Well, talk about an episode of Pregnant in Heels just jammed full of awkwardness. With a focus on intimacy during pregnancy and scenes that include a sex therapist, an in depth discussion about poop and Daron giving a sperm donation for egg fertilization all in one episode, it is almost too much for even me to handle!
Now, if intimacy can be a struggle during pregnancy, try intimacy during IVF! Let’s be honest here, it is hard to turn all those hormones and injections into an incredible desire to get all saucy, throw on some “Sexual Healing” by Marvin Gaye (okay I just said that to make you laugh because I honestly can’t remember a time when Monsieur Gaye made me want to get jiggy with it), and have some hot baum chicka baum baum! Quite the opposite in fact.
After months of sex that didn’t lead to pregnancy, all I felt like doing after the fertility shots was curling up with a large quantity of chocolate and watching some depressingly romantic movie or, even better, a large number of Law and Order episodes (an obsession for which I have no explanation!).
As if that wasn’t enough to dampen the old sex drive, we also had to deal with the ins and outs of the IVF process itself. In addition to the home donation of sperm, Daron also had to do hospital donations and wow, did that get weird. The strangest part was that I’d have to go with him because they’d collect his donation, immediately fertilize my eggs and then put them back into me, all in one fell swoop. Let me just tell you that sitting in a waiting room while my husband was in some sterile suite, selecting porn and then providing a sample (all while I flicked through US Weekly) was not exactly how I had envisioned us having our second child.
It was always so hard for me to keep a straight face when he would return to the waiting room because clearly I couldn’t resist asking what he had chosen to watch, probably just a little too loudly for the surrounding couples (all there, by the way, to give their very own donations, which added yet another level of awkwardness). Then, when my name was finally called to go into the transfer room and have those lovely little embryos put back inside me, Daron was forced to wait outside! So absurd that when we finally got to the intimate moment, essentially the act of conception (however unromantic it may have been), my hubby was left twiddling his thumbs in the waiting room!
You can only imagine the awkward conversation that would ensue between me and my doctor as he transferred the embryos. I usually deferred to discussing the weather (oh, how British) and my doctor usually reverted to discussing the latest and greatest meal he had eaten (ahh, such sweet pillow talk!).
After the transfer Daron and I would go home and I’d lie motionless on my back. This is where the humor would stop for me; at least, this was the time when I usually found it hard to make any more jokes.
We would always be given a picture of the fertilized embryos they were transferring (two at a time for me). As I lay in bed I’d clutch the picture. I suppose I was hoping that, in some way, staring at the cells would connect us and make implantation more likely. It was so hard not to become attached to those embryos, starring at them for what seemed like an eternity, wishing, waiting to fall asleep so I could get up the next day and throw myself into work and try not to think about what was happening until the inevitable blood tests and doctor calls to discuss whether I was actually pregnant or not.
The problem with lying alone like that, staring at pictures of my embryos, is that I would go from talking to myself, to talking to the embryos, to singing some crazy “Just implant yourself” funny, yet really rather sad, song, to completely losing it and lying there in tears. As I would lay there crying, all I could think was that getting this stressed was probably not helping implantation. This would of course cause me to cry more, in a vicious cycle that continued until at long last I would fall asleep.
When thinking back on that experience, it is amazing to think that all of that could also be accomplished with one single act of intimacy (if the old fashioned way works for you, that is). Ahhhh, intimacy sounds oh so less awkward of a subject now; in fact it sounds positively easy. So in the spirit of ease, I encourage you to keep the intimacy going, as it is so important for the happiness and longevity of your relationship, not to mention your own sanity. And what is not to love about Monsieur Gaye?!