Friday, July 25, 2008

Welcome to crazytown

Yesterday I saw a new therapist. I have been in therapy before, but it has been six or seven years since the last time I saw a shrink--before I got married, anyway. The purported reason for my seeing this new therapist was my complete lack of libido and its attendant negative effects on my marriage.

I know I've been promising to blog about the whole sex thing in detail but I've just never gotten around to it, so you'll have to make do with a quick summary: No sex allowed during entire pregnancy, and I was frankly too cranky about it to "take care" of my husband in other ways instead. After I was cleared for sex post-delivery, we tried a few times, but each time was very painful for me. My libido has also been non-existent. It has been close to a year since the last time we tried and while I miss sex, it is only in a theoretical kind of way. I am too tired, too sapped physically and mentally and emotionally, to feel anything approaching desire, and I also just don't feel very sexy or sexual these days. I recognize that this is not good for my relationship with my husband (who is increasingly frustrated with this state of affairs), and I even mentioned it to my OB at my most recent checkup--even asked for a hormone workup to make sure there was nothing physically wrong. She basically said, "You work full-time and you have a kid. Of course you don't want to have sex. If you DID want to have a lot of sex, that would be unusual."

At any rate, I finally got my shit together and managed to find a therapist who not only specializes in post-partum issues, she also specializes in infertility issues AND she takes my insurance. Our first session was yesterday.

I feel pretty confident that, while there are probably biological and post-partum components to my current sexless state, a lot of it stems from relationship issues (sorry, can't go into detail), and the relationship issues and lack of sex feed into each other in a vicious circle. So I arrived prepared to delve into that. I also recognize, intellectually at least, that the whole IF/tough pregnancy/breastfeeding clusterfuck probably left me with some lingering issues about my body and its capabilities. But, while I was certainly prepared to talk about those things, I generally feel on a day-to-day basis that I've bounced back pretty well from all that crap, and in fact I feel pretty proud that I've been able to let go of the horrible bitterness I once felt.

However, when I was giving the therapist a short summary of my backstory, by way of explaining how our sex life had gone south in the first place--two years infertility (which is so short in the grand scheme of things!), tough pregnancy, one trimester of bleeding, two trimesters of contractions, four months of bedrest, c-section, breastfeeding disaster--she kept making these shocked and sympathetic and wow-how-horrible noises. A therapist who specializes in seeing women with fucked-up reproductive histories was shocked and appalled by what I had been through. And the floodgates creaked open, and I started to cry, and I couldn't stop sobbing.

So I guess I'm not as healed as I thought I was. I'm going to have my work cut out for me.

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Blogger Aunt Becky said...


I'm sorry, electriclady. I'm just sorry.

3:35 PM  
Blogger Eva said...

I am so glad you are seeing someone you feel comfortable with and can open up to and whom you think will help. My best wishes. I've had a few turns with therapy myself and it just doesn't work unless you can feel you can cry, so that sounds really great.

8:10 PM  
Anonymous Star said...

You have been through a lot. Therapy can be a great help, so I hope that you can build a good relationship with this therapist. I don't know what to tell you about the sex except that stressing over a low libido always backfires. I have been through a nonsexual phase, in a previous relationship, and it did have to do with relationship issues. I hope that all that stuff will work itself out for you soon.

9:37 PM  
Blogger Caba said...

It's so good you are seeing someone. Because really the most important thing is for you to be healthy, that will start to make things better in your relationship with your husband.

And for what it's worth, my libido is shot since having kids. I feel it's more of a forced thing than anything else. Hugs!

1:48 PM  
Blogger MoMo said...

Sorry electriclady--but it is good you are seeing someone. I hope everything works out.

My libido is way down too. I think I do it mostly b/c I feel guilty for not having any desire for it. Sending you a big hug!

10:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hugs to you.

3:44 AM  
Blogger Ali said...

Wow, my heart goes out to you. You've gone through a lot and are still managing to stay sane. No mean feat, that.

And thanks for your kind words on Moxie's blog. Made my day.


12:40 PM  
Blogger kbreints said...

I hope that this lady can help you sort through these feelings. Man-- I have not been through anything, other than work and kids... and I am not so thrilled with "the sex"-- so donn't beat yourself up about it!

4:22 PM  
Blogger Watson said...

Oh honey,
I so feel your pain and I'm so sorry you're going through this...

I am in a similar sitch and it's actually so bad I'm afraid to talk to my therapist about it! Can you imagine?

I'm glad you're facing it head-on and I really hope she's able to help you work through all this stuff.

5:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello! Fellow wonky-mullerian here.
Hearing you on the subject of libido. I virtually have a big pointy stick my side of the bed. Poor hubby.

7:48 PM  
Blogger sara said...

I'm really sorry that you have to go through this after all you've been through already. I'm glad you found someone you feel comfortable with, and I hope that things improve soon. But you nailed it on the have been through an extaordinary amount of difficult things over the last couple years - and take all the time you need to heal and move forward on all levels. Hugs to you....for what it's worth - you have given me a lot of hope that there is a light at the end of the tunnel with all of this bumpy infertility, UU, bedrest, and complications issues. Even though there are things to overcome along the way - you have still given me a lot of hope and drive to keep moving forward. So just wanted to say thank you :-)

1:14 PM  
Blogger caramama said...

Yeah for therapy! Boo for you having to go through all of this.

The whole infertility thing, rough non-sex pregnancies and breastfeeding issues will really do a number on a person's libido! I feel your pain, having been through similar (although not as bad) issues myself. I was not in the mood at all for a long time.

I can't say why my libido came back. I do work on it with hubby, but it has to be when we are feeling connected and in this thing together. When we're not, I want him to just leave me alone. But amazingly, my libido has been out the window lately, and honestly? I think it's more hormonal for me than anything else. Do not discount the hormones, including thyroid! And do not discount good therapy.

Did you ever read my post about getting in the mood? I don't think it'll help right now if your relationship isn't in the right place, but maybe it can help sometime. It's here if you want to read it.

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I just wanted to say you are not alone in what you are going through. I dealt with some infertility, leading to my MA dx, finally got pg, and now have a wonderful 5 month old. But sex,'s terrible, I couldn't even think of doing it. It was/and still is so damn painful. NOt enjoyable in the slightest to the point I'm crying. I work full time too. I don't know where my old self is anymore, especially when it comes to that. I thought it would get better when I stopped bf'ing, well that was 3 months ago. Once I finally get the baby to sleep at night, I just want to relax on the couch and go to sleep....sigh....
I wonder if there are just alot more people out there like that, you just don't here them talking about it.

10:26 AM  
Blogger Jody said...

I started seeing a therapist in January (not my first, but first in many years) and every time anything related to IF/pregnancy/NICU comes up, I start sobbing almost uncontrollably. I knew I had some lingering grief issues, but I had no idea that they would be so strong after so many years.

Good luck. It's not easy, but it's worth it.

11:47 AM  

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