I am excited to spend some time today with Sadie Banks. Sadie is a photographer and owner of “Good Grief” journals. Her company was born in the midst of – and due to the grief she was dealing with during her own infertility journey. She shares how she came to understand the real meaning of intimacy and how to separate pleasure sex from clinical sex. She shares insight into how to keep your marriage a priority – even during the most difficult times.
I am so excited to interview Sadie Banks on the podcast today. She is the designer and owner of Good Grief Journals. She is also a talented photographer – and Sadie Banks has had an amazing journey and has great insight into infertility, grief, guilt and overcoming her own sexual misunderstandings. Even if you have never dealt with infertility, you probably know someone who has dealt with this.
Sadie and her husband struggled for 4 years with infertility. After holding everything inside, she started writing on her blog as a way to release her emotions as well as educate others concerning the pain, the guilt, the stress and the cost of infertility.
In 2018, as the battle continued, there was more going on than just infertility. She was busy and didn’t feel like there was time to attend therapy. . .so she started designing prompt journals.
That is where her business “Good Grief” journals was born. “I just started writing, trying to get things out of my head and heart. The more I wrote, the more I realized people could benefit from this. We now have journals designed not just for infertility, but for miscarriages, IVF, grief, anxiety, motherhood and pregnancy. Our goal in life is to help others turn their grief into a force for good in their life – because there is such a thing as good grief.”
Sex and infertility can look like a job, it becomes a chore. Sadie and her husband followed the monthly regime of infertility. Taking basal temperature, ovulation tests, timed intercourse, medication etc – and then the week you ovulate it’s a consistent schedule of sex. By the end of each month, they were exhausted, didn’t want to be touched again – and still not pregnant.
Over time, her thoughts turned to pressure-that this has to work -that everything had to be perfect. She expected her body to do something she could not control. It became a time of guilt and shame. She shares how her negative headspace took over her whole life. Their life dreams were to be a mother and a father were feeling untouchable.
Sadie shares how after her failed IUI, complete failure overcame her. She felt this was her fault and that she had spent money they didn’t have. They didn’t have extra funds to do another infertility treatment and felt emotionally spent and the hopelessness settled in. They took a break from the routines, medications, doctor appointments and scheduled sex to make decisions and save more money.
Even during their break, the marriage was suffering. Sadie was touched out, sexed out and the tension was rising. They began learning that intimacy is more than sex. Once her thoughts changed, the marriage changed. Her advice today is “Let the woman have her orgasm first, then she doesn’t just feel just like an object.”
This is when Sadie and I met and we worked to shift her mindset. Sadie found that she needed to focus more on pleasure. Her advice to others now is to have sex when it doesn’t matter. Focus on the pleasure. Buy lingerie you love, talk about fantasies, try new things, make sex fun again. You have to learn how to separate the clinical sex from the pleasurable sex. Using intimacy as a connecting time is critical. They chose to be happy, despite the possibility of never having children.
“You chose to do life with your spouse – and your kids are just the icing on top. I still have purpose and worth – even if I am not a mom. And now I find that I have meaning and purpose beyond being a mom.”
After Sadie gave birth to her baby girl, she had another challenge of understanding and knowing her body. Her journey has been long and challenging, but so much good for herself and others has been the result. She continues to build her business as a photographer and designing journals for all phases of life.
For more information on her story or her journals go to: https://goodgriefjournals.com/