I may have spoken too soon.
Now that my husband and I get to have normal intimacy (yeah!), I've been discovering a couple of things:
The first dilator insertion, no matter the size, always hurts.
But more than this, I've been realizing that the friction of his going back and forth seems to be somewhat irritating on the inside. I'm somewhat raw/ still not stretched enough.
Now, this is not anything like the pain I used to experience. But it's not 100% pleasurable, either. I'd say that my pain has gotten 85-90% better, but it is not perfect.
However, I am not sure whether this is something that will get better with time, as we continue to be intimate.
Or alternatively, whether this is something I caused myself because I delayed doing the dilators (and the doctor had specifically told me to do them every day as soon as possible).
Or whether this is something I caused myself because I didn't do dilators during my Niddah period, so maybe now I've backslid and I have to work harder at loosening up again.
I guess I'll find out when I visit the doctor...
Even this reality is a lot better than where we were before. I can deal with 85% better. I'm grateful for 85% better.