06 June 2012

36 Weeks of No Sex During Bed Rest: An Eye-Opening Experience



This post was written by a dear anonymous reader....
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It’s April, I am just over 5 months pregnant, and have not been allowed to have sex with my husband since February.  Doctor’s orders.

Just around 3 months pregnant, I went in for a routine test when they found I had a short cervix.  Taken out of work, and put on strict bedrest with medication, I had one big pity party under my stark white comforter for weeks on end. This isn’t the pregnancy I imagined.  Scared and anxious over what was to happen next, the specialists along with my OB decided it was best to sew my cervix shut.  It’s called a cerclage, which I’ve decided is french for, “punch you in the lady parts.”  Medically speaking, doctors sew a plastic thread, the thickness of a piece of yarn, 3 cm deep, and cinch your cervix shut using 2 stitches until 36 weeks gestation when the stitches are removed.

For me, this is when I became Mom.  I surrendered my body and decided to go ahead with this procedure.  And, I could take the pain.  I could take the surgery.  I was thankful that they found this issue and saved my baby boy.  But, I cried big, fat, sorryformyself, tears when they said, no swimming, no baths, no chiropractor, and no sex.

But no sex?!  No sex till the stitches are removed?  I just flat out sobbed for days before the surgery.  Buried in my husband’s arms we stared at each other night after night.  What choice did we have?  None.  Were we wanting something selfishly?  Maybe.  Still hurts though.  I would miss him.  I would miss that closeness we always
had/have.

Medically, and just as an FYI, sex is usually just fine in a regular pregnant woman.  If all is well and normal, go for it go for it go for it!  For some women with a weak, incompetent, or shortened cervix (or other medical issues, for that matter), sex is not okay.  It can cause preterm labor and other risks to your baby.  I also learned there is a hormone in semen that can help induce labor, that’s why some say to have sex towards end of pregnancy to help that baby out. (Of course, I am not a doctor.  Check with yours, and do your homework.  This is just my experience.)  If a woman ends up having a cerclage, the risk of infection to the tender tissue of the cervix is too great.  So no sex, and furthermore, no climaxing.  While, your body might climax on its own naturally, there is a plastic thread cinching your cervix closed.  An orgasm is a very painful ordeal.

Up until this point in our marriage, I followed a very personal, and ancient ayurvedic philosophy of sex every day. For us, it set our bodies and minds at ease, released stress and tension, and just felt healthy.  So, not having intercourse was a major sacrifice, on both of our parts, for the well being of our son.  Yet, I wondered how we would find our intimacy.

Slowly and carefully, I let myself mourn this bit of us for a few days.  It’s important to let the emotions come up and out so one can move on - which is what I did.  I then turned my thoughts and actions towards what it meant to be close to my partner.  I tell you, I found all these new ideas and details about him!  It is so exciting!

One day, we were reading about our star signs, and it said that his most sensual part is his feet.  He said, yes, it was true and I had no idea.  So, that night, our intimacy was foot massages.  Our OB encouraged him to massage my legs, hips, and back to release the sore muscles of pregnancy.  So we added in couple’s massage - so beautiful, soft, and intimate as well.

As the weeks went on, our hugging, kissing, and listening got so much better than before.  I always loved touching his skin and body, but now, so much more.  This man is so precious to me.  I really thought this would be like a prison, but as soon as I accepted our new position, it became so magical between the two of us.

Emotionally, our intimacy is full.  We share our secrets and talk about “what we would do if...”  This drove us to ask deeper questions about each other.  Our wants, desires, and even insecurities, and what each of us can do to ease any fears.  We still joke, and play, and lay down after showers together to feel the closeness of our skin.  After reading
about naked naps in this blog, we did that, too (thank you for that!).

And while we are still physically intimate in other ways, this break in sex has allowed us to crawl in bed earlier to feel the baby move and sing him a song and pray for the three of us.  I had been so anxious and fearful for the last 2 months.  Not knowing if we would have a second trimester loss and I had even started to detach from the baby
emotionally.  It was like God gave the three of us a chance to be a family in a such a spiritual way.  Almost like a spiritual cleanse where everything becomes so pure and at peace.

While we still miss the sex in our relationship, we know we will get it back.  What a blessing this is in our lives and in our marriage.  What a magnificent challenge and divine sacrifice.  We are really in this together and I know that intimacy can be found throughout any challenge in our marriage.

-Anonymous

Photo Source:  Girl in London

P.S.  Fun announcement for me:  I am now officially a writer for Babble!  I hope you'll check out my posts that I'll be writing for them.  They'll be much of the same type of posts found here on A Blog About Love.  Here is my first post....How I Took 5-10 Years Off My Face (ha!) 


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9 comments:

  1. This is a really nice post and kind of scary too! I didn't even know that a surgery like this existed! Bravo for the sacrifice you are doing for your baby boy!
    It also made me think about Karezza which is another approach to sexuality, bonding and love. They question the hangover of orgasms (I know, it is a wild and non orthodox thought in our societies), but mostly it says that the well being, the sense of belonging and bonding comes mainly from the tender caress.... And while you can't make love even as karezza for the moment, there are methods of bonding and creating intimacy and bond even without the sexual parts involved.

    You can check Karezza at google... But you have to look closely, the idea is not a new age thing, it's based on research about how are brain respond to the kind of sexuality most people have and how to have an even better relationship with your beloved one....

    There is this site with some interesting articles (but you still have to separate the wheat from the chaff : http://www.reuniting.info/

    And there is this interesting book called: "Peace between the sheets" Check chapter 12 with it's tips for bonding in a new way... ( you are already doing it, but it can give you new ideas)...

    Thank you for this marvelous post!

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  2. Wow, I really loved reading this post so much. It was wonderful to read how you created even more intimacy in your marriage, despite the fact that you are unable to have sex for now. I reckon you will look back on this time as such a gift for a long time, because of the new things you have learned about each other, and your new sensuous ways of being together.

    Love reading the posts from readers so much. Sooo good :)

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  3. I had no idea a surgery like this existed. It just sounds painful. Kudos to her for making what could be a challenging time a good one.

    I am so happy to hear you are over at Babble. I am glad they are branching out a bit. I think they have a tendency to pick the same demographic of ladies over and over and it's wonderful that they are adding some new people. Congratulations!

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  4. It was so lovely to hear that despite not being able to have sex there are still many ways to have that connection and feel close. It is weird how those are not appreciated as much as they should be day to day.

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  5. This is incredible.

    To the author: THANK YOU for sharing this, you are an amazing woman!!

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  6. This was so beautifully written! We have to give up sex during the last 8 weeks or so (even internal exams are a no no!) to ward off preterm labor and that's hard! So I can't imagine what it must be like to give it up for 36 weeks! But it is amazing the strength you find to protect your baby, even in the womb. As the 32 weeks mark is fast approaching during my third rodeo, I've been dreading it. I appreciate this perspective so much. Love the insights and ideas. And good luck to you! Already you are doing amazing things for your baby, no doubt you will be one kick butt mama!

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  7. I agree with everything that has been said about this being a beautiful post. My husband and I are in the same situation and it has been 8 weeks for us. I too have noticed that our conversations have drawn us closer to one another. I think we will incorporate singing to our daughter as well. Thanks for the post. It is good to know others are going through the same sacrifice and doing it successfully. My prayers to you, your husband, and baby.

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  8. Thank you for posting this. I am also in the same situation. This is my 2nd time being on bed rest.. this time I have the cerclage. I have been struggling with this myself because of the no sex. I am going to try some of these techniques myself.

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  9. This was found at a perfect time for me! I am 6 months along with our third and have been on modified bed rest since 9 weeks...it feels like forever! I have a placental tear which can be scary, but I love how you said you have found your partner so precious. I feel the same way right now, since we have also had to germs creative. Thank you for sharing!

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