It can be difficult in an intimate relationship when sex is taken away.
For husband and I we had to navigate how to be intimate without being “intimate” during my last pregnancy and recovery period. With all the raging hormones during pregnancy at first it was difficult to keep our hands to ourselves (it is like this most of the time, which is partly the reason we have four kids), but when my pregnancy complications forced me onto bed rest, and eventual hospitalisation, any thoughts of hanky panky were thrown out the window.
At 19 weeks we were devastated to hear that this would not only be our last pregnancy, that potentially we might not get a baby at the end of it, and that my life was compromised. On top of that we were told that during delivery I would lose my uterus. After weeping loudly, chest heaving in agony at realising my fate, our visits with our OB conjured up some topics previous pregnancies hadn’t required.
We were left wondering “Will I be able to orgasm without a cervix or uterus? Will it feel the same? If my husband calls into my vagina will my vagina echo as I will be essentially ’empty’ inside? Will husband recognise my vagina, or will it feel like a stranger to him?”
I clearly remember the day my husband and I sat opposite our OB, a gentle, kind and patient man, and asked some very personal questions. Before long, my husband and the OB were in the throes of a conversation about orgasms. At this point in the pregnancy, before we knew the extent of my complications, sex was definitely off the table, but our OB was happy to discuss other ways to climax. I honestly don’t think I have heard the word orgasm thrown about so freely before, and repeated so frequently; all I could hear ringing in my ears was ‘orgasm, orgasm, orgasm!’.
As you do, we went home and tried these other techniques that don’t involve sex to reach climax. We weren’t strangers to these, but in our relationship they served more as foreplay rather than the main event. But even these options were cast aside when I experienced orgasms that induced full uterine spasms resulting in painful cramping and vomiting. (Yes, my husband is good at what he does, I’ll give him that.)
However, when the reality I would certainly lose my uterus hit, I had my own questions, “Will I still be a woman? Will I feel the same, will I feel feminine? Will my husband still be attracted to me? Will being barren be a turn off?”