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Fertile Couplehood: Great Sex Makes Great Babies, But What Makes Great Sex?

By on February 10, 2010

Couple Walking Under UmbrellaThe Fully Fertile, Wild n’ Sexy Scenic Road of Baby Making. 

Did you know that foreplay can up your chances of getting pregnant? Of course you do. We all know that procreation was designed to be synonymous with supreme delight. What then do you do, when it ends up feeling like a sure road to failure, in spite of your secret stash of sex manuals.

Now, there is foreplay and there is foreplay. I want to talk about the Fertile Heart™ Ovum Way to juicing up your baby making. Nope, it’s not a visit to Victoria’s Secret, which is not to say that daring to be outrageous in the lingerie department can’t spice up production time.

You know the old adage about the key sex organ being your brain? I say the bedroom is the Kingdom of her Majesty the Heart, and until you surrender to her laws, all your orgasmic prowess might ultimately leave you feeling empty.

Great sex is about deep intimacy, not technique. I’m going to get real up close and personal here, but when it comes to revealing the shady secrets of my inner and outer life, I’ve pretty much reached the point of no return, so I might as well keep going.

A few years ago, searching for a gift in a local giftshop, I absentmindedly glanced at a colorful cover of a postcard-size booklet on a nearby shelf, picked it up and opened it to an image of a man and a woman looking as though they were really enjoying themselves. Hmm, I thought and turned the page. Another image, another intriguing constellation of limbs. In case you hadn’t guessed I was leafing through a “Reader’s Digest” version of the Karma Sutra, the ancient Indian instruction book of sexual behaviour. Leafing through the pages I came to a surprising conclusion: Ed and I could easily do some consulting for the next edition. I mean I knew we had fun. But I had no idea we were in the Karma Sutra Zone.

And we didn’t get there by going on a Sexual Freedom Technique Retreat.

Our comfort with each other’s bodies didn’t grow out of an instruction manual but through a perpetually deepening trust between us. Our hearts led the way and our bodies spontaneously followed.

These days, I have to remind myself that Ed was once the strong silent type. Not that I ever doubted that our marriage was built on solid ground, but Ed was not particularly demonstrative, and in the first moths of marriage, I used to beg him to fight with me.

“ I know you’re angry, I can see it, feel it, so c’mon, what’s going on?” I’d say.

It was tough for him to ask for what he wanted, nor was it always easy for me to let my guard down. And do you know what finally broke the dam of pride and fear between us? You guessed. It was our baby-making trek that allowed me to introduce Ed to some of my neediest, scariest, and to me, least lovable Orphans. And…he didn’t run away. Rather, he too, painful as I knew this must’ve been for him, revealed the hiding places of his own terrified toddlers.

The orphanages in both our hearts, as in any human heart, are pretty crowded. Ed grew up with a father who suffered for years from a life threatening blood disease and died soon after Ed’s thirteenth birthday. His childhood was a battle field that left countless scars.

Healing them together is one of the sexiest things we’ve ever done.

So, the foreplay I’m talking about can begin for you anytime.  It begins with the courage to know what you   want and to learn how to ask for it.

“A line of Beckett’s says it all when it comes to couples caught in the maze of baby making.

        ‘To be buried in lava and not turn a hair, it is then a man shows the stuff he is made of.’ The consensus seems to be that the stress of fertility treatments and disappointments can easily break up a marriage. Maybe so. But it can also help you find out who you are married to, and what the marriage is made of.

                                                                                          –   from The Fertile Female: How the Power of Longing for a Child Can Save Your Life and Change the World.

 

 

33 Responses to “Fertile Couplehood: Great Sex Makes Great Babies, But What Makes Great Sex?”

  1. Sofi says:

    This blog hit home for me in a number of ways. I was already starting to recognize that intimacy with my fiance has suffered during this fertility journey, and so far it hasn’t really brought us closer. It has triggered orphans in both of us that we both have trouble accepting in each other. But I am hoping that the awareness of the need to open up will give me the courage to do so with my fiance, and in other parts of my life where I keep my true self hidden from others. I am encouraged by the other posts and seeing that things can turn around. I also have a question: some of the older posts mentioned a movie that Julia recommended to enhance intimacy with your partner. I wonder if anyone knows what it is. I could certainly use some inspiration!

  2. FindingFaith21 says:

    This article is so perfect! I feel like for the past 10 years of our 16 year marriage, my husband and I have mostly had baby sex. My sister would tell me to just stop timing sex and just go with the moment. She has not struggled with getting pregnant. Having sex around my fertile time is as common to us now as brushing our teeth or showering. It’s just something we do. Is it fun? Sure. Every single time? Nope, not really. Is it a drag? At times. If you HAD to eat chocolate cake every other day for six days even if you weren’t hungry, even that would get pretty old pretty fast. To make it all worse is that it doesn’t “work.” We don’t get pregnant. Perfectly timed, with big fat eggs being released and chased by crazy-proficient sperm, and no winner. That’s what is hard to separate–the act of sex from the feelings of failure and futility. There are times I want to put away the calendar, ignore the body signs of ovulation and just have sex if and when we want it. But then the fear orphan starts having a hissy, and panic sets in. WE CAN’T MISS THE WINDOW, she screams. ANOTHER MONTH WASTED! So yes, I do wish I could “forget” about potential failure and just reconnect with my husband. It’s depressing when sex becomes results driven instead of being an expression of love. Like I said–it’s not like that always, but over the years, it’s not something I’m unfamiliar with at all.

  3. Heather says:

    I read and re-read this article several times. The last sentences really hit home. To know what you want and to be able to ask for it does take courage and a tremendous amount of trust. Many couple love each other but to place your scared trust in another person is, at least to me, the ultimate form of intimacy. You are giving a deeply rooted part of yourself permission to open up, lay your dreams, hopes, and wishes out and have total faith that your partner has both the desire and commitment to support you. I spent ten years with a partner I have since come to realize I had no trust and faith in. When I when was in the depths of angst and despair he was not the person I was able to fully trust. I meet someone in May who I have since come to love more than I could imagine and I trust him fully and completely. I laid my soul bare and he has supported me in ways I could never imagine any one besides my mom ever doing. Blessings come in many forms and in many ways. This journey to meet my child has certainly put that in perspective.

  4. Lori says:

    So responding to this blog creates yet another obtstacle on my baby journey, but I am finding my way through it as I have all the other ones. Of course my first response is “This doesn’t relate to me at all being single… ” while my orphans shame, hurt, anger and most definitely left-out proudly stand by my side. But then my UM clearly shows me that just because I am single at the moment doesn’t mean I’ve never been in a relationship involving sex and/or intimacy. I used those words independently of each other as sex isn’t always a product of intimacy and you can have intimacy without having sex. Having had both, my experience has been that those relationships that have the emotional intimacy tend to have the best sex. With a special person in my life, I was sure I could conceive a child through our relationship as we shared both intimacy and great sex. Upon reflection, I know that just because I was sharing my orphans with him , he wasn’t necessarily sharing his orphans with me. And maybejust maybe we weren’t as intimate as I had thought. Maybe my journey is to find the man who is ready to share his ophans with me….

  5. Robin says:

    What a fantastic assignment, Julia. I’m really happy you are able to open up with your husband, miraclehope – wonderful.

    I really don’t have a wonderful response for this, but it’s really good to be thinking about a response – a good assignment. My husband and I could not write the book on intimacy, but we have withstood the test of time – we are still standing as they say. One of the aspects of the emotional challenges for my daughter is trying to split your parents up is part of the manifestation of the challenge. We are so grateful to know that, so now we are more determined than ever not to let that happen!! More recently I have asked my husband to take a few minutes with me (ideally every day – not quite there yet ) and have each of us taking a turn telling the other one what they could do right now to make them feel loved. Then the partner follows through. For my husband, a few times, he wanted to do some ballroom dancing together and so we put on some special music he recorded for me and we danced. Fun!

    Blessings to everyone.

  6. MiracleHope says:

    “It is tough to ask for what is wanted and a dam of pride and fear” …..I can’t agree more on this point. This was exactly me 1.5yrs back. to me it was just timing and moreover I always wanted my husband to take the lead, to know my inner desire as i never liked opening up.I used to get so upset, extremely angry if we missed the ovulation slot. I was so damn controlling, every minute, second as to when to have intercourse in order to be successful…….I was in such a pathetic state that now I just pity my own past state. Why did I have such a pride, what was I afraid of to ask my loving husband what I wanted,why did I hesitate to open up? Deep, strong orphans.
    Upon Julia’s suggestion, I did read this article 1.5yrs back …….& I made a conscious effort to change, I spoke to my orphans,comforted them saying its absolutely okay to open up and ask. Initially it was a struggle, I still hesitated to open up……but after practicing to open up…..my life changed completely…..I never realized what I missed all those years of marriage. I stopped timing(mostly can’t say 100%), i am not ashamed to ask for sex if I want to have one, if my husband is not ready, I take the lead and get him into it, there is absolutely no hesitation.

    I am not sure if I am the only one who is this way, at least that is my feeling that I did behave weirdly in the past……but seriously Julia, I can’t thank you enough for this blog and the IBOW tools. My thinking has changed completely. Now I am no longer afraid or feel guilty or wrong to ask for what I want when it comes to having intercourse with my husband.

    Last but not least on the stmt “the stress of fertility treatments and disappointments can easily break up a marriage”. i have seen this in so many marriages, but then this fertility challenge was the best testing time we have been exposed to and I am so glad to say that we stood the testing time and our bond became clearer, stronger than it ever was to start with.

    • Dear S., thank you for your comment. I have a powerful Orphan that “knows” that she will never be heard. One way to heal her is to keep asking for what I need from a clearer and more Visionary rooted place within me. As I do that, the hope is that I will connect with people who will “surprise” ne and allow me to live a different reality. You are one of those people and I thank you again for that!

      • MiracleHope says:

        Please don’t thank me Julia !
        For your work and support, I can’t thank you enough. Its not just about the baby, its about me, my life, baby is just a part of it. I can clearly see how much this work has impacted in my day to day personal, professional life.

    • Jean says:

      I love how you punctuated your article with the closing quote that “the stress of fertility treatment… can… help you find out who you are married to and what the marriage is made of.” I have come at the fresh age of 43 to the realization that I am fertile, and that to have a child I will have to have a sperm donor–this due to my husband’s fertility that we have not been able to overcome. While it may seem that making the shared decision to try a sperm donor could force my husband and me apart; it has not. Yes, this decision-making process has been intense and even bizarre. On our last attempt to use my husband’s sperm, I found myself carrying the large tank of my husband’s last frozen sperm around bustling midday Manhattan… with the assistance of a kind parking garage attendant. (I considered naming my child after him.) But this somewhat glaring image can also be seen as a representation of love for my husband, for us as a couple, and for this journey–perhaps a very visual reminder that I do want to have a baby. In my owning more deeply what it is I want on this baby journey and in my adult life overall (these two have been going hand in hand), my husband’s and my relationship has deepened and strengthened. It has taken time spent in the intimacy of talking, sharing, clarifying and being very honest, precise, and real. So as I prepare to find a way to dance with a donor’s sperm, I am also engaging in a dance with my husband–and this is regardless of the outcomes ahead.

  7. Michelle H says:

    I was soooo meant to read this tonight!!! I hit the F.H. website daily and sometimes several times if it’s a bad or more emotional day, and I always receive a new message even if I’ve read an article or reply more than once, and Tonight was no exception!!! I have not seen this link of couplehood before. Somehow what Julia wrote, and the reply by Kristina & K.D. wrote hit me like a ton of bricks. My heart is open, and my way of thinking is changing! Because with every new cycle there is “always” HOPE!!!

  8. maria says:

    Back on july 2012. I had a very early miscarriage. Doctor diagnose as abnormalities fetus. Ever since then, it’s being so hard to get pregnant.this my 6months of trying. I keeptkeeptrack on my cm, and we have intercourse everyday on fertile days but nothing. I found so easy to get pregnant on 2012 our first try but after my misscarriage everything so hard. Should I go and visit a doctor? Which doctor specifically should I look for? The same gynecologist? I really want to do a full exam to see if there is anything wrong w me. Do you know how much does it cost for a full exam because I dont have insurance

  9. Kristina Jensen says:

    Great post! Maybe another good piece of homework for all of us is to invite our husbands to read this. I am always surprised at how receptive my husband is when I tell him how he can make me feel nurtured, loved, feel sexy, and other things… It does make sense – he doesn’t have to live up to the unnatainable goal of reading my mind. However competent the men in our lives are at guessing our needs, they will always be more receptive when they have our cooperation in sharing what precisely they are. I think that our frustration with men ‘not getting it’ simply showcases the wonderous ability of our gift to intuit what people around us need. It’s okay that even the most sensitive guys don’t have this ability to the same degree – it lets us see over and over again the amazing gift that God has given us women to care and nurture. So what I don’t get is this: why do I know all this and believe all this and still want my husband to read my mind anyway? I don’t really want an answer, I just wonder at the difference between our deep seated knowledge and our desire to be cared for in more wonderful ways than even we can imagine. Peace to you all and happy baby making!

  10. KD says:

    After many months of talking with my husband about the absence of a baby in our lives, we ended up having a different kind of conversation the other night – what will life be like once our baby is here? While we are very much looking forward to that miracle, the conversation we had made me realize that there will be a time (hopefully sooner than later!) when it’s not just me and my husband. Reading your post, Julia, really got me thinking about the beauty of now – of just us. I can certainly admit to having “production” times when it felt like process rather than pleasure. Recently, however, I’ve been feeling a bit sexier and a little more comfortable with “letting go.” It’s definitely way more fun!

  11. Maria says:

    Thanks Julia for reminding us the importance of intimacy and foreplay. I am thankful my husband and I have a lot of fun together, but being aware is nice. I know sometimes I have been there just for the “task”, you know… get the boys in there and let them work… the rest of it goes to second place. Remembering that making it nice, sensual and fun give me better chances, will help me (goal oriented person) to include that too every time!

    I am really excited for this weekend’s workshop! I’ve been counting the days!

  12. M says:

    Wow – I’ve read this blog and the related comments numerous times, and I’ve struggled to comment only because it has stirred up many emotions inside me. I relate to some of the other comments, in that I grew up in a very conservative environment where intimacy was never outwardly expressed, nor was there ever any “real” discussion about it …..even in context of me getting my first period. Even public displays of affection are difficult for me…..I often hold back even though my wonderful husband loves to sweetly show his affection for me in front of others.

    And as my husband and I have been trying to conceive, we have another difficulty that complicates things. He has erectile dysfunction, and conventional methods/medicines have not helped. We have been able to work around this….I even got pregnant once when we used the “turkey baster” method, but miscarried shortly afterwards. We still work at creating intimacy without traditional intercourse, but sometimes it is difficult. He feels badly because he can’t keep an erection, and therefore he is embarrased and feels awkward. And sometimes I have shut down emotionally. I know it’s a very sensitive topic.

    When I tried the imagery exercise, I found myself feeling very angry & frustrated because I’ve been searching in so many directions for things to help with my fertility, and I want him to take a more active role in trying to solve his ED. But his sperm tests have turned out good. I want to get past these intimacy obstacles. I feel angry when others tell me to “just have fun” with TTC, because it doesn’t feel fun right now.

    I know there are so many other ways of creating intimacy in a relationship, and that my husband and I need to nurture these. I love him so much. He is such a truly caring and sensitive man with the biggest heart, always telling me how much he loves me and how much better his life is with me.

    Thank you for posting this blog, Julia. It has stirred up difficult emotions, but also emotions that need to be processed together with my husband.

  13. Stéphanie says:

    We have been doing a lot more things together. Fun stuff not only routine stuffs. During our last phone circle there was comments I didn’t spoke about but I wrote them down. My Wish??? I wish to be a mom and get pregnant soon. I worked so hard on myself and my relationship with my boyfriend. We have developped a better trust, understanding and communication with each other. We are stronger than ever. We are more ready now than we were years ago when we started to conceive. I wish I could stop my heart from hurting at time. It is not as painful everyday but some days are hard.

    When I have a baby I will…
    BE Happy
    BE complete
    Be the best mommy I can be
    Be women (a grown up)
    BE

    If I don’t have a baby I will…
    be sad
    feel like a failure
    need to find something to cope and help me with this
    feel less of a woman
    fell lost or like I’ve lost something

    I think this journey has made me stronger and although I am not letting go of my dream I think I am ready for whatever is coming. I’m co-creating here and I have to believe that whatever is meant to be will be. It seems that at time I was working too hard, too longor alone. I know my boyfriend wants this baby too but maybe not as much as me. My imagery was to keep seeing this baby coming down the mountain and take that backpack off her. I think I’ve put too much pressure on this lil one and I need to let things that are not that important to go.

    I will be a mom someday. Time is long for this awaited dream but it will be enjoyed even more. I’m tired of the wait and I’ve walked halfway to meet this child. I will not give up (at least not now) I still believe that there is hope.

    Talk to you all tonight. :)

  14. Karen says:

    I love this blog post. Love the imagery exercise and something about picturing the windbreaker on my man makes this so vivid and real for me. It just love it. I also LOVE the detail about the 62 year old lady who gets pregnant after having an affair with her neighbor. Many of us need hope and this is so hopeful!

  15. Ann says:

    Wow, Julia, this is such a powerful, juicy, and inspiring post, with so many courageous comments! I too am working on improving intimacy with myself, enhancing my internal awareness, so that I can bring that to my relationship with my partner. It is a long, long overdue step and it feels tremendously risky but absolutely necessary. Even before I started to type, I sensed my orphans rising up, inhibiting me, shutting me down. That is not how I want to be in my life and that is no way to get in “the mood” for anything! So I decided I would just keep walking, much like you taught us in your workshop. And in doing that, I am hoping that I will find a braver, louder, stronger voice to contribute to this breath-taking, alluring, and sexy community.

  16. Sharmini says:

    Julia, thanks for sharing and writing so eloquently about this intimate topic that is very close to my heart. It was interesting to read everyone’s post. Gal you sound different since the workshop in January and I hear your voice growing stronger..!
    What does more intimacy mean to me? Why does it keep coming up as I keep doing this work and going through this beautiful journey? It’s because I have more work to do in this area of my life. Wouldn’t it be easier to avoid it like my mother does, or my aunts or my grandmother did or the generations that came before her? I grew up in a culture and most importantly a family(not just my immediate family) that denied and hid any trace of sexuality, pleasure and intimacy. There is no sex education in schools and considering all the secrecy and silence I assume you are supposed to wait until your wedding night to find out where babies come from!
    When I think back about my childhood one thing I remember very clearly was that I was aware of my sexuality very early in my life I think I was about 3 or 4years old but since no one ever talked about I learned to hide what I was feeling and that just became the norm. The images of when I first got my period how scared I was since no one had told me anything and then the fact that I was locked in a room for a week and fed these weird concoctions by the tamil ladies in the neighborhood and no one took a minute to explain to me what an awesome, amazing experience this was and that I was given this amazing gift of being able to co-create and carry a child! I thought it was some kind of punishment. My commitment is to keep peeling away the layers and to give plenty of room to the very frightened orphan that is terrified to ask for what she wants. I am looking forward to doing the imagery exercise and finding ways to have some fun and increase the intimacy I share with my husband. I am so grateful to all of you and this wonderful community to share all this with.

    Sharmini

  17. p says:

    Like Christy I found myself thinking of various forms of intimacy. The events of these weeks made me concentrate on the intimacy with myself. I started noticing that each time I had to undergo a physical examination and further medical tests I perceived an increasingly bigger resistance. The tests seemed to be more and more intrusive and the time spent waiting for a response more and more painful. It could take me days to recover from that feeling of being disrespectful to myself. But, of course, it seemed irrational to say no, since it is the way health problems are tackled. And yet all those technologies around me at a certain point made me explode. I had to start saying no and am now at the point where I feel that at least I need to balance this intrusion with a more tender approach to understand my body. And each time I do try this approach I am rewarded with some little results: reduction of some symptoms, a clear mind, a clear skin. Intimacy as you all said is opening up and trusting. And what if I apply it to my own body? More trusting, more nurturing, more patience, letting the body know that I will not betray it with another horrible inspection… maybe one day if I can be intimate enough with myself I will know what is going on without surrendering to all these technologies. I’ve always liked the ancient Greek story of the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi, who, no matter what the question or the problem she was confronted with, was answering with two words: know thyself. And by the way, Delphis in Greek means “womb”…
    Paola

  18. Robin says:

    Thank you, Julia, for this blog and this topic. My husband and I read through your blog entry for this topic together. We’ve not seen the movie but have ordered it. We were told by a friend that Valentine’s Day was Chinese New Year and one should wear red and various pieces of clothing should be red. We did that. I also used the imagery of asking what your ophan wanted from the partner’s image. at that point I had frustration and I needed my imagery partner to apologize. That was very helpful. Thank you so much.

  19. Christy says:

    Coming back to read this after our phone circle, I’m thinking about other forms of intimacy, too and the want for community. I didn’t speak this time on the call, but I was very connected, and I’m struck by how Julia’s post here about partner intimacy has provoked other, deeper degrees of honesty among this community of women who’ve contributed to this blog discussion and to the birthing creation call. Gal’s post above is honest and, I’d assume, not an easy one to write about the problems with intimacy and the exact way the past rears into the present and demands to be known; Stephanie likewise notes that it’s not without serious difficulty–and resistance not just within ourselves, but sometimes from our partners–we enter into the work of connecting with our lovers. And I was so struck by the woman who spoke last in our real-time discussion, who answered Julia’s question about what might happen if she didn’t have another child, by saying that she’s afraid part of her might die. That’s a brave thing to say to a group of women just coming to know each other. But that intimacy–that willingness to speak the truth no matter how hard it is–I *really* appreciated that with the electric ache I literally felt in my heart when I thought, Yes, that’s exactly how I feel. To be able to hear that spoken aloud and recognize it, and for all of us to have those moments of intimate connection among community shared out in the air reminded me again of why addressing what’s intimate–what’s at our centers–is the real work here. It happens both when the details of my struggle are different (as they are from, say, Gal’s and Stephanie’s above) and when they’re oh-so-close to home that I’m brought to recognize the broader work of letting in comfort and spontaneity and trust into many of our relationships, into our inner bedrooms but also into the outer communities we want to build based on those very qualities of truth and trust and honoring the struggles and joys of the moment. Thanks to Julia and to all of you here for that honesty, that deepening, that connection of intimate and hopeful community.
    -Christy

  20. D.S. says:

    This posting was such a good reminder for me. I often get so caught up in the mechanics of intimacy as a means to a “baby end” that I forget the importance of enjoyment and emotional connection. My husband has been so great and supportive throughout our journey. He’s always reminding me to have fun and not miss out on the good times life has to offer. I know trying to conceive has brought us closer. But I still need to follow his lead and your wonderful advice and just let go and enjoy my life. And you’re right, The Family Stone is such a great movie! I saw it a long time ago. But I’m sure seeing it again with this fresh perspective will really hit home the importance of embracing the intimacy and passion in my life. Thank you, Julia!!

  21. jasmin sanders says:

    thanks julia, i am just getting used to my new world here in nm and forgot to check the blog until this last minute. oops. i loved it! i plan to do the homework for next week. safety and trust and intimacy are certainly issues that hit home for me as for most of us in this culture. i was realizing today how much i hold back on fulling expressing my love and affection for josh my husband even though we are pretty affectionate. i was tuning into the orphan that is terrified of rejection and “encourages” me to play it “safe”. as we are all learning through this process together in this community what seems like s”safety” is often the opposite: we may find ourselves in a cage of our own making that is sterile and empty and colorless, certainly not a lovemaking or life creating environment…signing off for the phone circle!
    thanks again,
    love jasmin

  22. Stéphanie says:

    Just found the movie you talked about. I will be watching it with my boyfriend on Friday. He seems very interested about the phone circles. I said to him that we had homework and he is willing to watch the movie wth me because of it. I did the imagery this time with the bedroom moment and it went great. I could actually see something. For many years I’ve been struggling with getting my boyfriend in the mood. He is never in the mood even before we were TTC. This has made our journey just even harder on us. It seemed I was always begging for it so it eventually came of no interest to me. Like it was only for he purpose of making a baby and not just for fun. This is mostly the only close moment we get. He watches a lot of TV, computer and other activities. I’ve tried many things and so far it doesn’t seem to have worked. I keep telling him to visualise that his sperms are strong and all we need is just one and just a little more effort to make it work. We’re almost there. :) He was dx with low count and low motility with full antibodies. This was really hard to swallow and I know it must not be easy for his ego. He’s had a very hard time thinking positive but lately he seems more open and willing to try new things. I was happy to spend more time with him for Vday. :) We did a special supper with a nice time in the bedroom afterward. :P I find that he has changed and feels more positive and smiles a lot more. It makes me so happy that he is feeling better. :)

  23. gal says:

    Thank you Julia for another great blog! Intimacy and letting go overall has been so in my thoughts lately. I have spoken before I am working on moving though my old sexual abuse memories. I have realized all that happened put anything related to sexuality in a box that needed alot of control around it. I have only recently realized the connection between sexuality and my fertility. Lately I am becoming aware that as there is nothing wrong with my sexuality today and it is certainly not something to be stifled. I am having success with a theraputic process called EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) which I do with a therapist to bring out the traumatic memories. I find they are much easier to deal with afterward and appear to finally process on a more appropriate level that it was something that happened but isn’t happening now.
    I have homework to report on from the last phone circle. I did the field of creation imagery for the last two weeks. There were times it came easily and times I just wasn’t that focused. Mostly I was dealing with a part of me that was scared. I also had this rageful part which is very new who I realized deep down was very wounded and felt like there is something truly damaged in her. I have found this is a challenging orphan who needs a lot of help. Sometimes I was able to get her help and get her to the other side of the field sometimes she really fought moving to the other side. One interesting thing is this homework blends in with my therapy homework which is often to take care of the little girls that come out in the EMDR. I told my therapist of my imagery homework from this community and she we have started having me as the ultimate mom go in and help during our work together.
    I did dream journal these two weeks. I had a variety of dreams – primary themes being my fertility and the abuse. Two dreams in particular were very interesting. One where my work as an architect was blending with my longing to have another child. In the dream I was a place to work (a seat at the table) at my RE’s office and it was my job to get the plan through. This dream felt very good because I was a major participant in this process with my RE and it felt like a task I had specific knowledge on how to suceed and that I had done this before successfully. Another dream where I went to visit a good friend who is about the exact same as as me and I found she had had two children, a boy and a girl, in the time I hadn’t seen her. This felt very promising about turning 40 this month and it being fertilicious and fine. It also made me realize I need to check in with her.

    I missed last weeks rebel circle and I felt the loss this week so I am looking forward to getting on the circle tonight.
    I have enjoyed reading all the posts on this blog and find them as well inspiring and interesting.
    thanks for sharing,
    gal

  24. Caroline says:

    Thanks Julia for hitting the nail on the head once again! It looks like intimacy is a big issue for most of us – I wonder if the stats would be the same amongst the wider population… My husband is certainly the strong silent type, and I have a whole army of orphans telling me I can’t let my guard down or I’d surely be ridiculed and rejected, so… I know what I need to be working at next. Watch this space!

  25. jeanette says:

    Thanks Julia for making me laugh out loud! Intimacy is a subject that, for me, is wrought with conflict. It’s so pleasurable when I allow myself to fall in, and quiet my orphans, allow myself to be loveable and be loved. But on the other hand, I grew up in a family where our parents shared no intimacy, at least voluntarily. They were good Catholics doing their duty, making babies. So where does that leave my husband and I? Slowly finding our way. For me, foreplay has become a distant fantasy. We never make the time…Or so we say. In the last 9 years, we have been on a roller coaster of immense highs and horrific lows, all related to babies, all related to, ultimately, sex. It has been like pulling teeth to get my husband interested in intimacy. Or so I thought. Here’s the kicker, since I started with our phone circle, something has changed. I have become calmer, more confident in my needs and their validity, my voice of judgment has softened and is even sometimes silent, I am accepting more of myself and allowing myself “some” imperfections. But the amazing thing is this: after so many years of begging my husband for sex, he just recently came to me, first! Why? My guess is that I’m not such a prickly pear and am actually ready for intimacy, not just wanting to make a baby. All this tells me that this work is, precisely, the right path for this stage of my journey.

  26. Heather says:

    Thanks Julia for writing about intimacy. It’s not always easy to talk about this subject, or at least it’s not for me. Growing up in a conservative family, we never spoke about sex. It was assumed that we’d get married some day and know exactly what to do, despite any information to help us get there. I love the fact that this community has a place to share our thoughts and experiences. For many years, it was very difficult for me to open myself up to the joy of intimacy. It wasn’t until my husband and I started to try and conceive that we really learned how to love each other fully. The fact that my husband didn’t run from my orphans, but embraced them meant the world to me and is one of the things I love most about him.

    Thanks also to the wonderful wishes from the community on my pregnancy. I’m now 18 weeks (yeah) and I have to tell you, I’ve never felt sexier!

  27. Kelly says:

    Thank you for this Julia. I think Valentines Day is wonderful day to remember how we fell in love and express our feelings. I know we get so caught up in the baby making quest that we forget to have fun too. Thank you for reminding us. I will do your exercise and see how it goes.

    Happy Valentines Day.

  28. Christy says:

    I expected to come here to read about food–as Julia mentioned on the recent phone circle that might be the next blog post’s subject–but here is another kind of nourishment, both in subject and in the effect of its words!

    This is a timely message for me. It’s so hard to stay intimate and passionate amidst disappointment and the troubles with fertility. But it’s also likely the most essential thing. Part of this journey is necessarily about taking the body back only out of the hands of the doctors and allowing ourselves some due wisdom of our own bodies and selves. But like Jane, for many of us that step absolutely “kicks up a rumpus.” What do we know, anyway? How can this body, which has let us down time and again, be sexy? How can something broken be giving and creating? Orphans, orphans, everywhere. And as much as I know firsthand, like Anna, that working through the challenges _does_ create an intimacy I’d never have thought possible a few years ago, I’m also thinking about the through the fire, comes steel idea. In that yes, some days I feel just like that–so tried, so put through the fire (and another and another) that I’ve survived strong, but as now cold steel, something hard and metal, closed off to a landscape where no new life could grow.

    So I’m thinking hard about next steps, about tempering in more than one sense of the word–not just the toughening up, but also allowing more of the fluidity of heat into life. And knowing that hard as that may be, it’s necessary and enriching and really, in the end, the center of true love.

    -Christy

  29. Anna says:

    Thanks Julia, you’re certainly spot on about the scenic journey. From what I have seen on this journey: Either you die of exhaustion, lack of shared purpose, vision or stamina, or just sheer hopelessness (all totally understandable) OR it becomes the most incredible challenge with shared highs and lows, scenic views and the odd desolate plane but ultimately intimacy grows incredibly and I personally wonder how we would have flourished without it now. What I mean by that is that I now have a relationship that much more closely resembles the one of my dreams simply because we have had to sort ‘our shit out’ and ultimately get that much more intimate and really trust one another. A good friend of mine says of relationships ‘it takes a furnace to make steel’, she doesn’t think people truly have what it takes to happily enjoy a juicy life journey together until they are challenged by one of life’s many furnaces and come out of it truly bonded. For us one past non-fertility related furnace almost took us down but we survived – just – but this one has been incredible in terms of the places its taken us and the state we are in now.

    Thanks Jane for the Family Planning Association quote – they are totally right!

  30. jane Molloy says:

    Julia, your latest blog made me laugh and cry! Thank you!
    I am noticing that when I am able to drop another few feet into a deeper intimacy with my partner, my orphans really kick up a rumpus. This usually results in me losing all that delicious softening and becoming defensive and brittle. Ouch. I guess they think I will be shamed or hurt for allowing myself to be so vulnerable and I am slowly learning to love them for trying to keep me safe.
    In keeping with your story about the 62 year old woman who found herself pregnant, the British press published a story this week that may be of interest
    “The Family Planning Association (FPA) believes the message on infertility and age has gone “too far”.
    Although fertility does wane, women can still get pregnant well into their thirties, forties and even fifties.
    Abortion rates for women aged 40 to 44 match those for the under 16s, figures for England and Wales show. “



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Sublimely Fertile Friend,

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Sublimely Fertile Friend,

Yep, you ABSOLUTELY ARE sublimely fertile.

Take a little break from the baby chase, grab my free "What to Expect from a Fertility Expert" Ebook, and let the baby catch up with you.

Isn't it time to stop spinning your wheels?

Julia

(You will receive a link to the ebook after entering your email below, Please make sure to white list fertileheart.com, otherwise the mail might go to your spam folder.)

You will be receiving a link to your Free Ebook in your email.