten into a rut?
Sometimes couples fall into a trap of conception sex, where you only do certain positions, certain foreplay and all the spontaneity is drained of the moment. Don't let your baby goal make you machines. Enjoy the act and feel free to have sex in whatever way feels most natural to you both at the time. Position plays the smallest of role in the sperm getting over the goal line.
5. Are you only connecting with your spouse about conception issues?
If all you ever talk about with your spouse is your fertility issues, and the only time you have sex it's to get pregnant, you are damaging your relationship. Step back and get perspective. You love this person, that's why you want a baby and to build a family together. Rediscover your mate by going on dates where you are forbidden from discussing sperm counts, babies, or fertility drugs.
6. When was the last time you stirred things up a bit in the bedroom?
Or the kitchen, on the table, on the couch or wherever the mood strikes you. Get some lingerie, some massage oils or new candles. Take the dullness out of the routine!
7. Do you show affection at times when you aren't trying to make a baby?
Do you hold hands when walking together? When you get up do you still kiss your partner's nose like you used to? Do you give a big hug to each other when you get home? Do you rub shoulders or for extra points, feet? You feel more in touch through these non-sexual touches.
8. Are you generally stressed?
Many couples can become stressed out in their pursuit of a family. Stress has been known to cause problems with fertility. Talk about your concerns with your partner first, but if you feel this is becoming your only source of conversation talk to another close person in your life. Should the tension increase or stress feels like it's building into depression, talk to your doctor or a counselor.
9. Are you getting regular sleep?
Simple yes, but lack of restful sleep can impair your ability to look forward to sex and lots of other things in life. Try to get at least eight hours each night and if necessary take naps. You need to relax before bed, so no intense activity, heavy meals or caffeine close to bedtime.
10. Have you been faithful at the gym?
Are you getting regular exercise? While it's a good idea in general, and certainly good to help you in your baby pursuit, exercise will also help you feel more ready for sex. It releases endorphins which is a feel-good chemical and exercising is tied to better sex so it's a win-win.
11. Are you pursuing your favorite hobbies still or solely focused on babymaking?
Keep up your former pastimes unless they are especially dangerous for women, in case you are pregnant already and don't realize it. So if you excel at beer pong, let that go for now, but if you used to attend a book club and gave it up, get back to your literary hobby. If you used to enjoy bike rides on Saturdays, get back in the saddle again. Live your life fully and enjoy it for what it already has instead of focusing on what you don't have yet.
12. Are you feeling like the demands of chasing a baby have drained you or your relationship?
Maybe you two should take a respite from fertility pursuits for awhile and just relax and reconnect. Have sex when you want, and only then for awhile. Stop thinking about, talking about, reading about making babies. Rediscover what made you two fall in love.Katlyn Joy is a mother to 7 children, and a freelance writer. She earned her Master of Arts in Creative Writing and Poetry, and a Bachelor of Arts in English and was previously an adviser to new mothers on breastfeeding through a maternity home program. She currently resides in Colorado with her family.
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