Today’s post is a GUEST post by Melissa from mamasandminimes.com. As a note, I don’t normally take guests posts, but I felt like this post is REALLY relevant. We tried for 4 years for our last child and I felt a lot of the things in this article, she had great advice! Take it away Melissa!
Keeping things sexy while Trying To Conceive is a challenge. Some of you are super lucky that when you decide you want to start a family, you simply stop using whatever prevention tactics you’ve been employing and wing it. It likely doesn’t take much effort and it surely doesn’t take enough time for things to get boring or difficult with your partner. Within a few weeks or months you get your positive test and you’re well on your way to being a mommy.
And to you I must say, I am super jealous.
For those of us in the other camp, it takes us months (or, if you’ve battled infertility like me – years) of precariously planned intimacy to achieve the prize of pregnancy. Whether we’re tracking our basal body temperature, watching for specific bodily changes, or using calendars and apps, TTC can take on a demanding role in our lives and can cramp our style when it comes to being romantic.
The initial thought of having a baby stirs up so much excitement. We are reminded just how special our spouse is and why we decided to marry him and start a family in the first place. However, months and months of stress and let down can take a toll on our marriages. Not only in the intimacy department, but in the ways we communicate and respect each other.
Trying for that first baby can turn a once strong and healthy marriage into one that solely focuses on physicality. It can be difficult to prevent a partnership from dissolving to this rudimentary level when both participants’ eyes are on the prize.
However, when hoping for subsequent children, couples are often distracted by the busyness that is parenthood and TCC for baby number 2, 3, 4… becomes a chore and not enough emphasis is placed on physical romance.
Basically, TTC has the potential to be a real downer and can negatively impact many of the elements you have worked so hard to build up in your relationship.
In this post, were gonna discuss several ways to maintain the strength of your partnership while doing all you can to make your dreams of a family come true. Who knows, you might even get inspired to start tonight.
Keep Focused on Your Connection
You married your hubby for a reason right? Well, more than likely several reasons. Emphasize those reasons while you’re in the throws of trying to get pregnant. After all, once you succeed you won’t have much alone time with that person for about 18 years. It’s great to hone your connection before baby so that you can continue while your raising your family and you won’t feel like utter strangers when you find yourselves with an empty nest.
A great way to do this while TTC is to take a personal day together. Schedule a day outside of your fertile window to play hooky from work. Go ahead and see that matinee movie you’ve been talking about. Head to an afternoon baseball game or even take a day trip to the next city. Whatever it is that gets you guys away from your usual routine and out of your usual rut.
It’s a good idea to do this when you’re not highly fertile so there won’t be any pressure for romance at a certain time or in a certain way. This can allow the two of you to be natural together. A change of scenery and pace can really work to freshen up any aspect of your relationship that has gone stale while in the throws of TTC.
But don’t just let this heightened connection fade once you return to normal life. Keep things going by paying special attention to each other at home too. Never stop flirting with your spouse. Send him a sassy text or drop by his office for a surprise lunch (bonus points if you bring his favorite on a stressful day). You can also leave him a note to find later hinting at what you want to try during your next TTC adventure.
Each of these acts shows a real effort on your part and lets your hubby know you are invested in him for other reasons than simply having his child. Once he feels special he is sure to return the favor which will only double down on your efforts to connect.
Don’t Let TTC Tear You Apart
There is nothing less sexy than staring at your watch waiting for the right time to get busy. In fact, there is probably nothing that kills the mood more. However, if you’re struggling to get pregnant, this is probably the exact route you’re taking to ensure your chances.
Whether you’ve developed your TTC plan yourselves, or have received the advice of a fertility specialist, strategically timed intercourse can really do some damage to both partner’s egos. Often, you’re left wondering what went wrong month after month. Or, if you know the reason its taking you a bit longer to conceive it can become difficult not to harbor resentment after months of negative tests. The pressure to perform at the drop of the hat and the anxiety about another failed cycle have massive potential to set you and your partner at odds.
It can be difficult to remember that you are both working toward the same goal, but here is where healthy communication is key. You and your partner need to be on the same page when it comes to your TTC journey. It can be difficult, but you need to discuss the gazillion what if scenarios and make sure you feel the same way about your plans. Remember, neither of you are mind readers so you must talk these things through.
If you need a little guidance in this area, head here to download my FREE Complete Couples’ Communication Coursebook. But before you jump into my fabulous worksheets, check out these tips:
- Don’t Nag
It often falls on the woman to stay on top of the TTC efforts. After all, it is the release of her egg the couple is waiting on – whether there’s a sperm issue or not. This can cause you to feel as though you must stay on top of your partner to make sure he is holding up his end of the bargain. Constant reminders to keep the laptop off his lap and his cell phone out of his pocket can start to make your spouse feel incompetent. Even though becoming a mommy means the world to you, try not to nag your hubby about these little things.
- Keep a Family Calendar
Another thing that’s easy to nag about is your fertile window. It’s especially difficult to maintain a natural approach to intimacy when you know you’ve got a 24-72 hour period you must be quite active. Rather than continuously remind your spouse of your window, mark it on a family calendar. If you’re worried about others seeing it, make up a code word. How’s that for a cute way of connecting over an inside joke 😉
- Only Offer One Reminder
If you know your spouse is the type to neglect a calendar, try to limit your reminders to just one. This allows your partner some space and autonomy. It also shows that you trust him and know that getting pregnant is just as important to him as it is to you.
- Vent to Someone Other Than Your Spouse
Sometimes a girl just needs to vent. Unfortunately, it is super difficult for men to handle venting. They see your self-expression as “problem vomit” and they CANNOT help but go into solution mode. But when it comes to difficulty TTC, he probably just doesn’t have solutions. This will come across as not having anything to say, or worse, not caring.
Though this is far from the truth, it is probably best for you to find another person to vent to who can be objective and offer emotional support.
Intimacy Trumps Intercourse – ALWAYS
The real definition of intimacy gets lost and convoluted by the idea of intercourse. It is true that physical relations are a type of intimacy and can do wonders in helping a couple feel connected. However, the truth about intimacy is that it is anything that allows you to feel truly understood and accepted by another individual.
The bond you have with your husband is what is going to carry you through the next decades of your marriage, not your physical relationship. Your sex life will wax and wane throughout your marriage, and it will likely take a huge hit once the baby you’re trying so hard for finally arrives.
So share an inside joke, catch each others eye during a boring dinner party, thumb wrestle, brainstorm a vision board of your future. Engage in whatever activities are going to allow you to truly open up and find that acceptance that only you can give each other.
Enjoy This Stage
If your TTC attempts are successful, you will never be a simple married couple again. You will become a married couple with a newborn, toddler, tween, and teenager. Each of these life stages will drastically change the way you interact with your spouse. Unless you wind up with some crazy alien baby, you can kiss goodbye to sleeping past 7 am. You can also say sayonara to spontaneous trips and staying out late. Your idea of fun will probably look a lot more like PTA meetings and soccer games. So make the most out of where your marriage is in this exact moment. Take advantage of the time you have right now to do the things you want.
It’s also important to remember who you are outside of your marriage and outside of eventual motherhood. Whether you end up working or staying home (or working from home) with your little one, you will really come to value your alone time. Soak up your chances to pursue your passions before they get pushed to the back burner.
Also, if TTC is just becoming too much for your marriage right now, you can always take a break. I know how crazy that sounds because I have been right where you are and desperately wanted to start my own family. But I wish someone had given me the permission to take a TTC pause. Really. Its OK. There truly is a psychological component to becoming a mom and it can be painful if it’s not happening exactly how you thought it might. Read more about that here.
Where are you in your TTC journey? Did you find any of the tips in this article helpful? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!!
Also, don’t forget your feebie!! Click here for your Complete Couples’ Communication Coursebook