Okay, you've been warned!
Sex used to hurt.
After DH and I were married for about a year (we'd been together for four years before we got married), it gradually started to hurt. It didn't matter how I felt before hand, it was really painful. We tried everything we could think of, but really didn't know what was causing the pain. What made it even tougher was around this time we decided to begin trying to get pregnant. It wasn't until YEARS later that the pain was finally diagnosed as an actual disorder known as vulvadynia. We tried reading all about it, saw a specialist (yes, there IS a specialist in this), actually had physical therapy to correct problems with the pelvic floor which apparently went along with this. All the treatments eventually worked, on their own or in conjunction with taking acidophulus at the suggestion of one of my midwives. What a relief!!!
Through all this, we were seeing a fertility specialist for a couple years to try to get pregnant. Oh, all those internal ultrasounds hurts so bad! And I had to deal with so many of them. Eventually, five years after we started, I became pregnant with the boys. Sex was one of the last things on our minds. And then after the boys were born and I had lots of complications due to my eight weeks of bedrest and my bladder ruptering during my emergency c-section, and then dealing with premature twins, sex dropped even lower on our list of priorities.
So then throw depression into the mix.
I've suffered from major clinical depression on and off for YEARS. That's a whole other post that I will write someday. Throughout the whole inferitilty challenges, I'm sure it's no surprise that it came back full force. Surprisingly, the depression went away during both of my pregnancies and the post-partum period. In fact, while my hormones were clearly affected by nursing, I felt fine. Literally the month the boys weaned, I somehow became pregnant with J. What a shock that was! No interventions at all! But once she weaned completely, that was it - the depression was back.
Major clinical depression has a whole checklist of symptoms. I could check yes for each of them, including lack of libido. I began medication which helped the depression. But the libido did not come back. At all. Not even a little. Just wasn't worth the effort was my general attitude.
So recently I switched anti-depressants. It was a bitch to go off the one (Effexor), but I felt much better as soon as I started the new one (Celexa). And I'm thrilled to declare that my libido is completely back, and this time, there is no pain at all. Such a change for me. We've been married over eleven years. While we have had some good stetches, due to both the vulvadynia and the depression affecting my sex drive, it's been almost ten years since I have felt like this.
In addition to writing this blog for myself to serve as my memory and to give me a place to write my thoughts, I write this blog to connect with other moms out there. I know that every time I read something that I can identify with on someone else's blog, it feels like a validation for me, relief that someone else feels the same way. I recently found someone else who is currently suffering from Vulvadynia. I had NEVER met anyone else who had even heard of it, and I was thrilled to be able to share with her that it's possible to have a full recovery. I hope that this post may help someone else, whether someone suffering with pain or loss of libido, to know that help is out there, and you don't have to live with it.
As for me, I'm back, Baby! :)