This is a piece written for us by a member of the infertility, loss, and adoption community.
Due to the nature of the subject matter, she wishes to remain anonymous.
We used to have sex. Lots and lots of sex. I’m talking toys, lotions, lube; things that would “make your mama blush” sex, and then we started trying to conceive. At first, it was fun; still having lots of sex, just paying attention to when we were having sex. Then the pressure came: and the “why weren’t we getting pregnant” sex was much less fun and much more of a chore. Then came doctors appointments: less sex, more issues, and it stopped being fun all together.
Then we got pregnant, and those second trimester hormones were a doozy. I was horny; I’m mean really horny, but as my belly grew, my husband became uncomfortable and frankly, I did too. After our baby was born, I had no desire to ever have sex again. I was exhausted, bone-tired. I couldn’t even think straight. I wasn’t even washing my hair and did not feel sexy. My husband was itching to get back to it after the 6-week appointment. You know, the one where the doctor (who’s usually a dude) says, “yeah, you can have sex again.” All the while your vagina is screaming, “THE F*** YOU CAN!” Postpartum hormones take a really big toll on your body. Add in breastfeeding, maybe a little postpartum depression, and you’ve got a recipe to rival the Sahara Desert.
Hop on any new mom Facebook group and you’ll get lots of advice.
“Can you maybe just, you know, ‘take care of him'”
“Use coconut oil, it’s the best!”
“Just fake it til you make it”
No thanks, I like to actually enjoy myself.
I think we had sex a total of 6 times that first year. We probably had sex more than that the first week we were dating. It’s been a long road trying to get back, but everything is different. My body is different; inside and out. What I liked before, I don’t like now and what I didn’t like, I kind of do. Things that were off limits before, maybe aren’t now, and things that I craved before, make me cringe. I have to relearn myself, and then figure out how to teach him new tricks.
But the best way for my husband to get me in the mood? Get a babysitter, get the hell out of the house, and let me take a long, leisurely bubble bath. Let me shave my legs that rival Sasquatch, maybe pluck my eyebrows that haven’t seen tweezers in 3 months or longer (and while I’m at it, maybe I’ll pluck my chin). Let me lay there by myself and use that expensive lotion you bought for me while we were dating. Then let me pass out in the middle of our bed taking up the whole thing. No one touching me, no one talking to me, for 3 glorious hours. Come home, give me a back rub, feed me ice cream, and let me go back to sleep for 6 hours – then let’s talk about sex.