When you’re planning on having a baby, you’re thinking connection, romance, coming together with the love of your life and making something that is part of both of you. Then you start trying to conceive (TTC) and ovulation calendars, sperm counts, taking your temperature every morning and urinating on test strips take over.
Making a baby can be stressful, especially when you’ve been TTC for six months to a year or longer. Sex can start feeling like a chore when your bathroom is decorated with ovulation kits and pregnancy tests.
Which is why it is important to look at ways that can bring the romance back into your relationship. Now wait just a minute, don’t forget to send this blog to your spouse. These suggestions are for both of you. If only one of you takes this advice you’ll be working too hard. Each one of you needs to read this and pick some ideas to help bring back the romance.
Get physical – Don’t think sex, think simple touching, small caresses, kisses on the neck, an arm around your shoulder. When you go to the grocery store, hold each other in line. While you’re driving in the car, reach over and touch your partners leg softly. Small caresses not only bring you closer but they are often forgotten in the hustle and bustle of our busy lives. When you get home from work, find your spouse and just hold them close for awhile in a nice hug. *Each of you should aim to create 2-3 extra small caresses a day.
Loving looks – Remember when you first started dating or that first time after you’d slept together, or the time after that. There were loving looks happening all the time but often the longer we are together and the more stress that is in our lives, can take those looks away. Not only does it feel good to get lost in looking at the love of your life, it also can bring you closer. Ask yourself when is the last time you woke up in the morning, propped yourself up and looked over at your spouse lovingly?
Talk about the past – Sit and talk about fun and romantic times in your relationship when you were first dating or first married, etc. Talking about positive, romantic events can bring those feelings and actions into the present.
Hide cute notes were they can find them – Write “I love you” on the bathroom mirror while they are in the shower. Put a note on their driver seat the night before so they find it before work. Write a little note and put it with their lunch.
Set the scene – What does your partner like? Is it candles, music, a particular outfit, a playful game? You know your partner better than anyone, try to make it special or different once in awhile to help lighten the mood.
Jump each other at unexpected times – this can be hard, especially for some of us who really prefer to be in the mood but it can be surprisingly fun to be surprised. At home for the weekend and alone? When is the last time you made love on the living room floor? Or on top of the laundry machines… get creative and have fun.
Stay emotionally connected – If its cold outside and you have access to a fireplace, grab some blankets, light the fire and just talk. Romance can be created from all types of connection. Share your feelings about sex, conception and your future. Some of the topics might be redundant but it can really reduce stress, getting them off your chest and saying it out loud.
Ways to increase arousal:
Maybe the above elements aren’t the problem. You’ve been doing all those things but still can’t get aroused the way you used to. You constantly need to perform and all you can think about is the results aka getting pregnant. Here are some tips for increasing arousal.
Write a list of what turns you on – Everyone is different. Try writing a list of what turns you on. A few examples could be: Fantasizing, Sexting, Watching a sexy movie, Reading erotic stories, Touching yourself, Experimenting with sex toys, Having your partner kiss and touch you without the expectation of sex, Enjoying music that feels sexual to you.
Letting go of performance anxiety – The pressure of getting pregnant might be creating a lot of anxiety and pressure that you aren’t even conscious of. Practice mindfulness by creating a space for you to think, breathe and be yourself. Focus on breathing. This can also be helpful while having sex, if you mind starts to wander about things you need to do or on the end result, focus on breathing and the feelings around you. Say relax or breathe in your head so that your mind stays quiet and you can enjoy the closeness you and your partner are sharing.
Make sure you’re getting enough sleep – you’re thinking how does this increase my arousal. Funny enough sleep does affect your sex drive. Lack of quality sleep is correlated to low libido.
Shift your focus from your flaws to your attributes – lack of self-confidence can be road block when it comes to sex. Put on something that you feel good in, do your hair, maybe put on a little sparkly chapstick. This last year we’ve all spent more time in our pajamas than ever before and with nowhere to go because of Covid, our makeup has sat in a drawer and our curling irons are packed away. Get dressed up, don’t get dressed up but do it for you.
You two are the most important thing:
At the end of the day, you’re creating a baby together because you love each other more than anything. You’d do anything for one another and want to create a family together. Don’t forget about why this future baby is coming into this world, because of your love. Together your time together means more than anything. Enjoy every moment.
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