"Just like seeing that extra pink stripe on a pregnancy test, a miscarriage will change your life in an instant."
In July of 2012, at a week overdue for my period, I told my boss I was leaving the office for a doctor’s appointment; I came back less than an hour later, pregnant. It was a shock; we hadn’t been planning on a baby. My husband and I had been using condoms after I had stopped taking the pill for health reasons and while I had been grumpy and tried over the last week, we just put it down to work stress. No need to mention I told my boss I need the rest of the day off and ran home.
Well not exactly ran, it’s an hour train ride and a 20 minute drive from the station to home. So I had a lot of thinking time. The doctor had guessed I was about 5 weeks and it only took that one and half hour journey home for me to become “really pregnant”. I was already thinking names, schools, pregnancy vitamins and that it would be an amazing chance to redo the small bedroom as a nursery. But overall and the most defining thought was happy and shit scared.
While my husband was more scared then happy, I had his support either way. I had the next day off work and I spent my morning relaxing around the house. By 1:30pm I hadn’t even made it out of my Pj’s and a routine bathroom break for all the TV watching I was doing, turned up red. My mother had had a miscarriage before she fell pregnant with me and was something she had shared with my sister and I, woman to woman, so I knew what was happening. Part of me hoped that it was just a little bleeding and everything would be fine, but the blood red toilet below wasn’t letting me hold on to that hope.
I started crying instantly and rang my husband and explained through broken sobs, that I was bleeding. Confused and unsure what to do, I rang my mum. I regret more than I can explain that the first time I told my mum I was pregnant, was to tell her I was having a miscarriage. My mother calmly and quickly explain to me what needed to happen; call the local GP, let them know you think you are having a miscarriage, place a period pad in your underwear in case the hospital needs it.
It may seem a little long of a explanation on how it changed my husband and I sexually, but it’s important to know the terminology that was used. Here are just a few of the words I heard that day,
- Blood and bleeding
- Discharge, clot and chunks
I share everything with my husband; always have and always will. So he was well aware of the terms used that day and the following days and about what was happening with my body and what to expect. This is where the doctor described in detail how I would need to wait until after my next period (over three weeks away) to ensure that any fetal material had worked its way out of my uterus and avoid have a curettage (the term used for removing a miscarried fetus that does not leave the body naturally), and that I may experience some bleeding and bloody discharge, including some “larger chunks”. Not exactly the best mental image to go home with, but home we went and I slept and talked and cried.
So the weeks went by and I was lucky enough to not experience any serve pain or cramping and didn’t need to have the curettage. My husband and I talked and I was able to understand it is common and it happens to a lot of women and that we would have other children, etc etc. I am not washing over the grieving process. It was a personal process that my husband and I went through; one I couldn’t have done without him.
After the bleeding stopped and I had completed another normal period, the doctor gave me the green light. Without discussion or a spoken agreement, my husband and I had forgone sex over the last 3 weeks, without really noticing the loss of intimacy. After everything that had happened, I was not expecting the reaction I had nor that my husband had, the first time we tried to have sex after we were given the green light.
It started fairly normal, letting each other know through subtle and not so subtle touch that sex was on the cards tonight. So, that night, as I am climbing on top of my husband, I was ready to go. I was aroused and I wanted to cum. It didn’t take long for me to realize my husband and my subconscious had other ideas. After only 3-4 thrust, I realized the normally moaning I get from my husband when I am on top wasn’t happening, nor was there arse grabbing. His hands simply rested limply on my hips. It wasn’t one-sided either. I can freely admit, I put none of the normal enthusiasm I had to drive my husband crazy, when I am on top. We knew straight away something was wrong and openly told each other so; simply explaining it was too early. My husband got out of bed, went to the bathroom and masturbated. Something he hasn’t had to do, since we moved in together over 5 years ago.
Over a week later and we still hadn’t gotten past a brief kiss on the way out the door in the morning, which is so far from the norm for us. Finally, we had obviously had enough and decided we needed to talk about what had happen to our normal satisfying sex life.
You remember how I said I shared everything with my husband? Well it turns out I wasn’t giving him the information he needed. While I had let him know that the doctor had told me I didn’t need a curettage, I hadn’t told him that the “larger chunks” were now gone and there was no risk of a nasty surprise while we made love. I also hadn’t told him that, while I mourned the loss of our baby, I wasn’t looking to get pregnant again anytime soon. So, quite quickly, his fears and concerns where put aside.
Mine were not so easy to deal with. I am sure many other women that have suffered the heartache of a miscarriage and even, in some cases, a caesarean birth, that it somehow makes you feel less female. No matter what people tell you, no matter how common it is, what the statistics are and that it doesn’t mean it will happen again, it takes some part of your femininity away and it’s my femininity that makes me feel sexy and what attracts my husband to me. So, basically, I was feeling less than female and therefore completely and utterly unattractive sexually. It took a fair amount of compliments, both in the bedroom and out, to get my “Sexy Back” and my husband was ever so patient and helpful. The next time we felt the urge, we took things slow, learned each others bodies again and just let the love flow.
So what are my general tips for strengthening my marriage from either a miscarriage or something else that may have rocked the foundations of my marriage? These may seem cliche, but that’s simply because they are the most important.
Time – In the busy world of today, people forget to take their time and it is no different when it comes to knowing your partner and making each other happy. Remember, while making love may feel like a rush, it can’t be rushed. Don’t force or push anything on each other or yourself. Life takes time.
Listen – Not just to what is said out loud, but listen to your body, listen to your partner’s body. Listen deeply. If I had listened to my body properly, I would have known that while my body wanted crazy intimacy with my husband, it just wasn’t ready and my husband would have known the same and we would have had the worst sexual experience, since we were teenagers.
Love – Love one another no matter what. Love yourself and remind each other that no one is more important to you, than they are.
And how did I get my sexy back you ask. My tips here are personal and are based on what makes me feel sexy, what turns me on, and how I treat myself. This may not relate to you directly, but may give you an idea.
I Got my nails professionally done – and choose a color I knew would look sexy when I wrapped my hands around my husband’s... well you know.
Groomed – I spent hours in the bath removing the all the hair from my body, washed my hair, covered myself in body butter, blow dried my hair straight, put on my special perfume, did sexy make up, put on my little silk nightie and made sure I was doing something house wifey when my husband got home from work.
Fulfilled a Fantasy – I might even tell you about it one day.
Miscarriages hurt, there is no denying that, especially when close friends and family are enjoying the joys of pregnancy and little bundles of joy, but I am glad to say my sex life is no longer suffering.
If this is something you are experiencing or have experienced, I would love to hear from you.